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THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE
THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE - pictured on the front of our Newsletter, and where we, as a group, 'live'. The following small articles from the Singleton Argus give some insight into some of the activities in the past.
The Singleton Argus - Saturday, 15th April, 1911
QUITTING THE MECHANICS' - Among the letters at the meeting of the Council of the Mechanics' Institute, on Wednesday notifying that its tenancy of Chambers at the Institute would terminate on the 30th June. There was, naturally, a feeling of regret at losing the Shire Council, though this would be tempered with a certain amount of pleasure in knowing that that body was soon to move into more commodious Chambers of its own. The temporary Shire Council, which was elected on the 13th June, 1906, for the purpose of preparing for the permanent Council, held its first meeting at the present Mechanics' institute and went into the present tenancy early in 1907, so that there has been quite a lengthy association between the Shire and the Institute. The Singleton Argus - Saturday, 15th July, 1911
IMPROVEMENTS AT MECHANICS' INSTITUTE - Important additions to the seating accommodation of the hall of the Mechanics' Institute are now being carried out and when completed will provide seats for 100 people at the back of the hall. In view of the inconvenience caused by people having to stand during a performance, the Council of the Institute took the matter into consideration a few weeks ago and under their instruction Mr. F.D. Anderson prepared the plans for a tier of seats at each side of the door, to be built in 16 movable sections, so that when necessary the whole floor space can be made available for dances and other social functions. The seats were designed to cover an area of 18x19 feet on each side of the hall, with a vestibule at the entrance, the seats being railed off at either end from the vestibule. The plans were submitted to the Public Works Department and approved of by the Government Architect. Seats sufficient for one side of the hall were in use on Saturday night and were much appreciated. It is expected that the others will be available for this evening. The Singleton Argus - Thursday, 12th September, 1918
GRACEFUL COMPLIENT - It is gratifying to note that the Council of the Mechanics' Institute has decided to extend, to all returned soldiers and sailors, the courtesy of honorary membership during the period of the War. This is a graceful act that no doubt will be well appreciated by our boys on their return from abroad. Most other country towns make the same concessions as the above and it has proved very acceptable for many. The Singleton Argus - Tuesday, 30th September, 1924
IMPROVEMENTS AT THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE - A great improvement has been effected at the entrance to the Mechanics' Institute by the installation of an electric light above the doorway. Previously the approach to the Institute was dark and dismal and patrons of the place had to pick their steps cautiously on the stone steps. The new light makes for safety and brightness, and the words "Mechanics' Institute' show out distinctly on the white globe." The Singleton Argus - Friday, 16th April, 1946
EARLY MORNING UNEXPECTED DIP - Whilst getting cattle across the Hunter on Wednesday morning, well known auctioneer, Mr. Les Bailey, had an unexpected dip in the chilled waters of the stream. Without warning the horse he was riding went down above girth deep in quicksand and naturally became frightened by its experience and in its frenzy to get to terra firma, it put on an exhibition that no rider had a chance of viewing from its back. Mr. Bailey, who also became startled by his predicament, was catapulted from his steed into the water. Apart from his ducking and the consternation he felt for the loss of two packets of that very scarce commodity, cigarette papers, he was none the worse for the experience and neither was the horse. It has been stated that it was fortunate that the horse was able to get out of its plight in quick time. The Singleton Argus - Tuesday, 12 October, 1920
COW'S QUEER DIET - A curious find was made in the stomach of a cow slaughtered by Mr. W.G. Bailey. It consisted of a strong iron ring, about 2 ins. in diameter, such as is used by harness makers, a 2 in. wire nail, a Sydney Tailro's brass trouser button, and the pointed half of a good sized safety pin. The cow was in fine fat condition and apparently had not suffered in the least from what may be called its iron ration. The Singleton Argus - Tuesday, 24th February, 1920
AGED COUPLE ON TRAMP - For the past few days there has been, in Singleton, an aged couple, man and wife, who have attracted a good deal of sympathy. They are the possessers of an ancient waggonette, in which they say they are travelling to Queensland. The husband is paralysed and almost wholly helpless. He camps with the vehicle while the wife who is decrepit and partially blind, forages for food and clothing, sometimes earning a little by singing. She presented a truly pathetic picture as she tottered with the tucker bag over her bowed shoulders feeling her way with a stick. On being spoken to, her cheerful philosophy was wonderful. The idea of Home or Institution was mentioned but the woman scorned that at once. She said she had been in such places before and would sooner die under a tree in the bush than enter one again. She said she and the old man were quite content to be at liberty, and as for the rest they simply trusted in God. They go north today, probably.