Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Introducing the Vincent printers

I had been planning to bring up A Belshaw World column today, but the research goes on.

Between 1839 and 1923, the Vincents established eighteen newspapers – one each in England, New Zealand and the Blue Mountains, a further fifteen in twelve New England towns. For almost 150 years from 1828, four generations of the Vincent family were involved with every aspect of the evolving newspaper business. In all, it’s a remarkable record.

The following photo shows Frank Walter Vincent Senior on the left, his wife Armidale girl Sarah Jane nee Rampling nursing the child. They met while Frank and brother Henry were helping Frank Newton establish the Armidale Telegraph. Brother Henry met his wife at the same time, another Armidale girl, Sarah Shiels. Further comments follow the photo.IMG_0002

On 15 April 1876, the two brothers established the Uralla & Walcha Times (later just Uralla Times), with Frank as editor. He and then son Barnes were editors for all but six years of its life, from foundation until the paper's sale to the Armidale Newspaper Company Ltd at the close of 1946. In the gap, the paper was edited by another Vincent. 

Barnes then retired as editor. However, after a four year break returned as editor and remained so until the beginning of 1962. In the end, the Vincents as a family edited this paper for eighty one years. I will tell their fuller story in my column.        

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Gibraltar Range National Park

The Gibraltar Range and Gibraltar Range National Park lie on the eastern edge of the New England Tablelands between Glen Innes (79k) and Grafton (104k).

This photo from Mark's Clarence Valley Today photo blog shows the view from the Heffron lookout.

This area was always sparsely populated, although there was considerable mining interest, especially gold and tin along the Mann River.

From the 1920s onwards, William Mulligan, grazier and mining engineer, promoted building a hydroelectric scheme using water from both branches of Dandahra Creek. He wanted to rework foothill copper deposits. Falling post-war copper prices and changing government policies were to prevent construction of his private power station.

I found the story of William Mulligan interesting because it is another example of the early interest in hydro electricity that forms a small subset of New England history. Today you can see the remains of his endeavours preserved within the Parl.