Travel Stories (from Unit 2: Travel and Transport)

The extracts below give a good picture of the difficulties of transport in the late 1800s.

Read one or both of these stories to the students, then ask them to write their own short story about an interesting event that happened to them when travelling to or from school…

'Miss Sophie Campbell was a lovely young woman aged twenty-eight years and a splended equestrienne, well liked by all the staff at Duntroon. One morning in 1885 word came out that she had had a stroke. Mrs Campbell sent word for my father to take one of the thoroughbred horses from the stables and ride to Yass for a doctor, the nearest medical assistance.

My father rode the horse as far as McAulliffe's place at Murrumbateman, changed horses and rode on to Yass where he informed the doctor of the problem, helped him with his buggy and horses and rode on ahead to McAulliffe's where he remounted the rested horse and continued on to Duntroon. After the doctor arrived my father and several of the men were sent to the Molonglo River to bottle leaches which were applied to Miss Campbell but without avail. She passed away a couple of days later."*

and another

'Ada used to walk to school on her own from Duntroon to St John's Church daily. One hot morning during summer she was dancing along the road with her shilling school money tied in the corner of her handkerchief swinging it around and on the small bridge over the creek at Blamey Crescent she saw a large black snake sunning itself on the path. The hankie and shilling went flying and she detoured and arrived home that afternoon from school to tell my parents the story. Father went over to the area to find her hankie and shilling but there was not a sign of either. We always joked over this event and said the snake swallowed both hankie and shilling.'*

* Curley, Sylvia. 1998. A Long Journey, Canberra, ACT Government