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 GRACE HOTEL

THE GRACE HOTEL

Recently I paused and looked skyward at this wonderful Sydney building. At street level it’s hard to appreciate its full, 300ft glory, sheathed in glazed cream, terra-cotta tiling. Somehow it reminds me of the toy blocks I played with during my 1950s childhood. However, it was built

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BRIDGET AND PYLON – THE ‘COATHANGER’ CATS

BRIDGET AND PYLON - THE 'COATHANGER'  CATS

Around Christmas 1950, twin white cats were spotted atop the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There they remained. It seemed the pair had decided it was the best location in the city, with world class views. Well really, who could blame them? The snowy residents

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DEATH ON YORK STREET – 1946

DEATH ON YORK STREET - 1946

The victim, Jeanette Wicks. In 1935,  Jeanette Wicks divorced her husband  of seven years on the grounds of desertion.  She  subsequently supported herself  by operating a tiny kiosk, located at the entrance to a four storey building at 97 York Street, central Sydney.  Tobacco products and lottery tickets

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SYDNEY’S VAPIANO – WHERE HAPPY HOUR IS JUST THAT!

SYDNEY'S VAPIANO - WHERE  HAPPY HOUR IS JUST THAT!

CASUAL DINING OUT IN THE BIG SMOKE! This Italian eatery is located  in King Street. It was so good that on a recent visit to Sydney my partner Rob and I dined there two nights running.  The style is described as Euro-chic. It’s decorated with pots of

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SYDNEY’S STEAM TRAMS

SYDNEY'S  STEAM TRAMS

 STEAM POWERED PEOPLE MOVERS FOR SYDNEY We learn that the Works Department is making arrangements for the construction of a temporary tramway from the Redfern terminus to Hunter-Street, to be used by visitors to the International Exhibition. They expect to be able to get the motors from

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John Brush, the Sydney Saddler

John Brush, the Sydney Saddler

My interest in John Brush saddles began when Brendan Morris found a rare survivor on his farm in New South Wales. He posted some photos in  The Australian Social History Facebook Group. John Brush established a saddlery and harness store in Sydney in 1840. It was during

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Martin Place Remembers.

Martin Place Remembers.

Enlistment rallies, anti-war demonstrations, peace celebrations.  Yes, Sydney’s Martin Place has long been associated with Australia’s military history. From the Sydney Morning Herald on August 5, 1915; MARTIN PLACE CROWDS GROWING LARGER – ELOQUENT APPEALS Each day the crowds of people who come to hear the speakers

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SWEET OLD SYDNEY

Have you ever visited Angel Place, just off Martin Place in Sydney?  Its hanging birdcages  are a touching memorial to the city’s lost birds, forced ever westward over the years of white settlement. If you listen carefully you can hear their recorded songs and calls over the

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EDITOR DES UNDER ARREST!

EDITOR DES UNDER ARREST!

Hello, Editor Des here. I have to be very brave about writing this, because I am still a bit traumatized. Well I went to Sydney with my guardian Pauline Conolly this week week. She wanted to do a bit of shopping and other stuff at the big

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