August 25, 2013

Ben Hall Raid Weekend Festival - September 2013 Newsletter


This e-newsletter is the seventh produced so far and the second last before the Ben Hall Weekend Festival. This event has seen a mountain of organisation take place as we count down the final weeks until Friday, Saturday and Sunday 27th to 29th September. Accomodation is very tight but it is still possible to get accommodation. Publicity for the event began over nine months ago to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Ben Hall Raid on Bathurst which took place on Saturday 3rd October, 1863. 

Collectors from a number of the eastern states will be converging on Bathurst to bring their hobby and passion to display their collections to the public with a good deal of the material rarely seen outside museums. 

Bobby O’Keefe is one collector who will have some of his colonial pieces on display. These will show just some of the items that were in use around Hall’s gang of bushrangers. Bobby has a great knowledge on his collection.

Russell Street in front of the Bathurst Court House will be closed from 6am with the Ben Hall Festival activities commencing at 10am till 5pm. The raid re-enactment will take place at 2.30pm

There have been a number of escorted tours organised for Friday, all Saturday and on Sunday morning with bookings open now to participate. One bus tour takes in various sites associated with the Ben Hall Raid which took place on Saturday 3rd October, 1863. SEE A LIST OF TOUR DETAILS AT THE END OF THIS NEWSLETTER.

Another tour takes in “Macquarie”, its historic homestead and convict buildings originally being built for Lieut William Lawson of Blue Mountain’s crossing fame.
Another tour visits Bathurst’s historic general cemetery - you can pay your respects at the graves of five people who were caught up in the various escapades and raids of Ben Hall. The “Gravely Speaking Bus Tour” will let you hear amazing stories in a history-making time in Bathurst.

Bathurst’s famous Court House will be the centre of more tours from 12 noon. Designed by James Barnet the east and west wings were built for the local Post Office and Telegraph Office. The Court House was then constructed and is used to this day. Hear about some of the tales of the ‘old’ court house as well.

The program of tours so far is included with this newsletter or email. Bus and tour bookings are currently being taken at the Bathurst District Historical Society Museum (with booking contact details outlined at the end of this newsletter.)

I would like to acknowledge the number of volunteers involved with the staging of the Ben Hall Raid Festival and its various events. One can’t speak too highly of those donating their time to ensure the success of the weekend. The generosity of our sponsors is also acknowledged for this Ben Hall Raid Weekend Festival. A list of Sponsors is listed towards the end of this newsletter.

Alan McRae, FAIHA, President Bathurst District Historical Society


To view the full newsletter click here.

To view List of Ben Raid Weekend Festival Tours click here.

August 24, 2013


The Western Crossings legacy projects will soon be coming to an end. We have created the website featuring300 photographs from our library collection to commemorate the bicentenary in May 2013 of the crossing of the Blue Mountains by Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth. At the time of the centenary of the crossing in 1913, Frank Walker (1861-1948) was President of the RAHS and a passionate supporter of local history whose personal archive is now held by the Royal Australian Historical Society. As well as glass lantern slides, it includes scrap albums and booklets of news cuttings, photographs and ephemera. The Frank Walker Crossings Collection provides access to a selection of this material to honour both his contribution to preserving historical records about the original expedition, and the bicentenary of 2013 which are now readily available to anyone in the world with access to the internet. Click here to see the collection.
[Frank Walker's Centenary Album of the First Crossing, RAHS Collection]