THUNDERBOLT

Seven kilometres to the south of the old goldrush town of Uralla, South of Tenterfield, beside the highway, is Thunderbolt's Rock, a hideout of Captain Thunderbolt, "The Gentleman Bushranger". Fred Ward was his real name, and he's buried in the Uralla cemetery, while a statue depicting him, proud and defiant on his horse, has recently been erected in the main street. Captain Thunderbolt had a reputation as a fairly benevolent Robin Hood type figure who generally stuck to robbing mail coaches in the region during the late 1860s, but he met his end like the rest of his kind: shot by the dreaded "traps", at Kentucky, south-east of Uralla.

Thunderbolt was a legend in the New England district of NSW, known as the “gentleman bushranger” because he never really hurt anyone. Oldtimers from Quirindi recall the time he took over the hotel, shouting (“shouting” is an Australian expression for the giving of alcohol) everyone to spirits and organising a party complete with fiddle-player and dancing.