Beverley, Western Australia
|Elevation||232 m (761 ft)|
|Location||133 km (83 mi) SE of Perth|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Beverley|
|State electorate(s)||Central Wheatbelt|
Beverley is a town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 133 kilometres (83 mi) south-east of the state capital, Perth, between York and Brookton on the Great Southern Highway. It is on the Great Southern railway line.
The town is believed to be named after Beverley in Yorkshire, from where some of the earliest explorers of the Avon valley originated, including Colonial Surgeon Charles Simmons, an early landowner in the district. Land at Beverley was set aside for a townsite in 1831, just two years after the Swan River Colony's foundation, after a glowing report to Governor James Stirling by Ensign (later Lieutenant) Robert Dale, who made three trips to the York-Beverley area. The district was surveyed in 1843.
While settlers arrived from the 1860s onwards, and a town was established in 1868, it wasn't until the arrival of the Great Southern Railway in 1886 that the town started to grow, and with the completion of the railway in 1889 to Albany, Beverley became an important centre. By early 1898 the population of the town was 190, 93 males and 97 females.
In 1908, the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme was extended to supply the town with water, and by World War I, the town had four hotels, four banks, two bakeries, two tailors, three tearooms, a jeweller and two hairdressers, amongst other businesses, and in 1938, a new town hall opened.
However, since the 1950s, with improved transport, communications and farming methods, the population of the Shire of Beverley fell from 1,968 in 1954 to 1,433 in 1991, and several banks and other town services closed. The population has started to grow again due to the popularity of rural residential estates and the town's proximity to Perth.
Beverley is on Great Southern Highway, 133 kilometres (83 mi) southeast of Perth, and provides commercial and industrial support to the surrounding agricultural area. Each year in August the town hosts an agricultural show. A museum, formerly the Settlers Arms Hotel, offers local history exhibits. In addition, a town hall, district high school, bank, shopping facilities, accommodation (hotel, Beverley B&B, caravan park), council offices, district hospital and medical centre, a telecentre (with TAFE affiliation) and various sporting facilities are located within the town. A wide range of building styles exist.
10 kilometres (6 mi) to the northwest of the town is the Avondale Agricultural Research Station. Avondale gets its name from the Avon and Dale rivers which join near the farm. For over 80 years, Avondale has been a major centre for agricultural research, and since 1979 has been home to an extensive collection of historical farm machinery. The station hosts a number of events during the year, including the Ploughing Days in June.
At the 2006 census, Beverley had a population of 848.
Beverley has a strong history of aviation. The Silver Centenary, Western Australia's oldest existing aircraft was built to commemorate the State's centenary in 1929, and was constructed from chalk drawings sketched on the floor of the town powerhouse. The town airfield has been home for the last forty years to the Beverley Soaring Society, one of the biggest gliding clubs in Australia (120 members). The club was founded in 1973. As at December 2013, the club has four 2-seat training aircraft, four single seat sailplanes and three Piper Pawnee Tugs. Additionally members own a further thirty five private gliders hangared at the airfield. Club members regularly compete at club, state and national levels and hold several State and National gliding distance, height and speed records.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Beverley (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – B". Retrieved 25 March 2007.
- "Population of Western Australia". Western Mail (Perth, Western Australia: National Library of Australia). 22 April 1898. p. 23. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics census data, 30 June 1954 and 30 June 1991. Progressive figures in Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics (1968). Western Australia : population and occupied dwellings : censuses, 1911-1966 : statistical divisions and local government areas.
- Shire of Beverley. "Whence Did Beverley Come?". Retrieved 16 October 2006.
- GS2 timetable (1 November 2006). Retrieved on 25 March 2007.
- "The Silver Centenary - Western Australia's Oldest Aircraft". Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- Shire of Beverley
- Beverley Community Development Association includes early history
- Beverley Soaring Society