The Blue Mountains town of Blackheath has always attracted visitors during the festive season. The following report appeared in the Lithgow Mercury, dated January 6 1899;
BLACKHEATH – According to reports from different towns the railway traffic to the Mountains this Christmas and New Year has largely exceeded all previous years. So far as this town is concerned it has established a record. Between Friday night and Boxing Bay, 750 alighted from the trains here against 500 last year, and from Friday to New Year’s Day the tickets collected exceeded last year by 200. The prospect of beating this record will depend on an extra number of new buildings being erected, for all the available accommodation is taken up.
Perhaps W. E. Vincent’s sentiments of welcome and Christmas cheer were more praiseworthy than his or her poetic ability, but well….it sort of scans;
During WWI, the ladies of Blackheath busied themselves preparing Christmas parcels for soldiers. Sweets, socks, and cigarettes were greatly appreciated, even if the parcels were sometimes a bit late reaching the boys fighting in France.
Post-war, and the little ones of the town were dressed in their best to meet someone very special. Oh my word, I think the Santa in the following photo may be the scariest I have ever seen!
The Great Depression years were as hard in the Blue Mountains as anywhere else in the country, but of course the Christmas spirit is impossible to quell. From the Blackheath Bulletin on December 18 1930;
The Blackheath business places have made extensive arrangements to cope with the Christmas trade, and every window reflects the Yuletide atmosphere, reminding one that there is no need to shop outside the town for Christmas gifts and festive accessories.
Take a peep at the compact and well stocked establishment of J.M. Gorman, and you will be satisfied that your wants for Christmas can be attended to. Look into the big windows of Byron’s newsagency then step inside for all your Christmas books and gifts you desire to make.
Your Christmas meat supply can be obtained at Nick Delaney’s Ltd., full provision has been made for the Christmas trade. Further up the street and the branch shop, Field and White show how toothsome are the Christmas cakes and pastries manufactured by this well known firm.
For Christmas wines, spirits and beers, the Astoria and the Ivanhoe have made full provision.
The Ivanhoe Hotel is still thriving in the village and participating in festive events. Last year my husband and I attended the annual nativity play, performed in the dining room by a local theatre group with enthusiasm and gentle humour. I doubt there will be a play in this Covid year, but to take a peek at last year’s, CLICK HERE.
Meanwhile, the town is gearing up for another merry Christmas. We may be doing things a little differently in 2020, but at least our skies are smoke free after the trauma of last year’s terrible fires.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS!! 🎄🎁🎈🎄🎈🎁