My Articles

SORROW, STRIFE AND STEEL IN THE HEART

SORROW, STRIFE  AND STEEL IN THE HEART

BLAST FURNACE SPELLS START OF THE STEEL INDUSTRY On May 13 1907, the Lithgow Blast Furnace , built by William Sandford Ltd., was officially opened by the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Joseph Carruthers. It was essentially the birth of Australia’s steel industry, and a day

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SOLDIERS’ MEMORIAL PARK, BLACKHEATH

SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL PARK, BLACKHEATH

During World War One, seventy seven  men from  the Blue Mountains community  of Blackheath   volunteered to serve.  Their names are engraved on the local war memorial. Six were killed in action; H. CULLEN, R. MURRAY, J. SKEEN, D. SPRAGUE, J. STEENSON, & R. THOMPSON.    

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The Waratah – history and folklore.

The Waratah - history and folklore.

 MOUNTAIN JEWELS The spectacular  waratah (Telopea)  is the state emblem of New South Wales, and  so much a part of the beautiful  Blue Mountains, where I live.  The plants flower  both in our gardens and in the local bush. They are part of our identity. In 1912,

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One Small Miracle – the Crimson Rosella

One Small Miracle - the Crimson Rosella

DISASTER! At three o’clock  one afternoon  this week my husband Rob called me outside. He looked very upset, and was holding a crimson rosella in an old towel. It had flown into one of the windows. We live in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, and

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GOLF TEES OFF IN SYDNEY

GOLF TEES OFF IN SYDNEY

HITTING OFF One of Sydney’s first golf courses was laid out in the grounds of Grose Farm; land on which Sydney University was later built. We have proof of an official  club being  formed in a 1839 diary entry by the prosperous young merchant Mr  Alexander Brodie

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THE BLACKHEATH BROOM MAKER

THE BLACKHEATH BROOM MAKER

In 1918 an article in The Sydney Morning Herald reported on brooms being hand-made in the Blue Mountains village of Blackheath; The brooms are manufactured under the most primitive conditions, the machine for binding them together being home-made, and it is contended by the maker that with

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FIRE, HEAT……AND A MYSTERY ‘EPIDEMIC’

FIRE, HEAT......AND  A MYSTERY 'EPIDEMIC'

A LONG, HOT SUMMER. It has been such a dry winter here in the Blue Mountains. We have already had one total fire ban day and it’s only September. I notice my husband quietly clearing undergrowth, and testing the petrol fueled water pump.  I’m glad he does

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URBAN IBIS

URBAN IBIS

OK, so above we have a diagram showing the anatomy of the ibis. That’s all very well, but  it omits a vital evolutionary link. According to urban mythology, Sydney’s sacred ibis are a scary mutation of the seagull. The story goes that over succeeding generations, one strain of

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THE TRIBULATIONS OF A MUSEUM CURATOR

THE TRIBULATIONS  OF A MUSEUM CURATOR

To be honest, Mr Wall, one of the Australian Museum’s pioneer curators, does not look well or particularly happy  in the above photo. Let’s hope he had been more cheerful on his wedding day. On Friday, April 30 1941 The  Sydney Advertiser announced; On Thursday, the 29th instant,

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TASMANIAN FOOTBALL FOLKLORE

TASMANIAN FOOTBALL FOLKLORE

 AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL RULES I grew up in the small Tasmanian town of Ulverstone, where Australian Rules Football was the sport we were passionate about.  Ulverstone’s colours  have always been  black and red, hence their name, The Robins. In the 1960’s football was untainted by the corporate sector and

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