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


 

The Wheatbelt region extends west from Perth to just past Southern Cross. To the north of Perth it extends to past Dundaragan. To the south it extends to just beyond Arthur River and inland from Collie.

Given the nature of the development of the telegraph lines south from Perth, it is more convenient to include the Wheatbelt Southern region in the Southern region.

Berkshire Valley.

About 1860, George Clinch changed the name of his property from Babano to Berkshire Valley.

The Berkshire Valley Telegraph Office opened on 1 March 1874. It was operated by Miss Clinch from her homestead. The Office was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 1 January 1884.

The combined Office closed on 28 February 1891. It then reopened on 20 September 1894 but then closed forever on 30 November 1898.

It is unsure if any date stamps were issued to Berkshire Valley. Gouldner (p. 7) hypothesises that three date stamps might have been available during the 1874 to 1891 period including at least one for a Post & Telegraph Office.

Beverley.

The Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 6 December 1877.

The Post Office had previously been opened on 1 May 1858.



Beverley P&TO about 1950.

A rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
(RO7-P&TO) was issued to the office.

Used in purple: 8 October 1898.

Size: 26 × 41 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.




8 October 1899.

Used in violet: 24 January and 10 February 1899 (on the same cover) plus 19 May 1899.

Size: 26 × 41 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 3.



24 January 1899.

One of two ovals used on an unclaimed Office of Titles OHMS cover sent from Perth to Beverley (with Frank Stamp).
Arrived at the Dead Letter Office on 13 February 1899.


19 May 1899.

Chidlow's Well.

A Post Office was established on 11 January 1891. It was then upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 31 March 1897.

The Office was issued with a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO7-P&TO):

Used in violet: 13 June 1914 and 16 October 1914.

Size: 25 × ?? mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

Cunderdin.

Just east of Northam.

The Office opened as a Receiving Office on 1 July 1902 and became an Official Office on 1 July 1911.

The Office was issued with a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO4-P&TO):

Used in blue: 12 February 1915 (only known example).

Size: 25 × 43 mm (e = 0.81).

Rating: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Cunderdin 1915
12 February 1915.

Dandaragan.

In the early days - from 1 July 1853 - Dandaragan was classified as a Stopping Place for the mails and it was centered on the Police Station. Constable Goldwyer was in charge. It remained on the main northern mail route until the route was changed to the inland on 8 January 1867.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 15 August 1896. It was downgraded to an Allowance Office on 1 June 1904.

 

   

Dowerin.

The Post Office at Dowerin opened on 1 September 1906. It became an Official Office (with Telegraph facilities) on 1 July 1912.

A rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH date stamp (RO4 - P&TO) was issued to the office for use with telegraphs.

Used in violet: 13 August 1913.

Size: 25 × 42 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


13 August 1913.

Used in blue: 24 July 1915 and 7 February 1916.

Size: 25 × 42 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 3.

July 1915
24 July 1915.

Dowerin 1914
6 August 1915.


7 February 1916.

Gingin.

The Telegraph Office opened on 27 October 1876.

Gingin is in the centre of a rich agricultural district.

As no special date stamps for use with Telegraphs were issued to the office, the usual post office date stamp was used for telegraphic purposes. There were several formats used. An early format was framed with a 2 digit month and a 2 digit year:

Used: 28 May 1897.

Diameter: 21.5 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Gin Gin
28 May 1897.

Grass Valley.

A Post & Telegraph Office was established at Grass Valley on 5 July 1900. Previously the office was designated as a Receiver of Mail Bags as from 1 July 1899. From 1911 it was progressively downgraded.

A rubber oval datestamp was issued to the office. Most sources claim that it was used in violet. The only recorded example appears to be used in a red-violet ink - which may have originally been a violet ink but the poor ink quality may have changed its appearance over the years.

Used in (red-) violet: 19 August 1903.

Size: ??

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


19 August 1903.

Kellerberrin.

The spelling of the town's name appears to have been interchangeable in the late 1800s between having one R or two - KELLERBERIN or KELLERBERRIN.

The telegraph line and the railway were built along the Yilgarn line which extended from Northam to Southern Cross.

The Telegraph Office opened on 1 September 1894 (with the building completed the following year) as Kellerberin and changed to Kellerberrin possibly about 1900. The two spellings were used interchangeably for many years.


Kellerberrin Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.

A position of Messenger at the Kellerberrin Telegraph Office was created and gazetted on 5 August 1926.

A note in the Perth Daily News of 6 November 1915 reported that "Private G. Ford, formerly an operator in the telegraph office, and who has been wounded three times, is now telegraphist at headquarters at the Dardanelles".

The Perth Daily News of 19 September 1995 carried this account of the discussion in the Assembly on the forward Estimates:

The proposal to expend £580 on the erection of a post office at Kellerberin was objected to in the Assembly yesterday, when the Estimates were under consideration. No one seemed to know where  Kellerberin was situated, and when it was elicited that it was some miles away from Northam, the information was also adduced that it contained three settlers. The Director of Public Works urged that the House should pass the item, if only to keep the postmaster, who was lineman and telegraph operator as well, from dying of ennui. The vote was carried.

At least three (possibly four) formats of rubber oval date stamps were issued for use with telegraphs:

  1. A rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6 - TO) with the name
    KELLERBERIN (one R).
    The date stamp had a 3 letter month
    and 2 digit year.

Used in violet: 29 January 1896 to 10 July 1897.

Size: 28 × 44 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 5.

 

Keller 1896
29 January 1896 (ERD).

10 November 1896.
On registered OHMS cover sent to Perth.
 

Keller 1897
5 June 1897.


10 July 1897.
Abacus Auction 7 April 2019,
(Lot 1433).
  1. Goulder implies this date stamp also used the spelling "Kellerberrin". This date stamp is unlisted elsewhere.

There is one possible example on a postcard but the date stamp is very faint.

Used in violet: 16 July 1896.

Size: 28 × 44 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

 

Has a rare Great Southern Railway GSR 4 postmark on reverse side.

This detailed scan shows the letters "BER" clearly and the "6" of the year 1896. The A of WA is to the left of the 6 above indicating there must be another letter in the name.
  1. A rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO4 - P&TO) with the name KELLERBERRIN (2 R).
    The date stamp had a 3 letter month
    and 4 digit year.

Used in purple or violet:
23 and 25 June 1913,
21 August 1915 and
4 March 1916..

Size: 28 × 42 mm (e = 0.75).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 4.
Unlisted elsewhere.

Keller 1904
25 June 1913.
Keller 1915
21 August 1915.
 
4 March 1916.
  1. RO6 - P&TO.

Used about 1942.

Rated: RRRR.

   
Mooliabeenie (or Mooliabeenee).

Located east of Gingin on the original Midland Railway between Millendon Station (near Midland) and Dongara.

A Receiving Office was established on 1 May 1905 and that was changed to a Administrative Offive on 1 November 1906. No record of a Telegraph Office is known but it would have been part of the railway establishment.

A rubber oval date stamp is thought to heve been issued to the office although no definitive record can be located. Spacing seems to indicate the first date stamp shown has a high probability of coming from Mooliabeenie.

RO4 - P&TO.

Used in black: 6 and 8 March 1911.

Size: ??

Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


6 March 1911.

8 March 191(1)?
Moora.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on the afternoon of 1 September 1896 (according to the West Australian on 3 September). A Post Office had been opened on 1 October 1894.


Moora Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.

A rubber oval date stamp was used at the Office but no details have been recorded previously. The image here is a new discovery (in 2020).

The oval date stamp is of the RO6 format with the upper inscription being Post & Telegraph Office and the lower inscription being MOORA, WA.

Used in violet: 17 November 1942.

Size: 33 × 53 (?) mm (e = 0.78).

Rated: RRRRR.

No. in the Census: 1.

New Norcia.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 4 March 1874 - the day when the Post Office was renamed from Victoria Plains. The Post Office had been opened on 14 April 1857. It was downgraded to an Administrative Office on 21 July 1905.

Up to the mid 1840s, New Norcia was known as Maurin Pool.

The call signal around the 1880s was NL.

Newcastle (Toodyay).

Toodyay was gazetted as Newcastle in 1860 when it was moved 2 km to higher ground to avoid flooding. In 1910, to avoid confusion with the Newcastle in NSW, the name was changed back to Toodyay.

The Telegraph Office was opened at Newcastle on 6 January 1872.

The call signal around the 1880s was N.

The Toodyay Post Office had opened on 23 April 1847 but closed during the move on 6 October 1864. It was renamed from Newcastle as a P&T Office on 6 May 1910.

In November 1891, Mr. W. Harris, the Telegraph Operator at Albany was promoted to be the Post and Telegraph Master at Newcastle.

An original postal date stamp for Toodyay - presumably used between 1847 and 1864.

Toodyay

Three rubber oval date stamps were issued to the office when it was named Newcastle for use with telegraphs:

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

Used: about 1894.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 

  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO6 - P&TO).
    Has 2 mm side arcs.

Used: between 22 September 1898 and 26 June 1901 (or possibly to 1910 when the name change occurred).

Size: 27 × 44 mm (e = 0.79).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 4.


22 September 1898 (earliest recorded date).


19 April 1900.


26 January 1900.
Used on a block of 10 1d red Swans
(reunited blocks of 4 and 6 purchased 6 years apart) .

 


1 July 1901.

  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp
    (RO7 - P&TO).

Used: about 1906.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO4-P&TO) with the change in name from Newcastle to Toodyay.

Used in blue: sometime after the name change in 1910 -
9 October 1918.

Size:

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Toodyay oval
9 October 1918.
The usual postal date stamps were also used on telegrams: Toodyay 1922
28 September 1932.
Northam.

The Post Office opened at Northam on 23 April 1847 and it was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 11 January 1872. The first telegraph post for the new line was erected on 18 March 1871 (Perth: Inquirer and Commercial News, 29 March 1871).

The call signal around the 1880s was NR.

Northam
Northam Post & Telegraph Office about 1910.

Tenders were called for a new building for the Post & Telegraph Office Quarters in the West Australian of 1 September 1892 and, on 1 October, the tender by M. Byatt and H. Cody was accepted for £975.

Three formats for oval rubber Post & Telegraph datestamps were issued to Northam.

  1. a RO2-P&TO used in violet.
    So sad that so little of the date stamp can be seen.
    The most interesting aspect is that there are lines above and below the date - similar only to those in the 1896 North Fremantle date stamp.

    Used: Not clear but possibly in the late 1890s.

    Size: exact measurement not possible.

    Rated: RRRR.

    Number in the Census: 2.
    NOTE: Not recorded elsewhere.

No discernible date.
  1. a RO7 - P&TO.

Used: 9 July 1919
(Goulder (2002) reports its use (as an RO2-P&TO) about 1899 but no confirmation of that early use is known).

Size: 24 × 46 mm (e = 0.85).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Northam detail
9 July 1919.
NOTE: has separtion dots between the upper and lower inscriptions.

The form (AE-DO-1D) on which the above RO7-P&TO oval date stamp was used.

Indeed there are two strikes.

Northam form
  1. a RO7 - P&TO - not recorded elsewhere.

Used: about 1940.

Size: 25 × 42 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Northam 1940
2 January 1940.
Note: No separation dots.
 
The usual Post Office date stamp was sometimes used on telegrams.
Northam
19 July 1906.
 

Pingelly.

Pingelly is between Beverley and Wagin.

The Post Office at Moorumbine (sometimes spelt Mourumbine) was replaced by Pingelly on 4 October 1889. It was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 1 August 1893.

A rubber oval date stamp (RO2 P&TO) was issued to the Office.

Used: 24 June 1902..

Size: 25 × 41 mm (e = 0.79).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2
(the PMI illustration is less than 25% of a strike).


24 June 1902.
Southern Cross.

The original Post Office in the area was opened at Golden Valley in 1888. After significant gold finds close to Southern Cross, the Post office was moved. As the building was to house the Post Office and Residence, the Court House and the Mining Registrar's Office, a new building was commenced. Just after construction commenced, the telegraph line arrived - with no place to be housed. The Postmaster (Mr. Harvey) therefore established a site in the middle of the main street and erected a large umbrella over the instruments. The Post Office was then upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 4 February 1892.

On 2 April 1892, the Western Mail noted that "the telegraph line, our first and only completed public work, is more than a success. It is a most profitable investment to the Government. Over eleven hundred messages have passed through this office this month".

In August 1894, Mr. J. O. Tepper was appointed Post & Telegraph Master to replace Mr Harvey.


Local group outside the Post & Telegraph Office about 1892.


Southern Cross Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.
The office was issued with three types of rubber oval date stamps for use with telegraphs:
  1. A rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO7-P&TO):

Used: November 1897 to 20 December 1899.

Size: 43 × 28 mm (e = 0.76).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 5.
A 90% complete example on a REGISTERED LETTER cover was sold at Status Auctions Sept 2016 Lot 2012.


November 1897 (ERD).

29 March 1898.

24 August 1899 .
Detail of the date stamp on the cover below.

22 October 1898.

Cover bearing the above oval RO7-P&TO date stamp of 24 August 1899.
  1. A rubber oval Post & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2-P&TO) -
    NOT RECORDED ELSEWHERE.

Used: 17 November ??.

Size:

Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


17 November ?? (only example recorded).
  1. A rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6-TO):

Used: 25 May 1904.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

Sth cross 1904
25 May 1904.
ACE Auctions, Sale 7 Lot 690.
  1. A rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO4-P&TO):

Used: about 1913.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

 

An unframed steel postal date stamp was also used on telegrams.

Unframed with two arcs around W.A.

Diameter 27 mm.

Southern Cross
19 December 1895.
Used on WC-DO-2B.

Walebing

A Post Office had opened on 18 December 1866. This Office was closed on 5 April 1870.

The Office was then rebuilt and reopened as a Post & Telegraph Office opened on 12 August 1896. The new Office was constructed with stone quarried on a nearby site. It was a repeater station to assist in the transmissions of telegraphic communications between Perth and Geraldton. 

   

West Northam.

The Northam Advertiser of 5 May 1900 reported on a visit by the Minister of Works:

"In reference to the new railway station at West Northam, the Minister stated that, as it would be provided with a Post and Telegraph Office, there could be no question about its being utilised by the postal department. A visit was then paid to the Public School and also to the Post and Telegraph Offices and, after consultation, it was agreed to effect desirable alterations and improvements in the Post and Telegraph Offices".

It is reported that the Post Office (presumably with a Telegraph Office) was opened at West Northam on 22 January 1901. It was apparently closed on 30 June 1901 and later reopened as an Administrative Office on 1 July 1903.

Given the following date stamp, the Office must have been operating before July 1903 and using the previous date stamp - although no evidence of a date stamp being used prior to June 1901 is known.

There is also evidence of the Post & Telegraph Office operating during the period cited above in which the office was alledgedly closed.

A rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6 - P&TO) was issued to the office. Previous descriptions only reference a sketch:

Used: 9 May 1903.

Size: ??

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


9 May 1903.
York.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 17 January 1872. The first telegraph post for the new line was erected on 14 March 1871 (Perth: Inquirer and Commercial News, 29 March 1871).

The call signal around the 1880s was Y.


York Post & Telegraph Office about 1950.
  1. a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6 - P&TO).

Used: 2 March 1903.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

 

York
2 March 1903.

York to New York. OHMS deleted.

Provenance: Mike Brachi.
Spink 19 May 2015, Vestey Collection Lot 453.

  1. a rubber Telegraph Office date stamp (RO2-TO):

Used: 25 July and 30 August 1904.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

 


25 July 1904.

 
30 August 1904.
  1. RO7 - P&TO.

Used: about 1906.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.