Homes-with-History-FrontCover-19Feb2015-smallIF you’ve wondered about the history behind the houses as you’ve walked the streets of New Farm, Teneriffe or Newstead, you’re likely to enjoy the new book from the New Farm and Districts Historical Society, Homes with History – on the New Farm Peninsula.

To be launched on Saturday 28 February, the book focuses on 20 homes in New Farm and environs, and has been written by Gerard Benjamin, co-author of the popular Reflections on New Farm.

Many are aware that the New Farm locality was once a semi-rural retreat for a few well-heeled families on well-chosen sites. Gradually, the large estates gave way to gentlemen’s villas and workers’ cottages.

“Many of those original homes—whether modest or grand—have not survived, but luckily, an impressive variety of houses from earlier eras still remains,” said Gerard.

“This book pays less attention to architecture and more to people.” “In fact, it is really all about people—those who built the houses, the architects they employed, and the successive families who lived in them,” he said. Homes with History is likely to have appeal beyond the peninsula.

As two readers from Morningside explained, “If someone picked up the book who didn’t have an affinity with New Farm, they’d end up having a feeling for the place, and a good idea of how it developed. There’s lots of information, and there are many things we learnt.”


Roseville in Chester Street Teneriffe is one of the houses featured in “Homes with History”.

The 160-page softback book features colour images, and is available from the Historical Society (phone 0409 498 402), and from the Mary Ryan bookshop and New Farm Editions in Merthyr Village for $35. You may be interested in purchasing a numbered limited-edition hard cover version for just $59.50. Please contact the Historical Society for information about postage and handling costs.

IT SEEMS as if every day, delighted author Nanette Lilley, can report yet more accolades for her recently-published book, Welcome to Laurel Avenue, about Chelmer’s most famous street.

115 Laurel Ave 1Here’s a sample from ML which really says it all…

What a delight and triumph this book about my old street is! Congratulations! It is certainly amazing and brought back so many memories.

The old photos that JB gave you are terrific. She and I played together all the time when we were little. I knew her house nearly as well as I knew my own. Some nights I still dream I am back in our house or hers, and they are such happy dreams always.

It was also great to learn so much about our house and its previous owners. It will always be a part of me. The same with the camphor laurels in the street which we used to climb and play in so often.

Your book brought all that back to me. Thank you so much for making our street seem so important. I loved living there and now your book has made it so special. What an accomplishment!

Meanwhile, selected photos from the launch are here, courtesy of Brisbane News.

LaurelAve-Book-Launch-Nov2014-2AT a convivial and summery gathering at St Lucia Golf Club, on Sunday 9 November, more than 110 guests were welcomed by Nanette Lilley, and her family and staff, in order to mark the much-anticipated debut of Nanette’s book, Welcome to Laurel Avenue.

Current and former residents, one coming from Tasmania, relished the opportunity not only to renew acquaintances, but also to make new ones. As one attendee said, “We consider ourselves long residents of the area but soon realised how few people we actually knew…”

Another responded, “I loved meeting RT at the gathering, because I had not seen him since we played together as children in Rosebery Terrace, Chelmer.”

Doing the honours was noted Brisbane historian, author, and former alderman and MLA, Denver Beanland. Nanette responded by giving an account of how the book came to be, before presenting copies to several who had played key roles in the book’s production.

Finally, Nanette was presented with a striking arrangement of orchids set within a display of camphor laurel leaves.

Copies of Welcome to Laurel Avenue are available from the Nanette Lilley Property Centre, 291 Honour Avenue, Graceville, Queensland 4075 :: Phone: 07 3379 9322 :: Web: http://www.nanettelilley.com.au, as well as at selected retail outlets in Chelmer and Graceville.


WHILE Laurel Avenue is best known for its magnificent trees, grand homes and the abundance of space, the thoroughfare once voted ‘Brisbane’s best street’ (1999), will soon have another claim to fame: Nanette Lilley’s new book, Welcome to Laurel Avenue.

Chelmer-Graceville residents will know that Nanette Lilley is a by-word in real estate, since she has matched people to local houses for more than 30 years.

The seeds of this book were planted more than a decade ago. “The historic home known as The Laurels at No. 89 came on the market, so a booklet was prepared to do justice to its interesting history,” Nanette said.

“After the sale of the home, the obvious question arose, ‘Why not expand the booklet to take in the background of more of the avenue’s homes?’”

The result is an attractive and colourful publication which offers a compelling insight into the social history of selected homes in this notable street.

Word about the book has locals excited. “Some have already pre-ordered copies as Christmas gifts, and interest is strong among previous Laurel Avenue owners, as well as current residents,” said Nanette.

Gerard Benjamin assisted with the book’s editing, design and production. Welcome to Laurel Avenue will be available from 10 November 2014. More information and copies may be obtained from the Nanette Lilley Property Centre, 291 Honour Avenue, Graceville, Queensland 4075 :: Phone: 07 3379 9322 :: Web: http://www.nanettelilley.com.au.


Pictured at the launch of St Columba’s Centenary book were (from left) Fr Michael Grace (parish administrator), Josephine Nolan (book committee), Central Ward Councillor Vicki Howard, and Gerard Benjamin (book editor and designer).

AROUND 150 attended the book launch of A Community of Faith: 100 Years, on Sunday 30 March, as part of the marking of the centenary of St. Columba’s Catholic Parish at Wilston in Brisbane.

The celebration also included the farewell to parish priest Bishop Joseph Oudeman, and the blessing and opening of St Columba’s Centenary Piazza by the previous parish priest, Fr Jan Bialasiewicz.

The current Administrator, Fr Michael Grace, performed the honours for the book, which had been planned and written by a small committee, which first contemplated the daunting task in June 2012.

St.Columba's-Front Cover-smallThe book chronicles the parish’s growth through eleven parish priests, numerous associate pastors, several schools and a great variety of community activities.

Gerard typeset and designed the 184-page book, and also provided editorial assistance. The book is well-illustrated and includes appendices and an index.

The cost is $25, and copies may be ordered from the Wilston Parish Office on 3352 1730 or email: scwilston@bne.catholic.net.au.

A Community of Faith: 100 Years is likely to be an indispensable reference for a century to come…

This was our first look at the manuscript found with a kinsman in Melbourne in November 2006.

This was our first look at the manuscript which was in the safe keeping of Richard Wood in Melbourne in November 2006.

J.K. ROWLING apparently suffered 12 rejection slips before her first Harry Potter book was accepted by a publisher. John Clavering Wood’s manuscript received at least one, according to the following email received earlier in 2013:

Gidday, I have just came across the review on the net of Tom Hurstbourne. In the early 50s when my father was packing up to move from Yarranung to Sydney, he came across an old handwritten manuscript called A Squatters Life or Tom Hurstbourne (can’t remember the spelling) by John Clavering Wood.

I asked about him as I had not much info on the family’s background. He just said Clavering Wood was the black sheep of the family and that I wouldn’t be interested. I remember something about him being found floating in the Thames upside down. Anyway sometime about 1951-53, I took the script all in its original binding into Angus and Robertson [book publishers]. They said to leave it and it would go to the readers for review.

Some good time later I received a letter saying that it was no good; it had no literary merit and would I pick it up. About a month later I went to claim it and they couldn’t find it. That was the last I thought of it until I saw the website a few minutes ago. Where would I get a copy? Regards, Phillip Wood, (born 1934).

The writer is the grandson of the novelist’s younger brother Peter Horsman Wood of Yarranung at Bega [and sister of Edith mentioned below]. His comments that JC Wood was the ‘black sheep’ of the family and was found in the Thames are intriguing — and more research is clearly needed to explain these two assertions. Meanwhile, Richard Wood (a descendant of JC Wood’s youngest brother, William Rigby Wood) very kindly supplied the follow explanation about how the manuscript came into his hands:

Dad (also named JCW) and Mum visited Australia sometime in the 1970s and my ex-wife and I took them up to Gosford, NSW to see Edith Wood, a granddaughter of the novelist’s other brother, Peter Horsman Wood of Bega. While there Dad and Edith began discussing the Wood family, in particular the two brothers who had come to Australia. At the time, it never dawned on me to take notes, so as a result a lot of information was not recorded.

It was on this visit that Edith showed Dad the manuscript which was assumed to be a record of the trip out to Australia from England. Edith gave the manuscript to Dad to keep and to pass on when he saw fit. On returning to our home, Dad said that I could keep the book – and the rest is history.

I believe Edith had two brothers, one of whom was named Phillip (I think). The other I can’t recall. I remember being told that one of the brothers was a pilot.

If these recollections are correct then it was possible Edith went to Sydney/Gosford with her father [Edward “Ned” Lancelot Horsman Wood] when the family left Bega. This may explain how she came to be given the manuscript. 

In autumn 2012, the walled garden was only being marked out...

In autumn 2012, Marche Manor’s walled garden was only being marked out…

SINCE my 2012 visit to the old Marche Estate in Shropshire, a new – but old – innovation has taken shape.

Marche Manor now has a new walled garden. The owners of Marche Manor explained that the project would have been completed sooner but for bad weather and frosts into the late spring which held up the bricklaying using lime mortar.
“It may look a little stark at the moment but once it is covered in vegetation, fruits and flowers, it will surely become more mellow,” said Carmel.
Looking NE towards the new walled garden, equipped with raised beds, greenhouse and plenty of wall space for espaliered fruit, the 2014 photo should be a wonder to behold...

Looking NE towards the new walled garden, equipped with raised beds, greenhouse and plenty of wall space for espaliered fruit. The 2014 photo should be a wonder to behold…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.