Putting Pen to Paper

Computers, tablets and smart phones might be helpful, but many would agree there’s still nothing like scribbling down your thoughts using a pen and paper. In December 1872, when Maitland Mercury newspaper employee John Thompson ( – 1902) first opened this diary, he seems to have been thinking of using it in the coming year […]

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Something Blue

In the 1930s Gwen Wiley of Berry patiently cut out the silk fabric, sewed the seams and chain-stitched and embroidered these handkerchief sachets. And it may not have been an accident that she made them in blue. Gwendoline ‘Gwen’ Wiley (1914-1991) was the third daughter of John and Pearl Wiley. She gained her intermediate certificate […]

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A Laugh a Day

The popular Australian cartoonist Les Lumsdon (1912-1977) was born in Abermain, New South Wales, a small outlying town of Newcastle. Spanning three decades, Lumsdon documented the lives of ordinary Australians, capturing the political mood of the times in his satirical comic sketches.   He created these hand-drawn cartoons for the Newcastle Morning Herald from 1946 […]

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Never Knocked Out

On the evening of 31 July 1915 the tiered seats of the Sydney’s premier boxing stadium were crammed with 17,000 spectators, and thousands more stood outside. All were impatient for the anticipated Darcy v. McGoorty match to begin. Les Darcy (1895-1917), a 19-year-old blacksmith-turned-professional-boxer from Maitland, was the local drawcard. How did Eddie McGoorty, the […]

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