Thursday, April 18, 2013

A touch of glamour comes to Maitland Gaol

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The grounds of Maitland Gaol seem somewhat at odds with a collection of pure white bridal gowns.
But for the Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles’ latest offering it all seems to work.
Titled To Have And To Hold, the exhibition features a collection of bridal gowns dating back to the early 1900s and includes the wedding dress worn by Kitty McDonald, the bride of Maitland’s longest-serving mayor Alexander McDonald.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 15, 2013.

High Street, Maitland, as it was then

From the Maitland Mercury report:
From its earliest days High Street was an industrial as well as a commercial centre.
Situated in the heart of a highly fertile agricultural district, it naturally acquired the industries that processed rural products and the first venture of this kind was a tobacco manufactory.
It opened in the 1830s and from then on there was a series of mills, breweries and tanneries which added to employment opportunities and the prosperity of the town.
As the population of the district grew, new opportunities were created and manufacturers such as Browne’s Monumental Works, Dimmock’s Printery, Wolstenholme’s Saw Mills, Rourke’s Saddlery, Barden and Ribee’s Saddlery and Fry Brothers’ Furniture earned reputations far wider than their immediate district.
Thus, although Maitland continued to favour free trade principles, there was also a good deal of concern about the impact of imported goods on the town’s manufacturers.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 13, 2013.

GALLERY: Steamfest 2013

Maitland Mercury photographer Marina Neil captured scenes of Steamfest on Saturday : gallery.

Steamfest: Two days of fun for all the family

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest is Australia’s premier festival of steam.
The 28th annual Steamfest will take place at the Maitland Railway Station precinct this Saturday and Sunday.
Steamfest was established in 1986 following the closure of the last coal operating steam haulage freight service in Australia on the South Maitland Railway in 1983.
Highlights of this magnificent steam-filled weekend include the popular Great Train Race on Sunday morning, a grand parade on the rally ground covering the evolution of transport through time, and the Steamfest bazaar with more than 100 market and food stalls.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 13, 2013.

Hopes Maitland boys are among five WWI Diggers identified

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland could soon know the final resting places of two of its young men slaughtered in the chaos of the World War I battle of Fromelles.
Another five Australian soldiers killed in the battle have been identified and Maitland historian David Dial is hoping they include Sergeant William Wass of Pelaw Main and Private Claud Yeo from Singleton.
Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon says the Commonwealth War Graves Commission will erect new headstones with details of the identified soldiers, ahead of a July 19 dedication during the annual commemoration of the Battle of Fromelles.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 12, 2013.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shake Your Family Tree Day 2013

Delve into your family history with a full day of activities presented by the National Archives and others, and sponsored by MyHeritage.
Speak to experts, and hear personal stories from fascinating guest speakers.

Key sessions will be webcast, including a special panel about how migrants have shaped Australia, moderated by Karen Middleton, SBS journalist.
Events are being held in participating state offices on Tuesday, 16 April 2013. See individual programs for details and times.

Council to restore town hall to its past splendour

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland is on the threshold of taking some important steps in the preservation of its heritage.
During the next four years Maitland City Council will carry out restorative work on the Morpeth Court House, Maitland Technical College and the town hall under its conservation management plan.
Some of the most visible work will take place in the town hall foyer where council plans to rip out a cloak room – beneath the historic staircase – and ticket office.
The plans, which also address rising damp in the three buildings, went on public exhibition in June.
Council heritage officer Clare James has recommended councillors endorse the plans so the public can assess the details one last time.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury,

Glorious days: Australia 1913

Exhibition at National Museum of Australia, Canberra:

Step back in time to Glorious Days: Australia 1913. Immerse yourself in a time of tremendous optimism, when Australians took pride in their distinctive culture, high standard of living and sporting prowess.
In the year 1913 Australians saw their new nation as progressive and free to make its own future in the world.
Glorious Days features beautiful artworks, costume, music and newsreel footage from Australia a century ago.
Take the opportunity to look back 100 years, and ask yourself: how much has changed, and what has stayed the same?

Grand designs for High Street banking

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Banking began in Sydney in 1817 when the Bank of New South Wales opened its doors with an ex-convict as its first teller.
In 1836, branch banking began in Australia when the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney opened in West Maitland and three years later the Bank of Australasia hurriedly set up a branch at East Maitland.
Thereafter the banks of prosperous Maitland never looked back and by 1858 the local Bank of New South Wales held deposits of £96,000.
Only Sydney and Melbourne held more and the brisk business of the district facilitated the construction of a series of outstanding bank buildings.
The first of these came in 1860 when the Bank of New South Wales constructed a new bank to the design of one of the colony’s most talented architects, Edmund Blacket.
SOURCE:The Rise of High Street, Maitland - A Pictorial Historyby John Turner

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 7, 2013.

Deadly 1893 flood left huge toll on city

From the Maitland Mercury report:
This year marks 120 years since the devastating flood of 1893. East Maitland historian Peter Bogan has compiled this report from excerpts of the Maitland Mercury.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 5, 2013

Historian fears footbridge may be first heritage domino to fall

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Coalfields historian Brian Andrews has called for a rethink on plans to demolish an old pedestrian footbridge at Weston.
Mr Andrews said while the bridge had only modest heritage value it could be the first domino to fall, with a historic steam-rail water tank next to go under plans to connect the Hunter Economic Zone to Weston via Station Street.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 3, 2013.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Plashett Homestead Open House

Anglo American Metallurgical Coal is providing a unique opportunity for the community to inspect Plashett Homestead at Jerry’s Plains on Sunday 14 April 2013 between 10am and 3pm.
The Plashett property was first settled by James Robertson in 1827. His son Sir John Robertson became 5 times Prime Minister pre-Federation and was famous for the ‘Robertson Land Act.’ In 1865 the property was acquired by the Pearse family who constructed the homestead which today is listed on the Muswellbrook Shire Council LEP.

The history of the property has recently been recorded in the book ‘People, Property, Power, Plashett Jerry’s Plains’ by well known Hunter Regional historian, Cynthia Hunter and will be available for purchase.
Plashett Homestead Open House   Sunday 14th April 2013    10am to 3pm

Access to Plashett Homestead, is via the property entry on the corner of the Golden Highway and Edderton Road, Jerry’s Plains then follow the signs through the property to the homestead.

Developer says Levee plans based on shaky foundations

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland’s riverbank could prove too unstable to build an affordable, vibrant residential precinct that would rejuvenate the Heritage Mall, it has been revealed.
Maitland City Council’s plans to rejuvenate the mall – named The Levee – have focused on creating links to the river, but Hunter Land CEO Graham Burns said major residential redevelopment would need expensive pylons.
Mr Burns, who oversaw the Minerals Council of Australia project on High Street, said while Maitland had continued to build the levee up since the 1800s, it was all resting on loam.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, March 28, 2013.

Maitland Steamfest

The Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest is Australia's premier festival of steam. The 28th Annual Steamfest will take place at the Maitland Railway Station precinct over the 13th & 14th April 2013.
Highlights of this magnificent steam filled weekend include, the ever so popular Great Train Race on Sunday morning, the Grand Parade on the Rally Ground covering the evolution of transport through time and the Steamfest Bazaar with over 100 stalls.
Specialty train excursions in 2013 include the Barrington Bullet, Kids Party Train and following the success of 2012, the Stroud Road excursion will ensure residents from Dungog and surrounds can also enjoy the excitement of Steamfest.

More information at the Steamfest website.

Anambah development gets green light

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Twenty hectares of old farming land that once formed part of historic Anambah House will be carved up for 80 new houses.
Maitland City Council approved plans for Riverview Estate in the city’s west last night despite community fears it would encroach on the state heritage-listed Georgian-style residence.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, March 27, 2013.

Nostalgia continues success

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Rock‘n’roll, hot rods, and ‘50s fashion was a cocktail too tempting to resist at the annual Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival.
A big crowd descended on the coalfields town for the event, which has continued to grow since its inception 10 years ago.
More than 500 classic cars were part of the official exhibition this year – up from the previous best of 400 – not counting all the American and Australia muscle cars and vintage motorbikes parked nearby.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, March 25, 2013.

Anambah Estate needs majority vote

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Development is closing in on Anambah House with a show of hands likely to decide whether or not a housing estate will be built in close proximity to the heritage home.
The Riverview Estate application will be decided by the mayor and 12 councillors at Maitland’s council meeting tomorrow.
The application has been criticised for encroaching on the heritage-listed house.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, March 25, 2013.