Local newspapers provide an invaluable source of information for historians. The early journalists had a way with words and often a quirky sense of humour as the following snippets from the Windsor and Richmond Gazette show.
27 February 1892
Wednesday afternoon is a great day in our little town…. – Horse racing on the railway parade, cricket in Mr Richards’ paddock, picnic parties on the creek, and frequently the burly form of the “Only George” dashing down the road, enveloped in a cloud of dust, the gravel flying from the heels of his maddened steed like hail. High above his chariot may be seen a huge bundle of fishing-rods, tapering towards the Heavens, and as the vehicle bounds over 3 foot logs in its headlong course, the rods sway like a field of sugar cane in a gale of wind…
8 July 1893
The weather has been very severe here during the week, and on Tuesday morning it was particularly so. Ice more than half an inch thick was seen on that morning, and it is reckoned that the cold was more intense than it has ever been for years. Benny Woods was engaged in conversation with a passer-by shortly after 6 a.m. when his words simply “froze” as they came from his lips, and one jawbreaker fell on his companion’s foot that made the victim howl….
4 December 1897
A couple of local residents got together early last Saturday morning, with the result that both carry slight abrasions on the chivvy. Rough and tumble contests are disagreeable at any time, but especially when one’s face tries to smooth down the gravel.
7 August 1914
Riverstone people complain bitterly at the condition of the streets, or bogs, as they are termed here. On the Windsor-Riverstone road (Garfield Rd) in front of Mr Bambridge’s store there is a gully almost long enough and deep enough for a regiment of French infantry to entrench in, and in wet weather it becomes a brawling young river. Near this spot on the footpath there is a chasm which is nothing more nor less than a trap on a dark night and if anybody falls into it they might get lost…
7 August 1914
For originality Riverstone children are hard to beat. At a recent birthday party a road competition was suggested. Hereunder are a few of the questions suggested, with the answers appended:
Q: Why do they call the thoroughfare from the railway station to the road “Cinderella Place”?
A: Because so many young ladies, coming home from business by the evening train lose their shoes in the mud…
Q: What do you think the camera operator of a film company recently took photos of Riverstone for?
A: To get the scenery for a picture entitled ‘Venice’…
17 January 1930
The well-known Riverstone pacer, Ella Huon, which had two engagements at the Harold Park trotting meeting on Monday afternoon, got away from her stall early that morning and apparently wandered round the streets for many hours. Evidently she thought that a day round the shops would be much nicer than a hard afternoon’s work on the track. So she took the day off.