Spring Ridge

The beginnings of the Spring Ridge village lay in the selection blocks of the late 1800’s. Settlers were able to ‘select’ a block of land, many of which were centred around the area of the Spring Ridge cemetery.

By 1837 suburban land blocks were available through application to the Department of Lands at Murrurundi. Holders paid a minimal rent amount on the land, approximately 2 pounds each year, and were required to build on the land and live on the block within a certain time frame. After a period of time tenants were able to buy their blocks for a nominal fee.

The town of Spring Ridge grew in population and prosperity after the Second World War as returned soldiers moved to Spring Ridge to take up Soldier Settlement blocks, with them arrived many young families who became part of the community and were educated at the Spring Ridge Public School. These blocks were around 1,000 acres in size and were used for farming and grazing.

It is on these foundations that the current village of Spring Ridge has been developed.
The economy of Spring Ridge traditionally relied on the rich agricultural land surrounding the Village. Today agriculture still maintains the economy. Initially farming comprised of the production of wheat, sheep, and cattle which has since expanded to include sorghum, sunflowers, canola, and a variety of other crops. Cattle may still be found, whilst the production of sheep due to costs and labour requirements has significantly dwindled.

Transport to and from the Village was closely tied with the railway line stretching from Werris Creek to Binnaway which passed directly through Spring Ridge. The Spring Ridge station at one stage was complete with a waiting room, parcel office, Station Master’s office, and staff room which are the only remaining remnant of a once grand era. Groceries and beer were transported to Spring Ridge by train from around 1935 until the station was pulled down in the 1980’s. The railway was also used to transport goods and commodities produced on the land. Rail motors operated between Werris Creek and Binnaway once a week, increasing their services when demand grew.

A multitude of businesses have at one stage existed in the town; bakery, two garages, hotel, sawmill, general store, butchers, police station, tennis courts, golf club, stock and station agent. Electricity came through the village in 1958 which significantly impacted business. Today there exists few businesses; hotel, general store, Spring Ridge Engineering, Spring Ridge Hardware. The reduction in business requires residents to commute to regional centres for unavailable items.
As the nature of the economy changed and farm machinery improved reducing the required amount of man power required to run an agricultural enterprise, the size of properties also increased. Smaller land holdings were bought and amalgamated reducing the number of people employed on farms. This directly impacted the village and has in part contributed to the decline in population experienced in Spring Ridge.

The social life of Spring Ridge was grand in the era of high prosperity. During the war, an army camp at Colley Blue created a carryon on soldiers. In the post war years movies and Saturday night dances were a common occurrence. Multiple balls held at the Community Hall by many groups in the town including the RSL and church groups were attended by up to 300 people.
The Spring Ridge School opened in 1878; a one room building at the time was built with an area for sewing for female students, and a woodwork bench for the boys. As the school expanded, second, then third buildings were added. During the prosperity of the 1970’s up to 100 students were enrolled. Today the number has dropped to under 50.

Community spirit has strong foundations in the Village. Throughout history the community has worked together to improve many community facilities. The community hall has been expanded and today houses a pre school attended by local children. Today, the Spring Ridge Village Development Committee works independently and with the Liverpool Plains Shire Council to improve infrastructure and community facilities within the Village.