New South Wales: 1858-1988.
Telegraph Offices in the north-central region.


 

Bathurst.

A Telegraph Office was opened on 29 December 1859. On 4 January 1860, the Northern Times reported that, as of 30 December "The excitement occasioned in this town by the opening of the telegraph still continues. The telegraph office was crowded all day by persons sending messages and the promptness with which the replies were received has given great satisfaction".

It did not, however, combine with the Post Office until 13 November 1905. The Post Office had been opened on 1 March 1828 - one of the earliest in New South Wales. A very full account of the Post Office together with a picture from the right side was written by the Bathurst District Historical Society.

Tenders for the erection of the Post & Telegraph Office at Bathurst closed on 2 February 1875.

A Telegraph Office was also opened at the Bathurst Racecourse on 24 January 1914 and operated (on race days) only until 1966.

 

Bathurst 1
Bathurst 2Bathurst Post Office (private photograph but year unknown).

Two types of date stamp were used with telegrams:

  1. a Bathurst type 2(i) date stamp used mainly on telegrams.

Used: 1911 to 1921.

Diameter:

Rated: RRR (on a telegram).

 

   
  1. a type 2C TELEGRAPHS BATHURST date stamp.
Used: 12 November 1945 to 1965.
(Hopson & Tobin claim an ERD in 1944 but no date).

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: R.

T Bathurst 1945 18 November 1945. T. Bathurst 1969
24 December 1959.
Used on FDI Xmas envelope
(AA-GXE-59).
Bathurst Railway Station.

A Telegraph Office was also opened at Bathurst Railway Station from 14 September 1894 until it closed in 1971.

 

No date stamp for explicit use with telegraphic work was issued to Bathurst Railway.

The usual postal date stamp may have started as Type 1D (ii), as is suggested by Hopson & Tobin. Clearly revisions were made later but are undocumented.

Bathurst Railway
Bathurst Railway Station about 1910.
The date stamp shown at the right is ike type 2 (ii), has N.S.W at the base but no side arcs and no full stop after the W.

Used: 12 July 1939.

Diameter:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Bathurst Rail
12 July 1939.
Bingera.

The Telegraph Office was opened at Bingera on 20 July 1875 and it merged with the Post Office on 10 August 1876.

The first Post Office was opened on 1 January 1853 but it was removed to and renamed Bingera Township on 8 July 1862. Upper Bingera opened on the original site on the same date.

Bingera
Brewarrina.

The Brewarrina Telegraph Office was opened on 16 September 1873 and merged with the Post Office on 1 July 1876.

The Post Office had opened on 1 May 1866.

 

Brewarrina
On 9 April 1874, Mr. Garrett asked the Minister acting for the Postmaster General:
  1. Has any complaint been received of the unsuitableness of the building used, or accommodation provided, for the Telegraph Office at Brewarrina?
  2. Is it the intention of the Government to remove the grounds of complaint (if any) by the erection of a suitable building as a Telegraph Office in the township named?
  3. Have the Government any objection to stating the substance of all correspondence on this subject between parties concerned and the Government?

No record of the reply can yet be located. However on 28 September 1874, the New England Advertiser reported that "A tremendous hurricane blew at Brewarrina on Sunday night. The front brickwork of the new telegraph office was blown down and several other buildings were unroofed. It will now take a considerably longer time than was anticipated to finish the telegraph office".

Bundarra.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 1 October 1874. The Post Office had been opened on 1 January 1852 - well before the Office at Inverell had been opened.

In 1934, an example of a Bundarra Post Office date stamp of 1857 was discovered in a deceased estate. It had been made of brass.

NC-EO-4
Delivery envelope (NC-EO-4) used at Bundarra on 28 August 1878 with the usual postal date stamp.
Collarenebri.

The Telegraph Office opened on 5 June 1888 and merged with the Post Office 18 months later. The Post Office had first opened on 1 January 1867 but had been closed and reopened twice in the intervening period.

The Collarenebri East Railway Station had opened in 1908 but never had telegraph facilities before it closed on 1911.

Collarenebri is 744 km from Sydney.

Collerenabri
Condobolin.

The Telegraph Office was opened in 1878 and merged with the Post Office on 21 August 1878.

The Post Office had opened on 1 July 1858.

Condobolin is 467 km from Sydney.

 

Condobolin

A rubber circukar TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp was issued to Condobolin.
Has N.S.W. after the town's name at the base

Used: 4 January 1962 to 17 December 1964.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 4.

 

Condobolin 1964
17 December 1964.
Used on AA-DO-13B.

 

Coonabarabran.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 1 May 1875 as a P&T office. The Post Office had opened on 1 January 1850.

Coona
Coonabarabran Post & Telegraph Office about 1950.
Coonamble.

The Coonamble Telegraph Office was opened on 20 July 1875 and merged with the Post Office on 1 September 1875. The Post Office had opened on 1 April 1859.

Tenders were called in April 1979 for the construction of a new Post & Telegraph Office. Clearly the Maitland Mercury (29 June 1879) considered there was a need for a new office: "the premises used as a Post & Telegraph office are in a disgraceful state. The rain is coming through the roof everywhere. There is no sign yet of any intention to build new offices, although the present buildings are most uncomfortable for the officers and the public".

In February 1881, the Post & Telegraph Office moved into its new building "although no fence had yet been erected between the Post Office yard and the gaol".

In October 1885, Mr. W. H. Datson, the telegraph messenger at Girilambone, was appointed to be the telegraph operator at Coonamble.

Coonamble
Coonamble P&T office about 1880.
Coonamble
The new Coonamble P&T office in 1884.

Source: NSW State Records.

Coonamble 1884 side
The new Coonamble P&T Office in 1884 - from the side.

Source: NSW State Records.

A steel circular Type 2C TELEGRAPHS COONAMBLE date stamp was used both on telegrams and on ordinary mail.

Used: 1935 to 1963.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Coon 1937
20 January 1937.

  Coonamble
14 June 1945.
Used on an embossed registration envelope.
Dubbo.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 12 November 1864 and merged with the Post Office on 1 September 1867. In July 1871, a petition was delivered to the Government asking for an assistant to be provided to the Telegraph Master with the duties to look after postal matters.

The Post Office had opened on 1 January 1848.

 

Dubbo P&T
First Dubbo Post & Telegraph Office.

 

Dubbo PO
The new Dubbo P&T Office with the State Bank on the left.
Note the arches from the front were retained in the renovations.

A ordinary postal type 2A (27 mm) date stamp was used on telegrams from 1915 to 1921.

A steel circular type 2C TELEGRAPHS DUBBO date stamp was issed to the Office:

Used: 1926 to 1965.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: C.

Dubbo 1937
18 May 1937.

Used on AB-GCF-36A.

Dubbo 1951
1 September 1951.

Used on AB-GCF-36A.

The only TELEGRAM slogan cancellation recorded as having been used at Dubbo is TELEGRAMS: SPEEDY, RELIABLE, EFFECTIVE. The only recorded example of its use is on 15 May 1941.
Forbes.

The Forbes Telegraph Office opened on 27 October 1862 and merged with the Post Office on 1 January 1870.

The Post Office had been opened on 1 December 1861 and given the name Black Ridge in response to the demand for postal services by those involved with the gold rush along the Lachlan River. That name was changed before opening although the first canceller did use the name Black Ridge for a few weeks.

The Forbes Railway Station also opened telegraph facilities on 14 September 1894 although these were closed on 22 October 1895.

Forbes
Forbes Post Office - designed by the Colonial Architect James Barnet.
This building opened on 8 September 1881. Servants' quarters and stables were at the rear.
Gilgandra.

The Telegraph Office opened on 8 August 1882 although unofficially operational from 4 August. The Sydney Evening News of Saturday 12 August 1882 reported:

"A correspondent at Gilgandra telegraphed  to-day as follows: Our Telegraph Office was opened here in charge of Mr. W. H. Golding on Tuesday last under very favourable circumstances. It will prove a great boon to our flourishing district. We are greatly indebted to our energetic members, Sir P. A. Jennings and Mr Cass, for the active and attentive manner taken by them in securing such a great benefit for the district and the public in general. It will always be considered by us a pleasing recollection of our worthy and attentive members".

Gilgandra
Gilgandra Post & Telegraph Office.
New building constructed in the early 1900s.
The telegraph was often used to convey important and interesting news stories. The Bathurst Times of 7 February 1913 reported:

"Our Gilgandra  correspondent telegraphs: As Mrs. E. Garling was going to the bathroom at her home she narrowly avoided treading on the tail of a brown snake, 5ft in length. She attempted to despatch the reptile with a rifle, but missed it. Later on Mrs Garling went to take a child's dress out of a basket in the wash-house, and was startled to find the snake snugly coiled up in the garment. The snake was eventually killed by Mrs Garling's husband".

(We don't keep stories of that calibre for over 100 years through text messages!! :-)

A rubber circular TELEGRAPHS date stamp (RC1-T) was issued to the Office:

Used: 17 May 1961 and 22 October 1963.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 5.

Gilgandra
24 May 1961.
Used on AW-DO-10 (59).
Gilgandra 1963
22 October 1963.
Used on AA-DO-13C.
Greta.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 1 October 1886 when the name was changed from Anvil Creek. The Telegraph Office was closed on 30 May 1906.

In July 1874, several newspapers carried advertisements for a land auction at Greta in the following terms:

EXTENSIVE SALE OF DESIRABLY SITUATED ALLOTMENTS
IN THE RISING AND PROGRESSIVE VILLAGE OF GRETA.

Approximate to the present Railway Platform, and only a short distance from the site selected for the Post and Telegraph Offices, equidistant from the Anvil Creek and Greta Collieries.

UPON 99 YEARS LEASE.

BRUNKER &, SPARKE have received instructions from Chas Parnell, Esq, to Let by auction, on the Ground, near the Railway Platform, Greta, on Tuesday the 14th July, 1874, at Eleven o'clock, 67 ELIGIBLY -SITUATED ALLOTMENTS, in the village of Greta, containing one rood (more or less) each.

The growing importance of the Mining Township of Greta and the rapid progress made in the development of its vast mineral wealth, must convince parties seeking lucrative investments, or those desirous to procure an eligibly situated block of Land for building purposes, that the present sale offers a most favourable opportunity.

The situation is unequalled - within a few yards of the Railway Station, approximate to the proposed site for the Post and Telegraph Offices - combined with the fact that each lot fronts the principal streets in this flourishing Village, and has a right of way to permanent water, are undoubted advantages and, as the Terms and Conditions of the Lease are liberal, Investors, Tradesmen, and Small Capitalists are invited to inspect the Property, which has been judiciously allotted, a plan of which is on view at the office of the Auctioneers".

Gulgong.

The Telegraph Office opened on 19 January 1872.

During the twelve months to May 1872, the Gulgong Post Office had received £290 17s. 6d in revenue while the Telegraph Office had received £252 14s. 3d. since opening.

Tenders called for "additions to the Telegraph Station at Gulgong" closed on 26 August 1873.

Gunnedah.

The Telegraph Office opened on 7 June 1869.

It was not long before there was drama for, in June 1870, the Telegraph Office was broken into and robbed. An attempt was then made to burn the building down.

Hartley.

In response to a question in the Legislative Assembly on 10 April 1860, the Postmaster-General reported that the Teleraph Office would be opened "once the stationmaster (who was on his way to that place to take charge of the station) arrived there".

Hill End.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 21 August 1871 and it merged with the Post Office on 1 July 1875. The Post Office had opened in 1 August 1869.

A tender to construct the Telegraph Office was let to Mr. John Frey on 9 September 1872. Funds for the two separate offices were placed on the Estimates in 1873 but work could not be commenced because the Government had not reserved a suitable site in the township for either Office (nor for the Court House) .

Mining activity continued at Hill End for many years and it had many events. For example, it was reported that on 25 March 1891, "A sensation was caused at Hill End today by a Chinaman, who burnt the Green Valley Bridge, destroyed a telegraph line and then attacked the police with a big knife. A plucky arrest was effected by two constables".


First Telegraph Office in Hill End - during the 1870s.
Hill End 1906
27 July 1906.

H&T Type 1D (i).
Diameter: 24 mm.

Used on 9d Commonwealth issue
which could be used to pay the cost
of a 16 word ordinary rate telegram
to a destination within NSW.

 
Inverell.

The Telegraph Office opened on 23 July 1868 and merged with the Post Office on 1 April 1869. The Post Office had first opened on 15 September 1859 when the Post Office responsibility was transferred from Byron (opened 1 January 1855) which was located 11 km away.

Tenders for a new building were called in the Gazette of 5 July 1873 after £1,500 had been placed on the Estimates.

Inverell
Inverell Post & Telegraph Office soon after construction in 1904.
Good collectors have used this Post Office at an early age for purchasing new issue stamps and for picking up telegrams.
Inverell 1924 19 November 1924.

Usual postal date stamp with
long arcs and dot after W.

Inverell affair
Typical of the news contained in telegrams sent from Inverell telling about the excellent times to be had in this lovely country town.
Some even much younger guys were known to follow suit in the old days :)!!

See similar telegraph humour on postcards elsewhere.

Katoomba.

The Telegraph Office opened in 1881. A Receiving Office had been opened at the Railway Station on 1 February 1879 and upgraded to a Post Office on 16 August 1880. The combined Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 19 May 1885 and removed from the Railway Station on 16 August 1885.

The Office was issued with a rare steel circular T. O. date stamp - one of only two Offices to use such a format.

Used: 13 June 1953.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Katoomba TO
13 June 1953.
Used on AW-DO-10 (47BB).
Linden.

A Telegraph Office was opened on 14 April 1890.

The Office was issued with an rubber oval LINDEN/N.S.W. date stamp (RO2) for use with telegrams after Federation.

Used in violet: 22 June 1904.

Size: 24 × 39 mm (e = 0.79).

Linden 1904
22 June 1904.
Lithgow.

The Telegraph Office was opened 27 February 1877.

 

 

 

The Office was issued with a circular rubber TELEGRAPHS SECTION date stamp (RC1 - TS).

Used: 19 September 1975 to 28 March 1977.

Diameter: 33 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Lithgow tel
28 March 1977.
Used on a Confirmatory delivery window envelope.
 
The usual postal date stamp was also used for telegraphic business. Lithgow
6 June 1942.
Used on a Congratulations telegram delivery form.
 

Molong.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 29 March 1876 and it merged with the Post Office on 1 August 1877.

Molong
Molong Post & Telegraph Office about 1900.
Moree.

The Moree Telegraph Office was opened on 13 August 1877 and merged with the Post Office on 21 January 1878. The Post Office had opened on 1 May 1853.

 

Moree

Moree Railway Station.

The Moree Railway Station opened telegraphic facilities on 19 October 1898 and these were closed on 31 October 1961.

Hopson & Tobin state two types of steel circular date stamps were used - a type 1D(i) and a Type 2A.

The only type recorded to date is a steel circular type 2C date stamp with side arcs and a full stop after the W.

Used: 2 February 1940.

Diameter: 28 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Mooree Rail
2 February 1940.
 
Mudgee.

On 10 December 1861, the Legislative Assembly was informed that tenders had been called for the construction of a Telegraph Office in Mudgee.

A Telegraph Office was opened on 16 May 1862 (H&T say 1861) and combined with the Post Office on 1 January 1870. The Ofices were separated on 26 June 1871 but recombined on 1 April 1893.

The Post Office had opened on 1 January 1840.

A notable event was reported in the Illawarra Mercury of 6 March 1942 - "a boy telegram messenger could not be obtained and so the postmaster appointed, a girl". Not really that long ago.

A Telegraph Office was opened at Mudgee Railway Station on 14 September 1894 and it closed in 1915. It was reopened at a date unrecorded but closed again on 31 December 1955.

Mudgee
Mudgee P&T office under construction.
Source: Wikipedia.
Mudgee 1865 Nudgee 1926  
Mudgee 21 August 1885.
Date stamp type 1D (i) with side arcs and no full stop after W. Used on delivery envelope (NC-EO-3B).
Mudgee 1 November 1926.
Type 2A date stamp with side arcs and no stop after the W.
(AB-DO-3D).
 
Mungindi.

The Mungindi Telegraph Office was opened on 28 November 1881 and merged with the Post Office on 1 February 1882.

The Post Office had opened on 1 April 1867.

Mungindi is 780 km from Sydney.

 

Mungindi early
Being right on the NSW-Queensland border, Mungindi was singled out as an example of the problem of having special "border rates" for telegram charges. In a debate in the House of Representatives on 24 October 1935, Mr. Nock (Country Party, NSW) said that "the normal 9d rate for 15 miles should not be barred by a State border. The (interstate) charge of 1/4 for telegrams sent just across the Murray River from Wodonga to Albury or from Wahgunyah to Corowa was unreasonable. At Mungindi (Queensland) people had to cross the border to the post office on the New South Wales side of the river, and pay 1/4 to send a telegram back into their own district".

Mungindai 1920
Mungindi Post & Telegraph Office about 1920.
Narrabri.

The Narrabri Telegraph Office was opened 8 June 1869. It merged with the post office on 15 July 1872.

The post office at Narrabri had opened on 1 June 1861.

Narrabri is 561 km from Sydney.

Narrabri
Note: this picture has been printed in reverse!!
The enlargement shows the letters of "POST AND ..." on the façade are reversed.

A steel circular type 2C TELEGRAPHS NARRABRI date stamp (SC1-T) was issued to the Office.

Used: 1926 to 1976.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census:

Narrabri 1910
Narrabri P&T Office in the big flood of 17 January 1910.
The Narrabri Railway Station also had a telegraph office from 19 February 1883 although over the following 50 years, the name kept changing - Narrabri West, Narrabri West Railway Station as well as the original Narrabri Railway Station.
Nymagee.

The Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 1 December 1881.

No special date stamp was issued for use with telegraphs.

Nyngan.

The Nyngan Telegraph Office opened on 11 July 1883 and merged with the Post Office two months later.

The Nyngan Post Office had opened in 16 September 1880.

Nyngan is 577 km from Sydney.

Telegraph facilities were also opened at the Nyngan Railway Station on 8 June 1883. They closed at an unrecorded date only to reopen on 14 September 1894 - but closed again at another unrecorded date (sometime before 1940).

NynganNyngan Post Office (circa 1900).
Orange.

The Telegraph Office opened on 21 December 1860 and combined with the Post Office on 1 January 1870.

Orange Post Office opened on 1 January 1849 at a time when the Western Road was served by mail services four times a week. This frequency increased in 1862 when Cobb & Co became responsible for the mail service. From 1870, the mail service was mainly operated by the railways and Orange was nominated as the terminus in 1877. The new building was designed to reflect that status and to be able to handle the significant demands.

Orange 1880
The first Orange Post & Telegraph Office c. 1880.
Orange Orange 3

Tenders for called for the erection of a Telegraph and Post Office, Orange in July 1862.

 

A Telegraph Office was also opened at Orange Railway Station on 14 September 1894. It closed on 30 December 1970. A date stamp is recorded in 1955.

A steel circular TELEGRAPHS ORANGE type 2C date stamp was used at Orange with two formats. The Hopson & Tobin entry is therefore revised.

  1. a TELEGRAPHS date stamp with a long date line:

Used: 8 March 1939.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 5.

Orange 1939
8 March 1939.
Used on Congratulations delivery form AB-GCF-34Ab.

 

  1. a TELEGRAPHS date stamp with a short date line (nylon wheels):

Used: 13 November 1963.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Orange 1963
13 November 1963.
Used on AA-DO-13B.

 
The usual post office date stamps were also used on telegrams in Orange. Orange 1901
5 December 1901
Used on 5/- coin stamp design
commonly used to pay higher value telegram costs.
Date stamp type 1D (i).
Orange 1905
5 July 1905.

Diameter: 24 mm.

Type 1D (i) date stamp.
Used on NI-DO-1.

Orange time 1918
Orange - usual postal date stamp.
23 October 1908
Used on NI-DO-4.
Type 2C datestamp with time
(unusual on a telegram).

Parkes.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 17 March 1875 and was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 1 April 1875.

Parkes Post Office opened as Bushman's Lead on 1 August 1872 and changed name to Parkes on 1 December 1873.

It had been established in response to the demand for postal facilities from those searching for gold in the surrounding area. Mail had originally come from Forbes but when Cobb and Co took over the mail coach run in 1882, Parkes was in contact with both Forbes and Orange.

Parkes
Parkes P&T Office about 1900 - after major alterations and the
installation of the exterior clock in 1895.
Peak Hill.

The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 31 July 1890.

Peak Hill
Peak Hill Post & Telegraph Office about 1910.

Pilgoori.

Located about 25 km from Tamworth. Also spelt Pilgoorie.

A Telegraph Office was opened on 7 December 1926. A Telephone Exchange was added on 29 August 1934. The Offices closed on 30 April 1968.

Hopson and Tobin record a type 2A date stamp for the office used only in 1959.

Pilgoori
4 September 1947.

Rated: RRR.
Type 2A - no stop after W

Quirindi.

The Quirindi Telegraph Office opened on 13 August 1877 and merged with the Post Office 3 June 1878.

The Quirindi Post Office had opened on 1 January 1858.

Quirindi is 383 km from Sydney.

Quirindi
Quirindi P&T Office about 1905.
Construction had been completed in September 1884.
Sofala.

The Sofala Telegraph Office opened on 15 May 1861 and merged with the Post Office on 6 July 1870.

The Sofala Post Office had opened in 16 August 1851. The Illustrated London News article accompanying the sketch shown to the right described the Post Office as"This rude 'public-office' is built with timber uprights and window bars and is roofed with sheets of bark".

Sofala is 244 km from Sydney.

Sofala
The Post-Office, Sofala, Turon River.
Drawing from the Illustrated London News, 21 August, 1852, p. 125.
Walgett.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 22 September 1873. It merged with the Post Office on 1 November 1874.

The Post Office had opened on 1 July 1851.

Walgett
The Stage Coach outside the P&T Office in Walgett - after 1874.
Warialda.

The Warialda Telegraph Office opened in a merger with the Post Office on 1 July 1877.

The Warialda Post Office had opened on 1 January 1848.

A tender was accepted in January 1879 for the erection of a Post & Telegraph office in Warialda.

Warialda
Warialda 1905
2 July 1905.

H&T Type 1D (i).
Diameter: 24 mm.

Used on 9d Commonwealth issue
which could be used to pay the cost
of a 16 word ordinary rate telegram
to a destination within NSW -
so possibly a 25 word intra-state telegram
or a 22 word inter-state telegram.

 
Warren.

The Telegraph Office opened on 26 October 1876 and merged with the Post Office (unsure of date as Hopson confused).

 

Warren
Wee Waa.

The Wee Waa Telegraph Office opened in 1872 and merged with the Post Office 16 July 1882.

The Wee Waa Post Office had opened on 1 January 1849.

Wee Waa is about 600 km from Sydney.

Wee Waa
Wee Waa Post Office during the major 1910 flood.
Wellington.

The Telegraph Office opened on 12 September 1862 and it merged with the Post Office in 1869.

The Post Office had been established on 1 April 1838 at which time the town was served by a four horse mail coach from Bathurst via Molong. 'More recently', from September 1862, the service was operated by Cobb & Co. After public representations, an official post office was established in 1869. In 1904, the building shown at right was opened. It included a residence.

Wellington coaches
Wellington P&T Office about 1905.