Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hillsborough saved

From the Maitland Mercury report:
There was applause when Maitland City Council voted unanimously that the historic Maitland suburb of Hillsborough would keep its name last night. “It has a post code, it has an address, it has residents and it has real history – and that’s the way we should keep it,” Cr Wethered said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 28 July, 2010.

Horse owner needs help to maintain Morpeth rides

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The gentle clip clop of Juliet the Clydesdale could soon become a sound of the past if residents fail to support her regular horse rides through Morpeth.
Juliet’s owner and carer, Dieter Hartmann, has launched a campaign to keep Juliet on the streets and is calling for residents to help keep her on the job.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 27 July, 2010.

Engineering Heritage Committee Public Lecture

Australia ’s First Railway: An “Agricultural” Venture

The venerable Australian Agricultural Company soon had its original 1824 objective of wool production supplemented by a requirement to produce coal. With an opening date of 1831, the railway connecting the mine to the Newcastle loading staiths was a structure well up to the standards of its European contemporaries.

Speaker Rod Caldwell, of the Newcastle Engineering Heritage Committee, has long been an active worker in engineering heritage.
When: Monday, 9 August 2010, 6pm. Refreshments from 5.30pm
Where: Engineers Australia Auditorium, Ground Floor, 8 Thomas St , Chatswood.  Admission: Free

Newcastle City Council - New Museum Photo Diary

Newcastle City Council has launched the New Museum Photo Diary where you can check out the progress of the new Newcastle Museum in the lead up to the launch of the fantastic new home in 2011.

More information at Newcastle Museum.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Currency Lass Hotel revamp given go ahead

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Tourists will bring new life to an empty historic hotel on High Street, Maitland with the building to be restored to its former glory. Maitland City Council has approved plans for the former Currency Lass Hotel to be transformed into a backpackers hostel to provide short-stay accommodation for visitors to the city.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 21 July, 2010.

Book highlights Maitland Region Society of Artists

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland’s hidden treasure – the city’s society of artists – has been looking for a place to call home for more than a decade.
Rutherford author Marilyn Foster has devoted a chapter to the society’s search in her book about the Maitland Region Society of Artists, called The First Decade. Crime writer and artist Barry Maitland will launch the book at the Masonic Hall, Grant Street, Maitland on Friday, August 13 at 6pm before the society’s art exhibition is opened.

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 21 July 2010.

Coalfield Heritage Group

The July issue of Tumblebee, quarterly journal of the Coalfield Heritage Group, includes articles on:
Lachlan Macquarie; Birth of the coalfields; progress being made on the database of all N.S.W. coal mines.
Museum location: Cnr. Greta & Deakin Streets, Kurri Kurri, ph. 49374418.

Royal Australian Historical Society garden lecture

Garden Lecture: Snapshot of a career in historic landscapes
Landscape Architect and heritage consultant Geoffrey Britton has been coaxed to give a rare talk on his heritage landscape projects across NSW and beyond over an impressive career. With a background in the Government Architect's Office and former Department of Public Works, his contribution to our understanding of NSW's rich landscape legacy is substantial and growing
Date: Wed 11 Aug 2010
Time: from 06:30 pm
Place: History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
More information at RAHS program of activities.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mai-Wel searches for memorabilia to record its history

From the Maitland Mercury report:
It’s been almost 50 years since the people of Maitland joined forces to establish a school for children and young people with a disability. Since then the school – now known as the Mai-Wel Group – has grown and changed, but the memories remain the same. To document the past five decades, the Mai-Wel Group is compiling historical information and data.
Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 15 July, 2010.

Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles’ bi-annual Collectors’ Day

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Doll collecror Lin Berriman will display her wares during the Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles’ bi-annual Collectors’ Day. Held at Maitland Gaol in September, the day is an opportunity for collectors to show their collections free of charge. The AMCAT Collector’s Day will be held on Sunday, September 26, between 10am and 4pm. Sellers of secondhand and/or collectables are also invited to have a stall for a small charge.
Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 15 July, 2010. Launches the Australia Birth, Marriage and Death Index

The Australia Birth, Marriage and Death Index, a compilation of the records of those who were born, married or died in Australia between the years 1788 and 1985.

The online index has been assembled into one fully searchable database from microfilm sourced from state record offices and archives where the records are available online or on fiche, but not in one place or in one format. Ancestry subscription information.

Artefact and artiface: getting back to basics at Hyde Park Barracks

Presented by Gary Crockett, Curator, Historic Houses Trust.
The presentation will lead a tour through this intriguing museum and examine how careful design, clear thinking and ‘good housekeeping’ brought the Hyde Park Barracks back from the brink and ensured its future for decades (at least) to come.

When: Thursday 5th August, 12.30 - 1.30pm
Where: Theatre, Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour
Contact: Registrations to by 30th July
Cost: Free!

Visions of Sydney Lecture Series: Building Sydney

Did Lachlan Macquarie really have a grand vision of Sydney ?
Join historian James Broadbent and Government Architect Peter Mould as they explore the consequences of Macquarie ’s ambitious building program.
When: Thursday 5 August 2010, 6.00 – 8.00pm
Where: Museum of Sydney , Corner Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney
Cost: $25.00, Concessions/Members $20.00
Bookings: 02 8239 2211 or

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Historic cemetery reopens : Maitland’s Jewish Cemetery

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The first person to be buried at Maitland’s historic Jewish Cemetery in 76 years will be lowered into the earth under a cloud of controversy.
The body of an elderly woman will be buried at the Louth Park cemetery at 3pm today more than seven decades after the entombment of Isacc Lipman in 1934.
But instead of welcoming the contemporary burial, members of the Australian Jewish Historical Society are outraged at Maitland City Council’s decision to allow the graveside service to go ahead.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 08 July, 2010

Sydney Design: 31 July – 15 August 2010

Sydney Design will host one if its most dynamic programs in 14 years with a city-wide program of more than 70 events and activities supported by an engaging theme ‘tell us a story’.
This contemporary design festival runs for 16 days from Saturday 31 July to Sunday 15 August. The program has been produced by the Powerhouse Museum in partnership with more than 50 cultural institutions, organisations and individuals across Sydney .

Further information:

Miss Porter’s House, Newcastle

Open Day with Children’s Books and Toys

Sunday, 11 July, 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Miss Porter’s House, 434 King Street, Newcastle West
Miss Porter’s House was the home of Herbert and Florence Porter and their two children, Ella and Hazel, until Herbert’s early death in 1919. Florence and the girls continued to live there all of their lives. When Hazel, the last surviving family member, died in 1997 she left the House to the National Trust. Many of the girls’ books and toys are still in the House and will be on view today. Cost: free to members, children and concession $5, adult $7. Enquiries: contact Roland Bannister. P: (02) 4967 4273 or

Australian Culture Portal Closes

1st July 2010 marks the cessation of the Culture Portal at
Further information about the closure can be found at and information about transfer of functions and content at
Australian Stories will be hosted in future by Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) in association with Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) following their successful migration to
They will still be able to be viewed at

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery

The ceremony to dedicate Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery will occur on Monday 19 July 2010. The event is being organised by the UK Ministry of Defence, the Australian Department of Defence and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Latest information at Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Tocal celebrates 45 year history

From the Maitland Mercury report:
In 1965, Tocal Agricultural College was a modest educational facility shaping the future of 15 young men.

Today, almost 45 years later, it’s a completely different story – but the history of the college remains firmly intact.
This history will come into focus later this year as the college – now regarded as one of Australia’s largest and most respected agricultural colleges – celebrates its 45th anniversary with a college reunion.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 02 July, 2010.

Society of Australian Genealogists

July activities from the Society of Australian Genealogists include:
  • Saturday 10 July (9.00am) - Library Orientation Tour, Members only. A one hour orientation tour of our library at 379 Kent Street.
  • Wednesday 14 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - London Ancestors - It's easier than ever before! &
  • Friday 16 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Customising Sources with 'The Master Genealogist' (TMG) 
  • Wednesday 21 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Forums and Mailing Lists
  • Saturday 24 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Interesting Family Histories
  • Thursday 29 June (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Getting Started on Your Family History - members only

Books recently published

Different sights: immigrants in New England. By Dr. Janis Wilton. Documenting the stories, people, places and objects that help to tell those stories. The aim is to seek and present the different perspectives and emphases that emerge when the focus is on the histories of immigrants who, so often, were seen to be on the margins of their local communities. Migration Heritage Centre.

The Orchid man of Paterson. By Val Anderson. Details the life of Herman Montague Rucker Rupp and his study of orchids while he was Rector of St Paul's Church of England at Paterson from 1924 to 1930. The book also contains interesting snapshots of the history of the Church of England in the Paterson Valley and records the more recent efforts of locals to retrace Rupp's steps, to find, identify and photograph the orchids he found six decades ago. Paterson Historical Society.

The Story of Lambton – a suburb of Newcastle. The Scottish Australian Mining Company established the Lambton Colliery in 1863 following which it became one of the most profitable and technologically advanced in Australia. Not surprisingly the township of Lambton which developed nearby was one of the most prosperous in the Newcastle area.  Newcastle Family History Society.

From the Spirit: A History of Newcastle Grammar School. By Anne Dunne, Troy Duncan, Rosemary Melville. The School has links to the earliest days of Anglican education in the city, beginning in 1816 when convict Henry Wrensford taught thirty eight children in a small room in Christ Church, on the site of today's Cathedral. Newcastle Grammar School.