History

UP A GUM TREE; THE MOUNT RIVERVIEW LOOK-OUT

UP A GUM TREE; THE MOUNT RIVERVIEW LOOK-OUT

The Cummins family were pioneers of Blaxland, in the lower Blue Mountains of NSW.  Bernard Cummins bought land nearby and called his property Mount Riverview. Its far-reaching views across the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers to Sydney  gave him an idea. He constructed a wooden stairway to the

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NIGHTMARE NECKS!

NIGHTMARE NECKS!

When I was attending the Ulverstone  primary school in Tasmania in the mid 1950s, a  responsible monitor (rarely me!) would dole out tiny white goitre tablets. I don’t think  we kids  gave this a second thought as we gulped them down with our school milk. It was

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TROUBLES AT TARANNA MILL – PART TWO

TROUBLES AT TARANNA MILL - PART TWO

THIS IS  THE CONCLUSION TO THE STORY TROUBLES AT THE TARANNA TIMBER MILL. In  1929, like so many other parts of the world, Tasmania was in the grip of the Great Depression.  John and Loyce ‘Grace’ Freeman from the rural community of Taranna, on  Tasman Peninsula, were

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TROUBLES AT THE TARANNA TIMBER MILL

TROUBLES AT THE  TARANNA TIMBER MILL

  In the early 20th century the main timber mill at Taranna, on Tasmania’s Tasman Peninsular, was owned by  Messrs. Jones and Hay Pty. Ltd.   Like most businesses, it was going  through hard times during the Great Depression.  The workforce had been  severely reduced, and the

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Stitches In Difficult Times

Stitches In  Difficult Times

Susan Stephens from Lapstone  in the Blue  Mountains  treasures a  hand knitted  jumper brought home from WWI by her grandfather, Hedley Stephens.  Fighting in France in May 1916,  Corporal Stephens went ‘over the top’ with a senior officer to check on their men.  The  pair were severely

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THE MYSTERY PAINTING OWNED BY LACHLAN MACQUARIE.

THE MYSTERY PAINTING OWNED BY LACHLAN MACQUARIE.

Sydney’s Mitchell Library is in the process of doubling the size of its exhibition gallery space.  In a new initiative, 300 works of art have been selected for permanent display. Some have rarely been seen by the general public. As a member of the Library Circle I feel

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THE REDEMPTION OF ROBERT COOMBES

THE REDEMPTION OF ROBERT COOMBES

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CONVICTED BY THE CIVIL POWER? Australian residents enlisting in World War I were required to answer a series of personal questions. At the time, military authorities had no idea what lay behind  recruit Robert Coombe’s answer to No. 6, regarding apprenticeships;  ‘Mr Pike,

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Arsenic at Emmaville

Arsenic at Emmaville

The  Ottery arsenic mine, near Emmaville  in  northern New South Wales,  closed as a commercial venture in the 1930s.   Arsenic was  once used heavily in rural  Australia  as sheep and cattle dip, weed killer and for curing animal skins.  It was said that stock drinking from

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YOUNG CASUALTIES OF WAR

YOUNG CASUALTIES OF WAR

The following  story is about my great-uncle Arthur, who I never met and barely knew existed during my childhood.  This was despite the fact that my father had been named in his honour.  Arthur  died when I was fifteen. He was buried in our local  cemetery, but 

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THE WARTIME SECRET OF THE GLENBROOK RAILWAY TUNNEL

THE WARTIME SECRET OF THE GLENBROOK  RAILWAY TUNNEL

SILENT WEAPONS OF WAR My research for this story began amid the startling news of the chemical attack on the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, and of chemical weapons  being used in Syria. I knew about mustard gas in WWI, because my

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