The latest old news

I love history. My Bachelors degree is in history – a mix of medieval, early modern, and Australian history, with emphasis on social history. I’m fascinated by everyday life, and the experiences of ordinary people.

So, Gordon’s new blog – Old news from Armidale and New England – is definitely of interest to me, and has been the prompt for much discussion over the dinner table. He’s browsing through the National Library’s Historic Australian Newspapers site, and finding amongst the scanned and digitised newspapers items related to the New England region. Each day he posts an article or two, and I enjoy reading what he’s found.

One of today’s stories is from a newspaper dated 5 November 1905, and tells of the tragedy of a young woman who fell over a precipice – at a gorge that is not very far from our place. The young woman fell 900 hundred feet and sadly died.

On a more cheerful note, another story he’s reported today is the opening of radio station 2AD, in February 1936, by David Drummond, a local man and also state Minister for Education. Radio 2AD is still going strong, seventy-three years later! (And David Drummond’s grandson, Jim Belshaw, now writes a blog focusing on New England history and happenings.)

I could spend hours – days! – browsing through the newspaper archives myself, and yes, I did spend an evening a day or two ago reading the Maitland Mercury from 1843, but I’ll have to limit my time otherwise I might get lost forever… so maybe I’ll make do for a while with the snippets Gordon posts 🙂

(Oh, and yes, there possibly will be a historical novel sometime in my writing future.. but not for a while!)

2 thoughts on “The latest old news

  1. Wow, that’s quite gruesome reporting!!

    I have so much respect for authors who write historicals. There’s so much work and research involved to do a good job; I don’t know how they do it.

  2. Hi Zosia! Yes, many of the old newspaper stories are more graphic than what we read today – although they didn’t have TV, which is probably our more graphic form.

    I have a few ideas for historicals bubbling away in my mind – I’ll get to them one day. But yes there is a lot of research to do! I’ve recently been pondering a short story, set in this area in the mid 1800s, but a lot of the necessary research is in the every day things: e.g., what kind of light would have been used in, say, 1854 in a poor family’s hut? If a traveller had to bury someone who’d died near the bush hut, would there be a shovel handy? And what would the traveller be carrying on him? These and a thousand other questions await me… 🙂

    By the way, many thanks for your reviews of my books on amazon. I’m glad you enjoyed them, and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with other readers!

Comments are closed.