© 2018 Greg & Sylvia RAY

Maitland, a city built on steam

Maitland is a city whose foundations were built on steam. And thanks to steam, the district was able to become one of the main drivers of economic growth in the young colony of New South Wales. The Hunter River was always the key to Maitland’s future. Not only did the river produce the great wealth in the trees and soil of the floodplain, it also provided the highway to move produce from farm to market. Boats and canoes of various kinds regularly plied the river in the early days of European settlement and it is clear…

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William Henry Weston, Hunter photographer

William Henry Weston was a prolific photographer in the Lower Hunter Region of NSW in the early 1900s, but circumstances have conspired to prevent him gaining the recognition he deserves. Born at West Maitland on December 19, 1871, William was the fifth child of of James Weston Jnr and Edith Fielder, and the grandson of James Weston Snr, the former convict landholder whose name survives in the Coalfields town of Weston. William married Effie Pearl Bishop on January 14, 1911 at Woodville. Their three children were Selwyn (1912), Errol (1914) and Milton (1916). From 1918 the…

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Postcards from the Past, by Greg and Sylvia Ray

I've long been fascinated by postcards - especially old ones. They speak of a time when communication was a more leisurely business than it is today, and yet they symbolise the desire of people for quick and snappy means of staying in touch. Printed in vast numbers in the early years of last century, postcards were a collecting craze too, and many families still have old albums full of these intriguing ambassadors from the past. Our 13th book, Postcards from the Past, is a collection of cards depicting Newcastle, NSW, and its Hunter Region hinterland. The…

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