The Gunnedah Times continues its look back at the remarkable careers and sporting endeavours of the Hinton family in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Read part one here: ‘Sporting Hintons’ a class above | Part one – Gunnedah Times

Last week’s history page detailed the early life Richard (Dick) and Louisa Hinton who married in 1895 and lived near Talibah Flat, just off the (old) Tamworth Road.

As a top-class class cricketer, Dick Hinton Snr was opening bat for Gunnedah for 25 years and became the father of the “three sporting Hintons”.

Together they had 10 children: Richard Jnr (1897), Hubert (1899), Wallace (1900), Doris (1903), Gordon (1904), Violet (1908), Jeane (1909), Maude (1913), Avis (1914), Olga (1916).

Among them was Wally Hinton – the brother of Hubie a prolific boxer in his day.

A report in the Sydney Sportsman of September 1921 describes the steady rise of Hubie Hinton’s younger brother Wally through the boxing ranks – WALLY HINTON GOOD! the headlines screamed.

Family of Richard Snr and Louisa Hinton. This photograph taken in 1918 shows Wallace, Gordon, Richard and Hubert.

‘The younger brother of Hubie Hinton, the Gunnedah sensation, has commenced his metropolitan career under much happier circumstances than did Hubie, who, in his first fight in Sydney, got knocked out by Billy Shade in half a round’ the newspaper reported.

‘Wally, on the contrary, has had three fights and three wins, and he’s only been in town about three weeks. Jack Lynch, in whose hand he has placed himself, thinks there is in Wally a welter champion in the making. He scales 10.7 easily and stands 5ft 9in, a happy combination’.

In his letter to John Buchannan, Gordon Hinton said his parents had left Gunnedah about 1930 and lived and died at 44 Little Arthur Street, North Sydney – a far cry from the many flood-prone buildings the family had called home across the years – two houses on Talibah Flat, followed by a 60-acre block on the Mooki River in 1912 where the last three children were born. In 1920, the family moved to a house “at the top end of Conadilly Street, about four doors from Clive Ewing”.

Old Dick Hinton (he’s just turned 73) recommends a steady diet of Henry Lawson as a cure for most of mankind’s present ills. Dick, ex-fighter, ex-cricketer, has read and reread countless times every line Lawson ever wrote, can recite most of his poems by heart. His claim is that they foster tolerance and understanding, two vanishing qualities in the troubled world of to-day.

Until 30 years ago Dick lived the tough life of a shearer. His record book shows that he has shorn 335,217 sheep, 2666 of them in one record period of five weeks. It was a shiftless life, without much future. Then in a lonely hut one night he a found a tattered copy of Lawson’s Outback. It made a profound impression on him. He began to collect Lawson’s works. They became his Bible.

He moved to North Sydney many years ago, settled down in retirement with his Henry Lawson library. His Lawson reading has resulted in a steadily mounting nostalgia for the outback. So next month he leaves on an unusual pilgrimage. He plans to find his father’s grave on Garrawilla Station, in the back country and erect a small headstone on it.

Another of the Hinton brothers, Wallace, was also outstanding in the sporting arena.

Gordon Hinton said his maternal grandparents had lived like nomads, travelling around in a wagonette drawn by three horses around the Tamworth, Manilla, Bingara and Gunnedah districts, cooking for burr-cutting or shearing gangs, fencers, drovers and shearing sheds.

By the time Louisa Hinton was married, she already knew all about a life of hardship so was well prepared for the life that was to unfold before her.

“My mother was born on the road on April 24, 1878, near Bingara and when her father died my grandmother got a job at Clift’s station near Currabubula where Mum went to school,” Gordon wrote.

“Some time later, they shifted to Gunnedah and Grandmother worked for a family of two brothers, George and William Davidson in a house directly opposite the Gunnedah Post Office. George Davidson had a little stationary shop and barber’s shop. When Mum and Dad went to Sydney my grandmother went with them and died at the age of 96.”

Gordon said he had once suggested to the local newspaper editor that an award called the Hinton Brothers Perpetual Trophy be established for the town’s youth, 18 and under, in the hope of finding another John O’Neill or John Donnelley but it did not eventuate.

The Sporting Hintons have certainly earned a place in Gunnedah’s history, a place that is now sealed with the donation of photographs and Dick Hinton’s shearing tally books to Gunnedah & District Historical
Society and the grave of Hubert Clarence Hinton at the Hunter Street Cemetery.

To order photos from this page click here