February Guest Speaker

Just a reminder that our February speaker, Janette Pelosi, will be talking about Popular Entertainment in the Colonies (1828-185o) and the difficulties theatre managers and performers met in trying to gain the Colonial Secretary’s approval. You are inv … Continue reading “February Guest Speaker”

Family Fun in the pre-digital age.

Before the iPad and iPhone! Before CD and DVD players! Before gaming consoles and TV!  Just how did people have fun in the early 20th century?  You might think life would be so boring.  It certainly wasn’t!  People made their own entertainment, making … Continue reading “Family Fun in the pre-digital age.”

The Wreck of SS Admella, 1859

Why is the wreck of this ship being remembered in the Australian maritime history books all these years later? Because it remains one of the worst maritime disasters in Australian history resulting in the tragic loss of 89 lives, mostly due to cold and … Continue reading “The Wreck of SS Admella, 1859”

Back in the Day (3) . . . Everyday Life and How it Was Lived a Hundred Years ago.

Schooling:  Schooling has changed a lot since our grandparents were kids. These days we have computers, detention, graphics calculators and learning software to teach us. Back in the early 20th century, teaching was done with a book, a slate, an inkwel … Continue reading “Back in the Day (3) . . . Everyday Life and How it Was Lived a Hundred Years ago.”

Did You Know?

Gas was first produced at Mortlake on 23rd May, 1886 – gas was supplied to the public on 28th May, 1886. The last electric train ran in Sydney on 25th February, 1961, ending 100 years of tram service. It ran from Hunter Street in the city to La Perouse … Continue reading “Did You Know?”

Frances Ashton Remembers

Excerpts from an interview with Frances Coskerie (nee Ashton) who, at age 90, was living in a local nursing home. I was born in Sydney on 10 April, 1885.  I don’t remember ever learning to swim, but I know it was at a very early age.  My father, Samuel … Continue reading “Frances Ashton Remembers”

Palace Hotel, Mortlake

The original Palace Hotel was opened in 1886, the same year as the gasworks It was built on the river at the end of Tennyson Road, where the River Quays Marina now stands. The first licensee was John Stuart. The hotel, known as Mongomery’s Palace, was … Continue reading “Palace Hotel, Mortlake”

Ashton’s Baths

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there were many tidal swimming pools along the Parramatta River providing welcome relief and recreation on hot days. Ashton’s Mortlake Baths, near Majors Bay on the Parramatta River, were established … Continue reading “Ashton’s Baths”