7. Watery Plains and the Butlers

Our Butler grandparents, Walter and Alma maintained strong links with “Watery Plains”, the property established by Alma’s Great-grandfather, Donald Sutherland. They were good friends with Garnet & Roy Whittle, who inherited the property from their mother Amelia Whittle and their aunt, Ada Cornish. The Butlers and their sons, Ross & Ron visited “Watery Plains” on many occasions as shown in the photos that follow.

Aunt Ada Cornish & Alma Butler

Sutherland descendants at Watery Plains, 1920s

Gwen Bell, Alma & Ross Butler..."this is where we had to wade the river"

Gwen Bell, Ella Whittle, Alma & Ross Butler, 1920s

Alma, Garnet Whittle & Walter at Watery Plains

Homestead at Watery Plains, 1940s

Over the years the Whittle family also visited the Butlers in Sydney.

Geraldine, Roy, John & Ella Whittle in Sydney

When Sue & I were children, we visited Watery Plains on two occasions with Mum, Dad & Nanna Butler. The first visit was in December 1956/January 1957 , when Dad drove our Standard Vanguard to Melbourne…..it took  3 days with stop-overs at Yass & Albury en route. We stayed in Melbourne for a few nights (drove past the 1956 Olympic Games site ) and then crossed Bass Strait on the “Taroona” . We visited the Whittles at Watery Plains, but stayed in Launceston at the old Brisbane Hotel. After some time in Hobart, which included Christmas and a visit to the Cadbury factory (only for me as Sue was too young…much to her great disappointment) we drove back to the north of Tasmania & Nanna decided that she & I could stay on  at “the farm” i.e. Watery Plains & then fly home to Sydney. 

Lyndal & Nanna Butler, 1957

Ella Whittle, Lyndal & Alma at airport

Our second holiday at Watery Plains was in January, 1959 and Mum, Dad, Nanna Butler, Sue & I flew by TAA Viscount to Melbourne & then DC3 across Bass Strait to Launceston.

Lyndal & Sue with Miss Lawton (former Meriden teacher) wearing our "American" dresses from Auntie Jess

We stayed for there for 2 weeks and Ella & Geraldine Whittle took us on several day trips to visit friends, Entally House and other sights. A memorable visit was to the property of Jack & Ann Sansom in Evandale. We were served a delicious afternoon tea in their front drawing room & then Jack brought a Shetland pony right through the house and out the front door so that we could have a pony ride.

Lyndal...the equestrienne par excellence

Sue holding onto Lyndal for dear life

Butler ladies with Geraldine at Entally House, 1959

Watery Plains, 1959

Lyndal's 12th birthday at Watery Plains

The Whittles & Butlers at Watery Plains, 1959

 Watery Plains was sold by the Whittles in the mid 1960s & so passed out of the Sutherland family.

The following photos were taken when Sue & I were holidaying  in Tasmania in 1982….with a much renovated Watery Plains homestead in the distance



7 Responses to 7. Watery Plains and the Butlers

  1. Carole Sarvis says:

    I remember Ella and Geraldine from when I was a child. Ella was a friend of my aunt, Dorothy Thirkell.

    • Lyndal says:

      Hello Carole,
      Thank you for your comments regarding Ella & Geraldine Whittle…Tasmania has always been a special place for me with fond memories of happy holidays there so many years ago now. Sounds as if you were a local if you remember the shetland pony at Sansoms’ property…do you still live there?
      Regards, Lyndal.

  2. Carole Sarvis says:

    I forgot to say I remember the shetland pony too at Sansom’s at Riverview, Evandale.

  3. Beryl Chandler says:

    I have been very interested in your stories of the family. My brother has a friend who asked me to do research into her family tree and write her family story for her. Her name is Janie Ilbery. Her mother was Ella Sutherland daughter of Robert Gordon Sutherland. Robert was the son of Donald and Mary Sutherland (Mary was the daughter of Adam Sutherland, she was born 1857). Donald was the son of John, Donald’s and Mary’s (nee Taylor) eldest child.
    I hope you do not mind me getting in touch.

    Kind Regards
    Beryl Chandler

    • Lyndal says:

      Thank you for making contact, Beryl.I will send you a private email as your facts don’t quite gel with our Sutherland family tree.

      Regards, Lyndal

  4. Gill Long says:

    My mother in law is the neice of Garnet and Gertrude Whittle. She is 82 and remembers going to the farm in her chidhood. She also took my husband there in the 50’s. Her name is Patricia Long, nee Wilson.

  5. Lyndal says:

    Nice to hear of your family connections to Watery Plains, Gill.
    Kind regards from Lyndal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s