Local Treasures: The Doug Brown Photo Albums

Parade featuring Lieutenant Shortland and crew on HMS Reliance during 150th Celebrations of 1797 European Discovery of Newcastle, 1947

Parade featuring Lieutenant Shortland and crew on HMS Reliance during 150th Celebrations of 1797 European Discovery of Newcastle, 1947. Photographed by Doug brown.

Day Shift – 19/03/2013 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University

University of Newcastle Archivist Gionni Di Gravio explores the photograph albums of the late Douglas Brown of Mayfield.

The set of 238 images can be viewed here:


Broadcast Notes:

A selection of images scanned from the photo albums of the late Mr Douglas Brown of Gamack Street Mayfield.

Prior to his death in 2012 Doug Brown lent his photo albums to the University’s Cultural Collections for digitisation. Once a selection of images were digitised the original albums were returned to him and now reside with his estate.

The photographs cover a range of subjects including family images, his father Joseph Brown’s Shoe Repair Shop, his family home in Gamack Street Mayfield, along with scenes around Mayfield and the Hunter Region.

Of interest are Doug’s photographs of important events, especially the 150th Celebrations in 1947 of the European discovery of Newcastle, the celebrations of the Mayfield Spring Festivals, and the visit of Queen Elizabeth in 1954.

Miss Betty Campbell and her trusty horse Pal. Photograph by Doug Brown

Miss Betty Campbell and her trusty horse Pal. Photograph by Doug Brown

The Newcastle Sun (Mayfield Spring Festival Supplement), Monday October 24, 1955 p.5 provides some background on Miss Betty Campbell and her horse Pal, that led all the Mayfield Spring Festival processions during the 1950s:

Knowing Horse Leads Marches

Mounted on her aged white horse Pal, Miss Betty Campbell, of Woodstock St., Mayfield, has led the Mayfield Festival processions every year since the 1950 Jubilee celebrations.

Miss Campbell is a daughter of the late Rev. Canon Reay Campbell, who was Rector of St. Andrew’s, Mayfield, and Stanton Chaplain for many years.

Pal has certainly lived up to his name, according to Miss Campbell, who says, that the horse has helped her recover her health. “I had a breakdown after being in the W.A.A.F. and wanted a horse for an interest,” she said.

“I got a black one first but he proved too strong for me. Then I got Pal. Some time later my mother was telling the doctor how well I was and the doctor said; ‘You can thank the horse for that.’

Heard Drums

Normally the quietest of horses, Pal put on a rodeo exhibition, stamping and rearing, before the start of last year’s procession. What disturbed him was the fact that he was immediately behind a pipe band. “But as soon as he heard the drums he was all right. He likes music and seems to go to it,” said Miss Campbell.

“He is quite good in traffic too. He knows the hand signals and I have only to put out my hand and he will turn of his own accord. If we are waiting at the traffic lights and they change, he goes through without any bidding. He also waits for pedestrians.”

Miss Campbell said that Pal is very fond of lollies. “I have only to say ‘Do you want a lolly?’ and he will turn his head round to get it. But if I ask, ‘Do you want me to go to the shop and buy a lolly?’ he will pull up at the next sweets shop.

“I don’t know whether he can smell the sweets or what it is, but he will go past the butcher’s and other shops and never make a mistake.”

Pal is getting on in years – 17 to be exact – a fact which caused Miss Campbell to add rather wistfully “I don’t know what I will do when he goes because I will probably fall off any other horse.”

According to Steve Wilson, formerly of the Workers Action Cultural Committee that organised the Mayfield 2304 Soul Guts and Spirit event, the Mayfield Spring Festivals raised quite a lot of money for charities. We believe it was the proven success of the Mayfield Spring Festivals that eventually led to the creation of the Mattara festivals in Newcastle.

We are not quite sure which of the Mayfield Festivals Doug recorded, but with help from information provided by Mr Wilson below we believe it may have included the 1954, 1958 and an unidentified 1960s fair:

Mayfield holds many surprises – it has always been a major centre for arts and cultural activity.

Did you know?

The Mayfield Spring Fair raised a lot of money for charities. The Jubilee Festival in 1950 raised 4,000 pounds. By 1954 the Festival was raising over 11,000 pounds.

Do you know any of the people mentioned below? Do you have any photos of the Mayfield Spring Fair?

Were you in Mayfield in 1952?
.    1952 Mayfield Spring Fair had an opening procession along Maitland Road from Dangar Park to Webb Park. Were you one of Miss Baldwin’s St. Andrews Boys Fellowship who performed gymnastics for the visiting Premier (Mr Cahill), who opened the Festival?
.    The Festival was arranged by the Mayfield Business Men’s Club
.    Were you one of the 5,000 people who crowded in to Webb Park to watch the marching teams from Stockton and the exhibition of jitterbugging?
.    14 year old Ken Rowlands of Mayfield, won the junior section of the Talent Quest – Milton Allan and his Jazz Cats came third.
.    Did you catch the ‘greasy pig’ when it was let loose in Webb Park?
.    Did you enter the scooter race?
.    Did you listen to Mr. R. Short sing in the adult talent quest? He won!

Were you in Mayfield in 1953?
.    The Deputy Premier (Mr Heffron) opened the Mayfield Spring Festival and Mr. R. Short sang a song
.    Crowds lined Maitland Road as members of youth organisations and school children, Sea Cadets from “the Tobruk”, children from the Waratah Deaf and Dumb Institute, Stockton Girls Marching Teams, Guides, members of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, Police Boys Clubs, Mayfield Salvation Army Band, Sea Cadets and the Voluntary Aid Detachment marched from Dangar Park to Webb Park.
.    Mr Heffron also opened the Mayfield library
.    About 8,000 people crowded in to Webb park to try their skills at booths and stalls
.    The first heat of the Talent Quest went to Noelline O’Neil. Once again, the Jazz Cats (Milton Allan and Nita Ward) came second.
.    Newcastle Technical College gave a concert in Webb Park, conducted by Mr. J. Evans. The soprano was Miss M. Meehan and the bass was Mr. W. Muir.
.    Sandra Dyas (aged 13 months) and Paul Ross (aged 1 year) entered the Mayfield Spring Festival Baby Show

Were you in Mayfield in 1954?
.    More than 8000 people attended the opening of the 1954 Mayfield Charity Festival which was opened by the Minister for Lands (Mr. Hawkins).
.    The Festival was organised by the Mayfield Combined Charities Committee (Chairman, Mr B. Faulkiner) and hundreds of willing workers. It was sponsored by the Mayfield Business Club.
.    Miss B. Campbell, riding a white horse, led the procession of 1200 people from Dangar Park to Webb Park
.    11 Mayfield Queens were presented and 13 girls entered the Miss Mayfield competition. The Mayfield Queens raised money for charity, the Miss Mayfield’s were judged in the swimwear parade, sports wear and street dress.
.    22 charitable organisations had stalls, chocolate wheels and other entertainments to raise money
.    The winners of first heat of the adult talent quest were: 1st, Mrs Burnham (soprano). 2nd, Mr T. Davis (tenor). 3rd, Mrs H. Gill (mouth organ).
.    A display of weightlifting was given by a Mayfield troupe led by Mr. J. Hensell.
.    The winner of the Miss Mayfield contest was Nancy Wardman (17) and runner-up was Marilyn Douch (18). Nancy won a 5-day trip to Mt. Kosciusko, a 10 pound cheque, a 5 pound open order from the Mayfield Business Men’s Club, a set of bracelets, necklace and tiara and a tennis racket.
.    About 15,000 people attended the Festival at Webb park on Friday night (October 29, 1954)
.    On Saturday night (October 30, 1954), 25 floats will travel from Dangar Park to Webb Park for the crowning of the Mayfield Queen. This procession was led by Miss K. Campbell, on horseback.
.    The 1954 Mayfield Spring Festival raised more than 10,000 pounds for 18 different charities.
.    The 1954 Mayfield Spring Queen was Miss Margaret Creeham, representing the Deaf and Dumb Association
.    The winner of the Talent Quest was Ken Burnett (tenor). 2nd was Irene Lloyd (tap dancer) and 3rd place was Mrs Burnham (popular singer).

Were you in Mayfield in 1955?
.    This year there was a Mr. And Mrs. Mayfield competition with contestants appearing in evening dress, sports clothes or swim wear and the choice would be by popular vote.
.    The first heat of the Talent Quest was won by Mr B. Mowbray (tenor), 2nd was Mr Constello and his son Dennis (instrumentalists) and 3rd was Mr. Knight (impersonator)
.    Money was being raised for 23 charities
.    About 10,000 people watched the march and opening ceremony of the Festival at Webb Park on Friday night (21.10.55). The Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner) opened the Festival.
.    The procession started from Dangar Park and took ten minutes to pass a given point. There were three hundred marching girls in 15 teams, Boy Scouts and Cubs as well as children from Mayfield East and West and St. Columbans Primary Schools
.    There was a floral display in Maitland Rd and Miss Hanna Gale presented a revue. There were documentary and travel films shown to a crowd of about 1,000 on Friday night in Webb Park.
.    On the final Saturday, Miss Betty Campbell, on her white horse, led a procession of 28 floats and 4 bands, Newcastle Lord Mayor Alderman Purdue crowned Josephine Nolan as the 1955 Mayfield Queen in a ceremony at Webb Park. A total of 17,500 pounds was raised for charities. Miss Nolan wore a white dress with a guipure lace bodice, tulle skirt with a frilled hem with guipure lace at the top of the frill. Christine Irwin and Rhonda Lill were
the flower girls and they were dressed in white organdie over pink. Miss Nolan was robed in a purple velvet cloak and train trimmed with white fur fabric and a rhinestone tiara.
.    A record crowd of about 16,000 attended the closing Saturday night festivities at Dangar park

Were you in Mayfield in 1956?
.    The Festival was opened with a march from Webb Park to Dangar Park where a carnival was held.

Were you in Mayfield in 1957?
.    The Mayfield Queen was Miss Helen Weidesweiller. She wore a gown of white chantilly lace over white tulle caught around the scalloped hemline with tiny white buds. A total of 23,579 pounds was raised for charities.
.    A procession of fifty floats travelled along Maitland Road from Dangar to Webb Park. About 12,000 people watched the parade and crowning ceremony at Webb Park.
.    Miss Mayfield was won by Miss Janine Mason. The Miss Pocket Venus pageant for girls 9 to 13 was won by Janice Chipchase

Were you in Mayfield in 1958?
.    This year’s Miss Mayfield pageant was won by Jeanette Horne, 16, of Raymond Terrace. Donna Pitucha was runner-up and Bridget Sprogis was third. The girls paraded before an audience of more than 22,000!
.    Miss Pocket Venus was won by Chloris Stewart of Mayfield.
.    The Queen of Mayfield was 70 year old Mrs T.C. Robson who raised more than 3,300 pounds.
.    The prize for the most original float went to Mayfield Rotary Club
.    Stan Butterworth got a prize for appearing in every talent quest held at the Mayfield Spring Festival.
.    A window competition, in which contestants were required to study shop windows and record errors was won by Helen Adamson of Church Street, Mayfield. Her mother, Mrs Adamson, was second.

Were you in Mayfield in 1959?
.    The Spring fair was washed-out. However, the parade left Woodstock Street at around 2.30pm on 31/10/59 and moved along Maitland Road to Dangar Park where the Mayfield Queen was crowned.
.    16 year old Pauline Radley of Shortland was crowned Mayfield Queen
.    75 units were in the parade, estimated to be half a mile long, attracted thousands of spectators and created long traffic hold-ups along Maitland Road.
.    Miss Jennifer Stubbs, 17, won the Miss Mayfield competition. The Miss Pocket Venus was Fay Schofield of Wickham.
.    On Thursday and Friday night a ‘rock’n’roll’ competition was held. There was a photographic contest and a film competition (16mm and 8mm) won by Mr L. Bambury of Surfers Paradise. The organiser of the photographic and film competitions, Mr Caesar, said there had been entries from as far as Sydney and Emerald in Queensland.

Were you in Mayfield in 1960?
.    17 year old Audrey Turner of Hamilton won the Miss Mayfield competition.
.    About 8000 people packed Dangar Park to watch the judging of Miss Mayfield and Miss Pocket Venus (Sharyn McDermott of Mayfield). Second Place in the Miss Mayfield was Robyn Evans. Her sister, Diane Evans came second in the Miss Pocket Venus
.    Sandra Scott-Russell, sponsored by Mayfield Rotary Club, was crowned Queen of Mayfield. The total raised by the event was 19,350.00 pounds – the highest in the event’s ten year history.

Were you in Mayfield in 1961?
.    Mayfield Queen was Marie Agland (Mayfield Rotary). 2nd was Robyn McLean (Order of De Morlay). 3rd was Nannette Godfrey (Mayfield Lions)
.    The winning Float was Mayfield Rotary Club
.    Miss Mayfield was Shirley Fordham. 2nd was Pauline Eichner. 3rd was Robyn Evans. Lynette Whittaker was Miss Pocket Venus. Shirley won  a holiday at Surfers Paradise flying TAA

Were you in Mayfield in 1962?
.    Miss Mayfield was Pauline Eichner. 2nd was Elizabeth Mavrinac. 3rd was Agnes Algie. Miss Mavrinac was born in Germany and came to Australia with her parents. At the time Miss Mavrinac was an apprentice hairdresser at her mothers salon at Toronto. Miss Algie was born in Glasgow and came to Australia 2 and a half years before. At the time, the Algie family was living at the Mayfield Migrant Hostel.
.    Ursual Sluvinski was Miss Pocket Venus
.    Miss Patricia Laws (Order of De Morlay) was crowned Mayfield Festival Charity Queen
.    The procession to Dangar Park was the longest ever with 78 units taking part. As the leading unit was reaching its destination at Dangar Park, the final units were just leaving their starting point near Mayfield terminus
.    The winner of the Talent Quest was Edith Wilton (soprano). 2nd was Paula Valenach who performed an Arabian dance. 3rd was Colleen Allan and Susan Brown who performed Scottish dancing.

Were you in Mayfield in 1963?
.    Miss Mayfield was Genny Romaniak – her hobbies were listed as dancing, surfing and reading. 2nd was Elizabeth Mavrinac (who was 2nd in 1962). 3rd was Irene Joy Bates, a hairdresser, who does amateur modelling, plays basketball and goes surfing in her spare time.
.    Mayfield Queen was Ruth Manning

Were you in Mayfield in 1964?
.    Young Greek dancers performed; Noula Karanges, Olympia Karanges (Noula’s cousin) and Helen Karanges (Noula’s sister)
.    Nearly 6,000 people watched the crowning of the Mayfield Queen, Miss Joy Delore. She won a week’s tour to Brisbane.
.    46 units were in the procession to Dangar park including three pipe bands and three other bands. Best Float carrying a candidate for Mayfield Queen was won by Mayfield Rotary Club and best commercial float was won by the Newcastle Gas and Coke Company.
.    Miss Mayfield was Denise Graham, a millinery shop assistant. 2nd was Lesley Wright of Tighes Hill. 3rd was Jan Thornton of Glendale.

Were you in Mayfield in 1965?
.    Miss Mayfield was Elizabeth Mavrinac. Mayfield Queen was Anne Maree Doran
.    More than 21,000 pounds was raised for charities
.    With nearly 500 people watching, the Talent Quest finished at midnight: 1st was Lin Newell. 2nd – Barbara Blaxland. 3rd – Master Maurizio d’Abruzzo and The Chavelles. Special commendations to: Patricia Connolly, Carol Smith and Luci Iwanczuk.

Were you in Mayfield in 1966?
.    Miss Mayfield was Teresa Peruzel
.    Miss Veronica Francis was Mayfield Queen

Were you in Mayfield in 1967?
.    This was the 20th anniversary of the Festival. The Festival was opened after two postponements due to rain (27.10.67)
.    Entrants in the Miss Mayfield quest paraded in street, sports and beach wear.
.    The second round of the talent quest was held with items interspersed with presentations from guest artists the Surfside Eight Square Dancing Group and dancers from John and Norma O’Donnell’s School of Dancing
.    The crowning of the Mayfield Queen and Miss Mayfield was held on November 4, the same date as the final of the Talent Quest.

Further information on the 1955 Mayfield Spring Festival can be found here:

Mayfield Combined Charities Festival 1955 Supplement. Sun Newspapers Pty Ltd [Publisher of The Newcastle Sun] (3.47 MB PDF)

Gionni Di Gravio
University Archivist

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