Saturday, May 3, 2008

Trivial History May 3

A hot-water bottle warm greeting to you all and mind the iciles hanging from the doorway razz

1792 A 36,000 litre water tank was built on the Tank Stream in Sydney, for the town's water supply. Goodness, collecting water for human consumption! Thank goodness they've outlawed that nonsense these days....

1808 The first (and we hope, only!) duel fought in hot air balloons started banging away today, with one of the duellists shot dead somewhere above Paris.

The smallest newspaper in the world was published on Thursday Island where it gathered all the news via radio, beachcombers and gossip. The Torres Strait Daily Pilot started in 1888 with only a single woman as publisher, editor and reporter.

1810 Lord Byron wanted to copy Leander from the Greek myth so he swam the Hellespont in 1 hour and 10 mins. Just as well he didn't try that stunt in 1915 as the Hellespont is better known these days as the Dardanelles where the Anzacs landed and fought in WW1.

1841 It was announced that NZ no longer matched the collar and cuffs of the NSW colony so, after July 1st, it would be cast adrift to tend to it's own affairs independently.

Ghost spot-
The Quarry Hill ghost, in NSW, was one of the most feared spirits in the new colony.
A convict overseer was hard on a sickly convict and, after giving him 50 lashes, the convict killed him with his pick. For many years travellers reported sighting the ghost at the entrance to the quarry, with horses and other animals refusing to pass unless riders blindfolded them.

1975 The ever young and gorgeous Marcia Hines let loose her first hit single, Fire and Rain.

1978 The equally ever young and gorgeous John Paul Young, aka Squeak, sang his hit single Love Is In The Air on Britain's Top of The Pops while it was running out of stores at the rate of 18,000 copies per day.

Great Aunt Hepzibah's Handy Hints-
For some natural slow release fertiliser over Winter, start digging banana skins shallowly into the garden bed you plan to sow the following Spring. By the time you're ready to start planting, the soil will be enriched with many nutrients.


  1. "The first (and we hope, only!) duel fought in hot air balloons started banging away today, with one of the duellists shot dead somewhere above Paris."

    Good job it wasn't Richard Branson otherwise the duel wouldn't have reached Cornwall.

  2. Did we want Dickie Branson to actually reach Cornwall, though ?

  3. I can't think of Marcia Hines without thinking back to Chris Lilley's 'We Can Be Heroes', where Ricky Wong and the cast of Indigeridoo describe her as one of Australia's greatest Aboriginal singers...