Voices of the Hunter – Digitised Oral History Tapes

Hundreds of Hunter Valley oral history tapes have been made available on our Sound Cloud site and more are being added every week, as part of the Voices of the Hunter project.


Historian Jack Delaney

During the 1970s and 1980s, eminent local historian John W. (Jack) Delaney recorded a large number of interviews of people from the Hunter Valley, especially from the coalfields area. These interviews were recorded on audio cassette tapes, copies of which are held by the Coalfields Heritage Group who have kindly agreed to allow us to digitise these tapes and to make them available to the world. Our other partner in this endeavour is Coal & Allied Operations Pty Ltd who have provided a generous grant towards the work via the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund.

Browse this collection at: https://soundcloud.com/uoncc/sets/voth

Highlights include:

George Bainbridge, an Electrical Engineer at Aberdare Extended Colliery

Stella Bradstreet, owned a Cessnock car dealership with her husband Theo

Fred Hallam, WWII Flight Navigator and Solicitor

Mick Morris, Cessnock Barber

Clarry Hawkins, Keinbah resident, Timber cutter and winemaker

Above photo: Grape pickers at Keinbah, NSW. Courtesy of the Hawkins family and Lexie Matthews.



Time Tunnel: Auchmuty and Huxley Libraries in the 1990s

A VHS Video tape containing footage of student life in and around the Auchmuty and Huxley Libraries during the 1990s has surfaced.

The original VHS Tape with time code.

The original VHS Tape “Library Footage with Timecode”.

In the films can be seen Auchmuty and Huxley staff members carrying out their duties, as well as students and academics using the computer and library resources. How many people can you recognise?

Hunter Valley Theatre Company records archived

This photograph was scanned from The Hunter Valley Theatre Company Archives (Box A9029). This collection contains images of Theatrical Productions staged by The Hunter Valley Theatre Company, Newcastle, Australia between 1976 and 1997. This box is held in archives of the University of Newcastle, Cultural Collections.  Please contact us if you are the subject of the image, or know the subject of the image, and have cultural or other reservations about the image being displayed on this website and would like to discuss this with us. If you have any information about this photograph, please contact us. More about this image: "The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll" was first performed by The Hunter Valley Theatre Company on 2 March, 1988. Cast and Crew: Sian Newey (actor) Barry Shepherd (actor) Derrick Cox  (Designer)    Brent McGregor  (Director)    Ray Lawler  (Playwright)

“The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll”, first performed by The Hunter Valley Theatre Company on 2 March, 1988. (This photograph was scanned from HVTC Archives Box A9029)

See more of the Hunter Valley Theatre Company’s Photographic Archives here:


Conduit: Dr Gillian Arrighi
Donated: October 2012


A9029 Photographs – Theatrical Productions circa 1980s
A9030 Photographs – Actors, Productions, Star Hotel Riot circa 1970s-1990s
A9030(i) Actor’s promotional photographs, c1970s-1980s.
A9030(ii) Photographs relating to production of The Coast Mongrels, 1989.
A9030(iii) Photographs relating to production of Educating Rita, 1987.
A9030(iv) Photographs relating to production of Master Class, 1987.
A9030(v) Photographs relating to production of Summer of the Seventeeth Doll, 1988.
A9030(vi) Photographs relating to production of Diving for Pearls, 1994.
A9030(vii) Assorted photographs c.1970s-1990s
A9030(viii) Photographs and promotional material relating to The Trust: The Elizabeth Theatre Trust’s production of Lipstick Dreams, 1989.
A9030(ix) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of Us and Them, 1985.
A9030(x) Proof sheets relating to unidentified production(s) c.1980s
A9030(xi) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of Christian Brothers, 1984.
A9030(xii) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of A Hard God by Peter Kenna, 1984.
A9030(xiii) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of Bed of Roses, 1984.
A9030(xiv) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of Same Time Next Year, 1985.
A9030(xv) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of What If You Died Tomorrow by David Williamson, 1986.
A9030(xvi) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of A Happy and Holy Occasion by John O’Donoghue, 1986.
A9030(xvii) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of Machiavelli Machiavelli by John Upton, 1986.
A9030(xviii) Photographs and promotional material relating to production of The Bastard from the Bush by Rodney Fisher and Robin Ramsay, 1984.
A9030(xix) Assorted proof sheets and colour slides of unidentified gatherings and occasions. c.1980s.
A9030(xx) Photographs of the Star Hotel Riot, 1979.
A9030(xxi) Colour Photographs and negatives of unidentified production at Fort Scratchley c.1980s or 1990s?
A9031 Photographs and Slides – Various Productions circa 1980s – 1990s
A9032 Negatives – Two Albums (to be rehoused)
A9033 Newsclipping Scrapbooks 1980-1984
A9033A (Oversize – to be rehoused) Newsclipping Scrapbooks 1984-1985 with large photographs
A9034 Newsclipping Scrapbooks 1986-1995


"A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" was first performed by The Hunter Valley Theatre Company on 1 January - 1 February, 1981.

“A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” was first performed by The Hunter Valley Theatre Company on 1 January – 1 February, 1981.


B17336 Minute Book No. 1 – 18 Aug 1975 to 5 May 1977
B17337 Minute Book No. 2 – 30 May 1977 to 10 May 1978
B17338 Minute Book No. 3 – 24 May 1978 to 15 Oct 1980
B17339 Minute Book No. 4 – 19 Nov 1980 to 29 Sept 1982
B17340 Minute Book No. 5 – 10 Nov 1982 to 29 April 1984
B17341 Minute Book No. 6 – 9 May 1984 to 6 Aug 1985
B17342 Minute Book No. 7 – 1 Oct 1985 to 5 Aug 1986
B17343 Minute Book No. 8 – 1 Sept 1986 to 6 Sept 1988
B17344 Minute Book No. 9 – 10 Oct 1988 to 16 July 1991
B17345 Minute Book No. 10 – 20 Aug 1991 to 27 Sept 1993
B17346 Minute Book Annual General Meetings – 9 Oct 1977 to 7 April 1991



C2004 (i) Production of ‘A Rare Jewel’, a musical dramatization of “the last rehearsal and opening night for the gala opening concert of the refurbished Civic Theatre”, 1993.
C2004 (ii) Correspondence re Civic Theatre refurbishment, 1991 – 1993.
C2004 (iii) Correspondence re Civic Theatre refurbishment, 1992.
C2004 (iv) Civic Theatre management proposals, 1993.
C2004 (v) Planning for the opening production, ie ‘A Rare Jewel’, marking the refurbishment of the Civic Theatre, 1993.
C2004 (vi) Correspondence re ongoing Civic Theatre refurbishment, 1993 – 1994.
C2004 (vii) Civic Theatre technical specifications and conditions of hire, rates and charges for use of the Civic Playhouse, 1996.
C2004 (viii) Hunter Association of Performing Arts Companies minutes, June 1992.
C2004 (ix) Correspondence re potential involvement in the proposed Honeysuckle Performing Arts Complex, 1994.
C2004 (x) The New South Wales Regional Theatre Network, 1997.
C2004 (xi) Correspondence from the Australian Centre – International Theatre Institute, 1982 – 1983.
C2004 (xii) New South Wales State Theatre Project, 1993 – 1994.
C2004 (xiii) Correspondence with Daniel Skeffington and Paul Zorzi and their Octave Above Productions, 1991 – 1992.
C2004 (xiv) Assorted HVTC productions 1982 – 1997.
C2004 (xv) Industrial relations correspondence with Actors Equity of Australia; Musicians Union of Australia; Australian Writers’ Guild; Australian Theatrical and Amusement Employees Association; and the Australian National Playwrights Conference, 1983 – 1988.
C2004 (xvi) Actors Equity pay rates, 1994 – 1997.
C2004 (xvii) Stage professionals in Newcastle – actors, directors, designers etc , 1992.
C2004 (xviii) Actors’ resumes / curriculum vitae, 1996.
C2004 (xix) Actors’ resumes / curriculum vitae, 1996.
C2005 (i) Advertising, promotion, newsletters, 1986 – 1994.
C2005 (ii) Applications for funding grants from the Australia Council for the Arts, 1986 – 1997.
C2006 (i) Corporate sponsors and sponsorship, 1989 – 1995.
C2006 (ii) Funding and fundraising, 1983 – 1995.
C2006 (iii) Applications for funding grants, 1985 – 1997.
C2007 (i) Membership and subscriptions, 1982 – 1996.
C2007 (ii) Correspondence re community consultation and sundry other matters, 1977 – 1995.
C2007 (iii) Box office summaries, 1982 – 1987.
C2008 (i) Annual Arts Ball, 1984 – 1994.
C2008 (ii) Fundraising social events, 1982 – 1993.
C2008 (iii) Play production folders for HVTC productions 1988 – 1989.
C2008 (iv) Play production folders for HVTC productions 1990 – 1997.
C2009 (i) Play production folders for HVTC productions 1982 – 1985.
C2009 (ii) Play production folders for HVTC productions 1986.
C2009 (iii) Play production folders for HVTC productions 1987 – 1989.
C2009 (iv) Play production folders for HVTC productions 1990 – 1991.
C2010 (i) Play production folders for HVTC productions 1992 – 1993.
C2010 (ii) Play production folders for HVTC productions 1994 – 1997.
C2010 (iii) Audited and unaudited financial statements, 1991 – 1997.
C2010 (iv) Insurance, 1983 – 1996.
C2011 (i) Company logo, 1993.
C2011 (ii) Newspaper articles and diagrams of the Civic Theatre collected towards 10th birthday celebrations for the Playhouse, 1916 – 1989.
C2011 (iii) Liquor license, 1996 – 1997.
C2011 (iv) Newcastle City Council Cultural Survey, 1996.
C2011 (v) Staff timesheets, 1987.
C2011 (vi) HVTC Annual Report 1991 + folders re Annual General Meetings 1992 – 1996.
C2011 (vii) Commissions of work from playwrights; proposals for commissioning of work; and contracts, 1992 – 1997.
C2011 (viii-ix) Financial records, notable for considerable agonizing over how to save HVTC from insolvency, culminating in its winding up and handover of the Playhouse to the Newcastle City Council, 1978 – 1997.
C2012 (i-ii) HVTC Board minutes, correspondence, papers, Certificate of Registration of Business Name, and official stamp, 1975 – 1997.


Margaret Henry Oral History Archive – Digitised Collection

Margaret Henry

Margaret Henry

The Margaret Henry Oral History Archive is a collection of audio tapes, transcripts, summaries and essays that were part of the Oral Histories Open Foundation Course (1986-1989). Margaret Henry was a history lecturer at the UON in the 1980s.

The oral history tapes have been digitised by Cultural Collections, UON Library and made freely available to the wider global research community thanks to the generosity of The Vera Deacon Regional History Fund.

Margaret Henry Oral History Archive on Soundcloud

The wider collection of Margaret Henry Oral History Archive – over 200 interviews in total and with many stories of Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and its surrounds and records voices describing the Regions cultural, intellectual and social life. It is an incredible legacy to Margaret Henry. The original audio tapes and written sources are held in Cultural Collections at the Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle (Australia).

You are welcome to use the sources for study and personal research purposes. Please acknowledge as Courtesy of the “Margaret Henry Oral History Archive, University of Newcastle (Australia)” For commercial requests you must obtain permission by contacting Cultural Collections.

If you are the subject of the stories, or know the subject of the stories, and have cultural or other reservations about the stories available on this website and would like to discuss this with us please contact Cultural Collections at archives@newcastle.edu.au

These sources are provided free of charge to the global community thanks to the generosity of the Vera Deacon Regional History Fund. Information about the Vera Deacon History Fund is here https://uoncc.wordpress.com/vera-deacon-fund/ And you can directly donate here: https://dotnet.newcastle.edu.au/donations/


A6524(xiv)- 1 A History of Winns Ltd,1878 -1980– Marie Maddrell (Also see A7464(xii) for audio recording) Interviewer Gwyneth Robertson.

A6524(xiv)- 2 A History of Winns Ltd,1878 -1980. Marie Maddrell
Interviewer Gwyneth Robertson.

A6524(xiv)- 3 Educator – Miss Phyllis Bennett (Also see A6731(35) for audio recording)
Interviewer Mavis Pattinson.

A6524(xiv)- 4 Growing up in Islington–  Mrs. Leslie (Also see A6731 (37) for audio recording)
Interviewer Helen Adams.

A6524(xiv)- 5 Nursing at Kurri Kurri District Hospital – Mary Louisa Corke (nee Pike) (Also see A6731 (39) for audio recording) Interviewer Marilyn Donn.

A6524(xiv)- 6 “Women who dared” – Sister Constance Casey (Also see A7466B (xix) for audio recording)
Interviewer Mary Guy.

A6524(xiv)- 7 Family History – Alice Ellis & Ruth Croll (Also see A7466B (xxi) for audio recording)
Interviewer Margaret Hudson

A6524(xiv)- 8 Headmistress Newcastle Grammar School 1968-76 – Mrs. Kath Stewart (Also see A6731 (34) for audio recording)
Interviewer Olive McCredy.

A6524(xiv)- 9 Nursing from 1929 – 1978 – Mary Knodler (Also see A7466B(xx) for audio recording)
Interviewer Jill Alcorn.

A6524(xiv)- 11 The Marks family in eastern Lake Macquarie – Ann Gee (Also see A6731 (36) for audio recording)
Interviewer Jackie Boynton


A6731 (1) Coal Mining in the Northern Coalfields: Depression – Thomas Parkinson. Interviewer Margaret Blackman

A6731 (2) Mining and the Development of Mining Towns – Bill Shepherd (miner)
Interviewer Grace Ermer

A6731 (3) State Dockyard Unions – Interview with Neville (NED) Thomas Andrews O.A.M
Interviewer Nic Curk

A6731 (4) Recollections of Blackbutt Reserve; Newcastle University – Tom Farrell (Environmentalist)
Interviewer Val Tripp

A6731 (4B) ‘Melvic’ Theatre, Belmont – William (Bill) Payne
Interviewer Diana Blaxell

A6731 (5)Author of ‘Dawn in the Valley’ – Allan Wood, Historian
Interviewer Mary Baker

A6731 (6)Newcastle Nurseryman – Roy Whalan (Horticulturalist)
Interviewer Robbin Hodges

A6731 (7) – Practice of Medicine in Mayfield – Dr E.W Ferguson
Interviewer Pauline Eade

A6731 (7B)Greta Migrant Hostel – Felix Dangel
Interviewer Zbigniew Kczela

A6731 (8)Fluctuations in the Retail Industry in Cessnock – Mrs Abercrombie (Jeweller)
Interviewer Anne Cowan

A6731 (9)Influences of Miners’ Lodges on local community – Mick Frame
Interviewer Robyn Cagney

A6731 (10)Interview with Miss Ruby Melville about her clothing factory(1917 to 1966)  – Ruby Melville
Interviewer Evelyn Stuttaford

A6731 (11)Newcastle Dramatic Art Club – Betty Lind
Interviewer Rosalind Evans

A6731 (12) Newcastle History- ALP, Trade Unions, Politics – Hon. C.K Jones M.P. O.A. (Charles Keith Jones) PART 1

A6731 (13)Newcastle History- ALP, Trade Unions, Politics – Hon. C.K Jones M.P. O.A. (Charles Keith Jones) PART 2
Interviewer John Young

A6731 (14)Interview with Singleton Resident – Ernest Smith
Interviewer Chris Whalan

A6731 (15A)Memories of childhood days in Singleton in 1920s  – Gladys Shearer & Mrs Terrey
Interviewer Barbara Drayton

A6731 (15B)Development Tanilba Bay & Port Stephens – Bruce Mackenzie
Interviewer Margaret Owler

A6731 (16) – Changes in the meat industry – Keith McGill
Interviewer Debbie Lewis

A6731 (16B) Life in Lambton – Evelyn ‘May’ Hoy
Interviewer Kerry Maree Johnson

A6731 (17) – A Pioneering Engineering Firm – Morison & Bearby – Miss Nancy Morison
Interviewer Carol Firth

A6731 (18) –  Merrion’s Cardiff Bakery- Family Business- Changes 1922 – 1977 – Eric Merrion
Interviewer Elizabeth Cox

A6731 (19) – Changing Treatment of Tuberculosis –Dr R Mills (chest Specialist)
Interviewer Cheryl Newell

A6731 (20) – Tanilba Bay 1940s – Clara (Kitty) Brown & Joan McInerney
Interviewer M Owler

A6731 (21) – Establishment of Working Women’s Centre – Mary Calcott
Interview Jennifer Gregory

A6731 (22) – Mayfield Telephone Exchange – Gordon Sutherland
Interviewer Diane Patch

A6731 (23) –  Driving a Store Bread Van – Charles Watters
Interviewer Elizabeth Watters

A6731 (24) – Nursing changes at Wallsend Hospital – Matron Narelle Punton & Mrs MN Butler M.B.E
Interviewer Margaret Piefke

A6731 (25) – Stockton Surf Life Saving Club – Raymond Lawrence Williams
Interviewer Suzanne Lowndes

A6731 (26)Newcastle Train History– Les (Casey) Jones (Recently retired train driver)
Interviewer Hazel Paton

A6731 (27)Newcastle Women’s Movements – Pearl Hickey & Tom Hickey
Interviewer Kay Davies

A6731 (27b) – Social & Political History of Newcastle of the 20th Century – Tom Hickey
Interviewer Kay Davies

A6731 (28) Harris Wheeler – 95 Years of Law in Newcastle  – Howard Kerr Williams & Neville Darcy Wheeler
Interviewer Lyn Lucas

A6731 (29)Newcastle Repertory Theatre 1957-1987 – Peter & Shirley Bloomfield
Interviewer Dorothy White

A6731 (30)Toronto Bus Service – Bob Hertogs
Interviewer Ineke Garaty

A6731 (31)North Rothbury Mine Lock-out of 1929 – Eunice Elliott
Interviewer Narene Williams

A6731 (32)Australian Women’s Army – Rita Borger & Mildred Baxter
Interviewer Christine Howard

A6731 (33)The Corner Store (Cardiff) – Irene Lonsdale (Shopkeeper)
Interviewer Colleen Purdy

A6731 (34)Happy Valley – A Depression Camp, East Cessnock – Olive Convery & Neville Lavender
Interviewer Patricia Neal

A6731 (35)  Life as an Educator – Miss Phyllis Bennett MBE
Interviewer M Pattinson

A6731 (36)History of the Mark’s Family – Ann Gee
Interviewer unknown

A6731 (37)Life in Singleton – Mrs Leslie
Interviewer Helen Adam

A6731 (38) Educator – Mrs Kath Stewart
Interviewer Olive Mcrae

A6731 (39)  Nursing at Kurri Kurri District Hospital – Mary Louisa Corke
Interviewer Marilyn John

A6731 (40) – Vietnam War Memorial, Newcastle – Jim Husband
Interviewer Gary Jolliffe

A6731 (41) Interview with historian Harry Boyle – Harry Boyle
Interviewer Roslyn Macey

A6731 (42) Oyster Farming in Port Stephens – Gordon Holliday
Interviewer Pat Doolan


A6963 – Goninan & Co. Limited  – Robert Burns – Written Source
Interviewer: Lynne Bonser

A6963 (ia) – Memoirs of the Hunter Valley Timber Industry – Charles Lewis – Written Source
Interviewer Glenda Aoake

A6963 (ib) – The History of Newcastle from the 1920s – Raymond McDonagh – Written Source
Interviewer David Alward

A6963 (ii) ‘Shipmates’ and other business ventures – Clem Ashford – Written Source
Interviewer Michele Ashford

A6963 (iii)  Settlers Port Stephens & Aust. Agricultural Company – Arthur & Doris Eggelton,  Les H Savage –Written Source
Interviewer June Bailey

A6963 (v) Murray’s Run – Les Sternbeck – Written Source
Interviewer Margy Barnett

A6963 (vi)  The Depression Years – Josephine Leis – Written Source
Interviewer Lorna Boyd

A6963 (vii)  Macedonians ‘then’ and ‘now’ in Newcastle – Kiril Murgev – Written Source
Interviewer Blagoja Bozinoski (No Audio Recording)

A6963 (viii) Croations in Newcastle – Luka Dejanovic – Written Source
Interviewer Marcia Batkovic

A6963 (ix) ABC in Newcastle (2NC History) – John Bracken – Written Source
Interviewer Helen Bracken

A6963 (x) Toorumbee Creek Community – John Linehan – Written Source
Interviewer Peter Blanch


A6964 (i) Rise & Fall of the Abattoirs – Ross Lindsay & Terry Warnaby – Written Source
Interviewer Sherin Boogaard

A6964 (ii) Views of Belmont Past & Present – John Milliss – Written Source
Interviewer Suzanne Campbell

A6964 (iii) Dominican Order of Nuns at Waratah, NSW – Sr Catarina Heffernan – Written Source
Interviewer Raelee Caswell

A6964 (iv) Electricity in the Hunter – John A Tubb –Written Source
Interviewer Kim Cooper

A6964 (v)  Mosquito Island 1916-1923 – John Duggan – Written Source
Interviewer Carmel Creasey

A6964 (vi) History of the Police in Newcastle – Keith Parsons & Doug Lithgow – Written Source
Interviewer Glenn Crompton

A6964 (vii) – Bootmaking in Lambton – Stephen Simpson – Written Source
Interviewer Lesley Dickinson

A6964(viii) Tailoring in Newcastle – Margaret Hughes – Written Source
Interviewer Caroline Duncan


A6965 (i) Coal Mining in Newcastle in the 1950 – Wal Partridge – Written Source
Interviewer Chris Durie

A6965 (ii) Growing up in Paterson – Dick Burgess – Written Source
Interviewer Leanne Durie

A6965 (iii) History of Morpeth – Mildred Parkhurst – Written Source
Interviewer Helen Finegan

A6965 (v) History of Shipbuilding in Newcastle – Harry Douglas Harding – Written Source
Interviewer Esther Galbraith

A6965 (vi) Morison & Bearby Engineering works  Miss A.J ‘Nancy’ Morison – Written Source
Interviewer Graeme Grace

A6965 (vii) Greeks in Newcastle – Toula (Surname not provided) – Written Source
Interviewer Judy Gavrilis

A6965 (viii) Impact of Great Depression in Newcastle on Woman & education Doreen Maher –Written Source
Interviewer George Allan


A6966(i) Belmont South – Joan Hicks – Written Source
Interviewer Karen Hicks

A6966(ii)(a) Early History of Awaba – Ronald A. Heathcote – Written Source
Interviewer Edna Mavin (b.1916)

A6966(ii)(b) Tanilba House – Helen Taylor- Written Source
Interviewer Suzanne Heffernan

A6966(iii)  Growth of High Street Maitland & Johnston’s Shoe store – Colin Johnston – Written Source
Interviewer Gloria Higginbottom

A6966(iv) Dodd & Co. Pty Ltd – Arthur Dodd – Written Source
Interviewer Gail Hill

A6966(v)  Life on the Land in the Gloucester Area – Irene Phillips – Written Source
Interviewer Raylene Hitchcock (NO AUDIO AVAILABLE)

A6966(vi)  History of a Newcastle Coalminer – Alan Murnain – Written Source
Interviewer Cathy Holmes

A6966(vii) Cordial manufacturers of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley – Ian Sherman – Written Source
Interviewer Lynette Jackson

A6966(viii) Allco Steel  – Mr Delbianco – Written Source
Interviewer Angela Jankovic

A6966(ix) Cardiff Railway Workshops -Douglas Bradford – Written Source
Interviewer Leigh Johnston

A6966(x) The Country Women’s Association – Barbara Bushell – Written Source
Interviewer Sonya Jones


A6967(1a) Life story of Aboriginal woman Annie Whilamena Kelly – Annie Whilamena Kelly – Written Source
Interviewer Miss Shay Kelly

A6967(1b) Change from trams to buses in Newcastle – Norman Kelty – Written Source
Interviewer Tracey Kelty

A6967(ii) History of the Boydell Family in Australia – Richard “Dick” Grant Boydell – Written Source
Interviewer Jeannette Lee

A6967(iii)(a) The Diocese of Maitland – Fr Harold Campbell – Written Source
Interviewer Darrell Mackie

A6967(iii)(b) Reflections of Islington – Elizabeth Woodbine – Written Source
Interviewer John Lewis

A6967(iv) Green Point- Lewers Estate Area – Duncan McEwan & Pauline Keating – Written Source
Interviewer Fiona McEwan

A6967(v) ESSAY describing the living conditions of the Worimi Aborigines of Port Stephens before and after the appearance of Europeans  – Written Source
By John MacLachlan

A6967(vi) Life at the St. Elizabeth’s Girls’ Home Singleton 1944-47 – Marlene Kennedy –Written Source
Interviewer Jan McLeod

A6967(vii) Seaman’s Working Conditions – Neville Cunningham – Written Source
Interviewer Ian McQualter

A6967(viii) History of the de Glorion family –  Del de Glorion – Written Source
Interviewer Rosemary Melville

A6967(ix) History of Greta –  Esme Allan – Written Source
Interviewer Valerie Randall


A6968 (1) Life and Pubs in Newcastle and Suburbs – Marion Davey
Interviewer Grant Miles

A6968 (ii)(a) Customs House Newcastle, NSW – Capt. James Fletcher – Written Source
Interviewer Terry Muir

A6968 (ii)(b) Conservation and the History of the Northern Parks & Playground Movement – Doug Lithgow – Written Source
Interviewer Vicki Neech

A6968 (iii)  Hunter Girls’ High School – Lottie Young – Written Source
Interviewer Helen New

A6968 (iii)(b) – History of Theatres in Newcastle – Peter Whipper Snr – Written Source
Interviewer Jenny Nichols

A6968 (iv) Swansea Bridge/s – Bill Vernon – Written Source
Interviewer Mark Stephen Nolan

A6968 (v) Retail at Scotts Dept. Store – A Woman’s Perspective – Selma Hare & Maisie Sharp – Written Source
Interviewer: Jennifer Nosworthy


A6969 (i)(a) Zaara Street Power Station – Clarrie McLennan – Written Source
Interviewer Louise Parker

A6969 (i)(b) Life story of an Aboriginal Woman – Annie Whilamena Kelly (born of Aboriginal descent) – Written Source
Interviewer Miss Shay Kelly (daughter)

A6969 (ii) Merewether & its Beach – Alice Ferguson – Written Source
Interviewer Trish Pattenden

A6969 (iii) Paediatric Care at the Newcastle Mater Hospital –  Sr. Mary Barnabas Gardiner – Written Source
Interviewer Elaine Perry

A6969 (iv) The Great Depression – Kathleen Jones – Written Source
Interviewer Bob Price

A6969 (v) History of the town of Greta – Elsie Allan – Written Source
Interviewer Valerie Randall

A6969 (vi) A Woman growing up in the Hunter Valley – Veronica Phillips – Written Source
Interviewer Heather Rooney

A6969 (vii) Seventh-day Adventists at Cooranbong – Ivy Easthope – Written Source
Interviewer Helen Sankowsky

A6969 (viii) Newcastle Trade Hall Council – Keith Wilson – Written Source
Interviewer Nicki Saroca

A6969 (ix) Electric Lamp Manufacturers “Lampworks” in Newcastle – Ken Millington – Written Source
Interviewer Janelle Schmidt


A6970 (i)  Walter Edwin Bramble – Betty Anderson – Written Source
Interviewer Rosemary Soto

A6970 (ii) Single Working Women in the Depression – Joyce Staley (nee Cummings) –Written Source
Interviewer Lyn Staley

A6970 (iii) History of Retail in Newcastle – John Sobb – Written Source
Interviewer Boyd Stewart

A6970 (iv) Displaced persons in the Hunter Region – Bazil Manunczak – Written Source
Interviewer Desmond Thomas

A6970 (v) Young & Green – Alexander ‘Alec’ Young – Written Source
Interviewer Tracie Thornberry

A6970 (vi) The Growth and Development of the Fishing Industry in Nelson Bay – A Mitchell  & G Pain – Written Source
Interviewer Julie Tregarthen

A6970 (vii) John Lysaght (Australia) Limited – Clarrie Withers – Written Source
Interviewer Ann Walker

A6970 (viii) The Dillon Family of Dungog – Vincent Dillon – Written Source
Interviewer Ray Ward


A6971(i) History of Purfleet – Horice “Horrie” Saunders – Written Source
Interviewer Randall Wiggers

A6971(ii) The Rise of Environmental Awareness in Australia – Selby Alley – Written Source
Interviewer David Williams

A6971(iii) Elliott Family early settlers of Buttai – Diane Parnell – Written Source
Interviewer Yvonne Wardell

A6971(iv) Retail & Menswear in King Street, Newcastle – Sue Vandervalk – Written Source
Interviewer Jane Wells

A6971(v) History of the Newcastle Printmaker’s Workshop – Robin Winston – Written Source
Interviewer Lee Williams

A6971(vi) The Abermain Eisteddfod – Agnes Madeline James –Written Source
Interviewer Lisa Maree Williams

A6971(vii) Removal of the Occupants of Coon Island – Henry & Catherine Nicholls –Written Source
Interviewer Peter Winsor

A6971(vi)  History of Single Friendly Societies in the Hunter Region of NSW – Vernon Wong-see – Written Source
Interviewer Frank Woodgate. (Audio recording is very poor & interview very short – tape damaged)


A7462(v) Inn- Keeping in Singleton 1900 – Mrs. Kit Foggo (RESTRICTED ACCESS)
Interviewer Christine Abrahams

A7462(vi) Port of Newcastle – Sidney Alexander Ayerst – Written Source
Interviewer Pamela Walters

A7462(vii) Women in Newcastle Industries during WWII – Kathleen Blackett – Written Source
Interviewer Jodie Calvert

A7462(viii) Life in Greta 1930- 1950 – William Williamson – Written Source
Interviewer Julie Kay

A7462(ix) Immigration of Displaced Persons to Australia Greta Camp – Elly Slechter – Written Source
Interviewer Cynthia Barker

A7462(x) The Salvation Army – Mrs. P. Foster –Written Source
Interviewer Regina Bollinger

A7462(xi) History of Toronto – Mr. George Woodman – Written Source
Interviewer Anne Woodman

A7462(xii) Trade Union & Federated Ironworkers’ Association (1917-1950) – Thomas Graham – Written Source
Interviewer Anne Dunne

A7462(xiii) Coalmining, Rothbury & Miners’ Federation – Frank Manning – Written Source
Interviewer Lucyna Manning

A7462(xiv) Changes in the Railway – L.J. Young (Engine Driver) – Written Source
Interviewer Kerrie Young

A7462(xv)  RAAF Airbase at Williamtown – Keith Sullivan – Written Source
Interviewer Sharon Foster

A7462(xvi) History of Charlestown – Ada Pickering – Written Source
Interviewer Lorraine Slaven

A7462(xvii) Life in Morpeth – Mary Lantry –Written Source
Interviewer Jill Nean

A7462(xviii) Newcastle State Dockyard (1942-1962) – John Aubin – Written Source


A7463(i) Memoirs of Maitland Show – Bob Johnston – Written Source
Interviewer Jane Guy

A7463(ii) Masonite Factory Raymond Terrace – Mr David Bowtell – Written Source
Interviewer Dorothy Harrison

A7463(iii)  Wickham in the 1910s – Doris Piper – Written Source
Interviewer Margaret Probert

A7463(iv) Coal Mining of the Hunter Valley – Clyde Jones & Mick Jurd – Written Source
Interviewer Wendy Stuart

A7463(v) 150 Years of Farming Morpeth – Thomas Wright – Written Source
Interviewer Yvonne Eggins

A7463(vi) Newcastle State Dockyard – Jim Smith – Written Source
Interviewer Robyn Sanderson

A7463(vii)  Greta Migrant Camp – Ann Buldecki – Written Source
Interviewer Katherine Granter

A7463(viii) Greek Heritage in Newcastle – Bob Tsousis, Michael Karaberidis – Written Source
Interviewer Susan Karaberidis

A7463(ix) Coal Mining in the Hunter Valley – John Ambler & John Redding – Written Source
Interviewer Lorri Cummings

A7463(x) Shipbuilding in the Manning District –  Claude Mann – Written Source
Interviewer Collene Braye

A7463(xi) Stockton History – Terry Callen – Written Source
Interviewer Carol Plooy

A7463(xii) Joy Cummings, Australia’s first female Lord Mayor – Ray Cummings – Written Source
Interviewer Phyllis Southall

A7463(xiii) Life in the Country 1890-1910 – Eva Stott – Written Source
Interviewer Ann Fenwick

A7463(xv) Newcastle State Dockyard – Frank Neat – Written Source
Interviewer Natalia Sanderson

A7463(xvi) Family Planning Association of NSW in Newcastle – Joy Gagleler – Written Source
Interviewer Heather Hancock

A7463(xvii)  Newcastle History – Mrs. Ross –Written Source
Interviewer Paul Vella

A7463(xviii) The Newcastle Herald – James Edward Hattam – Written Source
Interviewer Carmel Noonan


A7464(iii) Richmond Vale Railway – Interviewee unknown – Written Source
Interviewer Annette Young (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7464(iv) Newcastle Gas Company Limited 1866- 1987 – Interviewee unknown – Written Source
Interviewer David Neighbour (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7464(vi) Life in the Hunter Region of West Wallsend & Morisset –  Mr & Mrs Don MacLaren – Written Source
Interviewer Dorothy Reading (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7464(vii) The Growth of Morisset – Mary France – Written Sources
Interviewer Angela Bentley

A7464(ix) A history of the Mine Subsidence Board – Written Source
Interviewer Joanne Rose (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7464(x)  Friends of Wallsend Hospital – Janet Budge – Written Source
Interviewer Lynette E Davies

A7464(xi) “Porphryh” property at Seaham – Lucy Ralston
Interviewer Margo Wilkinson

A7464(xii) History of Winns Ltd 1878-1980 – Marie Maddrell – (Written source from A6524(xiv)-1)
Interviewer Gwyneth Robertson

A7464(xiii) Mayfield 1910-1920 – Bertha Downie – Written Source
Interviewer Judith Hughes (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7464(xiv)  Federated Ironworkers Association 1935-1950 – Hugh McCarthy – Written Source
Interviewer Allan Foster

A7464(xv) Blatchford Bakery – Doris Blatchford – Written Source
Interviewer Mladen Lazic

A7464(xvi)  The Great Depression – Victor A Stamford – Written Source
Interviewer Maureen Jane Sinclair

A7464(xvii) Life During the Depression & WWII – Moia De Martin – Written Source
Interviewer Jeanette Dixon

A7464(xviii) Newcastle State Dockyard – Betty Wilkinson – Written Source
Interviewer Ann Noud

A7464(xix) Early Life in Tighes Hill – Hilma Maybury – Written Source
Interviewer Michael Williams

A7464(xx)  Raymond Terrace & the Dairy Industry – Linda Pool – Written Source
Interviewer Doug Biddle

A7464(xi) Mining Industry of Rothbury & Branxton areas – Arthur Goodwin – Written Source
Interviewer Barb Taylor


A7465(i) Newcastle Harbour 1947-1980 – Captain Ken Hopper – Written Source
Interviewer Kathy Beautement

A7465(ii) Jerry’s Plains – Elsie Ball – Written Source (audio recording very poor)
Interviewer Christine Lamborn

A7465(iii) Rylands Bros. Pty Limited – Ken McTaggert – Written Source
Interviewer Anne McTaggert

A7465(iv) Trams & the Hunter Street Mall – Emily Mahoney, Len & Stella Smith – Written Source
Interviewer Linda Murray

A7465(v) Nobby’s Signal Station – Barrie Baker – Written Source
Interviewer Carmel Baker

A7465(vi) From Hillgrove to Newcastle – Rosemary Simpson – Written Source
Interviewer Loraine Haywood

A7465(vii) Coal Miners’ Strike in 1949 – Eileen Penglaze – Written Source
Interviewer Susan Moran

A7465(viii) Newspaper reporting during WWI & Great Depression – Jean Chapman – Written Source
Interviewer Robert Kerr

A7465(ix) Latham Family of the Hunter Region – James Latham – Written Source
Interviewer Andrea Keirs

A7465(x) Changes in Newcastle’s East End – Alf Sargeant – Written Source
Interviewer Jill Dorey

A7465(xi) Teralba & Stockton Borehole – Wilfred Dews – Written Source
Interviewer John Denkin

A7465(xii)  Story of Greta & Boland Family – M & J Speight – Written Source
Interviewer David Helmers

A7465(xiii) History of Fort Scratchley – Ted Pricter – Written Source
Interviewer David Latimore

A7465(xiv)  Immigration & Newcastle – Gisella Noll, Jim & Violet Woodward – Written Source
Interviewer Stephen Garz

A7465(xv) Early Education & Open Foundation Studies – Mildred Storer – Written Source
Interviewer Cathy Abra

A7465(xvi) Newcastle Hill Residents Group – Joyce Bond – Written Source
Interviewer Jan Reynolds

A7465(xvii) Cessnock Tourism & Vineyards – Megan Cooke – Written Source
Interviewer Cindy Ryan

A7465(xviii) Life in Dungog during 1916- 1988 – William K Tickle – Written Source
Interviewer Gai Shelton (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7465(xix)  Housing in the Hunter – Larry Short – Written Source
Interviewer Helen Whitehouse

A7465(xx) Early Apprenticeships in Hairdressing, Newcastle – Gordon Edwards – Written Source
Interviewer Jo Fenwick


A7466A(i) Stevedoring on the Newcastle waterfront – Carlton Parrott – Written Source
Interviewer Carolyn Brent

A7466A(ii)  Baker’s Bakery – Frank Baker Jnr. – Written Source
Interviewer Julie Guion

A7466A(iii) Women at ‘The Store’ & the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) – Melissa Cameron – Written Source
Interviewer Maureen Tobin

A7466A(v) Rankin Park Hospital – Beryl Clinton – Written Source
Interviewer Dan Ryan

A7466A(vi) Cessnock Businesswoman Marjorie Brown – Marjorie Brown – Written Source
Interviewer Sue Brown

A7466A(vii) Coal Shipping & the Port of Newcastle – D.F Gray – Written Source
Interviewer Maureen Wilson

A7466A(viii) The Depression – Ernie & Ellen Fenly – Written Source
Interviewer Ann Cummings

A7466A(ix) The Life of Elizabeth Madden – Elizabeth Madden – Written Source
Interviewer Stephen Scrogings

A7466A(x)  School Days & Memories of Kurri Kurri – Dorothy Temperley –Written Source
Interviewer Patricia Cowen

A7466A(xi)  Memories of the Great Depression –  Agnes ‘May’ March – Written Source
Interviewer Judy Johnston

A7466A(xii) Local Government in Maitland – Fran Dawson – Written Source
Interviewer Narelle Penman

A7466A(xiii) Early Settlement & Shipping on the Williams River – R.L Ford – Written Source
Interviewer Ian Walker

A7466A(xiv) Newcastle State Dockyard 1955-87 – Jim Carter – Written Source
Interviewer Margaret Rees  (Damaged audio tape)

A7466A(xv) Surviving the Depression – Joe Chappell – Written Source
Interviewer Enid Ross

A7466A(xvi) History of Seaham – Alexander McDonald – Written Source
Interviewer Anne Louise Austin


A7466B(i) Nursing at the Mater Hospital, Waratah –  Sr. M. Barnabas –Written Source
Interviewer Sarah Willis

A7466B(ii) Family life in the 1920-40s – Annie McGregor – Written Source
Interviewer Margaret Logvyn

A7466B(iii) Newcastle Female Radio Personality – Twink Story –Written Source
Interviewer Leonie Milgate

A7466B(iv) Employment at the Bank of NSW – Edward Swinton –Written Source
Interviewer Melissa Whithers

A7466B(vi) Stockton – Don Sheriff
Interviewer Charles Freeman (NO WRITTEN SOURCE)

A7466B(vii) Coal Mining Industry – Ben Gimbleton
Interviewer Edith McArthur

A7466B(viii) Steggles Bros. & Henny Penny – Bruce Steggles – Written Source
Interviewer Susan Meldrum (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(ix) Local Shipwrecks – Terry Callen
Interviewer Danielle Robertson

A7466B(x) Colliery Strikes – Joseph Cummings – Written Source
Interviewer Meghan Johnson (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xi) Linsley Bus Company 1943-86 – Fred Linsley – Written Source
Interviewer Julie Gray (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xii) Family Life In Newcastle 1905-1928 – Mrs M Gam – Written Source
Interviewer Shane Harris (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xiii) History of the Sulphide Corporation, Cockle Creek – Lester Miller – Written Source
Interviewer Tony Miller (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xiv) The Maitland Women’s Refuge – Winifred Neely – Written Source
Interviewer Barbara Wills (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xv) How Effectively did Aboriginal People Resist the European Invasion of their country – Written Source
Interviewee unknown
Interviewer David Latimore (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xvi) Why have so few women been involved in politics in Australia? – Written Source
Interviewer Christopher Veitch (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xvii) Career Overview – Eileen Doyle – Written Source
Interviewer Carrie ? (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xviii) Life in the Great Depression – May Hoy – Written Source
Interviewer Karen Rae (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xix) Woman who dared – Sister Constance Casey – Written Source
Interviewer Mary Guy (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xx) Nursing from 1929- 1978 – Miss Mary Knodler – Written Source
Interviewer Jill Alcorn (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

A7466B(xxi) Survival in the Depression – Alice Ellis & Ruth Croll – Written Source
Interviewer Margaret Hudson (NO AUDIO RECORDING)

Oral history recordings can also be located directly on Soundcloud here Margaret Henry Oral History Project (1986-1989).

Project compiled by Dr Ann Hardy for Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle Library

Liminal Exhibition at the University Gallery

E-invite to LIMINAL at the University Gallery

liminal /ˈlimənl/ adjective technical
1. Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
2. Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
Liminal celebrates the art work of students completing the Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) degree and the Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degree at the University of Newcastle in 2015. Graduating students have worked with a range of different media and processes to create individual pieces that reflect their achievements in becoming independent and professional artists.
Showing across two locations at Callaghan campus, the University Gallery will feature the work of six BFA Honours students presenting their final works for examination: Libby Eckersley, Shelagh Lummis, Louisa Magrics, Kalinda Nelson-Boyd, Shandele Pascoe, and James Rhodes. The Art Building (AT)will also host a selection of final art work from 37 graduating students of the BFA and BFA Teaching degree course (from 25 November to 4 December).

Creativity and Culture in the 21st Century with Marcus Westbury
Thursday 26 November at 10am Free event, all welcome

Please join the artists for the opening at the University Gallery to be launched by the founder of Renew Newcastle and Renew Australia, author of Creating Cities, and writer and presenter of Bespoke on ABC TV, Marcus Westbury:
Wednesday 25 November at 6pm

Margaret Henry Oral History Archive

The Margaret Henry Oral History Archive is a collection of audio tapes, transcripts, summaries and essays that were part of the Open Foundation Course (1986-1989). The wider collection of Margaret Henry Oral History Archive containing over 220 interviews in total held at Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle Library. The oral histories have been digitised and will continue to be uploaded to SoundCloud over coming weeks. They contain many stories of Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and its surrounds and records voices describing the Regions cultural, intellectual and social life. It is an incredible legacy to Margaret Henry who passed on 9 September 2015. The project is funded by the Vera Deacon History Fund.


Margaret Henry 1980s at UON

Who was Margaret Henry?

Margaret was born in New Lambton in 1934 and lived most of her life in Newcastle. She attended Newcastle Girls’ High, trained as a History/English teacher furthered her study gaining a Masters degree in History. For most of her professional life (1969-1990), she worked as an academic – mainly within the Department of History at the University of Newcastle and then in the Department of Community Programmes where she was responsible for the Open Foundation course. As an academic at Newcastle University, she is remembered very fondly as a mentor and supportive influence by hundreds of mature aged students and in particular women students. She was responsible for the establishment of innovative new courses within the Department of Community Programmes. Additionally, she involved the department and her students in many local social and environmental campaigns. She is especially remembered for mentoring indigenous students and her active involvement in the establishment of indigenous studies at the university.
Was a great mentor and supporter to many in the community, sharing her tremendous knowledge about Newcastle’s past. She encouraged generations of Novocastrians to engage in history and cultural heritage of the region. She loved for people to share their stories, was a good listening, and these oral history interviews are testament to Margaret’s passion for history, and her vision to have these important ‘voices’ documented.

Dr. John Turner and Margaret Henry (History), the University of Newcastle, Australia - 1985

Dr. John Turner and Margaret Henry (History), the University of Newcastle, Australia – 1985

Margaret Henry

Margaret Henry. Image courtesy Gregg Heathcote in 2014

The Oral History Collection

Cultural Collections, UON Library has digitised several hundred oral histories from the 1980s. The Margaret Henry Oral History archive records voices describing the Region’s cultural, intellectual and social life.
The collection is diverse and contains over 600 hours of recording, many of the interviews relate to the Great Depression, stories are told sporadically about the Depression because of the significant impact it had on people’s lives.
The oldest interviewee is Veronica Phillips (nee Harper) born in 1884 and aged 105 at time of the interview and is an exceptional and rare interview because the interviewee not only recalls pre-1900s but describes years during WWII and later decades. Veronica recalls the recalls the great drought in 1898, the “suffragettes” movement, “unsinkable Titanic” and helping fundraise for soldiers going off to WWI.

About Place 

There are interviews and stories associated with various places, such as Coon Island in Lake Macquarie, TorontoMorpeth, Paterson, Belmont,  Belmont South, Awaba, Green Point, Greta, and Buttai, Tighes Hill and Islington, Mosquito Island, Port Stephens, Tanilba Bay, Lambton, Wickham, Charlestown, Muswellbrook,  Singleton, Murrays Run,  Stockton, Morisset“Porphry” property at Seaham, Raymond Terrace and dairy industry, Newcastle East, Jerry’s Plains,

Indigenous Stories

Interview by Shay Kelly with her mother Annie Whilamena Kelly about her life. Annie was born in 1909 at Callaghan Swamps near Inglebar and was brought up by her grandmother Sarah Wright, marrying Richard Kelly. They moved out of their tribal area between the New England tablelands and Kempsey to Newcastle. Horice “Horrie” Saunders talks about the history of Purfleet an Aboriginal Reserve near Taree, NSW. Horrie an Aboriginal man was born at Wararah, a suburb of Newcastle in 1929, and moved to Karuah and later Purfleet at a young age. He describes what it was like to live on the Mission, the sports they played, their favourite swimming holes and the Aboriginal school he attended.

Local Identities 

Some of the regions well known identities are also interviewed, Ray Cummings is interviewed about his wife Joy Cummings (1923-2003), former Lord Mayor of Newcastle. Joy Cummings was the first woman Lord Mayor in Australia, Ray speaks of his wife’s activities and highlights whilst at the Newcastle City Council.  Howard Williams and Neville Wheeler about ’95 years of law in Newcastle’, Neville ‘Ned’ Andrews well known sporting identity, worked at the State Dockyard and President of the Federated Ironworkers Union, Clem Ashford innovator of the fast food culture in Newcastle, and Alice Ferguson known who taught thousands of people to swim at Merewether Beach. Also Roy Whalan, well known horticulturalist recollects his early life and how he got into the nursery business. Helen Taylor’s family came from Czechoslavakia and came to Australia in 1949, Helen is fondly remembered for her long association with Tanilba House and her care in looking after the historic property. Hon. C.K Jones M.P. O.A. (Charles Keith Jones) is interviewed about history of trade unions and politics in Newcastle. Charles Jones was Lord Mayor of Newcastle in 1956, Federal Minister of Transport and Sate Member for Newcastle, (Part 1Part 2).  Harry Boyle OAM, esteemed historian of Maitland and the Hunter Valley.

Health and Medicine 

There are interviews about health and medicine of the region, with interviews with Dr Roy Mills (Chest physician), Dr Ferguson well known General Practitioner in Mayfield, Matron Punton speaks about Wallsend Hospital, and Sr. Mary Barnabas Paediatric Care at the Newcastle Mater Hospital. Beryl Clinton speaks about the history of Rankin Park Hospital, the place and the people. Joy Gageler talks about the history and development of the Family Planning Association of NSW, in Newcastle. Janet Budge also talks about the Friends of Wallsend Hospital. Mary Louisa Corke (nee Pike) talks about her nursing career and position at Kurri Kurri District Hospital from 1939.


Lottie Stewart was a former teacher at Hunter Girls High School speaks about the changes in the education for girls. Dorothy Temperley speaks of her school days in Kurri Kurri.  Early education in Newcastle and the UON’s Open Foundation Course is discussed by Mildred StorerDorothy Temperley talks of her school days and memories of Kurri Kurri. Kathleen Stewart in 1986 about her life as an educator, working at Newcastle Church of England Grammar School for Girls.


Religion is also a theme, Sr Catarina Heffernan talks about the Dominican Order of Nuns (at Rosary Convent Waratah), Fr Harold Campbell about the Diocese of Maitland, and Ivy Easthope about the Seventh-day Adventists at Cooranbong. Phyllis Foster talks about the history of the Salvation Army in Newcastle. Marlene Kennedy talks about her life at the St. Elizabeth’s Girls’ Home Singleton 1944-47. 98 year old Ivy Easthope speaks about the Seventh-day Adventists at Cooranbong, Lake Macquarie.  Phyllis Foster speaks about the Salvation Army.

Sport & Recreation

Ray Williams about the Stockton Surf Life Saving Club. Ray was born in 1905 and resided in Stockton for most of his life, joining the Stockton club at aged 15 in 1920.  In 1987, at the age of 82 years Ray was still working as a beach inspector at Stockton, “probably the oldest inspector in Australia”.

Community Events 

Bob Johnston talks about his memoirs of the Maitland Show from age of 5 in 1930. The Maitland Show is one of the oldest shows in Australia, first held in 1844.

Pioneer Families 

Interviews of some pioneers families such as the Marks, Boydell Dillon and Elliott families are told by their descendants. Charles Lewis about his memories of working in the Hunter Valley Timber Industry during the 1920s and 1930s. Arthur and Doris Eggelton and Les H Savage about the early settlers to the Port Stephens area and the Australian Agricultural Company. There is also the wonderful story of pioneer Walter Edwin Bramble whose family would establish Brambles as told by his grand-daughter Betty Anderson. James Arthur Latham about his family history, Newcastle history and the harbour. Hilma Maybury (nee Hancock), born at Islington in 1912, she describes her great great grandparents Thomas and Mary Hancock who came to NSW in 1832, he was in charge of convicts and stationed at Paterson.

Arts & Theatre 

There are a number of interviews about Newcastle’s dramatic scene and theatres, there is a delightful interview with Betty Lind about Newcastle Dramatic Art Club, Peter and Shirley Bloomfield speak about the Newcastle Repertory Theatre, and Del de Glorion and Peter Whipper Snr each talk about their family’s involvement in Newcastle Theatre. And an interview with Agnes James about the Abermain Eisteddfod. Bill Payne former owner of the Melvic Theatre at Belmont speaks about his family become interested in theatres.  The history of Newcastle Printmaker’s Workshop is told by its Foundation Chair Robin Winston.

Betty Lind 1980s

Betty Lind talks about Newcastle Newcastle Dramatic Arts Club. Image Courtesy Betty Lind.

Maritime & Shipping 

Many interviews are about the development of the coalfields and other large industries such as the State Dock Yards. John Aubin discusses the State Dockyard in Newcastle from 1942 to 1962. Harry Harding former Director of the NSW State Dockyard talks about the history of NSW Government shipbuilding and ship repairing activities in the port of Newcastle. Born in Newcastle in 1913 he served his apprenticeship with engineering firm Morison & Bearby. He recalls his parents taking him to Walsh Island in 1920 to see the launching of the “Eurelia”, little did he realise he would become involved in that industry years later. Frank Neat also speaks about the Dockyard.Captain Ken Hopper former Harbour Master Newcastle from 1966 to 1980 he discusses the Newcastle Harbour 1947-1980.   Carlton ‘Carl’ Parrott talks about stevedoring on the Newcastle Waterfront. The early shipping history along the Williams River is discussed with Mr RL Ford. Maritime history and Newcastle’s Customs House is discussed by Captain James Fletcher.   As well as Sidney Ayerst about working as a diver at the port of Newcastle. Jim Smith a boilermaker who worked at the Newcastle State Dockyard from 1966 to 1976 speaks about 20 ships that were built there.  Claude Mann discusses shipbuilding in the Manning District of NSW. Betty Wilkinson was former secretary at the Newcastle State Dockyard employed for approximately 27 years (1954 – 1982) and worked with Mr D Lyon McLarty. D.F Gray speaks about Coal, Shipping and the Port of Newcastle from the 1930s. Terry Callen talks about the shipwrecks of Newcastle.

Industry & Manufacturing

Douglas Bradford about the Cardiff Railway Workshops, and Clarrie McLennan talks about his days working at Zaara Street Power Station. Other interviews about large business include Ken Millington on the Electric Lamp Manufacturers, and Clarrie Withers on John Lysaght (Australia) Limited, Robert Burns about Goninan & Co. Ltd.    David Bowtell talks about the first Masonite factory in Australia, the Masonite Factory at Raymond Terrace. Ross Lindsay & Terry Warnaby speak about the fall and rise of the Newcastle Abattoirs that opened in 1915 and were located at Mayfield West. Ken McTaggert discusses Rylands Bros. Pty Limited (Australia) that began in 1921. Alfred Mitchell & George Pain about the growth and development of the fishing industry in Nelson Bay. Ian Sherman about the history of cordial manufacturing in Newcastle and the Hunter Region. Mr Delbianco about the Allco Steel manufacturing company, he came to Australia from Italy in 1955 and establish one of the most successful Steel Fabricating Companies in Newcastle. Retired oyster farmer Gordon Holliday talks about moving to Port Stephens area as a child in 1910s. He speaks about his life as an oyster farmer.


Gordon Sutherland about the Mayfield Telephone Exchange. Gordon started work as a technician assistant at Post Master General Department in 1949, based at the telephone exchange behind the Waratah Post Office. He describes the changes in technology and services and the division of postal services from telephone services in 1975, and formation of Telecom. John Bracken speaks about the Australian Broadcasting Commission (former 2NC) in Newcastle. Barrie Baker about Nobby’s Signal Station. Jean Chapman speaks about newspaper reporting during WWI and the Great Depression. Twink Edwina Story (nee Ford) speaks about her career as a female radio program director and on-air personality at 2HD Radio station at Sandgate, in Newcastle, in 1940s.

Coal Mining & the Hunter Coalfields 

Jack Ambler and Jock Redding are interviewed about coal mining in the Hunter Region. Jack commenced work in the mines in 1941 and retired in 1984. He worked for that time at Stockton Borehole Colliery, the Waratah Colliery (the Gully Pit). Jock started in the mines in 1952, became a Deputy, and retired late 1980s, some of his working life was spent at Burwood Colliery. Clyde Jones and Mick Jurd are interviewed about the years in the mines, Clyde starting at the ‘pit top’ at age of 15 in 1927 at ‘Bellbird’, and Mick working in the ‘pits’ at Bulli in the 1940s before coming to Killingworth in 1949 and in 1970 working at the Lambton Colliery. Thomas Parkinson speaks about coal mining in the northern coalfields.  Bill Shepherd talks about growing up  the Minmi and Killingsworth areas and work at Stockton Borehole. Wal Partridge was a ‘wheelman’ at Stockton Borehole, her speaks about coal mining in Newcastle in the 1950s. Frank Manning speaks about coal mining in the Hunter Region, Rothbury riot and the Miners’ Federation. Frank was born in 1902 in Ireland, and came to Weston, NSW in 1912. He attended Abermain Convent School and left school at 14 to become a “pit top boy” at Hebburn No. 1 Colliery. Arthur Goodwin spent over forty years in the mining industry around the Rothbury and Branxton areas. Wilfred Dews talks about the Teralba and Stockton Borehole collieries. Ben Gumbleton discusses coal mining industry in the Hunter Region. Eunice Elliott about the North Rothbury Mine lock out in 1929. Alan Murnain about coal mining in Newcastle.


Norman Kelty speaks about the changes from trams to buses in Newcastle. Charles Watters was a driver of a Store Bread Van, working from 1937, he describes the the route taken with his horse ‘Nugget’from Clyde Street, North Lambton. Les (Casey) Jones retired train driver joined the Railway Department in 1943, he speaks about history of trains. Leonard Young started work with the railway department in 1954, at Port Waratah. In 1966 he became a fully qualified driver working on the class 38 engines, he speaks about the 3801 “Newcastle Flyer”. Emily Mahoney, Len and Stella Smith speak about trams and the Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle. Douglas Bradford about the history of Cardiff Railway Workshops.

Unions & Politics

Interview with Hon. C.K Jones M.P. O.A. (Charles Keith Jones) about history of trade unions and politics in Newcastle. Jones was Lord Mayor of Newcastle in 1956, Federal Minister of Transport and Sate Member for Newcastle (PART 1 & PART 2). Keith Wilson was an active participant in social issues and talks about the emerging role of Newcastle Trade Hall Council. And Thomas Graham talks about the Federated Ironworkers’ Association (FAI) and the Newcastle iron and steel industry (1917-1950). Local Government in Maitland is discussed by former Alderman Fran DawsonHugh McCarthy discusses the Federated Ironworkers Association 1935-1950. Eileen Penglaze, wife of a coal miner during the 1949 coal strike speaks about the Miners Federation of Australia and national miners stoppage of 1949. Bruce Mackenzie about the Local Government in Port Stephens Shire. Neville Cunningham a retired seaman discusses the Seaman’s Working Conditions and the seamen’s union.

Military & Defence

Keith Sullivan discusses the RAAF Airbase at Williamtown, he joined the airforce in 1947 and later became a warrant officer at Williamtown. In 1981 was part of the No. 26 Squadron ‘The City of Newcastle’, he describes the changes at the airbase and the various types of aircraft and equipment. Melissa Cameron speaks about years in the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS). Jim Husband, returned serviceman in the Australian Army and member of the Newcastle Vietnam Legion describes the Roll of Honour for those had served in the Vietnam War from the Hunter Region.

Law & Order

Keith Parsons & Doug Lithgow speak about the history of policing in Newcastle. Police in Newcastle were housed in the building known today as the Lock Up Cultural Centre. Keith is son of retired Sergeant Ewen Parsons and Doug the son of retired Superintendent George Lithgow, they each reflect their father’s views about the police force.

Women’s History

There are several interviews about women, Kathleen Blackett describes the years she worked at Rylands during WWII and that there was often resentment towards women doing manual jobs.  Joyce Staley reflects on the life as a single woman during the Great Depression, the hard times and having to be self-sufficient, as does Doreen Maher. Margaret Hughes talks about tailoring in Newcastle during the late 1930s where she worked at Hayman’s military factory making uniforms for the soldiers. Later she served an apprenticeship tailoring at Alex Peate’s workrooms located at 79 Hunter Street, Newcastle. Pearl Hickey talks about the Newcastle Women’s Movements. Mary Calcott who worked at the Working Women’s Centre at Mayfield in 1975. Moia De Martin (Bowman) speaks about women at work in industry during the Great Depression. Melissa Cameron former employee of the Newcastle Co-Operative Society Store talks about her work with the Australian Women’s Army Service (1921-1988). Marjorie Brown about her business life in Cessnock. Rita Borger and Mildred Baxter talk about the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS). Barbara Bushell (1927-2015) about the Country Women’s Association in the Hunter Region.

Family Business 

Family business’ of Newcastle and the Hunter also feature in the collection. Stephen Simpson talks about his trade as a bootmaker and establishing Simpson’s Shoes at Lambton. Also listen to Eric Merrion about ‘Merrion’s Cardiff Bakery’ a family business 1922-1977. Bill Payne owner of the Melvic Theatre at Belmont talks about setting up the theatre, and Keith McGill talks about following him his father’s footsteps to become a butcher. Alec Young of Young & Green car dealership, and Miss Nancy Morison talks about her family’s pioneering engineering firm Morison & Bearby, Arthur Dodd about the business he established Dodd & Co. Pty Ltd. Similarly John Sobb speaks about establishing his own retail store. Although not a family business, the history of Newcastle and suburban Co-Operative Society, community lead stores are discussed by Esme Allan. Colin Johnston talks about the growth of High Street, Maitland, and the family business Johnston’s Shoe Store. Marjorie Brown speaks about her years as a business person in Cessnock, owning a Milk Bar and several businesses. Frank Baker Jnr. talks about the family business ‘Baker’s Bakery. Doris Blatchford discusses EH Blatchford whose husband Eric opened a small bakehouse at the height of the Depression, later opening a shop at 182 Beaumont Street, Hamilton.  Interview with Gordon Edwards about his Hairdressing Salon in Pacific Street, Newcastle, he tells the history of hairdressing in the region.

Retail & Co-operatives

Esme Allan talks about the Newcastle and suburban Co-Operative Society, became affectionately known as “The Store”. After an 83 year lifespan, The Store closed its doors on the 10th April, 1981. At its peak the store dominated the local retail trade.  Sue Vandervalk speaks about retailing and her business ‘West Terrace Menswear’ in King Street, Newcastle. The business started in 1972 and was situated in “The Terraces”. Marie Maddrell former employee of Winns speaks about the history of Winns Ltd 1878-1980. Selma Hare & Maisie Sharp about retailing at Scott’s Department Store from a Woman’s perspective.  Mrs Abercrombie (Jeweller) about the fluctuations in the retail industry in Cessnock.

Migrant Histories

There are fascinating interviews with people who were at the Greta Migrant Camp, such as Anna Buldecki,  Elly Slechter and  Bazil Manunczak.Felix Dangel also speaks about the Greta Migrant Camp. Luka Dejanovic about the Croation community in Newcastle. Interview by Judy Gavrilis in 1989 with “Toula” about the Greek Community in Newcastle, as well as Bob Tsousis and Michael Karaberidis about their Greek heritage in Newcastle. Gisela Noll, Violet and Jim Woodward talk about immigration in Newcastle.

About the Environment 

There are interviews with the environmentalist such as Tom Farrell and Selby Alley speaks of the rise of environmental awareness in Australia. The history of the Northern Parks and Playground Movement and conservation in Newcastle is discussed by Doug LithgowJohn Lineham talks about the Toorumbee Creek Community, an alternative life-style movement, the aim was to “settle the country and develop a self sufficient life-style based on appropriate, mainly soft technology”. The attraction was to get away to the pristine isolated environment, to the tranquility, an escape from technology and industry. Joyce Bond is interviewed about her involvement in the Newcastle Hill Residence Group.

Tom Farrell

Tom Farrell speaks about early Newcastle & the environment

The Great Depression

Josephine Leis talks about the Depression in Newcastle and reflects on her family life and move from Singleton to Newcastle. Doreen Maher speaks about Depression resilience and how the Great Depression affected Newcastle woman and their education. Kathleen Jones speaks about Newcastle’s Relief Organisations and unemployment camps during the Depression. Joyce Staley (nee Cummings) about single working women in the Great Depression. Victor Stamford also speaks about the Great Depression in Newcastle. Ernie and Ellen Fenly of Thornton discuss the Great Depression. Agnes ‘May’ March about her early years and memories of the Great Depression. Joe Chappell on surviving the Great Depression. Olive Convery and Neville Lavender talk about Happy Valley Depression Camp, East Cessnock.

These histories record the public memory at a certain time, memories that can be mapped in time and place. Hearing the past can inspire us, provide new knowledge so we can better understand, and plan our future.

The oral history tapes have been digitised by Cultural Collections, UON Library and made freely available to the wider global research community thanks to the generosity of The Vera Deacon Regional History Fund. For further interviews in the Margaret Henry Oral History Project go to Margaret Henry Oral History Project (1986-1989) on SoundCloud.


Milsom, Rosemary (10 Sept 2015) OBITUARY- ‘Margaret Henry- City loses its ‘conscience’ Newcastle Herald.

Virtue, Robert (18 September, 2015) Remembering Historian Margaret Henry – a collection of oral histories compiled by the late Margaret Henry have been digitised. 1233 ABC Newcastle

Henry, Margaret (1991)‘The Battle for Newcastle’- Margaret Henry

The Battle for Newcastle:Heritage and the Earthquake. By Margaret Henry, 1991.

The Battle for Newcastle:Heritage and the Earthquake. By Margaret Henry, 1991.

Project compiled by Dr Ann Hardy for Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle Library