Who, When and Why?

In the 2004 book Time gentlemen, please!: Maitland’s Hotels Past & Present, a redrawn copy of this old undated plan of West Maitland was published, with an estimate that it was drawn around, or at least represents, the year 1858. But what evidence places it in the 1850s? For the Wonnarua people, the area depicted […]

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Out of the Woods

Seated at this elegant desk, Irishman John Hayes (c. 1861-1934) shuffled his papers, dipped his pen into his inkwell and meticulously inscribed his accounting records in his ledger books. In 1907, Hayes had been appointed as auditor to the Morpeth Borough Council and quickly proved to be thorough and reliable, spending countless hours at this […]

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On Tap at Morpeth

Step inside Morpeth’s Commercial Hotel today and you’ll find distinctive Federation-era features throughout, with an upstairs balcony overlooking the Hunter River (Coquun) and the town’s celebrated white wooden bridge crossing. It’s a pub that’s stood the test of time, evolving to cater to contemporary tastes with a cocktail bar and a nano brewery onsite offering […]

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Free to Keep Time

Onboard the ship Eliza when she docked in Sydney on 25 June, 1828, were 158 convicts sent from Britain. Among them was James Redding, a man seemingly condemned for life, as he faced an uncertain future in an unknown land. In the years that immediately followed his arrival, James’ days were dictated by the tick […]

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At Home on the Hunter

On an unknown day in 1976 Max Watters (1936-2020), an established Hunter Valley landscape artist, headed north from his home in Muswellbrook in search of inspiration. After taking the Glenbawn Road, east of the small town of Aberdeen, Max crossed the Hunter River (Coquun). He navigated the wind in the road that bends around undulating […]

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