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FLOODS & RAIN

Mr. F. Withers Snr, now of Lismore launched his bakers business in the 1880 in Ballina. He tells of his struggles in the early years  (Trove 30.8.1912)

"In the first year there was nine months rain. It sometimes took me an hour to travel 1 and 1/2  miles, the roads were so bad. I sent a man and a boy with a load of bread to Alstonville, about 9 or 10 miles, on a Monday, and they returned on Wednesday. -This would be about 150 loaves — two horses,' man and boy, nearly three days. During the nine months' rain the road to Tintenbar was absolutely closed. Mud up to the horses' knees or more. For a time we tried to negotiate it, my son taking two horses and a spade, and a towel. He had sometimes to unload his bread and put it on tho grass while he dug out the wheels of his cart. The towel was to wipe his hands. Even that had to be given up. I tried panniers. They too had ' to be abandoned. At last for four months we had to get a flat-bottom boat and. place tho bread on. the banks of Emigrant Creek, not seeing a customer or getting any' money for. that time. Tho boat would take two days, and often stuck when the. tide , was out, and then would begin a feast of fat things — mosquitoes of gigantic size arid of a bloody intention all night, and no chance of escape. I once left my two boys stranded on a mud bank all night, with swarms of mosquitoes in Fishery Creek. Well.I put in about seven years- in Ballina, bullocking. speculating, looking ahead, and I came out well at last, my property and business together selling for £1800"