Carnarvon Post & Telegraph Office (fmr)

Author

Shire of Carnarvon

Place Number

03492

Location

10 Robinson St Carnarvon

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Backpackers

Local Government

Carnarvon

Region

Gascoyne

Construction Date

Constructed from 1900

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 26 Feb 1988

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Municipal Inventory Adopted 23 Jun 2015 Category 2

Statement of Significance

Aesthetic Value – Importance for the aesthetic character created by the individual components that collectively form a significant precinct. Aesthetic Value – Importance its contribution to the aesthetic values of the setting demonstrated by a landmark quality and having an impact on important vistas. Historic Value – Importance in relation to an event, phase or activity of historic importance in the locality. Historic Value – Importance for close association with an individual whose life, works or activities have been significant within the history of the locality. Social Value – Importance in contributing to a community’s sense of space.

Physical Description

Important for its contribution to Robinson Street and its association with the life and works of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. The building was the first Post Office in town and highlights the evolution of the area during the period.

History

In 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith became famous the world over for completing the first flight across the Pacific Ocean. Few people know, however, that this flight had its foundations in a two year period Kingsford Smith spent in the Gascoyne Region. Early in 1924, four men with an eye to the future and a solid foundation of mechanical knowledge set up a trucking business in Carnarvon. Their intention was to take over from the camel teams that still dominated transport in the area by using truck, then a still relatively new invention. One of these men was Charles Kingsford Smith, already well-known but not yet famous. Kingsford Smith believed that through this new business they could earn the money they would need to finance the epic flight they dreamed of. Soon they were taking all manner of supplies inland, and hauling sheep, cattle and wool from stations far and wide to ports and markets on the coast. One of the early contracts won by the fledgling Gascoyne Trading Company was to deliver mail to the Bangemall gold fields (near Mt Augustus). IT was on long and arduous trips such as this, covering hundreds of kilometres in roads that were little more than rudimentary bush tracks, that Kingsford Smith and his partners earned the reputation of being reckless but reliable. The mechanical know how they had learned through working on their planes stood them in good stead, and their ingenuity and determination were legendary. On one occasion, Kingsford Smith is reputed to have carved a wheel bearing from mulga and used scrap from the load he was delivering as grease to get his truck back on the road. A social character, with a fondness for music, dance and drink, he was well-known around Carnarvon during those years. He was also very fiery and quick to use his fists, with a number of fights leading him to spend a few hours in the local lock up – cooling off. In November 1926, Kingsford Smith and his mates accepted an offer for their transport business. They figured that the sale price plus their meagre savings would be enough to buy their own plane. The Kingsford Smith mail run can still be followed today and begins at the former Carnarvon post and telegraph office.

Integrity/Authenticity

Low/Medium

Condition

Good

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Shop\Retail Store {single}
Original Use Transport\Communications Comms: Post or Telegraph Office

Architectural Styles

Style
Victorian Regency

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron

Historic Themes

General Specific
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS Telecommunications
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS Mail services

Creation Date

08 Dec 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

01 Jan 2017

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.