History

TASMANIA’S OWN ROAD RUNNERS

TASMANIA'S OWN ROAD RUNNERS

Tasmanian native hens were part of my 1950s rural childhood, but I must admit I gave them little thought.  This may be because they would  simply shoot across my vision like the  cartoon character  Roadrunner. They  are flightless, but can motor along  at up to 50 kilometres

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John Brush, the Sydney Saddler

John Brush, the Sydney Saddler

My interest in John Brush saddles began when Brendan Morris found a rare survivor on his farm in New South Wales. He posted some photos in  The Australian Social History Facebook Group. John Brush established a saddlery and harness store in Sydney in 1840. It was during

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LAURIE’S COPY BOOK

LAURIE'S COPY BOOK

Sorting through documents while compiling our family history I found a section of one of my Uncle Laurie’s school copy books. It had been kept as a treasured memento by his mother after his death in WWII.  Each page was dated; from May 3 1932 through to

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ELLIS CORK A.I.F…”Exciting times are looming.”

ELLIS CORK A.I.F..."Exciting times are looming."

Ellis Cork was born in Bomaderry, NSW. He enlisted in the 31st Battalion of the A.I.F  in December 1915, when he was 18 years old. In camp awaiting embarkation for active service, Ellis wrote to his young cousin, Grace. He expressed his excitement about signing up, but 

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Martin Place Remembers.

Martin Place Remembers.

Enlistment rallies, anti-war demonstrations, peace celebrations.  Yes, Sydney’s Martin Place has long been associated with Australia’s military history. From the Sydney Morning Herald on August 5, 1915; MARTIN PLACE CROWDS GROWING LARGER – ELOQUENT APPEALS Each day the crowds of people who come to hear the speakers

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THE BRAVE CATS OF WAR

THE BRAVE CATS OF WAR

I must thank my friend Rosie Wood for mentioning the possible role of cats in warfare. I can’t remember how the subject came up now, but my research produced some interesting results. It transpires that they were employed as far back as the reign of Cambyses II,

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DEPRESSION ERA DINING

DEPRESSION ERA DINING

One feature of  cooking during the Great Depression, especially in rural areas, was home made kitchen ware.  I especially like the flour sifter; Kerosene was widely used in Australia for heating and lighting, and the  empty  tins provided the raw material for all manner of makeshift household

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SWEET OLD SYDNEY

Have you ever visited Angel Place, just off Martin Place in Sydney?  Its hanging birdcages  are a touching memorial to the city’s lost birds, forced ever westward over the years of white settlement. If you listen carefully you can hear their recorded songs and calls over the

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THE GREAT VEGEMITE COMP!

THE GREAT VEGEMITE COMP!

  Vegemite was developed  by Australian businessman Fred Walker, in opposition to the UK’s Marmite. It was first sold in 1924.  I was amused to discover that  he briefly marketed it as Parwill  (as in Pa will, Ma might.) In October 1926  an advertisement in Sydney’s  Sunday

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ESKBANK HOUSE – THE BARTON PARK EXHIBITS

ESKBANK HOUSE - THE BARTON PARK EXHIBITS

I visited Eskbank House Museum in Lithgow recently. The oldest part of the colonial Georgian  house  was built circa 1842, from local sandstone. The original owner was Mr Thomas Brown, who established the Eskbank Colliery.   There is a lot of early Lithgow history on display, but 

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