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Members’ Tour and social activity

Nigel Pile—Torrens Vale Members Tour

Torrens Vale

What a wonderful afternoon we spent touring the Torrens Vale region with YDHS vice president Nigel Pile whose family has farmed and continues to farm in the district. Nigel had arranged for us to access cemeteries and buildings on private land, which provided a rare opportunity to get up close to these amazing relics of our heritage. A convoy of 11 vehicles, with 30 people on board, left Torrens Vale lookout after Nigel’s introductory comments, with the first stop being the Wesleyan Cemetery on Torrens Vale Road.
We travelled up the steep Sampson’s Hill Road to the Cockatoo Hill Cemetery, observed by a curious herd of cattle, then on to The Basin, site of one of the first houses built at Torrens Vale. Following this we were pleased to be able to enter Rockwella Baptist Church, thanks to the generosity of the Hurrell Family who had recently restored it for a family wedding. Next stop was the Bible Christian Cemetery near the corner of Torrens Vale and Parawa Road, then the convoy turned up Parawa Road to view an old orchard known as Hawkes Garden on the left. About 100metres further up on the right, we saw Hawkes House now owned by the Groth family, and on the opposite side of the road a partial ruin which was probably built in the 1850s.
The last two stops were Groth’s dairy from which we walked down to the old Murch house, then the final stop of the day Biddle House. A brilliant afternoon – thanks Nigel!

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