BERTIE BATTYE AND BUSHRANGER BEN HALL

BERTIE BATTYE AND BUSHRANGER  BEN HALL

From the 1863 New South Wales Police Gazette. Bushranger Ben Hall strikes again; This tiny snippet was the only mention of the robbery at that time, and no-one was ever charged. In those days, travelling the country’s rural roads was a dangerous business and outlaws led the

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WHY DID AIMEE EDOLS (NEE BATTYE) LIE AND CHEAT?

WHY DID AIMEE EDOLS (NEE BATTYE) LIE AND CHEAT?

After publishing my website stories about the crimes of Sydney society matron Aimee Edols (nee Battye), a reader called Sue left the following message; Well, of course I had to find out. During her court appearance in August 1931 the tabloid Truth newspaper reported on Mrs Edols

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A CORDIAL INTRODUCTION TO ULVERSTONE

A CORDIAL INTRODUCTION TO ULVERSTONE

When the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition opened in 1888, produce from the small community of Ulverstone, Tasmania was represented by leather and skins from Mr T. L. Button, ploughs of polished iron and varnished blackwood from Mr L. Titmouse and…..cordials and aerated waters from Mr R. R. Hunter.

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WAS THERE GOLD AT GAWLER?

WAS THERE GOLD AT GAWLER?

Gawler is a tiny rural community, several kilometres inland from Ulverstone, on Tasmania’s north-west coast. On April 4 1929 a tragic event left residents of Gawler in a state of utter grief. During widespread flooding in northern Tasmania, eight young people drowned when their covered Ford truck

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A FRAUGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH BUSES!

A FRAUGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH BUSES!

From 1953 until 1968, the Tasmanian government ran the Green Coach Line service to country towns. Now due to the curse of travel sickness I have dreadful childhood memories of being a passenger on those wretched buses. The Tasman Limited train was completely different, quite exciting really.

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SWAGMAN AT THE IVANHOE HOTEL

SWAGMAN AT THE IVANHOE HOTEL

I was working on my book while lunching at Blackheath’s art deco New Ivanhoe Hotel recently, and also completing my survey of local pies. This one was beef, thankfully without kidneys! As I was gazing in bemusement at the giant side-serve of gravy (wot, no tomato sauce?),

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THE LOST PORTRAIT OF A BIG HEARTED SINGER

THE LOST PORTRAIT OF A  BIG HEARTED  SINGER

To mangle the words of Oscar Wilde, for an institution to lose a miniature portrait would be unfortunate, to lose a life-sized framed oil painting sounds more like carelessness. Catherine Hayes (1818-1861) was a celebrated, Irish born soprana who toured Australia extensively in the mid 1850s. At

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THE NEW IVANHOE HOTEL – A BLACKHEATH TIME-WARP

THE NEW IVANHOE HOTEL - A BLACKHEATH TIME-WARP

The name New Ivanhoe Hotel is a delightful contradiction in terms. Little has changed at this Blue Mountains pub in 70 years. It’s located at 231 Great Western Highway, Blackheath. I’ve been working on my new book here recently. The pub has just the right atmosphere for

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ODE TO GOLDEN SYRUP!

ODE TO GOLDEN SYRUP!

Peter Kotz, a fellow social history buff, took the photo below. The rusting, 70 lb golden syrup drum was found on a rough bush track near Alice Springs. Golden syrup was such an integral part of life in the parched Australian outback. It replaced butter on a

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GHAN TRIP – THE DINGO PROOF FENCE

GHAN TRIP - THE DINGO PROOF FENCE

You wouldn’t think that a scruffy looking fence in the Australian outback would capture the imagination of so many people, myself included. Stretching for 5,614km it’s the longest continuous fence in the world. It was constructed to keep marauding dingoes out of the relatively better pastoral lands

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