Where history happened : the hidden past of Australia’s towns and places by Peter Spearritt – Thurs 1 Nov 2018

Join Peter Spearritt author Where history happened in-conversation with Donald Maughan, President of the Byron Bay Historical Society for a Q&A on researching the hidden past of your area.

Do you know which desert town is home to one of the oldest mosques in Australia and the site of one of the trade union movement’s most significant victories? You might have visited this iconic surfer’s paradise, but did you know Byron Bay was once a rough industrial town, thronging with the sounds and smells of mineral sand mining, a piggery and a thriving whaling station? Where would you go to experience the great age of steam, to see and hear functioning locomotives that tell the story of Australia’s railways?

Where history happened reveals the hidden past of some of Australia’s most intriguing towns and places, from mining settlements and remote caves to monuments and historic houses in our capital cities. The stories that emerge, of remote religious communities, isolated penal colonies, places of Indigenous incarceration and environmental degradation and rejuvenation, describe a vast and complex country, with a heritage worth preserving. The book contains beautiful images from the collections of the National Library of Australia, including works by renowned photographers Frank Hurley, Wolfgang Sievers and Peter Dombrovskis, colonial watercolours and sketches, newspaper cartoons, early black-and-white photographs and bold, colourful tourism posters from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Peter Spearritt’s taste for places and landscapes started with family car trips from Melbourne to Brisbane in the 1950s, when vehicular ferries made for a picturesque but long trip. Moving to Sydney in 1960, he left a city with a flourishing tramway network for a city that had got rid of its trams but did boast a really impressive bridge. His The Sydney Harbour Bridge: A life is now in its third edition, while Sydney’s Century: A history won the New South Wales Premier’s Prize. Together with colleagues at the University of Queensland and Monash University he has produced the Queensland Places and Victorian Places websites. He has been to all the places he writes about in Where history happened, and hopes his readers will contemplate their own special places.

Thurs 1 Nov 2018, 5.30pm

Ewingsdale Hall, William Flick Lane

Drinks & nibbles on arrival; lucky door prize

All event proceeds go to Friends of Libraries, Byron Shire

TICKETS $10 l AVAILABLE AT: https://www.trybooking.com/YLWL or Bangalow Newsagency, PHONE (02) 6687 1396