Fox River swing bridge at Brighton in 1890

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Fox River swing bridge at Brighton in 1890.

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the Fox River swing bridge at Brighton in 1890.  (original print by courtesy of Selwyn HERRING)

On the goldfields a contract was always considered a binding agreement and was treated as such - concerning the dancing girls - a Greymouth publican and his daughter visited Sydney and signed up two girls for a Greymouth hotel, after painting a rosy picture of its size and respecability - the girls were promised cabin passage across the Tasman.  They eventually found out too late that they had been booked steerage, also when they arrived at their destination their room in the hotel was leaky and their mattress was sodden, and they were served poor food, on their first night of work a local gold-digger advised them to get away as it was no place for them, and so they left, but the publican then impounded their personal belongings, because they had broken their contract with him, which on the goldfields was regarded as a cardinal sin, in the resulting court case the two girls were sharply criticized by the Resident Magistrate because they had chosen to come to a goldfield and therefore should have known what to expect. 

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Fox River swing bridge at Brighton in 1890 by Trich Devescovi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License