Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Brady's Gully

(Every-street walkies, Gosford #20)

Bradys Gully Cemetery North Gosford

Bradys Gully is a park on Henry Parry Drive in North Gosford. It was a cemetery before it was a park and there's a couple of dozen of the old gravestones still standing.

Taken a few yards from the road. You can see a few of the old graves in the garden at the bottom left and on the lawn near the closer seat.

Bradys Gully Cemetery North Gosford

A few of the gravestones among the trees. You can see which way the old rows ran. The gravestones face down into the gully.

Bradys Gully Park North Gosford

The plaque near the Bradys Gully Road entrance:


This park has been developed as a joint
project between Gosford City Council, the Rotary
Club of Gosford, a Federal Government L.E.A.P.
program for the unemployed, supervised by
Employment Transaction Australia and citizens
of our local community.

The works commenced in September 1996 and this
park was officially opened on
Sunday, 1st of June, 1997.

[Gosford City Council logo] [Rotary Club logo]
Councillor Tony Sansom Peter M. Turnbull
Mayor: Gosford City Council President: Rotary Club of Gosford"

Bradys Gully Cemetery North Gosford

Some of the stones are still in good nick.

"In Loving Memory Of
WHO DIED 1st May 1914

Bradys Gully Cemetery North Gosford

A few are not in good nick. This one was completely illegible, not a letter remaining.

Bradys Gully Cemetery North Gosford

I like this book style of headstone. I'm tossing up between cremation + sprinkling and cremation + a wee book headstone.

Top line, all the way across:

"In Loving Memory of"

Left side:

DIED 17TH mAY 1925
DIED 12TH AUG. 1913
Love's Lost Taken"

Right side:

DIED 18th OCT 1949

Bradys Gully Cemetery North Gosford

This is a fancy one. Very pricey with all that fine work on it. He must've done alright.

Fond Memory of
[Freemasons' symbol]
beloved Husband of
DIED 26th FEB'y 1908

On the bottom:

HE [illegible] IN MEMORY STILL
[illegible] FOR EVER MORE".

Down in the gully

Down in the gully. You can see about half the cemetery in this photo. It wasn't huge. I can't tell where the old gates were but with the headstones all facing downhill towards Jarrett Street I'm guessing the gates where round about where Jarrett Street is now, near the corner with Bradys Gully Road.

The big headstone is for James Henry Spears who died on the 30th of September 1900 aged 49. This is the only headstone that stayed in the cemetery when the other stones were removed (below).

Got a book on Bradys Gully. They say the land was approved for a "General Cemetery ... 1 December 1881 and the cemetery was dedicated on the 24 October 1882. There were however a number of burials shortly before this date."

A bushfire went through it in 1916 and damaged some of the headstones and the fence and livestock wandered through in search of lunch. By the 1960s it was overgrown and neglected and the headstones were stored at the Erina Council Depot for years.

It was turned into a park in 1996 and the headstones were put back. They did a lovely job.

Henry Parry Drive is one of the main connector roads in Gosford. It goes from York Street in East Gosford, up and over through Gosford town centre, behind Kibble Park, across the north-west corner of the Rumbalara Reserve, down into North Gosford past the private hospital, Bradys Gully and the fire station and joins up with the Pacific Highway at the Reptile Park. It's one of the Central Coast's busiest roads.

I walked it from Kibble Park to Bradys Gully and back. It goes up steeply from Erina Street. There's no path there, just the scruffy grass on the curb.

On the crest of the hill, on the downhill side of the road, there was a Council crew making a short stretch of concrete footpath. Cars and trucks were coming up the hill full bore. Across the road on the uphill side there's a narrow bit of ground between the traffic and the rock. I trudged along there behind an anorexic teenager. She had a hacking cough and runners the size of small boats. Every time she coughed I thought she was going to yack up a lung.

From there it's just a short swoop down past Etna Street then along a block past the private hospital and some more flats. The cemetery has a beige painted metal fence and two entrances with arches over them.

There's a "Reptile Park" marked on my street directory, between Pemmel Street and Kinarra Avenue, just a few blocks past Bradys Gully. But I don't think it's the same place as this crowd in Somersby. I remember after the fire in the Reptile Park in 2000 there was a thing in the local paper asking Central Coast residents to donate their snakes and spiders. Must pop along there one day and have a gander at their creepy crawlies.


Kylie said...

I was randomly going through blogs, and came across yours, but thought i'd let you know that the Reptile Park you mentioned between Pemmel Street and Kinarra Avenue, was infact the original Reptile park, and it was moved to Somersby. I grew up in Gosford for most of my childhood, and remember the origianl place fondly.

Anyways take care, great blog!

Spike said...

Thanks, Kylie. Hope the birth comes off well.

Great Reptile Park info. Thanks. Did it used to have an aquarium in the window at the Gosford site?

Merril Jackson said...

I'm currently doing major research on the Brady's Gully Cemetery at North Gosford. This cemetery was the original old cemetery of Gosford along with that of the Church of England, being the one at the end of Point Frederick originally called 'Long Nose Point'.
Sadly, both these Central Coast Pioneer and Early settler Cemeteries were neglected by our Shire Council of the time and well before when it was called the Erina Shire Council. What is now known as the Brady's Gully Cemetery or North Gosford Cemetery was in fact 'GOSFORD CEMETERY', the name has continued to change over time. This cemetery ceased having burials, I believe, sometime between 1949 and the very early 1950's. Another suspicious bush fire (as you mentioned the 1916 one) happened in the winter time of 1964. A local resident wrote in the local newspaper of 1964 just after this fire, voicing hs outrage and concern of the Gosford Shire Council's neglect, hoping for them to 'do the right thing' and respect this cemetery by maintaining and restoring it to its rightful and more respectful state. This was not to be! Within 3 months after his article in paper, this cemetery land was gazetted (behind closed doors, of course!)and land resumed, headstones taken away (what ones where left and could be removed) for Public School purposes. The residents of the time were outraged, however, there was little one could do, during this era. In 1990's a very small section of the cemetery land was restored to a 'Pioneer Park' due to the 'Gosford Cemeteries Act of 1970'. So consequently, all of the Roman Catholic, a major portion of the Church of England, the Wesleyan, the Presbyterian and a portion of the Unsectarian is used as a school having had demountables come and go. It is currently (2009/2010) in use by the NSW Department of Education, as The North Gosford Learning Centre. The North Gosford Private Hospital also leases some of this land from the extra carparking space.
If any of you out there are as outraged as I am, please write both to the NSW Department of Education and the Gosford City Council, as I so desire for this land, as it was originally gazetted in 1882 to become all PIONEER PARK, for the people interred here to be respected and their future generations to have a monument listing all the people known within this historically important and sacred site.

Spike said...

Thanks for the historical info, Merril. Good luck with the action.

If you turn up some more info on the internees (names, dates) I'd welcome it. Family historians etc. often drop by this blog.

Anonymous said...

In the sixties I was a kid living a few houses away from this cemetery.
We used to play in there all the time. It was totally overgrown. It was more bush than cemetery. We uses to cut down trees and build cubby houses etc. Where the grave stones are now ( not the original locations ) was actually the wildest part of the area ( thick bush ).The only headstone in it's original place is one large one in about the centre of the site.

The were a lot of graves adjacent to Henry Parry Drive. These had wooden fences etc.
No stone headstones.So all the present headstones on site are not in there original positions. I basically remember the original layout and it's nothing like it is now.

The local council or whoever have totally destroyed the place in my veiw. I'm talking about what happened in the 70's.That is the removal of the headstones and leaving them at a council depot for decades. There were many more headstones originaly on site than now. Where did they disappear to? No one cared about heritage back then.

Alan said...

In 1954 my grandfather, Percy Basil Orton of Avoca Beach, walked away from the Gosford shops and was never seen again. He was 70 years old and had Alzheimers. Some years later, I don't know when, human bones were found at Bradys Gully. There was no positive proof that the bones were his. A strange story.