Author: Public Record Office Victoria

2021 update: while the new BRAC website is in production, the digitised petitions are not available online and so links below will not work. View the index here and order records for viewing in the BRAC reading room. 

You may think of gravel on roads, kerbs, and the establishment of footpaths as menial tasks and not exciting to research as historical subject matter. However, examining petitions on such issues can take your research far beyond the construction of a simple footbridge. You can map the establishment of a town, question the path of its citizens, and even find you ancestor's name among the petitioners to learn what they saw as important issues in their community.

The Bendigo Regional Archives Centre’s (BRAC) petitions which are online, from residents between 1870 and 1874 provide fascinating insight into infrastructure concerns of the people and the impacts on local life.

papers side by side
Petition – Footbridge for Golden Gully 18710900

September 1871

To his Worship the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Sandhurst


The undersigned residents of Golden Gully beg to draw your attention to the great want of a crossing for foot passengers between the Royal Oak Hotel on the West and the Eastern Side of the Gully. There is a private track which with a small foot bridge might be available at a small cost. There is no crossing between the road which leads to the Belle Vue Hotel and Mr Murcotts, which is a distance of about a mile, many miners who go to work on night shifts are most seriously inconvenienced by the present state of things. Trusting you will give the subject your earliest attention.

We are Gentlemen
Your obedient Servants

Robt. Balmers, Golden Gully
Michael Devereux, Poor Mans Gully
William Tulip, Golden Gully
Richard Alcock, Irons Reef
Thomas Atkin, Sheeps Reef
Edward Howe, Golden Gully
Charles Mumford, Poor Mans Gully
Robert Leach, Poor Mans Gully
John Lowery, Golden Gully
George Bastow, Golden Gully
William Andrews, Golden Gully
Charles Hunt, Golden Gully
James Tingey, Golden Gully
John McNab, Golden Gully
Job Bye, Golden Gully
John Nicolas, Golden Gully, Manager of Union Jack Co.
King Hoey, Golden Gully
Patrick Hayes, Bridge Street
William Tiplady, Golden Gully
Richard Roots, Golden Gully
George Young, Golden Gully
Abraham Chapman, Golden Gully
Wm. Long, Golden Gully
Robert Nicholls, Golden Gully
George Brown, Golden Gully
Peter Hateen, Golden Gully
John Browell, Golden Gully
James Waite, Golden Gully

Robt. J. Scott, Golden Gully
Edwd. Hickey, Golden Gully
James Jamieson, Golden Gully
Thomas Trahair, Golden Gully
Thomas Carbines, Golden Gully
John Carbines, Golden Gully
Michael Donovan, Golden Gully
Reuben Hare, Golden Gully
Simon Shore, Golden Gully
James Hunter, Golden Gully
Harry Farmer, Golden Gully
T. Young, Golden Gully
W.H. Holland, Golden Gully
Wm. H. Dillon, Golden Gully
W.B. Jackson, Golden Gully
Geo. Wildbone, Golden Gully
Robert Rose, Golden Gully
Thomas Laverick, Golden Gully
Jase Pree, Golden Gully
Isaac Forster, Golden Gully
B Snell, Golden Gully
John Wildbone, Golden Gully
William Jones, Golden Gully
Henry Bell, Golden Gully
E. L. Marks, Golden Gully
Thomas Rickard, Golden Gully
Edwd. Martin, Golden Gully
Samuel Murcott, Golden Gully


Petitions For - reduction in width of Harrison Street 18720914

To the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Sandhurst

We the undersigned ratepayers residing in and about Harrison Street, petition, that the breadth of that Street be altered from one chain and a half to one chain in breadth. We beg to submit, that should you deem it expedient to grant the alteration the public would be benefitted by the additional land that would thereby be utilised for residences on the south side of the street, and that no injury would be done to owners of property nor vested interests interfered with in any way.

George Lawson
Edward Gray
James Rule
John Lomasney
Richard Lobb
 J Rouse
W Stterulye (?)
Frederick Webb
Thomas Doxford
Thomas Grigg
John Bowman
Edward Bolam
Foster Stephenson
George H Patrick
David Glass
George H James
Simon Glanville

Thomas Lamb
Henry Martin
Matthew Wall
Thos. M Busst
James Fouls (?)
Michal Chill
George Phillips
Thomas Tuck
James Davies
John Buchanan
Thomas Duffy
W Teague
William Park
Thomas Devine
Thomas Evans
John Derbridge
A. Tawse

Petition Against - reduction in width of Harrison Street 18720914

To the Worshipful the Mayor and Councilors of the City of Sandhurst


We are quite surprised to find that their is a movement being made by four residents, of Harrisen

Stt., to try and get the said Stt, reduced in width; Lomasney and Rouse do not live in Harrison Stt, theirfore they have no interest in the same, these four residents knew when they built that the Stt was 99 feet in width, the residents on the north side of said stt having lived their most of them for 9 years and some having spent from one to over two thousand pounds in improvements strongly object to said st being made a lane, and we the undersigned hope, should your Honourable Council be inclined to assist these four, in gaining their wish, that you will give us time to lay our case before the Minister of lands, and we beg to be allowed to draw your attention, that should you accede to or in any way assist in reducing the width of said st, that it will be taken as a precedent, by any that feel inclined to suit their own ends, we feel assured that you will not act unjustly, to the first residents and property owners, neither will your [Hon?] Council destroy the Harmony of the laying off, of the different st and we the undersigned will ever pray

Your obedient servants,

Signed by the residents in Harrisson St proper.

John F. H. Cartwright
Francis M. Cartwright
John Watson
Thomas Watson
John T. Burns
John Burns
Hy. Hubbard
John Hampel
James Liddel
Joseph Hawkins
Wm. Gilbert
Henry Norwood

To discover more petitions related to Infrastructure visit the BRAC website.

Written by Jason Smeaton.

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