Interest Pages

Len & Anne 1961
Len & Anne, 1961



Anne Beadell 2009
Anne 2009


Family Xmas 2002
at Xmas 2002
Anne & Len's wedding day 1961, with her Mum
Wedding Day 1961, with her Mum
Len's retirement 1988
at Len's retirement 1988


Anne with her violin, around 70's
Anne with her violin, 70's

Anne Beadell, at 69 years of age, died peacefully early in the afternoon of November the 24th 2010 as a result of complications from a stroke.

   Anne was born in a battered London in 1941, a time of aerial bombing, food rationing and the threat of invasion. Anne’s family & relatives survived the war and came to Australia as "ten pound poms" in 1960. They chose Adelaide to settle down and rented a newly built house in a northern suburb called Salisbury, very close to a large Defence and Air Force base. Life was peaceful and quiet. Everything changed one weekend in July 1960 when Anne & her parents met the landlord, a bloke in shirt, shorts & hobnail boots (without socks). The Matthews family had heard many stories of Len Beadell, now the famous bush road-builder was on the doorstep! Anne married Len in 1961, daughter Connie arrived later that same year. In 1962 after mountains of red tape Len was able to take Anne to the bush and at five months of age Connie began her desert career, much to the consternation of Anne’s parents. Anne & Connie were with Len for hundreds of miles of bushbashing through desert country to find the best place to build what became known as the Anne Beadell & Connie Sue Highways, quite a change from Anne’s previous life in England.

Anne at Connie & Mick's wedding, 2005
Connie & Mick's wedding 2005
Anne and Mick
Anne & Mick 2006
Anne at Godfrey's Tank
at Godfrey's Tank
Anne at Len's Ration Truck
at Len's burnt Ration Truck
Anne & Connie at Neale Jn
Connie & Anne at Neale Jn


   By the end of 1963 Len’s road project had been completed and Anne, Connie and the newest addition Gary were able to have Len home more often. In 1965 Jackie was born and as soon as she was old enough Len, Anne & the three kids loaded up the family four wheel drive and headed for the desert. The first family desert trip was in 1975, a time when the famous road network had largely fallen into disuse. Most of the roads were only wheeltracks & Aboriginal communities along the way were few and far between. Every year during school holidays the Beadell’s completed more of Len’s network, it was an important project. Len travelled pretty much as he always did and all of the family learnt to exist in the desert with the barest of comforts. As the popularity of four wheel drives increased in the 1980's and into the 1990's tourism along Len’s roads exploded, with Len guiding groups around the deserts, Anne or Connie in tow. It was a real family affair.

   The family continued to expand with both Jacqui and Gary marrying. The inevitable grandchildren found they had a warm, happy grandmother always there to lend a hand or give a kind word.

   Len died in 1995 and Anne moved to Williamstown on the edge of the Barossa Valley. It was from there that violin teaching and a growing business selling Len’s books & tapes kept Anne very busy, helped at this time by her new partner Phil Sexton. Anne gradually took on a public speaking role as Len had done, taking the story of her involvement with the roads and the Gunbarrel Road Construction Party to many community groups. As the years progressed Anne, between violin lessons and the Books & Tapes business, made extended desert forays with Phil. Trips included being celebrity guest for commercial tag-a-longs and helping Connie maintain Len's many road network plaques. More recently Anne completed tough expeditions covering many hundreds of kilometres off-track with Connie and her husband Mick Hutton, almost identical to way back in 1962. Len had taught Anne well.

   Anne always enjoyed robust health until the last couple of years. Complications from medication caused a brain bleed in February 2010. Getting over that episode Anne carried on as normal until mid November when a stroke occurred. Several setbacks saw Anne succumb on November 24th.

   Somewhere in the never ending desert at the moment are a couple in a scratched and scrub beaten Land Rover, one has no socks and the other is knitting, they’re looking for yet another perfect place to camp.........


Beadell's going bush 1987
Beadell's going bush 1987
Len's plaque at Anne's Cnr
Len's plaque at Anne's Cnr, Anne Beadell Hwy
Jacqui's engagement party 1987
Jacqui's engagement 1987


Anne, Connie & Doug Stoneham
with Doug Stoneham at the
sth end Sandy Blight Jn rd
Anne & Phil 2001
Anne & Phil 2001
Beadell family 2010
Beadell family 2009
minus Phil & Mick


Woomera Cemetery Story Copyright Dec 2010:
Mick Hutton and Connie Beadell
Photos provided by Connie Beadell & the family archives,
Phil Sexton, David Hewitt & Robin Page

Beadell Memorial on Anne Beadell Hwy
close up of plaque


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