January 29, 2017

Newcastle Stories 2016

Indigenous place, coal town, steel town, post-industrial city, Newcastle, NSW Australia, has a distinctive history and cultural landscape, and is full of stories. But its unique voice has been insufficiently heard.

In 2016 a group of older Novocastrians came together in a University of the Third Age course called Newcastle Stories.

There were weekly guest speakers on themes ranging from the coal to energy alternatives, from surfing to social work, from to suburban history to social action.
VIEW: Newcastle Stories program  

Participants also wrote stories, some of which are collected here.

In nine wry sketches, Gary Townsend has cleverly captured the distinctiveness of Mayfield, Newcastle’s oldest suburb.
READ: Nine Mayfield Stories  

Two people wrote about significant events in recent Newcastle history.

Drawing on primary and secondary print sources and her interviews with participants, Gayle Hopwood has produced a lucid case study of the seven-year community struggle to revive the Regal cinema in Birmingham Gardens. 
READ: Reviving the Regal

Hilary Oliver contributed an account of the fierce 2007 Pasha Bulker storm.

Three people plumbed their family history.

Mavis Ebbott has drawn on historical sources and her imagination to create an engaging story about her grandfather’s and great-uncle’s boyhoods in late nineteenth century Newcastle.

In tracing his great-grandfather’s colourful history, Phil Warren moves between locales (Wales, Newcastle and the Victorian Goldfields) and between first and third person accounts.

Geoff Hassall draws on his great-grandfather John Forster’s handwritten memoirs and secondary historical sources to describe Forster’s long and interesting life in Sydney, Newcastle and the Hunter Coalfields. 
READ: The Boy Who Came From Nowhere

Several people drew on their working life to produce interesting stories

Richard Wakely, a former magistrate, contributes two stories, one about the eccentric behaviour of Mayfield businessman Leo Maley, the other a tragic tale of domestic violence.
READ: Leo Maley
READ: Mary’s Story

Ian Park also contributes two stories, the first about his Newcastle youth, which led to him becoming a policeman; the other an account of his early police career in NSW’s central west.

John Turnbull, himself a former pharmacist, writes about the history of pharmacy in Newcastle and the lower Hunter.

Dianne Imison, a former teacher, writes appreciatively of her teacher training institution, Newcastle Teachers College.

Griff Foley, the course tutor, contributes three stories.

The first is an account of a sand drift that took a life in inner city Darby Street in 1878.

The second story tells of a nearby real-estate transaction 138 years later.

The third story, written in the same month as the second, frames the first two stories.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to all our participants, guest speakers and the behind-the-scenes team. VIEW: Detailed acknowledgements

No comments:

Post a Comment