Wee Georgie Wood Train in Tullah Tasmania

Tullah, Tasmania – 1963

Tullah is located on the West Coast of Tasmania around five miles north of Rosebery but separated by mountainous terrain limiting contact between the two centres. There probably was a walking track enabling some limited contacts. A connecting road was opened around 1960.

Tullah was a mining town and very isolated. The only main access being by rail, with a six-mile two foot gauge railway, meeting up with the Emu Bay line at Farrell Siding, enabling access to Burnie, Rosebery and Zeehan.

Tullah was originally known as Mount Farrell when established in 1900 on discovery of silver lead ore in the area. The original Post Office was opened on 1 April 1900 but remained known as Mount Farrell until 1910 although it had been officially named as Tullah on 9th. April 1901. Tullah is an Aboriginal name meaning “meeting of rivers”. 

To enable the movement of ore and people, a two-foot narrow gauge line was built, opening in 1909, replacing cartage by pack horses. The engine and line, were of small size, becoming known as Wee Georgie Wood Railway, taking its name from a very short British actor and comedian, Wee Georgie Wood, who was only 4ft 9ins tall.

Wee Georgie Wood Train at Tullah

The town began to open up to the outside world in 1960 with the completion of the Rosebery Road and further in 1963 with the opening of the Murchison Highway, which passes through the town, giving improved access to Burnie and other centers.

Tullah was also known for its community hall, which was locally jokingly known as the Academy of Music, possibly because it was a terrible-looking building.

Many functions were held at the property, including frequent dances. The building was opened mid-July, 1905, with a gala fancy dress ball event.

A newspaper report of the time says –

”the building was erected by Mr. J. Goodman under exceptionally bad weather conditions, as it had rained almost incessantly for the last 10 weeks”.

The much-loved community building was still standing in 1963 but has since been burned down.

Tullah Academy of Music (Community Hall) – 1963

Written by Ivan Badcock – 10 April 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *