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Wingello
Once home to Bill O'Reilly Australia's famous bowler

Elevation 680 metres
Population approximately 400

A Snippet of History
The first land grants in the Wingello area were in the early 1830's, and were are a reasonable distance from the where the village now stands.

The original landholdings near Uringalla Creek were noteable because they were in the vicinity of a convict stockade, not far from where the creek and the Hume Highway meet today. The stockade was destroyed many years ago, and now only a few ruins remain as a reminder of the area's convict past.

The site for the village was determined by the development of the railway. The village developed in the 1880's and the railway station and post office were established in the year 1885. Wingello School was a provisional school prior to 1884 when it was upgraded to a public school in 1884. The school has moved site several times since its establishment, but has been at its current site in Murrimba Road since 1901.

The early settlers of the district were farmers. Mining followed which led to the beginnings of the timber industry. With the establishment of the railway, the timber industry was continually supported particularly since the area had an ample supply of the valued stringybark tree. Orchards have also been a part of the local economy for more than a century.

Stick 'em up! Ben Hall the legendary Bush Ranger, held up his first stage coach in the Wingello area on a site very near where Murrimba Road and the Hume Highway meet today. It's a little difficult to know exactly where the site is since the signpost that marked the spot no longer exists!

Wingello, which is the Aboriginal word for "fire", has had its fair share of devastating fires since settlement. In 1939, 1965 and as recently as 1998, major blazes swept through the area leaving their mark on property and the lives of the Wingello community.


The Famous Bill O'Reilly
Wingello was the home to Australia's greatest bowler, Bill O'Reilly. Donald Bradman and Bill O'Reilly had one of their early battles on the cricket pitch on the local oval, now known as Bill O'Reilly Oval. Many matches were played between Bowral and Wingello in the 1930's, but a falling out occurred between the two teams which ended in a "feud" and finished the inter-village matches.

The current Wingello Cricket Club is researching the early years of the club's history, and are hoping to shed some light on what happened between the teams, so we hope to be able to update this site with some facts in the near future!

Cricket is once again thriving in Wingello. The revival of the club occurred about three years ago, and is already producing some talented young players, and many wins for the club.

Bill O'Reilly Oval is located on the opposite side of the railway line to the General Store, and commemorates Wingello's famous cricketer...famous as a bowler... Bill O'Reilly. Bill's father was a past Principal of Wingello Public School. He was a man who is remembered as an excellent teacher, and encouraged the students to play sports. He had to his credit the coaching of many skilled cricketers, including his son!


Sights to See
around Wingello

Wingello's General Store and Post Office Wingello is a quiet village with its General Store and Post Office as its focal point. Art, craft and dance groups are held regularly in and around the village. Many professionals run their home-based businesses from properties in the area.

The Mechanics Institute Memorial Hall stands in the centre of the village, between the General Store and Rural Fire Brigade shed. Amazingly, there are no records available for researching the history of the Hall. Currently, local researchers are trying to patch the hall's past together from senior residents of the village, and to record it, before it's lost forever. The hall was recently threatened with closure.

Town Halls like Wingello's Mechanics Institute Memorial Hall seem to have had their hey-day, but for Wingello's Hall, the future may be secure. A recent public meeting has renewed public interest its future. The dynamic new committee are initiating lots of new projects which should ensure the Hall is used and enjoyed by the community.

The Wingello Rural Fire Brigade shed is next door to the hall with a very active Bush Fire Brigade Unit. A recently erected memorial dedicated to Wingello Fire Fighters who lost their lives, stands in a garden at the front of the Fire Shed. The Wingello Rural Fire Brigade's web site can be viewed by following the link on our links page.

Rail services run a few times a day from the Wingello Railway Station. It's a very popular station with elderly Tallong residents who cannot manage to jump the huge distance between platform level and the train when boarding from their Sydney bound platform!

Wingello also has abundant native wildlife. The more common kangaroos and wombats are everywhere (watch for them especially at dawn, dusk and at night), as well as an enormous variety of birds and plants, including rare and endangered species, including the "Wingello Grevillea", which has a very interesting history.

There are still large land holdings in the Wingello area, mostly grazing beef cattle. The smaller "life style" land holdings appearing throughout the district tend to be grazing deer and alpaca or using their acres to keep horses. Production of olives, as well as grapes for high altitude wines has recently seen a boom in the area.

Throughout the year in the Wingello State Forest plays host to many Sled Dog Trials, which are great fun to watch! The competitors come from clubs far and wide...and the "trials" are usually news-worthy enough to feature on the local Evening News! The Wingello State Forest covers a huge number of hectares, and has some interesting walks and vantage points for spectacular views.

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