Hue and Cry

January 2005



Front Cover Photograph

Water Police Station - Banks & University Rowing Club    
Jolley’s Boat Shed – (now Torrens Rowing Club) 
     [See Story inside]

  I hope all our members enjoyed our special Christmas edition of the Hue and Cry, however I must apologise for the lateness of this issue, which was caused by circumstances beyond our control.  My congratulations to our editor Elees Pick, and Charlie Tredrea, for their work on this special edition.  Unfortunately this was a one off Christmas special, because of the cost so its back to black and white this month. . 

I am happy to report that Dorothy Pyatt has made an excellent recovery from her accident at our Christmas function and her successful hip surgery.  She is back home and in very good spirits and enjoying all the attention she is getting.

In December we were given control over a lined shed at Thebarton Barracks which has a large and small compactus, which we badly need for storage.  Thanks to assistance from the mounted operations unit, approximately 15 tons of research books have been moved from a room upstairs to the new storage facility on the ground floor.

We have taken possession of a DVD re-corder which will enable us to convert some 300 historic videos to DVD as the videos are already deteriorating.

Work continues in the museum area, with special extrusions installed in the new upstairs gallery.  This will allow us to hang many of our framed historic photographs.  This has been at the expense of work in the main downstairs gallery, which is slowly nearing a stage where we will be able to open to the public.  This work will not end and will continue to evolve.

I will look forward to seeing as many members as possible at the AGM in February where all executive positions will be declared vacant and a new committee will be elected.  2005 will be a very busy and exciting year. 

I wish all members and readers a Happy New Year for 2005.


Geoff Rawson

‘Subscription time’ is upon us again.  -*-  “Fees remain unchanged for 2005”

SINGLE MEMBERSHIP   -   $10.00   –   FAMILY MEMBERSHIP    -    $15.00
Attached to this copy of the ‘Hue & Cry’, you will find your ‘subscription form’ for the year 2005.  Would you please complete the renewal section of this form, DETACH where indicated and return it to the
Society office, together with your payment.
‘Early attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.’

In order to save administrative time and costs, provision has been made on this renewal form for any member who may wish to pay their subscriptions for a year or more in advance (maximum 2 years).  If you would like to make an advance payment, please indicate in the area provided. In the event that subscriptions may increase in these years, those members who have taken advantage of this advance payment provision, will of course not be expected to pay any increased amount.


The following article was compiled by the Editor from information provided by the Corporation of the City of Adelaide Archives & the Adelaide Advertiser dated 13th August, 1949.

By the provisions of the River Torrens Improvement Act, assented to on the 9th February, 1870, The Corporation of the City of Adelaide was empowered to construct a dam across the river “ for the purpose of enabling the said Corporation to use the shores & banks of, & the lands adjoining the said river for the purpose of recreation or “amusement” (preamble of Act No 13 of 1869-79) 

On 1st July, 1881 the Mayor of Adelaide, Sir Edwin Smith closed the sluices for the first time & the creation of the Lake was underway.

The City Surveyor’s Department subsequently prepared plans & specifications for the erection of a dam across the River Torrens with construction commencing in 1879.  The Torrens Lake was officially opened by the Mayor of Adelaide (Sir Edwin Smith) on the 21st July, 1881, together with the much awaited Exhibition of Arts & Industries.  The combined was the most spectacular event yet staged in Adelaide, with crowds numbering some 40,000 people lining the banks.  Which, incidentally was more than the then entire population of the city.

The creation of the Torrens Lake was the greatest amenity ever added to the city which greatly enhanced  the popularity of the corporation & was a personal triumph for Mayor Smith.  The weir had cost the ratepayers ₤7,000 – few begrudged the cost &, in fact, a similar amount was eventually spent on beautification of the banks, by sheet piling them, & by the addition of footpaths & seats. In 1882 native black swans – later other waterfowl were added & the introduced trout prospered so well that cormorants who arrived to feed on them provided sport for hunters.

With the opening of the Torrens Lake, the city Council made & passed a series of by laws during 1881 and at first these by laws were administered by one of the Corporation’s Sanitary Inspectors, Mr. W.L. Furze, who, in addition to his other duties, acted as “Inspector of Boats & Collector of Licence Fees (for which he received a bonus of ₤20 from Council in June, 1882).  It was the role of the Inspector to enforce the better observance of the regulations relating to the periodic inspection, licensing & use of boats on the Lake & to impound any unlicensed boats.  In November, 1881, Council agreed to provide a boat for the use of the Inspector on the Lake.

Furze continued to act as Inspector of Boats until March 1883, when he took a months leave of absence from his duties, returning to work solely as a Sanitary Inspector.  After this, the routine inspection & licensing of boats at the Lake seems to have lapsed.

In October 1883 Council adopted a report of the City Surveyor, J.H. Langdon, recommending the appointment of a ganger to work about the Torrens Lake in looking after the footpaths, clearing weeds from the rowing courses, attending to the licence fees & seeing that the boatmen & boats are properly licenced.   The ganger, supervised by the City Surveyor was subsequently sworn in as a special constable. 
In May 1886, as part of a reorganisation of the City Surveyor’s staff, the services of the Torrens Lake ganger were dispensed with.

On the 4th March, 1889, Council adopted a report recommending responsibility for inspection & licensing of boats be handed over to the officer in charge of the Water Police Station at the Torrens lake. Council thereupon entered into an agreement with the Commissioner of Police,

Lewis George Madley

whereby it was arranged for the Water Police Constable to carry out the functions of Inspector of Boats for the Corporation (for which  Council paid him the sum of ₤15 per annum) As part of the Council’s arrangement with the Commissioner of Police, the Inspector of Boats was enabled to live in the Corporation cottage at the Lake, which was situated next to Jolley’s Boat House, near the Adelaide Bridge on the southern bank of the River.  In 1904, however, the old wooden cottage was reported by one of the Sanitary Inspectors to be in such an insanitary state that the Council was ordered by the City Surveyor to pull it down. 

A letter to Commissioner Madley from the Adelaide Town Clerk Mr. T.G.C. Ellery dated 19th July, 1904 reads as follows
     I have the honour by direction of the City Council to inform you that the cottage occupied by the Police Constable at the Torrens Lake is unfit for human habitation and must be pulled down.  As it is not the intention of the Council to build any new premises I have to ask that the premises may be vacated within one month from date, and that in future the Constable on the King William boat may be allowed to give attention to the Torrens Lake.

  I have the honour to be
  Your obedient servant
        Town Clerk

The Inspector thereafter operated from the North Adelaide Police Station. This did not prove entirely satisfactory as Council complained to the Commissioner in 1909 that the Inspector was sited too far from the Lake to effectively carry out his duties.  In June, 1914, the Corporation concluded an agreement with the State Government for the Police Department to lease, for a period of 42 years, an area of land adjacent to Victoria Drive for the purpose of constructing a new Police Station, which was eventually built in 1928.
In October 1904 the Police Commissioner forwarded a report to the Town Clerk in which Water Constable J.
 Robb’s duties were described as being to patrol the Torrens Lake from the Gaol to the Hackney Bridge, day & night and “to attend to all reports made of anything occurring in that locality .... also to search the Lake for bodies of persons who are missing”.  The Constable was also required to closely supervise the bathing reserves at the rear of the Zoo “to prevent acts of indecency & bad language & accidental drowning”, as well as patrolling around the City Bridge & the Rotunda, & at the back of the City Baths.

In our next issue we will bring you the story of the “Keeper of the Swans”


by Jim Sykes

In 1922

The Adelaide City Council asked police to stop newspaper boys from calling out their wares as they made too much noise.

Police used their Ambulance to convey members to South Terrace Adelaide so they could raid a “two-up” school and got into trouble with Commissioner Leane for doing so.

The Press complained that police were not releasing sufficient information to them.

Police were not required to register their ambulances as they were used for public protection.

R.A.A. Guides warning motorists of police speed traps were to be requested to cease loitering under  the provisions of the Lottery and Gaming Act. [Crown Law opinion].
Several journals from Mount Gambier and Penola which contained entries written by Adam Lindsay Gordon were handed to the Government to be placed in “Dingley Dell” Cottage at near Port MacDonnell.

Old “Bulls Eye” lanterns were replaced with battery electric torches.

Rigby’s published a book on the Motor Vehicles Act and offered it to police at a discount price.

Motorists entering the State had to report to the nearest police station after crossing the border where their name and details of their vehicle were recorded.

A constable singing in Gawler Place on night shift was disturbing the residents.

The speed limit within a town, municipality or township was 20 m.p.h. inside and 30 m.p.h. outside. The practice of giving 5 m.p.h. over the limit before taking action is to be discontinued.


Another little gem from
“The Bygone Days”
 courtesy member Jim Sykes

Remember the old wash house situated out back
With a bricked in copper & wood neatly stacked
Where Mother, with copper stick, would pummel the clothes
While sweat poured from her brow & dripped from her nose.

Remember the old dunny, way down the back
With a bottle of Phenyle lodged in a rack
And a candle & matches to give a low light
When you had to go in the dark of the night
No flash toilet rolls in those bygone days
Just the morning paper torn up page by page.

Do you recall the old chook house against the back fence
Where the rooster would spur you, which made you quite tense
As you gathered the eggs when you came home from school
To put in the Coolgardie to keep them cool.

The old wood-fire stove leaps to your mind’s eye
Which our Mum slaved over making beaut apple pie
And on cold nights we’d all sit round that stove
With our feet in the oven to warm our cold toes
Then turn on the wireless to hear Dad & Dave
Which everyone tuned into regardless of age.

The baker, the milkman & greengrocer came by
In their horse & carts with tucker to ply
Of course you recall the old “bottle o”
Who would buy our empties for a penny or so
Which enable Mum extra spuds to buy
To cover the top of a big shepherd’s pie

Many other pleasant memories spring to mind
When we all helped out & our neighbours were kind
Things were tough own fun we would raise
As life was more simple in the bygone days. 

Mounted Police Troopers
By Chas Hopkins

The following relates to the difficulties experienced by these personnel when stationed at their remote outposts during the early years following the establishment of the S.A. Police Force in 1838. The reports are excerpts from books written by this author titled “South Australia Police 1838 – 1992” and 1838 – 2003. It discloses the problems associated with their accommodation and transport which was limited to horses and camels also their isolation from other police support when problems arose and that they were often 500 miles distant from their Divisional Commanders with no means of communication.
During 1865, when a drought affected the whole Colony, and in particular the Far North, a number of Police Stations and Outposts had to be closed due to lack of local fodder for the police horses. The cost of shipping it to Port Augusta and then carting it to Police Stations was prohibitive, and in many instances, was impossible, as carriers had ceased to operate. The horses were in such poor condition that many could not be ridden, and those at Angipena, Mount Searle, Blanch Water and Blinman

Blinman Station

were sent to spell at a water hole at Hamilton Creek. The Troopers were requested to stay with the horses, and Corporal Worsnoff reported that as all the settlers had moved south, they were unable to obtain stores and for several months existed on euros and an occasional wallaby.
There was serious consternation at this time, as the Troopers had been based in the Far Northern areas to counter depredations by the Cooper Creek natives on the settlers. The natives passed through the area to obtain ochre at Parachilna located in the lower Flinders Ranges. The ochre was used to paint their bodies during tribal ceremonies. Eventually, relief horses were sent from Adelaide to enable the troopers to maintain limited patrols.
During the forty years [1850 - 1890] as more settlers arrived in the Colony, exploration of the State's resources continued, until finally, the whole land mass had been assessed. It resulted in the development of pockets of country in the Northern and Western areas. It also resulted in the extension of the Railways, Telegraphs and the development of stock routes [Birdsville and Strezlecki Tracks] to enable stock to be driven to railheads from distant grazing properties in Western New South Wales and South West Queensland. Naturally, flowing from this development, was the establishment of Police Stations and Outposts throughout the State, extending to the borders of the adjoining Colonies, eg  ............................................


Fowlers Bay in the West,

 & Innamincka,



Thackaringa, Mungerannie & Overland Corner on the Northern and Eastern border
An important function of the early Police at these locations, was the collection of Customs Duty on all stock entering South Australia. [All Police stationed at towns and ports adjacent to the other Colonies, were appointed Collectors of Customs] and this amounted to a large portion of Government Revenue at that time. e.g. the North West Stations mentioned above collected £15,000 in 1884. This same period saw the commencement of the riverboats on the River Murray.

Some of the Police Stations which were established during this period, apart from those previously mentioned, were Mount Remarkable [headquarters for the North and West of the State], Quorn, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Yardea, Jamestown, Gladstone, Milang etc., including many small Stations which developed with the extension of the Railways and Telegraph Service [as many Repeater Stations were required].

Perhaps the biggest burden the Department had to cope with during this period was the policing of the Northern Territory. Shortly after McDougall Stuart, the explorer, completed his journey from Adelaide to the Northern side of the Australian continent in 1860, the Overland Telegraph was constructed close to the route he had taken. When it was completed, it necessitated Repeater Stations being built about every two hundred miles, in order to boost the signals. There were approximately eight Stations built along the 2,000 miles route, including four in South Australia. As Staff and their families were required to live at the Repeater Stations, which in most instances were located in areas frequented by uncivilised aboriginal tribes, it was incumbent for the Police to provide them with some protection. The South Australian Government administered the Northern Territory at that time. It is difficult to visualise the problems involved in planning this venture, even with our present resources, but to do it when the fastest form of transport was the horse to service the small settlements scattered over nearly 2,000 miles, was certainly an awesome task. The aborigines committed a number of massacres at the settlements, and in particular, at Barrow Creek. Trooper Willshire, who was in charge of a group of Aboriginal Police, was detailed to investigate the latter incident, and he pursued them for several months before capturing them, and in that time had traversed the area from Alice Springs to Darwin [about 1,000 miles separate the two cities].

In 1870 the Government of South Australia extended the responsibility of the State Police to police the Northern Territory, which at that time had been first explored by the pioneering Surveyor, Ronald McDougal Stuart. When volunteers were called to establish a base at Darwin, Trooper Catchlove applied and was accepted to join the contingent that was commanded by Inspector Paul Foelsche, who had previously been the Officer in Charge of the Strathalbyn Police Station.

The group travelled from Adelaide on the Schooner ‘Gulnare’ and arrived at Darwin on 14th June 1870.
Their supplies were forwarded from Adelaide by ship every three months. The policing of the Northern Territory continued to be a State responsibility until 1916, and during that time [46 years], members from South Australia were seconded there for duty, including W.F. Johns [later Commissioner of Police for South Australia], Harry Sparshott [later Officer in Charge of Kilkenny]. When the Northern Territory was under South Australian control, it would have probably been the largest Police Precinct in the world [1.6 million square miles].

Trooper Catchlove made a daily entry in the diary from the date of his arrival and it included the daily happenings at the small outpost, as well as their duties. Each member was required to cut 70 poles every day from the natural timber in the area for use in the erection of the Police Station and living quarters. It also included his daily thoughts of his contemporaries, the weather, and the general life styles of the small community.

The original diary has been placed in the Archives of the State Library of South Australia, for safe keeping etc. A copy is on file with the S.A. Police Historical Society Inc. and covers the period from the 24th of June and the 24th of December 1870.

                  W.F. Johns

Harry Sparshott   

The following are items of interest: -
On 24th August 1870, the first Caucasian was born at the settlement and was named James Douglas Palmerston Devine.
    On 15th September 1870, 70l  labourers arrived and there was great celebration when the first pole for the overland telegraph line, which was to extend for 2,000 miles, was placed in the ground by Miss Harriett Douglas [daughter of Police Corporal Douglas]. The occasion resulted in three Royal Salutes being fired. One from the vessel Omeo [which had conveyed the labourers to the Port], one from the vessel, the schooner named Gulnare and one from the shore. A large number of men and horses had been brought to the settlement to commence the overland telegraph which had to be cleared of trees for a chain wide to ensure there was no damage to the line during storms. Within a few days of commencing, four miles of poles and line had been erected. In order to prevent aborigines wilfully damaging the line after it had been completed, a few were subjected to minor electric shocks to deter them tampering with the wire after it was erected.
    It was surprising how the members of the police contingent were required to seek medical treatment for minor illnesses, which was caused by the tropical weather. There were numerous references to pleuro-pneumonia, bunged eyes, boils, sores caused by scurvy due to lack of vegetables and mosquitoes. There were also the discomforts due to cockroaches swarming throughout the area, which caused sleeping problems, and similar problems were encountered with sand flies.
    On 16th December 1870, Trooper P. Read was in a boat on the Roper River and he had his legs over the side when a crocodile grabbed them while he was sleeping and he was not sighted again. He was a married man with five children. At that time crocodiles were very prevalent and numerous monsters 15 to 20 feet in length were regularly sighted in the harbour where the settlement was located.

Edward Napoleon Bonaparte Catchlove
was a police trooper  with an interesting history that I consider worthy of mentioning. He joined the S.A. Police on 4th March 1863. His Christian names alone should arouse interest. I first learnt of this character through a close neighbour who was a relative [Phillip Catchlove]. He loaned me a copy of the diary the Trooper had prepared when he accompanied the first contingent of S.A. Police to be based in the Northern Territory in June 1870.

The Police Service Record of Catchlove is as follows:

Date of  or promotion.
Rank    Station
4/3/1863 Third Class Trooper Adelaide
Second Class Trooper 
First Class Trooper 
Third Class Trooper 
10/5/1867 Second Class Trooper

First Class Trooper  

14/4/1870 First Class Trooper  
Northern Territory
30/4/1872 Resigned 

13/12/1875 Third Class Trooper
Second Class Trooper 

2/Class Mounted Const.
1/9/1880 1/Class Mounted Const. Waukaringa

1/Class Mounted Const. Yongala

1/Class Mounted Const. Farina
4/11/1887 1/Class Mounted Const. Diamantina
31/12/1897 1/Class Mounted Const. Beltana
29/11/1892 1/Class Mounted Const. Port Augusta
17/1/1898 1/Class Mounted Const. Fowlers Bay
1/Class Mounted Const. Adelaide
?/5/1903 1/Class Mounted Const. Winnecke’s         Depot
1/1/1904 Senior Constable 
“              “


Notation on file.  £185-17-6 compensation paid on April 1907.
I have been unable to find any documents which indicate the reason he was paid this compensation. A pension system and long service leave payments were not in operation at that time.
Due to the shortage of provisions at Darwin after the police contingent arrived there, it was necessary for the inhabitants to travel to a nearby lagoon to shoot wild birds for food.
The supply ship from Adelaide was irregular, as it had to half circumnavigate the Continent to make the deliveries. There were instances where weeks had passed from its expected arrival time.
As there were no enclosures to paddock the police horses, it was necessary at times to travel in excess of 20 miles to recover them. On one occasion in searching for the police horses they discovered a horse abandoned by the explorer Stuart, on his epic journey travelling across Australia. It had probably broken down, but was in good condition when they sighted it and the fact it had eluded the crocodiles, which were prevalent in the area.

    Continued Next month...     


next meeting

  There was no January Meeting as usual.  The next meeting and AGM will be on Friday February 4th 2005.
A nomination form for Executive Committee was enclosed with the December Newsletter.

A police officer in a small town stopped a motorist who was speeding down the main street. "But officer," the man said, "I can explain." "Just be quiet!" snapped the officer. "Or I'm going to let you cool off in jail until the chief gets back." "But officer, all I wanted to say...." "You just don't listen, do you? Well, you're going to jail!" A few hours later, the officer checks up on his prisoner and said, "Lucky for you that the chief's at his daughter's wedding. He'll be in a good mood when he gets back." "Don't count on it," said the man in the cell. "I'm the groom."



Are long time members of the Society who have been attending the Thursday work group meetings for many years.

They have volunteered on numerous occasions to do work, which is demanding but rather uninteresting. Checking the contents of a document box against the computer record takes several hours, but they still willingly put their hands up every time
a request
is made.

 Colin with “Eagle Eye’ Joyce, took on the task of cleaning a large number of silver trophies & then displaying them in a showcase together with neatly printed details of each object.  Whenever any unusual task comes up they are ready, ‘waiting in the wings’, & ever willing to help.

For a long time now, Joyce & Colin have run the monthly raffles at our meetings & between them have been responsible for many hundreds of dollars being fed into our coffers.  In addition, they assist by folding the “Hue & Cry” & preparing them for posting each month.




The “HUE & CRY” is
Published by the
South Australian

Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539 
Adelaide 5001
S.A. 5083



Elees Pick......

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