By MICK ROBERTS.
A FEW rusted corrugated water tanks scattered amongst the leftovers of English ornamental gardens, stone walls and twisted barbed wire are all that remain of the pretty little village of Sherbrooke on Bulli Mountain.
The settlement, a couple of kilometres west of the summit of Bulli Pass, is no more – given a death sentence by the government at the dawn of the 20th century to provide the water needs of Wollongong.
“The government resumed our property, our orchards and all the other peaceful homes in Sherbrooke, and began to build the Cataract Dam,” one time resident Lily Drinkal recalled in 1981.
“There were railway lines through our beautiful orchards; engines and trucks clattered all day; about 80 canvas tents were erected near our back fence. There was constant noise of blasting as the men blew out sandstone in Dad’s quarry to make the reservoir. To a child’s mind the workers seemed orderly and quiet people, but all our free happy times were ended.”
Today Sherbrooke is part of Sydney Water’s catchment area for the Cataract Dam, a forbidden zone, off limits, except with permits.
Walking along the dirt track that constituted the main street of Sherbrooke, a feeling of paradise lost is felt – where as many as 16 families carved out an existence.
Read the full story at the Looking Back website.