Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rental Stress in New England

I was disturbed but not surprised to learn that the top three, and four of the top ten, electorates in NSW suffering rental stress were in New England. Rental stress is defined as paying more than 30 per cent of gross income in rentals.

The top ten expressed as a proportion of the population suffering rental stress are:

  • Richmond 57.5%
  • Cowper 51.5%
  • Lyne 50%
  • Blaxland 48.7%
  • Watson 47.6%
  • Gilmore 47.1%
  • Dobell 46.9%
  • Fowler 46.6%
  • Shortland 46%
  • Robertson 44.4%

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Stocktakes on Posts

It has taken me a lot longer to complete the Hinton story than expected. I need a solid block of time. In the meantime, I have not been writing.

Some time ago I began a series of stocktake posts, posts that pulled together previous writing on a particular topic. So while I am thinking about the Hinton story, I thought I might take the opportunity to start updating the stocktake series.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

New England Stories - the Hinton Bequest

Howard Hinton


This story is a work in progress.

In response to a post I wrote in May, Marcel Proust aka marcellous kindly gave me a link to a court case involving the Hinton Collection, one of the finest collections of Australian art. Now this was a case in which I have a direct personal interest, one that combines different elements in New England's history.

As it happened, I was having lunch around that time with Annette McCarthy.

Annette and I come from different sides of New England politics.

My grandfather was the Country Party member for Armidale and then New England. He was NSW Minister for Public Instruction, now Education, at the time of the Hinton bequest to the Armidale Teacher's College.

Annette's dad Bill was the Labor Party member for Armidale. He and his wife Thelma played a key role in the establishment of the New England Regional Art Museum, the place where the Hinton collection is now held. Despite political differences, Bill was punctilious in recognising my grandfather's achievements.

Annette and I disagree on many things. Yet we also share many things. We both know what it is like to grow up in public families. We both share a concern about the decline in New England, although we may disagree to some degree about the causes and solutions. Both of us want to see the achievements of the past preserved and built on. All this meant that were both very interested in this court case.

Against this background, I wanted to write the story of the Hinton Collection from a personal perspective. In the first instance, the post that follows should be regarded as a work in progress, collecting information including visuals. This means that it will be messy for some time. I will tidy it up as I go along.

The Story

Hinton ... conceived the idea of endowing the Teachers' College, Armidale, with an art collection—S. H. Smith, director of education, co-operated with him. The first picture 'The Lock Gates' by Sir Adrian Stokes,. R.A., arrived in 1929. He gave over 1000 works to the college and an art library of some 700 volumes. He hoped to illustrate the development of Australia art from 1880, and the collection is widely recognized as a priceless anthology of the artistic impulse in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Australia. Norman Lindsay described it as the only complete collection of Australian art in the country. Jock Elphick, Australian Dictionary of Biography.

It is the only collection of its kind in Australia. He [Howard Hinton] developed his collection for the purpose of encouraging artists, educating students, and for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. Former NERAM Curator Caroline Downer (source).

J. R. McGregor (now Sir James), Howard Hinton OBE, Sydney Ure Smith and myself were having lunch one day, the topic under discussion, as one could readily guess, being art. Suddenly J. R. turned to me and said, "I have a few pictures I would like to present to some educational institution. What about the Armidale Teachers' College?" Before I could reply, Howard Hinton jovially interjected - "No, you don't Jim, that's my preserve, find a College of your own!" D H Drummond, A University is Born, Angus & Robertson 1959 pp 66-67.


Court Case


Arthur Streeton's McMahon's Point Ferry (1890), another painting in the Hinton Collection.

Tom Robert's Mosman's Bay, the painting at the centre of the storm

A luncheon given to Mr Julian Ashton on the occasion of his 90th Birthday (1941) (National Library). Group portrait from left to right: Professor E.G. Waterhouse M.A., Mr Charles LLoyd Jones, Sir Lionel Lindsay, Sir Marcus Clark, Mr Howard Hinton O.B.E., Mr Ure Smith O.B.E., Will Ashton, Mr G.V.F. Mann C.B.E., Mr J.S. Watkins (standing), Mr Howard Ashton (standing), Mr Sydney Long A.R.E., Mr W. Lister Lister, Mr W.H. Ifould O.B.E., Mr Julian Ashton C.B.E., Mr B.J. Waterhouse O.B.E., F.R.I.B.A., The Hon. D.H. Drummond M.L.A.

Friday, July 06, 2007

New England's East-West Airlines - Introduction

Graphic: East West Airlines travel advertisement. Especially in its early days, the airline depended heavily on tourist promotions to support its scheduled services with their sometimes low and variable traffic.

Last September I wrote an introductory post on Don Shand, the founder of East-West Airlines.

An interesting introductory history of the airline focused especially on the Hudson connection and written by Roger McDonald can be found on the adastron site. I quote from the introduction:

East-West Airlines Ltd., formed at Tamworth NSW in late 1946, commenced operations between Tamworth and Sydney on June 23, 1947.

The company had one of the longest and safest associations with civil Lockheed Hudson aircraft compared with any other operator of the type in Australia. The company went on to operate DC-3, Fokker F-27, F-28, BAe-146-300 and B727-200 aircraft on a route structure that at one time, crossed Australia from north to south and east to west.

In August 1982, control of the company passed from many small shareholders, the majority of whom were from the Tamworth region, to a new controlling shareholder. The company was subsequently re-sold twice before it was acquired in July 1987 by Ansett Transport Industries Ltd who maintained its identity with a vastly different route structure.

Following substantial losses, all services and aircraft were integrated into Ansett Airlines effective October 31, 1993 with the company officially ceasing to trade on December 31, 1993 although the company structure remains as a registered identity.

The East-West story is a fascinating one and deserves to be more widely remembered. So this is a note to myself to write more about it.