Thursday, February 25, 2016

Maitland and Morpeth String Quartet - Maitland City Library event

Join us for a rare screening of the Maitland and Morpeth String Quartet in a whimsical take on the great flood of 1955.  A love story set in the time of the 55 flood, the Maitland and Morpeth String Quartet is an animation based on a rhyming narrative poem of the same name by Nicholas Enright and narrated by Ruth Cracknell, both of whom were born in Maitland. 
Presented by Maitland City Library in partnership with the Friends of Maitland City Library and the National Film and Sound Archive in celebration of the Friend's 20th anniversary, this is a treat not to be missed!  
Friday 26 February
7.45 pm for 8.00 pm start
Maitland Gaol Auditorium

Lochinvar Sisters of St Joseph at Lochinvar auction convent contents

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Sisters of St Joseph of Lochinvar will auction part contents of the historic convent on Saturday March 5.
A banner erected on the front of St Joseph’s campus lists the auctioneer as Norman’s Superior Auctions of Newcastle.
Norman’s website said that cedar, colonial, general furniture and effects would go under the hammer from 10am.
The Lochinvar congregation was established in 1883 and the historic brick convent was built 10 years later.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Feb. 23, 2016.

Restoration of Maitland Showground's heritage-listed grandstand

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Reconstruction of the old Maitland Showground grandstand will begin this week, the state government has confirmed.
Work on the 100-year-old structure is expected to be complete by September, well ahead of next year’s Maitland Show.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the grandstand revamp was the first step in several improvements needed at Maitland Showground.

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

Old sewing machines focus of Maitland's Friends of Grossmann House display

From the Maitland Mercury report:
It was the machine that revolutionised the fashion industry and now the humble sewing machine will be the focus of a one-day exhibition in Maitland.
Friends of Grossmann House will open the National Trust property along with the nearby Brough House on February 28.
The open day will give visitors a chance to meander through the halls of these historical homes and ask questions of the well-informed guides.
As part of this year’s open day, there will be a display of a collection of original sewing machines, textiles and lace.

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

Historic pub the River Royal Inn in Morpeth is for sale

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Morpeth’s historic River Royal Inn is up for sale with an asking price of $859,000.
The for sale signs were put up last week on the boarded up hotel and a sale could be immediate if a buyer came forward, according to agent Greg Ransom from Century 21 real estate.
The building was badly damaged in a storm last year.
The hotel, started in 1818 and completed in 1876, was declared unsafe after a wall of water surged through the lower half of the building in Swan Street  last year.

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

Friday, February 19, 2016

Maitland Mercury Flashback Friday: Posters of the past

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Mercury archives reveal a very different type of advertising back in the 1890s. Take a look at some of the local posters from the past.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Feb. 19, 2016.

Four steam engines race side by side against Tiger Moths at Maitland Steamfest 2016

From the Maitland Mercury report:
In a world first, four locomotives will race side by side from Broadmeadow to Maitland in a ­competition to highlight this year’s 30th anniversary Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest.
Three of the locomotives will be part of the NSW passenger fleet, but the star of the show will be No. 6029, a giant Garratt and the largest steam locomotive ever used in the state.
Details of this unique race were revealed to the Mercury on Tuesday by organiser and train historian Cr Peter Garnham.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Feb. 16, 2016.

Les Darcy's boxing gloves return to Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The boxing gloves that Maitland’s favourite son, Les Darcy, used to train every day almost a century ago will be returned to the city.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery officials won several pieces of Darcy memorabilia for the city, during an auction held in Sydney on Saturday.
MRAG cultural director Brigette Uren said the gloves, newspaper articles and an original signed postcard were among the items the gallery bought for the city’s Les Darcy collection.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Feb. 16, 2016.

Historic Maitland Post Office gets a revamp

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Work is under way to give Maitland’s iconic post office a facelift.
Internal painting is now complete at the High Street building as part of renovations to the heritage-listed landmark.
Workers are also painting the building’s exterior and work is expected to be complete within the next eight weeks.
“The works were developed in alignment after consultation with a heritage architect,” an Australia Post spokesperson said.

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

Open day at Brough and Grossmann Houses, Maitland

Grossmann House - Take the chance to visit this magnificent Victorian townhouse
Brough House - featuring a display of items from the Grossmann House sewing machine, textile and lace collections

Sunday 28 February 2016, 10.00am to 3.00pm.

73 Church Street, Maitland

Enquiries contact Lynn. 49320518

State Records New South Wales

News and updates, February 2016:

  • Updated index: Gaol Photographs - State Penitentiary Long Bay
  • Circular Quay Railway Station celebrates 60 years of travel by train
  • State Records website redevelopment
  • Land & Property Information record set release complete
  • New pages on NSW Anzac Centenary website
  • Australian fauna at the Archives
  • Spotlight on: Francis Greenway
Now&Then 78 - February 2016

Heritage listed Windsor Castle Hotel at East Maitland to get major overhaul under new owners

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland City Council has approved a major revamp for one of East Maitland’s iconic pubs.
The Windsor Castle Hotel will undergo a major facelift in the next five months.
Its new owners aim to ­modernise the Lawes Street venue.
The drive-through bottle shop will be removed and a new dining and function room, public bar, lounge areas and gaming room will be set up as part of the renovations.
An outdoor dining area, with a retractable roof and children’s playground, will triple the size of the existing beer garden.

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

Maitland RSL and East Maitland Rotary - Lone Pine Anzac Day service at Gallopoli

From the Maitland Mercury report:

Maitland RSL and East Maitland Rotary take aim over plan to axe Lone Pine Anzac Day service at Gallopoli
Angry Maitland RSL sub-branch president Eric Bell has called on the federal government to back off about axing Anzac Day ceremonies at Lone Pine in Gallipoli.
Mr Bell demanded that people be allowed to make their own decisions about whether the site was too dangerous.
The government announced on Friday that the Lone Pine service would not be conducted in future because of concerns about the wellbeing of visitors on rough, high terrain where up to 7000 men were killed and injured in 1915.
“Surely it should not be up to the federal government to make decisions on whether the site for the Lone Pine service is safe,” Mr Bell told the Mercury on Sunday. 

Full Article available at Maitland Mercury, Feb. 14, 2016.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Maitland Regional Art Gallery to bid on Les Darcy memorabilia at Sydney Rare Book Auctions

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland hopes to expand its Les Darcy collection when rare memorabilia goes under the hammer in Sydney on Saturday.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery cultural director Brigette Uren has confirmed the city will bid on some of the 49 items being offered through Sydney Rare Book Auctions.
The auction list includes a pair of boxing gloves Darcy used for training, fight cards, original photographs, magazine and newspaper clippings and cartoons.

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

History of sheepskin Diggers vest a tribute to community's fundraising efforts for soldiers fighting in World War I

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A book highlighting the history of the sheepskin Digger’s vest – which resulted in their reproduction by Mortels Sheepskin Factory in Thornton – will be launched on Wednesday.
The book called Men in Sheep’s Clothing: the History of the Digger’s Vest, will be launched at Newcastle Regional Museum.

It is the work of military historian John Gillam, and teacher and social historian Yvonne Fletcher.
The two collaborated with Tony and Stephanie Mortel to have the Digger’s vest reproduced at Mortels Sheepskin Factory.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Feb. 9, 2016.

History Council of NSW call for nominations

Each year, the History Council of NSW presents a range of awards and prizes, and nominations are closing soon. Take some time to review our awards and share them with others in your network.
  • The inaugural Aboriginal History Prize$1,000 cash prize for students and other beginning historians (up to post-doctoral career) in the writing of Australian Aboriginal history, including Torres Strait Islander history, from original sources. Nominations close 31 March 2016.
  • The Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied HistoryFirst awarded in 2015, the Deen De Bortoli award encourages historians to approach their subjects in ways that use the past to inform contemporary concerns and issues. For 2016 the subject for the Deen De Bortoli Award will be for works in applied and public history that have the potential to inform good public policy. The winner will receive a citation and a prize of $5,000 at the Annual History Lecture during History Week. Nominations close 31 March 2016.
  • The Max Kelly Medal plus a prize of $500 is awarded annually to a ‘beginning’ historian for a work of excellence in any aspect of Australian history. Nominations close 31 March 2016.
All submissions should be sent to:
The History Council of NSW
PO Box R1737
Royal Exchange NSW 1225

Maitland Regional Museum

Maitland Regional Museum will be opening at Brough House early 2016.

A fundraising dinner will be held:
Date: 11th March
Venue: Blackbird Artisan Bakery
Speaker: Cheryl Kernot

Tickets on sale now - for details and tickets ph. 49334450 or email

Maitland Flood historian supports more SES say in new developments

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland flood historian Peter Bogan has spoken out in support of the State Emergency Service’s plan to gain statewide development and planning authority.
In January the SES announced it would push to have authority granted to become a part of the planning and development approval process, including at local council level.
Maitland City Council opposed the plan saying state guidelines for building in flood-prone areas were adequate, but Mr Bogan said this might not be the case.
“While all local decisions on planning were informed by the state guidelines for building in flood-prone areas, the guidelines do not and can’t cover all matters, especially how floods can impinge on areas outside the floodplain,” Mr Bogan said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Feb. 9, 2016.

Search for missing copies of Newcastle and Maitland Catholic Sentinel

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland residents have been called upon to help find two missing pieces of history.
The Newcastle and Maitland Catholic Sentinel was the official journal of the Catholic diocese from 1931 to 1968.
The publication documented the lives of the Hunter’s Catholic community for 37 years and now a historian is on a quest to digitise every copy of The Sentinel.
There is one major problem, the archive is missing two editions.
“We need people to look under the lino and see if they can find the missing editions,” historian and champion of the search for The Sentinel Frances Dunn said.

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

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Maitland International Salon of Photography

The Maitland International Salon of Photography has been in existence for 80 years and has operated as an international salon for 58 years. It has built up a strong reputation and now attracts around 4500 entries from 55 countries. Typically around 5000 visitors will view the salon at its two exhibition locations.

Date: 19 - 21 February 2016

Venue : Fine Arts Pavilion, Maitland Showground, Blomfield Street, Maitland.

Further details here.


Introduction to Family History : University of Tasmania

Introduction to Family History (University of Tasmania) is designed for people interested in their own family histories or genealogy in general. You will learn how to research family history accurately and efficiently using the growing range of online family history resources. You may be surprised at what you discover and what you can share with family and friends.

Location: Online
Semester 1,
22 February 2016

General Enquiries:
+61 3 6226 6365

Flashback Friday: Greta Migrant Camp photos

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Greta Migrant Camp was the biggest migrant camp in Australia, taking in 100,000 refugees escaping war torn Europe after World War II. Take a look inside thanks to the Mercury's archive.

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

Raise the road: A flooding generation lost

From the Maitland Mercury report:
People who survived devastating floods in Maitland are no longer around to share their experiences that could save people in future emergencies, a noted historian has warned.
Dr Michael Belcher, who has survived eights floods, will talk of his flood memories at a Maitland and District Historical Society meeting on Tuesday, February 2.
“The southern parts of Maitland can never be fully flood-proofed and people living there do accept things as they are,” Dr Belcher, who has a PhD in Australian History, said.
He outlined six massive floods in Louth Park and South Maitland from November 1856 to August 1857, with a devastating flood in 1955.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Jan. 31, 2016.

Maitland Town Hall $2m revamp on track

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Council’s community and recreation services manager Lynn Morton said the town hall was built in 1890 with extensive renovations carried out in 1934.
The building is listed on the State Heritage Register.
“To protect its rich history and plan for the future of the town hall, council is working on a business plan for the building,” Ms Morton said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Jan. 31, 2016.