My Articles

PLEASE DON’T FEED THE COCKATOOS!

PLEASE DON'T FEED THE COCKATOOS!

Nobody loves our beautiful Australian birds more than I do. I photograph them and  write about  them  daily.  BUT, this is a plea not to feed the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos  here in the Blue Mountains (or anywhere else for that matter). The population  of these birds has

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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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A BIRD IN THE SHOP’S WORTH TWO IN THE POND!

A BIRD IN THE SHOP'S WORTH TWO IN THE POND!

EARLY HISTORY OF BLACKHEATH DUCK POND   When the Great Western Railway crossed the Blue Mountains in the 1860s  a reliable water source was required for the steam engines. In the village of Blackheath a catchment area to the north and east of Gardners Crescent and below

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BLACKHEATH BEAUTY IN MAY

BLACKHEATH BEAUTY IN MAY

A  WANDER ALONG WENTWORTH STREET. Since the Great Western Highway from Sydney to the Blue Mountains was upgraded  there has been a huge rise in visitor numbers.  My home  of Blackheath is one of the highest  villages, and in autumn Wentworth Street in particular is a joy

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The Hallett Deaths; a Very Quiet Exit.

The Hallett Deaths; a Very Quiet Exit.

Mrs Eva  Hallett arrived in the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba by rail in the autumn of 1916, accompanied by her 16 year old daughter Violet.  The pair were from Brunswick in Victoria.  For a few days they stayed in a well known boarding house. However, Mrs

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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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Glenbrook; Gateway To the Blue Mountains

Glenbrook; Gateway To the Blue Mountains

Recently I conducted a little social history  survey on how the various towns and villages of the Blue Mountains are perceived.  Do they have a distinct character?  Well certainly most of them do. Most surprising of all to me was that Glenbrook is considered by many to

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Miles Franklin’s Waratah Cup

Miles Franklin's Waratah Cup

MILES FRANKLIN AND HER BRILLIANT IDEA   Many literary figures of the day visited  Miles Franklin (1879-1954) at her home in the Sydney suburb of Carlton.  The author of the beloved book My Brilliant Career, referred to the house as, ‘My old humpy.’  A delightful custom  developed

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Just P. and O. at the Tom Bass Sculpture

Just P. and O. at the Tom Bass Sculpture

                    The sculptor Tom Bass (1916-2010)  was born in Lithgow.  Richard Neville (1941-2016) spent much of his  later life in the Blue Mountains village of  Blackheath. Both men were associated with a work of art regarded as one

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