BEX WAS NOT ALWAYS BEST!

BEX WAS NOT ALWAYS BEST!

Bex and similar over- the-counter  drugs were at the height of their popularity  in  Australia during the 1950s and 60s.  Claimed as a cure for all manner of complaints, they became  a ‘pick-me-up’  for bored, frustrated housewives  before  the Women’s Liberation movement  and the contraceptive pill changed

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

IN THE SHADOW OF WAR – THE EMPIRE GAMES OF 1938

IN THE SHADOW OF WAR - THE EMPIRE GAMES OF 1938

In  February 1938, 15 countries from what was then known as The British Empire, assembled in Sydney for what would be the last Empire Games until well after  the Second World War.  It was a huge occasion, especially as the event coincided with Sydney’s 150th anniversary. After

Read more

HOW WILLIAM WENTWORTH BOILED DOWN A PROBLEM

HOW WILLIAM WENTWORTH BOILED DOWN A PROBLEM

William Charles Wentworth;  Australian politician, explorer, author, barrister, statesman and landowner.   A man of many parts. At the height (maybe that should be depth ) of the 1840’s economic depression in New South Wales, sheep were selling at just 9d each and cattle for only a

Read more

SYDNEY A-Z – A LIGHT HEARTED HISTORY

SYDNEY A-Z - A LIGHT HEARTED HISTORY

A LIGHT-HEARTED ‘JOURNEY’ AROUND SYDNEY SUBURBS We should never forget that almost all the  names  given  to Sydney and its environs by Europeans were preceded by those used  by Australia’s  first people. Here is a list of  Aboriginal place names  complied by the Australian Museum. Cadi was

Read more

CAN KATOOMBA’S PARAGON CAFE BE SAVED?

CAN KATOOMBA'S PARAGON CAFE BE  SAVED?

For an update, scroll to bottom. In 1916 The Paragon Café  was established  at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales  by Greek immigrant Theo Simos and his family.  It became an enormous success, and far more than a café.  The art-deco interior still features 

Read more

THE MYSTERY OF THE WISHING TREE

THE MYSTERY OF THE WISHING TREE

In Sydney’s Botanic Gardens there is a very special Norfolk Island pine known as The Wishing Tree.   It is a replacement of the original, which was planted in the early days of the colony. A sign explains its history, and its association with Governor  Lachlan Macquarie’s

Read more

SIXPENCE TO VISIT THE SICK

SIXPENCE TO VISIT THE SICK

Several  years ago I had to spend a few weeks in a major Sydney hospital. I didn’t actually feel sick, and since I was editing a book I took along my  notebooks and computer. There was no restriction  at all on visitors. In fact, my husband Rob

Read more