Macclesfield Events - contemporary history
Also see Community Events - Past
Paddy's Irish Bush Dance 2023 and PHOTOS from the event.
Woven Together, connecting through story and song
STRAWBERRY FETES: 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019
Epic Flight Centenary 2019 - Smith brothers' flight from England to Australia + TIME CAPSULE
Great Heritage Family Bake-Off 2019: Children + parent/grandparent bake a heritage recipe
Museum of Hats - 2018: An interactive display of old hats in the Anglican Hall
Bustles & Bows: A Historical Fashion Parade, with report and pics here.
Venables Street Historical Walk, part of ‘Banjo Paterson's Birthday’ with the Maccy Shy Poets
Pink Stumps Day, raising funds for the McGrath Foundation
Report: Good & Useful Work – SA Red Cross
Book Launch Report: "At Work - Macclesfield Cheese Factory, 1937-1975", 2017
History Group reports to the Macclesfield Community Association AGM
Sculptors @ Crystal Lake 2017: Invitation
Once Upon A Time - History SA Event 2016, A HistorySA Travelling Exhibition
St John’s Anglican Church & Cemetery Working Bees
Opening of the Crystal Lake Park sculptures, Tuesday 5 April, 2016
175th Event: 2015 Strawberry Fete display
Putting the Pieces Together - a Mosaic Exhibition
Year 2/3/4 Primary School visit August 2015: Yesteryear Dolls and Toys
Poets in the Pub: our major 2015 event in History SA's "History month", May, 2015
150th Jubilee display in the Macclesfield Institute foyer
To buy tickets, scan the QR code on the poster image OR call 0434 645 878.
Saturday 13th May, 7:30 - 10:30pm, The Institute, 33 Venables Street, Macclesfield.
Featuring the Wild Matildas Bush Band. Visit their website here.
Tickets: Adults $15, 12-18 years $10, children under 12 free.
Photos from the Irish Bush Dance - mainly by Suzanne Opitz
In conjunction with the Strawberry Fete the Macclesfield History Group conducted an Exhibition across the road from the fete in the Anglican Church Hall, Venables Street, Macclesfield - the Epic Flight Centenary. Free Entry, it took place on both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, Nov 2019.
There was plenty for history enthusiasts at the display together with the fascinating story of the opening of an 1880 Time Capsule which engaged visitors and locals alike. Once again, the Anglican Church Hall proved to be a great venue close to the Strawberry Fete activities across the road on Davenport Square. Our exhibition was well attended and comments in the Visitors Book included "excellent display", "loved the time capsule" and "fabulous info & great volunteers". The History Group could not ask for more!
We hosted the EPIC FLIGHT exhibition to celebrate the extraordinary 1919 flight from England to Australia by South Australian brothers Ross and Keith Smith, backed by mechanics Wally Shiers (SA) and Jim Bennett (Vic). This exhibition was one of the excellent travelling displays available on loan from the History Trust of SA. A big thanks to Kerry Pinchbeck for her great advertising sign.
"The year was 1919 and the war was finally over. Prime Minister Billy Hughes offered £10,000 for the first Australian airmen to fly home from England in 30 days. Six crews took up the challenge to fly from England to Australia within a period of 30 consecutive days, to arrive before midnight on 31 December 1920. The flight distance was estimated at 18,000km. The planes were rudimentary, made chiefly of wood and fabric with open cockpits and only a compass for navigation. Only one crew made it home inside the 30 days. It was South Australian brothers Ross and Keith Smith, backed by mechanics Wally Shiers (SA) and Jim Bennett (Vic) in their magnificent Vickers Vimy biplane, (now on show in the 1950’s hangar at the Adelaide airport)." (Still there in November 2019, but there are rumours that it may be moved interstate).
Display from State History
Outside advertising board
Also, on show were the contents of a time capsule deposited in the cavity under the foundation stone of the Macclesfield Institute in 1880. The stone was a block of freestone with an inlaid marble panel, a gift from Mr. Hugh Fraser, M.P. This stone was laid by Mr. A.H. Landseer M.P, Senior Member for the electoral District of Mt. Barker on the 16th Dec. 1880.
1880 "South Australian Register" announcement of the Macclesfield Institute Foundation Stone laying. The time capsule was placed directly underneath the foundation stone.
A descriptive report from The Southern Argus on 23 Dec 1880 includes "The Secretary, Mr. H.F. Marker, then read the following document [proclamation], which, with copies of the Register, Advertiser, Southern Argus and Mount Barker Courier and the current coins of the realm, was deposited in the cavity under the stone."
See the Long and Interesting history of the Macclesfield Institute, Paragraph 6 for the proclamation and further detailed information about the burying of the time capsule.
The OPENING of this historically significant time capsule occurred 120 years later and is thought to be the oldest time capsule opened in the Southern hemisphere.
The Southern Argus on 11th May 2000 reports, "Several hundred people gathered to witness the retrieval of the 120-year old capsule. Local stone mason Arend Vink chipped away the mortar holding the very heavy foundation stone in place before lifting it out with Mayor Bernie Eglinton onto a waiting stand. Arend then chipped away further to reveal the capsule, a large bottle buried beneath the stone.
The bottle had been corked and sealed with wax and the seal stamped with the Macclesfield post mark. The bottle was broken during the process of removal and revealed the four newspapers along with coins of the day, a farthing, half penny, penny, threepence, fourpence and a sixpence. The papers were all in good condition, even if a little damp and just slightly tattered at the edges. Also included in the bottle was a hand written copy of the Proclamation’ [as read by Mr. Marker in 1880 at the laying of the foundation stone ceremony]. These significant artifacts form part of the Macclesfield History Collection and can be viewed in the display cabinet at the Institute.
Links with the past by means of a time capsule continues. In 2002 the Macclesfield Community Association replaced the foundation stone and time capsule at the Institute, but that is another story!
Arend Vink removing the 1880 time capsule in May 2000 - chipping away at the mortar surrounding the foundation stone.
Mr Alexander Downer (then Federal Minister for Mayo) retrieves the time capsule
The crowd gathers for this historic event.
Singers - The Macclesfield School Choir in 2000
Foundation stone Jan 2020
Our 1880 time capsule display in the Anglican Hall
Sunday 24th, Nov 2019, Arend Vink at the exhibition, with Jan Lewis, Betty White and Lesley Schack.
See the report of the day on the MAIN BAKE-OFF PAGE
Saturday 4th May 2019, 12 – 4 pm at The Institute, Macclesfield
Share the joy of cooking and tasting heritage recipes. Children are invited to team with a parent or grandparent to bake a cake, slice, biscuits or pastries, or make preserves.
Co-Organisers: Macclesfield History Group and heritage cookbooks author LIZ HARFULL.
• Use a favourite family recipe, or one from the our website MAIN BAKE-OFF PAGE.
• Separate classes for 5-10 and 11-15 yrs.
• Country show competition rules apply. Prizes to be won. $1 per entry.
Go to the MAIN BAKE-OFF PAGE to enter.
Watch the judging and sample the entries at Afternoon Tea ($5, but competitors Free).
Our HistorySA month event:
Go to the MAIN BAKE-OFF PAGE.
Saturday-Sunday 24-25th, Nov 2018, 10am-4pm, Anglican Church Hall in Venables Street
Rodney Foster, Lesley Schack, and Daryl Stevenson of
the Macclesfield History Group. Thanks Kerry Pinchbeck
for an eye-catching sign.
The pop-up Museum of Hats was a great success. The chance to see an amazing collection of hats enticed many visitors to the Anglican Church Hall on Sunday 25th November.
The collection comprised numerous ‘hats with stories’, many on loan from local people, including a soft pink flowered hat worn as part of a going-away outfit in 1965 and a brass fireman’s helmet.
There were military hats from the RSL, authentic replica hats made by Jessie Ratledge from the Hills Victorian Ladies and hats to try on from the Stirling Community Theatre costume hire.
Also on loan was a Sinamay hat made by Mayor Anne Ferguson when she was a millinery student at Marlston TAFE in 2005. She said ‘The Sinamay crown and brim was blocked and constructed. A pill box of frangipani flowers was deconstructed and the crown was embellished, recycling the old into something new. Steaming the silk flowers gave them new life’.
With the help of Google, I discovered that Sinamay is one of the most popular hat-making foundations in the world. It is woven from the processed stalks of the abaca tree, a banana palm native to the Philippines. Abaca fibre is three times stronger than cotton or silk, and a fabric made from 100% abaca can last for over 100 years. www.torbandreiner.com/MillineryMaterials/sinamay
Mayor Anne Ferguson with a sinimay hat she made in 2007 as a millinery student at TAFE
See the Old Hats page for many preserved photos that were used in advertising the event, and photos that were taken on the day.
‘Bustles & Bows’ Report is here
Saturday 26th May 2018 from 2 - 4pm.
Buy your tickets
- Macclesfield Post Office
- from our online store (see the 'Shop now' link above-right) with PayPal or a credit card
- send a cheque to The History Group, c/- PO Box 549, Macclesfield, SA, 5153 (include a stamped and addressed envelope for return mail)
- call Lesley on 0434 645 878.
A Historical Fashion Parade at the Macclesfield Institute, for the SA History Month.
Presented by the ‘Hills Victorian Ladies‘, with a musical interlude by ‘Simply Women’.
Afternoon tea is included. Tickets are $15. Hosted by the Macclesfield History Group & the ‘Maccy Young at Heart Club‘ (for social activities and exercise classes ring 0407 710 543).
This event is our HistorySA Month offer in May 2018. Below are the Hills Victorian Ladies wearing some of the beautiful gowns made by Jessie Ratledge. This amazing collection of authentic replicas of 19th and early 20th century costumes includes dresses, millinery and jewellery. The models also wear authentic underwear ie. petticoats, chemises, drawers, corsets, stockings and garters.
The Macclesfield History Group and Young at Heart are hosting this stylish tribute to the fashionable British and European women who arrived in the colony of South Australia during the early years of settlement, from 1836 to the early 1900’s.
What did they bring to the new colony?
Naturally, they packed their best dresses, corsets, numerous cotton and flannel petticoats, chemises, drawers, stockings and garters, caps, trimmed bonnets, fur-lined cloaks, lace shawls, dainty parasols, buttoned boots and shoes, all very fashionable at home in England or France.
Such garments were not really suitable for either pioneering life or the hot dry summers experienced in South Australia. Nonetheless, fashion being an important link with home and social conventions, they continued to outfit themselves and their children in a style more appropriate to a cool, damp climate, no matter the discomfort they may have felt in their tightly laced corsets and long skirts on a 40 degree day in Macclesfield, SA.
Indeed, this may be partly the reason that women are seldom seen in old photographs among groups of men at important events. They may have simply preferred to follow convention and stay at home, care for their children, discard some petticoats and loosen their corsets.
Hills Victorian Ladies
The Hills Victorian Ladies are based in Mount Barker and enjoy presenting fashion parades showcasing the amazing collection of gowns made by Jessie Ratledge. These are authentic replicas of 19th and early 20th century costumes including dresses, millinery and jewellery. The models also wear authentic undergarments. Jessie says, “they are as authentic as I can make them and are all made with natural materials Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton”.
‘Banjo Paterson's Birthday’ is on Saturday 17th Feb 2018 from 2pm with The Maccy Shy Poets and SA Bush Poets at the Macclesfeld RSL Sub-branch in Venables Street.
Entry $5, free Under 12's. Enquiries 0411 480 935 and https://facebook.com/MaccyShyPoets.
See us at our Macclesfield History Group table with our publications for sale, and take part in our ‘Venables Street Historical Walk' led by Jan LEWIS.
Report, Banjo Patterson's Poets: The weather was a wonderful 25 degrees with occasional wind gusts. About 50 people enjoyed three hours of poetry, much of it inspired by Banjo Patterson. Ranging from the humorous to thought-provoking images of the Australian Outback, the audience was treated to entertaining poetry, many fortified by refreshments from the RSL bar.
The audience under the Old Oak Tree.
Brian Lewis, Jill Wherrey and Jim Smith
Report, History Walk: After the poets spoke Jan led two groups of interested people down Venables Street, and a short 100m off the street up to St James the Less Catholic Church, for about 90 minutes. Though Lesley and Betty had prepared some information about the town and its buildings, Jan had obviously gained a deep understanding herself after living in Venables Street for many years.
(Jan's partner Brian LEWIS, one of the Maccy Shy Poets, has written 'A Short History of Marker’s Barn'. More information can be found at his website here.
Jan Lewis leads the first of two walks down Venables Street
Inside St James the Less Catholic Church, just off Venables Street. Betty White, long term parishioner and seated facing Jan Lewis, also spoke about the church's history and her early school years in the building.
Justin and Denis prepare for a hard slog.
Pink Stumps Day on Davenport Square
Pink Stumps Day just isn't complete without
Thanks to History SA and their large informative banners that were on display at the recently held Red Cross Exhibition on Strawberry Fete Day, Sunday 26th November, 2017; we have gained an appreciation of the Good & Useful Work that the Australian Red Cross has contributed to the wider community in the past and continues to do so, providing relief in times of crisis and care when it’s needed most. To learn more about this great humanitarian organisation go to - redcross.org.au
The History Group would like to thank the families who contributed Red Cross badges and extra items for display and the RSL for the loan of a mannequin dressed as a Military Nurse from World War I, plus other memorabilia from their collection.
We hope that those who visited the exhibition left with a greater understanding of the role of Red Cross in our community.
Merle FRY, Jessie CALABY, Vi FRY (ROSS) at the side of the Post Office selling buttons for the War Effort c1914
"At Work - Macclesfield Cheese Factory, 1937-1975"
Macclesfield Institute Hall, Sat 27th May, 2017, 2-5 pm
Afternoon Tea: small charge
Macclesfield History Group
A cheerful crowd of around 150 people including former cheese factory workers, milk truck drivers, dairy farmers and others with an interest in the significant old Macclesfield Cheese Factory gathered in the Institute Hall in Macclesfield on Saturday 27th May to help launch the local history group’s newly released book: "At Work – The Macclesfield Cheese Factory 1937-1975". It was a great opportunity for many to catch up with friends and old work-mates whom they had not seen for a long time.
Jim SMITH, of the Maccy Shy Poets, acting as Master of Ceremonies.
Lesley SCHACK, the author of "At Work - Macclesfield Cheese Factory, 1937-1975"
Ray HONEYCHURCH, 95 years old, Secretary of the factory for 46 years, and
Jim SMITH of the Maccy Shy Poets acting as MC
Read the speech on the Cheese Factory page here by Ray HONEYCHURCH, Secretary of the factory for 46 years, who was 95 years old when he spoke, very well, at the book launch.
Pauline COCKRILL of HistorySA, and
Harry SEAGER, Deputy Major of the Mount Barker Council, launched the book and cut the wheel of cheese
Bernie O'NEIL, Ray HONEYCHURCH, Lesley SCHACK, and Jim SMITH
Some of the many prizes awarded to the Macclesfield Cheese Factory
Sandra and Lindsay, the present owners, are renovating the old Cheese Factory and hope to turn it into a centre that can support a mix of businesses or light industry. Their ultimate goal is to create work in Macclesfield for the local kids.
Restoring the building is likely to take them some time, perhaps another 12 to 24 months. At this stage, every window has been replaced, the large tank has been cleaned and loads of old bricks and concrete removed, but there is still a massive amount of work to do.
People who visited the site following the book launch on Saturday said that they were pleased to see that at last something was being done to improve the old factory site.
Visit their Cheese Factory Facebook page here to see how the renovations are coming along.
Cake of cheese, donated by B.-d. Farm Paris Creek Pty Ltd. Visit here.
Carol PREY, to the right, decorated the cheese, prepared the platters (one shown above), and provided sustenance to those present.
History of the book
At the time when the Oral History Project was completed, it was suggested that a book should be written, being a more permanent record of the cheese factory and the central role it held in Macclesfield. It seemed like a good idea but of course nothing is as easy as it sounds! However it progressed slowly and late last year, I felt it was ready for some professional attention.
While it was a bit daunting handing over my manuscript to Bernie, he has proven to be thoughtful, thorough, and understands the need for a record of this unique period in the history of Macclesfield. Thanks for all your help and support during this project, especially with compiling the long lists of employees and contractors.
PS. Recently the new owners of the factory started restoration work on the building. To read more go to: https://www.facebook.com/maccycheesefactory/
Lesley SCHACK, Macclesfield History Group
The Sculptors @ Crystal Lake Symposium will be held 1-9 April 2017, from 10 am to 4 pm at Crystal Lake Park, Devereaux Street, Macclesfield.
Eight sculptors will be working over 9 days to create sculptures from up to 4 tonnes of marble and granite.
Saturday 1 April the symposium will be opened by Mayor Ann FERGUSON and Ulrike KLEIN at 1pm.
Saturday 8 April there will be Melba's Chocolate and Udder Delight's Cheese carving and a children's creative program 10 - 4pm.
Entry gold coin donation.
Refer to website www.crystallakepark.com.au and on Facebook.
A HistorySA Travelling Exhibition
To be held at: The Anglican Hall, Venables Street, Macclesfield SA, in November 2016
Dates & Times: Nov 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 1-4pm
and at the Strawberry Fete Sunday Nov 27, 10-4pm.
Visit the HistorySA website here.
Go to our page devoted to this here. See old photos, displaying interesting settings and attire, of present or past locals when they were young.
COME AND HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Working Bee at the Anglican Cemetery 28 May 2016
Thanks to the enthusiastic group of volunteers who lent a hand at the recent working bee, including Fran, Angela, Kate, Karin, Margaret, Rod, Daryl, Betty, Brenton, John and Lesley,
Our aim was to clean up the site, rake leaves, remove small saplings and piles of fallen branches and, in particular, remove a large bush growing from a bricked family plot (where Rodney is standing). This was accomplished with some effort and lots of friendly banter. Well done everyone.
The work is on-going and in time our plans are to repair or replace the fence and pathways, add signage to this historical cemetery, and the names where known on the individual graves.
A special thanks to Steve Gardner who later mulched and removed a large pile of branches and leaves from the roadside.
Rodney, Brenton and John at the Working Bee
This photo taken in the 1970s shows part of the cemetery adjacent to the first Anglican Church opened in 1857. Many of the early pioneers of Macclesfield and their
descendants are buried here. The congregation moved to the new Anglican Church in Venables Street in 1926 and gradually the old church fell into disrepair and neglect and was eventually demolished. Over the years various local families have endeavoured to maintain the cemetery grounds.
In 2001 a History Club worked to restore the Anglican Cemetery, and as part of this work they tried to identify and mark the location of as many graves as possible. At the time many of the graves had no headstone or marker and some of the old headstones were unreadable. They searched through old records, some were incomplete or missing and contacted old Macclesfield families who may have had relatives buried there.
With the help of Betty White, Ray Risely, Sue Sautter from the Mt Barker Library and Annette Schirmer (Curator of St John’s Anglican Cemetery), Shirley Risely compiled an excellent resource book of the Burial Records of St John’s Anglican Church Cemetery.
Now 15 years later, this MCA History Group has started to digitally archive the large Macclesfield history collection including these burial records, into their MOSAIC database. Anyone interested in gaining new skills or learning more about our local history including the cemetery is welcome to join us Wednesday afternoons from 1pm at the Institute Hall.
Contact: Betty White 8388 9203 or Lesley Schack 8388 9827 www.macclesfieldhistory.com.au
The Macclesfield Community Association
invite you to the opening
by internationally renowned sculptor, Yoshin Ogata
of the Crystal Lake Park sculptures
Tuesday 5 April 2016, 4.30 – 5.30 pm.
Drinks and nibbles available.
Please RSVP to Anne Welsh
or phone 08 8388 9295
We will celebrate the installation of the sculptures and thank all the volunteers, sponsors and donors who helped make the Sculptors @ Crystal Lake such a successful event.
We hope you can attend. Visit the website: Sculptors @ Crystal Lake
Secretary,Crystal Lake Sub committee Macclesfield Community Association.
The 2015 Strawberry Fete became part of the 175th celebrations of Macclesfield. We, the Macclesfield History Group, set up our display in the hall of the Anglican Church, which is situated directly across the road from Davenport Square, the site of the Strawberry Fete.
We had a number of visitors, including old inhabitants of Macclesfield, to see our displays and slideshow.
Our Macclesfield History Group display in the Anglican Hall, just across from Davenport Square.
On August 27 2015 a class of enthusiastic Year 2/3/4 children from the Macclesfield Primary School came for their 2nd term visit to the History Group at The Institute building. They were accompanied by teacher Mrs Natalie Jones and SSO Ms Fiona Matthews.
The focus of their visit this time was to discover how children in the past amused themselves - what toys they played with and what sort of games they played. Mrs Betty White, a senior member of the History Group, brought along a collection of her own old toys to show the visitors, including several dolls, cups and saucers, picture books and a skipping rope and also toys that her children played with, including toy cars, mechanical moving figures and a range of toy guns.
It was fascinating to see that some things don’t change much; the boys made a beeline for the old cars and toy guns and the girls seemed to prefer the dolls. The students seemed interested to hear that Mrs White, like most of her young friends in the 1930’s, didn’t have many toys and most of the ones they did have were pre-loved and often hand made.
We look forward to seeing Mrs Jones and her class next term.
Held May 9, 2015, 12 - 3pm, Three Brothers Arms Hotel, Venables Street - completed
Our "Poets in the Pub" event was a great success. Fifty people enjoyed an afternoon of music and poetry at the local historic Three Brothers Arms.
Read the report, including music and poetry sound clips.
Sculptors @ Crystal Lake is a major event of the Macclesfield Community Association.
Watch twelve sculptors as they create pieces using local marble.
Daily from 11th April to the 19th April, from 10am till 4pm.
Crystal Lake Park Devereaux Road Macclesfield, SA
Visit the website here.
Lesley has prepared a 150th Jubilee display that you can view in the Institute Building foyer.
It concerns the 1990 Macclesfield celebration of the town's 150th Birthday, on Sunday 18th November, with a Picnic Day in Davenport Square. This event followed the Strawberry Fete that had been held on the previous day.
Twenty five years later we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the settlement of Macclesfield!