Rodney Dangar and Peter Pan

Rodney Dangar and Peter Pan

Featured Image: Peter Pan 1933 AJC St Leger @ Randwick; Jockey Jim Pike


Dangar, Rodney Rouse (1871–1950)

Mr. Rodney Rouse Dangar, well-known Australian pastoralist, prominent philanthropist and racehorse-owner, died in Sydney last Friday, aged 79.

Mr. Dangar, a former A.J.C. committeeman, owned and bred Peter Pan, twice winner of the Melbourne Cup.

He turned down an offer of £50,000 by American buyers for Peter Pan. The horse won £34,938 in stakes money.

Mr. Dangar was a director of the National Bank of Australasia, Ltd., and of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, an ex-president of the Union Club, and a councillor of Cranbrook School.

He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. D. V. Ritchie, of Edgecliff.

Mr. Dangar contributed freely to dozens of charities, founded the Peter Pan Kindergarten, and endowed many hospital beds.

The funeral will be at South Head Cemetery to-day after a service at All Saints’ Church, Ocean Street, Woollahra, at 11 a.m.

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Hydrogen was a champion racehorse.

By the imported stallion Delville Wood (Imp) out of Sweet Sound (Aus) by Magpie (Aus) he was foaled in 1948 and trained throughout his career by Ted Hush.

Hydrogen failed by a neck of being the first horse to win three Cox Plates when beaten in 1951 as a three-year-old. He won the subsequent two editions of the race in 1952 and 1953.

An outstanding three-year-old he developed into one of Australia’s finest weight-for-age performers and the highest stakes earner (£59,444) at the time eclipsing the record previously held by Phar Lap.

A winner over six furlongs (1,200m) to two miles (3,200m) he won many major races including the 1951 VATC Caulfield Guineas, 1951 VRC Victoria Derby, 1951 STC Rosehill Guineas, 1951 AJC Craven Plate, the 1952 and 1953 MVRC W.S. Cox Plate, 1953 VRC LKS Mackinnon Stakes and the 1953 QTC Brisbane Cup.

He was retired to stud in 1954.



Featured Image: Amounis 1930 VATC Futurity Stakes; Jockey Harold Jones; Trainer Frank McGrath

Amounis Champion Racehorse

Horse racing fans with an appreciation for the history of the sport will recall that in the midst of the drama, controversy and intrigue that took place during the incredible life of Phar Lap, another horse was creating an impressive legacy, leaving behind a record of accomplishment that did not include the spectacular attention devoted to Phar Lap.

That horse was Amounis.

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Delta Wins Melbourne Cup and Other Top Level Races

The bay stallion was by Midstream (GB) out of Gazza (AUS). He was foaled in 1946 and was purchased by Adolph Basser for £2,665 in 1948 at the Sydney yearling sales.

Delta was immediately put under the watchful eyes of Maurice McCarten, a successful trainer and former jockey. Delta proved his potential to be a champion right from the start.

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Windbag was foaled in 1921 and was by Magpie out of the mare Charleville (by Charlemagne). He was an early product of the great nursery at Kia Ora Stud under the expert tutelage of Percy Miller and Bert Riddle.

His main claim to fame came in 1925 when, in front of a crowd of 106,829 people he won the Melbourne Cup by half a length from the 7/4 favourite Manfred, carrying 9 stone 2 pound at 5/1 and ridden by Jim Munro.

The Melbourne Stakes winner Pilliewinkle was third a length further back from the second placegetter.

He set a new record time for the event of 3.22.75.

This was also the first Melbourne Cup broadcast by the ABC.

Over his career (36 starts) he won 18 races, ran 10 placings, and won a total in prize money of £35,939.

Sir George Gipps

Sir George Gipps

Featured Image: George Gipps (1791-1847), by unknown artist; State Library of NSW

Gipps, Sir George (1791–1847) 9th Governor of NSW

First published in the Australian Dictionary of Biography; Volume 1; (MUP); 1966

We know that Governor Gipps visited the Upper Hunter on at least one occasion; notably the Coxens at Yarrandi. He also called on Joseph Docker at Thornthwaite ostensibly on his way to ‘look at the Liverpool Plains’. He became ill on the journey and did not make it over the Liverpool Range returning home to Sydney. Later he was very supportive of the efforts by Magistrate Edward Denny Day and others to bring to trial those responsible for the infamous Myall Creek Massacre.

Today a direct relative of the Gipps family lives in Scone. Anna Gipps hails originally from County Devon where a number of the Gipps family still reside.

By Samuel Clyde McCulloch


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Major Issues Upper Hunter Development

I used to wax eloquent about what I thought were major issues. I may have deluded myself? I put together the following about 15 years ago. In the interim I served one term on the Upper Hunter Shire Council 2008 – 2012. I did delude myself. I’ll post this now and then see what else happens; if anything?

Major Issues Upper Hunter [Scone] Development 2004* – 2025*

Encouragement! Enlargement! Enrichment! Enhancement! Embellishment! Enlightenment!

  1. Tourist Destination – Upper Hunter promoted as ‘elite’ national/international tourist destination with appropriate infrastructure emphasizing our unique features and heritage including the ‘backpacker trail’
  2. Road and Rail Infrastructure specifically to accommodate expected major increase in ‘heavy vehicle’ and ‘coal train’ loads as well as small vehicle traffic especially the NEH/Kelly Street and railway line through Scone
  3. Development of Kelly Street precinct as ‘consumer friendly environment’ with special ambience for the safe conduct of trade, commerce and social interaction with minimal vehicular impact
  4. Concomitant co-development strategies to maximize opportunities and minimize the impact of mining industry expansion in the Upper Hunter and to our north
  5. Water resource management and water augmentation schemes as a major priority for all water users with a fair and equitable distribution of water rights
  6. Environmentally acceptable and strictly controlled expansion of local [employment enhancing] industries such as the abattoir and equivalent
  7. Controlled expansion of residential and commercial space* [* in progress]
  8. Create ‘Country/Town Society’ capable of retaining/returning intellectually elite ‘cadre’ to the town and district on a permanent [family] basis
  9. Health Care in general and focus especially for a full range of Aged Care options and Hospital accommodation [Strathearn Village]
  10. Education opportunities for families especially in the secondary school and tertiary sectors
  11. Cultural enrichment in general
  12. Development of Scone Equine Centre to world’s best standard international prominence
  13. Focus on enhancement of Scone’s role as ‘Home of the Horse’
  14. Improvement in ‘Law and Order’ in the community
  15. Public Transport – re-establish cost effective and user friendly air service

[WPH 30/06/04]

Bypass Planning Progress

Featured Image: ‘Dated’ plan for Scone Bypass. ‘Customised’ fine detail work is still progressing; especially in relation to the northern rail overpass plus access and egress points north, south and west.

The Bypass is part of the ‘Corridor of Commerce’ Strategy as revealed in the NSW Government New England Highway Draft Corridor Strategy September 2016. We are lucky we are ‘jumping the queue’. Both Singleton and Muswellbrook have been there far longer than we have in Scone.

See also:

Email Letter Thursday 26th April 2018 to Phil Davidson (RMS), Mark Cure (RMS) and Daracon:

Dear Phil, Mark et al

I have just received notification of the ‘Start of work on the New England Bypass of Scone’.

I am absolutely thrilled! I have watched the video fly-through animation of the bypass. It’s brilliant! I can hardly believe we have reached this stage of the third great transport infrastructure creation in our history. The building of the ‘Great North Road 1826 – 1832’ (Governor Darling) and the arrival of the Railway in 1871 (Governor Lord Belmore) are the other two. How lucky we are! I hope to stay alive long enough to witness the bypass in action!

I reiterate what I have written so many times before: that the Bypass when constructed and fully operational delivers all the outcomes we set out to achieve almost 20 years ago viz.:

  1. Remove heavy (and other) vehicles from Kelly Street
  2. Provide unfettered access for emergency vehicles (and other) East/West over the railway line.

Very many thanks indeed for your ongoing stamina, persistence and perseverance on our behalf. It only remains for me to convince my erstwhile ‘recusant’ colleagues on the UHSC that this is the optimal (and only) solution!

I am,

Yours sincerely,


W. P. Howey


PO Box 509

2 Shaw Street


Tel:         6545 1859            0408 685 296


9 June, 2017


Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced work on the New England Highway bypass of Scone is progressing well, with further field investigations now completed to help finalise the detailed design.

“The Australian and NSW governments are jointly providing $120 million to build the Scone bypass which aims to improve traffic flow, travel times and safety,” Mr. Johnsen said.

“With the environmental assessment for the bypass finalised in April last year, the proposed bypass has been approved and detailed design is progressing well.

Additional field investigations were carried out earlier this year to inform detailed design and included surveying to find underground services and geotechnical investigations to understand ground conditions along the bypass,” Mr. Johnsen added.

Mr. Johnsen Roads and Maritime Services is also continuing to work with Upper Hunter Shire Council to consider options for a rail bridge.

“Timing for a future rail bridge is not confirmed and would be dependent on planning approval and funding availability,” Mr. Johnsen said.

“Roads and Maritime thanks the community for providing feedback and remaining actively engaged throughout the planning process.

There were 211 submissions received in response to the environmental assessment public display and 187 submissions received about the three rail bridge options in late 2015 and early 2016,” Mr. Johnsen said.

Scone Heavy Industry Traffic Corridor Action Group


In consultation with the wider community the Scone Traffic Action Group [STAG] aims to:

“Create a precinct and social amenity in Kelly Street most conducive to the safe conduct of commerce, trade and community interaction”


In consultation with the wider community the Scone Traffic Action Group [STAG] aims to:

  • Develop an infrastructure plan to prepare Scone CBD and prefecture for future development especially accommodating the heavy road and rail corridor industrial loads
  • Enable safe and easy private and emergency service vehicle access between the ‘east’ (Scone CBD) and ‘west’ (Satur) sections of the township/municipality
  • Create a congenial environment in Kelly Street and throughout the Scone CBD and prefecture equally conducive to trade, commerce and social interaction
  • Encourage visitors to stay and spend time experiencing our community
  • Improve pedestrian and private vehicle safety throughout the CBD precinct particularly for children and the elderly
  • Develop a fully serviced rest and refill centre for heavy vehicles outside the CBD precinct and prefecture
  • Encourage new business opportunities within the CBD and environs unencumbered by noise, fuel, coal dust and other vehicle related pollution
  • Expedite the flow of heavy vehicles and train loads on their journey so enhancing local, regional, state, national and international trade through the Port of Newcastle
  • Obviate dangerous railway crossing(s) over the NEH
  • Reduce (‘minimise’) noise and fuel pollution in Kelly Street and through the prefecture
  • Enhance the aesthetic appeal of Scone CBD and prefecture

Executive Summary

The objectives of the Scone Heavy Industry Traffic Corridor Action Group can be only achieved by the diversion of both heavy commercial road transport vehicles and massive coal train loads across the flood plain to the immediate west of the CBD. The road and rail infrastructure required (including underpass/overpass) can be funded by a levy on the coal loads transported between the emerging mines to the north (Liverpool Plains) and the Port of Newcastle (Narrabri/Muswellbrook Rail Corridor)


Scone Traffic Action Group (STAG)

In 2002 we formed the Scone Traffic Action Group (STAG). It was a sub-committee of Scone Chamber of Commerce. We held our first meeting with the General Manager of the Scone Shire Council Mr Daryl Dutton on the 20th December 2002 in the Office of a Finance Advisor in Main Street. Our impetus was a skilled ‘draftsman’ drawing by one of our number of a hypothetical alternative (bypass) route.

STAG developed the following mission objectives:



“Clarity of vision and unity of purpose”

In consultation with the wider community:

  • Develop a clear infrastructure plan to prepare the Municipality of Scone for future major transport corridor development including a Heavy Vehicle Alternative Route (HVAR)
  • Obviate dangerous railway crossing(s) over the NEH
  • Establish emergency vehicle access over/under the railway line East/West both ways
  • Create a pleasant environment and enhance the aesthetic appeal of Kelly Street
  • Encourage visitors to stay and spend time experiencing our community
  • Improve pedestrian safety particularly for children and the elderly
  • Develop a fully serviced rest and refill centre for heavy vehicles outside the Municipality of Scone
  • Encourage new business opportunities and safe parking in Kelly Street especially for the aged, incapacitated and/or otherwise compromised
  • Expedite the flow of heavy vehicles on their journey
  • Reduce (‘minimise’) noise and fuel pollution in Kelly Street


The current challenges in relation to transport infrastructure are the greatest since the construction of the Great North Road (1826 – 1832) and the arrival of the railway (1871). It is highly likely that within 5 years (2018) there will be 50,000 coal trains and 6 million traffic movements per annum through the very commercial heart and social hub of the Municipality of Scone. In an ideal world it would highly desirable to seek alternative routes for both heavy industry rail and road transport.

In summary:

  1. Remove heavy vehicles from Kelly Street
  2. Provide unfettered access for emergency vehicles (and other) East/West over the railway line.

This was the start of the process.

Hopefully the Scone Bypass is not too far away? Outside the Newsagents at 7 o’clock this morning there was a close miss between a School ‘Bus and a B-Double both travelling south. They were about 20cm apart with cars parallel parked in the parking lane. A revered Senior Citizen had just picked up a parcel of newspapers to deliver to Ellerston remarked: ‘The sooner we have this (the Bypass) the better’. He and his family have lived in the Upper hunter for six generations. We agreed we hoped to live long enough to see it!

Thomas Cook 1834 – 1912

Cook, Thomas (Tom) (1834–1912)

Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Morning Herald, 15 July 1912, p 9

Thomas Cook

from Pastoralists’ Review, 15 August 1912

Mr. Thomas Cook, of Turanville, Scone, died on Saturday, aged 77. The deceased had been in delicate health for several years. He was born near Hamilton, Canada. His parents went from St. Neots, Cornwall, to Canada, and in 1837 returned to England. Then they came to Australia, arriving in Sydney after a six months’ voyage in November, 1837, and went to Turanville, then owned by the late Mr. William Dangar. In 1842 Mr Cook’s father went into the interior, and formed stations at Myall Creek, Paradise Creek, Bulleroi, Bunnabunna, and Burren Burren. The aborigines were troublesome in those days, Mr. Cook and his parents having many narrow escapes. His father subsequently took up Nemingha station, near Tamworth.

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