Cranbrook

 

 

CRANBROOK

 

HEMA Map reference 74/H6

 

GPS 34 17 52 S 117 33 07 E

 

 

 

 

FIND ACCOMMODATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATISTICS

Distance from Perth

323 Km

Population

268

Average Rainfall

500.4mm

Mean Max Temp

C

Mean Min Temp

C

 

SERVICES

Police

08 9826 1102

Fire and Rescue

08 9851 1774

Medical

08 9892 1000

Visitor Centre

08 9780 5911

 

CARAVAN PARKS

Cranbrook

 

0429 942 825

Frankland River

 

0428 302 489

 

HOTEL / MOTEL / B AND B

Kendenup Lodge

 

08 9851 4233

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

 

link to Mingor.net website

 

DESCRIPTION

 

Cranbrook is a sleepy backwater, off the main tourist routes and is possibly all the better for being so. A service centre for the surrounding farming community it is also billed as 'The Gateway to the Stirling Range.'

 

Other towns located in the shire are Tenterden and Frankland River.

 

HISTORY

 

Originally a watering point for the Great Southern Railway Cranbrook was named by engineer J. A. Wright after a town in in his home county of Kent in England. The Aboriginal name used for the general area was bingalup. It was gazetted in 1899 and today is the centre of a wool, wildflower and grape growing region.

 

The first settlers arrived in the 1860s and sheep quickly became one of the major contributors to the areas commercial growth.

 

Afghan brothers Nehall, Sunder and Boar Singh worked in the area as hawkers, taking goods round to outlying farms. Despite reported complaints in parliament their work seems to have been widely appreciated by local people. Boar Singh was killed in an accident with his wagon not far from Lake Muir. Nehall returned to his home and Sunder went on to establish a shop in town in 1908.

 

It has little importance for tourists but is yet another access point for the Stirling Ranges. The ranges were first sighted by Ensign Robert Dale in 1832 and named three years later by J.S. Roe after Captain Stirling who was the Governor of the Swan River Colony. (The Aboriginal name for the range was 'Koikyeun-u-ruff'.)

 

In Roe's journal the ranges are described as follows:

 

'The Stirling Range burst on our view in great magnificence as we rounded the crest...The whole extent of the conical summits were spread before us.'

 

Early Cranbrook may have been a bit of a harsh place to live as during the great depression of the 1930s the local publican John Williamson is reported to have said:

 

'There are only two places in W.A. that are not affected by the depression, Kalgoorlie because it has gold and Cranbrook because it has never known any different.'

 

The great depression had a severe effect on W.A. but in some way people in country towns were luckier than their city cousins. Many farms were self-sufficient to a large extent and lack of food was not as big a problem as it was in the big towns.

 

Country people were used to doing without many things (in fact they still are) and they were experienced at doing almost everything for themselves. There was also a spirit of camaraderie and people were willing to help each other out through the hard times.

 

One of the events enjoyed by locals in days gone by, were the Frankland Races. It was a major event on most people's social calendar and was one of the few times through the year that people had access to alcohol. This led to a large number of fights and as there was no local jail, the police (who arrived from Mount Barker for the event) used to chain offenders to a tree.

 

The races themselves were often a subject of controversy with no outside rail the horses could 'go bush' and on one occasion the result of a race was complained about to such an extent that the race was completely re-run. The same horse won so the complaints dried up.

 

The Aboriginal population in this area usually lived in close vicinity to the town and was the subject of numerous complaints involving sanitation and behavioural problems. Attempts were made to move the community to a reserve outside the town boundary. In 1963 when it was found that the Aborigines were washing themselves and their clothes in the town's water supply these calls were re-newed.

 

Fortunately common sense prevailed and it was decided that the Aboriginal families, who had until this time still been living in tents and humpies, should be provided with proper housing in the town itself. Even so, it still took until 1967 for this to happen.

 

TALL TALES AND TRUE

 

No information for this section yet. If you know of something we can add here please contact us and let us know.

 

MAP

 

 

VIDEO

 

 

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

ATTRACTIONS

 

Stirling Range national park, Sukey's Hill Lookout, Lake Poorrarecup, Lake Nunijup, Pink Lake, Tom South Lake.

 

BUILDINGS OF NOTE

 

St. Oswolds.

 

ELECTORAL ZONES

 

State : Blackwood-Stirling

Federal : O'Connor

 

OTHER INFO.

 

Postcode : 6321

Local Government : Shire of Cranbrook

 

PHOTOS

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