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The display during May that featured transport and in particular, Cobb & Co is still creating interest. I was grateful to Dorothy Clark who lent me a book called “ A Pictorial History of Cobb & Co” by K A Austin. From that book I was able to find valuable information and also photocopied several pictures. One of these was a picture of a coach loaded with Chinese. The caption said “Coach taking Chinese to the goldfields about 1855”.

One of our members, Laurie Redfearn, on hearing that we were to mount a display remarked that she had a photo that she would copy for us. It turned out to be the same photo, this time on a postcard with hand writing on the front saying “Cobb & Co Royal Mail Co Maryborough & Castlemaine 1871” and on the back “ This photo was taken at Newstead. A load of Chinese on there (sic) way to Percydale Rush taken fifty four years ago. Dick”

I put the 2 photos up and one of the visitors to our display said that in his opinion the later date seemed to fit the type of coach shown and that Percydale was near Avoca.

Since then I have received and e-mail from a researcher interested in this particular photo. Apparently it has appeared in a couple of forms and she is interested in our version. With Laurie’s approval I passed on the details of our copy to her and she intends visiting us to inspect it. There is some indistinct lettering on a building in the background that may yet yield some light if viewed with details of the Newstead street scene photos.


Another member Adrian Haas has undertaken to prepare a paper on the Newstead Mechanics’ Institute that he is going to present to the International Mechanic’s Institute Conference to be held in Melbourne from September 2nd to 4th 2004. We were able to help Adrian in a small way and the final result is a valuable asset to our archives, a credit to Adrian and will put our history in front of people whose passion is the Mechanics’ Institute movement that grew up in the 19th century. The full version runs to over 20 pages but the seminar has a limit of 8 pages so Adrian has concentrated on the role of the library and the struggle that had occurred over the years to physically and financially provides our town with the “mechanics”. Over the years it has been a central core of the social life of the town and to have such a history is of great value to us.


Another event occurred during the Heritage month of May. This was at the Newstead Community Centre, (actually again in our “mechanics”), and comprised of talks by Wendy Jacobs (Consultant) and Mandy Jean (Heritage Advisor) on the implications of the Newstead Heritage Study and a display of the individual property citations.

Since then Peter Skilbeck who was the convenor of the event, councillor, and life member of our society has handed over his copies of the 2 volumes for safe keeping to our Society. They will be a valuable resource for us.

In the introduction Wendy points out that the study reviewed 691 sites in the area covered by the old shire of Newstead. Of these 413 made the final draft. 35 are recommended as of State significance (24 are already on the Victorian Heritage Register), 4 are recommended as of regional significance, 234 are of local significance, 31 are recommended as of contributory significance and 109 are recommended as conservation desirable - these are to be listed in the report but not recommended for protection under the planning scheme.

The council will be presented with the report and then have to decide whether to accept it and decide on planning schemes. It is interesting to compare Maldon where a great deal of effort has gone into recommending sites to be named as significant and thus preserving them and other areas such as Newstead where no recognition is made of equally valuable places.

If anyone is interested in looking at the copy please contact us.


The last excursion was to the Maldon Museum and the next one is to be a train trip to the new premises of the Public Records Office in North Melbourne. Arrangements are still being finalised but the next newsletter will have the final details. It will be on a Tuesday probably in September. Our group will be shown the new facilities with an emphasis on the details relating to Newstead.


At the last meeting it was decided to alternate our meetings between afternoon and evenings. This will hopefully cater for all our members, some of whom have difficulties attending afternoon hours and also those who prefer to come in daylight hours! The next meeting will be July 19th at 7.30 pm at the courthouse.


 This Society has a great idea of holding a mid winter dinner at Caroline’s restaurant. As well as being a chance to socialise and enjoy each other’s company, guests are invited to bring along something for Show and Tell. A few of our members have made a point of attending and highly recommend the evening. This year it is on 20th of July and the cost is $25 for a 3-course meal. Let me know if you would like to join us. Contact Dawn Angliss 54762006

Please note that this will be the last newsletter if you haven’t rejoined for 2004 –2005.

A red star will denote that our records show that you have not as yet paid. Contact Janet Trudgeon 54762437

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