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  • Writer's pictureBeverley Skurulis

Roy Hill Station.

Updated: Feb 29

No.22.   in my series of short stories.

No.286. SOLD. Roy Hill Station is one of Australia's major resource-based operations, currently producing 60Million tonnes per annum of iron ore for international markets from the low phosphorus Marra Mamba iron ore deposit.

Roy Hill is on the Nullagine to MeekatharraRoad in WA.

Post office for all surrounding cattle stations
Roy Hill Station Post Office

My family spent so much time at Roy Hill from the 1970's through to 2003.

30 years before Gina Rhinehart of Hancock Mining started the iron ore mine.

Picking up so much early settler furniture from this station, the P/Office pigeon holes and Roll Top Desk, my unique mustering tables one is 16feet long, they are all used every day by me in m office and gallery, most are made out of Oregon timber.

In the early 1900's cattle stations from miles around would once a month fly in and land on the station runway and pick up their mail from this old corrugated iron Post Office above.

The Fortescue River flowed near by and once or twice flooded the quarters and post office, so they stilted their updated living quarters off the ground when they replaced them, we walked up a scorching hot steel ramp and risen deck with access to each room.

The original homestead was still there, though uninhabited except for the light aeroplane they used to keep on the verandah. There was a huge underground swimming pool that someone forgot to put water in, it was buckled and twisted in the ground due to the intense heat, and regularly had a few added smelly dead animals in the bottom.

At mustering time we would put boxes of cornflour in the gyrocopter and fly up and hurl the boxes down in front of the cattle, hitting the ground with a big puff of white powder would surely turn the beasts in their tracks. It was extremely harsh terrain and that was an easy way to help with the muster.

I usually had a phone around, to some of the stations a day or two before we left town to go outback, so that my electrician husband could purchase any electrical equipment he may need to do repairs on the stations.

My husband and I had arrived at Roy Hill station on a blistering hot day we had done a tyre and we were standing under the front verandah of the post office (above painting) having a conversation with Murray Kennedy (owner) he had a set of new tyres and told us we could have them as we had done so much around the station for no cost over the years.

I commented how damn hot it was and Murray said, well just go inside it may be cooler in there. Oh my goodness what a find so much to see so much to go through.

Going into this old post office was like a step back in time, cob webs, spiders, bats, maybe a snake so I really had to be cautious, this was all like something you would see in a horror movie. Tea Chests stacked on top of each other and full of old party line telephones, old cots and beds made out of old iron gates, old radiograms and wirelesses, horse nail boxes, an old copper, LP records twisted from the heat, hundreds of old bottles in so many stunning colours, it was an absolute delight for a fossicker like me, and such a shame that the white ants had eaten so much of the timber stuff including the old wall phones with only the bakelite mouth and hand pieces left.

When I spoke to Murray about it all he said I could go through and take whatever I liked, as he was sick of tourists coming in asking for it only to want to sell it on and make a quid. We only took what we knew we would use on a daily basis and oh boy do I use it.

I find it hard to believe that this was all so long ago 40-50years my goodness. So I do need to do these blogs as the memories come back to me. Enjoy.

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