Launching a new style of event with historical storytelling, music and performance in a hidden heritage courtyard bar (Since I Left You) at 338 Kent Street serving freshly shaken cocktails, local wines, craft beers and bar food.
Throughout 2021, on the third Tuesday of the month, join us to hear historical tales associated with the Kent Street storehouses and the Western Corridor of the CBD including the underbelly and alternative histories. Hear from architectural scholars, raconteurs and, during the winter months, see lost photographs from Sydney’s busiest trading spot in the 1880s projected onto the material fabric of the buildings.
Historical gastronomy will be featured on the menu along with musical interludes inspired by the era and the courtyard ambience.
NB: The History High Tales is held in an outdoor venue. Please come prepared with suitable warm and waterproof clothing if the forecast predicts unfavourable conditions as this is an all-weather experience.
Tale Six: Merchants, Wharves and Enterprise on the shores of Darling Harbour
Tuesday 16th October, 4:30pm
Join Dr Wayne Johnson, Senior Archaeologist in the heritage team at Place Management NSW and co-author of A History of Sydney's Darling Harbour to hear about street names Lime Street and Shelley Street that stand where the lime kilns once operated, and some very early buildings still show evidence of shell fragments between their bricks and stones. From the early 19th century merchants and shipbuilders transformed the eastern shore of Darling Harbour.
Our music comes courtesy of Anneli Elliott on fiddle and Harry O’Donovan on banjo and guitar.
Tale Seven: Vanishing Acts
Tuesday 16, November 4:30pm
Max Burns-McRuvie unravels the untold stories behind two mysterious men who made their mark on 19th Century Sydney before disappearing into thin air. George Edwards Peacock was a gentleman convict, prolific landscape painter and the first professional weatherman of NSW. Max delves into his strange life story to shed new light on his sudden vanishing act. The second act is of Hugh ‘Shepherd’ McGregor the first true discoverer of payable gold in Australia - a bizarre back-story adds to the well-known narrative to answer the question that many voices asked at the time: what ever happened to McGregor?
Enjoy stunning live music by Spanish Guitarist David Holberton. David will delight us with his authentic and artful representation of Spanish Flamenco music - think Gypsy – Rhythm – Dance and Mining History.
Tale Eight: Feast, Famine and Foraging in the Founding of the Sydney Settlement
Tuesday 14th December at 4:30pm
Join Dr Jacqui Newling, specialist in Australian food heritage, to hear about the First Fleet's food story - one of plenty and paucity, fate, famine and divine providence - a survival story following shipwreck, abandonment and betrayal. Drawing from the voices of convicts, marines and colonial officials in their letters, diaries and journals, this talk explores early colonial foodways in the founding years of the Sydney settlement. Discover how British colonists adapted their tastes and culinary practices to this unfamiliar environment, their responses to the government ration and native produce, and how they coped when their food systems failed them in the hungriest year in the colony.
Music - Roshani’s music defies pigeonholes, timelessly crossing genres. Using loop pedals to play guitar, harmonica, keys, percussion and a voice that gives you goosebumps, Roshani revs up the vibe in an explosive multi-instrumentalist sound that perfectly fills the venue.
Tale Nine: Minding Her Own Business: Sydney’s Early Entrepreneurs
Tuesday 18 January,4:30pm
And you thought 19th century Sydney was a man’s world, and a woman’s place was in the home? Think again. Just as they are today, women have always been in business. Sydney’s streets were awash with enterprising women - from demure dressmakers to bawdy brothelkeepers, with the odd ironmonger, plumber and confidence trickster thrown in. Award-winning historian Catherine Bishop explores the stories of these businesswomen – the sensible and successful as well as the bankrupts and bigamists.
Enjoy a program about women in music. The Emeralds one of Australia’s leading viol consorts play Elizabethan and contemporary music on a trio of violas da gamba. A highlight is Brooke Green’s The Spirit of Daphne which is a musical portrayal of Daphne’s psyche as she flees the unwelcome advances of Apollo by turning into a laurel tree. This will be performed by the brilliantly, passionate bass viol player Laura Vaughan.