Blue Mountains

BANKSIA SERRATA; WEIRD AND WONDERFUL!

BANKSIA SERRATA; WEIRD AND WONDERFUL!

Specimens  of  of the Australian native Banksia serrata  were  collected by Sir Joseph Banks in  1770 and later named for him. They are funny, gnarled trees that look ancient long before their time (rather like weather beaten Australian gardeners). Serrata refers to the  tough, saw edged  leaves;   Their

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MOUNTAIN DEVIL!

MOUNTAIN DEVIL!

A favourite shrub in my woodland  garden is the spikey  Australian native shrub  Lambertia Formosa.  It was once known  as  the honey flower, but today is more usually called Mountain Devil. It is related to the proteas. The shrubs grow to about 2 metres. They are great

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Local Hero; the Lithgow Stove

Local Hero; the Lithgow Stove

Engineer  George Morris arrived in Australia in the 1890s. He settled in Sydney, marrying Priscilla Walker in 1903.  The couple then moved to Lithgow, in the Blue Mountains, where  George was  initially employed at the town’s blast furnace. In 1910 he left, to open a foundry in

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CHRISTMAS IN BLACKHEATH

CHRISTMAS IN BLACKHEATH

CHRISTMAS IS NIGH       As Christmas approaches I love looking back at seasonal celebrations in my  Blue Mountains village of Blackheath. The following is from The Lithgow Mercury in 1909; There was very little stir here during Christmas, and everything passed off quietly. On Boxing

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THE LITHGOW PRAM PUSHERS

THE LITHGOW PRAM PUSHERS

Dave McSorley was a  local barber in Lithgow. He was also a heavy-weight boxer, and consummate showman. He once wagered that he could clean shave  1,000 men without a break. In the end he ran out of  bristling chins, but still managed 420 shaves in 54½ hours,

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SORROW, STRIFE AND STEEL IN THE HEART

SORROW, STRIFE  AND STEEL IN THE HEART

BLAST FURNACE SPELLS START OF THE STEEL INDUSTRY On May 13 1907, the Lithgow Blast Furnace , built by William Sandford Ltd., was officially opened by the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Joseph Carruthers. It was essentially the birth of Australia’s steel industry, and a day

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RHODODENDRONS FOR REMEMBRANCE

RHODODENDRONS FOR REMEMBRANCE

During World War One, seventy seven  men from  the Blue Mountains community  of Blackheath   volunteered to serve.  Their names are engraved on the local war memorial. Six were killed in action; H. CULLEN, R. MURRAY, J. SKEEN, D. SPRAGUE, J. STEENSON, & R. THOMPSON.    

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The Waratah – history and folklore.

The Waratah - history and folklore.

 MOUNTAIN JEWELS The spectacular  waratah (Telopea)  is the state emblem of New South Wales, and  so much a part of the beautiful  Blue Mountains, where I live.  The plants flower  both in our gardens and in the local bush. They are part of our identity. In 1912,

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One Small Miracle – the Crimson Rosella

One Small Miracle - the Crimson Rosella

DISASTER! At three o’clock  one afternoon  this week my husband Rob called me outside. He looked very upset, and was holding a crimson rosella in an old towel. It had flown into one of the windows. We live in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, and

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THE BLACKHEATH BROOM MAKER

THE BLACKHEATH BROOM MAKER

In 1918 an article in The Sydney Morning Herald reported on brooms being hand-made in the Blue Mountains village of Blackheath; The brooms are manufactured under the most primitive conditions, the machine for binding them together being home-made, and it is contended by the maker that with

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