Three reels of 16 mm film by the late James (Jim) Murphy have been digitised in the NBN Television Archive at the GLAMx Living Histories Digitisation Lab in the Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle. The footage was donated several years ago and is now publicly accessible. UON Work Integrated Learning student Brydie McEvoy is coordinating the research project for cultural collection, taking a sociological approach to research and identify content of the film.
Most of the locations relate to areas around Newcastle and the Hunter Region, as well vacation scenes in other parts of Australia, such as Surfers Paradise. Some are International destinations include Hong Kong, Japan, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.
Many thanks to the Lost Newcastle Facebook group who have helped identify many of the locations and people featured in the film reels. Footage is no longer ‘lost’. We were contacted by Christine Stent (nee Murphy) on the 22 October 2018 informing that her late father James (Jim) Murphy was the creator of the films. James was an amateur camera and film enthusiast during the 1950s and 1960s. He used to capture many of the social events of his family and friends. James died at aged 58.
James was from an Irish family who owned and managed the Bellevue Hotel in Newcastle West. During the 1940s he worked in the furniture department at Marcus Clarks Department Store located on the corner of Hunter and National Park Streets. From there he and his family went on the open a store in Newcastle named “Churchills” selling furniture and homewares. This store continues to operate in 2018. The family were Catholic and many events associated with Catholic schools and churches in the region feature in the footage.
This footage is provided free of charge to the global community thanks to the generosity of the late James (Jim) Murphy’s Family and the Vera Deacon Regional History Fund. If you wish to donate to the Vera Deacon Fund please download a form here: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21528529/veradeaconform.jpg
Please contact us if you are the subject of the footage, or know the subjects and locations or have any further information about these films, please let us know by leaving a comment on this post, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Continue scrolling down this blog post to view films and screenshots of content in the films.
Film 1 – Weddings, Catholic Schools & Newcastle scenes (1950s)
00:01- 06:17 Wedding- D Hawkins and A Crossey- 22nd of October 1955- on the 10th of October- film 1- an individual within the youtube comments suggested that the the wedding was between Dorothy Hawkins and Anthony Crossey in 1955, also mentioning that Dorothy is the Daughter of Harold Hawkins who was the member for Parliament for Newcastle in the state government at the time. The Wedding was held at the Catholic church at Merewether. The locations and names of the individuals present at the wedding were also stated by another individual who posted on the ‘Lost Newcastle’ Facebook Page, backing up this information, mentioning that Dorothy’s husband had ‘Bellevue Motors’ for many years, and another stating that the church the wedding was held is the Holy Family Catholic Church at Merewether Beach.
Mid to Late 1950s (1955-1958?) footage of aunties, cousins, etc. footage mainly of one family, a woman, 3 daughters? Son?- Footage estimated to be between 1955 and 1969 between all three films.
06:18 – 06:48 Ettalong beach, Central coast- south of Woy Woy
07:03 – 07:57 Speers point park? 08:00 – belongs in same footage
08:27 Mass- Family – Catholic
09:32 – 10:17 school function- St Josephs- dancing, creative arts- vital part of the curriculum.
11:04 – 12:08 House in Country side and horse riding paddocks- the hunter valley area?
13:14 – 13:50 Unknown location- lake- water skiing-
30:28 – belongs in same frame- 14:54 , 14:58, 15:45, 15:49 – Lake Macquarie? – Speers point area?
15:55 – 18:04 Wedding 2 and 3: After Pictures and film footage were posted on ‘Lost Newcastle’, a few individuals suggested that wedding 2 was between Ann Linehan and Michael Hill at St Therese’s in New Lambton- date: September 1967. Wedding three was possibly between Jan McGregor and Paul Crosbie
19:12 – 20:38 – country side
19:25 – Grave Site- can only make out the name ‘Ronald’
20:56 – 23:59 – ‘Lochinvar Display 1958’- ‘Lochinvar- small village in the hunter region of NSW- 11km west of Maitland- at St Patricks primary school.
25:00 – St Joseph’s display 1958- at St Joseph’s primary- The Junction
28:45 – ‘Australian National Airways’- – Airways ceased operation in 1957. – also seen in 28:29 of unidentified footage 2- 28:24 – Another passenger plane VH ANH of Australian National Airways
30:04 – Old tram near lake
31:07, 32:00, 33:02, 33:21– 1960s- School festivities- High school aged girls – Students of St Anne’s, now part of St Pius X High School.
33:23 – Front of St Anne’s, Adamstown
33:26 – St Pius high School
33:33 – Newcastle Show ground- Marching parade- Schools within the Newcastle/Maitland Area
(Unknown 1- 36:13 – 36:48 – SS ‘Oriana- belongs in 1960s ‘Cruising’ tapes)
39:17 – St Joseph’s Convent
37:43 – image of a carpet cleaning truck- red sign, ends in ‘chills’- ‘Churchills carpets’ established in 1945- family owned and operated since 1945- over 70 years of operation- now in parry street, Newcastle (not far from original Churchills store)
35:23 – Maitland (all girls) 35:33– Hamilton (all boys) 35:48– Mayfield (find out names from other schools shown through screenshots
35:33 – Hamilton Public school (all boys?)
38:48 – St Clemente- Mayfield
37:43 – image of carpet cleaning truck- ‘Churchill’s carpets’ established in 1945- family owned and operated since 1945- over 70 years of operation- now in parry street, Newcastle (not far from original Churchills store)*
39:02- St Joseph’s Merewether, Kenrick Street
Within the post related to this footage on the Facebook page ‘Lost Newcastle’, a few people have suggested that the footage was filmed by the Murphy family as they have identified pictures and clips of family, friends, and themselves as children.
With individual 1 stating;
– ‘my uncle Jim Murphy would have shot these films. Fabulous memories’- I recognize a lot of these faces including mine as a child, my mum and dad, cousins, bother, sister, etc’
and individual 2 adding;
‘there are lots of photos of my husband’s family and friends. Mark thinks that the film was taken by Mark Murphy from Churchill Rayford’s business. He remembers film nights at home’
Kids in school- 25:00 – St Josephs, Merewether- Located within The Junction Catholic School (1958) – blue and yellow uniforms- earlier footage St Josephs- Catholic school- kindergarten to year 6.
Film 2 – Newcastle, Sydney, Surfers Paradise & other miscellaneous scenes (1950s)
00:12 – Garden’s open for inspection- proceeds to YMCA 00:48 – garden- location?
Beginning shows footage of gardens- royal botanical gardens, Sydney late 1950s.
02:03 – Sydney Harbour
03:00 – Hawkesbury River? 03:22 – Newcastle Show Ground (use google earth images for clarification)
03:06, 03:00 – Hawkesbury River
03:22, 04:05, 04:14, 04:59, 05:40, 06:10, Newcastle showground- marching bands, men in kilts and marching girls-
06:18 – 08:47 Mark Jr’s 21st birthday party- late 1950s- earlier footage
09:02 – children playing games at school- older footage?
10:20 – Newcastle city hall- outside, children playing with flowers – used google earth maps- civic park across the street 12:12, 12:20, 12:24, 12:28,
12:20 – Bricks of Newcastle city hall in background
12:24 – ‘Markie and co’ in background- research further
12:43, 12:49, 12:56, 14:18, 14:22, Newcastle beach
15:15, 15:27 in the background- Newcastle baths- 15:27– Dixon- surf lifesaving
15:43 – Lake Macquarie jetty
17:53 – Newcastle Foreshore- coal ship in background- older footage
18:40 – 22:41 – Trip to Sydney- Sydney harbour in background- zoo trip part of same footage- older footage- Taronga Zoo- footage of surroundings of zoo
19:00 – industrial farm area
22:47 – Holiday to Surfers Paradise in Queensland.
22:57 chevron driveway on Chevron Island, Surfers Paradise in Queensland.
23:34 – Surfers Paradise beach
24:22 – El Dorado Hotel- Gold Coast- now demolished
24:40 – ‘Beachcomber Motel- Gold Coast
25:34 – motel garages
26:00 – river?
30:26 – Berrima Training Centre NSW- prison
32:35 – Blue Mountains ‘the three sisters’ – blue mountains 32:42, 33:03
31:08, 31:12, 31:33 Fitzroy falls- northern precinct of Morton National Park
Footage Three – Cruising & Vacation scenes (1960s)
note: Cruises on film are P&O Sydney to Japan return 28 days in 1964 and Christmas Cruise on Himalaya P&O 1963.
00:13 Cruise- oriental cruise on ship called ‘Oriana’ – SS Oriana- now a tourist attraction in japan and china- Was the final great liner to be built for orient lines- travelled to Malaysia, japan, china, etc. Beginning of video- SS Oriana in Sydney harbour
02:24 STOP ONE – Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
04:03 – Rabaul War Cemetery (Bita Paka) Commonwealth war Cemetery- burials of the second world war- graves are from the casualties of the campaigns in New Britain and New Ireland, and Australians
Information on Bita Paka War Cemetery: was established by the army graves service in 1945- taken over by the commission in October 1947- Cemetery contains 1120 Commonwealth burials of the second world war in which 500 are unidentified as well as some WWI graves.
Link with Australia- commemorates more than 1,200 members of the Royal Australian Army (including personnel of the New Guinea and Papuan local forces and constabulary) and royal Australian Air force who lost their lives in the area in January 1942 and from November 1944 to August 1945, who have no known grave.
05:04 STOP TWO – Japan
06:25 – 06:38 Tokyo, Japan- 06:38– Sign showing year (in Japan) – 1964
06:58 – the great Buddha of Kamakuru- bronze statue of Amida Buddha- Kotokuin Temple- Second Tallest Buddha statue in Japan- cast in 1252 but standing in mid-air since 1945
08:08- Hakone- evident with name on ferry and google images
Third Stop- 10:32 Hong Kong, China
12:14 – now known as ‘jumbo Kingdom’ – seafood restaurant in Aberdeen, Hong Kong, China
13:59 – Hong Kong Hilton
14:12 STOP FOUR – Manilla- Philippines
00:14 – Oriental Cruise- Himalaya Cruise Ship- different Cruise? 01:35 – different cruise ship?
15:30 – Fort Santiago Rizal Shrine- Manilla, Philippines
16:02– Oriana- 1964 footage
We sincerely thank the family of the late James (Jim) Murphy for sharing their family archive.
Many thanks to Brydie McEvoy (WIL- Work Integrated Learning student) for her work on this project in the GLAMx Living Histories Digitisation Lab.