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Buckland Hill

The name of the hill

According to the Town of Mosman Park, Buckland Hill was named by James Stirling in honour of William Buckland. Is it possible, however, that it got its name by association with Buckland House, the 1897 home of Dr Adam Jameson—which later became the premises of Iona Presentation College? (See the 1980 article by James.) It's only a kilometre away from the (other) hill.

Ruth Marchant James, 1980:
“Buckland House”, the former home of Scotsman Dr Adam Jameson, had been built originally in 1897. Dr Jameson was the Cottesloe Road Board’s first appointed Health Officer and a foundation member of both the Peppermint Grove and Buckland Hill Road Boards.

The Harley Scramble

The Harley Scramble was introduced to the state by Audrey Ambrose and Ray Charman. This yearly motor cycle race, through the bush and disused quarries of Buckland Hill, was regarded by many as the toughest course in Australia.

harley scramble

The first race was held in 1928 with laps 3 miles in length but after 1930 the laps were reduced to 2 mile and competitors were required to complete a number of laps. By 1952 lap requirements had increased from 20 to 28 laps which equated to a distance of 65 miles completed over two sessions and included 8 quarry walls, known as 'slides'.

harley scramble2

Handicaps were not permitted in the race and the rider with the lowest average lap time was declared the winner of the Melrose Cup. Surprisingly the first fatality of the race was not a competitor but a 12 year old boy, Robert Cecil Bedford-Brown, who was hit by a rider on 17th June 1951.
By 1964, housing development in the area had increased and the disturbance from the Harley Scramble became unacceptable to the new residents. The Mosman Park Town Council voted to close the course in April of that year and the land is now known as 'Mosman Fields'. Harley Terrace is now situated at the start and finish point of the infamous race.
Thanks to Jack Lorimer, we see the event in glorious colour including The Colonial Sugar Refinery in the background many of us had school excursions to. Thanks to The Grove Library for the spiel, https://www.facebook.com/thegrovelibrary. Lost Perth.

References and Links

The first photo is from the Lost Perth Facebook page which seems to attribute the photo to Jack Lorimer. The second photo is from the Jack Lorimer Facebook page and is definitely by him. Judging by the position of the car near the tent, I'd say they were taken on the same day.

James , Ruth Marchant 1980, 'The Presentation Sisters: unsung pioneers of education'Early Days, Volume 8, Part 4: 83-92.


Garry Gillard | New: 8 May, 2016 | Now: 16 September, 2020