© 2018 Greg & Sylvia RAY

Nine decades of memories

In recent times I've taken the opportunity to sit down with some nonagenarians - that's people aged in their 90s - to hear a sampling of their recollections. What follows is a selection shared by Leonie Leben and Ken Watt, who grew up in Merewether and Cooks Hill, respectively. Leonie Leben. Photo by Greg Ray Leonie Leben grew up in the Newcastle suburb of Merewether and was a schoolgirl during the years of World War 2. Her father, Leopold "Bob" Hay, spent most of his working life on Newcastle Harbour, on dredges and tugs operated by…

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Wilfred Hayler’s Newcastle Harbour photographs

Wilfred Hayler was in his late teens when he decided to photograph the ships and other activities around the busy harbour of his home town, Newcastle, NSW. Wilfred with one of his photograph albums. It doesn't seem as though young Wilfred had particularly sophisticated camera gear, but he did have a good eye for a picture. And at the time he was taking his hundreds of photos, the world of shipping in Newcastle Harbour was in a fascinating state of transition from sail to steam. The six-masted barquentine E.R. Sterling at the coal cranes, with the…

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Read more about the article Robert Sneesby’s eyewitness account of old Newcastle
Newcastle, NSW, in 1886

Robert Sneesby’s eyewitness account of old Newcastle

Some years ago Mrs Margaret Thompson was visiting an elderly aunt to gather information for some family history research. A request for old photographs brought to light an old black exercise book in which the elderly lady's father, the late Robert Sneesby, had recorded many of his recollections of Newcastle in the late 1800s. Recognising the treasure, Mrs Thompson and her husband Stuart transcribed the document, added numerous photos from various sources and made a handful of copies. Some months ago she kindly loaned me a copy to scan. A copy of her transcribed document was…

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