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.

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: https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/new-england-highway/scone-rail-level-crossing/index.html

See also: https://www.sconeadvocate.com.au/story/6655225/historic-day-for-scone-as-bypass-officially-opened-photos/?cs=2941

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

Email:  howeywp@westnet.com.au

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)

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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John Bingle of Puen Buen

John Bingle of ‘Puen Buen’

Bingle, John (1796–1882)


Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume I (MUP) 1966

By Nancy Gray (Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society)

John Bingle (1796-1882), sailor, merchant and landholder, was born on 15 May 1796 at Gillingham, Kent, England, the only surviving son of John Rayden Bingle, a naval draughtsman of Deptford, and his wife, née Owens, who was a relative of Lieutenant William Bradley of the Sirius. He was educated at Chatham, and employed at the naval dockyard from 1812 to 1817, when he joined the merchant marine. He arrived at Port Jackson as a settler on 16 December 1821 in the Minerva and in the same month was commissioned by Governor Sir Thomas Macdougall Brisbane ‘to survey the coast as far north as Moreton Bay and to explore the bay for fresh-water streams’. As master of the colonial cutter, Sally, Bingle entered Moreton Bay on 5 March 1822. He failed to discover fresh water but received Brisbane’s commendation for his work and, with Robert Coram Dillon, was given permission to build a vessel for trade with Newcastle.

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Sledmere Stud

Sledmere Stud

Featured Image: Catriona and Royston Murphy

See also ‘Sailor’s Guide’ in this ‘blog’; probably the best racehorse bred at Sledmere

See: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/sailors-guide/

Sledmere Stud on the outskirts of Scone has enjoyed a long and enduring history which continues to the present day. At one stage in the 20th century it was administered by Guy Raymond and (Sir) Hugh Denison. The former relocated to St Albans Geelong and the latter to pursue other interests elsewhere in the State. Guy Raymond’s daughter Miss Ann Raymond returned to Sledmere in 1974 taking possession from Maurice ‘Maurie’ Point who had successfully run it as a commercial enterprise since WW II following on from the Raymond/Denison ownership.  Two of the best horse bred there were international champion Sailor’s Guide (See Featured Image) and Golden Slipper winner (1968) Royal Parma.

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Invermein Station

Invermein (Invermien) Station

Location: Scone, New South Wales

Featured Image: Francis Little’s Estate on Dartbrook

Invermein Station, near the present-day town of Scone in the Hunter River region of New South Wales, was first taken up by Francis Little in 1825. Little was the nephew of Dr William Bell Carlyle, the surgeon in charge of transports, whose own success in the colony had made him enthusiastic about its future prospects. In the early-1820s, Carlyle persuaded Francis Little to apply for a land grant in New South Wales. He did so and in 1823 received a property of 2,000 acres in the Hunter Valley. The estate, which he named Invermein for the stream that flowed by his father’s house in Scotland, was occupied by Francis Little in June 1825.

There he built a homestead and continued to purchase nearby land, including Carlyle’s Hunter Valley property, Satur, in 1844. Though a quiet, uncontroversial and highly-respected citizen, Little shares with Carlyle the unfortunate distinction of having introduced one of the worst pests to ravage eastern Australia. On one of his visits to Satur, in about 1833, Carlyle brought the leaf of a cactus plant from India which he felt would thrive in Mrs Little’s garden at Invermein. With infinite care Mrs Little propogated this exotic plant, known commonly as the prickly pear, but its extraordinary growth was soon the bane of pastoralists across the region. It was not until 1925 that some success was achieved in eradicating the dreadful plant.

When Francis Little died in 1860, his eldest son, William, inherited Invermein Station. William Little retired in 1877, selling the estate to the brothers Frederick and Edward Parbury. Four years later, the property was subdivided after Edward Parbury’s death. The homestead and 2,000 acres of land were purchased by James Doyle, a member of an old colonial family with branches throughout the Hunter Valley and with interests extending far into Queensland. For more than a hundred years, Invermein (or Invermien, as the Doyles increasingly referred to it) remained the home of the Doyle family, but in 1994, when Geoff and Beryl White purchased nearby Bhima Stud (developed as a horse property by Vivian Bath in the second half of the twentieth century) they also acquired the historic property of Invermien.

The Whites rejuvenated and merged the two properties into the professionally run broadmare farm of today. In 2002, the combined property was renamed Invermien to reflect the convergence of history and innovation. ‘[Invermien] has history and meaning’, explained the Whites, ‘and the fact that it has not run thoroughbreds before gives the White Family an opportunity to create their own history in the thoroughbred industry under the new identity’.

Latterly ‘Invermien’ has been acquired by Duncan and Jill Macintyre. Duncan is direct descendant of Peter Macintyre of Blairmore/Kayuga.



Francis Little was born 8 January 1798 in Ecclefechan, Dumfrieshire,  Scotland son of Dr. William Little and Sarah nee Carlyle.

He arrived in Australia on the Morley in January 1823. The Morley was a convict ship bringing prisoners to Van Diemen’s Land and William Bell Carlyle who was Francis Little’s uncle, was Surgeon Superintendent on the vessel.

Francis Little first resided at Minto, however eventually established his estate on land granted in 1825 naming it Invermien. The estate was situated next to Satur which was the land selected for his uncle William Bell Carlyle. The estates were situated on the Dartbrook and near Kingdon Ponds. In the 1832 Directory the country in the district is described as undulating with soil similar to Twickenham Meadows.

A mile from Francis Little’s land the burning hill of Wingen could be found. The whole of the surrounding country was strewn with petrifactions and interesting geological specimens. Read Rev. Wilton’s description of Mt. Wingen in 1831

Francis Little’s younger brother Archibald Little arrived on the Triton in October 1825. He established Cressfield.

Francis Little married widow Mary Ann Fennell Bell, the 4th daughter of Archibald Bell of ‘Belmont’, at Windsor on 3rd August 1831. Mary Ann was sister of Archibald Bell junior of Corinda. A son William was born in 1832 and a daughter Sarah in 1833 followed by Archibald in 1835. Mary Ann died on 14th April 1835 after giving birth to Archibald.

A homestead was built at Invermien and in 1844 Francis Little purchased his uncle’s estate Satur. Francis Little died 14th June 1860 aged 62, twenty-five years after his wife Mary Ann. He was buried in the graveyard at St. Luke’s Church, Scone.

When Francis Little died, his eldest son, William, inherited the estate. William Little retired in 1877, selling the estate to the brothers Frederick and Edward Parbury. Four years later, the property was subdivided after Edward Parbury’s death. The homestead and 2,000 acres of land were purchased by James Doyle.

Frederick Parbury’s obituary in 1915: The late Mr. Parbury although a native of Sydney where he was born 70 years ago spent all his early life and had his education in England. It was not very long after his return from England in 1880 that he purchased Invermien which then included Satur, and came to reside there. The Invermien portion of the property was subsequently sold to James H. Doyle and Mr. Parbury thereafter up till the time of his death lived at Satur on which he raised cattle and sheep.

Convicts assigned to Francis Little in the 1820’s and 1830’s included –

Thomas Delmore per ‘Phoenix’
Edward Stewart per ‘Phoenix’
Patrick Creighton per ‘Phoenix’
William Brooke per ‘Marquis of Hastings’
Darby Carey per ‘Hooghley’
William Burnes per ‘Countess of Harcourt’
James Worthing per ‘Surry’
William Downes per ‘Lady Harewood’
James Osborne per ‘Lady Harewood’
Mary Collier per ‘Pyramus’
John Kelly per ‘Dunvegan Castle’
Charles Bankes per ‘Dunvegan Castle’
John Baugh per ‘Asia’
Robert Baker per ‘Eleanor’

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