In the previous issue, I mentioned that I had received a number of letters from readers submitting their memories. In this issue regular contributor Ron Schofield of Baulkham Hills has written about a property called “Apple Grove” and here is his story.

“Burragorang Valley west of Sydney, near the towns of Camden and The Oaks was where my Dad and younger brother, Geoff, used to go camping. We enjoyed the peace and quiet and the beauty of the valley with the fast flowing Wollondilly River and the valley was always teaming with wild life which made our camping most enjoyable.

After completing my apprenticeship as a carpenter, my Dad and I won a contract with Sydney Water Board to remove one of the farm houses and leave the site clean and tidy to make way for the catchment area of the Warragamba Dam which was nearing completion.

The year was 1959, and our plan was to dismantle this seven room timber framed farm house named ‘Apple Grove’ and rebuild the house on a block of land at Vineyard Ave Smithfield, an outer suburb of Sydney. The house was very well built with high ceilings (3 metres) and timber weather boards on the outside and timber boxed frame windows and a high pitched roof with corrugated iron roofing.

Inside the house, the floor boards were wide with timber lining boards on the walls up to 1.2 metres and fibro lining above with timber lining boards on the ceiling.

Our contracted time was six months and every weekend after our normal working week in Sydney, on Friday evenings we would travel to the valley and work to dismantle the house and transport the materials back to Smithfield on our 3 ton table top truck which we had purchased.

The work of demolishing the house was very constant and after 5½ months we were able to leave the site clean and tidy.

The job of rebuilding the house at Smithfield was mainly undertaken by contractors and on the satisfactory completion the house was rented. It was a wonderful feeling to know that we were able to do our little bit to help keep clean water supplying Sydney .”

Good Memories from Ron Schofield
Other letters that I have received will appear in a future issue of this magazine.

On another note, having sold our election business, my wife and I have been spending time reorganising our office and have discovered some historical articles I had written and published more than 20 years ago and will pick out some for republishing in this magazine. I hope that you enjoy reminiscing the past.

Don’t forget to contribute your memories and also any old photographs that you would like to see published in this magazine’s “as we were” section.


You can write about childhood memories of where you may have grown up or moving into the area. Tell us about your school days. Where you worked, played or went on holidays; your first car; that first date, getting married or maybe the history of your family, group or organisation in the district. This page is about memories so tell us yours.

If you have some great memories, or perhaps you belong to a local community organisation and would like to share your organisation’s history or story with us then feel free to share your memories or experiences by writing to 17 Rose St, Baulkham Hills, NSW, 2153 or email to [email protected]

You can also share memories on any of my Facebook memories groups including Hills District Memories at or Hawkesbury Happenings & Memories at Hawkesmemories.