Tag: History

I really like history, learning about it, and documenting what I know.

Parbury Tour Group

Parbury Ruins

The last couple of days in Sydney have been extremely warm, with temperatures in the mid-30s. Today was a terrific day to head underground, to visit a place with a climate resembling a wine cellar. The Parbury Ruins, at Miller's Point, were uncovered only a few years ago during the construction of an apartment block. ...

Old Darlinghurst Gaol

Even though I've been to the National Art School on countless occasions, and I've been on several history walks which have touched on its history as East Sydney Tech College, and before that as the Darlinghurst Gaol, I've never really had much knowledge of the change chronology. So when I saw something on Eventbrite a ...

Chippendale Historical Walk

"Is this place up for sale?", a bloke asked the tour group leader. With his slurred speech, he appeared to have already had "a few". "No, I'm not a real estate agent, this is a history walk", he was told, and we all laughed in recognition that we probably did look like a group of ...

War Bride

My latest family history project is trying to connect with the story of my cousin, Lyla Brown/Curtis, who married an American soldier in the 1940s, and who went to live in the US. I remember briefly speaking on the phone with her after she arrived back from living in the United States. Presumably long dead ...

South Lismore

As a child growing up in South Lismore, one of my strongest earliest memories was of the arrival at the nearby railway station of hundreds of people for the Aquarius Festival. Though it’s often described as Australia’s answer to Woodstock, I don’t think there was such a high musical component to it. But as a ...

Lex Watson's Book Collection for Sale

Behind Bars

It's thirty years since the decriminalisation of consensual male sex in New South Wales, and "some of the leading figures responsible for that change have all died in a six month period", we were told by Murray Maclachlan at the Australian Homosexual History Conference held at Sydney's University of Technology. He was referring to former ...

Darlinghurst History Walk

I spent the early part of the day teaching at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. As part of the lecture I gave, I repeated the mantra, "there are no boring stories, only boring story-tellers" which I've heard many times from radio consultant, Valerie Geller. She's absolutely right. Just about any story can be ...

The Appin Inn, later renamed the Union Revived and licensed for a while by one of my ancestors, William Rixon

Appin Bi-Centenary

“I have a connection to the pub across the road” I told the woman who was looking after things at St Bede's Catholic Church in Appin today. “Two of my ancestors ran the pub back in the 1840s”, I told her, referring to William Rixon and Ann Hoare. “There was a close connection between the ...

Ten green bottles

Colonial Wine Tasting

Talk about four seasons in one day. What began as a fine sunny day in Sydney, had, by mid-afternoon turned into something cold and wet. Cold and wet enough to drag out the possibly fake "North Face" rain jacket I bought in Beijing a few months ago. As the rain tumbled down, I could think ...