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The repeat performances were again booked out and our audiences were generous in their praise of Mark Garner, Steve Walter and Andy Rigby. The audience on the Saturday night were treated to extra drama when a passer-by thought that the sparks and smoke blown by the strong wind, in association with the glow of the spotlights on the rear wall, indicated that the roof was on fire! An orderly evacuation ensued before the dramatisation, in the tradition of show biz, went ahead undaunted. Many of the audience thought the evacuation was part of the play. At the Friday night performance Doug Martin, another of Thomas Martin’s grandsons was present and had photographs of Thomas and his wife as well as the five sons. Our file in the Martin family is growing; a pleasing outcome as at the start of this project, there was no information on Thomas Martin and family after the writing of the letter. The proceeds of this performance were divided between the Society and the newly formed NAPE group that has emerged from this exercise. NAPE is now in the process of rehearsing the next show ”Court in the Act” scheduled for October and to enable this to happen, an agreement has been arranged for subletting the courthouse.


Also as a result of subletting, a decision has been made to swap the functions of the two rooms opening off the courtroom. What was the research room will now become the meeting room and house the big table and benches and be near the water supply for catering purposes. The other room will house the computer equipment and be close to the security room so that our valuable possessions are out of the public arena.


Unfortunately due to time restrictions, the application for the further grant to carry out works to the grounds had to be abandoned. There is a possibility that we may fund part of the project ourselves; however we hear that new grants are looming and should they prove appropriate a new application will be prepared.


Eight people took advantage of John Lawton’s recent tour of mining sites. John had gone to a great deal of trouble to prepare for the outing and led us to the Welshmans Reef mines near the site of the old Newstead tip. We went to the relics of alluvial mining close by, including a puddling site, then on to the Lady Brassey and North Lady Brassey in the Fishermans Road area. We moved on to a private property in Seers Road to see the Irish Billy Mine, Otago and Locks United. At the conclusion, John provided ”a cuppa” at his home and a very welcome towel and hair-dryer for Janet (Trudgeon).

Our next planned outing, on Monday September 13, is a visit to the site of Thornhill Reef in the forest off Demo Track. To our delight we recently discovered that this site is on the National Register. We will meet at the Courthouse at 12.30pm. Bring your lunch and a cup. If you won’t be available until the usual 1.30pm, you could meet us at the site: 900 meters along Demo Track from the Newstead/Castlemaine Road.


The Society has a Collections Policy which outlines those items that we would like to collect. From time to time we are offered material that adds to our store of research reference. Recently we were very pleased to accept from Irene Cocking the records of the Strangways Tennis Association. Earlier Dorothy Clark had provided a number of copies of the Police Gazette which, she told us, had been found (by Cliff and Joyce Martin of Ballarat) some time ago in the ceiling of the old police station. We record the data on a program called Filemaker and we were very grateful to receive a more modern version of the software from Brian Rhule of Maldon. Of course then we need to print the documents and Stuart Olney has added an ImageWriter printer to our store of machinery to help with this function. Thanks to all our benefactors.



Max Biddlestone:                        McAvoy/McEvoy, Clydesdale around 1882 

Pauline Turner:                        McLean, Newstead Hotel; Clancy; Blair.

CHHA EXPO – November 6 & 7

As we haven’t participated in this Ballarat-based fair for a few years we thought we would give it a go. The theme of this year’s fair is House and Garden and we believe that we would be able to mount an impressive display from this area. We would be very happy to receive any photographs you may have of old – or new – Local houses and/or gardens. We will copy any photographs we choose (with your permission) and return the originals to you. The Fair will be located, as usual, at the Ranger Barracks in Curtis Street, Ballarat.


September 1        ’I remain, sir, your most humble and obedient servant” PRO Ballarat – 2-3.30pm, tree Focussing on the records of the Central Highlands District

September 13        Outing to Thornhill Reef – 12.30pm at the Courthouse

September 20        Committee Meeting 1.30pm - all welcome 

October 8 & 9, 15 & 16        Court in the Act 8.00pm. Bookings essential – Steve Walter 5476 2662

November 6 & 7        CHHA History Fair - House and Garden

November 15        Final 1999 Meeting – 8.00pm – Guest Speaker to be announced.

November 20        Market Day – Newstead Rotunda Park

Please direct any enquiries, suggestions, articles for the Newsletter or requests for help to Dawn AngIiss, 5476 2006.


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