Friday, April 29, 2016

Stroud House added to the State Heritage Register

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The iconic Stroud House has been added to the State Heritage Register.
The news comes after its latest caretakers, Dr Jonathan King and his wife Jane, campaigned to have the building listed on the register to ensure it is preserved indefinitely.
Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen made the announcement this week.
The National Trust and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage staff who assessed the house were impressed with its "remarkable character" and supported the application.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 28, 2016.

Royal Australian Historical Society/WEA Lecture: Furnishing Your Ancestor’s House

Furnishing Your Ancestor’s House

Biographical and family history is much more than lists of names and genealogical charts. It is about getting to know the person by exploring their lives, and the context in which they lived. One of the ways you can do this is through research into their homes and possessions. Join Christine Yeats as she draws on case studies and examples to discuss the range of printed and archival resources available to researchers.

May 18 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

History House
133 Macquarie Street
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia 
(02) 9247 8001

Maitland Town Hall to reopen

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The newly refurbished Maitland Town Hall will officially be reopened by Mayor Cr Peter Blackmore on Thursday. The hall was closed to functions for several months during the $2 million revamp.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 25, 2016.

Paterson's untold stories in new war book

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Private Arthur Ernest Keppie was one of the first Paterson men to enlist to fight in World War I.
Yet after he was killed on April 26, 1915, the day after the Gallipoli landing, his family remained in the dark about his fate.
His great niece Kathy Lyall said the family waited 18 months before his death was confirmed and tragically his mother died before she received the news.
Ms Lyall said nearby soldiers had seen a bullet penetrate his body, but nobody knew what had happened to him after that.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 24, 2016.

Morpeth Gallery unveils tales of the Australian Light Horse regiments

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An interest in learning about the horse’s experience in war led Jennifer and Ron Marshall to create a series of Australian Light Horse paintings.
The topic pricked their interest in 2005 and within a year they were researching historical accounts of horsemen at war and replicating their contribution with paint.
Some paintings focus on the horse’s perspective, while others look at the unbreakable bond between horse and rider and moments in a battle.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 22, 2016.

Friday, April 22, 2016

State Records Public Service / War Service exhibition extended

Our exhibition Public Service / War Service, currently on display at the Western Sydney Records Centre, has been extended until 30 September 2016. Drawing from the State archives, the exhibition honours 11,000 NSW government employees who volunteered for military service overseas during World War I, and those who fulfilled essential services at home. New exhibition-related content that furthers the links between public service and war service will be published on the NSW Anzac Centenary website in the coming months.
Following Public Service / War Service, a new exhibition will be launched. With a focus on the State’s photographic archive, the exhibition will extend the key themes of the New South Wales Centenary of World War I and Anzac commemorative program.

Crowdsourcing heritage stories

As part of the annual Heritage Week, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is hosting: Crowdsourcing Heritage Stories: Heritage Near Me Write-a-thon’ to enable members of the public to share their stories and perspectives about an item or place of local heritage.
Heritage Near Me, a NSW Government initiative to implement transformational change to protect, share and celebrate local heritage in NSW, has partnered with a digital transformation organisation, Code for Australia, to build the Heritage Near Me app.
The Heritage Near Me app is a heritage tourism and storytelling app. It will provide for increased communication between the NSW Government and the heritage community. Information collected at the write-a-thon will contribute to the content of the Heritage Near Me app.

Magpies Anzac tribute to 34th Batallion Maitland's Own

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A new generation of Maitland’s Own will pay tribute to the city’s famous 34th Battalion at a special Anzac Day ceremony at the Maitland Magpies home game on Sunday.
The ceremony, which the club hopes to make an annual event, marks the start of a big year of activities by the Magpies to commemorate the formation of the 34th Battalion (Maitland’s Own) in January 1916.

It will culminate in a tour by the Magpies under-17, departing in November, for a series of matches in England and France where the 34th Battalion trained and fought on the Western Front.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 21, 2016.

Morpeth's River Royal Inn to be auctioned

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Morpeth’s historic River Royal Inn could soon have a new lease on life if it sells at auction later this month.
The landmark Swan Street building is set to go under the hammer on April 30 and is already creating quite a deal of interest from keen punters.
The boarded up building, which sustained significant damage in last year’s April super storm, was placed on the market earlier this year for $859,000 but failed to sell.
It opened as The Royal Hotel in 1876 and catered for shipping, railway workers and passengers arriving at the local wharves and station.
Morpeth’s role as one of the most important river ports in NSW began in the 1820s. In 1867 there were 11 hotels operating in the village.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 20, 2016.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Super storm repairs on historic East Maitland house continue

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Paul Manyweathers will never forget the chaos around him as one metre of water rushed through his historic East Maitland house.
The 1800s home was one of at least 250 houses that bore the brunt of 135 kilometre winds and flash flooding during the 2015 Hunter super storm.
The east coast low left four people dead, a damage bill in excess of $800 million, and unleashed 435 millimetres of rain on Maitland in 24 hours.
It turned low-lying Maitland suburbs into raging rivers and left Mr Manyweathers with a damage bill in excess of $220,000 and walls, antiques, handmade carpentry and handwoven rugs in ruins.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 14, 2016.

Lochinvar subdivision plan adjacent to the historic St Helena Cottage on public exhibition

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Hunter Land wants to develop land near St Helena Close, adjacent to the historic St Helena Cottage, into a new residential precinct.The residential lots will range in size from 1500 square metres to 3746 square metres.
A statement of environmental effects, lodged with Hunter Land’s development application, noted that the project would take place in four stages.
Development of St Helena Village, expected to be a residential precinct that pays homage to the famous 19th century cottage, will be part of stage four.
“St Helena is an historic property which was situated on approximately nine hectares,” the statement of environmental effects noted.
“The property includes an historic Georgian style homestead, associated buildings and a number of mature trees. “Evidence suggests the homestead was constructed around 1870.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 14, 2016.

Flashback Friday : Memories of the 1955 Flood

Pictorial memories of the 1955 flood available at Maitland Mercury, April 15, 2016.

Old Maitland Mercury building revamp at risk because of state government constraints

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A developer who wants to revamp one of Maitland’s iconic buildings says rigid state government rules are a deal breaker.
Inside the building.
George Prochowski (at left in image) owns the old Maitland Mercury building on High Street. But his plans to turn the city’s old newspaper headquarters into a restaurant and accommodation at the front and residential apartments at the back have hit a snag that could leave the building unoccupied.
Mr Prochowski wants the residential units to consist of a lounge room and kitchen downstairs and bedrooms on the second floor. However, state government conditions prevent habitable space on the ground floor, because it is below the flood level.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 13, 2016.

J.W Pender descendant to be reunited with old documents

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Bob Pender has spent more than 30 years researching his family history.
He's traced his ancestors back to Scotland in 1721 and even looked into the families that Pender descendants joined through marriage.
Now the great grandson of John Wiltshire Pender has had his biggest win of all after Wollongong collector Michael Delhaas bought historic Pender documents for $5 at an online auction and has chosen to reunite them with the family.
Mr Pender saw the Maitland Mercury’s story about the Pender dynasty and is eager to be the custodian of the items and expand his research.
He said there was a box of old papers in the roof of John Wiltshire Pender’s house alongside Pender Brothers, but he didn’t know what happened to them.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 12, 2016.

Royal Australian Historical Society Annual General Meeting

All members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Australian Historical Society to be held at History House at 6pm on Tuesday 19 April 2016.

Members will hear reports on the past year and on aspects of the Society’s progress and be able to speak to items on the agenda and ask questions.
The Annual General Meeting will be recorded to facilitate minutes taking.

Oral History Workshop - Capturing Memories: Oral History in the Digital Age

A practical workshop for all interested in recording the experiences of family, friends, local community, history of museum items or any other project incorporating memories of the past.
Are you interested in recording the memories of your family, your community or your workplace? Then come along to this very popular and informative workshop to equip you to undertake oral history interviews. Workshop leaders will be Pauline Curby, an experienced oral historian and Andrew Host, whose 35 years experience as a sound engineer can help you get quality recordings that will stand the test of time. Both are members of Oral History NSW.

Saturday, 14th May 2016
Registration 9.30 am
Workshop commences: 9.45 am
Workshop concludes: 4.30 pm

RAHS, History House
133 Macquarie St, Sydney

$105 non-members
$95 Oral History NSW & RAHS members
Morning & afternoon tea included.

Booking essential 
Limited places 
Enquiries: Email Anisa Puri - 
Ph: (02) 8094 1239

Morpeth residents sign to fight seniors housing plan

From the Maitland Mercury report:
More than 1100 people have signed a petition that calls on the state government to buy back the former Morpeth Bowling Club site and return it to its former glory as recreational land.
The petition, which was organised by Morpeth Heritage Conservation Group, mostly attracted signatures from residents in Morpeth, East Maitland and Tenambit.
“About 300 Morpeth residents signed the petition, which represents a good percentage of the town,” group president Simon Brooker said. “The next biggest supporters were East Maitland and Tenambit.”

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 11, 2016.

Steamfest's Great Train Race 2016 - The Garratt 6029 takes the win

From the Maitland Mercury report:
There would be few events as absolutely Maitland as the Great Train Race, and this year’s event was more intense than ever.
Four iron horses galloped from Waratah to Maitland while four tigermoth airplanes wheeled overhead.
Organisers said it was the first time in history a line-up like it had gone head-to-head.
While the tigermoths looked as if they had the day stitched-up in the end the trains took the chequered flag.
The Garratt 6029, the largest operating locomotive in the Southern Hemisphere, stormed across the line in first.
It was followed by the 5917, the 3016 and the 3642.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 10, 2016.

Steamfest 30 gets firing on all cylinders

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Massive crowds encircled Maitland train station to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest over the weekend.
Maitland City Council event co-ordinator Adam Franks said early estimates put the crowd at around 80,000 people across the two days, making it one of the biggest Steamfests in years.
“[Saturday] was a fantastic day,” he said.
“And [Sunday] was massive.
“It’s certainty the biggest in recent memory.”
Mr Franks said he put the success down to the grandeur of the steam engines, the expanded program aimed at celebrating the 30th anniversary and, of course, the Great Train Race.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 10, 2016.

History will be made at this weekend's 30th anniversary of Hunter Valley Steamfest

From the Maitland Mercury report:
History will be made in Maitland this weekend when the 30th anniversary Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest hits the rails.
The festival of steam has gained international recognition and attracts visitors from England, the US, New Zealand and Japan.
Maitland Steam and Antique Machinery Association president Peter Garnham is confident the milestone event will inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the region’s economy.
He says the highlight will be Sunday’s great race, a world-first event when, for the first time in Steamfest history, four steam engines will pit their strength against four tiger moth planes racing from Hanbury Junction in Newcastle to Maitland Railway Station.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 7, 2016.

Friday, April 8, 2016

New owners and a new look for historic Rutherford Hotel in refurbishment

From the Maitland Mercury report:
is a western suburbs landmark, few realising its historical significance and its former name The Union Inn.
Rutherford Hotel is a huge part of Maitland’s history, a watering hole with a colourful past and a business about to undergo a massive facelift.
The hotel and adjoining land has recently been purchased for an undisclosed sum by SJH Hospitality, the same owners of The Kent and CBD hotels in Newcastle.
SJH Hospitality CEO Stephen Hunt has big plans for the iconic highway pub and wants to retain its heritage.

Full article available at: Maitland Mercury, April 5, 2016.

Maitland Genealogical Society : An Introduction to Trove’s Digitised Australian Newspapers

An Introduction to Trove’s Digitised Australian Newspapers


Cost: Free to members of Maitland & District Genealogical Society
            Non-members: $5 (refundable if you join the Society)

Where: Maitland & District Genealogical Society, The Barracks - 17 Lindesay Street East Maitland (next to Maitland Gaol)
When: Tuesday 19 April at 6.30 p.m.
and repeated Wednesday 27 April at 10.00 a.m.
Duration: 1 – 1½  hours

 To register for this presentation, please phone 02 49051878  Or e-mail:

Look Who's Talking Local History : History Hidden in Hunter Wardrobes

Clothes tell us a lot about the history of the time. From the farm bonnet worn in 1900 to the safari suit of 1970, the history of Maitland and its surrounds is revealed in Nell Pyle’s book History Hidden in Hunter Wardrobes.

Nell Pyle and Lynette McDowell from the Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles tell the history of the Museum and the personal stories behind some of the clothing in the collection. Based on many years of research and interviews, the book records the provenance of the garments in Australia’s only public museum devoted to clothing.

Thursday 14 April 2016
6.00 pm – 7.30 pm
East Maitland Library

More information: Maitland City Library

30th anniversary of Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest

From the Maitland Mercury report:
More than 3000 tickets have been sold, the city’s accommodation is full and a record 70,000 people are tipped to land in Maitland this weekend for the 30th anniversary of Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest.
This year Steamfest has gone tech savvy with visitors to the internationally acclaimed event now able to access an app.
Information, including timetables and history of the 30-year-old event, can be found by searching Hunter Valley Steamfest on the IZI.Travel app.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 5, 2016.

Morpeth Heritage Conservation Group's bid to shake off developers

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The group leading the charge against inappropriate development in historic Morpeth is calling on the state government to add the town to the State Heritage Register.
Morpeth Heritage Conservation Group has lost faith in Maitland City Council’s ability to protect the town after its councillors voted in favour of adding three Morpeth land parcels to the Maitland Urban Settlement Strategy in recent months.

The strategy governs future development within the council area over the next 20 years.
The most recent act was adding a parcel of land off James Street, between Northumberland Street and Tank Street, to the strategy which has been flagged to produce up to 13 residential housing blocks.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 1, 2016.

F;ashback Friday: Maitland in 1970

From the Maitland Mercury:
Take a look back into the Mercury archives of Maitland in 1970.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 1, 2016.

Friday, April 1, 2016

RAHS Day Lecture: The Red Cross and the Liverpool Field Hospital – Hope and Despair during 1915

The Red Cross and the Liverpool Field Hospital.
At its inception in 1914 the priority of the Red Cross in Australia was the care of sick and wounded soldiers under the inspired leadership of Lady Helen Munro Ferguson. The paper will examine Red Cross work at the Liverpool Field Hospital where the military were overwhelmed in the early months of the war. The Red Cross stepped in to assist at the field hospital. Questions were asked in Federal Parliament about the atrocious camp conditions and the Rich Royal Commission was set up in mid-1915.

While the Red Cross did not escape criticism, conditions at the camp gradually improved by the end of 1915. Much of the work of the Red Cross was groundbreaking in nature and received little recognition at the time or since.
April 6 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Royal Australian Historical Society Conservation series

RAHS Conservator Margaret Scott’s popular Conservation Workshop Series is being held again in 2016 at the Guild of Craft Bookbinders, Writer’s Centre in Rozelle. The first workshop will take place on Friday 8th April. Attendees will learn how to make a document folder/phasebox used to contain single sheets, a series of leaflets, magazines, articles waiting repair etc., and a quick slipcase for small books.
Each workshop is limited to 8 attendees.
Click a link below for information on each workshop and booking details:
1/3 – Making a Document Folder/Phasebox – 8 April
2/3 – Making a Solander Box – 13 May
3/3 – Single Sheet Binding – 10 June
Attendees can book in for one, two or all three in the series. The cost is $50 RAHS Members or $55 Non-Members.

Heritage questions over plans for seniors housing in Morpeth

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The state government has called on Maitland City Council to show how it considered the heritage impacts on Morpeth when investigating a proposal to build seniors housing on the former Morpeth Bowling Club site.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has requested the additional details before it considers Morpeth Land Company’s plan to build 22 single-story villas for over 55s alongside a childcare centre on the Edward Street site.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, March 28, 2016.

The Dutch Cake Shop is still a favourite among tastebuds after 30 years - Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Mention the Dutch Cake Shop to anyone in Maitland and they’ll tell you about the couple who made and sold delectable coffee caramels and strawberry creams.
Then they’ll reminisce about the Easter egg range and the detailed chocolate moulds that featured rabbits on motorcycles and ducks with umbrellas.
It’s been 31 years since Ton and Ann Ruygrok closed the doors of their High Street shop to retire in Yamba, but their impact on Maitland tastebuds lives on.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, March 26, 2016.

The changing face of Maitland's High Street in photos

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Flashback Friday - 49 photos of High Street views.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury,  March 25, 2016.