Wednesday, 8 November 2017

10863 Bushranger presented by Act-Belong-Commit now at Fremantle Prison

The exhibition 10863 Bushranger presented by Act-Belong-Commit is at the historic Fremantle Prison until 2 January 2017. The exhibition consists of a series of artworks produced by WA visual artist Di Taylor, who was the inaugural artist in residence of the North Midlands Project and The Bank Gallery Space in Carnamah during 2017. Each artwork is accompanied by a short story or anecdote about our local bushranger Frank Thomas, who grew up in Coorow.

The exhibition can be found within one of Fremantle Prison's free galleries and can be visited during their opening hours, which are every day from 9am to 5pm except for Christmas day. The prison is located at 1 The Terrace in Fremantle. For more info, check out their website at

Above: Take Away (Chicken) by Di Taylor
Embedded in local folklore is the story of police discovering bushranger Frank Thomas' camp where he was cooking a stolen chicken. He leapt onto his horse and took off, with the police following in hot pursuit. The police eventually lost sight of him so decided they'd return and enjoy his chicken. When they arrived back at Frank's camp he'd already doubled back, taken the chicken and left again!

Above:  Photos of Frank Thomas from the Police Gazette of WA
The photos for the double mugshot were taken when Frank was released from Fremantle Prison in 1921. For more on Frank, check out his entry in the Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Updated: Index of Early WA Motor Vehicle Registrations

We're delighted to share that our hugely popular Index of Early Western Australian Motor Vehicle Registrations has been substantially expanded with the addition of a further four years of registrations! Some of the gaps have been filled and the index now stretches back to 1915.

The updated index contains 96,429 entries and covers motor vehicles registered in WA for the years 1915, 1916, 1917-18, 1919, 1922-23, 1923-24, 1924-25, 1925-26, 1926-27 and 1927-28. It covers cars and trucks for each year and also motorcycles for earlier years.

Each entry contains the person's surname, given names or initials, their address, the brand of their vehicle, the local authority it was registered with and the year. The index was compiled from lists of registrations that appeared in the annual Year Book & Road Guides of WA's Royal Automobile Club (R.A.C.).

Huge thanks are due to:

  • Our project partner, the North Midlands Project
  • The great group of volunteers who skillfully transcribed the data from photographs of photocopied records
  • A. John Parker who very kindly loaned us copies of four years of the R.A.C. Year Book & Road Guides to make this index expansion possible
  • The State Library of Western Australia who digitised and provided access to the other six years of the R.A.C. Year Book & Road Guides
  • Jim Gordon who alerted us to the existence of the year books and for his referral to A. John Parker, which inevitably led to this expanded index