Alan Hynds’ Memories of Riverstone

by Alan Hynds

The Mason, Hession, Terry, Rouse and Hynds families are the pioneers of the Nelson and Rouse Hill District.

Our grandfather, James Hynds, our Dad’s father, helped cut roads in and around Nelson/ Rouse Hill to open up the land and some of the major roads there bear the names Hynds, Hession, Terry, Rouse and Mason.

Grandfather James Hynds married Carrie Roberts, our Grandmother, around the late 1880s. They had three children: our Dad, Wilfred born 1906, Alec born 1908 and Vincent born 1912, to the best of my memory. The three children were born in the family’s home in Blind Road, Nelson.

Grandfather James and a man named Frank worked in the bush around Nelson cutting timber for Rod and Noel Terry’s sawmill which was on the corner of Windsor and Garfield Roads, Rouse Hill. At that corner Rod and Noel also operated the weighbridge. All the farmers from Richmond, Windsor and surrounding districts, on their way to the Sydney Markets, would weigh their produce there. The weighbridge was open all hours seven days a week and most farmers would weigh their own load.

Grandmother Carrie had two sisters, Emily and Lucy. Emily married Frank Mason. They had four children, Monica, Dennis (Denny), Frank and Pat. Lucy never married. She lived alone in the Roberts family home on a Nelson Road, Rouse Hill acreage. There, she looked after six-eight cows, which she milked every day, raised chickens and roosters, cared for two cats and her dog named “Blue”.

Many times I peddled my Alban bike (bought from Denny Mason) from our Garfield Road home to cut wood for Lucy. I recall one day there was a bowl of rice custard pudding, which must have had a dozen eggs in it, sitting on her table. “No, you can’t have this one”, she said, “This is for Blue. I will have one ready for you after you have finished chopping the wood.” Lucy was still putting calves on to the cows well into her 70s.

Our home was on top of the Catholic Church hill at 774 Garfield Road, opposite the church. At 776 lived Brian and Vera Mason and their three children, Monica, Billy and Jan. On the other side of the cutting lived Emily and Frank and alongside them were their son Dennis, his wife Gwen and their five children, Margaret, Terry, Irene, Jean and Kay, all our second cousins.

Frank was a Gatekeeper at the Meatworks, where he was struck by a train and lost his arm from the shoulder down. His nickname, which he hated, became Wingy. Terry Mason and I were little devils and would call him “Wingy”. He would chase us round the paddock with a stockwhip. If he had ever caught us I might not be here today to tell the story!

Emily, or Massy, as she was known to all and sundry, would, almost every morning, walk down the track and “Cooee” to Gran. They would talk to each other across the road for an hour or more.

Mr James Hynd’s Snr. cottage on the Box Hill Estate photo from the Box Hill Farms Estate Sales Booklet 1919.
Box Hill Farms Estate (from Sales Booklet 1919)