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FIRE, HEAT……AND A MYSTERY ‘EPIDEMIC’

FIRE, HEAT......AND  A MYSTERY 'EPIDEMIC'

A LONG, HOT SUMMER. It has been such a dry winter here in the Blue Mountains. We have already had one total fire ban day and it’s only September. I notice my husband quietly clearing undergrowth, and testing the petrol fueled water pump.  I’m glad he does

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URBAN IBIS

URBAN IBIS

OK, so above we have a diagram showing the anatomy of the ibis. That’s all very well, but  it omits a vital evolutionary link. According to urban mythology, Sydney’s sacred ibis are a scary mutation of the seagull. The story goes that over succeeding generations, one strain of

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MR WALL’S WHALE

MR WALL'S WHALE

Irish born Mr  William Sheridan Wall served as Curator of the Australian Museum in Sydney during  the 1840s and 50s.  He personally collected and preserved many native birds, but his greatest legacy to the institution was a creature from the deep. On December 5 1849 the schooner Thistle

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FOOTBALL FOLKLORE

FOOTBALL FOLKLORE

 AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL RULES I grew up in the small Tasmanian town of Ulverstone, where Australian Rules Football was the sport we were passionate about.  Ulverstone’s colours  have always been  black and red, hence their name, The Robins. In the 1960’s football was untainted by the corporate sector and

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THE KEY TO BREAKING THE BANK

THE KEY TO BREAKING THE BANK

Towards the end of  1912 a new Bank of New South Wales branch was nearing completion in Sydney’s Surry Hills. About six weeks before opening day the strong room was constructed and the heavy iron door fitted. It had been  designed with excellent security features. Two keys

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THE SHOOTING OF DONALD BUNYAN

THE SHOOTING OF DONALD BUNYAN

On  the afternoon of August 18 1937, Mrs Dorothy Bunyan  of Lithgow attended a  funeral. It was a particularly  sad occasion; the child of Mr Brown,  of one of the  local  school teachers, had died. She hurried  home  because her nine year old son Donald was due home from primary school. 

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TRAIN ROBBERY ON THE BLUE MOUNTAINS LINE

TRAIN ROBBERY ON THE BLUE MOUNTAINS LINE

Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, April 8 1930,   what has been described as one of the most daring robberies in the history of Australia took place.    The  heist  was conceived by Roy Wilkinson, a 24 year old  railway porter. Wilkinson had been  serving as  escort on the mail train from Sydney to

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MAIL COACH DRAMAS IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

MAIL COACH  DRAMAS IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

CROSSING THE MOUNTAINS  BY COACH AND HORSES In the 1850’s  the journey across the Blue Mountains of New South Wales  was truly daunting.    On Sunday, November 27 1853, Thomas Simons was driving the Bathurst mail coach from Sydney when he came to the top of Mount Victoria. Ahead was

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TRIBUTE TO THE MATCHBOX

TRIBUTE TO THE MATCHBOX

I must begin with the most charming letter imaginable; written by the British author Sylvia Townsend Warner to her dear friend Alyse Gregory, in response to the gift of a sweet, wooden match box.     THE  AUSSIE MATCHBOX The familiar Redheads matches were first made in Australia

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THE LAMINGTON

THE LAMINGTON

 MORE THAN JUST A CHOCOLATE CAKE, MATE!                     If there is one culinary icon in Australia that ‘out-icons’ the pavlova it is  surely  the lamington.    We all know that the wretched Kiwis claim the pavlova (which is a lot of

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