Eskbank Voices – 175th Anniversary Exhibition until 28th January 2018

Voices of Eskbank – 175th Anniversary exhibition 

25th November – 28th January

“…this building which represents so much in the history of Lithgow.” Lithgow Historical Committee to Australian Iron & Steel, 28 September 1944

Voices of Eskbank captures key moments and individuals associated with the history of Eskbank House including the influential industrialists Thomas Brown, James Rutherford, William Sandford and the Hoskins Brothers.

Eskbank House was built for Thomas and Mary Brown c.1841 – 1842 and has been at the heart of Lithgow’s industrial development ever since. Eric Bracey purchased it from Australian Iron and Steel in 1948, and with the Lithgow District Historical Society, opened it as museum on 21st November 1966.

This exhibition and accompanying publication mark the anniversary of that gift and 175 years since the house was built.

This exhibition was made possible with the support of a Heritage Near Me Grant from the New South Wales Government.



Eskbank Voices – 175th Anniversary

You’re invited to an open day at Eskbank House

Saturday, 25th November 2017

 To mark the 175th Anniversary of when Eskbank House was built, we are launching Eskbank Voices, a new publication and exhibition. Join us for music by Mitchell Conservatorium, a series of talks, cakes, and coffee and lunch available from Mint Brew.


11.30am               Welcome and Music by Mitchell Conservatorium: The Woodrow Trio


12 noon                Binning & Brown: The Architecture of Eskbank House

Speaker:              Dr. Ian Jack, Senior Fellow and Archivist, St. Andrew’s College, University of Sydney

Educated in Scotland, Ian Jack taught at the University of Sydney, where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Head of the Department of History.  A co-founder of Historical Archaeology at the University in 1974, he became deeply involved in heritage matters. He was appointed a member of the Heritage Council of New South Wales and chaired its State Heritage Register Committee.  He was also President of the Royal Australian Historical Society from 2004 until 2012.  Among his numerous consultancies was the Heritage Study of Greater Lithgow (1996-2000) and he has published on Andrew Brown of Cooerwull and on the iron industry.


1.00pm                 Recreating Historical Gardens

Facilitator:           Richard Aitken, former editor of Australian Garden History

Speakers:            Steven Halliday, Horticulturist Sydney Living Museum

                            Sandra Pullman, Gardens Coordinator La Trobe Cottage

Richard Aitken is recognised nationally and internationally for his expertise in the field of garden history. He was previously the editor of Australian Garden History, and his books include The Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens (2002), Gardenesque (2004), Botanical Riches (2006), Seeds of Change (2006), The Garden of Ideas (2010), Cultivating Modernism (2013) and Planting Dreams (2016). Richard has undertaken numerous conservation plans for significant historic gardens throughout Australia. He has curated several major exhibitions for Australia’s leading collecting institutions.

Steven Halliday has been part of the Gardens Team at Sydney Living Museums (SLM) for the past 8 years. In 2016 he was awarded the inaugural Ruth Pope scholarship, allowing him to travel to the United States of America to visit historic gardens projects. This trip sparked a desire to improve the SLM gardens online presence, and then on to launching the ‘Plant Your History’ garden blog.  Steve contributes to the blog sharing his knowledge and his experiences working on the SLM garden portfolios.

Sandra Pullman, as a member of the Friends of La Trobe’s Cottage, was instrumental in recreating Charles La Trobe’s colonial garden at the La Trobe Cottage in Melbourne. The garden received an award in 2014 for the historically sensitive restoration. Sandra graduated with a B.A.Sc. Hort Hons, from The University of Melbourne, and is currently completing a Master of Architecture Research thesis at Deakin University on Ina Higgins, who lobbied the Principal of the Burnley School of Horticulture in 1899 to allow women students.


2.30pm                 ReCollecting: Oral Histories and new technology

Speaker:              Lucy Bracey, associate historian with Way Back When.

Way Back When specialises in the creation of digital history projects, digital story-telling and oral history as well other more traditional ways of communicating the past. Lucy has produced a number of different audio documentaries and digital history projects for the Victorian AIDS Council, Monash University, the Sephardi Association of Victoria as well as several radio features for ABC Radio National.


From 3.15pm     Music by Mitchell Conservatorium

Innocent Bystanders: 11 piece Motown themed band



Mary Hailstone exhibition

7th – 17th September 2017

Opening : Saturday 9th September, 2pm

Mary Hailstone is a local artist who paints stunning realistic landscapes, beautifully capturing the light and energy of scenes ranging from Hartley, Wolgan Valley, and Capertee Valley.

Join the artist at the opening on Saturday 9th September, from 2pm, museum entry will be free and light refreshments will be served.

Lithgow Winners in Regional Waste2Art

Local and Regional winning art works from the Netwaste Waste to Art 2016 Competition are on display in Lithgow Library until 30 September 2016.

Every year Lithgow residents join others across the region to compete in the Netwaste Waste to Art exhibition. This is a community art exhibition and competition which aims to challenge peoples’ perceptions about ‘rubbish’ and to celebrate the reuse and recycling of waste through arts and crafts.
Lithgow City Council hosted a local competition at Eskbank House and Museum during May 2016 with the winning artworks then progressing to the Regional Exhibition in the Lachlan Shire.
The winners for the Lithgow area were:
• Primary 2D – Dia MacNamara – Giraffe
• Primary 3D – Delaney – Reinhardt-Brown – Gordon the Gourd Bird
• Open 2D – Gordon McCloud – Ground Zero X
• Open 3D – Michael Green – Tyre Baby
• Community 3D – Karen and Barb Reinhardt – Insy Winsy Spider
• Open Functional – Lyle Fullerton – The Quangle Wangle Tree
• Community 2D – Clare McAdam – (Re)cycled Beauty
• Community Functional – Celia Ravesi – “Koogle” Knowledge on Wheels
• Tyre Theme – Michael Green – Tyre Baby

Two of the Lithgow entries won their category at the Regional Competition:
Karen and Barb Reinhardt won the Community 3D section with their adorable Insy Winsy Spider. Karen explains, “I saw the inspiration for Insy on pintrest while admiring the talent and skills of fellow recyclers and Barb provided the tip finds to enable the construction of our spider. We enjoy creating together and the things we make last for years out in the garden unlike cheap imports that tend to fall apart after 2 or so years.”

Clare McAdam won the Community 2D Section with her spectacular (Re)cycled Beauty. Clare explains, “On a trip to the USA I visited many “thrift stores” where I found old Barbie dolls at a dime a dozen. Naturally, I thought “I could do something with those” and returned with my suitcase stuffed with Barbies from five decades. I am not making a political or social comment. I enjoy colour, patterns and humour. Matching the keys spelling “Plastic” and “Beauty” and the array of Barbie heads aims to be decorative and fun, not macabre.”
The Lithgow and Regional Winners will be on display in the Lithgow Library until Friday 30 September 2016. Drop in and have a look and start thinking about what art work you will create for Waste to Art 2017.
Providing a range of programs celebrating the cultural diversity and rich heritage of our local government area is part of Council’s Caring for our Community strategies in the Community Strategic Plan 2026.

Re)cycled Beauty by Clare McAdam 1

Wendy Hawkes
Cultural Development Officer
Tel: 02 6354 9999
Fax: 02 6351 4259

Eskbank House Movable Heritage Saved

Eskbank House Movable Heritage Saved

The steam engines in the grounds of Eskbank House and Museum are once again available to visitors. All asbestos has been removed and they have been assessed as safe for the public.

In 2015 these popular heritage items were discovered to contain asbestos. Council immediately isolated them from the public and engaged a specialist company to safely remove the asbestos. The cabin of Possum is once again available for visitors to explore and the other moveable heritage can be viewed from behind fencing.

“The safety of our community is of upmost importance to Council,” said Lithgow City Council Mayor Maree Statham. “It is with great pleasure that I can say Council has been able to make these engines safe for the public and preserve these important heritage items for our future.”

The collection of moveable heritage items were moved to Eskbank House around 1969. The most impressive and significant of the engines is Possum the steam locomotive. Originally named “Cyclopes” and built in 1912, Possum was brought to Lithgow from England in 1919 by Hoskins Bros to work in the Lithgow iron and steel works. In 1928 it moved to Port Kembla where it worked until retired in 1967 after which it was donated to the Lithgow District History Society and moved to Eskbank House in 1969.

Other items in the display include a Pioneer roller, Buffalo Pitts Engine, Marshall portable steam engine and two skips from the State Mine. The Barford and Perkins Pioneer Roller was purchased second hand by Lithgow Woollen Mills owner Harry Rosen in the late 1950s to demolish the Tweed Mill terrace housing which was built in the 1850s and was in a poor state. The roller is one of a few surviving pieces of plant associated with the former Lithgow Woollen Mills.

The Buffalo Pitts Traction engine was used to haul coal from Neubeck’s Commonwealth Colliery in Lidsdale – Blackmans Flat until 1924. It was then used at Neubeck’s sawmills until 1969 when it was moved to Eskbank House along with the other engines.
Providing a range of programs celebrating the cultural diversity and rich heritage of our local government area is part of Council’s Caring for our Community strategies in the Community Strategic Plan 2026.

Steampunk Possum

Mayor Maree Statham
Tel: 02 6354 9999
Fax: 02 6351 4259
Wendy Hawkes
Cultural Development Officer
Tel: 02 6354 9999
Fax: 02 6351 4259