Victoria:
Telegraph Offices on the North-West Melbourne to Ballarat line.


Bacchus Marsh.

The Telegraph Office was opened in October 1874.

The Post Office first opened in 1844 with the name Ballan but changed in 1850.

The tenders for the first Telegraph Office were advertised on 24 January 1874 as follows: "TENDERS are invited till noon of THURSDAY,
5 th February, from persons willing to let to the Government a building suitable for a POST and TELEGRAPH OFFICE at Bacchus Marsh. The accommodation required is:--One general office room, one parlour or living room, two bed rooms, kitchen and servant's sleeping room adjoining, double privy and a wood shed. The tenancy to commence on the 1st March next".

A new building was announced in May 1889.

Bacchus Marsh
The Office was issued with an rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2-TO).

Size: 33 × 52 mm (e = 0.77).

Use: 30 April 1986 (only recorded date).

Rated: RRR.

Bacchus RO2
30 April 1986 (only recorded date).
Ballan.

The Telegraph Office opened in September 1874. The third Post Office with the name Ballan opened about September 1953.

No special date stamp was issued for use with Telegrams.

A Telegraph Office was opened at the Railway Station about 1913 and closed about 1917.

 

 

Ballarat East.

The Telegraph Office opened in July 1879.

A Telegraph Office opened at the Railway Station about 1910 but was re-classified as a Port Office about 1915 before closing about 1917.

 

 

Gordons.

The Telegraph Office opened in March 1875.

The Post Office opened on 1 July 1858 as Gordons and changed to Gordon in 1887.

No special date stamp was issued for use with Telegrams.

A Telegraph Office was opened at the Railway Station about 1910 but was reclassified as a Post Office abut 1915 and closed about 1916.


Melton.

The Telegraph Office opened in September 1877.

 

The Office was issued with a T.O. date stamp which was used in two formats:

  1. T.O. before Melton:

Used: 7 April 1913 to 23 January 1922.

Diameter:

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 4.

Melton 1915
18 March 1915.
March 1918
27 March 1918.
  1. T.O. removed.

Used: 24 June 1922 to 27 July 1939.

Diameter:

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

Melton rem
28 January 1937
 

Mount Egerton.

The Telegraph Office opened in January 1878.

Rated RR.

 
   

Myrniong.

The Telegraph Office opened in February 1876.

 

A Public Meeting at Myrniong, which was reported in the Bacchus Marsh Express of 11 July 1874, summarises the reasons why most towns on the North Western line considered they needed a Telegraph Office as well as gives some background to the general area:

MYRNIONG, (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) A Public meeting was held in the Mechanics' Institute on Monday evening last to urge on the Government the necessity of providing this township with the means of telegraphic communication. There was a good attendance, and the meeting evinced considerable anxiety on the subject. Mr. George Granut was voted to the chair. He said the object of the meeting was to ask the Government to give them a telegraph office at Myrniong. He thought that they had more need of an office than either of the two places in the neighbourhood which were about to have telegraph offices for the reason that at each of said places, the inhabitants had the privilege of being able to reply to their letters on the day they received them. He considered they were entitled to an office at Myrniong and hoped they would soon have one.

Mr, T. C. Fraser proposed, and Mr. H. Meikle seconded, the following resolution, which was carried unanimously: "That it is the opinion of this meeting that it is most desirable that the Government should grant a telegraph office at Myrniong for the benefit and convenience of the district". In moving the resolution, Mr. Fraser said that he thought the district was as much entitled to a telegraph office as any place on the line. It was the centre of a large pastoral and agricultural district, and it was of the utmost importance to the inhabitants, many of whom paid high rents for their land, that they should have the earliest and latest information possible as to the state of the markets.

The State had made and was extending great lines of railway to the remotest corners of the colony, a matter which he was glad to see, but the practical effect of that was that not only were those remote districts in one sense, and that a very important one, nearer the great markets, but even neighbouring colonies were brought within a few hours journey of these markets, The consequence was that farmers, graziers, and others, who paid high for their land, had to compete with the great stock owners of New South Wales, as well as those of our own colony, who paid only low rental for Crown lands, so that the terms on which they met were most unequal, By having a telegraph office here, producers could send down or hold back at the last moment, and thus catch a good market when stock happened to be high, or save their gear from being sacrificed when there was a glut.

Again, they were entitled to an office to make up, in some degree, for the disadvantage under which they laboured at present owing to their postal arrangements. Three coaches met at Myrniong daily, except Sunday, and yet they could not answer their letters by the same day's post. The other townships on the line had all the advantages of the time elapsing between the passing and re-passing of the morning and afternoon coaches, to open and reply to their letters, while they had to wait till the next day. Some of the townships had actually two mails a day, and he had several times to send to Bacchus Marsh, involving a ride of about 24 miles, in order to catch an early post for another part of the colony. A telegraph office would go far to remedy this grievance.

Another reason for advocating the establishment of an office here was the benefit it would be to the Police Department. The last but not the least weighty reason he would state was that there was no medical man nearer than Ballan or Bacchus Marsh. In a case of emergency it would be a long way to go to either of these places, and perhaps after all not finding the doctor at home. The wire would improve our chances ten to one, for the whereabouts of each doctor could be ascertained in a few minutes. He knew of no more benevolent object for which the wire could be used than that of alleviating pain or saving life, and it was now extensively so used.

He trusted the Government would not deal niggardly with them for the matter of a few pounds, when they considered the benefit they would bestow on the district at large. Mr. T. White said he was in favour of a telegraph office here for its numerous advantages, as Mr. Fraser had already stated, and also because it would not be expensive, for the line already passed close to the post office. He hoped he would soon have the pleasure of seeing such a great acquisition to their interests in full working order in Myrniong. Mr. H. Meikle proposed, and Mr. Meehan seconded, and it was carried "That a committee, consisting of Messrs. Fraser, Rowland, White, and the mover, be appointed to draw out a memorial in support of the resolution, and forward the same to the Treasurer for the colony of Victoria.".

Mr. Meikle endorsed what had already been said in favour of a telegraph office, and thought the time had arrived when this important addition to their township was really necessary in order to keep pace with the advance of civilization and trusted the most favourable consideration would be given to their request by the Government of Victoria. Other speakers followed, and all testified to the great advantage it would be to be connected and brought within call of the principal parts of the colony. The meeting then terminated. A petition embodying the foregoing resolutions, &c., has been forwarded to the Hon. the Treasurer".

Rockbank.

The Telegraph Office at Rockbank (below Melton) opened about 1914 and closed about 1919. A Post Office had been opened at Rockbank on 1 January 1862. It was closed on 1 July 1996.

Rockbank was also an important link in the Beam Wireless operated by AWA. A receiving station was constructed there and, on 8 April 1927, operations commenced to link Australia wirelessly to England and Europe.

 

The Office was issued with a
T.O. date stamp in three different formats for use with telegrams:
  1. T. O. Rockbank/Vic.

Used between 10 August 1916 and December 1939.

Diameter: 27.5 mm.

Rated: RR.

Rockbank 1916
10 August 1916.
Rockbank 1939
19 December 1939
(on reverse side of the cover below).
 

Rockbank cover
19 December 1939.

Rockbank T.O./Vic on cover - very rare (better of two recorded examples).

  1. T.O. Rockbank/ Vic Aust.

Used between 12 December 1940 and
18 February 1957.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 5.

 

Rockbank 1942
12 December 1940.
Rockbank 1951
29 November 1951.
  Rockbank TO 1957
18 February 1957 (LRD).
 
  1. T. O. removed.

Used: less than 4 months about July 1957.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Rockbanj TO rem
26 July 1957.