Pingelly is a very attractive country town with a few interesting places to visit within 30 kilometres that are very worth while exploring. Situated 50 kilometres north of the large regional centre of
Narrogin, Pingelly makes a good base for anyone interested in exploring the wheat belt.
The caravan facility in town is quite small with only 8 powered sites. Some of these can be taken up with long term residents so usually only 4-5 are available. The amenities block
is modern and clean which is more than can be said for some others north of here.
The first settler in the area was Lewis John Bayley who arrived in 1846. Before Pingelly began to develop there was another settlement at Moorumbine (gazetted in 1884 and also
spelled Mourambine) but when the railway arrived it passed 10km away from the small town and soon afterwards people began to move closer to the rail lines.
To begin with Moorumbine and Pingelly grew up side by side and the original Moorumbine Road Board was formed in 1884. The Moorumbine Road Board then became the Moorumbine -
Pingelly Road Board and finally in 1913 the name changed to the Pingelly Road Board to reflect the change in emphasis as the new town took over from the old.
The present town of Pingelly grew up beside the Beverley to Albany railway which was constructed in the 1880s. Pingelly was gazetted in
1898. The name seems to have originated from Pinge Gully, Pinge being an Aboriginal word meaning small. (Another source quotes the Aboriginal word 'Pinjarrup' but gives no
meaning. Yet another source gives the name Pingeculling Rocks as the source of the town name.)
In 1906 the first gas lights lit the streets of Pingelly but they were replaced by electric lights in 1912. In 1908 a telephone exchange connected the town with Beverley and Narrogin.
It may seem odd today, as Narrogin has outpaced Pingelly quite considerably, that the 1907 Year Book stated: 'Pingelly, at that time being the most important centre of that section of
the G.S.R. Narrogin was then somewhat smaller and much less important than Pingelly'.
A reliable and palatable water supply was not available for the town until 1957 when it was connected (via Narrogin) to the Wellington Dam at Collie by means of
a pipeline. Prior to that the water available from earlier water schemes caused one local to comment in the the local paper:
'Pingelly scheme water is not just water. It is far more than that. It is suitable for motor spirit. Ford cars thrive on it. Mr. Bert Wilson uses nothing else. It is better than hyposulphate for
photography. It is excellent in kerosene lamps. As a lubricating oil it is perfect. It is a wonderful tonic for neuralgia, rheumatism, consumption and drinkers' head. A little sprinkled over the
face and arms effectively keeps away mosquitoes. As a hair restorer it is most beneficial. It is also well known that at prominent city chemist uses it extensively in the manufacture of a
The area was originally good sandalwood country but today it supports many wheat and sheep farms.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
Caught in the act.
Richard Johnson owned a store in town and at one time he had problems with break ins and thefts. In order to try and catch the culprit he kept a close watch on the premises but was
unable to catch anyone. One morning after a hot, still night a neighbour who had been sleeping on the lawn woke to see the silhouette of someone up on the roof. He quickly contacted
the police but when they arrived to collar the 'thief' they found instead that the local painter was busy getting the tin roof painted before the heat of the day made it impossible to work.
Plane crash and the glider club
In November 1919 Norman Hicks brought a small aeroplane to town and offered joy flights over the area for a fee. Local children were given the day off from school and unable to
contain their excitement surged onto the landing area as the plane was coming in with some paying passengers aboard.
Norman brought the nose of the plane up to avoid the children but failed to clear overhead lines resulting in a sudden end to the joy flights. Luckily no one was injured but the plane
was badly damaged.
The accident didn't seem to put the locals off the thought of flying as a glider club was formed some 10 years later. The glider was locally constructed and was launched by means
of an elastic rope. When the rope finally wore out the glider was towed aloft with a motor car. Eventually the glider crashed and was too badly damaged to be repaired and its remains
were said to be stored away somewhere in someone's shed.
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Boyagin Nature Reserve, Tutanning Flora Reserve, Mourumbine heritage trail, Astronomical Observatory, Memorial Park / Courthouse Museum, Pioneer Park,
St. Patrick's Church Moorumbine 1873.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Town hall 1907 Old Post office 1892, Commercial Bank 1911, Old courthouse 1897.
State : Central Wheatbelt
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6308
Local Government : Town of Pingelly
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