Beryl and Darral Leitch

Posted on Friday, 27 April, 2012 by [email protected]

Beryl Leitch interviewed by Jasmine Vidler at Manildra Library during Manildra Memories Day on 25 May 2007.

Darral’s father Bill Leitch leased the butcher’s shop in Manildra in July 1934.  Lived in a home in Orange Road, married Elsie. In December 1938 he bought a property on Sandy Creek Road.

In September 1941 he bought a house and baker’s shop, then bought butchers and another bakery.

He was a butcher, later a stock and station agent and had the mail run and was a carrier.

Darral Leitch pictured in his truck.  He worked as a carried, carted flour and feed from the mill, cattle, wheat, wool and hay from 1969 – 1990. The first truck was a D-Series Ford, cost $7,000 in 1969.  Beryl took this photo in November 1989.  Grandson Aaron Whiley is sitting on the back of the truck and Darral is in the driver’s seat.  It was taken in Deowrie and Cudal Streets, Manildra – the building is now the Rural Centre.  The business name was D.M Leitch.

(William Leitch)

Photograph of Darral’s father William Leitch (wife Elsie).

Manildra 1885

Posted on Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by [email protected]

On 12 September 1885 the Australian Town and County Journal, (p536) described Manildra:

This little village is situated midway between Orange and Parkes, on the Orange and Parkes road on the Mandagery Creek.

Business places
Three general stores, one butcher’s shop, two blacksmiths, one saw mill, a shoemaker’s shop, and two public houses.

One English place of worship, one Wesleyan, and one Roman Catholic, a progress committee, Good Templars’ debating club, and two public schools.

The climate
Is everything that could be desired for the preservation of good health and the fertility is highly adapted for agriculture.  There is a fine opening for a flour mill.

Ploughing match
The second annual ploughing match was held on 1st instant, in Mr J. Townsend’s paddock.  There were about 400 on the ground and a large field of competitors.  The All Comers’ Single Furrow Match was won by Geo. Whiley, with a McKenzie plough; second, P. Feffran, Fish plough; J. Whiley. third, Fish plough.  The Second class Single Furrow Match was won by E. Smith, with a Fish plough.  The Third class District Prize Match for Youths was won by W.G. Wren, Sewart plough; E. Allen second, with a McKenzie plough.

The All Comers’ Double Farrow Match was won by J. Townsend, with a McKenzie plough.  No second prize was awarded.

The Fifth class Double Farrow Match was won by J. Wren Jnr., with a McKenzie plough.  No second prize was awarded.

The Sixth class straightest Furrow Match was won by P. Heffernan; R. Coulter, second.  R. Coulter was likewise the recipient of a special prize (silver cup) for best work done on the ground by a district ploughman.

Draught stallion parades
There were eight noble-looking draught stallions paraded on the ground, of which Mr Isaac Bates’ Tasman took first prize; Mr E. Windus’ Sir Colin, pink ribbon.  The prize for the draught mares was won by H.J. Townsend.  The decision of the judges appeared to have given general satisfaction.  The prizes were duly paid over in the evening at the Junction Hotel, and several toasts were drunk highly complimenting the committee on the success of the day’s event.
Riach, Colin 1981, Let’s share a yarn or two: reminiscences of the Manildra/Gregra area, Robyn Livermore, Manildra N.S.W.

Manildra 1894

Posted on Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by [email protected]

In the Molong Express, 17 November 1894 Manildra was described as:

About the liveliest little place for thousands of miles around.  Everyone is welcomed with a smile and a hearty ‘Good Day!  I hope you are well’.

Our coming Mayor (Mr Griffith) is as lively as a kitten and full of business.  Alderman Pike is also in the best of spirits.

Our evergreen and obliging postmaster, Corporate Hanks always greets you with ‘I hope you’re quite well, and how are the children?’

Aldermen Whelan and Giffen look as young and fresh as they did thirty years ago and always meet you with a smile.

Our girls too, are the picture of health and beauty and can compare favourably with any girls under the sun.

The hostess of the ‘Coach and Horses’ always has a good square meal for you when you turn up at Manildra.

Riach, Colin 1981, Let’s share a yarn or two: reminiscences of the Manildra/Gregra area, Robyn Livermore, Manildra N.S.W.


Manildra Baptist Church

Posted on Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by [email protected]

Beryl Leitch was interviewed by Jasmine Vidler at Manildra Library during Manildra Memories Day on 25 May 2007 about the Baptist Church for Manildra and Molong. 


The Memorial Stone was laid in 1909 – this was a memorial plaque for young people. It was laid by Manildra resident George W Griffiths, at that time the Vice-President of the Baptist Union. Griffiths would go onto become President (1909-1910) and according to the Baptist Recorder was the first country layman to serve in that position.


These photos were taken by Beryl Leitch in November 2004 because they were going to demolish the church as the Lions Club had bought the land.

A giant nest was found inside the roof cavity. Beryl recalls that about a dozen people watched the demolition.

Beryl said ‘my daughter held the last wedding there in November 1991’ (Deanna Mackay and her husband David reside in Manildra).  The previous wedding was for Kim Jones held 15 years earlier. According to Beryl the last funeral held there was for Don Sutton in March 2002.


Watkin-Smith, H. ‘Concerning presidents from country churches’ The Baptist recorder, No 3 July 1997.


Memories from Gail (Angus) Knight

Posted on Thursday, 26 April, 2012 by [email protected]

If the first car in Manildra was owned by the doctor then I think it was a Clement Bayard.  The doctor was of German origin and the car was stored up on the Cudal Road near Bald Hills.  Those days the road went behind Ray Griffith’s place.  I believe Rec Ward and the German doctor had an attraction about the start of World War I (1914).

Fred Parson, born 1908, attended Manildra Central School in the teens, often talked of being allowed to stand and have a look out the window when a car went past.

I think Allan Tom got a license in 1918.

Another early Manildra motorist was Stan Wenban.  Stan had a very early Triumph motor bike, once having to push it over 20 miles from near Escort Rock to Manildra.  No NRMA roadside service in those days.

The Rutherford family from Nyrang had a 1910 Brazier car from new.

I believe Alan Angus was one of the first people in Manildra to own a Geiger counter.  As a boy I used to go prospecting for gold with him over the hills at Meranburn.

Alan Angus also invented “automatic cup links” for rail carriages and my Uncle Bill Lea made little carriages with “cup links”, which he and Alan took to Sydney with George Davis to have patented.  They were passed, so the men were very excited, however the Railways had just put a new cup link on the trains and thought it would be too expensive to change them at the time.

Alan Angus was offered a position in Mullion for the invention, but didn’t take up the offer.