Newcastle Stories : U3A

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In 2016 a group of Novocastrians came together in a Newcastle University of the Third Age (U3A) course called “Newcastle Stories” to research and write diverse and engaging stories about Newcastle.

We thank the authors and  Griff Foley (Course Tutor) for sharing this project, it makes a valuable contribution to historical knowledge of Newcastle and the Hunter Region.

The following stories are available to download HERE at the Newcastle U3A website.

Nine Mayfield Stories by Gary Townsend
Gary has cleverly captured the distinctiveness of Mayfield, Newcastle’s oldest suburb.

Reviving the Regal by Gayle Hopwood
Drawing on primary and secondary print sources and interviews with participants, Gayle produced a lucid case study of the seven-year community struggle to revive the Regal cinema in Birmingham Gardens.

The Pasha Bulker Storm by Hilary Oliver
Contributes an account of the fierce 2007 Pasha Bulker storm.

Growing up in Newcastle—Two boys in the late nineteenth century by Mavis Ebbott
Mavis draws on historical sources and her imagination to create an engaging story about her grandfather’s and great-uncle’s boyhoods in late nineteenth century Newcastle.

Gold to Coal and Back to Gold by Phil Warren
In tracing his great-grandfather’s colourful history, Phil moves between locales (Wales, Newcastle and the Victorian Goldfields) and between first and third person accounts.

The Boy Who Came From Nowhere by Geoff Hassall
Geoff draws on his great-grandfather John Forster’s handwritten memoirs and secondary historical sources to describe Forster’s long and interesting life in Sydney, Newcastle and the Hunter Coalfields.

Leo Maley & Mary’s Story by Richard Wakely,
Richard a former magistrate, contributes two stories, one about the eccentric behaviour of Mayfield businessman Leo Maley, the other a tragic tale of domestic violence.

Becoming a policeman & A young policeman in Cowra by Ian Park
Ian also contributes two stories, the first about his Newcastle youth, which led to him becoming a policeman; the other an account of his early police career in NSW’s central west.

Pharmacy in Newcastle by John Turnbull
The author a former pharmacist, writes about the history of pharmacy in Newcastle and the lower Hunter.

Newcastle Teachers College by Dianne Imison
a former teacher, writes appreciatively of her teacher training institution, Newcastle Teachers College.

The local bugbear, the sand drift by Griff Foley
The first is an account of a sand drift that took a life in inner city Darby Street in 1878.

Win-Win by Griff Foley
The second story tells of a nearby real-estate transaction 138 years later.

The Big Story by Griff Foley
The third story, written in the same month as the second, frames the first two stories.

Further information about Newcastle U3A program go to their website See ‘Newcastle U3A’


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