Thanks to blog follower Mary, I have discovered a series of online stories about past Hydro workers some of whom helped build the Tarraleah Canal No 1 and others who lived near other electricity generating power stations along the Derwent River. These short stories make interesting reading and include photographs of the people and places.
I recommend you look at Hydro Tasmania’s site where the son of Jack Warren records his history. The photo below from that site shows Jack at Canal No 1 in 1935.
Simon Stansbie’s record of growing up at Wayatinah can be read on the Hydro Tasmania’s website. Ian Berry tells us what it was like to grow up at Butlers Gorge (where the Clark Dam was built to hold back the waters of Lake King William). You can read this and see photos at Hydro Tasmania’s site.
Collectively these stories give a little insight into the human reality of living and working in remote central Tasmania to create the extraordinary electricity generating infrastructure last century which used the waters of the Derwent River.
Heather Felton published a book, which tells these and other stories of the people of ‘The Hydro’. Read more about the book: The Ticklebelly Tales.
Information about the book launch can be read in issues of the Cultural Heritage Program Newsletter ; and at a second site.
I am not sure what the word ‘Tickleberry’ refers to. Do I have any blog followers with this knowledge? According to Wikipedia part of Tarraleah, the area for the married quarters of the original community, was known as Tickleberry Flat. In addition, during my walks I know that I have passed an area mapped as Tickleberry Flat which is south east of Curringa Farm, and almost south of the town of Hamilton mid-way along Meadowbank Lake – a long way from Tarraleah. In New Norfolk Tickleberry Farm grows raspberries. The name Tickleberry comes up in many internet searches. The Brighton, Central Highlands, Derwent Valley and Southern Midlands Councils Joint Land Use Planning Initiative – Stage 2 Heritage Management Plan tells us “Hydro-electric power schemes which commenced in the early 1910s saw the development of construction villages across the highlands at Waddamana (from 1911), Shannon (1925), Tarraleah (1934), Tickleberry Flats (1935), Butlers Gorge (1938), Bronte Park (1948) and Wayatinah (1952). As these small communities grew, schools, shops, community halls, medical facilities and offices were established.”
After all of this, I still wonder what the original meaning of Tickleberry is: maybe someone’s name or a common name for a plant.
It’s actually “Ticklebelly” – not “berry”. It most likely refers to the custom of catching trout by tickling their bellies to subdue them. I grew up in Tarraleah and trout fishing, (mostly by conventional, legal means!) was a popular pastime. Incidentally, I am in the picture of the Tarraleah athletic team in the article submitted by Ross Warren (whom I remember very well) I am second row from the bottom, second from the right. I was Susan Johnston – my father was Deputy Superintendant at Tungatinah Power Station. For some reason his name does not even rate a mention in “Ticklebelly Tales”.
Hi Susan Thanks for the correction. I must have been on autopilot when I typed that. Thanks for all your information. Cheers