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THE HANGING ROCK DIGGINGS
Singleton 22nd July,1852
Having returned last evening from our northern goldfields,I am delirious of correcting statements which I find have been made on the road by some gold-diggers,namely that the necessities of life are extravagantly dear,and that no gold is to be obtained at the Hanging Rock diggings. In reference to the first statement,I would observe that I saw there as good meat as is usually to be obtained for which they pay 2d per lb;one of the storekeepers at the Peel diggings told me his price for flour at present was 35/- per 100 lbs. I learnít that the supply of flour at the Hanging Rock was getting short,but several teams arrived on Saturday last.In reference to the second statement,I conversed with one of the diggers,a person of my acquaintence from Port Macquarie,who told me that though his party were not doing so well as they had done,they sold their gold,the produce of last weeks labour for 60 pound,being 12 pound per man; and another assured me that he,with his party realised 17 pound 10 shillings each for last weeks work and others appeared satisfied with their gettings.
I would strongly recommend persons who intend going to these diggings to delay for a time,say 6-8 weeks,until the water subsides. The abundance of this element at present greatly impedes digging operations, many of the people are watching their claims,they know there is a good supply of the precious treasure there....
I found that the Sabbath was so far observed that the usual labours were suspended - not a cradle was rocking;but the stores,without an excemption were opened and it appeared to be their market day. I was glad to meet the Rev Mr Williams,the Episcopalian minister from Tamworth,who was at the diggings for the same purpose as myself. The first escort was announced to start from Tamworth this day.
WC Extracted from the Maitland Mercury.