IN THE semi-arid Riverland area along the Murray River, there’s a grand old Canadian log cabin that is an oddity of the landscape.
And behind the log cabin there is an American-inspired barn from 1890, full of antique citrus processing machines.
If only the walls of these buildings could talk, they would tell a tale of early settlement like no other.
This is Olivewood Estate in Renmark, South Australia, built in 1889 by one of the three Canadian Chaffey brothers, who were brought out from the US to establish Renmark — and Mildura — as the first irrigation settlements in Australia.
William, George and Charles Chaffey were Canadian-born, and were working in California on irrigation projects when the Victorian and South Australian governments approached them to set up settlements here.
”What followed were several tough years to attract new settlers and establish the pumps, channels and infrastructure for irrigation, with Mildura and Renmark taking different paths to settlement”.
While the towns today are the result of this settler work, Olivewood Estate is a more personal reminder of the Chaffey brothers’ impact on the landscape.
Charles, who established Olivewood, chose a Canadian-style log cabin and US-style barn, on an original 60ha property, which is today 12ha.
Since the National Trust took over management of the building in 1979, volunteers have worked to attract visitors and keep the property viable.
Alongside the homestead, the barn is filled with machines donated from local citrus farms such as a 1910 stemmer and grader.
Next to the barn is a reproduction olive crushing mill and oil house, again full of donated items such as photos, a wedding dress, and a large display of dental equipment.
At the front of Olivewood the Charles Chaffey Centre showcases Renmark’s history.
It is four museums in one, including a Printing Museum dedicated to the old days of hot metal composition and letterpress printing production.
The Images that follow include some taken by Old Guv letterpress printer Bob Downs from his recent trip to Renmark and Olivewood. Thanks Bob.
Le Recueil des Histoires de Troye, a 1464 work by Raoul Lefèvre, tells a chivalirized version of the history of the city Troy. The Greek heroes, Hercules and Jason, are recast as ideal knights and founders of the Burgundian dynasty.
It was translated by William Caxton into English soon after it was written and found popularity under its new title, The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye. But these days, it is best known for its place in the literary tradition as the first book ever printed in English, and it just sold for over one million dollars.
In the prologue of the English translation, Caxton records how the “work was begun in Bruges in the County of Flanders, the first day of March, the year of the Incarnation of our said Lord God a thousand four hundred sixty and eight, and ended and finished in the holy city of Cologne 19 September, the year of our said Lord God a thousand four hundred sixty and eleven, etc.” It was to be a gift for Duke Charles’s new wife, Margaret, upon her entry into the English court.
The original hand-written copy was produced as part of a long tradition of currying royal favor. Sotheby’s, where a first printed edition was up for auction, writes that “It is unlikely that Caxton originally intended his translation for print.
He probably first encountered the printing press when he moved to Cologne in 1471 and it was almost certainly at that point that he began to consider undertaking a radically new commercial venture: printing in English.”
The Beautiful City of Bruges.
The young tradition of the printing press, at the time just 30 years old, favored Latin works over any particular vernacular for their ability to find a market across Europe.
Caxton, however, was confident that the cultural cache of the Burgundian court would inspire literate English nobles to embrace The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye.
Although the date of his translation is carefully recorded in the prologue, the context of that first printing is more difficult to determine.
Historians have placed it sometime between 1473 and 1475 at a workshop in Bruges.
129-year-old Hillston Spectator’s future in doubt as editor eyes retirement after 60 years.
After more than 60 years at the helm of his local newspaper, Patrick O’Sullivan is concerned the much-loved weekly might not survive beyond his retirement.
The Hillston-Ivanhoe Spectator has been covering local news for 129 years.
Its owners admit finding enough content to fit the format has been a struggle. Despite its small circulation, the country paper continues to be the heart of the community.
The Hillston-Ivanhoe Spectator has been circulating news throughout western New South Wales since 1889..
Mr O’Sullivan has been the editor since 1955, after taking over from his father, Percy, at age 24.
Now Mr O’Sullivan fears that the paper’s days may be numbered as the end of his working life approaches.
This old printing press lives in Pat O’Sullivan’s Hillston office but hasn’t been used since the 1970s Photo: ABC News: Cara Jeffery.
“I’m worried the Spectator doesn’t have a future,” he said.”It’s been here 129 years and I’d like to see it keep going.
“It’s a very good job, bringing the local news to the people and informing them sometimes of things they didn’t know had happened in the town.”
The circulation of the six-page read has stayed steady over the years, though the editions are no longer printed on old printing presses at Mr O’Sullivan’s Hillston office, which is more than a century old.
Mr O’Sullivan said that was only one of the things that had changed over the years.”The cost of the paper back in 1945 was thrippence — three pence,” he said.”
Now, it’s slowly got up to be $1, but some people must think it’s still okay because they start knocking on the door before the paper’s ready to be sold.”
Inspired by the venerable tradition of private presses in England, the Rampant Lions Press was a small publisher of fine editions and a designer-printer for other publishers.
With very few exceptions, they designed every book that came out of the workshop.
They printed all books by letterpress, mostly on hand or mould-made papers.
They specialised in elegant, but colourful typography, and made inventive use of a small repertoire of exceptional metal typefaces, including several designed by Hermann Zapf and the Golden Cockerel Roman designed by Eric Gill.
Will Carter founded the Rampant Lions Press in 1924, at the age of twelve.
He moved to Cambridge in 1934, published the first book in 1936, and turned the Press into a full time business in 1948.
His son Sebastian joined him in the 1960s and closed the Press in 2008.
His masterpiece was probably William Morris’s The Story of Cupid and Psyche in 1974, set in Morris’s types and illustrated with the blocks engraved by Morris from Burne-Jones’s designs.
Carter printed the book jointly with his son Sebastian, who joined the press in 1966.
In 2013, Sebastian received the American Printing History Association individual laureate award for ‘a distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation or dissemination of printing history’.
Pre-industrial Manchester: The south-west prospect of Manchester and Salford by John Harris, c.1734.
Today we think of Manchester as the world’s first industrial city and a crucible of industrial revolution in the nineteenth century.
But in the fifteenth century it was a prosperous market town on the banks of the Rivers Irwell and Irk.
It had a manor house and a collegiate church (which became the cathedral in 1847) and there was an embryonic textile industry with Flemish weavers and cloth merchants attracted to the town.
The domestic buildings associated with the collegiate church and the cathedral itself are all that remain of the medieval buildings of the town.
During the Reformation the domestic buildings fell into disrepair and suffered further abuse and neglect during The English Civil War.
The buildings were renovated during the seventeenth century by the gentleman-merchant Sir Humphrey Chetham, and in 1653 he founded Chetham’s Library, the oldest surviving public library in Great Britain, in the restored buildings.
The first book printed in Manchester was John Jackson’s Mathematical lectures read to the Mathematical Society in Manchester, printed by Roger Adams in 1719.