Western Australia: 1869-1988.
Telegraph Offices in the Mid West region
.


The Mid West region of Western Australia encompasses a 472,336 square kilometres:

Arrino

A Telegraph Office was opened on 1 June 1874. It was closed on 31 May 1880 but re-opened on 18 August 1893. It was again closed on 30 September 1898.

On 1 January 1904, it was re-opened as an Allowance Office.

   

Carnamah.

A Telegraph Office was opened on 1 June 1874. This was later upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office in 1895.

   

Cuddingwarra.

Between Cue and Big Bell. A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 20 November 1895. The Office was downgraded progressively to an Allowance Office and then a Receiving Office before being closed on 3 December 1912.

The town was originally called Dead Finish. Gold was discovered in 1888.

   
Cue.

Cue was the chief town in the Murchison goldfields. Cue was the chief town in the Murchison goldfields. It was often referred to as the Queen of the Murchison.

In 1896, it was the terminus of the railway line from Geraldton but there were plans to extend the line to Nannine. In addition to the gold, the town was surrounded by extensive pastoral interests.

The Telegraph Office was opened in November 1894.

Cue PO
The Cue Post & Telegraph Office about 1895.
Fells
Mr. E. D. Fels was appointed as the first
Post & Telegraph Master in August 1894.
Cue 95
Cue about 1895.

Source of all 3 pictures for Cue: Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraph & Telephone Departments of Western Australia, Christmas 1896.

Cue 1904
Cue normal postal date stamp.
13 April 1904.

Diameter: 22 mm.

Used on WI-DO-1A.

Cue 1934
Cue normal postal handstamp.
29 November 1934.

Diameter: 26 mm.

Used on AB-DU-3.

 
A wide variety of rubber oval date stamps were issued to Cue for use with telegraphs. A detailed review of the Cue ovals is included elsewhere.

In summary, the following are known:

 
RO2 TO 1947
RO2 - TO - used during 1946-47.
Two formats.
RO2 TO 1895RO6 - TO - used between 1895 and 1901 (missing from Goulder (2002)); RO7 TO 1897
RO7 - TO - used about 1897
(missing from Goulder (2002);
RO2 P&TO 1897RO2 - P&TO - used about 1899.
One format and with an error in C(ue).
RO6 P&TRO6 - P&TO - used about 1900.
Two formats.
RO7 P&T
RO7 - P&TO
- used between about 1905 to 1919.

Two formats.
Day Dawn.

The Post & Telegraph Office was established on 15 November 1894. It closed on 25 October 1930.

Originally the settlement was informally called Four Mile - that being its distance from the town of Cue. It was gazetted as the town of Bundawadra on 2 March 1894, renamed Day Dawn on 25 May 1894 and proclaimed a municipality on 24 May 1895.

The office was issued with at least four types of rubber oval office date stamp (types RO2, RO6 and RO7 - in two formats) which were used with telegraphs.

  1. RO6 - TO.

Used: 10 March 1897.

Size: 27 × 44 mm (e = 0.79).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Day Dawn 1897
10 March 1897.
Used on WC-DO-4C.
  1. RO2 - P&TO.

Used: 16 June 1899.

Size: 26 × 40 mm (e = 0.76).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


Day Dawn 1899
16 June 1899.
  1. RO7 - P&TO.
    W.A. not included.

Used: 17 January 1907.

Size: 31 × 50 mm (e = 0.78).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

DayDawn 1907
17 January 1907.
  1. RO7 - P&TO.
    W.A. included.

Used: 15 November 1910.

Size: 24 × 46 mm (e = 0.85).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Day Dawn 1910
15 November 1910.

Dongara.

A Post & Telegraph Office opened on 18 June 1874.

A Post Office had been established in February 1870 when Port Irwin was renamed.

Geraldton.

The Telegraph Office opened on 5 June 1874 soon after the change of name from Champion Bay.

Mr. J. J. Griffin was appointed Postmaster and Telegraphist at Geraldton in January 1890.

The Geraldton Victoria Express of 6 January 1893 reported:

"On Wednesday Miss Commerford, who, for many years past, has occupied a responsible position in the Geraldton Telegraph Office took her departure for Northampton where she has been appointed Postmistress and Telegraphist, Mr. Lloyd, who formerly performed these duties, being required solely in connection with the railway department. The loss of Miss Commerford's services at Geraldton will be generally regretted, but her many friends will be pleased to learn that her transfer to Northampton means real promotion. We wish her success in her new sphere".

The prosperity of the Murchison gold fields combined with the significant exports of wool from the surrounding areas made this a very important Telegraph station.

The call signal around the 1880s was GT.

 

Geraldton P&T
Geraldton Post & Telegraph Office about 1900.

Geraldton
The township of Geraldton about 1900.

Telegrams were often marked with a straight-line
Geraldton handstamp.

SL Geraldton
Example of the straight line handstamp on WI-DO-5A.
The Geraldton Post & Telegraph Office was issued with at least two types of date stamp for use with telegraphs:
  1. a TELEGRAPHS GERALDTON/W A steel date stamp.
    Dots for separation of the top and lower inscriptions.

Used: 8 December 1922.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Geraldton Telegs
Telegraphs Geraldton/W.A
8 December 1922.

 

  1. a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO6-P&TO).

Used: about 1940.

Size:

Rated: RRRRR.

   

Greenough.

Tenders were called for the new Post & Telegraph Office in January 1873. A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 5 June 1874.

A Post Office had opened previously on 1 May 1862.

A rubber oval Telegraph Office date stamp (RO6-TO) was issued to the office:

Used:

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 

Gullewa.

The Post & Telegraph Office opened 2 September 1897.

It was downgraded to an Allowance Office on 1 September 1901.

   

Horrocks.

The Telegraph Office

 

A rubber oval Telegraph Office date stamp (RO2-TO) was issued to the office:

Used: about 1950.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 
Meekatharra.

On 14 November 1906, the Kalgoorlie Miner reported that "the Postmaster - General had informed Mr. H. Mahon, M.P., that his request for the establishment of an official post and telegraph office at Meekatharra has been granted. The office will be opened as soon as the necessary premises have been provided, and without any guarantee from the State Government. The postmaster will also perform mining duties, and the remuneration for this will be subsequently arranged on an equitable basis, according to the work done and the accommodation provided".

Meekatharra
Meekatharra - street scene in 1920.
Source: WA Library 217 255 PD.

Two date stamps had been recorded as having been issued to Meekatharra for use with telegraphs:

  • RO2 - P&TO oval rubber date stamp used about 1928 (rated RRRR);
  • RO2 - TO oval rubber date stamp (rated RRR). Although thought to have been used only about 1962, the examples shown here indicate three formats were used from 1950 to 1971.

The variations on the three later RO2 - TO formats are not elsewhere recorded.

 
Meek 1950
Telegraph Office.
13 June 1950.
RO2-TO.

Size: 29 × 49 mm (e = 0.81).
Rated RRR.

1962
Telegraph Office.
24 October 1962.
RO2-TO.

Size: 31 × 52 mm (e = 0.80).
Rated RRR.

1950
Telegraph Office.
16 December 1971.
RO2-TO.

Size: 31 × 49 mm (e = 0.77).
Rated RRR.

Mingenew.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 20 September 1894. A Post Office had been established in April 1892.

The lowest tender for the Minegew Post & Telegraph Office was submitted by H. W. Linthorne in January 1894.

It is reported that a rubber oval date stamp was used at Mingenew but no details are known.  
Mount Magnet.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 15 March 1896. A Post Office had operated since April 1893.

Three rubber oval date stamps are recorded as having been used at Mount Magnet with telegraphs:
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp
    (RO4 - P&TO).

Used: about 1910.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

   
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp
    (RO6 - P&TO).

Used: 10 February 1943.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Magnet 1943
10 February 1943.
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp
    (RO2 - P&TO).

Used: 14 March 1945.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Magnet 1945
14 March 1945.
The usual steel date stamp used for postal purposes was also applied to telegrams. Mt Magnet 1932
Mount Magnet on 2d red KGV.
13 August 1932.
 

Mullewa.

The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 13 October 1894.

A Post Office had been opened in September 1892.

   
Nannine.

A mining town about 50 miles north-east of Cue. It was the site of the first gold discovery on the Murchison Goldfield. When the Murchison railway was extended beyond Cue, Nannine became the ultimate terminus.

The Telegraph Office opened on 12 November 1894 to serve the population of about 300 - but also for communication for the Warden's Court to transact mining business and which sat monthly.

Nannine
Source: Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraph & Telephone Departments of Western Australia, Christmas 1896.
The Day Dawn Gazette of 5 March 1896 described the new buildings to be erected for the Post and Telegraph Department:

"They were to include mail and operating rooms with officers' quarters attached. Ample provision for the public convenience in sending wires or receiving letters is to be afforded by a spacious lobby fitted with all other necessaries. We may now look forward to a day when it will be possible to a write a telegram in peace, without fearing the advent of a frolicsome "cock-eye" carrying our wire to heaven before our eyes. The buildings are to be constructed of stone with walls 13ft. in height, and surrounded with verandahs 10 ft. in width. Our worthy postmaster will now have a habitation suitable to the dignity of his personal appearance, and our usually imposing representative of "law and order" will also be fittingly lodged".

Construction work began about 9 April 1896 and was expected to take about 3 months.

No special date stamp was issued to Nannine for use with telegraphs.  

Northampton.

A Post Office was opened on 20 November 1866 when it replaced Wanerenooka.

The Office was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 5 April 1878.

Miss Commerford was promoted to the position of Postmistress and Telegraphist at Northampton from Geraldton in January 1893 (see above).

There is a report that the Office was provided with a rubber oval date stamp but no details are recorded.  

Peak Hill.

The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 10 October 1898. A Post Office had been opened in December 1894.

Peak Hill is situated between the Gascoyne and Murchison Rivers about 120 miles from Nannine. Nearly all the leases for gold mining were owned by one company. The town was established in 1892 and gazetted in 1897. Up to 1913, about 270,000 ozs of gold were extracted. A further 600,000 ozs were extacted in the 1980s. In 1898, the town had 190 people - 180 were males and 10 were females.

Three oval rubber Post & Telegraph date stamps have been recorded as having been issued to Peak Hill for use with telegraphs:

  1. RO2 - P&TO.

Used: December 1898 to 1899.

Size: 27 × 41 mm (e = 0.75).

Rated: RRRR.

Peak Hill
December 1898 on three 3d brown Swans.

Prestige Auctions November 2013 Lot 520.

  1. RO2 - P&TO.

Used: about 1912.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

 
  1. RO7 - P&TO.

Used in violet:

Size: 26 × 46 mm

Rated: RRRR.

 
Reedy.

The Post & Telegraph Office was opened at Reedy on

Reedy is located in the Murchison between Cue and Meekatharra. The town was Gazetted in 1934 after several gold discoveries during the early 1930s.

Reedy 1930
Reedy in 1930.
By courtesy of the State Library of WA.

A rubber oval date stamp (RO6-P&TO) was issued to the Office for use with telegraph work.

Used: in red - 12 April 1940.
in violet - 18 May 1940.

Size: 34 × ??.

 

Reedy cover
18 May 1940 - used as a violet strike on a cover to Perth.
The known date stamp from Reedy struck red.

Rated: RRRR.

Reedy April
12 April 1940.
 
The two known date stamps from Reedy struck in violet.

Rated: RRR.

May 16
16 May 1940.
The inner oval is distorted but it is not considered this was the design and so it is not classified as RO7.
Reedy May
18 May 1940.

Wiluna.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 5 November 1900.

Wiluna was previously known as Lakeway which was an office designated as a Receiver of Mail Bags.

The Office was issued with a rubber oval Post & Telegraph date stamp (RO4-P&TO).

Used: about 1912.

Size: ??

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 

Wooramel.

A Telegraph Office opened on 24 December 1897. It was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office in 1904.

It is reported that the Office was issued with a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO?-P&TO).

Used: 1909.

Size: ?

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.