Hexham, a small village about 15 km north-west of Newcastle, NSW, named after the English market town of Hexham – both towns near their “Newcastle.”

Ozzie the Mozzie at Hexham Bowling Club.

Full-scale model (1:1) of the greatly feared local mosquito, the frightful and dreaded Ochlerotatus Alternans – aka the Mighty Hexham Grey.  Photo credit Stuart Edwards.

Note: the sculptor tastefully omitted human prey being carried away by this monster.

Famous for giant scary mosquitoes, the Hunter’s most famous “giant something” highway feature, a vast wetland “swamp,” Oak milkshakes, Smithy’s Airforce, traffic jams, and a propensity to flood.

Otherwise, Hexham seems to have little going for it. Apologies to the residents. I’ve always been tempted to buy a house at Hexham. Just like the easy-living look of the place.

But, in fact, it is a most amazing area with an extensive history, and played a key role in the development of Newcastle and the Hunter region.

Hexham railway station on the Hunter line is near the riverine terminus of the privately owned Richmond Vale Railway line, an early coal hauling railway from Minmi and Stockrington which crossed the government railway at right angles.

Coal loading at Hexham wharf began in 1850 and ended in 1967. The railway line to the adjoining workshops was closed in October 1973. The remaining section of the Richmond Vale Railway was closed in September 1987.

Hexham was once a riverport of importance in the lower Hunter and was known as Port Hunter. In the colonial days travellers from Newcastle to Maitland could travel to Hexham by boat and then disembark to travel by road to Maitland via Upper Hexham (Tarro), Four Mile Creek and Green Hills, the road being more direct than the river which had many bends after Raymond Terrace.

More (lots more) at Wikipedia

Some happy snaps from April 2014 of coals to Newcastle via Hexham.