Waddell Cottage

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In our December story about Horse Troughs, a stray photo was ,by mistake, sent to the Galston Paper. The Dooral Round-up got the right picture, the one of the trough, which is now in the grounds of Galston High School. The “stray”photo is of Denise Rogers with a very rough sign which is hard to decipher. It says “KEEP OUT” and was attached to the fence around what we now call “Waddell Cottage”. The photo was taken at least 50 years ago.

As Shakespeare said, “ THEREBY HANGS A TALE”

Old Jim Waddell had lived all his long life in the Cottage, which his father had built in about 1866. He never married. Irene Rogers wrote “The cottage was built in the typical colonial style, with two rooms up and two down, a dormer window in the roof and the kitchen separate from the main structure. Old Jim still collected his fresh water from a well behind the Cottage. He could be seen at least once a week, neatly and correctly dressed with hat, walking stick and suitcase, on his way to Hornsby to shop. Many times I picked him in my car and if he didn’t get a lift, he would plod on to do his shopping. Once I picked him up on Christmas day, and I had great difficulty in explaining to him that all the shops would be closed. Sometimes he rode his horse, and in later years, caught the bus.

He was plagued at times by vandals when he was absent from his home so he devised a quaint sign in an endeavour to protect his property. In later years he would climb the stairs to the upper part of his cottage, where he would sit at the open window playing a tin whistle for hours”.

No Council rates had been paid on the property since 1936, so when Old Jim died in 1969, the NSW Government resumed the 20 acre ( 9 hectares) property). It was then decided that this was an ideal site to build Galston High School. The old Cottage was in a deplorable state and was due for demolition. But a local identity, Betty Archdale, formed a Committee to raise funds for its restoration. The shingle roof had to be replaced and lots of other repairs made. So now it is a great resource for the school, particularly the History Department, and for our wider community.

Come and visit History Cottage, which is open every Sunday from 10 am to 4pm . It is the home of the Dural and District Historical Society .

For enquiries phone 9651-3118 or 9653-1365. The first meeting of Dural Historical Society for this year will be held on Saturday, 10th February, at 2 pm. The guest speaker will be Garry Smith. All welcome.