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Consultations have been held by Wendy Jacobs, Vicky Johnston and Phil Taylor with residents of Guildford, Fryerstown, Campbells Creek and Sandon. In the near future the final session will be held with folks from Newstead, Welshmans Reef and Yandoit. The consultants are delighted with the material people have been able to share with them. They have narrowed their list of 803 sites in the original document to 190 primary sites with a further 201 under consideration. It is intended that the study will be finished by the end of November.

In the meantime, copies of the Stage 1 book - Environmental History is still available for sale at $20. Please let us know if you wish to purchase one.


White Ants Following on from our report in last month’s Newsletter, a pest control expert visited us recently to give his opinion on what we believed to be white ants. He confirmed an infestation in a door frame but considered that it had been attended to at some time in the past. Our intrepid President volunteered to descend from the trapdoor on the Magistrate’s bench to check out the damage down below. He discovered evidence that the white ants had indeed visited us as some time in the past but it seemed that treatment had already been administered. It was agreed at the meeting that we would let Michael Taylor, the Shire’s Heritage Advisor, know of our decision and action.

John Neall Every Monday John continues with his refurbishment of the woodwork in the Court room. You may remember that we had the railing stripped of its old pink paint last year. John has undertaken to stain and polish the railings and they are looking splendid. He has also renovated the large table as well as finishing off Baden McColl’s earlier work on the dock. The smell of beeswax greets us each time we come to the Courthouse and we hurry to see what John has been up to. Thank you John!


For two years the Environment Conservation Council has been working to categorise public land use in the Box Iron Bark region of the state of Victoria. Areas are being considered because of their value in regard to flora, fauna, cultural and historic importance. Following the publication of their submission, Dawn Angliss is concerned that much of the Muckleford Forest is presently classified as ’State Forest’. Important mining sites within the Forest, such as Thornhill Reef, with its roasting kilns, are offered little protection from the removal of stone or other damage. Dawn was given the full support of membership at our last meeting and she will now proceed to present the case for that area to be upgraded to ’Historic and Cultural Features Reserve’. We will keep you posted as more information comes to hand.


We have received only a few requests for information recently. But we are often in touch with the Castlemaine Historical Society for information which supports what they provide to their researchers. It is great to be able to provide them, and others, with data made possible by our ”Newstead Data” file - the combination of Margaret Di Fiore’s work together with Janet Trudgeon’s efforts with her indexing of the Echo. To our delight, with the work that has been done by a growing team of typists, we now have over 9000 entries to the file. This resource has been of enormous help with our recent research in to the sites on our proposed walk, this to be completed by the end of November. Thanks to all concerned.


The acquisitions this month are as follows

  1. An early photo of the Bank of NSW, a single story construction that predated the present structure and stood on the same corner. The previously unknown phot was found in the State Library collection on a recent visit. It will be used in the walk brochure.
  2. ”Scullys, Browns and Keoghs Beginning of a Story” from Liz Coady about her family in the area.
  3. From Irene Cocking: information on the book ”Built on Gold”; and her science project from her school days on ”Jim Crow Dredge”.


Following the disappointment of last month’s excursion, we are pleased to report success! The Dudley Mines (the Nuggetty and John Bull officially) were pin pointed by Bill Pitts a few days earlier and we also walked an area discovered previously by Giselle Neall.

Have you seen our waterways since the rain? It looks as though the proposed reenactment of last month’s adventure, undertaken by Dawn and Liz, may have to take a different direction. The outing is planned for Monday, July 31 and as usual we will meet at the Courthouse at 1.30pm. Whatever happens it will be a lengthy walk and you will need to bring your gumboots and perhaps a change of socks. Dawn will bring her binoculars, Liz the map. If the day is cold, rug up well. It will be great fun!


At the Carisbrook Annual Dinner the other night, your representatives, Janet and Liz, met with John Tully. John has written a fascinating new book about a Chinese who was convicted, he said unfairly, of a crime. The book describes how he learnt to speak and write English so that he could tell his version of the story. We have invited John to speak at our September meeting – September 18 at 1.30pm. John is good to listen to and this new story sounds very interesting. Come and hear him.


August 21, 2000 at 1.30pm.



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