History Hill Publications
Books. An all Australian product. All printed in Australia.
Fossickers Guide, 1980
Hill End Gold, 1982
Documentary “The Golden Days”, 1984
Student guide to Hill End, 1984, re-done 2008. Small booklet available on website.
The German Australian Called Holtermann, 1985 (5,000 copies now out of print)
Hill End Hearsay, 2010
In my sixtieth year I have fined tuned a lifetime of research and experience to culminate in second editions Hill End Gold (the gold rush) and Hill End Hearsay (a town and people that evolve after the gold rush). If your family goes back to 1800s in Australia, chances are you have gold rush blood. These publications have been written to be best of my ability from both practical and theoretical lines of enquiry. I don’t want a medal for my work but I do want the reader to understand where the information has come from, and that I have done the hard yards to research and present a view that is credible for the representation of Australian History.
The first publication a “Fossickers Guide” was published in 1980. By then I had become compulsive and obsessive to research the Australian gold story.
During the 1960s and 1970s my life in Hill End involved being apprenticed to many older residents who transferred to me a love for Australian History and Hill End. At that time my main income was from gold mining, and bush work. As a result, at my own expense I travelled many times to Sydney in the late 1970s and early 1980s to the state archives when they were at the Rocks in Argyle Street and to the Mitchell Library when records were on Micro fish and to The Phillips Street and Cumberland Street home for the Mines Department archival photographic and written records.
Hill End Gold, 1st edition was quarto size, and 164 pages; second edition 2013 is A4 and 192 pages.
At the beginning of the “Hill End Gold” book (1st edition) I printed three references from those I considered to be good critics for the area’s history who had read the draft of the book. One in particular (please refer Hill End Gold), Charles Marshall who was given the order of Officer of Australia medal for his efforts into gold mining was also second generation born in Hill End from one of the major mining families. The referees claimed I had broken new ground and brought to light new information about the area and Australian gold fields. I did not seek acclaim for my efforts, but I did it to get the story out. However, many following publications did acknowledge their sources as Hill End Gold. Strange when you do so many hours and go to so much expense and someone else goes to a library and in a few minutes finds out what took you months to find out.
I have seen many publications use my work and even the National Parks have directly copied from Hill End Gold without giving recognition.
The book has been out of publication for over 25 years and many have often asked when is it coming out again? This book will be out by mid 2013 as I have a bad habit of committing myself without room for backing out. Over the past 30 years I have gathered more to add to this book keeping the theme the same but answering the questions I often get asked in my museum that relate to the subject matter of this book.
Hill End Gold second edition (2013) has expanded with new (up till now) unpublished photos and information.
I ask the reader to consider the following references as testimate to my work.
Hill End Gold References written in 1982
A.O. Mining Engineer
“Malcolm Drinkwater has written a useful introduction for those interested in gold, in particular the early gold mining history and activities of the Hill End district of New South Wales.
He has included some useful notes on early gold discoveries in Australia with extracts from the Department of Mines official reports from their inception in 1863.
Included are records of the activities of some old local families and human relations pertaining to the time.
His notes on the origin of alluvial gold, its mining, the fossicking methods used then and now and an explanation of the mining terms applicable are clearly set out in simple words. These, alone, make reading the book worthwhile.
He recreated some of the civil and social activities of the towns of Hill End and Tambaroora in the early days.
He reports on the development of the housing and comments factually on the origin of Beyer’s Avenue which still remains one of the features of the village.
He has presented an unusual collection of photographs.
This is a well researched book which will be of great interest not only to the student, the tourist and the fossicker, but also to all those interested in gold mining history.
I congratulate Malcolm on his diligent research, factual recording of events and evenhanded judgement of social incidents as set out in his book.
He has lived in the area for many years and knows it and his subject”
National Parks and Wildlife Service
“I have read with interest Malcolm’s draft. The book will fill a long standing need for a comprehensive work on the Hill End-Tambaroora Gold Fields, mining practices and associated history. It seeks to translate and awaken people�s curiosity.
This study insofar as we know is the first to cover this field and we are sure that all interested in history either for pleasure or education will find this book of value.
District Inspector for Mines, Orange
“This fine book represents a well researched historical guide to the people, places and mining methods of Hill End”
Previous references were written after reading the draft before publication and the addition of photos. After publication I sent a copy of the book to Professor Alan Jopling who was at the time teaching at a University overseas.
Not just a professor, but the professor of geology who spent three years from 1946 engaged in a masters qualifying thesis to unravel the Hill End Gold deposition theory. Even the locals who met Alan over this three year period said he camped out in the bush like a native and was totally committed to his project. After working with Alan in the Hill End area couple of times I sent him the finished book for his review. He had no need to reply and had no knowledge that after the first edition was published there would be a second edition over thirty years later. Alan’s comments as follows:-
Professor of Geology
April 29th 1983
This is a note to thank you for the copy of ‘Hill End Gold’, which was delivered to me by Mr. Ken McLay. You are doing very well in the ‘publications department’, and this is to your credit. You have become quite the scholar on the Hill End scene, and I hope it nets you some profits. Your efforts will help to put Hill End on the map again, of course what Hill End needs is a good shot in the arm with exploration money for further prospecting, and I trust this will be forthcoming in the near future. I’m in the midst of marking piles of exams, in fact I’ve had a rough year with continuous work, and often non-stop for weeks at a time (getting older doesn’t help). ………….”
Hill End Hearsay. 2nd edition A4 208 pages
The aim of this book is to capture the essence of an Australian gold rush town after the gold rush, after the hype and fever has slowed down. Please do not have a static view about this only being about Hill End, it is an example of Australian life. This book is a record which concentrates more on the people rather than the gold finds. The character and lifestyle that evolved and was born form the gold diggers spirit.
Hill End Hearsay has a slight overlap of information with Hill End Gold so it can stand alone as a separate entity. However it is best as a sequel to the aforementioned Hill End Gold which sets the scene for the later evolution.
In this second edition I have asked the ones who knew me and the Hill End area to pass comment. The following are some statements published in the Hearsay script that confirm the book is a correct interpretation of our lifestyle.
Professor of Geology
If it wasn’t for gold Hill End wouldn’t exist and therefore this book would have no memories over time. The worst bit about growing old is the passing of time as you see people once agile of mind and body consumed by inevitable time travel. Twice during my earlier mining years different mining companies paid the way for Professor Alan Jopling to carry out further exploratory work on the Hill End gold field. It took Alan three years to complete his original detailed work for a masters qualifying thesis on the deposition of gold in the Hill End area from 1946 to 1949 at his own expense he threw himself into this project.
Professor of Geology
“I have finally finished reading ‘Hill End Hearsay’ and I have to commend you for the assembly of so much detailed local historical information in an easily readable format. Congratulations!
The photographs are superb, and the glossy finish to the publication adds to its value.
You are obviously a history buff – I see you are a fellow of a Historical Society – well done!
A lot of the information in the book would disappear forever if it weren’t for people like you who were prepared to sit down and record it for prosperity. You have an understanding of the ‘nitty-gritty’ of what goes on in a mining community and an appreciation of the mining technicalities, past and present. In reading the book I have been careful not to bend the pages. I will send it back to you in due course. I am almost 88, and I have to dispose of my library and a lot of my life’s memorabilia. I am way behind schedule, and it’s a race against time. Growing old is not much fun, but one has to be grateful for longevity!
Best wishes to you.”
Opposite to the Professor but still just as important is Neal Griffiths (Cobb and Co) words,
“Got your book and I like it, gee Malcolm you must have an excellent memory, just as well you have put it down on paper while your mind is OK who knows in another 10 or 20 years you might not remember as good and people won’t listen, and just say your an old hahahaha. Great to see someone has done this now, rather than wait fifty years and have someone guess the way it was. You know mate, this is different it’s not on gold, it’s not on Hill End in the 1870s, it’s on the people of the town in 1970 and their stories, that’s what makes it interesting. Hey!, Hill End’s not the same is it? It was great when you and I were young in the fantastic 70s, it was wild and free.”
From Bill and Betty Maris, long term Hill End descendants now living in Sydney, personally known Hill End for nine decades: –
“Your writing brought back so many memories of people that we once knew, they were such unusual people and each one was outstanding and memorable. I am so glad you remembered them and recorded them for us to enjoy”
Nick Harvey arrived in Hill End aged 19 in 1950 to work with his step-father Jack Addicott, a cousin Jack employed for underground work on Hawkins Hill. Underground work gave way to bush work, he seemed to have a go at anything, some still remember him for his famous Cornish pasties. Nick and his wife Nancy still run the Hill End School bus, but Nick’s specialty has been his long-term association with firearms and books on the subject. At present, Nick is Technical editor of Sporting Shooters Magazine and is highly regarded in firearms circles, he has read my book and wrote the following:-
“Malcolm Drinkwater’s book revives fond memories with a collection of anecdotes about all the colourful characters who lived in Hill End and its environs from the 19th into the 20th century. This to me is lavishly illustrated with a unique collection of old photographs that bear testimony to the vast amount of research carried out by the author. Readers will find Hill End Hearsay amusing, but it also gives us a valuable glimpse into the past. It will be particularly interesting for those who lived in the village for at least part of that era, and others whose forebears resided in Hill End during the gold rush days. No dry old history here; the irreverence of olden days pre-political correctness is bound to prove refreshing for the majority who read it.”
David Cole from Kings Langley has been attending school camps at Hill End for over 20 years and had this to write: –
“I received your book today. Thanks very much for the signed copy.
I brought the book home with me today and have just put it down to have dinner. Wow, you have done a great job.
I grew up at Boorowa – Frogmore – to be more precise and reading your book has brought back a lot of memories of my own childhood growing up on a wheat/sheep farm. I left the farm with my family and moved to Sydney when I was 10 yrs old. I can picture a lot of the scenes you depict in your book, your tales about guns and rabbits and life in general and recollections of Hill End are very interesting to read and it is well presented as well. Just looking at your photos of the shearing sheds takes me back 40 years!! All of your photos are fabulous – and I know that many are of you and your family as well.
Anyway thanks again.”
Newspaper Article – Malcolm Drinkwater
There are more, but his is the general theme by those who are familiar with the subject from all angles. I am not a reader. All I have ever read could be put into a suit case and there would still be spare room. Therefore my mind is not full of other people’s words, ways and information, what you read is my view and my style not influenced by others.
I have mostly been a hands on learn from experience person, and always preferred practical to theory. What is on offer is who I am, what I have learnt, and the way I want to tell it. The regiment and rules afforded the schooled writer have not clouded my way of telling the story.
Someone will always criticise the wording or facts. If I am to be disliked because of the script it may as well be me I portray on paper to the best of my talent, the way I do it naturally. I have not tried to be a know-all or arrogant, just present things the way I do in normal conversation. To communicate from my level to anyone who is interested. A project has been completed to the best of my simple ability.