Shifty streets

In my historical researches lately I’ve been noticing how fluid the the street names were, with some streets having multiple spellings (Dickson/Dixon) and some street names morphing over time. Robert How, an investor in the Scottish Australian Mining Company had a street named after him, but the street name somehow acquired a trailing “e” to become “Howe Street”.

The mystery of the extra “e” was solved when I noticed that “Wye Street” was originally called “Wyee Street”. It seems that shifty “e” just wandered in from the neighbouring street and took up residence! If not for the peripatetic positioning of that vagrant vowel the street sign would look like this …

Tharwa Road Lambton

For quite some time as I researched Lambton history, I’ve come across references to “Tharwa Road”, which no longer exists in Lambton. I wondered whether it was a mis-spelling or variant of “Tathra Road”. Recently while perusing old maps I discovered that a 1906 real estate poster map shows that “Tharwa Road” used to be the section of Wallarah Road north of Womboin Road.

Tharwa Road, Lambton. University of Newcastle, Cultural Collections.

It made sense that the road had two names, for they began as two completely separate roads divided by the Lambton colliery railway. Each road was also in a different council area – Tharwa Road in the Lambton municipality, Wallarah Road in the New Lambton municipality.

As early as 1926, residents of East Lambton were agitating to have the roads connected to make a thoroughfare to New Lambton. The joining of the roads appears to have happened around 1941, with The Newcastle Sun reporting on 11 Feb 1941

It was decided to ask the Newcastle Council to attend to … the renumbering of Wallarah Road, which has now been extended to include Tharwa Road.

Salesforce Lightning and the missing Chatter

Here’s another weird issue in transitioning to the Lightning user interface in Salesforce.

One of our users who regularly adds Chatter posts to records in the system, reported that they were unable to post a new Chatter thread against a record. On checking I likewise found that on the Chatter tab there was a bold invitation to “Collaborate here! Here’s where you start talking with your colleagues about this record.” But there was no way to actually post a message!

The issue turned out to lie with the Global Publisher Layout, which defines the actions that will be available for Chatter. From Setup search for “publisher”, click on “Publisher Layouts” and then edit the “Global Publisher Layout”

The “Classic Publisher” section defines what chatter actions will be available in the classic interface, and if no overrides are made in the “Lightning Experience Actions” section, then the Lightning interface should inherit the settings from the “Classic” section. However I found that it wasn’t until I saved the layout (without even making any changes) that the Chatter actions appeared in Lightning.

After clicking on “Quick Save”, the “Post”, “Poll” and “Question” actions appeared in the Chatter tab in the Lightning experience.

Salesforce Streaming API issue in Lightning

This post documents an obscure issue I discovered relating to the Salesforce Streaming API after switching to the new Lightning user interface.

For several years now at work we’ve had an integration that uses the Salesforce Streaming API to sync customer and contact information from Salesforce to an on-premise system. Recently after some users transitioned to the new Lightning user interface, the integration stopped working.

On investigation, it turned out to be related to field permissions. One of the fields configured in the PushTopic was a formula field. The permissions on this formula field were set to make it readable by only Administrators and the Integration user.

  • When using the Salesforce classic interface, if another user (who did not have read permission on the formula field) updated a record, the formula field value appeared in the streaming event
  • When using the Lightning interface, if another user (who did not have read permission on the formula field) updated a record, the formula field value did not appear in the streaming event.

As this formula field was a required value in our integration, the fact that it was missing caused the integration to break.  The simple solution was to make this formula field readable by all users.

In summary, there seems to be a subtle change in the behaviour of the Streaming API between Classic and Lightning interfaces. The following is not an authoritative statement, but from my testing it appears that …

  • In the Classic interface, the fields available in the streaming event are determined by the permissions of the user subscribing to the PushTopic channel.
  • In Lightning, the fields available in the streaming event are determined by the permissions of the user generating the event.

Programmable buttons on the TF200 phone

A relative with low vision recently needed a landline phone with programmable buttons, so they could easily call family members with just the press of one button. In my cupboard I had an old Alcatel TF200 phone (from Telecom Australia) that had 10 programmable buttons. I couldn’t find a manual for this phone online, but with experimenting I found that programming the buttons was a matter of lifting the handset then …

  1. Press the “Store” button.
  2. Press the digit buttons for the number you want stored.
  3. Press the programmable button that you want the number stored in.
Alcatel TF200 touch phone.

The Grange, New Lambton

I noticed in the paper this weekend that the property known as “The Grange”, in Queens Rd New Lambton, is up for sale. This house and surrounding area was originally owned by William Thomas Dent, who was Secretary of the Northumberland Permanent Building Investment Land and Loan Society for 43 years. 

“The Grange”, New Lambton

The building and land was sold by Dent in October 1921, purchased by the Newcastle Hospital Board for £4387. They planned to convert the property into a convalescent home.

“The Grange” in New Lambton in 1921, purchased for use as a convalescent home.

The planned conversion of “The Grange” to a convalescent home never happened, as the following year the hospital board purchased Lambton Lodge (the former home of Thomas Croudace, manager of Lambton Colliery) and developed it as the convalescent home instead. With “The Grange” property now surplus to requirements, the hospital board subdivided the land, and in June 1930 offered for sale 25 blocks of land around the original house.

The Grange Subdivision 1923.

W T Dent moved to a house in Curzon St New Lambton, where he died in 1942.

W T Dent properties in Curzon/Curson St New Lambton.

The other William Thomas Dents

The William Thomas Dent (1870-1942) who owned The Grange is not to be confused with his father, also called William Thomas Dent (1844-1901) who was secretary of the building society before his son, during the years 1877 to 1899. William Thomas Dent senior was the fifth Mayor of the Lambton Municipality and was instrumental in the erection of the Lambton Park Rotunda, and has his name in the ornamental ironwork above the entrance.

“W T Dent Mayor” on the Lambton Park rotunda.

Additionally note that the William Thomas Dent (1870-1942) who owned “The Grange” also had a son called William Thomas Dent (1901-1930) who predeceased his father, aged just 29.

[Note that the birth year I have stated for the three W T Dent’s above are approximate only, based on their age reported at their death.]