History High Tales
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.
History High Tales: Merchants, Wharves and Enterprise on the shores of Darling Harbour
16 October 2021, 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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.
History High Tales: Vanishing Acts
16 November 2021, 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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.
Walk: Hidden Secrets of Marrickville
12 Jun 2021, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
This walk explores several eras of Marrickville history from the 1922 town hall in Marrickville Road, through to the original 1878 town hall in Illawarra Road. It will wind through streets with their own often overlooked histories and hidden secrets. It is a fascinating fusion of over 3 centuries - 19th, 20th, 21st.
The walk is led by Chrys Meader who is a founding and life member of the Marrickville Heritage Society and has been a Marrickville local all her life.
The walk will start from a local cafe where you can enjoy a drink paid for by the HHA.
Walk: Yaralla – An Edwardian Estate and Parklands
31 October 2021, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Visit Yaralla (the Dame Eadith Walker Estate) one of the last of the large nineteenth century estates in metropolitan Sydney. Hear about the history of the Italianate style Yaralla Mansion designed for the Walker family by Edmund Blackett in the 1860s with later additions added by John Sulman in the 1890s. Enjoy a guided tour of the Yaralla grounds and outbuildings including the squash courts, stables, parkland gardens along with a display of archival photographs.
NB. The meeting point for this walk is a café in Concord West (approx 20 min walk from Yaralla). Further details provided on booking.
*Rescheduled event at 2020 prices!*
History High Tales: Feast, Famine and Foraging
14 December 2021, 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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. 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. 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.
Tour & Dine: Daceyville — Best Kept Secrets
COMING SOON, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
One of Sydney’s best kept secrets, Daceyville is NSW’s first, and arguably best, public housing experiments. It is our first government-planned garden suburb, first stirrings of the Californian bungalow, and even our first planned cul-de-sac. Regenerated in the 1980s, it is a tiny suburb no-one wants to leave. Join Graham Spindler to explore this often overlooked suburb and hear about the changing attitudes to town planning, public housing and heritage.
Round off your tour with lunch at a local eatery and talk more with your guide and fellow attendees about these fascinating firsts.
Study: Stucco, Stone and Shingles - The Architecture of B J Waterhouse
23 October 2021, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Regarded as one of the most outstanding residential architects working in Sydney in the early 20th century, Bertrand James Waterhouse (1876-1965) was initially influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement and later the textures and stucco walls of the Mediterranean.
In this in-depth examination of Waterhouse's architectural career, led by Dr Ian Hoskins, we begin with a talk and morning tea at 'Nutcote' followed by a walking tour taking in examples of Waterhouse's work in the locale.
History High Tales: Minding Her Own Business
18 January 2022, 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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. The Emeralds, one of Australia’s leading viol consorts, bring us 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
Pre-Sale tickets: a limited number of pre-sale tickets may be released for certain events. The final allocation will be released to coincide with the publication of the quarterly newsletter.
Tickets are not refundable. You have the right to a refund if the event to which you purchased a ticket is cancelled, rescheduled (and you cannot attend the rescheduled event) or significantly relocated. We are unable to offer refunds under any other circumstances including changing your mind, sickness or holidays.
Tickets are transferable. Please advise the office if you wish for someone else to attend using your ticket. Tickets are not transferable between events.
Temporarily Postponed Events
Open House: Art Deco Inspired - Elizabeth Bay
Dr Peter Sheridan AM and Jan Hatch are long term collectors of Art Deco inspired furniture, sculpture, ceramics and glass. Join them in their Elizabeth Bay home to hear how a unique and extensive private collection developed over time. View the furniture of Maurice Adams, Dominique, Eames, Wegner, Epstein, Hille and Halalballa. Enjoy designs by Lalique, Brandt, and Schneider along with artwork by Margaret Preston, Rover Thomas, Cressida Campbell and others. Bakelite and Catalin radios from the 1930s and 1940s will also be on display.
Day Tour: All Aboard! The Dome and the Double Decker
Our tour starts at the site of the original Sydney Markets – now the Queen Victoria Building. Step aboard a double decker heritage bus for a bus ride to the 100-year-old Leichhardt Tramshed and explore the extensive collection of bus and transport memorabilia. We return to the QVB for a grand tour of this Victorian-Federation era wonder, saved from becoming a car park by public outcry. Learn about the history of the building from design and conception and the changes along the way including the Art Deco 'remodelling' that occurred during the 1930s. From the ground floor to level 2 we will climb up the spiral staircase for an HHA exclusive viewing of the majestic stained-glass inner and copper-sheath of the central dome.
Day Tour: Adaptive Re-use - Urban Sanctuary, Parklands and Monuments
Starting out at the Grounds of Alexandria, a former warehouse transformed into a successful restaurant and event space, we walk across Sydney Park to hear about its built heritage and recent post industrial development from rubbish dump to parklands and urban wetlands.
We visit Heritage Stoneworks - one of the last few stoneworks yards that restores and repairs Sydney's sandstone facades and monuments to gain an insight into how the precious Pyrmont yellowblock is recycled, reused and quarried for maintaining public buildings around the CBD.
Coffee Conversation: Carrawobitty - A Unique Interwar Homestead
Constructed fully of concrete, in a very unique interwar architecture; Carrawobitty Homestead has a fascinating history of wealth and decline. Join Monica Wren, one of the current owners, and hear the story of the property; starting with the documented links to the First Australians, through colonisation, wealthy pastoralists, NSW Government, Soldier Settlements, and the long process of restoration.
Monica and her husband Ken had one goal in purchasing Carrawobitty - to restore her for the benefit of all and to ensure she has a vibrant and sustainable place in our future.
NB. The venue for the Coffee Conversation is Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney, 2000.
Coffee Conversation: Terragong - A Gentleman's Country Residence
Join Terragong co-owner Simon Milner to hear about the extensive restoration work undertaken on this wonderful example of Colonial Georgian architecture. Built in 1858 as a gentleman’s county residence, Simon highlights the varied histories of the site – from the original slab hut (still standing today), through ownership by seven generations of the Marks family to its recreation by the current owners as a bespoke bed and breakfast with a focus on environmental sustainability.
NB. The venue for the Coffee Conversation is Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney, 2000.