My article for the June 2023 edition of “The Local” is now out. This month on the period in the first four years of New Lambton Council (1889-1892) when streets in half the town had names different to those we know today.
Author Archives: Lachlan Wetherall
Bond Street, Newcastle, 1964
Another photo from the Merv and Janet Copley collection at the Living Histories site that caught my eye was one with the somewhat vague title of “Newcastle old coal track, NSW, 1964.” It took me a while to identify the location of the photo, the key being a search in Trove for “W Brett sails tarpaulins”. This returned an advertisement from 1921 identifying the location of W Brett’s business as being “Bond St, Newcastle (near Customs House).”
Lambton Park Rotunda 1973
I recently found in the Living Histories site of the University of Newcastle, a photo of the Lambton Park rotunda from 1973. The rotunda was looking so sad and disheveled, and so different from current day appearances that my initial reaction on seeing the photo was that it was mis-labeled and was a rotunda somewhere else.
Constructed in 1890, the rotunda initially had iron palisade railings. By 1925 the rotunda had fallen into a bad condition. Extensive repairs were undertaken, including replacing the iron railings with arched brickwork, and replacing the wooden floor with reinforced concrete.
Newcastle Council later renovated the rotunda, reinstating the look of the original, including iron railings, a wooden floor, and the dome and spire above the main roof.
Pokolbin’s Lost Airstrip
Mike Scanlon had an interesting history article in the Newcastle Herald this weekend (22 October 2022), on the mystery of the forgotten World War 2 runway at Pokolbin. In 1942 the RAAF built an air station at Pokolbin. The north-south runway was located where the current Cessnock airport is now. But there was also second runway located towards the south-west.
In the article Mike mentions that this old east-west runway can still be seen in Google’s satellite views. Using the historical imagery feature in Google Earth Pro and winding back to 2007, indeed shows a faint yet quite distinct outline of the old runway lying beneath fields and vineyards.
Lambton Colliery Office Steps
In researching the Leonora Glassworks for my October 2022 article for The Local, I came across this photograph from the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate on 11 Dec 1948, of Joseph and Milon Vecera posing on the entrance steps of a building that had been demolished.
The newspaper incorrectly identifies the site as “Lambton Lodge”, the home of Thomas Croudace. The location is actually the small building at the left in the photo below, where the steps can be seen at the front. Brian Robert Andrews, on page 230 of his book “Coal, Railways and Mines, Volume 1”, has a diagram of the Lambton Colliery surface infrastructure that identifies this building as the colliery office.
Lambton Colliery, 15 August 1900. Photo by Ralph Snowball. Living Histories, University of Newcastle.
The double story building at the right of the photo is the colliery workshops, where Leonora Glass set up in 1947, where the Vecera twins were working in 1948 when they were photographed on the old colliery office steps.
Lambton Park Monolith
This black pillar appeared recently adjacent to the Howe St walkway in Lambton Park. Just like the monolith in Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”, I have no idea what it’s for.
The replacement of the Lambton pool water slide looks to have been completed this week.
Despite what seems to be a lingering winter , the budding of our mulberry tree this year has come earlier than last year.