Stringybark creek

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Re: Stringybark creek

Post  Bill Denheld on Thu 24 Jan - 14:34:29

Dear readers,

Regarding SBC is a Spring ( permanent ground water supply)

Many Mansfield residents will remember Bill Stewart. Bill as a young man had built the sawmill over the Kelly hut camp at Kellys Ck I think during 1928/29. Bill's father would take visitors into Kellys Ck around 1910 to show them the Kelly camp and the Kelly target tree. As far as I was aware Bill was a most knowledgeable and respected Kelly and local historian right up till he died in 1991 aged 89.

In 1979 my immediate neighbour was Mr.Keven Shanks who had moved to Croydon from Mansfield, and had purchased the house right next to us in Mt View Parade. Years later in 1985 I became interested in the Kelly story and I showed Kevin some bullet lead I had found metal detecting at Kelly's Creek. Kevin was somewhat surprised at the items I had found, and Kevin said there was a man I must meet. Kevin's previous neighbour in Mansfield was non other than Bill Stewart. Shortly later I met Bill then aged 81. I picked Bill up and we drove to Kelly's Ck to show him where I had found the bullet lead, all within shooting distance of the target tree. Bill was not able to trek like we had done earlier directly up Kelly's Creek from the Tatong road, instead he guided me along what was then an almost impassable overgrown track and we bush bashed our way in not realising what damage I was doing to our car and we went as far as we could go. Bill was prepared to walk the rest. He showed us where the Kelly hut had stood in relationship to where I had detected the bullets, considering the hut was the centre of the Kelly target practice. Bill was suitably impressed by what I showed him as he said that I must have been one of the very few to located the Kelly's camp for many a year without local knowledge.

At Kelly's creek Bill Stewart showed me the "spring just below the old hut site". This day I will not forget as Bill was only removed from the events there by only one generation. He knew well the Byrne's at Tolmie where the Kelly brothers used to come for tea and have their horses shod. Bill would certainly have known the Engelke family living at the top end of SBC, the Beasleys, the Brond's and the Healy's. Bill's daughter Val Kirly of Mansfield told me with the passing of Bill, he was the last of the generation that knew what the local Kelly story was about, and experienced the aftermath first hand. Bill told me he had always been a sympathiser for the Kellys even though it got him into a lot of trouble.
On our way back home that day Bill directed me to turn right - up SBC road to the very top of the hill before we could turn around and he began to explain what had happened at StringyBark Creek. But as the day was nearing, and I still had hours to drive home, we did not have time except as we drove down SBC road, Bill pointed to the right "somewhere in was where the Kellys shot the police". He mentioned the police had camped near two huts that were there because of a fresh water spring, 'just like' the hut at Kellys Ck, they always built huts right next to a fresh water source he re inforced. He pulled me up pointing at the bush and we were nowhere near the current Kelly tree picnic ground which was stiil way down the road from where we had stopped.

It would be seventeen years later that I re kindled my interest in StringyBark Creek after I had been given Ian Jones's book Ned Kelly for my birthday. So, if you want to take issue with me about whether or not SBC was a Spring, you are also disputing one very important local entity old Bill Stewart, but unfortunately he is no longer here to tell his story. This SBC Spring story is now oral history that did not originate from me nor Bill Stewart, for he knew and I have to pass that on. In time I hope to be able to get in there and prove, when the upper part of SBC dries up, that the creek course near the two huts continue to flow proving SBC is a spring.

The image below is one of three page article showing Bill Stewart and his wife Queenie Nov 1985.
If you cannot see the picture 'copy and paste' only the bold text
w w w dot

Last edited by Bill Denheld on Tue 12 Mar - 9:32:46; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : To allow non members seeing the picture URLs as this webpage blocks the casual visiter from seeing these links)

Bill Denheld

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Re: Stringybark creek

Post  Glenn Standing on Fri 25 Jan - 10:51:23

Smoke and mirrors.

Sorry Bill,

It is an interesting story you have told. Thanks for the image. No doubt Bill Stewart was a well known local identity and a very interesting character.
However 18yrs is a long time and the exact wording Bill Stewart used could have since been, to coin a phrase “been embellished or modified by tricks of the memory”

You yourself refer to a spring and a creek as two separate identities.
Quote: “In 2003 it was still possible to venture up the creek to identify the possible area of the 'Spring' ”
Quote: “In time I hope to be able to get in there and prove, when the upper part of SBC dries up, that the creek course near the two huts continue to flow proving SBC is a spring.”

The source of the creek may be partially made up from a spring but as already been discussed a spring and a creek are two separate identities.
Guess that’s why Kelly’s Creek and Stringybark Creek are both named creeks. What you are in effect saying is that SBC should be Stringybark Spring.

Quote: “Perhaps together we should spend a day to source the exact spot of the spring.”
Yes Bill, I would be pleased to spend a day together to source the exact location of the spring. We could have a good natter as well.

By all accounts it would be located much further up the creek nearer to the top of the SBC road on what was the Engelke property. Until then you cannot verify the location of the spring.

No spring. No site.


Glenn Standing

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Re: Stringybark creek

Post  Bill Denheld on Fri 25 Jan - 15:06:34

I will continue to provide relevant material in support of my findings so the readers on this forum can make up their own minds.

Glenn, regarding a spring meeting, that would be good except the area is now so over grown it would be too difficult to get in at the lower levels where the spring would be unless we use brush cutters.


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Re: Stringybark creek

Post  Glenn Standing on Fri 25 Jan - 16:37:26

Thank you Bill.

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Re: Stringybark creek

Post  Kelvyn on Sun 27 Jan - 16:32:18

A quote from above posting:
"Are you aware Gary may have changed his mind about the CSI location ?"
More misunderstanding to say it politely.
I am in quite regular contact with Gary, and the allegation made is absolute paddock manure from a large animal.
Interesting that Gary still sells, and has had to have reprinted recently, the team's CSI@SBC report at which time he was quite free to have his name removed from it!! or request it be amended to indicate that he has now "changed his mind".
What a great way to try and "debate" the topic - continual use of names does nothing for the furthering of reasoned factually based discussion.
let it be clearly noted that the team has not deviated from the findings made originally, and in fact additional relevant material subsequently added (eg the identification of the active spring); and with still a couple of further matters of evidence to be revealed soon.
"Debate" is a waste of time in this place.
Sine die.


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Re: Stringybark creek

Post  Kelvyn on Mon 17 Feb - 14:57:35

There is ongoing "debate" about SBC at the NKF Forum - its interesting, and recently Poorflower has certainly re-ignited the issue of the Burman photographs wherein there is - the standing man, the lack of piles of stones v low grass and so on.
So go and contribute as you wish.
Slander has raised its profile also here and there is no prize for guessing the origin of the charge made.


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Creek or spring?

Post  joey. on Wed 26 Mar - 21:49:49

STRINGYBARK CREEK - spring or Creek?

Although there is no real importance in the creek or spring, it is relevant to the story.  Recently there’s been a growing debate as to whether the creek is a spring or the spring is a creek –  
The debate I must admit is interesting. However, one’s theory/conclusion is fast becoming forceful in the hope that a certain individual can convince his audience that Stringybark creek is in fact a spring.

So is Stringybark Creek a “spring” or a “creek”? The answer is simple.

Read on…

1) Keith McMenomy P.92 (2001 ed)
Survey map 1884 - clearly reads Stringybark creek – NOT a spring.

Clearly reads Stringybark Creek – NOT a spring

3) Henry Sparrow (Mt. Battery station/overseer)
“I proceeded to the camp on Stringybark creek”  
Sparrow’s sworn statement – clearly identifies the water source to be a creek.

4) James Tomkins (President shire council, Mansfield)
“We proceeded to the camp at Stringybark creek where the police murders took place.
Tomkins sworn statement – member of the search party for Kennedys’ body clearly identifies the water source as a creek.

5) J.J. Kenneally P.59 (1969 ed)
On Thursday morning the search party widened out consistently, and at 8 o’clock a farmer named Tomkins, crossing the Stringybark creek, come across Kennedy’s body a ¼ of a mile from where McIntyre had sworn he had surrendered.
Again SBC is referred to as a creek – NOT a spring

6) J.J. Kenneally P.57
Kennedy’s body was not discovered until the following Thursday 5 days after the tragedy about a ¼ of a mile, and across the creek from where Scanlan had fallen.
Kennelly obviously knew the water source was in fact SBC – and NOT a spring

7) McIntyre’s typescript memoirs - P.16 (SLV version)
Threw out my arms in a horizontal position, immediately I did so he shifted the muzzle of his gun slightly to the right without taking it from his shoulder and shot Lonigan, who had started to run partly towards and partly down the creek.
McIntyre – makes NO reference to the creek being a spring

8.) McIntyre’s typescript memoirs - P.24 (SLV version)
During his conversation Kelly was kneeling on one knee behind the log and in looking down the creek.
McIntyre – makes NO reference to the creek being a spring.

9) McIntyre’s memoirs – P.23 (Vic police version)
During the above conversation Kelly was kneeling on one knee behind the log and in looking down the creek.
Many years later McIntyre – still makes NO reference to the creek being a spring.

10) McIntyre’s memoirs – P.24 (Vic police version)  
I thought several times of making a bolt for it, trusting to fate and hoping to meet the men down the creek
Again McIntyre refers to SBC as a creek – NOT a spring.

11) Pewtress to CCP – Letter dated 31-10.1878
Since my report to you on Monday night, I organized a party of 11 volunteers and 6 constables. Started on Tuesday morning for the stringybark creek, and searched for Kennedy until dark without success. We returned to Mansfield at midnight. I got together another party of 16 volunteers yesterday afternoon and with 5 constables proceeded to Monks hut. Stopped their all night, and started for Stringybark creek this morning at daybreak.
Pewtress clearly states creek - twice

12) The Argus 28/10/1878
News has just reached Mansfield that Constables Lonigan and Scanlan have been shot dead by four bushrangers at Stringybark creek about twenty miles from here. Constable McIntyre escaped, and has just arrived with the intelligence. His horse, however, was shot down from under him. Sergeant Kennedy is also missing. Sub inspector Pewtress, Dr Reynolds, Mr Collopy and others left just now on horseback to scour the country in search of the murderers, and to bring home the dead bodies. The bushrangers are supposed to be the notorious Kelly's party, for whom the constables were in search.
The media also refers to SBC as a creek

13) Geoscience Australia  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

NOTE: In the empty fields input the following…

Place name: stringybark
Place Type:  select from the drop down menu- watercourses  
State: select from the drop down menu- Victoria
Click on search….

A new page will open – And as a matter of interest click on FEATURE CODE – see image below.

James Winter – Addresses the following letter to Inspector Nicolson
Dated: 18/10/1878

Sir As the information may be of service and is not known to the Police, I beg to inform you that directly on this line of Country between String Bark Creek and Euroa on the Blue Range near the Hills Hole Diggings there is a “cave” which such persons as the “Kellys” might stay for years if they had provisions supplied without the fear of ever being found out except by accident I will try to describe the place as well as I can & perhaps it might be worth while for the Police to pay this place a visit. Of course you will keep my name out of any instructions you may give as if by any chance these fellows friends knew it would be easy to burn my establishment out. I hear that there are a good many of their relations near here farming, so I will rely on this being perfectly private The spur I mean is at the head of the Glen Creek on the “Junction Station” and is close to the “Gap” in the Blue Ranges going over to “Baryang” By running up the “Tangalooke” Creek, past Hills Hole and keeping all the Creek on the N. W. until the Gap looking over to the Glen Creek is reached, then keeping to top of the Range, until the first spur is reached leading towards Glen Creek and on the top of this spur which is abrupt at the point the “Cave” [missing] I can recollect is about 20 or 30 yards [missing], I have been in it some 24 yards and it presents the appearance of an “extinct Volcano” There are some very high rocks just above it I will try to draw the situation but don’t say I will succeed I hope this information may be of service and that you may have the honor of stopping these fellows foul careers
Believe me
Yours faithfully,  
James Winter

Source: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
VPRS 4969 Consignment P0 Unit 2 Item 72

So there you have it – Stringybark creek is in fact a creek. It has been referred to as a creek since it’s early occupation.
Local council’s/authorities, surveyors & mapmakers have all indexed SBC as a creek.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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More creek than spring

Post  brian murphy on Sun 30 Mar - 9:47:20

Joey, Joey, joey indeed that's what we call a hammering. Nevertheless well researched and put together. I'm keeping my eye on you.

brian murphy

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body of water

Post  mitchell o'conner on Mon 31 Mar - 11:23:07

To all related parties.
Bill, Joey and the csi group. Excellent points made by all. However, why is it so difficult to agree on a single body of water? surely a spring can and without doubt be easily recognised, after all, it's a seeping hole in the ground.
At this stage from what I read online (Google searches) the creek may in fact be the extended link of what Bill calls a spring.

Joey, Sparow and Tomkins sworn statement you have not quoted it's source.

mitchell o'conner

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Re: Stringybark creek

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