A Charming View

Holding the arm of her new husband Ernest John Phillips, Scottish-born Jessie McGeachie (1883-1947), descended the stairs in the garden of her parent’s home Craig Royston in Toronto, with its terraced lawns leading down to the edge of Lake Macquarie. It was the morning of 9 June 1909 and they had been directed to take […]

Read More…

No Dough Needed

Richard Sneddon drove his horse and cart to the back door of the bakery of the West Wallsend Cooperative Society and filled his baskets with fresh loaves, which had been baked and neatly stacked on trollies the previous afternoon. Around the town, Richard left bread at the houses of co-op members, and collected the small […]

Read More…

Carried Away

Sparks flew as the blacksmith pounded his hammer against this iron spike, red hot and just pulled out of the forge. After tapering the short rod to a point, he hammered the top to form a dog head-like projection. Then he marked the head with ‘W W / C C’, the initials of the West […]

Read More…

Sew Like Mother

Imagine her excitement as Narelle Kemp, a young girl from the mining town of West Wallsend carefully unwrapped this Vulcan Toy Model Featherweight sewing machine in the 1950s. It was a gift that brought her much enjoyment, and one that also had an important purpose. On this miniature version of the classic Singer sewing machine, […]

Read More…

Keeping the Fizz In

Imagine the sweltering summer days in West Wallsend, when tired and dusty miners crowded into the Clyde Inn (est c. 1893) on Carrington Street to quench their thirst. Many ordered beer, but others had a taste for the fizzy lemonade, soda water, ginger ale, and ‘fruit champagne’, which the bar-keep William ‘Bill’ Smith (licensee 1899 – […]

Read More…

Narelle’s Call

As a girl at West Wallsend in the 1950s Narelle Kemp watched her mother Elvie, with pointed index finger, turn the number dial on this black Bakelite telephone. She listened to the distinctive rotation sound as the dial returned. When someone called, the phone’s built-in-bell made a cheerful ring, which carried throughout all the rooms […]

Read More…

Slow to Turn

Its been more than 100 years since electricity was installed at West Wallsend. The bulb and fitting shown here is an electric light that belonged to undertaker and carpenter William Turnbull (Snr). It dates from the era when West Wallsend, then a small coal mining town, switched to using electricity. Today, safe, reliable lighting in […]

Read More…