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Our first Newsletter received such interested and positive feedback that we have decided to continue with the venture.


We have received requests from all over the place to put the show on again and I thought I would let you know personally of the repeat season. The work will be presented (at the Courthouse in Canrobert Street Newstead) by two players, Stephen Walter and Mark Garner, with musical accompaniment by well-known local harpist, Andy Rigby. There will be two performances – Friday and Saturday, August 6 and 7 at 8.00pm. Tickets, which include refreshments are $6 each and bookings are essential as the number we can house is limited. It would be lovely if you were here to share this evening with us and to see the Courthouse in action. But please remember to book early.

We were delighted that one of the spin-offs of the Thomas Martin venture was that we met his grandson, Ken Martin, and his family. Ken visited us at a subsequent meeting and shared his memories of his grandfather. He has also promised us copies of documents so our file is growing. It has been amazing in the weeks since these events how many requests for information we have had from other people connected with Strangways. We are really starting to agree with Thomas Martin’s remark ”...People won’t believe me today when I tell them Strangways was larger than Newstead...”


Jon Butler led a group of us to see parts of Joyces Creek that are normally under Cairn Curran water. Jon went to school there and was able to vividly recall the Joyces Creek of that era and pass on to us, how the area would have appeared in pre- reservoir days. We are hoping to research more about that area and perhaps acquire more photos and documents. Another outing is planned Alan Burgess is going to lead us to the rocky outcrop that features in the ”Ragged Thirteen” photo. (1.30 July 12, meet at the Courthouse, bring a cup, not much walking involved).


The painting of the front porch has been completed and special thanks go to John Lawton for the great effort. The effect of a freshly painted entry, enhances the work of refurbishing the main area of the courthouse. A recent acquisition is the data from the early rate books, on microfilm, of the Shire of Newstead 1865-86 1887-98 1900-1910 1911-1916 and the Mount Alexander Shire 1872-1880 1881-1890 1891-1897 1907- 1915. The success of the dramatised reading of’ The Thomas Martin Letters has led to discussion about subletting the courthouse. At the June meeting, a draft document was tabled and after discussion, the policy was adopted. Contact the courthouse if you would like to see a copy. Meanwhile information is being recorded on to computer at our Monday morning working sessions and we have 5,000 entries now on file....a cause for celebration. It really is a simple exercise and we welcome any new helpers. Thanks to all the members who have paid their subscriptions and a reminder to those who haven’t that this will be the last newsletter. ($12 plus $5 postage, $20 family membership).


Racecourse – a request for information by C Osborne writing a book on disused racecourses in Victoria. McManus family – a request by S Lew-Fatt who has already been in touch with Ern McManus Aboriginal records – John Tulley, author of a book on the DjaDja Warrung Language of Central Victoria, and who we hope to have as a guest speaker in the near future. Street names – Hillier, Tivey, Adair, Brandt. If you have any information to help in any of these, please let us know.


July 6     Built on Cold – 8.07am train to Melbourne –

July 12     With Alan Burgess to ”The Rock”

July 15     ”Beginner’s Guide” to the Public Records Office 1-4.30pm Laverton – $22 or $15 concession

July 18     Australian Council of Archivists Bendigo Library 10am – 3.30pm What is an Archive? Cataloguing Promote and Access ProbIem Solving – Question & Answer Seminar free; Tea, coffee k lunch $15 Applications close July 2.

August 6 & 7     The Writings of Thomas Martin

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

If you would like to join us for any of these events, please contact Dawn on 5476 2006.


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