Samphire River

The Samphire River is a beautiful tidal river. The bridge connecting the Coast Road to Badger Corner has recently been rebuilt and this is the second time I can recall. cropped-img_5548.jpg

The bridge was a big part of our childhood. So many hours fishing over the rails. Kids, fishing lines, push bikes and pets always a familiar sight on the bridge in the 70’s. I look forward to seeing the new model on my next trip home.

Once upon a time under the bridge lived an old Troll!! Many years ago the Robinson grandkids heard his calling ‘trip trap trip trap’ who goes there?? as we crossed the bridge on our way home from one of our evening walks…………….my sister and I caught only but a glimpse as we whisked our frightened children to the safety of the farm. From what we could see the Troll was not so old, about 6 foot 3, fair complexion with noticeable signs of early greying!!!! A small reminisce for Megs, Bec, Jack, Hayley and Marto for being the best kids (cousins) in the world  ♥ and putting up with your wicked Uncle!

Below are extracts about the first bridge across the Samphire – way back in the old days.IMG_5607

The Road Trust was the early name for the council. Jimmy Holt was one of the original members along with Fred Collis. William Holt elected in 1905. The following recently in the Island News.

The Examiner 14/10/1904 Tenders are to be called by the road trust for the bridge over Samphire River, in the south of the island. This is a long-felt want, and the trust are to be congratulated on taking the job on hand in a vigorous manner.

The Examiner 30/6/1905 A meeting of the road trust was held at the residence of the chairman (Mr. J. L. Vireaux) on Monday, the 5th inst. There were five members present, when the plans supplied by the Public Works Department for the proposed bridge over the Samphire River were submitted, and on the motion of Mr. G. Messner, it was decided to call fresh tenders for same, as those settlers who tendered on the old specifications declined to allow their tenders to be held against the new ones offered. The secretary was instructed to obtain permission for the board to reassess the properties on the island, as much dissatisfaction is expressed on all sides at the present assessments. It was also agreed that the board meet for the future until further notice at the Whitemark store every first Wednesday of the month.

The Examiner 11/10/1905 The ordinary meeting of the road trust was held at Whitemark yesterday, with six members present. A contract was let to Messrs. Dean and Briant to construct a bridge over the Samphire River, for the sum of £47 15s. Mr. W. Holt was instructed to get a culvert built over a dangerous part of the track between Whitemark and Trousers Point. A letter from L. Vireaux, re a culvert, was referred to the chairman and secretary to arrange. The secretary received instructions to write to the Minister of Lands re the proposed new road, or rather the re-opening of the old road which had been closed, to the Whitemark jetty, and to state that the trust were prepared to find £1 for £1, as suggested by him, towards the probable cost of same. Correspondence was read and dealt with from the Deputy Commissioner of Taxes, and the local authority of the Ringarooma district anent the proposal to form the Straits Islands into a separate assessment district. After some discussion this business was left in the hands of the deputy chairman, Mr. G. Messner, to communicate with Messrs. V. Huitfeldt, W. H. Ferguson, T. W. Barrett, and E. Stephens, J.s.P., with a view to obtain their co-operation and get the properties valued. Mr. G. Messner was elected deputy-chairman in the place of Mr. J. L. Vireaux, sen., who obtains temporary leave of absence. The treasurer presented his statement, which was found satisfactory, it being decided to wait until another meeting before taking the necessary steps towards recovering out-standing rates.

The Examiner 1/12/1905 Pleasing intelligence is to hand re the bridge over Samphire River. The contractors (Messrs. Dean and Briant) are progressing favorably with the work, and are making a good job.

The Examiner 30/1/1906 The contractors for the Samphire River bridge, which is just completed (Messrs. Dean and Briant) are to be commended for the workmanlike manner in which the structure has been erected. It is to be hoped that the settlers living near will have better luck than those near the Pat’s River bridge, and not have it burned down, as was the latter one. The means for the erection of these useful and most necessary improvements are evidently as scarce in the Government coffers as on Flinders Island.

I know my Grandfather Barry Briant built the first bridge and Dean I think was George, they lived on either side of the river.

The probable author for all the news on Southern Flinders sounds like Ed Stephens who in a earlier life had been a journalist.

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