|Wickham Post Office- circa 1900 - NLA C4076|
The early living conditions were further enhanced by the limitless supply of fresh water from the Islington sand beds, the abundance of fresh fish, eels and estuary prawns that were found in clear waters of Throsby and Styx Creek.
|Tighes Hill 1938 - NLA C4076|
|former Tighes Hill PO|
It is also interesting to note that Tighes Hill began operations on the 13th September 1872, the same day as the Wickham Post Office with J.Kilgour appointed Postmaster and like Wickham, the Post Office grew as the population expanded. It became a Money Order Office (22/9/1872), Telephone Service (31/1/1890), GSB (15/10/1894) and then eventually became an Official Post Office (3/11/1914). In 1937 the Post Office moved into a new building at 4 Elizabeth St and stayed there until 1997, when Australia Post closed this wonderful example of an Art Deco Post Office for good.
|Islington PO - 1951 - NLA C4076|
The last of the area's Post Offices was the Wickham North Post Office located in Downie Street Maryville. It was called Wickham North because there was already a Maryville in Victoria and the authorities didn't want any confusion! When the name was proposed a few old time locals preferred the name Smedmore to reflect the original name for the area, however the PMG stuck to their guns and it remained known as Wickham North Post Office. This little Non Official Post Office (NONO) first opened in 1951 with J.G. Power appointed licensee and it closed in 1971. It reopened in 1972, however by 1978 it had once again closed, never to reopen, although the street posting box (SPB) remained in place until it too was relocated to Hannell Street.
|Downie St Wickham|
I'd like the thank the invaluable assistance given to me by the NCC Library, Newcastle Family History & Historical Society, the National Library of Australia & Doreen Cummins of the Honeysuckle News & Post (Wickham LPO) in putting together this blog.
As a footnote it should be understood the name Wickham is actually a corruption of the original spelling of the town of Whickham, which is located a few miles from Newcastle upon Tyne in north east England