Friday, 14 April 2017

Australian Heritage Festival in Carnamah on 30 April 2017

We invite you to attend Carnamah's first-ever contribution to the Australian Heritage Festival! From 10am to 2-30pm on Sunday 30 April 2017 there are a series of things to do and see in Carnamah.

The old bank building across the road from our museum has undergone a transformation over the past two years and will be opening for the first time as The Bank Gallery Space. Pressed metal ceilings, wooden floors and other features have been uncovered and are once again visible for the first time in decades.

The public is invited to see the restored octagonal-shaped bank chamber, strong room and manager's office. There will be an exhibition about the history of the building, live painting by North Midlands artist-in-residence Di Taylor, children's art activities and a display of four large artworks created by schools in Carnamah, Coorow, Perenjori and Three Springs. Rooms at the back of the building, to accommodate an artist-in-residence, will also be open.

Acoustic singer-songwriter Ashlea Reale will be performing on Macpherson Street. Ashlea has helped create a number of unique songs based on stories from Western Australia's history - including one on a character from our neck of the woods!

The state heritage-listed Macpherson Homestead, which was built in the late 1860s, will be open during the same hours. It is located just one kilometre east of town via a signposted driveway on the Bunjil Road. Originally known as Carnamah House, it was home to the Macpherson family for 70 years. They established the pastoral station Carnamah and a number of their sons spread northwards with connections to Arrino, Yandanooka, Greenough and the Murchison.

Our very own Carnamah Museum will also be open. The older part of our building was constructed in 1926 as a tearooms but was later used as a branch of the sports betting agency TAB. It has been our museum since 1992 and was substantially extended over 2011 and 2012. We have a diverse collection that explores the agricultural, commercial, social, sporting and domestic past of Carnamah and surrounding districts.

Entry to all three is FREE! 

Food & Drink

The Carnamah Post Office & Bush Basket will be open to sell fresh roasted coffees and hot chocolates while the Carnamah Hotel will be open for lunch. Our thanks to both for opening outside of their normal hours.

About the Festival

The Australian Heritage Festival is Australia’s biggest annual community-driven heritage festival. Western Australia's contribution to the festival involves around 130 events and tens of thousands of visitors each year.  The WA festival program of natural, Aboriginal and historic focused events provides an opportunity for communities, individuals, governments and organisations to celebrate the places and events that have shaped our heritage.

The Main Info

Date - Sunday 30 April 2017
Time - 10am to 2-30pm
Where - Carnamah, Western Australia

Boys Foraging by Di Taylor, 2017 Artist in Residence for the North Midlands

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Online Index of 80,153 Early WA Motor Vehicle Registrations

The Royal Automobile Club (R.A.C.) of Western Australia historically published an annual Year Book & Road Guide. Some of the early editions included lists of every registered motor vehicle in Western Australia. The lists included the owner, their address, the type of vehicle, its license/number plate and the local authority it was registered with.

In partnership with the North Midlands Project we have transcribed, indexed and created a searchable online database of motor vehicle registrations from throughout Western Australia (extracted from the R.A.C. Year Book & Road Guides of 1917-18, 1922-23, 1924-25, 1925-26, 1926-27 and 1927-28). A great many thanks are due to those who worked so hard to transcribe, check and reformat this wealth of information, which can now be searched via the below link...

Arthur & Florence White of Sun Holme Farm in Winchester with their sports model Buick

The index contains 80,153 entries, comprised from the following years:

3,324 vehicles in 1917-18
5,495 vehicles in 1922-23
10,693 vehicles in 1924-25
15,322 vehicles in 1925-26
19,975 vehicles in 1926-27
25,344 vehicles in 1927-28

The growth in vehicles during the ten years from 1917-18 to 1927-28 was over 762 percent!

During this period the most popular make was undoubtedly Ford (28% of all registrations) followed by Chevrolet (12%), Dodge (11%), Overland (7%), Buick (5%), Rugby (3%), Studebaker (3%), Essex (3%), Hupmobile (2%) and then Morris, Fiat, Maxwell and Chrysler (1% each). Other brands, with a less than 1% market share included Reo, Citroen, Austin, Oldsmobile, Willys-Knight, International, Graham, Whippet, Republic, Pontiac, Swift, General Motors Company (G.M.C.), Leyland, Guy and Vauxhall.

The index reveals that some people went through a number of vehicles in the space of ten years. For example, F. J. Enhardt of Dowerin didn't own a vehicle in 1917-18 but in 1922-23 he had a 19-horsepower Ford with the number plate D●11. He retained his plate but by 1924-25 he'd got rid of the Ford and owned a Maxwell. Two years later in 1926-27 he'd changed again and had D●11 on a Chrysler.

It may appear that multiple people had the same number plate at the same time. However, this was generally not the case. Some local governments used the same numbering (but on different coloured plates) for private vehicles and those for trade or hire. In other places, such as Narrogin, there was both a road board and a municipal council - the former would include the dot in the middle while the latter contained no dot.

Sometimes the road board and municipal council would use different letters, but not always! For instance, in 1926-27 the Albany Road Board's plates were A followed by a dot and the Albany Municipal Council also used used A but without a dot - hence both A●21 and A 21 both existed but were on different vehicles owned by different people!

If anyone wishes to view the digitised R.A.C. Year Book & Road Guides, they can be found and viewed within the catalogue of the State Library of Western Australia. Our new index, which can be searched by surname or keyword, can be found via the below link...