Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A quick look back at 160 years of fashion

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An image of the world’s oldest working supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice looms large on the walls of East Maitland Library.

Titled Flashback: 160 years of Australian Fashion Photos, the exhibition – curated by Margot Riley – showcases a selection of beautiful and iconic images from the State Library’s unrivalled collection, ranging from mid-19th century hand-coloured portraiture through to contemporary fashion shots.
Ms Riley will talk about the exhibition during a high tea at East Maitland Library

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

Cathedral precinct plan for Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A multi-million dollar project to restore the eastern end of High Street into the cathedral precinct of Maitland will begin next year with the resurrection of St John the Baptist Chapel.
Plans to restore the historic Catholic church will form stage one of a vision to revive the precinct for the 2016 sesquicentenary of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The church was built in the 1840s but when the bishop (the Most Reverend James Murray) came here in the 1860s it became a cathedral,” diocesan head Bishop Bill Wright said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury,

Les Darcy film tribute

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A movie about the life of Maitland boxing legend Les Darcy is one step closer to fruition with a trailer set to be filmed across the Hunter early next month.
The trailer is the next stage of the film project launched earlier this year.
Earlier this year Garred and childhood friend Tom Arthur, both 26, launched a campaign to bring the story of the Australian icon and Maitland boxing legend to the big screen after buying the screen rights of Peter FitzSimons’ book The Ballad of Les Darcy.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 21, 2013.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Convicts as pioneers ignored, says historian

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Before the arrival of the institutional Catholic Church in Maitland there were the convicts.
Sent to Wallis Plains from Ireland in the early 1800s, these men were uneducated, illiterate and highly superstitious.
And according to historian Michael Belcher they were also the true pioneer Catholics of the Maitland district. “The early European history of the Wallis Plains area was overwhelmingly male, convict and single,” Mr Belcher said.
“And a large proportion of these people were Catholics who, as far as the governing classes were concerned, were benighted and bereft of every advantage that can adorn the mind of man.”

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 19, 2013.

Touch of history in the city of Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Wet weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of 44 Australian Air Force cadets from the City of Maitland 308 Squadron as they took part in an ancient ceremony on Saturday.
The airforce cadets were only the third group to be granted the Freedom of Entry ceremony, the first since the crew of HMAS Maitland seven years ago.

Our Walli folly?: house mystery explored

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Is it Wallis or Walli House?  That’s the question Maitland City Council faced recently when looking at the pale pink two storey residence beside Wallis Creek.
The mystery is almost as old as the building itself.

For twenty years Maitland City Council documents have called it Wallis House.
It’s one of three houses pioneer pastoralist Samuel Clift built on the Hunter River tributary and the National Trust lists as the Wallis House Group, supporting retention of the ‘s’.
But the more council heritage officer Clare James read about this historic residence, the greater her suspicions grew.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 16, 2013.

McGuigan patriarch celebrates his century

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Congratulatory messages from dignitaries including the Queen, Governor-General and the Prime Minister have arrived in time for Perce McGuigan’s biggest celebration – his 100th birthday.
Mr McGuigan devoted more than 30 years of his life to ­winemaking and started the McGuigan dynasty which his sons Brian and Neil have carried on.
“In 1941 when I started in the industry there were nine winemakers in the Hunter Valley and these days there would be over 100,” he said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 16, 2013.

ICON magazine launched

ICON Magazine is a new national arts magazine for major galleries, museums and cultural institutions around Australia.
For the first time, pages of beautifully presented, informative, expert content from the curators of all of Australia’s major arts and cultural icons will be published in the one magazine, on sale nationally on 5 November.
This first issue celebrates the exciting diversity of the arts, culture and science of Australia and even features a behind-the-scene account of the “Australia” exhibition currently on show in London as its cover story.

National Trust Magazine - November 2013-January 2014

National Trust Magazine - November 2013-January 2014

Contents include:
  • Annual Review 2012/2013
  • Environmental heritage
  • Museums, galleries and collections
  • A year of events around New South Wales
  • New Trust policies to address change
  • Norman Lindsay Gallery celebrates 40 years of exhibitions and events
  • Looking after heritage properties
  • Events caladar 2013/2014

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Burial site history is ignored

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland historian Lance Murray is outraged that land surrounding the city’s first burial ground off Wallis Street, East Maitland is earmarked for housing.
The burial ground features in written accounts of Maitland’s earliest days of European settlement and holds equal importance to Aboriginal history.
Maitland City Council has acknowledged a potential Aboriginal archeological deposit outside its planning proposal for 40 lots but Mr Murray said any development around the site would be detrimental.

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

Could there be ghosts inside this house?

From the Maitland Mercury report:
There is a presence inside historic East Maitland house “Torquay” that owner Leanne Saccaro can sense every time she walks in the front door.
She calls it Torquay’s personality, the spirits of the original owners remaining within the walls.
A gentleman in a top hat and tails has been seen walking along the hall and there is a female presence that is protective of the house, Mrs Saccaro said.

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

The story of Tocal College – on DVD

From the Maitland Mercury report:
By his own admission Garth Russell has put himself in a position of privilege time and again.
As a self-described extractor of stories, the well-known Hunter journalist spends much of his time recording the stories of others.
And now Russell has told the story of Tocal Agricultural College. In a DVD titled Reflections on Tocal College, Russell details the genesis of agricultural education there as told by college principals, senior staff, farmers and former students.
“I certainly knew how important history was to Tocal and I know the word passion is bandied around a lot, but I really got a sense that there is a real passion for this place,” Russell said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 5, 2013.

State Records of New South Wales

On the State Records website we have uploaded several podcasts and accompanying slideshows presented by staff at Open Day back in August.  The theme of the day was travel and transport and these presentations cover a broad selection under this category: from convict transport to railroads, cars and road construction.

State Library of New South Wales publishing war diaries online

The State Library of NSW holds over 500 World War One diary and letter collections which have been deposited since 1918.

They would like to find out more about our service men and women. The Library has their war story and now they would like your war stories about them.
What happened when they returned home? Do you have any mementos, photos, letters that shed light on their lives? You may know where they were born or where they enlisted. You may know in which battles they fought and any awards they received.

Many of their diaries have been transcribed so you can easily read the handwritten entries. They will be adding more transcriptions to the website over the coming months.

Posinatus: an unlikely champion

From the Maitland Mercury report:
What does Morpeth, the Melbourne Cup, a coin toss, prophetic dream and a parish priest have in common?
It may sound like the start of a joke but it is actually the story of Posinatus and the punch line was delivered 100 years ago at Flemington.
Posinatus left the township of Morpeth as a 100-1 shot and returned home to the banks of the Hunter River as a Melbourne Cup champion.
A century may have passed since that historic victory at Flemington but the story still resonates around the streets where Posinatus once roamed and beyond.
Not only was Posinatus the last Maitland connection to win the famed two mile race, following on from four others in the decade before him, but the five-year-old gelding clearly defied the odds to claim one of the sport’s ultimate prizes.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 2, 2013.

Morpeth honours Melbourne Cup champ

From the Maitland Mercury report:
At this time of year the attention of a nation turns to horse racing and Victoria’s spring carnival.
In 2013 the Morpeth Museum is doing the same, but to mark a special anniversary of a town legend.
It is a combination of images, footage, information, replicas and objects such as saddles from a century ago.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 2, 2013.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Residents battle zoning change

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Twenty years ago Wallis Street residents fought and won a battle to stop development on the heritage-significant Glebe paddock at East Maitland.
Now they are faced with another fight as Maitland City Council prepares to decide whether the rural land, owned by St Peter’s Anglican Church, should be zoned residential after a development proposal of 40 lots was submitted earlier this year.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Nov. 1, 2013.

$30,000 for Maitland heritage sites

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Three historic heritage sites in Maitland have been given a welcome boost after the state government secured $30,000 in grants.
St Peter’s Anglican Church and Glebe Cemetery at East Maitland, Walka Water Works, and Cintra House garden and stables are three of 40 projects that have shared in $2 million that Heritage Minister and Maitland MP Robyn Parker announced yesterday.
Ms Parker (pictured) said the three state heritage-listed icons had played a pivotal role in Maitland’s history with the church and Glebe cemetery and Walker Water Works dating back to 1886, and Cintra House 1879.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury,

Maitland bids farewell to film

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The curtains are about to close on Maitland’s love affair with film.
More than two decades after the city’s cinema complex screened its first movies, the four picture theatres are going digital.
Maitland Reading Cinema will close on Monday for a $1.5 million refurbishment, which will include the conversion to digital, new carpet, seats, curtains and lights.
The final three movies screened via film will be Prisoner staring Hugh Jackman, Captain Phillips staring Tom Hanks and Two Guns with Denzel Washington.
“These will be the last films shown in Maitland, possibly the Hunter,” cinema manager Yvette Cavanagh said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 31, 2013.

New Royal Aaustralian Historical Soviety Podcasts

Three new podcasts of recent lectures at History House have been uploaded to this website under the ‘Podcasts’ section, with further podcasts soon to follow.
  •  Andrew Tink – Air Disaster Canberra 1940
  •  Lt. Cdr. Desmond Woods – Genesis of the RAN & the First Fleet Unit 1913
  • Dr. Siobhan Lavelle – Frank Walker FRAHS: Historian in the Field
Access at the RAHS website:

House tour of "Torquay" in East Maitland

The National Trust's Friends of Grossmann House Group are hosting a tour of "Tourquay". Take the opportunity to peek inside one of East Maitland's grand homes, as well as partaking of afternoon refreshments provided by the Friends of Grossmann House.

Sunday 10 November, 2.00-3.30pm.
$15.00/$12.00 NT.
Bookings essential. Phone Lynn on 49320518.

On show: images from 50 years ago

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An exhibition featuring a range of photographic images shown through the eyes of the Maitland Mercury  in 1963 is now on show at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
Curated by Mercury photographic editor Cath Bowen and titled 1963, Picture that in Maitland: 50 Years, the exhibition is the current instalment of an annual display at the gallery.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Oct. 30, 2013.

Cranky Handle Rally at Maitland - Extreme steam machines

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An enthusiastic crowd and glorious weather were the highlights of the 27th annual Cranky Handle Rally at the Maitland Rally Ground.
The two day festival was held over Saturday and Sunday with people travelling from across  NSW and interstate for the event.
The event, which is run by Hunter Valley Vintage Farm Machinery Club, attracted good numbers according to Cr Peter Garnham.

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