Bushranger Ned Kelly once passed through Shepparton but was nice enough to spare the bank.KAREN PARKER December 6, 2012 10:15am
Shepparton amateur historian John Gribben on a balcony of the Commonwealth Bank, the site of where Rowe's Drapery Store used to be.
Ask anyone with ancestors in Kelly country and they will have a story about when the Kelly gang came through.
Ned Kelly, the 19th century bushranger, holds a strong place in the Australian story and Shepparton is part of the story.
He did not hold up our bank or stage a shootout here, but there are numerous stories about when Ned came to town.
The story intrigued people then and it still does now.
Shepparton Heritage Centre secretary Peter Ford is certain the Kelly gang did come to town.
He said in response to earlier Kelly gang robberies, the Victorian Garrison Artillery was sent to Shepparton in 1879 to guard Shepparton banks.
Troopers were stationed at A. F. Rowe’s Drapery Store, now the site of the Commonwealth Bank, on the corner of Wyndham and High Sts.
Mr Ford said a hole cut in the side of Rowe’s store was used as a lookout by the Artillery.
He referred to a 1938 Shepparton centenary issue of The News, which quoted long-time local Mrs A. Scott.
‘‘Ned Kelly came to Shepparton. He pulled up in a dray at Rowe’s, got his groceries, and went off,’’ Mrs Scott was reported as saying.
Local history enthusiast John Gribben yesterday told how the Kellys came to town after the Jerilderie bank robbery. He said according to folklore they tacked a notice up addressed to John White, manager of the Bank of Victoria, now the site of Bullion Bar.
‘‘John White, the Kellys won’t harm you,’’ the notice said.
Apparently, Mr White had once helped Kelly over a cheque transaction and this favour was not forgotten by the infamous outlaw.
There are many more stories surrounding the Kelly gang in our area.
Contemporary newspapers reported the whole district was in a state of alarm, but also intrigued.
False alarms were a regular occurrence.
One was reported by The News on May 22 1879.
Local policeman Sergeant Harding rode with a group of concerned citizens ‘‘with high hopes and wildly pulsating hearts’’ to the location where the Kelly gang was thought to be camped.
On arrival, the men were ordered to ‘‘throw up their arms and surrender in the name of Her Majesty’’.
But the men were not the Kelly gang and gave satisfactory explanations.
The News report continued: ‘‘While the police may regard the affair as a ludicrous mistake to have made, it has, however, called forth an exhibition of tact and bravery.’’
Mr Ford and Mr Gribben told local stories of the Kelly gang passing through the area.
Mr Ford recounted a story of the Kelly gang visiting a local farmhouse where the wife was baking a cake.
She was so afraid of being robbed she placed her jewellery in the cake mix.
Mr Gribben’s stories were of the Kelly gang camping on the Goulburn River at Arcadia, Ned visiting his aunt at Ardmona after the Jerilderie robbery and the Ryan relatives at Dookie supplying horses to the gang.
It seems every town in Kelly country wants to be part of the Kelly folklore.
Shepparton definitely has a place in that folklore.
A car and truck have collided at Barmah-Shepparton Rd in Bunbartha near Medland Rd. Both lanes are closed and people are asked to avoid the area.
The first preliminary final on Saturday saw the Tungamah seniors start their campaign against Waaia at the Rennie Recreation Reserve.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
THREE words were chanted in unison at Hopwood Gardens, Echuca on Thursday night — bring them here.
TRUCKS, cars and vintage machinery took over Rochester Recreation Reserve on Tuesday last week.
KYABRAM’S Margaret and Leonard Flint have come a long way since meeting in the early 1950s.
Avenel win over Nagambie to take top spot
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
YOU probably wouldn’t expect to find an intensive care nurse running an award winning hotel and brewery, but that’s exactly what you will find when you visit Tooborac.
The preparations for the 10th Cobram Swap Meet have been given a boost with a brand new line marker. The Rotary Club of Cobram, which organise the swap meet, applied for a volunteer grant from the Federal Government, from which it received $4600.
At 77 years of age, popular local golfer Paul ‘Tango’ has claimed his second hole-in-one.
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.