Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snitch the Rat let loose to tell the story of gaol’s past

From the Maitland Mercury report:
“Snitch the Rat” has been set loose in the cells helping educate kids inside one of Maitland’s ­historic monuments.
In a fun pitch to educate kids Maitland City Council and the state government launched a new audio tour of Maitland Gaol, featuring the rodent guide, yesterday.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 13, 2012.

On Their Own: Britain’s child migrants

From the 1860s to the 1960s, more than 100,000 British children travelled alone across the world to face new lives.

On Their Own: Britain’s child migrants – now on display at the National Archives in Canberra – tells the emotional story of their fate.

The exhibition explores the government-endorsed schemes and the motivations behind them. Individual stories enable visitors to meet a number of former child migrants and learn about their experiences.

Few of the children were orphans. Many came from poor families who could no longer look after them. Sending them overseas, it was thought, would improve their opportunities while increasing the population of ‘good British stock’ and labour in the colonies.

On Their Own: Britain’s child migrants is a travelling exhibition from the Australian National Maritime Museum, in association with National Museums Liverpool, UK.

Memorial wall idea for historic Morpeth wharf

From the Maitland Mercury article:
Former Maitland alderman Lance Murray wants support for a memorial wall at Morpeth’s historic wharf, using convict hewn stone, remembering early settlers and indigenous peoples.
The wall, if constructed, would stand where some of Maitland’s first migrants came ashore in 1832 aboard the steam ship Sophia Jane and compliment a plaque unveiled during the nation’s 1988 bicentenary celebrations.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 13, 2012.

Renewal over heritage as council approves units

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The renewal of central Maitland took priority over heritage concerns at Maitland City Council last night.

Stars line up to retell Maitland story

From the Maitland Mercury report:
British actor and former professional footballer Vinnie Jones and American actor and playwright Stephen Lang have joined the cast to help recreate the story of a group of World War I soldiers who departed Maitland in 1916 to risk their lives in France.
Written over two decades, 34th Battalion tells the story of the army battalion who trained in Maitland and left for war from Farley railway station on May 1, 1916.
The men were commonly known as Maitland’s own.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 11, 2012.

National Library of Australia receives glass negatives

From the Sydney Morning Herald:
More than 13,000 glass negatives forming the Fairfax Archives Glass Plate Collection were donated to the National Library of Australia on Monday.

The photographs, taken by Fairfax photographers between 1908 and the mid-1930s, will be restored and put into digital form in a partnership between Fairfax Media, the National Library and the government's National Cultural Heritage Foundation, which contributed $425,000.
The library's director-general, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, said the collection was particularly significant for Australians' understanding of the early 20th century.

Full article available at Sydney Morning Herald, December 4, 2012.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Historic Houses Trust 2012-2013 summer events

Summer has finally arrived at the Historic Houses Trust and we’re excited to bring you a fresh program packed with things to do and see!
Enjoy a newly launched feast of delectable delights at the Hyde Park Barracks Café with our special high-tea offer. Or keep the kids busy with some school-holiday favourites such as Rouseabout and Kids in the Colony.
Celebrate Christmas by the Bay in the picturesque surrounds of Elizabeth Bay House while enjoying the Choir of St James', or visit one of our exciting exhibitions.

Australian War Memorial: treasures from a century of collecting

Published on Oct 22, 2012
The Memorial has launched a new book, Australian War Memorial: treasures from a century of collecting, written by Nola Anderson, the Memorial's Acting Director. The book brings to life the Memorial's collection -- one of the most significant military history collections in the world. This comprehensive, lavishly illustrated publication covers the entire history of the collection, from its humble beginnings in the trenches of the First World War to the war in Afghanistan today.

The book tells the stories behind the objects that make up the collection, from those that represent a moment in time that all Australians know and understand to very intimate personal items the reveal an individual's story. Australian War Memorial: treasures from a century of collecting presents hundreds of objects, some iconic and some never seen before.

Australian War Memorial: treasures from a century of collecting
Published by Murdoch books
Visit:  for more details

Sentenced beyond the Seas: Australia's early convict records

State Records New South Wales

A project to digitise and index Australia's earliest convict records. Convict Indents list the convicts transported to New South Wales. Search over 12,000 names listed in these early records and view colour images of the indents online.

Sentenced beyond the Seas features the Indents of the First Fleet, Second Fleet and ships to 1801 and contemporary indexes known as the Alphabetical Indents, 1788-1800.
Early indents provide name, date and place of trial and sentence while the later indents usually include physical description, native place, age and crime.
This digitisation project marks the 225th anniversary in 2013 of the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788.

A Titanic experience at Maitland's PCYC in 1955

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Extracts from The History of Maitland Police Citizens Youth Club aka The Police Boys Club, by Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 8, 2012.

PCYC: 60 years and going strong in Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
When Maitland Police Citizens Boys Club opened its doors on December 12, 1952, the-then mayor MJ Clyde said although it had been costly it would pay big dividends in character building and good citizenship in years to come.
The History of Maitland Police Citizens Youth Club aka The Police Boys Club, by Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty.
Their book, compiled after two years research and edited by Dave Sciffer, will be launched in time for the club’s 60th anniversary on December 9 at Maitland Park Bowling Club at 2pm.

Stories of Maitland's 1955 flood on YouTube

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The stories of Maitland’s 1955 flood have come to life on YouTube.
The stories are a valuable contribution to Maitland’s historical record and capture the reality of hardships endured and courage shown by people directly involved in the flood, the authority said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 6, 2012.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Historic labour of love: Anambah House

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An 11-year search for the right house ended for Jann and Maurizio Zappacosta when they came across historic Anambah House but they had no idea that their quest to keep the restoration original would lead them to Wales.
“It was in its original state pretty much, but with that originality comes problems.”
Designed by renowned architect John Pender, building began in 1889 under his supervision and was completed in 1890.

Full article availabe at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 5, 2012.

Hunter of yesteryear

From the Maitland Mercury report:
In the early 1950s legendary photographer Max Dupain visited the heart of Australia’s wine world to capture the work of vignerons, grape harvesters and cellar hands.
Dupain took the photographs on commission as part of his commercial practice and his skill in recording the Arcadian beauty of their everyday work.
Now, for the first time,Vintage – The lost works of Max Dupain – is on display in a collection of forgotten images of wine grape vintages in the Hunter.
The McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant images are held in the National Library of Australia but are little known within Dupain’s wider opus.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 1, 2012.

Maitland’s convict history bound for classrooms

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An historical tome exploring the start of European history in central Maitland is set to be used as part of the school syllabus for students studying the area’s history.
The seventh in a series of books published by the Maitland City Heritage Group, Bound for Wallis Plains, Maitland’s Convict Settlers gives an illustrated, personal account of the lives and circumstances of the Wallis Plains settlers.
According to Maitland City Council heritage officer Clare James the book could be introduced into the school curriculum as early as next year.

Full report available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 30, 2012.

Grandstand restoration: Work for Show in full swing

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Preparations for the Maitland Show are in full swing including works on the grandstand.
The works are to replace some of the rotted structural timbers, decking and seating.
Just an eighth of the project has cost $60,000 in commonwealth grants and loans.
Part of the delay in works has been finding the right lengths of structure hard wood that measure almost six metres.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 29, 2012.

NSW State Records new indexes

New Indexes at State Records

Governor's Court case papers, 1815-24
This index is for the Governor's Court case papers 1815-24. The papers mainly relate to the payment of debts on promissory notes, goods, services or for slander. There are 3789 entries in this index.

Returned Soldiers Settlement Loan files
This index will be of interest to local and family historians researching land ownership originally obtained under the Returned Soldiers Settlement Scheme. They are an invaluable insight into the conditions and difficulties faced by soldiers settlers after World War One.There are c.7000 entries to search!

Early Convict Index
Combined with a digitisation project this index is an exciting new addition to our website. Search over 12,000 names and view digital versions of the convict indents online.

NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages Family History App

The Australian NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages Family History App is the cornerstone of building your New South Wales family tree. Find out more about your ancestors. Where they were born, where they got married, where and when they died. Are there any secrets in your family for you to uncover? Don’t leave any relatives unfound.

The Registry is the official keeper of birth, death & marriage records registered in New South Wales, Australia. Search the historical indexes for free today! If there is a record that captures your interest or completes the missing puzzle of your family tree you can purchase a birth, death or marriage certificate through the Registry’s official Family History App.