Photos have surfaced of Testers Hollow in 1929, when a bus became trapped by floodwater and passengers had to be rescued by boat.
Pelaw Main resident Elizabeth Masterman possesses copies of photos of Testers Hollow from a Kurri Tidy Towns photo book project in the mid-1990s called ‘Visions of Yesterday’.
The photos show a bus heading towards Kurri becoming stuck in floodwater at the hollow, along with passengers being carried by boat to safety and two pit horses which pulled the bus out of the water.
The images match up with a story in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate from Wednesday, October 16, 1929 about a bus returning from East Maitland to Kurri becoming trapped in floodwater with eight passengers who had to be carried to safety through the water.
The article had a touch of déjà vu about it, going on to say “that this state of affairs should exist on a road that links up a population of over 30,000 with the Maitland and Newcastle districts is no credit to the Main Roads Board or to the Government”.
“No time should be lost in having the seriousness of the position, from a commercial and industrial point of view, placed once more before the Government by the local government councils concerned, with the object of having the road raised above flood height in order to give reasonable access during floods to a great district.”
Now almost 87 years and numerous floods later, the road has still not been raised.
After the bus became stuck, Rover Bus Company managed to secure a flood boat so passengers could continue to be transported according to the timetable as closely as possible.
Another photo from 1925 shows a man by the name of James Coates with a large fish he caught at Testers Hollow.
Do you know who might have taken the original photos? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 4990 1244.
Download, print and sign the petition below if you would like to see Testers Hollow raised. Signed petitions can be returned to The Advertiser office - 155 Vincent Street, Cessnock.