Home' Hunter Its People : Hunter Our Backyard June 2011 Contents 50
over 100 years, providing a thread
reaching into our rich past to help us
remember our heritage, while new
arrivals ensure we are not losing
sight of our future.
''A charming feature of life is that
a simple walk down the main street
to do errands that should take 10
minutes can take much longer when
you find yourself meeting neighbours,
friends, visitors and business owners
who still find the time to greet each
other and chat about the big and
small news of the day. This really
is the heart and soul of the area, a
place where there is still time to be
The Muswellbrook Shire covers
3402 square kilometres and, like its
near neighbour, industries include agriculture, viticulture, equine industry, power generation
and coal mining, and with the exception of agriculture, these are all experiencing growth. The
area is one of the state's most historic places with many stunning heritage buildings.
Muswellbrook was declared a township in 1833 and the shire boundaries were officially
defined in 1907. In 1979 the Shire of Denman and the Municipality of Muswellbrook
amalgamated to form present-day Muswellbrook Shire.
The area's agricultural show is held in April and the Spring Wine Festival in October. The
popular Muswellbrook Cup, a feature on the Hunter's racing calendar, is on Melbourne Cup Day.
The area has an arts centre, libraries and many sporting and social facilities, halls and playing
fields, any number of scenic drives and wonderful, grand old pubs.
Muswellbrook Branch CWA secretary and hand-craft officer, Marion Philpott, also a life
member of the local Meals on Wheels, says she and her husband love the peaceful rural
''It is a place where people look out for each other and everyone is friendly,'' she says. The
grandmother of 11 says the area has the ''best of all worlds'' with shopping centres close by and
plenty of local groups.
''It is centrally located and not too far from major places such as Newcastle and Tamworth,''
she adds. ''There is plenty to do whether its sport or community groups. It is a nice place for
young people to grow up.''
meaning ''place of
many grass seeds''.
A native word
Named after the
Stone of Scone in
Aboriginal word meaning
deserted camp, a dead fire.
After Judge Denman,
Australia's fifth Governor
Named by 1829 settler
William Warland after his
birthplace in England.
top, coal and power
are major resources,
sheep are still an
in the Upper Hunter
while horses are the
stars at studs such
1In popular culture Muswellbrook is
mentioned in the Steely Dan song Black
Friday from the 1975 album Katy Lied. It is
mentioned in Thomas Keneally's book The
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and in the 1980
Australian film Fatty Finn, where a character
remarks, ''Things are crook, in Muswellbrook''.
2The small town of Gundy was a location for
the Australian films Smiley (1956) and its
sequel Smiley Gets A Gun, and The Shiralee
(1957), which starred Academy Award-winner
Peter Finch, the first of only two actors to win
a postumous award, the other, sadly, another
Australian in Heath Ledger.
3A total of 43 per cent of the Muswellbrook
area is national park.
4St Alban's Church of England in
Muswellbrook was built from 1864 to 1869
to the design of English architect Sir George
Gilbert Scott, the only known church of his
design in Australia.
5Aboriginal bushranger Jimmy Governor
worked as a police tracker at Cassilis,
living behind the police station, before going
to Breelong where he started a three-month
rampage murdering nine or 10 people (figures
vary). His story is the basis of the novel The
Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith.
6Croft's pies, from a bakery in the main
street of Aberdeen, are so popular there
is a facebook group -- I love Croft's pies from
Aberdeen -- for people who need to communicate
their love. The Croft family has run the bakery
for 30 years and people come from all over to
taste their wares, some stopping at the shop
after hearing about them overseas. The Crofts
don't enter pie competitions, their fame is all
word of mouth.
Discover what's in your backyard!
There is so much to do at The Hunter Wetlands Centre
• Reptile Encounters
• Segway Tours
• Bush Tucker Garden
• Canoe Hire and Tours
• School Holiday Program & Theatre
• Corporate Learning & Team Building
• Cafe Nourish and more!
O the roundabout, Sandgate Rd, Shortland
Ph: 4951 6466
www.wetlands.org.au • Open 7 Days
Unit 1 / 311 HILLSBOROUGH ROAD, WARNERS BAY
AT WARNERS BAY
Phone 4953 7611 ■ Fax 4954 8038
While Stocks Last
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