8. Thelma’s Maze

  • Thelma’s Maze is a series of islands of plantings on the south side of the creek in the middle between Laurel Grove and Main Street.   You may have noticed that kids love running through there taking the many twists and turns the area offers.
  • Thelma was the late Mrs Thelma Osborn.  We, who enjoy the Blackburn Creeklands today, are deeply indebted to her – she was a pre-war Burnley School of Horticulture graduate who made pioneering efforts in regenerating the park as indigenous bushland which she started along the creek behind her property.
  • She lived in Molleton Street and accomplished all the mowing and slashing for fire protection using a scythe.
The Osborns

Mr and Mrs Osborn

 

  • The picture above shows Mr and Mrs Osborn.  Mr Osborn is holding the scythe normally used by his wife when keeping the longer grasses under control.  Despite her small stature, she did an incredible job planting out and wielding the scythe as necessary.
  • Looking at the photo – the area was far more lush with its dense Christmas Bushes, Cassinias etc than it is today – a testament to the skill, effort and care of the couple.
  • Mr Osborn’s main contribution was to mow the tracks inside the “maze” with his (domestic) lawn mower:
Mr Osborn mowing the maze

Mr Osborn mowing the maze

  • We owe them a debt for their pioneering revegetation work in the park – they were quite likely the Creeklands’ first volunteers.
  • The pictures have been provided courtesy of their son who was raised in the area but who now resides in Sydney.  Nevertheless, he usually visits the park every Christmas.
  • We are also indebted to Thelma for her practical design of the Blackburn Bowls Club car park in 1985-1986.  Had it not been for her forethought and commonsense design, the BBC car park would have been an inconvenient eyesore extending along the creek from Pakenham Street to the Malcolm Street billabong  (ugggh!).