(Every-street walkies, Gosford #20)
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.
A few of the gravestones among the trees. You can see which way the old rows ran. The gravestones face down into the gully.
The plaque near the Bradys Gully Road entrance:
"BRADYS GULLY PARK
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"
Some of the stones are still in good nick.
"In Loving Memory Of
MY DEAR HUSBAND
WHO DIED 1st May 1914
THROUGH THE RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT
AGED 58 YEARS
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN".
A few are not in good nick. This one was completely illegible, not a letter remaining.
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"
"OUR DEAR MOTHER
DIED 17TH mAY 1925
AGED 68 YEARS
ALSO HER GRANDSON EDWARD
DIED 12TH AUG. 1913
AGED 7 WEEKS
Love's Lost Taken"
"ALSO SARAH JANE
BELOVED WIFE OF
DIED 18th OCT 1949
AGED 68 YEARS".
This is a fancy one. Very pricey with all that fine work on it. He must've done alright.
Fond Memory of
beloved Husband of
DIED 26th FEB'y 1908
AGED 58 YEARS"
On the bottom:
"NOT DEAD TO ME, I LOVED HIM DEAR
NOT LOST BUT GONE BEFORE -
HE [illegible] IN MEMORY STILL
[illegible] FOR EVER MORE".
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.