ADHS Newsletter No. 218 June/July 2004

Items of interest -

Visit to Worsley Cottage, Maryborough.

Please take note that our Correspondence Secretary’s address has changed in recent months; some people are still sending mail to the old address.

Report of June meeting which was held in the Avoca Senior Citizens Rooms, attended by approximately twenty persons. The President, Tony O’Shea chaired the meeting, and called upon Vice-President Max Hobson to introduce guests, Fran and John Madden of Bald Hills near Creswick. Fran & John gave a short talk on the display of old dolls and artifacts that they have collected over the years by attending clearing sales, swap meets, etc.

Members were advised of various issues which are covered in the President’s Report, and reminded that there would be no July meeting, as we are visiting Worsley Cottage, Maryborough.

It was decided that the August meeting would once again be held at the Senior Citizens Rooms, Avoca, as the Court House is still closed for renovations. We are attempting to locate a suitable speaker on "150 years of Railways in Victoria", in particular the Maryborough-Avoca-Ararat line, for our August meeting.

It was decided that there will be no September meeting, and that in its place we attend (and hold a display at) a "Family History Fair" being conducted by the Maryborough Family History Group Inc. (Details appear on a later page of this edition.)

The Committee resolved to place $4,000 of the Society’s funds in a higher interest account. A box of historical material received by the Society as a bequest, and which mainly related to Landsborough, will be donated to that Society.

The Society’s financial year will in future close on 30th June, in line with the Rules. Future new members will have a full year from whenever they join, before needing to pay their renewal subscription.

We will upgrade our presence and display at the C.H.H.A. Expo in Ballarat in October.

Report by your President on his first two months in office

The elected Committee of Management of the Society has been busy, despite the Court House being closed for renovations preventing much of the usual work that they would normally be carrying out. We have commenced holding regular committee meetings, which had not been done in recent years. It is our belief that there are many aspects of the proper corporate governance of the Society which can ONLY be effectively handled within committee meetings, and the laws

under which we are incorporated acknowledge this situation in the way that the Model Rules for an Incorporated Association are structured. One of the more important things we are looking at is the necessity to draft some proposed changes to the Society’s Rules, and when finalised, these will be submitted to a Special General Meeting for discussion and, we hope, ratification by a majority of our members.

We have conducted a review of the security of the Court House, and are working on compiling an inventory of the Society’s assets. It is hoped that we will have finalised these matters by the time the renovations are completed and we re-open the Court House for business. I would ask that members who have in their possession for safe-keeping ANY items of the Society’s holdings please let me know the details, so that they can be included in the inventory.

A dozen or so of our members spent a most enjoyable and informative afternoon at the Midlands Historical Society’s premises at Worsley Cottage, Maryborough last Sunday. We gained much inspiration for how we hope to set up our own research room when we move most of our holdings back into the Court House. For those members who have not visited Worsley Cottage, you don’t realise what you are missing! The Editor will be contributing an item about our visit which will probably go into more detail.

The Architect who is supervising the expenditure of the grant money for the Court House renovations visited the premises several weeks ago, and we are awaiting his report and details of the arrangements being made with contractors for extermination of the termites and replacement of those sections of the floors which they have eaten.

Visit to Worsley Cottage 18 July 2004 - Upon arrival at the front gate we were greeted with the perfume of Woodbine, and a lovingly tended cottage garden, the only lawn being at the back of the house. The volunteers are endeavouring to recreate the type of garden which would have surrounded the house when built.

The two front rooms of the cottage were completed in 1894 with a detached timber kitchen by Arthur Worsley for his bride Agnes Anne Morris whom he married on Christmas Day 1893. The next two rooms were completed some time before 1908. Arthur was a Stonemason by trade and at one time worked on the the main drain. He collected the stone for the cottage from around the Avoca Road area and the exterior walls of the cottage show what a wonderful craftsman he was. We are told Arthur Worsley was born in 1861, in the mud brick house next door (Bristol Hill side, which is no longer there) and was educated in Maryborough.

The cottage became the home of the Maryborough Midlands Historical Society 30 October 1976 and a lot of hard work has gone into it since then to make it the lovely museum it is today. It is beautifully furnished with many treasures on display donated by many local people. In the backyard is a Squatter’s Slab Hut Circa 1844, the oldest known building in the district, with shingle roof & rammed earth floor lined with hessian & canvas. This was donated by Mr Ian Bucknall and moved to Worsley Cottage in 1978. Amongst the many treasures on display in this building was a Coolgardie Safe, and a buggy jack , something many of us have never seen before.

Also in the backyard they have another exhibition area with more treasures, amongst them being a hand operated washing machine used by Mrs. Susie Alice Peck of "Blunham" Archdale, which was used circa 1930 - 1955 until electricity came to the district. It was donated by Miss Mavis Peck of Maryborough. They had another washing machine of an older type, Patent WM made by Walter and Echberg, 6 Russell Street Melbourne Circa 1900, donated by Jeff Hoober and restored by Lloyd Burns. This was of timber, like an enclosed cradle with ridges on the inside like a wash board. It was on a stand & you stood there and rocked it to get the clothes clean.

The stable at the bottom of the backyard is now the Historical Society’s research room, with a wonderful collection of photos, newspapers & archives all beautifully catalogued, boxed & shelved; many in illuminated display cabinets.

Our Society’s next meeting on August 15th, 2004 will be held at the Senior Citizens Rooms, High Street Avoca. Subject matter will be "150 years of Railways in Victoria" and in particular the local line between Maryborough, Avoca, Amphitheatre and Ararat. Mary Dridan, Dorothy Robinson and Margaret Oulton are assembling some information and memorabilia for a display at the meeting. Mary Dridan has located a speaker on the subject: Steve Norgate from Ballarat, a Committee Member of the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre. He is knowledgable on the Avoca line, and also on the Ben Nevis - Navarre line, and is preparing information for distribution to attendees at the meeting, to complement his talk.

On Sunday 19 September 2004, instead of our usual meeting, we will be attending and displaying at the Family and Local History Fair being run by Maryborough Family History Group Inc. between 10am and 4pm in the Exhibition Hall on the corner of Nolan and Alma Streets. Things to see and do :- Family History Groups, Genealogy and Family History Suppliers, Family History Services, Mapping and Charting, Local History Groups, Door Prizes and Internet Access Admission $2-00

Also featured as part of this Fair is Lady Teviot as Guest Speaker in Maryborough on Sunday 19 September 2004 from 2.00pm to 4.00pm in the Senior Citizens’ Hall, which is located in Phillips Gardens, in Alma Street near to the Maryborough Resource Cemtre, admission $2-00. Lady Teviot has been involved with Family History for more than 30 years, and also specialises in Probate Research. Lady Teviot has spoken in many places including Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and USA. Lady Teviot has been involved with the Federation of Family History Societies in the UK for a number of years and is President at the moment. Lady Teviot is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Sussex Family History Group. Lord and Lady Teviot have compiled the Sussex Burial Index covering the years 1813 - 1841, which also includes the non - conformist entries. Lady Teviot will be speaking on:

Medical Conditions of the 19th Century

Work Houses and Baby Farming in the 18th and 18th Centuries

Enquiries to Bernard Vickerman (03) 5460 4822

We welcome new members

Sandra Hill of Millendon W.A.whose interests are David & John William HILL, George Absalom MACEY, Robert WALLACE, Edward FENTON and John McLEAN.

Jane Morrison of Brighton who is researching James BELL of Dunolly and Joseph PLUMMER

Mrs Susan Latchford of Hallam researching the VAN EVERY Family

Navarre Primary School No. 1330 - 140 Years of Education - On Sunday 10 October a full day of celebrations including registration, a display, & basket lunch. For further details please contact Sue Slater on 5465 3572(home) or 5357 4256 (school).

Lady Teviot in Ballarat: On Sunday 5 September the Ballarat and District Genealogical Society will be running an afternoon seminar, presented by Mary Lady Teviot. Lady Teviot is the President of the Federation of Family History Societies in the U.K., and will be visiting Australia for just two weeks. She is a noted and experienced international speaker on family and local history topics. The Seminar Afternoon will be as follows:

1.00pm arrival for 1.15pm start, at the Meeting Room of Ballarat Library, Creswick Road.

1.15pm Welcome and introductions

1.30pm "Researching in London" - Lady Teviot

2.30pm A sumptuous afternoon tea.

3.00pm "The Parish Chest: parish records and parish registers" - Lady Teviot

4.00pm Finish The entry fee, including afternoon tea, is $5 for BDGS members and $10 non-members. Contacts: Betty (5331 7834) or Neva (5332 8751). All welcome!

The next Waanyarra Reunion is to be held on 20 March 2005 at Waanyarra, those interested should contact George Swinburne (613) 9817 6276 email:

Waanyarra Website:

Recent Acquisitions - Some photos of the Tanwood school from Marion Brown

West Bourke Local and Family History Fair: Saturday 23 October 2004 , 10 am till 4 pm, at Kensington Neighbourhood Centre, Anthony Street, Kensington (near Newmarket Station). West Bourke was an Electoral District of Victoria from 1856 to 1904 covering - Altona, Ascot Vale, Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Coburg, Essendon, Fawkner, Flemington, Footscray, Gisborne, Keilor, Kensington, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Ponds, Mount Macedon, North Melbourne, St Albans, Sunbury, Sunshine, Sydenham, Werribee, Williamstown. Sixteen Historical Societies have registered to have a table at this event. For any enquiries, email

An excerpt from the "Avoca Mail & Pyrenees District Advertiser" of Thursday, December 24, 1863:- "Local Intelligence. Avoca Police Court. What an orderly and peaceable race the denizens of Avoca must be! Not a case at the Police Court this week worth reporting! The only one possessing the slightest interest was that of Christopher Redhead, charged with lunacy. The father deposed that his unfortunate son had frequently threatened his life, and the lunatic was bound over to keep the peace for three months." (Transcribed from microfilmed copy at SLV)

Pyrenees Pioneers now available electronically or by snail mail - your choice! The Committee has decided to offer members the option of requesting that their newsletter be sent electronically, as a .pdf document, instead of by post. You will receive the newsletter immediately after it is finalised by the Editor, rather than waiting for it to be printed and then mailed; and it will save the Society the cost of printing and postage. By opting for electronic delivery members may read it on screen with their own computer, or print out one or several copies if they wish. To give this a try, please notify the Editor of your email address.