$10 – $50

Walking With The Porters by Miss Porter’s House - National Trust (NSW)

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Miss Porter's House

434 King Street

Newcastle West, NSW 2302

Australia

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Newcastle West is changing rapidly but it’s still possible to connect past, present and future and walk in the footsteps of the Porter family of Miss Porter’s House, Newcastle’s only National Trust property. Where exactly did Les Darcy fight, circus animals perform and market gardens flourish? Why does King Street have a park-like median strip and ornate gasworks office? These are among stories that will be brought to life in WALKING WITH THE PORTERS, an event that celebrates the culture and history of our community.

Many sites survive which would have been familiar to the Porters and the Miss Porter’s House collection contains numerous documents linking the family to locations in their neighbourhood. Postcards, school memorabilia, business correspondence, receipts and scrapbooks are among the items which bring to life Newcastle West during the early years of the twentieth century. Cooks Hill School, attended by Herbert, Ella and Hazel, Steel Street Gas Works, the flood-prone Cottage Creek, the Oddfellows lodge and the Hunter District Water Supply and Sewerage Board were all part of Porter life and have also left a mark on Newcastle’s contemporary streetscape.

At the junction of Steel and King Streets, the 1887 Gas Works Office is the most substantial remnant of the Steel Street Gas Works which once dominated the view south from the Porter’s new home. Before their marriage Herbert Porter sent a postcard to Florence, his future bride, showing the Gas Works Office during a flood. On the back he wrote 'You will notice a little boy second from the end under an umbrella he is a nephew of mine. I have so many there is always one sure to be about.'

Cooks Hill school in Laman Street is another Newcastle West location associated with the Porter family. Both Herbert and his daughters made the short journey from home during their school days between the 1880s and the mid-1920s. Magazines, photographs, reports, certificates and prizes in the MPH collection paint a fascinating picture of school life. We know for instance that in 1923, her first year in the Intermediate High department, that Ella Porter was one of thirty-eight students in form 1C, that in the half-year to July she was graded ninth overall, her conduct was deemed to be very good and that the headteacher reported her "doing good work with self-reliance". In addition to English, French, Mathematics, Science and Geography, Ella was "satisfactory" at Shorthand but only "tolerable" at Business Principles.

Past visitors have loved walking and seeing old areas with new eyes. “There are things I've never noticed despite living here all my life,” said Chris, “it’s really opened my eyes to what I thought was just ordinary.”


In May 2020 Miss Porter’s House volunteers will again be conducting guided walks to these and other places familiar to Herbert, Florence, Ella and Hazel Porter. The short 2km walk will start and finish at Miss Porter’s House Museum and include a sandwich lunch.

Booking is essential.

For enquiries please contact Jean Bridges on 0435047424 or at mph@nationaltrust.com.au.

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Date and Time

Location

Miss Porter's House

434 King Street

Newcastle West, NSW 2302

Australia

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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