367 Missing Pigeons

Random Aussie history mystery #1953……..was the Woomera blast really to blame for the missing 367 pigeons? Was there really only four escapees?  “Scientists will not allow  the Woomera atom blast to be blamed……..” source: source: TROVE/NLA/Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954), Saturday 7 November 1953, page 1 Advertisements

Mauled English: the fate of James Brabner

With over two decades of experience in researching family history records I really should have seen it coming:  ‘Colonial Maul’  as a death cause for my  ancestor’s brother instead should have read ‘Colonel Maule’, and it was actually the  name of a ship. It had started off as a  really exciting day to finally find a reference to James Brabner, the missing … More Mauled English: the fate of James Brabner

A Grave Matter: Booley family plot at Ballarat’s Old Cemetery

A grassy single plot within the Ballarat  Old Cemetery hides the heartbreak of an immigrant family who fled political unrest in England to seek a new start in colonial Australia,  the proposed new  land of opportunity, health and wealth. No gravestone exists in this  country cemetery  in Victoria’s west to count the mounting death toll as  Suffolk-born Robert Francis Booley (1829-1875) … More A Grave Matter: Booley family plot at Ballarat’s Old Cemetery

Mystery Ballarat School unravelled as Preston Bell School #4309

There is growing accord among the historians at least that our mystery 1938 Ballarat ‘Bell School’ photo   is instead the every well known ‘Bell School’ in  Melbourne’s northern suburb of Preston. In the absence of any evidence that a Bell School ever operated at  Ballarat,   I have to agree with one experienced historian  who says I have … More Mystery Ballarat School unravelled as Preston Bell School #4309

Ballarat’s? mystery ‘Bell School’

UPDATE 18th MAY 2016. This mystery school identified as the BELL SCHOOL #4309 in Oakover Street, Preston (Melbourne, Vic). READ HERE FOR THE UPDATE   I can easily find my Dad in this old school photo,  but it seems finding the actual Ballarat -based school is another matter entirely! Extensive inquiries and searches have failed to locate the … More Ballarat’s? mystery ‘Bell School’

Way To Go! Art Remembering: Warrnambool Impressions of Tom Humphrey

In 1925 a grieving widow donated art works to Victorian galleries in the hope her late husband would not be forgotten, and though that’s pretty much what  happened Warrnambool however, has a special way of remembering talented Australian Impressionist Tom Humphrey (1858-1922). Warrnambool’s Art Gallery  (WAG) is set to rehang Humphrey’s formative work The Way To School’ … More Way To Go! Art Remembering: Warrnambool Impressions of Tom Humphrey

A Lawless Mob of Dubliners

My search among Ancient Catholic Families of Ireland for the kith-and-kin of my mystery Captain Armstrong resulted in a naive attempt to link him to a possible uncle named Edmund Lawless, but instead has me up to my armpits in 18th-century Dublin ‘Esquires’ all of the same name. I’ve been attempting to answer if  the ‘Gentleman’ Edmund Lawless of  Clanbrassil-street Dublin was the same man married Margaret Armstrong in 1784 … More A Lawless Mob of Dubliners

Radio Restoration Hurdle

I couldn’t leave this old beauty behind at the flea-market so brought it home with the aim of restoring it. Mind you I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing, but my biggest problem is I am having trouble identifying the model, so if anyone is familiar with make or model would … More Radio Restoration Hurdle

Lost in the AfterLife

  With blistered feet and juggling two maps as well as a camera and my handbag I came to an abrupt halt, lost among a sea of higgledy, piggledy-laid graves. The 42 hectare (106 acre)  Melbourne General Cemetery is a bewildering place for the uninitiated, particularly for this country girl after a four-hour early morning drive. The lass at … More Lost in the AfterLife

Enterprizing replica-ship at Warrnambool

Watching the replica tall-ship Enterprize tack its way today out of Warrnambool’s Lady Bay  is a stark reminder of  the dangerous conditions  Europeans experienced voyaging aboard small-ton vessels bound for Victoria’s coast. There seemed a fair swell up though the Enterprize left Lady Bay in what is relatively calm conditions for this stretch of the coast, … More Enterprizing replica-ship at Warrnambool