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Oddities of suburban and rural life



The Australian Dandy

Australian Journal, 1866

in an article ‘The Australian Dandy’ by Donald Cameron >

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Here I lie
My soul in hell
My calf was pinched by old Joe Bell

Here I lie
In this land of clover
Driven to death by Emolie the Drover


One man Town


I’m the undertaker, blacksmith, wheelwright and carpenter
Farrier, plumber, license Board as well
You never saw a coffin neat as I can make ’em
And I read a burial solemn and well
Sign at Yalgoo WA


Lousy’s Eating House


1890s West Australian goldfields.
Anon Mitchell

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The Man Woman Mystery

1880s pamphlet in Mitchell Library

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Ploughing Match


Conducted annually under the patronage of southern highlands farmer Henry Badgery at Sutton’s Forest this event was a popular contest and bets were laid on the likely winner.
1834 newspaper report



James Bonwick, London 1870. DL87/93




The First Clergyman was The Rev Richard Johnson. In truth there was no plans to send such a person with the first fleet however the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, with the support of Sir J Banks, lobbied the Crown. ãUpon arrival on the shores of Port Jackson, amidst the firing of salutes, the revelry of banquets, the shouts of congratulation, no prayer was offered, and no thanksgiving sung. The clergyman was ignored, and religion forgotten.


He was left without support; he laboured without sympathy. While every other department secured a share of public effort, no one cared for the minister, no one thought of a church. He raised the banner each Sabbath day, but few were they who came to hail it. He returned to London after 13 years and, on presenting his case to the Crown offered, “Did I not tell you how it would be?”


The First Theatrical play, ‘The Recruiting Officer’ a convict production, opened in 1796.


The first newspaper the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser appeared in March 1803 carrying a very rude little wood engraving, representing a ship, with a Union jack, and an allegorical female figure seated on the shore. The publisher was George Howe.

The Wail of a Wegetarian


Published Melbourne and also appears as Armchair Chronicle

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A Bit Hot

Silver Songster 1908

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This song comes from the show ‘Morocco Bound‘ and mentions Australian politicians. It ha a music hall monologue flavour popular at the time. Who was the ‘Balmain Bard’? I suspect the ‘gallant knight with extra height’ was Sir George Reid who became Prime Minister. Neild was a Sydney politician known as ‘Jaw Bone Neild’.

The Drilling Match
From The Colonial Mining Journal and Railway Share Gazette 1859


“A match of somewhat novel character took piece on the north side of Old Reef on Sat the 7th of May between two miners Chas. Lewington & James Hawkins.The match was for £lo a side to drill a single handed hole ,2o” deep ,with 4 drills ,the smallest to he 7-8″ with 2″ steel . A great number of spectators were assembled to witness the performances of the rivals and great praise is due to both of them for the workman like manner in which they executed their tasks. Lewington worked with long and steady strokes while Hawkins’ were short and quick. At 2pm they were started and Hawkins drill was the first broken, Lewington still proceeding steadily. Hawkins betting £lo on the first l0″. At the first measuring Lewington was down 12″ & Hawkins 13 7 a 1/4 .when the latter detected his rival using both hands Hawkins soon after broke his long drill on which he gave up the contest; the measuring told 15″ each. The time occupied was three quarters of an hour. At the completion of the match the competitors were loudly cheered and great satisfaction was expressed by Lewington for the workman like manner his drills were prepared for him by Scott on Mt Charcoal. Hawking not being defeated is open to any man in the colony single handed for fifty pounds.”