Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Stinson (21st)

Sunday 21st February 1937 the search for the Stinson continues with many reports of sightings of the plane, including some within 60kms of Sydney.
The Truth (Brisbane) 21st Feb
The Truth (Brisbane) 21st Feb

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Stinson (20th)

Saturday 20th February 1937, a search is initiated after the Stinson fails to arrive at Sydney. 

With no radio aboard the aircraft, searchers didn't know if the pilot Captain Rex Boyden flew the inland or coastal route (the final decision was his when he was in the air and could access the conditions).

The search planes were forced back by the strong ‘cyclonic’ winds that had threatened the Stinson the day before. 

Theories considered a forced landing to wait out the storm or a crash into the sea.

<< The "Morning Bulletin" (Rockhampton) 20.2.1937

Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Stinson (19th)

On Friday 19th February in 1937, the 'City of Brisbane' a Stinson A monoplane (36' long with 3 engines) carrying 2 crew and 5 passengers on board, vanished somewhere between Archerfield in Brisbane and its Sydney destination...

The 'City of Brisbane' >>

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The sounds of the ABC

 A sign of the times? 

The ABC has made the decision to close its libraries in Adelaide, Hobart and Perth.

Background article from 'The Guardian' on the ABC's decision to axe its Sound Library and make its ten specialist Librarians redundant.

Quotable quotes:

  • The ABC is dismantling its historic sound and reference libraries (which are packed full of 100,000 CDs and 373,000 vinyl as well as books and journals after 85 years of collecting) across the country and making 10 specialist librarians redundant to free up floor space and save on wages.
  • Library sources say they believe between 5% and10 % of the collection will be digitised into the Broadcast Music Bank.
  • ABC Broadcaster Lucky Oceans stated “The theory behind it is that people aren’t using hard copies and that it’s all digitised. But you know it’s those same people who were saying that vinyl is dead."
  • The extensive collections in Adelaide and Sydney would all but disappear, along with all the skill and knowledge of the library staff to “better align our operations with the ABC’s strategic aims”.

And in art imitating life or life imitating art a Radio National article on cuts to Trove.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Sydney history in stone

What are the chances 2 different books on a linked but largely unknown obscure topic both arrived within days of each other?

‘From quarantine to Q Station : honouring the past, securing the future’ by Dannielle Viera, Jennifer Cornwell, Simon McArthur, Dr Peter Hobbins, Dr Annie Clarke, and Dr Ursula Frederick.

Once home to generations of Aboriginal people attracted by the abundance of seafood, the deep coves, fresh breezes, clean water supply and remoteness from the fledgling colony of Sydney made North Head at the entrance to Sydney Harbour an ideal place for the creation of a quarantine area.

Before the development of modern medicine, infectious diseases posed a major public health threat. The only known means of protecting communities from outbreaks was to isolate sufferers and those with whom they had been in contact. 
Q Station with Sydney behind

For immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries who had already endured the long voyage to Australia, quarantine could be a frightening and traumatic experience. Separated from healthy family members, those in quarantine had no way of knowing whether they would see their loved ones again. Some children left the Quarantine Station as orphans, and some women as widows, alone in a strange country with no means of support. 
The accommodation at Q Station

‘From Quarantine to Q Station’ tells the fascinating story of the evolution of this site, from its early days as the colonial Quarantine Station through its transformation to the peaceful accommodation and conference facility now known as Q Station. 
The wharf and arrival area of the station with the rebuilt hospital on top of the hill

Richly illustrated with more than 200 colour, sepia and black & white photographs, many dating from the late-1800s, this captivating, well-researched book takes readers on an evocative journey through time. Newspaper articles, archaeological research and anecdotes from detainees bring the past to life, while modern preservation and restoration efforts are described in fascinating detail.

The main street in the mini settlement of the quarantine station

Sailing to Australia from Lincolnshire aboard the the ship the "Canton" in 1835, 16-year-old John Dawson watched in alarm as three of his sisters developed smallpox. Although all survived this dreaded disease, their faces bore tell-tale scars for the rest of their lives. Yet John left an even more enduring memento of his family's perilous voyage in the soft sandstone of North Head.

Carving a lengthy message proclaiming that the Dawsons had landed here to perform a month's quarantine, John began a tradition that continued until Sydney's Quarantine Station finally closed in 1984.

During its 150 years of operation, nearly 16,000 people were held in isolation on this headland. Interned for days, weeks or even months, many followed John's example, leaving an extraordinary gallery of more than 1600 carved and painted sandstone inscriptions.

Combining intensive archaeological investigation and historical research, this book illuminates Australia's past through the portal of these intriguing and often evocative inscriptions, as well as North Head's numerous headstones. 

Drawing upon historical records, diaries and other writings, the book highlights the dramatic personal and social effects of diseases that once terrified the community. This book conveys the compelling personal stories of lives lived not just in despair, but also in hope for the future. 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Done too soon

Like many was saddened to hear Neil Diamond announce he was retiring from touring performances due to suffering the effects of Parkinson's Disease.

As again like many I grew up with 'Hot August night", and we were all excited to be allowed to stay up and watch his 1976 Sydney concert on tv (provided we had got changed into our pjs prior). 
It was a great concert performance, he gave that guitar a real work-out. 
Can still remember his explanation of where "Song sung blue" came from - a Mozart piece.  

Believe "Cherry cherry" opened the concert (thanks Andrew C. on YouTube).
It seems more and more of the inspiring writers, performers, actors that I've watched, read and listened to are succumbing to the ills of mere-mortals - live long in our minds and memories, and get a cure for Parkinson's.

Monday, 8 January 2018

The time has come

Got a spare hour or two?
The first five George R.R. Martin books of the "A song of ice and fire" (what many people recognise as "Game of thrones") has been released by Oakhill/Ulverscroft on audio CD - all 202 - two hundred and two - hours of narration.
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King's Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert's name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse--unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season. Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vain glorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen's brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister--the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms. Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki--whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.
An entire monumental cycle of books: 1. "A game of thrones", 2. "A clash of kings", 3. "A storm of swords" (3.1 "Steel & snow" and 3.2 "Blood & gold), 4. "A feast of crows" and 5. "A dance with dragons" (5.1 "Dreams & dust" and 5.2 "After the feast") epic high fantasy with a multitude of characters.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Our first casuality found

An update on a blog post from 2014 "Our first causality", with news today that the AE1 has been found.
Australia’s first submarine HMAS AE1 has finally been located, ending a 103 year maritime mystery.
The fate of the 800 ton AE1 and her 35 crew members has remained one of the persistent mysteries of Australia’s military history, after it was lost off the Duke of York island group on 14 September 1914 with all personnel aboard.
It was the first casualty for the Royal Australian Navy and the first Allied submarine loss in World War I; a significant tragedy felt by our nation and our allies.
The AE1 at Portsmouth in 1914
The Royal Australian Navy teamed up with a range of search groups in this expedition to locate the submarine, funded by the Commonwealth Government and the Silentworld Foundation, with assistance from the Submarine Institute of Australia, the Australian National Maritime Museum, Fugro Survey and the Papua New Guinea Government. The expedition embarked on the survey ship 'Fugro Equator' equipped with a team of maritime surveyors, marine archaeologists and naval historians who scoured the search area with a multi-beam echo sounder and side-scan technology in an underwater drone flying 40 metres above the sea bed on pre-programmed 20 hour missions.
Survey data showing the AE1 on the sea-bed (cC.of A.)
They located an object of interest in over 300 metres of water. Upon further inspection, confirmed the object to be AE1. The data collected was analysed and a three-dimensional rendering of the underwater environment was produced before dropping a camera to confirm the find.
The first images captured by the expedition show the vessel is remarkably well preserved and apparently in one piece. 
Battery ventilation trunks of the AE1 (cC.of A.)
Following the discovery of the submarine, a small commemorative service was held by those on-board the survey vessel to remember those officers and sailors who lost their lives 103 years ago. Efforts are being made to contact the descendants of the crew.
The Australian Government will work closely with the Papua New Guinean Government to consider a lasting commemoration and recognition of the crew of AE1 and to preserve the site.
The information gained from this expedition and from the research to date will greatly assist in unravelling the mystery of the loss of HMAS AE1, and will be held by the Australian National Maritime Museum for future generations to remember. More underwater images at the Navy.gov.au site.
Helm of the AE1 (cCommonwealth of Australia)
Lest We Forget.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Abandoned photography

"Abandoned : the most beautiful forgotten places from around the world "
by Mathew Growcoot, a photographic book of the dark yet hauntingly special places.

The places time forgot. From the magical empty theatres of Detroit to the lost playgrounds of Chernobyl, there are places across the globe that were once a hub of activity, but are now abandoned and in decay. With nature creeping in and reclaiming these spots, we are left with eerie crumbling ruins and breathtaking views that offer us a window into the past and capture our imagination.
"Abandoned" showcases the very best photographs from around the world documenting this phenomenon. More immersive than a museum, abandoned photography has given the world an exciting way to look at times gone by and the places we have long neglected. The images captured provoke questions about earlier times, mans' futility, and the relentless power of nature.
The book was compiled and curated by photographer and former urban explorer, Mathew Growcoot from Birmingham in England. Below are just some of his images of industry, landscapes and the built environment post usefulness.
 Part of the incline at the abandoned Dinorwic Quarry, which lies between Llanberis and Dinorwig, near Bangor in Wales, UK. It was once the largest slate quarry in the world.

Nature reclaiming a derelict building

 An old locomotive in the Istvantelek Rail Workshop, Budapest, Hungary

To view more of Mathew's photographs borrow "Abandoned".