City of Sydney Historical Association
2nd March, 2013 - History of Surry Hills & Darlinghurst
9th February, 2013 - Chinese New Year
12th January, 2013 - Tour of St Barnabas Church, Broadway
8th December, 2012 - Colonial Land Use and the Coxes of Mulgoa Valley
7th November, 2012 - Guided Tour of the Town Hall Vaults
3rd November, 2012 - 1954 Royal Tour
13th October, 2012 - Rise of Sydney's Department Stores
14th July, 2012 - Life & Times of Tommy Townshend
9th June, 2012 - "Reynolds" Cottages
19th May, 2012 - St Paul's College Tour
14th April, 2012 - Motorised Mayhem
10th March, 2012 - The Flying Fruit Fly Circus
4th February, 2012 - Quong Tart: High Tea and Scottish Ditties
14th January 2012: Dictionary of Sydney
10th December 2011: Admiral Arthur Philip - The Man
12th November 2011: Glebe Walk
8th October 2011: Bob Carr at the Annual General Meeting
3rd September 2011: History Week
13th August 2011: Tom Wentworth Wills –Visionary Sportsman
9th July 2011: Henry L'Estrange - Funambulist and Aeronaut
11th June 2011: Afro-American Servicemen in WWII
14th May 2011: Government House Tour
9th April 2011: Amazing Stories from Randwick
19th March 2011: The Ones that Got Away
12 Feb 2011: Chinese Market Gardens of Sydney
8 Jan 2011: St Andews College Tour
11 Dec 2010: Garden Palace Scandal
13 Nov 2010: Cumberland Digs
9 Oct 2010: Painting the Rocks
4 Sep 2010: Celebrate History Week
14 Aug 2010: Whaling, Wool and Wealth
10 Jul 2010: The Ones that Got Away
12 Jun 10: Percy Lindsay
8 May 10: Sydney Tramway Museum
10 Apr 10: Making of our nation
13 Mar 10: Reading photographs
13 Feb 2010: Macquarie Place
9 Jan 10: Sydney's Astronomical History
12 Dec 09: The colony
14 Nov 09: Women of The Rocks
10 Oct 09: History of Kent Brewery
5 Sep 09: Scandal, Crime & Corruption
15 Aug 09: Walk-Darling Harbour
11 Jul 09: Redfern Alexandria & Waterloo
06 Jun 09: Pubs & Publicans of Sydney
09 May 09 : C19th Sydney Firemen
18 Apr 09 : History of Darling Harbour
14 Mar 09: Bewitched!
Annual General Meeting 2009
Jan 2009 - Trade Hall
14 Mar 09: Bewitched!

Saturday 14th March 2009
Bewitched! Strange Things Found in Old Buildings
Ian Evans
Sydney’s old houses and buildings conceal objects used in the belief that they would protect their occupants from harm.
This is the result of extensive research by the heritage writer Ian Evans, well known for his many books and articles on restoring old houses.
The objects which have been found concealed in many old buildings throughout Australia include:
• Dried cats
• Old shoes
• Items of clothing, including hats, jackets, gloves and lace collars
• Domestic artefacts, often including childrens’ toys, ornaments and books

Ian Evans will be in in Sydney in March and would like to hear from people who have found interesting objects in their houses or other buildings. He can be reached on 0419 794 610 or by email at
The practice of concealing objects as protective talismans is well known in the UK where many hundreds of old shoes, dead cats and other objects have been found in buildings in recent years. The custom came to Australia during the 18th and 19th centuries but went unnoticed until Ian Evans began his research in 2004.
He believes that it was the last manifestation of ancient British folk magic beliefs, carried out in the hope that it would protect the occupants of houses from evil.
Ritual objects in old buildings are usually identified by the fact that they are in sealed voids and in locations where accidental loss or placement is most unlikely. They are commonly found during building renovations. The practice was highly secret. Although it was widespread in Australia it appears never to have been recorded in historical documents and was thus overlooked by historians.

Books by Ian Evans include Colour Schemes for Old Australian Houses, The Federation House – A Restoration Guide and Caring for Old Houses.
Issued by The Flannel Flower Press
PO Box 591
Mullumbimby NSW 2482
Phone/fax 02 6684 7677

Date: 14th March 2009
Time: 2.00-4.00pm
Venue: Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
280 Pitt Street, Sydney
(Go to Map)
Cost: $2.00 includes afternoon tea