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Snippets 1 September 2003
We may have found a descendent of Charlie Nettleton! A visitor to the town last week, Gail McLoughlin from Sydney, says her employer is related to the man ‘who founded Lightning Ridge’. At least, that was his comment when she announced her impending trip. He told her there is a Nettleton in his family, and she will be the link to discover whether or not it is the descendant we seek.



In the meantime, it has come to light that Captain Blackman at the Salvation Army Men’s Home at Balmain is no longer there. So, the Big Book of past residents, which is somewhere in the shed at the bottom of the garden, is closed! Paramas George Gray, who died in 1936 at Balmain, remains a mystery man. John Gray, who died in 1936 at Walgett, will be our man by the process of elimination. Sometimes that is the only way to go – until history reveals itself in yet another way.

The Nettleton saga continues….
27 March 2006 00:19am
Snippets 28 Aug 2003
The BNA collection of nurse memorabilia grows weekly. Our latest acquisition is the ‘drug’ cupboard that was always kept locked. It actually came out of the building, which was built in 1915-16 by volunteers guided by Ronald McDonald and Tom Urwin.

The local blacksmith, perhaps William Bouvenge or Big Jim Denis, probably made the heavy iron construction. It has a glass section above for the instruments. The bottom section was for medicines, and the nurse always had the keys to this important piece of furniture in her pocket. You can imagine the panic the time she went on holidays, forgetting to pass the keys to the relieving nurse!

It is thanks to Hilton O’Connor that we have the cupboard for the display. He recognized its value to the town when he bought an assortment of items, and returned it to the BNA.

Once it has been restored back to the original hospital colour, you will see the cabinet with Nurse Lucy in the front windows. The display is lit-up daily for your appreciation, so don’t be afraid to wander up onto the verandah.

Barbara Moritz, Secretary


27 March 2006 00:19am
Snippets 18 Aug 2003
Richard Conlin had a drapery at Nettleton, the second settlement on 3-Mile flat in 1908. He and his family came to Lightning Ridge from White Cliffs. Joining them later were Cliffs’ miners, Charlie Bateman, and future son-in-law, William Digby.

The latter married their daughter, Agnes Adelaide, in 1911 at the Gooraway Hotel, a Cobb & Co change post on Dungelear, in the famous ‘Triple Alliance’. This marked the day in February when three couples tied the knot – plus Bertha Hogden & Watty Vause and Mae Durrington & Ted Moody!

In late July, Digby’s daughter, Margaret ‘Marge’ Sander from Dunbogan, visited Lightning Ridge for the first time. She remembers the story her mother told that the Catholic priest wouldn’t come out from Walgett to marry them but the Anglican minister would!

Marge knew nothing of the ‘Triple Alliance’, which was written up in the Walgett Spectator. Marge has set the record straight for the Society – her mother’s name in the news item was reported as Agnes Connolly not Conlin. Marge’s niece is researching the family so our Conlin profile will expand.

Old-timers’ family histories abound at the local historical society. New members are welcome at $15 per year – call at Heritage Cottage on a Tues, Fri or Sat, 10-4pm.

Barbara Moritz, Secretary

P.S. Last week’s Snippets need a spelling correction: Clare Cuming is the local 1970s artist.
27 March 2006 00:18am
Snippets 11 Aug 2003
Trevor Ives, opal lover and book collector from Brisbane, called at the Society’s display at the recent Opal & Gem Festival. He had emailed the Society in 2001 through the Lightning Ridge website, and communication was on going. At this, the first meeting of ‘Opal Friends’, Trevor presented the Society with a shoebox containing a statue of an old-timer, modelled in clay, complete with wooden walking stick – who could this man be?



‘Unmistakeably Fred Bodel’, we all agreed! You can imagine Trevor’s relief that we recognized Fred. He registered his own surprise to see that we actually were in possession of the walking stick! We are building solid profiles on several of our early opal miners.



Please come into Heritage Cottage to glimpse this new icon of Fred Bodel standing ‘at home’ in front of his 3-Mile Flat hut, a print by Clare Cumming, 1970s. You’ll like it! We are open for inspection on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, 10-4pm.

27 March 2006 00:18am
Snippets 25 June 2003
Apologies to the Bruce family are in order from last week’s VALE Father Cooper article in the Advocate. Artie married Tom Urwin’s daughter Pearl, so Tommo, the late Dale and Gan are Urwin’s grandsons.

Congratulations are in order to Bob Molyneux, Urwin’s nephew, who turned 90 on the shortest day of the year. Bob’s daughter Maureen travelled from the coast to surprise him. She joined her sisters, Melody and Lorraine, and a large circle of family to wish their father and patriarch well.

Yes, you have guessed it – there probably was a time when the whole village was related! The wheels of the historical society keep turning in an effort to set the record straight, and sometimes, we even catch ourselves out.

Don’t forget the AGM on Sunday, June 29, at 4.30 pm in the Cottage Hospital.

27 March 2006 00:17am