Power House

April 11, 2015

There is a 1964 photo by Olive Cotton titled Power House. Far more dramatic than my prosaic view, it is taken from an angle that is now completely blocked by large radiata pines to the right in my photo and the power house that makes up half her photo has since been demolished. The stacks […]


White Trees

April 11, 2015

It was in primary school and we were told to draw a tree. I very carefully drew a white tree. The teacher told me that was wrong, trees were brown. I argued that they weren’t but that just got me into trouble for answering back. Then we had to paint the Harbour Bridge and I […]



April 10, 2015

If pagodas are the tombs of wise men whose bodies have become the crystal bodies of mythical clever men then the Gardens of Stone must once have been the home of many many wise men and perhaps that explains the diamond mine on top of Mt Airly.


River Lett Hill

April 10, 2015

The view is sublime from the top of River Lett hill over Hartley towards the escarpment and Mt York where the first Europeans descended into the valley. But only on days when there are no bushfires nearby.

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St Johns

April 10, 2015

Small towns have long memories. My first few years of schooling were at Wallerawang primary school. When we moved to Wallerawang in 2003 we soon got involved in local heritage issues, particularly the campaign to save St Johns, a beautiful and perfectly intact small gothic style church. It was the last church designed byEdmund Blacket. […]


Inch Street

April 10, 2015

I have a natural bias to think the worst places have the most potential, I’m a born renovator. Inch Street is without doubt one of the worst places in Lithgow, drab, ugly and generally unlovable. When Lithgow Council got a grant from XStrata Coal to fund a cultural study into heritage assets in the town […]



April 9, 2015

Airly village on Mt Airly in the Capertee Valley is another abandoned shale oil mining village from the late nineteenth century. The pagodas on top of Mt Airly and Canobolas are the most spectacular anywhere in the Gardens of Stone yet they still face destruction by coal mining. It was the prospect of mining Airly […]


Old Newnes Hotel

April 9, 2015

The Newnes Hotel was originally on this site on the other side of the road above the creek.  Eventually it was undermined by erosion caused by the regularly flooding creek and began to collapse. A large working group of Wolgan Valley locals simply picked it up and manhandled it to its new safer site. When […]


Williwa Street

April 9, 2015

These cottages in Williwa Street Portland, on the edge of the cement works site, have been derelict for as long as I can remember, since the mid 1970s at least. But in 1950, when the cement works were in full swing and my grandfather William (Billy) Milliss was the foreman, my parents lived there and […]


Lyon and Loveday

April 7, 2015

Lyon and Loveday Walker Barton were middle aged siblings who lived together at Barton Park. They were murdered one Sunday in 1948 after returning from church by a farm boy that Lyon had brought up from Sydney a few weeks earlier. He was named Harvey Bugg and had recently left a notorious children’s home near […]