Memories

Singleton’s Big Party ~ Howe’s That!

As mining cancerously erodes St. Patrick Plains’ alluvial bounty – “the finest sheep country he (John Howe) had seen since leaving England” – it is grim irony indeed that global conglomerates dispossess by legislative violence the Valley community’s rural inheritance,

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To a Higher Court

Newcastle courthouse now stands as one of the most notable buildings in Newcastle, an iconic and welcoming facility that meets the client brief of connection with the community.” ~ TTW structural engineers. Welcoming… in a jaggedly immense sort of way.

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Autumn Gown

May in Newcastle – calm mild days, cool nights. A stretch of tranquil weather let fallen leaves carpet footpaths at Islington. The accumulation is fortuitous in streets regularly swept by heavy traffic, pedestrians, wind gusts or stormy change – and,

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Muloobinba Leaves Newcastle

Bound for South Africa, Newcastle’s floating dock Muloobinba ends 34 years service Muloobinba was launched in Japan 4 November 1977 and towed by the tug East Sea, arriving 4 January 1978, and entered port on the 7th. It replaced the

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19 Goes for a Spin

Early morning on Kooragang Island, Tuesday, 12 May 2009. Sound asleep among the trees, South Maitland Railways (SMR) No. 19 steam locomotive stirred, oblivious to a human inspecting her under-workings. It was that recurring nightmare: eternity since the last coal

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A Day on the Harbour (or two)

Nothing is more impressive than a cruise ship up close Newcastle’s harbour is compact and very accessible, which makes ship watching a passive interest for all who enjoy the foreshore. Celebrity Millennium is one of the larger vessels to visit

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Farewells to a Grand Old Dame

In late 2006 Newcastle’s most famous building, the Palais Royale, was partially demolished. A year later its street front was sadly and brutally flattened. Palais Royale April 2007 in Hunter Street locale. West (left) to East. Click to view album.

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The Illustrated Town

First, some protocol. Locals can say “Kurri” but you and I are advised to say “Kurri Kurri.” Artist Chris Fussell supplied the obligatory large animal sculpture at town’s entrance. Photo by Chris. One warm May in 2008, two impatient passengers

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Passion Over Pasha Bulker

MV Pasha Bulker leaves Newcastle Harbour 26 July 2007 for repairs in Japan Eleven o’clock departure time was an hour ago, yet Newcastle Harbour lay wide, flat, blue… and empty. There was no sign that an injured Panamax freighter was

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Gully Line ~ The Drain

Gully Line under Lambton Road looking north-east, flowing to Throsby Creek Remnants of the actual “Gully Line” coal rail track

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Gracelands Reminisce

Remember Gracelands on Violet Town Road, Belmont North? One of our region’s outstanding Christmas displays. Here’s a few memories for you. Maybe you were there that night in December 2004. Gracelands was a magic place. Children lucky enough to see

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The Fleeting Glory of KA-11

Newcastle loves boats. The harbour, foreshores, breakwaters, and beaches make boat-watching an easy and inviting pleasure. When a special maritime visitor draws crowds of Novocastrians from their daily rounds, well, the occasions are quite spectacular. Kookaburra 1 (KA-11) arrives off

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State Dockyard ~ Last of the Big Ships

I saw the first boat launched at Walsh Island, the Stockton ferry Mildred, and now I’ve come to see the last boat launched at Newcastle. I am sad, very sad.” ~ R. Lindsay of Carrington, former dockyard apprentice pattern maker.

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NBN ~ Preparing for Colour

It’s 1970. Colour television is coming and Newcastle’s Channel 3 has a lot of work to do. Viewers are impatient. After all, Baird demonstrated colour in 1940 (as my Scottish neighbour regularly reminds me), the Yanks were watching “color” in

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Tale of an Australian Trader

At daybreak on the 17 February, 1969, media crews arrived at Newcastle’s State Dockyard site at Carrington’s Dyke End peninsular. Above ~ Walsh Island at dawn, taken from Eastern Wharf’s crane on launch day. In three hours time another historic

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From the Real World ~ NBN’s Outside Broadcast Vehicles

This is how Outside Broadcast crews were described in The Monochrome Years, and a good place to start this pictorial tribute: …the real “thrill seekers” were OB technicians who had to drive a mobile studio sometimes hundreds of kilometers to

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NBN ~ The Monochrome Years

The grant of a commercial television licence is a privilege of great public importance, especially to the people in the area in which the station is established; and there seems little doubt for its most effective use a commercial television

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Stockton ~ The Disappearing

Crowds and a procession of cars inspect the aftermath of a winter storm in 1948 Late in the afternoon of Sunday, 20th June 1948, Henry Skilton joined the swarm of Stockton sightseers inspecting the damage wrought by the previous week’s

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Three Sinkings and Two Beachings

Illalong at final resting place 5 klm south of Redhead ~ from the H.G.Skilton Collection. The Little Coastal Steamer that Never Gave Up In March 1908, shipping news reported that Messrs. E. D. Pike and Company had a vessel named

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