They played tennis, swam in the local waterhole and even just walking to and from school has created memories to last a lifetime.
Companionship is one important value these children shared. It didn’t seem to matter if they were working together husking corn, milking cows or clowning around on their way to school. They seem happy and contented if they were together. Hard work didn’t worry them either. They just took it in their stride and lived each day to the full by happily combining work and play.
Bradley’s Sawmill was pioneered by Thomas Cantrell Bradley, father of Mona,Ossie, Reginald and Enid. After moving from Sydney to the Yarramalong Valley, Thomas formed a saw mill at Brush Creek, with timber transported to the area via bullock wagon.
Night times growing up as children was reserved for preparing timber cases for fruit, and the family also spent their time husking corn. Nine cows were to be milked before breakfast each morning and the cream separated.
A horse and buggy were used for regular trips into Wyong to buy supplies. Even though there was always lots of work to be done by the Bradley children they also had many fun times. Travelling into town was always a special event and attending the various dances at different local towns.
In 1942 Reginald Bradley went to war, and upon his return took over ownership of the Bradley’s Sawmill. The business was very much family-orientated, with Ossie working on the fruit cases for the orchards whilst Reginald made picket fences. As the site was also a steam plant, steam was used up until 1942, when machinery was introduced to the mill. All equipment used on the Bradley’s Mill up to this point was made by Thomas Bradley at the Sydney Foundry.
The Bradley house was built by hand using long sheets of wood sliced off the trees. The top section of the house can no longer be seen in Yarramalong as it has since been taken down and transported to the Entrance.
Shortly after 1946, Ossie and Reginald employed eight labourers and used the services of contractors to move logs into the area.
The Bradley family has made a significant contribution to the Yarramalong area, with the land for the Wanda School Yarramalong donated by Thomas Cantrell Bradley. All the pine trees visible in the Yarramalong area were planted by the family.
Thomas Cantrell Bradley's eldest son Reginald took over the role of mill owner from his father who later passed on this family tradition to his son Graham Bradley. The completion of 2004 signalled the end of an era for the Bradley family. The mill was forced to close due to a problem with the log supply in the area. Graham Bradley worked at the sawmill until its last days.
Page by Weblight Studio (Australia) Story written and edited by Veronique and Cherie Moseley.