Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lochinvar Police Station

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The historical home of policing in Lochinvar will soon be divided. Maitland MP Frank Terenzini said plans were progressing to subdivide the Station Lane property into three lots, with the historic building to be sold and a new police residence to be built next door. Work is under way on design documentation and heritage investigations.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 24 Nov, 2009.

St Ann's Church on the market

From the Maitland Mercury report:
One of Australia’s oldest Presbyterian churches is about to esperience a reincarnation. It’s been close to four years since the pews of St Ann’s Presbyterian Church, Paterson, were filled with parishioners and now the church faces a change. Due to a decline in parishioners, the church just couldn’t keep going - Paterson Historical Society president, Cameron Archer - so it’s about to go on the market. (Picture by Cath Bowen)

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 24 Nov, 2009.

RAHS award for Val Anderson

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Mrs Anderson has received a Royal Australian Historical Society Certificate for her outstanding services to local history, including her unwavering dedication to the Paterson Historical Society. Today the Paterson Historical Society is widely acknowledged as one of the best rural museums in New South Wales.

Full article by Emma Sawin available at Maitland Mercury, 24 Nov, 2009.

Push to restore boxer’s grave site

From the Maitland Mercury report:
It was a knock out for Yanwyn Kirby to discover he was related to one of Australia’s most legendary figures. And as a recognised relative of Maitland’s favourite son, Les Darcy, he is behind a push to restore the boxer’s grave site. Mr Kirby, a cousin to Darcy, donates money each fortnight to the Les Darcy Family Vault Restoration established by Maitland City Council.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 23 Nov, 2009.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

National Archives of Australia - Interactive australianscreen online

A new-look australianscreen online offering access to a wide range of moving image
material has become interactive with social space for discussions, forums and groups. The National Archives is a collection partner for australianscreen online which holds nearly 1400 Australian film and television titles from the last 110 years.

Historic Shipwrecks Program

Federal Heritage Minister Peter Garrett announced funding for projects that will protect the nation's underwater heritage. A total of 25 projects across Australia will receive funding under the Historic Shipwrecks Program. Projects to receive funding in New South Wales include: historic shipwreck survey recording and monitoring of Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks - continuing investigations at the M24 Japanese midget submarine site and the convict transport shipwreck site of the Hive (1835) and its associated survivor’s camp near Jervis Bay.

For more information on Australia’s shipwreck heritage, visit Historic Shipwrecks.

‘Silver City’ memorabilia on display

From the Maitland Mercury report:

East Maitland branch librarian Olga McTackett has a special connection to the people who lived at Greta Migrant Camp. She was born at Greta’s “Silver City” in 1951 after her Ukrainian parents migrated here from a displaced person’s camp in Germany. A display of three collections of migrant camp memorabilia will open for exhibition at East Maitland Public Library on Monday. The collections show the lives of migrants at Greta, Port Stephens and Mayfield camps after World War II.
An official exhibition launch will be held at the library on December 4.

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 19 Nov, 2009.

Heirloom missing from museum

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A family heirloom revolver dated 1863 has gone missing from Morpeth Courthouse Museum. Jack Paten, whose family has lived in the area since the 1860s, is searching for the missing family treasure donated to the museum in the 1970s. The revolver belonged to Mr Paten’s great grandfather, who came to the Hunter as a five year old in 1865.

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 19 Nov, 2009. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Update on Collections Council funding

The Board and Secretariat wish to thank all those who have offered support in response to the advice that the Cultural Ministers Council (CMC) will cease its funding of the Collections Council of Australia. The Collections Council now confirms that the CMC will cease its funding of the Collections Council of Australia. The final Funding Agreement ends on 30 June 2010.
The Collections Council will wind down its activities over coming months and will then proceed to wind up the company.
The CMC is establishing a Working Group to consider any future approach to matters relating to the sector.

History to make way for a third rail track

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The railway bridge on Old North Road at Lochinvar will be demolished to make way for another train track as part of the Maitland to Minimbah Third Track Project, prividing an additional an additional single direction line for coal to the Port of Newcastle. Maitland City Council gave approval for the demolition of the Old North Road rail bridge at a meeting last week. Ray Fairweather said he wanted the bridge to be saved. Details of the history of the bridge were limited, but Cr Fairweather said it could be 150 years old.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 17 Nov, 2009.  

21st Anniversary for Maitland’s Heritage Mall

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland’s Heritage Mall marks its 21st anniversary. The pavers of the mall were officially opened in grand fashion on November 17, 1988. "A very interesting and exciting part of our history in Maitland has been the mall,” Cr Blackmore said.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 17 Nov, 2009.

Fast Track Heritage project - Rail Motor Society at Paterson

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Rail Motor Society at Paterson welcomed nine specially recruited volunteers to take part in the Fast Track Heritage project. Part of the Rail Heritage Care program, the project is an intense week-long program of heritage conservation works. The volunteers will archive train books and paraphernalia in a stationary carriage, build shelves, garden around the site, restore and paint during the next five weeks.

Full article by Sam Rigney available at Maitland Mercury, 17 Nov, 2009.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Digital access to Sydney Morning Herald

National Library of Australia newspapers service has announced that the first digitised issues of the Sydney Morning Herald are now available commencing with the the first issue in 1831. The first 20 years (18,000 pages) are available: Sydney Herald 1831-1842, Sydney Morning Herald 1842-1852. Issues from 1852 - 1954 will be made available each week to early 2010.
Issues of the Melbourne Argus are also now completed and available from 1846 - 1945.

Bob's Bird Barn - High Street Eyesore

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Bob's Bird Barn - the dilapidated building in Maitland’s High Street is an “absolute blight” on the city and poses a danger to surrounding  buildings, Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore says. But the Maitland City Council can’t act unless the structure becomes unsafe.

Full article by Alan Hardie available at Maitland Mercury, 16 Nov, 2009.

Historian Peter Bogan receives award

From the Maitland Mercury report:
It is testament to Peter Bogan’s commitment to preserving the city's flood history that he is the recipient of a Premier’s Award. With his status as a flood authority cemented through the sell-out Walk and Talk Flood Tour series, run by the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Managment Authority, Mr Bogan was presented with a Premier’s Award when Mr Rees was in Maitland on November 6.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 16 Nov, 2009.

Black Boy should be displayed proudly

From the Maitland Mercury report:
American author Waymon LeFall proudly studied Maitland’s little black boy or hitching post boy. Maitland’s little black boy has been part of the High Street landscape since 1866. LeFall said "This statue is revered in America and, through my story telling, people have come to realise that he is a symbol of pride – it is not a racist statue."
Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 13 Nov, 2009.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Paterson at War

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Author David Brouwer has launched his new book - the Paterson at War, the 19th title in the series All About Tocal. It’s a story of the people of Paterson and how they helped the war effort in various ways.  The book covers the building of the bunker (during World War II) and how the Paterson community responded to war time conditions.
Full article by Sam Rigney available at Maitland Mercury, 13 Nov, 2009.

Maitland Region Art Gallery Building

From the Maitland Mercury report:
There were predictions that the futuristic extension to Maitland Regional Art Gallery would set an architectural benchmark for the city. Only months since its official opening in August, the structure has been recognised by the State’s construction industry.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 11 Nov, 2009.

Galton's Reunion

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Most Maitland residents have fond memories of shopping and meeting for lunch at the former Galton’s department store in High Street. The Galton’s building was the focal point of the town for more than a century and made such an impact on the lives of its staff that a reunion will be held again this year.
Galton’s opened in 1878 and was owned by the Wolstenholme family, closing 23 years ago. Reunion organiser Helen Watts of Rutherford predicts the gathering will attract at least 50 to 60 former staff members at East Maitland Bowling Club on Monday, December 7 from 11am.

Contact Helen on 4932 7111

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 11 Nov, 2009.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First World War ancestors online and Irish maps available - U.K. National Archives

In partnership with The National Archives, has now made available online the entire collection of British Army World War One Service Records, 1914-1920, detailing the full military careers of more than two million soldiers who served during World War One.

You can also now search and download a stunning collection of early Irish maps c.1558 - c.1610) for the first time. These beautiful, hand-drawn parchment maps depict plantations, fortifications and townships during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.

Vision for Branxton to be unveiled

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A vision for a Branxton with the congested New England Highway replaced with a leisurely, shared pedestrian and vehicle zone will be unveiled tomorrow. The draft Branxton Urban Design Framework was created to help residents define the town they wanted, and guide the future development of the Branxton commercial centre.

 Full report by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 10/11/2009.

Library services follow demands of population

From the Maitland Mercury report:
East Maitland Library is fast taking over as the city’s most popular. Visitation figures show more people are using the Garnett Road venue than any other, and a recommendation will be put to tonight’s Maitland City Council’s meeting to increase opening hours at East Maitland Library to meet demand.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 10/11/2009.

Nancy Bird-Walton Memorial Open at Luskintyre.

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The official opening of the memorial tower for aviator Nancy Bird-Walton was held on Saturday, 7 November 2009. The 1930s style, 15.5m high control tower – with the latest mod cons including Internet webcam and weather station - were opened in fine style.

Full article by Alan Hardie available at Maitland Mercury, 9/11/2009.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tocal Homestead access

Tocal Homestead will close for public visits at weekends on 29 November 2009 and re-open at the beginning of March 2010. For more information phone Sandy Earle on 49398901 or email

National Trust Events

Comestibles and Collectables at the Coliseum: Friday 27 November, 6pm - 8pm.
Coliseum, 118 Maitland Road, Mayfield. Join us for a browse through Mayfield’s historic Coliseum, magnificently restored, a haven for collectors of antique and collectable glass, china, jewellery, books, furniture etc. Bookings: essential, contact Anne Creevey. P: 0416 285 376

Walsh Bay walking tour: Thursday 26 November, 10am – 11.45am.
The Walsh Bay precinct has become one of Sydney’s most interesting cultural and residential areas. A special walking tour of the area has been arranged for National Trust members and friends.
Meet outside the Garrison Church in Argyle Place. Cost: $40.
Tour leader: Loma Priddle. P: (02) 9412 2875.

Cockatoo Island walking tour
: Tuesday 17 November. Catch the Rivercat Ferry from Circular Quay, Wharf 5 at 9.50am Cockatoo Island is an historic island with buildings dating from the convict era to the naval ship building times of the early 1900s. Cost: $39 includes lunch.
Tour leader: Margaret Durham, P: (02) 9326 2963
National Trust Events Diary

Maitland Regional Art Gallery

Exhibition Opening:  27 November 2009, 6pm – everyone is welcome and entry is free.
In Your Dreams: an exhibition of art work created by Australian and German artists.
To be opened by Brett Alexander – Lecturer in Fibres Textile at the University of Newcastle.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery

Thursday, November 5, 2009

National Museum of Australia (Canberra) Demonstration: Top drawers

Observe a corset-making demonstration and learn about historic undergarments with Canberra fashion designer Eline Martinsen and ‘unmentionables expert’ Maria Ramsden.
Saturday 14 November, 2–4 pm.   Top drawers!

36th Australian Antiquarian Book Fair

The State Library of New South Wales hosts this year’s Antiquarian Book Fair, organised by the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers.  Booksellers from around Australia and New Zealand will showcase a selection of books within a broad price range. This is an opportunity to meet booksellers, browse hundreds of books on all subjects and perhaps make that special find.
Friday 13 November from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm and on Saturday 14 November from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Society of Australian Genealogists activities

The November 2009 - January 2010 activities programme is available at the Society of Australian Genealogists web site.
Activities include:
First Steps for Aussie Ancestors - 15 November ; A one hour orientation tour of the SAG library at 379 Kent Street - 21 November ; Getting Started on Your Family History (Members only) - 26 November.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Accolade for heritage city

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Another affirmation of Maitland’s status as a heritage centre came at this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns awards. The city dominated the Heritage Branch Cultural Heritage Award category, taking out the prize for the restored Maitland Gaol auditorium and museum space and runner-up for the book Hearths and Homes, by Cynthia Hunter.
Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 2/11/2009.

Red Lion Inn to reopen for visitors

From the Maitland Mercury report:
One of Maitland’s most historic buildings will be restored to its original use with plans to reopen it to visitors.
The Red Lion Inn on Banks Street, East Maitland was built as a coach inn about 1851, and took on its name when it was sold to Charles Whittaker in 1855 who extended the building and rechristened it.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 27/10/2009.

60 years of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme

National Archives of Australia is highlighting 60 years of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. Today, 60 years after the first blast, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme is recognised as one of the most incredible achievements in Australia – not only an engineering and construction marvel but a project that brought thousands of migrants to our shores. You can find out more about the Snowy's mighty history at the National Archives.