From bricklaying to egg-laying: Christopher Lawrence, poultry expert Hawkesbury Agricultural College

Christopher Lawrence has been described as ‘a man with a heart of gold, a voice like a foghorn, a thump like a mule, a master of his own trade, and a cornerstone in Hawkesbury tradition’. Continue reading From bricklaying to egg-laying: Christopher Lawrence, poultry expert Hawkesbury Agricultural College

The importance of objects as holders of memories – two Sylvac bird’s nest planter jugs

This is the third post in my series on the importance of objects as holders of memories and I have chosen two SylvaC bird’s nest planter jugs – identical except for colour. Continue reading The importance of objects as holders of memories – two Sylvac bird’s nest planter jugs

The importance of objects as holders of memories – the family piano

How can objects bring back memories and engender a sense of place? Because they carry the history of families. This is my second post on the importance of keeping objects and documenting provenance and significance. The subject of this post … Continue reading The importance of objects as holders of memories – the family piano

The importance of objects as holders of memories – a family scrapbook

The importance of research, documentation and conservation in regard to objects in museum or private collections cannot be over-estimated. To explain that importance, I’ve chosen to carry out qualitative research on a sample of three items from my family collection. Continue reading The importance of objects as holders of memories – a family scrapbook

Guy Lambton Menzies: courageous aviator with family links to pioneers of the Hawkesbury

  Guy Lambton Menzies, 20 August 1909 – 1 November 1940, photograph c1939, courtesy Canada Bay Library. In early 1931, Guy Lambton Menzies took off from Mascot in an Avro-Avian aircraft (the Southern Cross Junior), flew solo across the Tasman Sea and landed upside down in a swamp near Hokitika on the South Island of New Zealand in the record time of eleven hours and forty-five minutes. Just 21 years of age, the intrepid aviator was an experienced pilot with more than 800 hours in his logbook. When I first started my research on Guy Lambton Menzies I had no … Continue reading Guy Lambton Menzies: courageous aviator with family links to pioneers of the Hawkesbury

Returned soldiers at Hawkesbury Agricultural College

By Anzac Day 1918, Hawkesbury Agricultural College had provided agricultural training for sixty returned soldiers in the fields of horticulture, pig raising, poultry farming and dairying. Many of the men had permanent injuries and were selected under an arrangement between the State War Council and Department of Agriculture. It was reported in the HAC Annual Report in 1916 that ‘Fifteen soldiers have taken advantage of this…many of them are maimed and injured to such a degree that it is impossible for them to pursue occupations incurring strenuous labour.’ By 1919 it was reported that ‘there has been a continuous stream … Continue reading Returned soldiers at Hawkesbury Agricultural College

‘Miramar’ – Stuart Frank Doyle’s pride and joy

Photograph of Bert Hornery working on Miramar II from Iris Cammack collection, courtesy Carol Roberts. A popular outing for members of the Royal Motor Yacht Club through the 1930s was a trip up the Hawkesbury River to Sackville, and one member who visited more often than most was the Commodore of the RMYC, film and radio entrepreneur Stuart Frank Doyle, in the Miramar. Stuart Doyle and his wife, Louise, were regular visitors to the Hawkesbury and the Miramar had a permanent mooring at Sackville. Each time the couple visited, Louise Doyle planted shrubs and trees on the river bank such … Continue reading ‘Miramar’ – Stuart Frank Doyle’s pride and joy

William Norris, farmer and publican

Photograph of William Norris from the Jean Welch collection courtesy Carol Roberts. Venturing into research on members of the Norris family in the Hawkesbury can prove confusing, especially if researching William Norris. The reason being that, as with many old families, there are many generations with the same name. The William Norris who features in this article was born at Cornwallis in 1840, the son of William Norris and Lucy Upton (Brown) and grandson of Richard Norris and Mary (Williams). William, who married Susannah Martin, was the brother of Emma Amelia (married William Wood), Alfred (married Mary Ann Hand), Jane … Continue reading William Norris, farmer and publican

Westland Wapitis over Richmond

Photograph from Iris Cammack collection, courtesy of Carol Roberts, Windsor, NSW. The Westland Wapiti aircraft was designed in 1926 to United Kingdom Air Ministry specifications for the Royal Air Force. It was a two-seat, general-purpose light bomber built as a replacement for the DH9A. While the Wapiti Mk 1 was fitted with a 420hp Bristol Jupiter engine, the Mk IIA was fitted with a more powerful 550hp Jupiter. It carried one fixed Vickers gun forward and one Lewis gun mounted in the rear cockpit, with a bomb load of 500lbs (227kg). Loaded, the Westland Wapiti aircraft weighed 2,450kg, about as … Continue reading Westland Wapitis over Richmond

Picture postcards and family communication

Photograph of Myra McCabe courtesy of Carol Roberts from the Iris Cammack Collection. As well as letters, one of the most popular forms of communication between families during the early 1900s was the privately-printed postcard. Postcards were introduced into Australia from about 1875 and twenty years later, the Victorian Government gave permission for privately-printed postcards to be used under the conditions that they be made of ordinary cardboard, measure no more than 13.3 x 8.3 cms and nothing except the address, stamps and a brief message could be included. From 1898, the NSW Government Printing Office released a series of … Continue reading Picture postcards and family communication