Monday, November 23, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
On Saturday, 21 November 2009, celebtations will be held to mark the completion of the upgrade of works at Kissing Point Park and the adjacent Bennelong Park. These include a new pathway and boardwalk running through both parks.
Kissing Point was the original name of the area that we now know as Ryde. It is believed to have been given that name in the early days of the colony because the area of water around it was the furthest up the Parramatta River that heavily laden vessels could reach before their keels "kissed" the bottom.
On the way up the Parramatta River, the eastern shore flattens out around Kissing Point and so in the early days of the Colony lent itself to farming. The first land grants were made in 1792 to emanicipated convicts in the area which was named "Eastern Farms".
On of the these ex-convicts was James Squires, He was a First Fleeter who came to New South Wales on the Friendship in 1788.
On his emanicaption, he was granted 30 acres of land at Kissing Point on 22 July 1795. James was a very enterprising and community minded person and had many successful ventures in the early New South Wales Colony.
On his farm he grazed sheep, sowed wheat, maize and barley and was the first to successfully grow hops and commercially brew beer.
In 1798 he became the licensee of The Malting Shovel Tavern on the shores of the Parramatta River, a halfway house for travellers between Sydney Town and Parramatta by river.
At one time he had a bakery, suppled the Colony with meat, ran a credit union and was widely known for his fair play as a lender and philanthropist to his poorer neighbours. He was also a resident constable for the "Eastern Farms" district despite his convict background. Bennelong was buried on his farm in 1813.
History Services NSW has records for at least 15 convicts who worked for James Squires at Kissing Point, including those for Thomas Fox who was twice transported to New South Wales, viz:
If you are researching a convict ancestor who was assigned to James Squires, you should go to our website at: http://www.historyservices.com.au/convicts.htm
Thursday, November 12, 2009
A very interesting place to visit is the Australian Technology Park, five minutes walk from Redfern Train Station.
Today the Australian Technology Park is a multi-functional Exhibition and Event Facilty with many interesting venues incorporating the structures of the old workshops.
There is a heritage display of some of the old locomotives, carriages and machines used in the workshops.
The Government Contracts and Contractors Database of History Services NSW has details of some 1600 government contracts awarded for the New South Wales Railways. Some examples are:
If you would like more information on contracts awarded by the New South Wales Government over the period from 1832 to 1900 go to:
Monday, November 2, 2009
These are the largest continuous mobile sand dunes in Eastern Australia , stretching a distance of some 32kms and up to 1km wide, covering an area of 2500 hectares. The sands would have been deposited some six thousand years ago and were home to the aboriginal ancestors of the Woromi tribe.
This is an exotic landscape - white sand dunes up to 40m high, clouds casting their shadows over the sands, tourists, camels, horses and concrete pyramids!
But what are these strange structures?
During World War II, the area was heavily fortified. Running across the
Many of these 'tank traps' as they were known, are still where they were placed in 1942. On closer inspection, each pyramid has a serial number and the date when it was made, rendered into the concrete.