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On Sunday April 4th a combined excursion with Newstead Landcare to the Pickpocket area of Clydesdale is to be held. (I notice we seem to refer to it as Pickpocket and the Landcare people call it the Rise and Shine! Perhaps we will learn why on April 4). We will certainly learn a lot as there are to be people with a great deal of knowledge of the historical and environmental aspects of this area. In the recent review of the Box Ironbark Forests this area – E5 Pickpocket Diggings is ‘Recommended Historic and Cultural Features Reserve”. Various rushes occurred over the years. In 1861 a confrontation between men wanting to form a company and the individual miners took place. It required reinforcements to keep the peace and saw 2 men who had fought together at Eureka, now taking up positions in opposition to each other. Either meet at the courthouse at 9.15 to car pool or turn right into Zumpes Road on the way to Daylesford and park at the Parks Victoria sign  (about 700 metres). We intend to have a cuppa so bring a mug and maybe a plate if you can. It promises to be a great day.


It is a continual surprise to me that Historical Societies are so different. We seem to have going in the same basic direction but by varying roads. Midlands Historical Society has a great deal to be proud of with their headquarters at Worsley House, 3 Palmerston Street Maryborough. Set in a garden appropriate to the era, is the cottage that Arthur Worsley built in 1894. It has been furnished with appropriate fittings and furniture. As well, on site they have a reconstructed shed from Plaistow and a purpose built construction that houses their archives and research facilities. We were made very welcome and the afternoon tea that we had brought was a little superfluous as the kitchen table was already filled with goodies.


On Tuesday evening we played host to Carisbrook Historical Society who had asked to have their meeting in Newstead – partly to socialise but also to see how our indexing was managed. Again it was a chance to see the slant that another Society puts on their aims and purposes. It was a very happy occasion. We heard of their coming activities that we are invited to participate in and were presented with work done by Alex Stoneman on post offices in our area, while we were able to pass on items relating to Carisbrook that are contained in our Di Fiore index of newspaper articles. (Thanks again Margaret!). Carisbrook have having a trip to Havelock on Wednesday afternoon April 7th. If you are interested in this contact me (54762006) for more details. Other items on their syllabus are

o       April 20th Goldfields Image Group

o       June 15th Lis Allen – Doctors on the Goldfields

o       Annual dinner at Caroline’s



Thanks to Lindsay Petersen who donated a framed photo finish of a horse race at Newstead, to Laurie Redfearn for a booklet on the history of Baringhup printed for the Back To Baringhup, to Maureen Heagney for information about the Sandon Catholic Church and to the Ellis family for photos relating to Newstead. Laurie also gave us some very old postcards with photos of Newstead people from the pre World War 1 era that she cannot identify. Maybe some of our members may recognise them.


The theme this year is “Cobb and Co …Coach to Coach. 150 years of transport”. Brochures are available for the Festival that runs during May but some of the highlights are a Cavalcade of Transport on Saturday 1st May at 4 pm in Castlemaine, an exhibition in the Market building celebrating Cobb and Co’s first trip in 1854 to the Mount Alexander goldfields and encompassing everything from steam train rides, old time dancing, walks, tours of Wattle Gully mine, strolls through Maldon and Castlemaine and stories in a Cobb and Co staging depot at Harcourt. Our contribution consists of contributing to the display in the Market Building and opening our courthouse on the Weekend of May 15th and 16th from 2 –4 pm. We will be mounting a display of Cobb and Co, local coach building and other transport related matters.


On Monday, April19th, our Historical Society is holding its 17th Annual General Meeting. The gathering, to be held in the Courthouse in Canrobert Street, Newstead, will commence at 8.00pm with a short formal meeting. Our guest speaker will be one of our own members, Margaret Di Fiore. As you know Margaret has been responsible for the Di Fiore data that we are putting onto computer. This consists of an index of newspaper articles that are relevant to the area of the old Shire of Newstead. For Margaret that has meant countless hours of reading at the State Library. We have given Margaret ‘carte blanche’ to talk about anything and everything! The evening will conclude with supper.

The business of the meeting will be the election of office bearers and new members on committee are welcome.


An invitation has been received to attend the dinner at the Goldfields Restaurant, on Wednesday 21st April. The cost will be $20 and the guest speaker will be Joan Hunt, vice president of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Some members have expressed an interest in going so there will be transport from Newstead if you wish to come.


March 20            Market at Rotunda Park

April 4              Excursion to Pickpocket 9.30am

April 7              Carisbrook excursion to Havelock 1.30pm

April 20            Carisbrook meeting – Goldfields Image Group

April 21            Maryborough -Midlands Historical Society dinner at Goldfields Restaurant 6.30 for 7pm

May 1              Castlemaine Cavalcade of Transport and start of Heritage Festival 4pm

May 15 –16      Newstead courthouse open – display of Cobb & Co 2-4pm

May 27            Newstead Heritage Study – Community Centre. Talk by Wendy Jacobs, Consultant and Mandy Jean, Heritage Advisor. Display of individual property citations. 7.30 pm. Contact Peter Skilbeck 54762450 / 0419884710

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