Sunday, February 3, 2013


1938 Hebburn Street Hamilton, Newcastle 
The first photo in my collage is of my mother Barbara Conner nee McLoughlin

I love this photo.  My mother looks so cheerful and happy.

And of course I think it is very apt for this festival as she is in a Wattle Tree - the Floral Emblem of Australia.  

My mother would have been just three years old in this photo.

On the back of the photo is her own handwriting saying Hepburn Street Hamilton.The "p" seems to be crossed out.  So I'm thinking maybe it is Hebburn Street Hamilton, Newcastle.

And in my grandmother's handwriting is "My girlie taken in Auntie Bell's wattle tree.  Xmas 1938"

I wonder if that Wattle tree is still there and if so how big it is now.

I have searched Find My Past without much joy in an attempt to find the Wingfields in the census.  

Belle was my maternal grandmother's twin sister.  She married Irvine William Wingfield in 1922.  Her twin sister, Kit, did not marry til 12 years later. 

The twins were very close according to my mother.  Belle ran and or owned a bakery in Newcastle. 

My mother was an only child like me.

She adored her cousins, Joy and Shirley Wingfield, and I think the feeling was mutual.  

Resources which I have found useful or interesting in trying to find out more about this area are Newcastle Region Library's Local Studies page.

In their heritage publications I discovered that Hamilton South was developed as a Garden Suburb by the Australian Agricultural Company after the mine closed in 1914. It was associated with the prominent architect and town planner Sir John Sulman.  This rang with a bell with me until I remembered that my father won the John Sulman Prize for Design in 1958 at Sydney University when he was studying architecture.

You can see an example of the advertisement for the land sale subdivision plans here. 

The Newcastle Region Library website also directed me to the NSW Family History Document Service and I wonder if anyone else finds this service useful and subscribes to it.


Kristin said...

Interesting post and I enjoyed several of the links.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Kristin - Thanks for your comment. It was fun doing the research. I had no idea that this little photo would generate so much of interest really.