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Celebrating a decade of Lost Newcastle


It’s sparked friendships, rekindled romances, led to long-lost reunions and can even boast a marriage in its ranks, and last month, Lost Newcastle celebrated a decade of sharing memories.

For founder Carol Duncan, it’s been an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

“I love it when people tell me how much the group means to them. I’m proud of it,” she said.

“What I didn’t expect to find was that I have oodles of family connections with Newcastle as well.”

Carol has been a Novocastrian for 29 years.

Her family moved from Glasgow to Sydney in 1793.

While she knew of her Sydney heritage, her Newcastle links were only uncovered thanks to a photo of a brick in the wall that surrounds Fort Scratchley.

Carol wondered what the brick’s inscription was and put a call-out on social media seeking answers.

She never got an answer to her question, but it did lead to the formation of a group she originally hoped would allow “maybe a couple of hundred people” to share their memories.

That group now has 70,000 members.

“Someone posts a photo and someone else replies and provides additional photos or information and before you know it you’ve uncovered a treasure trove,” she says.

Lovers, family, kindergarten companions from 1940, have all rekindled connections thanks to the group’s activity.

She hastens to add though, that it is not its true purpose.

“We know where all the big public photo collections are held, but what we were at risk of losing was that shoebox of old photos of our families in locations around Newcastle that go to the tip when Grandma dies because they’ve lost their context, and nobody knows who any of them are,” she said.

She does not play favourites with her memories though, each one a piece of a puzzle she says she is thrilled to be supporting.

And from online sharing beginnings, Carol now sells keepsakes of the city’s past, with a range of postcards available to buy, with proceeds to the Vera Deacon History Fund.

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