Thursday, April 26, 2012

Approval set for industry next to Wallis House

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The National Trust is lost for words at Maitland City Council’s recommendation to approve a light industrial development on High Street next door to Wallis House.
Conservation manager Graham Quint cannot understand why the conversion of the former fruit and vegetable stall, Weidecks, to a light metal fabrication shop and storage units would be approved at 21 High Street when the land is zoned primary production under the Maitland Local Environment Plan 2011.
The National Trust objected to the proposal in a letter to the council in December, but the council is satisfied the heritage conservation of Wallis House will not be affected after its assessment of potential impacts.
The council said the proposed development was 22.5 metres from the boundary of Wallis House and there would be plants on the boundaries of the site to soften the visual impact and provide a landscape buffer to Wallis House.

Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 23 Apr, 2012.

Bee exhibition has city abuzz

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Like the bees the Pender brothers used to breed, some of their beekeeping tools have come home to visit.
The bees were bred on the top floor of the Pender hardware store as far back as the 1800s and would come and go through an open window. If that seems incredible, consider this: it was common at the time to post live queen bees around the country in a timber box, about the size of a cigarette carton.
A range of the tools that Pender Brothers used to use and sell will be on display this weekend at Brough House as part of Heritage Week celebrations.
Items on loan from the Sydney Powerhouse Museum – for the first time since 1931 – include a set of bellows and a hot knife, for harvesting the honey.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 20 Apr, 2012.

National Library acquires rare globes

In a first for an Australian collecting institution, two pairs of rare floor globes have been acquired by the National Library of Australia.
The two pairs of terrestrial and celestial globes, purchased from a New York gallery, were produced between 1799 and 1825 by leading globe-makers of the time, J&W Cary. One of the large terrestrial globes has just been installed in the National Library’s new Treasures Gallery. It shows the tracks of discovery by James Cook and others.
Curator of Maps at the National Library, Dr Martin Woods, said the acquisition was significant because the presence of such globes in Australian collecting institutions was uncommon.

Heritage needs an income

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The National Trust needs to explore other sources of income to help sustain heritage properties, CEO Brian Scarsbrick said.
Mr Scarsbrick made a surprise visit to Grossmann House and Brough House yesterday to look at the work to be carried out under a $34,000 grant from the Office of Environment and Heritage.
Under the grant, the houses will be painted in their original identical colours, which has not been the case in decades.
Mr Scarsbrick said the city’s heritage amazed him and the future of maintaining heritage buildings relied on the National Trust sourcing income from various places including government grants.

Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 18 Apr, 2012.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Steam train fans in eBidding war

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The bidding war has started on eBay as steam train enthusiasts pledge wads of cash for the opportunity to sit up front in a locomotive for the ride of their life during Steamfest.
Three rides were put on eBay last week in what is a first for Steamfest – and not on offer anywhere else in NSW – with the idea already proving popular as prices rise well into the hundreds for each of the rides.

Full article by Courtney Garnham availoable at Maitland Mercury, 16 Apr, 2012.

Picture Australia into Trove

Since the launch of Trove, a copy of all records in the Picture Australia service have been featured in the Pictures, photos and objects zone to provide valuable additional context for people, events and publications.
Over the next three months, the National Library will be integrating some essential Picture Australia discovery functions into Trove, and switching off its separate user interface at
This event is scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2012.

Call for new centre for music, arts

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Frank Oakes dedicated 20 years of his life to the Maitland Repertory Theatre as president, overseeing season after season of stage shows at The Playhouse, on High Street.
Looking around Maitland in his retirement, at how the town has grown, he said it’s ready to fully embrace the arts. Mr Oakes said the ideal location would be next to the town hall, across the road from the existing theatre and Maitland Regional Art Gallery. The development could make the southern end of High Street a cultural precinct.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 11 Apr, 2012.

It’s all an issue of Trust

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The careful and creative redevelopment of Maitland Regional Art Gallery is up for a National Heritage Trust Award.
The redevelopment has grabbed the attention of judges by combining two 100 year-old buildings into a contemporary and useable building.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 11 Apr, 2012.

National Archives of Australia

Anzac Day is one of the busiest times for the National Archives website, with many thousands of Australians seeking information on their family members' service records. You can beat the rush and check out your ancestors’ records now. Our website provides tips on the types of records you can find online. It's easy to log in as a guest researcher and search by your family name.
The National Archives' Mapping our Anzacs website also allows you to search by your town or suburb to see who enlisted there – and to check out which soldiers had the same next-of-kin. You can also add photographs and mementoes of your own relatives.

Inside History Magazine

Inside History is for people passionate about Australian and New Zealand genealogy, history and heritage. In the March–April 2012 edition (issue 9):
  • Read the latest on the new Australian series of Who Do You Think You Are?
  • Your memories of World War II
  • The mother who saw seven soldiers go to war
  • Why your Anzac may be missing from the records
  • What life was like for an Aussie governess
  • We reunite a family with a photo from 1883
  • Off the tourist track: secret history in Victoria's goldfield

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Historic Houses Trust Exhibition

Home Front: wartime Sydney 1939-1945
On 3 September 1939 Prime Minister Robert Menzies broadcast to the nation that Australia was at war with Germany. Although the battlefields were thousands of miles away, the war also significantly affected those at home, who were urged to support the war effort. For most Australians, life during World War II was a strange combination of loneliness, excitement, opportunity, austerity, love and grief.
Home front: wartime Sydney 1939–45 explores the experiences of Sydneysiders living on the home front during World War II. Through a fascinating array of paintings, photographs, film, costume, objects and personal memorabilia, this exhibition follows the wartime events that shaped, challenged and changed the lives of generations of Australians.

School’s out: veteran principal calls it quits

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Rutherford Public School principal John Quinn has retired after devoting almost 40 years of his life to education.
His career began in 1974 in Mudgee and throughout his time he was appointed to several schools in western NSW.
He also worked at Thornton, Telarah and Rutherford Public Schools.
He taught at Thornton Public School from 1975 to 1980 and was at Telarah Public School from 1993 to 2002.
He was appointed to Rutherford at the end of 2006 and was proud to lead the school and facilitate its development.

Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 04 Apr, 2012.

Former editor of Mercury dies: Vale Norm Worth

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Mr Norm Worth – a former Maitland Mercury editor and veteran Hunter journalist – died suddenly yesterday in Tasmania.
“Norm came to Maitland on a one-year loan and stayed for the rest of his life,” long time friend and former Maitland Mercury general manager Dan Austin said yesterday.
Mr Worth eventually became editor of the Mercury and relief editor at papers in Cessnock, Singleton and Armidale.
Mr Worth was also involved in the Lions movement and was a loyal supporter of the Maitland RSL sub-branch.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 04 Apr, 2012.

History Council NSW

History Council of NSW have announced their new website has been launched.

The History Council has also announced the new president:
At the General Council meeting held on Friday 2 March, Professor Richard Waterhouse was elected as the new History Council of NSW President. Dr Tanya Evans also took up the position of Vice President, and Andrea Fernandes joined the Executive Committee. The Council would like to thank the outgoing President Mark Dunn for all his hard work over the last year, and looks forward to working with the new team in 2012.

Maitland World War I Digger's remains identified

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The remains of a Maitland World War I Digger buried in a mass grave in northern France have been identified by DNA.
It has been revealed that Private John Cyril Wynn – originally from Largs – is one of nine Australian Diggers among the 250 Australian and British WWI soldiers recovered from Pheasant Wood, France, in 2009.
Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 2 Apr, 2012.