Unsettling housing

A letter from Walpole to the Western Mail correspondent “Martingale”, February 27, 1941:

Dear “Martingale”,

At Walpole, as in most pioneering districts, we have seen the departure of some settlers and the arrival of new ones.

The call to the colours was heard by a number of our young men and others who were not so young, and we wish them good luck and a safe return.

This year the settlers commence the repayment of principal instalments as well as interest charges and this added burden must inevitably impose many hardships.

Unfortunately, the officers who are constantly in contact with the settler, and realise what the extra charges mean to the farmer, his wife and children, have no power to waive such charges.

That power is in the hands of officials who do not in the least understand the position.

Unsatisfactory ealry settler housing in Walpole & Districts

“… a disgrace to the State and a menace to the health of those who live in them.”

Ten years ago two rooms of galvanised iron were erected on each holding by the settlers.

As the majority of these were amateur builders, the results were not satisfactory in all cases, but in view of the fact that they were only supposed to be a temporary measure, there were no complaints.

These buildings have never been replaced as promised, but one or two rooms have been added.

At the present time the majority of them are ill-lighted and neither weather-proof nor draught-proof.

They are a disgrace to the State and a menace to the health of those who live in them, so the settlers have petitioned the Agricultural Bank to replace them.

It is sincerely hoped that some action will be taken before one of these structures collapse and does some serious damage to the occupants.

This post was adapted from an article that appeared in the July 15, 2015 edition of the Walpole Weekly. Thank you to Lee Hunter and the Walpole, Nornalup & Districts Historical Society for supplying it.

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