A Sense of Place: the artist Greg Hansell’s record of history now

  Invitation to A Sense of Place: the artist Greg Hansell’s record of history now, opening by Carol Roberts on Saturday, 15 October 2016, Margaret Whitlam Galleries, Female Orphan School, Western Sydney University (Parramatta Campus). Usually, people who live in or near historic towns are well aware of the significance of place in relation to their connectivity and self-identity. They might not phrase their sense of place in formal terms, but nevertheless they know they belong and this is one aspect that jumps out at you repeatedly during conversations with artist Greg Hansell – his sense of place is ‘hard-wired’.[i] … Continue reading A Sense of Place: the artist Greg Hansell’s record of history now

William Pitt Wilshire – eccentric member of the Pitt Wilshire clan

  Photos courtesy State Library of New South Wales (paid for copies and publication rights) Born and raised in Sydney, William Pitt Wilshire was the eldest son of pioneers James Wilshire and Esther Pitt and a grandson of Robert and Mary Pitt (Matcham). His father, who was Acting Deputy-Commissary for several years, received a number of land grants in the Sydney area and established a large tannery at Brickfield Hill which operated for nearly 60 years.  James also owned land at Kurrajong on Wheeny Creek, adjoining John Howe, Thomas Matcham Pitt, Samuel Leverton and Matthew Everingham. Although William Pitt Wilshire entered … Continue reading William Pitt Wilshire – eccentric member of the Pitt Wilshire clan

The Clements family in Windsor NSW

Herbert Australia Clements was born in Windsor in 1865. At the age of twenty he married Mary Ann Butler, daughter of Edward and Mary Ann Butler of Windsor. The couple had six children: Herbert (born and died 1885), Miriam Clarice (born 1887), Pearly(ie) Grace (born 1889), Percy Edward (born 1891), Dorris Freda (born 1893) and Carlton Herbert (born 1896). Having lost their first-born baby in 1885, tragedy struck again in 1902 when Pearlie died aged thirteen years, after suffering with Bright’s Disease for four months. Herbert Australia Clements in Masonic Lodge regalia c1920s/1930s. Photo courtesy of his granddaughter June Irving … Continue reading The Clements family in Windsor NSW

The ubiquitous fibro house

A shortage of building materials after the end of World War II, combined with an acute post-war rental housing shortage, saw the increased use of one of the wonder products of the twentieth century: fibro. My childhood home at 44 Court Street, Windsor, c1960. My mother Iris Cammack is in the driveway. The house now has a brick facade. Photo Bert Hornery (my uncle). While building figures in Windsor revealed that from 1930 to 1936 seventy timber and fibro cottages were built for a cost of £23,419 (approximately £335 per house), by 1948 the cost of building a basic two-bedroom … Continue reading The ubiquitous fibro house

Caring for our aged – the District Home for the Infirm in Windsor, NSW

Photograph of The Home for the Infirm (now demolished) which stood in Brabyn Street, Windsor. Courtesy of Carol Roberts from the collection of her mother, Iris Cammack. From 1811, The Windsor Charitable Institution provided monetary support and/or stores relief to flood victims, as well as caring for the poor and infirm. This institution was gradually absorbed into the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society from the end of 1818, to assist the aged and infirm of ‘Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce, Pitt Town and Portland Head’. Pioneers present at the inaugural meeting were William Cox, the Reverend Cartwright, Dr Mileham, Lieutenant Bell, Captain Brabyn, Thomas … Continue reading Caring for our aged – the District Home for the Infirm in Windsor, NSW

One Voice on the Hawkesbury: Una Voce at Lower Portland

Bruce King’s Una Voce Tourist Resort at Lower Portland was one of the most renowned guest houses on the Hawkesbury River from the 1920s right through to the 1960s. King purchased the property from George Gosper in about 1915, and in 1947 King comments that he ‘bought property on the Hawkesbury at Lower Portland over thirty years ago’ and it is recorded ‘that Mr George Gosper has sold his property, the buyer being Mr Bruce King of Ashfield’. Photo of Bruce King’s Una Voce launch c1930s, courtesy of Juniors on Hawkesbury Resort at Lower Portland. Ted Lawler, a former licensee … Continue reading One Voice on the Hawkesbury: Una Voce at Lower Portland

Runaway ferries on the Hawkesbury

I came across this rather interesting piece of more recent Hawkesbury history while researching in our local library. There is also an extract of an oral history associated with this account on the Roads and Maritime Services website (see reference below). My article was published in the Hawkesbury Gazette on Wednesday, 1 June 2016, but I thought I would publish it in its entirety on this site. Photo of spare ferry at Webbs Creek by Geoff Roberts. During the week before Easter in 1978, three days of constant heavy rain combined with floodwaters from the Colo, Grose and Macdonald Rivers, was … Continue reading Runaway ferries on the Hawkesbury

John William Vance

This is a tribute to a young soldier in our family who died nearly 100 years ago during the freezing winter on the Western Front in December 1916. John William Vance is my daughter’s third cousin – first cousin of her grandfather Archibald Pitt Vance – and his Service No was 3962. He was the son of Joseph Edward and Mary Ada Vance (nee Fallon) and was working as a carpenter in Maryborough (Queensland) when he first enlisted on 24 August 1915. John stated that he was 18 years on his enlistment form, but his actual age was 17. It seems that he may have … Continue reading John William Vance

My Anzac Day Heroes

Our family was fortunate in that, of the family members who served in World Wars I and II and in Government or Defence Service, only one was killed in action. That one was my grandfather, Private Walter Cammack 203661 who was killed on 1 April 1918, aged 33, in France while serving with the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment, 1st/5th Battalion. He is buried in the Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, in France. As mentioned in an earlier blogpost, I was approached by the Horncastle (Lincolnshire) Civic Society two years ago to provide information and photographs about my grandfather (who came from Horncastle) … Continue reading My Anzac Day Heroes

My submission against the NSW State Government merger proposal of Hawkesbury City Council and The Hills Shire Council (part)

 I have submitted my response to the merger proposal prepared by the NSW Government concerning the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council. My submission ended up being over 2,200 words but my covering letter … Continue reading My submission against the NSW State Government merger proposal of Hawkesbury City Council and The Hills Shire Council (part)