History

AMBUSH AT BARTON PARK – WHAT MOTIVATED A MURDERER?

AMBUSH AT BARTON PARK - WHAT MOTIVATED  A MURDERER?

It is likely that the person who shot two people at Wallerawang, New South Wales in 1948 is still alive. I have referred to him  here as Bennie Harvey. It’s not his real name, but  one his friends used at the time of the murders. The shotgun

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KINDERGARTEN OF THE AIR

KINDERGARTEN OF THE AIR

In the latter years of  WWII  it was feared that Australia might be bombed, and because of this all  kindergartens were closed.  In their place a wonderful institution was born….Kindergarten of the Air. The programme was  launched on the ABC in  1943  by Lady Zara Gowrie, wife

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JUST A FEW BARS – THE GOULBURN GAOL ORCHESTRA

JUST A FEW BARS - THE  GOULBURN GAOL ORCHESTRA

In September  1948, within the space of a few days, two seventeen year old youths committed murder in New South Wales.  Stranger still, they had been good friends before their otherwise unrelated crimes. They had played ice hockey together, and were both snappy dressers who enjoyed  the

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SALE OF THE CENTURY AT WALLERAWANG

SALE OF THE CENTURY AT WALLERAWANG

On September  26 1948,  wealthy pastoralist James Lyon Walker Barton (aged 54)  and his unmarried sister  Lue Loveday Barton (45) were shot dead at their  grand home, Barton Park, at Wallerawang (New South Wales).  The killer  was a 17 year old farm worker; a petty criminal from

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CONALD PAGETT AND THE BEX POWDER CASE

CONALD PAGETT AND THE BEX POWDER  CASE

THE CONCLUSION OF THE VERA WATT  POISONING CASE. FOR THE FIRST PART, CLICK HERE. When the Coronial Inquest into the death by poisoning of Mrs Vera Watt ended in January 1942. her ex-lover Conald Pagett was committed for trial and remanded in Long Bay Gaol. However, on 

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THE MURDER OF VERA WATT – PART TWO

THE MURDER OF VERA WATT - PART TWO

THE A.P.C. OF MURDER  ….… click here for previous episode.                   The coronial inquest into the  death of 36 year old  Mrs Vera Doris  Watt on December 1 1941 opened on December 29.  She had died from strychnine, placed

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BITTER PILLS; THE MURDER OF VERA WATT

In the 1940s and 50s   A.P.C pills and  powders were one of the most popular ‘over the counter ‘ drugs in Australia. They were sold under the brand names of Vincent’s or Bex. The  highly successful advertising slogan for Bex was ‘ Stressed? All you need

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BEX WAS NOT ALWAYS BEST!

BEX WAS NOT ALWAYS BEST!

Bex and similar over- the-counter  drugs were at the height of their popularity  in  Australia during the 1950s and 60s.  Claimed as a cure for all manner of complaints, they became  a ‘pick-me-up’  for bored, frustrated housewives  before  the Women’s Liberation movement  and the contraceptive pill changed

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THE GREAT KATOOMBA ROCK FALL

THE GREAT KATOOMBA ROCK FALL

As 1930 drew to a close,  coal miner Arthur Mellor made a disconcerting discovery at Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains of NSW. In the ground behind the great cliff known as Dogface Rock he came across a deep fissure measuring eight feet across.  When a surveyor was

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NELLIE BISHOP – THE RELUCTANT PIONEER

NELLIE BISHOP - THE RELUCTANT PIONEER

Queensland was the first Australian State to initiate  women  serving on juries. The relevant bill was passed in 1924, although those interested  had to formally indicate their desire to participate and  were not actively encouraged to do so. However, in 1942 an appeal went out in Brisbane

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