Community effort reviving a precious part of Ballarat
The article in The Courier “River regains brighter life” was a great read.
As one who was raised very lose to the junction of the Redan and Yarrowee creeks at the top end of Sebastopol and having played with many other kids for countless hours around ‘the creek’ just after the Second World War I can assure the readers that ‘the creek’ was very much neglected at that time. There were plenty of rabbits, foxes and a snake or two to be found around ‘the creek’ along with plenty of blackberry and gorse bushes.
It was not uncommon to see men and boys catching and taking home a rabbit or two for the evening meal, all from around ‘the creek’.
This particular section was also home to the Star of the East No 2 shaft of a gold mine and above the cliff adjacent to Orion street stood the largest gold crushing battery in the district. This mining activity saw much pollution from the tailings dams and cyanide tanks on the shores of ‘the creek’.
Much of Ballarat and certainly all of Sebastopol had no sewerage so all of the effluent including waste water from the kitchen sink, the bathroom and the wash house all found its way down to ‘the creek’.
Now, besides all of this the effluent from much of the city and certainly the woollen mills and tannery’s (and there was a good number of them,) all sent their waste down ‘the creek’.
One might say that the word Yarrowee was rarely used due to the fact that the Yarrowee creek was nothing short of a stinking drain at the bottom end of the city.
I can assure the reader that ‘Sebas’ had a bad reputation because of ‘the creek’.
One could guarantee that there would be a great big ‘pong’ hanging over ‘Sebas’ on a hot summers night.
Boy, it sure did stink.
So now may I congratulate all involved with the updating of the Yarrowee Creek and I am told that there are a few fish around these parts.
Paul Jenkins, Alfredton