Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Has Maitland forgotten its past?

The Newcastle Herald reported on a push to increase train services between Maitland and Singleton. I must say that I thought that this was a very good idea for both places. However, enmeshed as I am at the moment in New England's history, it made me cast my mind back to the time when Maitland was the North's big town. Its newspaper, the Maitland Mercury, was founded in 1843 and is the the second oldest surviving newspaper in NSW.

I wonder how many Maitland people actually know about this part of their city's history? I ask this only because the Maitland tourism web site appears to have almost nothing on Maitland's history, although it does tell us that Maitland is a funky city!

Mind you, Maitland is not alone. Visiting Grafton a year back, I could find almost nothing on that city's history as a major river port. Why did I pick Grafton? Well, at one point in New England's history, Maitland in conjunction with nearby Morpeth and Grafton were rivals for the growing Northern trade. Newcastle's rise came later.  

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