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Lost and Found

Written by Annie O'Riley ( on July 3, 2012

If you have ever had issues with a government department, a power or telecommunications company or had a package go missing, then spare a thought for Dr. McArthur of Upper Beaconsfield. This letter appeared in The Argus (Melbourne) on Wednesday 31st of October 1917.



Sir,- To supplement the series of articles in “The Argus” on the management of the Victorian railways, I would like to supply some facts that read almost like a comic opera. I have a property at Upper Beaconsfield. Some years ago I had sent to Beaconsfield station, 28 miles from Melbourne, a 1,000-gallon (4,500 litre) tank and a 9 foot (3 metre) cyclone gate. They were lost for 2 ½ months, the Railways department being unable to trace them. At last a man whom I knew from Gippsland stopped me in the street and asked me when I was going to remove my tank from the Drouin railway platform, as it was obstructing the platform. He knew the tank was mine, because it had painted on it, 12 inch (30 cm) letters in black on the galvanised iron, ‘Dr. McArthur, Beaconsfield’. I immediately asked if he also had a 9 foot cyclone gate. He said ‘yes’ and that it had a label on it fully addressed. I informed the railway authorities, but a shrug of the shoulders, a bland smile, and a few platitudes dismissed the whole matter as far as the department was concerned.”

Written by Annie O'Riley. Annie is the author of and has been researching local history for over 30 years. She is constantly finding new stories and characters to write about.

Relevant Lost and Found Links