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Those who attended the March Market Day will know that it was run this time as a part of the Newstead Community on Show Day. Conservative estimates suggest that more than 1,500 people were in Newstead at some time during the day and it was agreed that a great time was had by all. One of our long-term residents claimed that she had never seen so many people in the town and joined others in suggesting that such a day should be run on a regular basis. It was a very successful day once again for the Society and our thanks go to Giselle Neall for her superb organisation, to David Clark for his wonderful cheery cooking and to all the members who helped so much to make the day a success. Our thanks also to the members of the Maldon Brass Band (with Ruth Barkla on the euphonium in a guest spot) for their beautiful music. Their presence in the Rotunda added considerably to the atmosphere of the morning and their leader, Dennis Cox, told us how much pleasure it gave them to play in a rotunda.

NEWSTEAD AT PLAY – Our Sporting Heritage

About 30 people visited this display at the Courthouse as part of the activity at the Show Day. Of the 30+ sports which we had identified as having been played in Newstead and surroundings since the mid-1800s, around 10 are represented by photos and memorabilia in the display. We would like to thank most sincerely all those who prepared material for inclusion. Dawn Angliss brought her quoits for visitors to try and it’s harder than you would think to get those little circles over the pin. Great fun!


The completion date of end July is looming very close now and as the next stage in our preparation for the brochure we intend to go out each Monday at 1.30pm through April (except for Easter Monday) to identify sites for inclusion. Each walk will be led by a different member of the Society who will share personal memories adding to the fabric of available material. The grant money makes provision for professional research and printing. Once we have identified the sites we will examine what material we need to bring the project to the required standard. An added benefit of the work is that all of the stories will be recorded and placed in appropriate files for future reference, thus adding to our recorded treasure trove of Newstead history.

ANNUAL MEETING – April 17 2000

This year’s Annual meeting will be held at the Courthouse on the above date at 8.00pm and the guest speaker will be that very special story-teller, Robyn Annear, author of Bear Brass and Nothing But Gold. Last month’s Newsletter gave you the date as the 18th instead of the 17th, the third Monday. Please come on the 17th, bring your friends and help make it a great night. Don’t forget that your very valuable membership subscription to the Society will be due at that time.


Research requests continue to arrive, some small, some larger and it is always a joy to attend to them. Our fees are small too as our resources are limited but work is continuing on recording, indexing and entering data to the computers. We always invite our researchers to contribute copies of their findings to the Society and they respond generously. This is one of the means we use to develop our Family History files. Margaret Di Fiore regularly provides us with wonderful material to add to our supply and we are very grateful both for her work and for her enthusiasm about the history of our area. Margaret’s contribution is invaluable and we thank her most sincerely for it. Janet Trudgeon is to be found each Monday morning glued to the microfilm reader where she is engaged in the very important work of indexing The Echo under its various names. As well as the entry of Margaret’s work to the database file Newstead Data, other work being done includes the entry to spreadsheets of the Strangways, Brokenback and Guildford Schools Registers. Begun, but only just, is the entry of Commonwealth Bank records for early to mid last century. And there are also the rates microfilms waiting to be tackled. We have three computers and the work is interesting and quite easy and not all on computer. If you would like to be part of the team recording Newstead’s history in this way please give one of us a call and we will arrange a mutually suitable time to meet


Thanks to John Neall for his quiet, persistent caretaking of the inside of the Courthouse. The dusting, vacuuming and brass-polishing just happens and John brings to our attention all of those matters that underpin good housekeeping. Just at the moment John is engaged in a thorough sprucing up of the security room, one of his intentions being to discourage a growing number of unwanted guests. Keep up the good work, John: we are very grateful.


It was great to see Cherie and John Lawton at the Community Day and especially to see Cherie looking so wonderful. The two of them have done a terrific job.

Congratulations to our new Mayor, Peter Skilbeck, both for his reelection and for his elevation. Who’s going to watch for fires now?

Have you seen our two Golden Way boards in the Lyons Street CBD? Do go to see them – they are well worth a look. And there should be another board, the result of our Parks Victoria funding, erected at the Courthouse very soon. All of these tell some part of the history of Newstead.

NAPE will present two one-act plays at the Courthouse over the first two weekends of May- The Man in the Bowler Hat and The Patchwork Quilt Booking is essential and tickets will be available from Bev Foreman at the Railway Hotel – 5476 2211 - from April 21.


If there is any story about Newstead that you would like to share we would be very happy to put it in this Newsletter for all to read. Please let us know - Dawn Angliss on 54762006, or Liz Coady on 54762430; or for those of you with Internet access – Liz at



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