Long-time Brook resident Susan Harris has written a book on the valley's history, which was released at an event at the Masonic Lodge last night. Photo: Andrew Board.

Book on The Brook written by resident


The history of the Brook Valley has been compiled into a new book which has been released for sale this week.

Susan Harris grew up in The Brook and has lived many of her adult years there, too. She says she always wanted to write a book but it wasn’t until a community meeting at the Brook shop that she finally decided to give it a go.

“I sat back and listened to people saying how The Brook has changed and I thought, ‘I have lived here a lot longer than most, maybe a book would be a good way to preserve the history of it’.”

She says she spent three years reading old newspapers, trawling through museum archives and speaking with many of The Brook’s personalities.

A big feature of the valley’s history is the number of floods that it has had to deal with, and the construction of the channel to help with the flooding.

“During the floods everybody helped everybody, it was a great community feel,” she says.

“One story from the floods that sticks out was a local lady who saw that her husband’s work van was parked in a place that she thought might get flooded. He was down at the pub so she called and his response was ‘I’ve just got a jug in, you’ll have to wait’.

“She couldn’t wait any longer so a neighbour helped her move it and it was lucky she did because it would have been flooded if it stayed where it was.”

Susan says one the valley’s first residents was the Blick family, who made cloth and leather. Their cloth earned a top award from Queen Victoria at a fair in London.

The book features plenty of photographs and anecdotes.

The book was launched at a Nelson Historical Society meeting at the Masonic Lodge on Monday night.

To buy a copy of the book email [email protected]. The book is $25 per copy.