Travelling to Glen in 1884

Christina Kay with the children at the manse beside St Andrews Presbyterian Church, now part of the Public School.

Christina Kay with the children at the manse beside St Andrews Presbyterian Church, now part of the Public School.

Christina Kay made the trip to Glen Innes following her marriage to Presbyterian minister the Rev Robert Kay in 1884.

He was an assistant to the Rev Archibald Cameron.

Mrs Kay described the journey, which took her by boat to Newcastle as there was no Hawkesbury River Bridge in those days, then by train from Newcastle to Armidale, before completing the trip by coal wagon then a buggy.

"On arrival at Armidale passengers were informed that was as far as the passenger train could go and that anyone wishing to travel further would have to make their own arrangements," Mrs Kay wrote.

"My husband roamed around the construction camp site and heard that an engine would be going along the track later that day and that a coal wagon could be coupled to it.

"If we wished to go further, we could travel in the wagon.

"So, we and a few others loaded our belongings onto the coal wagon, with all our trunks, bedding etc, and when the time came, we climbed aboard, the engine was coupled, and we started on the next stage of our journey. All on board the truck were kept busy putting out sparks which kept falling on the bedding.

"There was only one other woman on the trip who was going to join her husband at the construction site.

When we arrived at Ben Lomond mountain, we were again informed that was as far as the engine was going.

Christina Kay

"When we arrived at Ben Lomond mountain, we were again informed that was as far as the engine was going.

"After the engine was uncoupled, we stayed in the truck which with a little help began to roll down Ben Lomond and on nearing Glencoe started to ease a little.

"However, it was then we noticed another engine on the track was coming towards us, luckily the driver saw us and reversed out of the way til we came to a halt.

"Glencoe was as far as we wished to go as my husband had his buggy and horses stabled with a friend at the hotel.

"All the other travellers followed us into the hotel where we were all fed as it had been a long and tiring day. After a rest at Glencoe, we continued on the last leg of our trip to Glen Innes by buggy.

"It was shortly after this the line from Newcastle through to Glen Innes was completed."