Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tumblebee: quarterly journal of the Coalfield Heritage Group

Contents of April 2011, no. 27, issue:
Kurri Kurri reminiscences: horses provide horsepower - by Ken Marheine
An unbreakable spirit: convict Denis Dougherty - by Brian Andrews
Terrible murder at Maitland, 1838 - by Brian Andrews

Coalfield Heritage Group, Sir Edgeworth David Museum, Cnr. Deakin & Greta Streets, Kurri Kurri. Ph.49374418 (Brian Andrews)

Book recalls Hunter Valley nurses who went to war

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Along with the thousands of Australian soldiers prepared to put their lives on the line in WWI, 75 Hunter women volunteered to care for the wounded. With them were at least 19 nurses from Maitland, East Maitland, Paterson, Kurri Kurri and Cessnock. In her book Sisters of the Valley, Hunter historian Christina Bramble tells the experiences of the nurses.

Full article by Emma Swain availabe at Maitland Mercury, 29 Mar, 2011.

Maitland Council's vision for city open to public

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland City Council’s four-year draft delivery program, unveiled for public comment today, includes an examination of the “can do” philosophy to ensure it aligns with the community’s vision for the city for the next 10 years.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 28 Mar, 2011.

Maitland Taste Food, Wine & Jazz Festival 2011

The Maitland Taste Food, Wine and Jazz Festival is on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd April 2011.
Guided history walking tours will be hosted by the Maitland & District Historical Society.
Celebrate the "tastes and sounds" of the Hunter at Maitland's Heritage Mall.

Monday, March 28, 2011

History - Magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society

March 2011 issue of RAHS history magazine includes:
  • Bradleys Head: a Sydney Harbour icon
  • School museums in New South Wales: a soxial history perspective
  • Evolution of the Melbourne Cup trophy
  • RAHS 2010 annual report

Group chalks up its half century - Mai-Wel Group

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Mai-Wel Group's 50th anniversary client celebration. The event is dedicated to The Mai-Wel Group’s clients, carers and their families. “This event is one of the many in our yearlong calendar of anniversary celebrations,” Mai-Wel CEO Pennie Kearney said. “It is a time for all clients past and present to come along and celebrate The Mai-Wel Group’s 50th anniversary."
Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 25 Mar, 2011.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Maitland 1955 flood history on YouTube

Stories of survival and rescue from the 1955 Maitland flood have been uploaded to YouTube by the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority and the State Emergency Service as part of a community flood education program. The stories can be viewed online at

Historic Houses Trust exhibition - Justice & Police Museum

Collision: misadventure by motor car is the new exhibition at the Justice & Police Museum. The car crashes and traffic accidents of Sydney‘s past are revealed through compelling photographs from the Justice & Police Museum‘s archive. The motor car emerged as an essential form of personal transport in the 1920s and increasingly police were called to investigate traffic-related offences. A selection of images taken by police photographers in the aftermath of incidents that occurred between the early 1920s and 1964 will be on display in the Archive Gallery.

Justice & Police Museum
Saturday 19 March — Saturday 31 December, 2011

Cara Davis: the forgotten feminist

Cara David's achievements have been overshadowed by those of her famous husband, T.W. Edgeworth David. David was a popular and esteemed Professor of Geology at the University of Sydney, the discoverer of the great coal seams in the Hunter Valley, and a pioneer Antarctic explorer. Cara was T.W. Edgeworth David’s partner for 49 years, and the record of their life together over that period is held in the David family papers in the National Library of Australia, as well as being extensively documented in the Mitchell Library in Sydney and the University of Sydney archives.

Jennifer Horsfield explores the life of a little-known social and educational reformer in The National Library Magazine, March 2011.

Maitland Repertory Society

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A stalwart of the Maitland Repertory Society wants the amateur theatre group to change its name, 63 years after it was formed.
Long-time society member John Morris said the word repertory should be removed from the title and the group be renamed Maitland Theatre Company Inc.
Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 21 Mar, 2011.

Restoration for former AMP Bank in High Street

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Chipping away at the 1980s façade of his High Street home to reveal the true bones and beauty of the building is part of Stephen Troy's master plan. As a designer, he is used to restoring buildings and there is only one way to do jobs like this – to return the building to its original beauty. In addition to restoring the façade, he will bring the caretaker’s residence at the rear of the home back to what it once was. The building at 276 High Street was the former AMP Bank.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 18 Mar, 2011.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

NSW Heritage Grants and Hunter Region Heritage Grants

The list of successful projects under the 2011-13 NSW Heritage Grants and Hunter Region Heritage Grants funding programs is now available on the Heritage Branch website.

Programs included are the Works, Works for Residential and Commerical, Intrepretation, Community Strategic Products and Services and Hunter Region Works and Local Government heritage assets programs. In total, 206 applications across all competitively bid programs were submitted and 107 projects were successful in receiving funding.

Women's History Month begins!

'Women in the business of food' is the theme for Women's History Month 2011. To celebrate, the National Archives of Australia pays tribute to Amy Schauer, author of The Schauer Australian Cookery Book and philanthropic cookery teacher. You can 'Like' us on Facebook for more Women's History Month updates and other news over the month.

Best of best in pictures

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A hundred images from one of Australia’s oldest international salons of photography are now on show at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

Selected from 4000 entries, the 100 photographs – from the 54th annual International Salon of Photography – give an insight into the world around us, including provocative monochrome prints, colourful nature images and breathtaking landscapes.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 11 Mar, 2011.

Community Heritage Grants

2011 Applications now called for – applications close 5.00pm Friday 6 May

The Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program provides grants of up to $15,000 to community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups. The grants are provided to assist with the preservation of locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible including artifacts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and audio visual material.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

There's A War On! Exhibition Opening in Muswellbrook

Museums & Galleries NSW and the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre is proud to present the national touring exhibition There's a War On!: World War II At Home.

When: 19th March - 22nd May, 10am - 5pm Tuesday to Friday, 10am - 1pm Saturday, 2pm - 5pm Sunday
Where: Musellbrook Community Arts CentreCorner of Bridge & William Streets

Further information:

Maitland Regional Art Gallery

Maitland Regional Art Gallery has recently opened a new cafe, Seraphine.
Delicious new menu, divine coffe and sweets!!
Open Tuesday - Sunday, 9.00am - 4.30pm,
phone 02 4934 7264.

Money for Morpeth Museum

From the Maitland Mercury report:
More of Morpeth’s history will be unveiled with expanded exhibition space to come with a $150,000 renovation of the western annexe of Morpeth Court House.

The circa-1880 building will be the target of a Heritage grant announced during a visit from Lands Minister Tony Kelly yesterday, to complete Maitland City Council’s ongoing restoration works.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 09 Mar, 2011.

U.K. National Archives - Passenger lists

Passenger lists - both inbound and outward - are an invaluable resource for tracing a person who emigrated
from or immigrated to the UK in the 19th and 20th centuries. You can search incoming passenger lists on for people arriving in the United Kingdom from foreign ports outside of Europe and the Mediterranean. These passenger lists cover the years 1878 to 1960. It is free to search the website, but there is a charge for viewing the full entry and downloading images of the passenger lists.

You can search the outward-bound passenger lists at for people leaving ports in the United Kingdom and Ireland. These passenger lists cover the years 1890 to 1960.
The lists show details of passengers travelling to long-distance destinations, including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America.
The records were made available online by our partner, It is free to search the website, but there is a charge for downloading images of the passenger lists.
Research guides are also available  on the National Archives website.

Loco heads to shelter for permanent home

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Preparations for the relocation of historic steam engine 1042 have begun. The engine will be placed in a storage and display building under construction in the shadow of the Trzecinski Bridge in time for the 26th Steamfest on April 9 and 10.
The city’s steam enthusiasts have a vision to restore the engine to working order at a specialist workshop in the new building.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 04 Mar, 2011.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Maitland & District Historical Society

The most recent Bulletin of the Maitland & District Historical Society is now available online at their website. After some years in abeyance, the Bulletin will again be issued on a quarterly basis. The February 2011 issue includes the President's report and overview (Ruth Trappel), details of the Society's new premises at 3 Cathedral Street in Maitland, the Maitland Mercury's report of a 'destructive and fatal storm' in 1861 and the Society's 2011 diary dates noting the activities of the Society as well as other relevant events throughout the year.
Meetings of the Historical Society are held at their premises, 3 Cathedral Street, Maitland, on the first Tuesday of the month, commencing at 5.30. -everyone is welcome to attend.

Collections Australia Network

Dr. Dawn Casey, Director of the Powerhouse Museum announced that Cultural Ministers Council (CMC) funding provided to the Powerhouse Museum Sydney to deliver the Collections Australia Network would cease on 28 February 2011.
Despite the conclusion of the contract for CAN, Dr Casey was pleased to advise that the Powerhouse will continue to operate the website until further notice. However, as no additional funding has been provided and given contractual requirements, it will not be possible to provide the previous level of service and information.

Australian War Memorial news

Governor-General officially opens the War Memorial’s Hall of Valour
Before a gathering that included living Victoria Cross holders Keith Payne VC OAM, Corporal Mark Donaldson VC, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia officially opened the Hall of Valour on Monday 21 February 2011.

The Hall of Valour honours the Australians who have received the Victoria Cross and the George Cross.

Maitland’s century-old London plane trees

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland’s century-old London plane trees are dying from indirect poisoning and may be beyond salvation, an independent arborist has warned.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 01 Mar, 2011.

Final reunion the end of an era for orphanages: Monte Pio/Murray Dwyer

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An event that has brought together the orphans and surrendered children of Maitland throughout the 1900s is about to come to an end. The last official Monte Pio/Murray Dwyer reunion will be on Sunday, spelling the end of an era for two of the Hunter’s renowned orphanages.
“After 20 years, we figured it was time to call it a day. I think it’s time to move on and also time to close a few doors,” former Monte Pio girl and reunion organiser Anne Incze said.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 01 Mar, 2011.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No fear of floods, but Clem hates snakes

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Born in a Millers Forest dockyard 81 years ago, Mr Clem O’Brien has survived much of what our unpredictable waterways can dish out.Yet his respect for the Hunter River remains strong. “The river has always been a huge part of our lives,” the third-generation farmer said. Clem O’Brien has been invited to talk as part of the Maitland City Library’s Hunter River Oral History Project.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 28 Feb, 2011.

River’s stories to be documented

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The launch of Maitland City Library’s Hunter River Oral History Project was held on the eve of the 56th anniversary of the Maitland Flood on Friday, with an invitation to anyone with a story to tell about the river to be part of it.

City Librarian Keryl Collard said the project would preserve individual and community experiences of floods and examine how the river had influenced activities in the city. The stories will be recorded and added to the library’s local history collection.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 28 Feb, 2011.  

Society of Australian Genealogists

A chronological list of all activities for February to April 2011 is now available for online viewing and bookings.
Coming up in March:
Wed 9 March - Getting to Know More About State Records - how to make the best use of State Records' online and reading room resources
Sat 12 Mar - Finding Australian Death and Burial Records
Sat 19 Mar - Australian Research - Arrivals - How do you find the records of your ancestor's arrival in Australia?
Sat 19 Mar - Getting Organised - organise your files, record source information, understand date formats and evaluate the quality or accuracy of information
Society of Australian Genealogists

Maitland Showground’s Troubled grandstand

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Engineering experts will put Maitland Showground’s troubled grandstand under the microscope next week to determine what repairs are needed to restore the 100-year-old structure. But a heritage listing meant the association had to tread carefully.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 24 Feb, 2011.

Artist preserves the Maitland’s history in visual register

From the Maitland Mercury report:
For the past three years the East Maitland artist Holly McNamee has developed a collection of drawings she hopes will provide a visual register of Maitland’s significant architecture. The collection is part of the National Trust 2011 Heritage Festival and represents part of the Friends of Grossmann House program. The exhibition opens at Brough House on March 11 and will remain on display until April 3.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 25 Feb, 2011.