History

The Sloper and the Steeplechase

The  Sloper and the Steeplechase

FROM A STUMP JUMPER TO THE STEEPLECHASE Ally Sloper was  a big boned  chestnut  gelding with three white fetlocks. He  had been named after a British cartoon character; a likeable but  lazy schemer who sloped down alleys to avoid the debt collector. Although his name and his

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The Wonga Pigeon; a Flying Feather Pillow

The Wonga Pigeon; a Flying Feather Pillow

LET’S SPEND A WHILE WITH A WONGA                               Let me introduce……the Wonga pigeon. The name  derives from wonga-wonga,  an  Aboriginal name inspired by their call.  Mind you, I would describe it as a

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BUSH CRICKET

BUSH CRICKET

 DEMON BOWLING OR DREADFUL BATTING? I recently came across the newspaper report of an 1893 cricket match between the rural communities of Exton and Reedy Marsh, in northern Tasmania. EXTON V REEDY MARSH A match was played on Saturday between the above clubs on the Exton Club’s

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SYLVIA AND VALENTINE; A LOVE STORY

SYLVIA AND VALENTINE; A LOVE STORY

I have read many love stories over the years, both true and fictional.  However, none have affected me so powerfully as that of  an English couple;  the writer Sylvia Townsend Warner and the  poet Valentine Ackland. Originally I came upon their story in  a library  copy of

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THE ‘MARCIA’ BICYCLE SIDECAR

THE 'MARCIA' BICYCLE SIDECAR

INTRODUCTION  –   I have always been impressed by my friend Marcia’s energy and love of the outdoors.  I have known her for quite  a few years, but  it was only recently that she mentioned this delightful aspect  of  her family history. It certainly  shed some light on

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ENOUGH TO MAKE A MOTHER WEEP!

ENOUGH TO MAKE A MOTHER WEEP!

 METHOD IN A MOTHER’S MADNESS In  December 1841 a  shabby, careworn woman entered a London  shoe shop, brazenly picked up several items    and walked out.  It was a  theft that made no sense at all;  she had  taken a  random couple of boots and a single clog! 

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THE GENTLE GENIUS OF MAY GIBBS

THE  GENTLE GENIUS OF MAY GIBBS

A DAY OUT FOR DES (THAT’S ME) Well just before Christmas my guardian Pauline Conolly took me to Sydney as a special treat. Now  she loves  going to the State Library, but I don’t  (boooooring!!) I was  pretty p…..d off when we ended up there (sorry, I

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ALICE BY NAME, RED QUEEN BY NATURE!

THE MATRIARCH My paternal grandmother, Alice Maud Singleton, was  born  at Sassafras, in northern Tasmania  on June 20  1884. She was a Victorian through and through.  Just add pride, vanity and  her  strict Methodist faith  and there we have  dear old Grandma. Alice by name, Red Queen

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THE COURAGE OF SAPPER McRAE

THE COURAGE OF SAPPER McRAE

            On April 26 1915, the day after the dawn landing at Gallipoli, Sapper Duncan McRae (2nd Field Co. of Engineers) was shot in the shoulder by a Turkish sniper. He was evacuated to Egypt and from there to a military  hospital

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NORMAN LINDSAY; THE SPIRIT OF SPRINGWOOD

NORMAN LINDSAY; THE SPIRIT OF SPRINGWOOD

  When Australian artist and writer Norman Lindsay first saw what was to become his home at Springwood in the Lower Blue Mountains of New South Wales, the sandstone cottage was sadly neglected and the floor boards full of white ants. Nevertheless, Lindsay reported to his wife

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