Wagon mystery still baffles

Bullockywagon

Courtesy Ipswich Advertiser and Isentia

Help grant Bullocky’s dying wish BULLOCKY Bill’s dying wish was to have his 150-year-old bullock wagon returned after it was stolen from Queens Park close to 30 years ago.

The well-known Peak Crossing cattleman, also known as William Dwyer or Bill, died in 1998 and despite his family’s extensive efforts, the great bullock wagon mystery remains unsolved to this day.

Almost 20 years after Mr Dwyer’s death, his granddaughter Jess Fortune (nee Dwyer) has reopened the case in a bid to have the family heirloom returned.

The wagon originally belonged to Mrs Fortune’s great-great-grandfather, Philip Dwyer Snr, who passed it onto her great-grandfather, Philip Dwyer Jnr.

It was then handed down to William Dwyer, who in the 1970s leant the wagon to Ipswich City Council to display in Queens Park.

It was stolen when being restored at a site at Woodend and hasn’t been seen since 1984.

Mrs Fortune said the wagon had significant value and was an integral part of the Dwyer family history.

“Dad says it’s quite valuable because of the uniqueness of its age and it’s extremely well made with the size of the wheels and the steel involved,” she said.

“We’re hoping its saving grace will be in that it’s in really good nick for its age.

It’s an amazing piece of history.” She said the last effort to find the wagon was almost 20 years ago.

“The last effort was just before my grandfather passed away, he was quite ill and his last wish was to find it and bring it home to Peak Crossing,” Mrs Fortune said.

“We didn’t end up finding it in time so 1998 was the last attempt and my nanna made contact with the council.

“Close to 20 years later I have taken it up in the hope someone might remember or they might have seen it somewhere.” She said the family would place the wagon at the Peak Mountain View Park for the community to enjoy if it was returned.

“It’s so sad that it was gifted and just for it to disappear,” she said.

“Anyone who think they might know something, no matter how big or small, should get in contact and if they have it in their backyard we can come and get it.” The 150-year-old wagon was used to cart wood into Ipswich and Rosewood mills until 1946.

Mrs Fortune said it had rare and distinctive size wheels – four-inch steel wheels at the front and five-inch at the back, which meant the family would be able to tell it apart from others of its kind.

Anyone with information should phone Ipswich City Council on 3810 6666.

WHO WAS BULLOCKY BILL?

William Dwyer, or Bill, worked as a cattleman at Peak Crossing, carting wood into Ipswich and Rosewood until 1946.

He started working with bulls with his father when he was 14 and bought his own bullock team when he was 18. He pulled timber with his team and the wagon that has been missing since 1984. His brother Kev Dwyer, a past Ipswich deputy mayor, approached Bill to have the wagon loaned to the council for the community to enjoy. In 1984 Ipswich City Council and Ipswich Historical Society moved the wagon to Woodend to be repaired, after which it disappeared.

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