Surveyor Hull and artwork – Land Museum video tour

Surveyor Hull and artwork – Land Museum video tour


Another interesting example was this, another
surveyor artist. This is surveyor Hull. He surveyed in Cardwell in 1872 and I tracked
down his great great grand daughter she lived on the north coast. She was an elderly lady
and when I rang her up she said yes my great great grandfather was the famous surveyor
Hull of Cardwell. The Hull River up there is named after him. And she said well I have
been waiting for a man like you all my life and I’m on the end of the phone. And she said
under my bed I have a shoe box full of the artwork he did. She said I have been trying
to figure out what to do with them. All this time. Look at all these beautiful sketches
of North Queensland. Hinchinbrook Channel, the Vale of Herbert, the first Cardwell jetty
all sitting on art paper in a big shoe box under a bed. So I went to see her and she
gave me the shoe box and she said we can’t let you have them permanently but if you want
to use them in your Museum display have them copied and that. So we did. We actually went
further than that. We had them de-acidified. We had them conserved by a proper conservator
so the department paid for that and we took beautiful negatives and then we have copies.
Then we gave here back the originals. He was quite an interesting character because a lot
of surveyors in the early days would be giving copy to the local newspapers. We were interesting
people. We were at the forefront of what things were happening way out at the far ends of
parts of Queensland. And so the newspapers loved for us to send our diaries in to them
and they would publish the diaries so if you go to any newspaper today in North Queensland
or anything like that you will find surveyors diaries. I found Hull’s diaries of 1872 when
he was doing these surveys and it talks about the Aboriginals and what they were doing.
It talks about Wreck Creek and the cannonball they found there on the wreck that’s at Wreck
Creek north of Cardwell. It also talks about the famous Cardwell tiger. Hull said I heard
the tiger in the scrub outside my tent last night. In the morning I went out and measured
the paw prints in the mud. 4 and ½ inches by 4 inches which is about that size [holds
up his fist]. He said I took a cast of this and sent it to England. I thought this is
very interesting. So the people in Cardwell of course today, you go up there, I’ve just
come back from Cardwell, they say there’s a tiger in the scrub. And they’re right. There’s
still a tiger in the scrub there but it’s not the tiger you’re used to. It’s like the
Thylacine because the Poms, I wrote to the Poms about his cast he sent to England in
1872 and they actually sent back a photo of the cast. The cast is still there. So I have
a picture of the paw prints. Then I wrote to the Tasmanians and I said send me a picture
of the Thylacine paw prints so they did and you put one beside the other and it’s very
hard to tell the difference. So surveyors diaries are very handy for all sorts of things.
We have naturalists, because we take tree and vegetation analysis and all that sort
of stuff so yeah it a mine of activity.

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