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Paterson’s history recorded in pages of new book


A new book is set to explore the people, places and buildings around Paterson to help shed light on the Lower Hunter town’s history.

Written by local Alison Pitkin and published by the Paterson Historical Society, Portraits of Paterson NSW delves into its stories from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Alison has interviewed residents and researched the area for several years for both the book and a newsletter she sends out.

She said the majority of the work was done this year, but the idea came about roughly 14 years ago.

“In 2006, a friend told me a bit about her grandfather, and I got the idea to interview people for my newsletter,” she said.

“That first story got me going and I worked on it this year.

“I like recording history, no one [from Paterson] has ever written their stories down before.

“It hasn’t ever been all together in one book.”

Alison’s interviews were able to explore the everyday lives of locals, as well as where they lived and worked.

“It’s just about people’s ordinary lives really, where they went to school, what they did, things like that,” she added.

“Little gems turned up everywhere – it was surprising what stories and memories people have about their time around Paterson.

“It’s also about the buildings, all the cottages, and finding out who lived there.”

After collecting the stories, Alison then enlisted the help of her friend, Val Anderson, to sketch the buildings.

There are over 100 sketches within the book.

“Every entry has a sketch – it’s different, there are no photos,” Alison said.  

“It’s been good timing with this year, I’ve just beavered away to finish it.

“I’ve enjoyed it and I can’t believe it is all finished.”

The book will be launched next Sunday 15 November at John Tucker Park in Paterson.

The COVID Safe event will run from 1pm to 4pm, and books will be available at $25 each.

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