Available for purchase


Manning Valley Historical Society is proud to publish a wide-range of books written by local historians as well as its own outstanding researchers. The  publications we offer provide a unique insight into the people, places and events that have shaped the history of the Manning Valley.

Want to learn more?

Books may be purchased at Wingham Museum or ordered online. Come in and take a look around or browse through the list of publications below.


100 Years of Fashion in the Manning 1860 – 1960

A history of the magnificent clothing worn in a bygone era that MVHS now holds in its collection

by Margaret A Clark

Clothing has long been the means by which people have been assessed. What you wear immediately places the wearer in a social class and environment. This is as true today as it was in 1860. However, there is today a greater degree of mobility. There are opportunities to move, to explore new avenues and gain wide ranging experiences. Experiences that were not available in the past given the difficulties of travel, the limitations of funds and the restrictions placed on women in particular.

It was class and money that dictated fashion in the early days of the colony. The advent of the gold rushes brought to fortune a new class, one with money and social pretensions. This group used the money to provide opportunities for their children and displayed their wealth in their homes and clothing.

72 pages with photographs
21 cm x 29.5 cm
Printed 2014
Cost $10

2011 Recipe Book

by Manning Valley Historical Society

2011 marks a centenary of celebrations for International Women’s Day, which was inaugurated on the 8th March 1911. In true Aussie style the Manning Valley Historical Society celebrates this significant milestone by launching a new recipe book.

Within this book you will find a smorgasbord of new culinary delights, tried and tested favourites, some handy hints and those essential recipes from Grandma and, of course, Grandpa!

This book is not only a celebration of the immeasurable talents of women, past and present, but also of cookery and colonial settlement in and around the Manning Valley of NSW. Within these pages are items, documents and copies of original colour and black and white photographs from the museum and archives collection. These gems are a mere trifle of what lies ‘in store’ at the museum in Wingham!

68 pages
21 cm x 29.5 cm
Printed 2011
Cost: $15

A History of Mt George

by Narelle Smith

Narelle has taken the history of Mt. George and produced a collection of stories touching many different facets of the community’s establishment and evolvement over time.

From the time when the area was regarded as a buffer helping control convict management, through to pioneer settlement for free settlers. Then the workers on the  government’s  railway and followers of the general farming and timber industries Narelle has touched the lot.

115 pages
21 cm x 29.5 cm
printed 2017
cost  $24


A Peaceful Revolution

by Helen Hannah

What motivated people to go to a wild, distant location and live without the services of electricity and telephone in the 1970’s? What were their hopes and did they like the realities of living in a very different way to mainstream society? What were the consequences to their families, the community and the environment at the time and afterwards?

This book records the history of the Bulga Plateau during the period 1970 to 1995. It is essentially an oral history that allows the inhabitants to tell their story about life in an alternative community on the Bulga Plateau.

The Bulga Plateau is located in Australia in the State of New South Wales. It covers an area of about 100 square kilometres on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range approximately 50 kilometres north west of Taree, at an altitude of about 550 metres above sea level. Most of the plateau is in the Greater Taree City Council area and includes the Parishes of Bulga and Myall. Ellenborough Falls, the second highest straight drop waterfall in Australia, and a major tourist attraction for its natural beauty and stunning setting on the edge of the escarpment, is situated near the village of Elands.

153 pages
21 cm x 29.5 cm
Printed 2011
Cost: $25

At the Going Down of the Sun Vol. 1

A Manning Valley Remembrance – Volume 1: 1885 – 1918

Edited by Maurie Garland

Dedicated to those from the Manning Valley who served in conflicts and wars commencing with the Sudan in 1885 to Afghanistan in 2014, and especially those who gave their lives in some foreign field.

This is the first of two volumes commemorating the sacrifices of young men and women from the Manning Valley.

This volume covers the period from 1885-1918. The second will deal with World War Two and those conflicts since.

82 pages with photographs
21 cm x 29.5 cm
Printed 2014
Cost: $15

At the Going Down of the Sun Vol. 2

A Manning Valley Remembrance – Volume 2: 1939 – 2014

Edited by Maurie Garland

This is the second of two volumes commemorating the sacrifices of young men and women from the Manning Valley in the campaigns of war. This volume covers the period from 1939 to the present day.

Our community continues to honour our Manning Valley servicemen and, through these books, their stories will live on.

96 pages with photographs
21 cm x 29.5 cm
Printed 2014
Cost: $15

Back to Lansdowne 1985

by Paul and Di Elger

This book depicts the trials and tribulations of the pioneering families in Lansdowne one of Australia’s better rainforest areas.  It is the story of people concerned with wresting a living – through good and bad times – yet concerned with the betterment for all, through community involvement.

80 pages
21 cm x 29.5 cm
cost $20

Bow Bow Creek School 1859-1967

by Glenda Smith

Its neighbouring community; its history; its churches; its neighbouring schools; and its families.

Bow Bow Creek School (now known as Bo Bo Creek) was the fourth National (public) school to be established in the Manning Valley.

Softcover, spiral bound
208 pages
21 cm x 29.7 cm
Printed 2005 with reprint in 2014
Cost: $30

Bringing Prosperity to the Valley

by Bill Beach

This book is a history of the Manning Valley dairy industry.  From the 1890’s up to the mid 1900’s the dairy industry singlehandedly raised the Manning Valley from dependence on semi-subsistence agriculture to relative wealth .  The dairy industry really started the Manning Valley on a path to prosperity and ensured that the region would confidently face the challenges the 20th and 21st centuries would bring.

138 pages
21 cm x 29.5 cm
printed 2017
cost $25

Changes of a Lifetime

by Tom Woollard

Tom Woollard was a well known and respected identity around Wingham and the hinterland. His book records the changes he experienced in his long lifetime (1925-2013). It deserves the attention of the community because the local history of his era will soon be lost as subsequent generations forget there was once a time without electricity and cars, and the luxuries we now take for granted.

This is very personal account of a hard life but a life well lived.

Published in 1995 as a limited edition and now out of print.

164 pages. Includes photographs and map.
17.5 cm x 24.5 cm
Condition: fair
Soft cover
Cost: $40 (plus postage)

Children of the Circus

by John Ramsland with Mark St Leon

Chap 1 – The origins of the Australian Circus
Chap 2 – Circus Children in the Colonial Period
Chap 3 – Circus Children 1901 -1924
Chap 4 – Circus Children 1925 to 1980’s

114 pages
14 cm x 21.5 cm
First published 1993
Cost: $8

Cricket in the Manning

1893 – 2015

Les Eastaway

Foreword by Craig Martin of the ‘Martin Cricketing Family’ in the Manning Valley.

This book includes everything you wanted to know about cricket in the Manning but were afraid to ask!

It has a tribute to John Martin, early history, cricket clubs of the Manning, grounds and ovals of achievement, the curators, cricketers, and a photo gallery.

But that’s not all. There’s a great deal about “Cricket” including stories, fibs, articles, folklore, club records, statistics and much more.

If you’re a cricket ‘tragic’ this is the book for you – and it is signed by the author!

248 pages with photographs, index and bibliography
21 cm x 29.5 cm
Printed 2015
Cost: $30

Des West and Cars

What Else is There

by Ruth West

In a motor racing career of forty years, begining in 1953, Des West has done it all. And this includes the 1953 Redex Round Australia Trial.

Included also is Des’ blow by blow description of how he drove laps round the Mount Panorama (Bathurst) track in his 327 Monaro in 1968.

96 pages
14 cm x 21 cm
First published 1993: Reprinted 2011
Cost: $15

Diary of a Country Hall -Killabakh 1907 – 2007

Killabakh Community Association Inc.

 This book is dedicated to all people of the Killabakh Valley – past and present- who have volunteered their time, energy and other resources for the betterment of their Hall and their community.


107 pages

21 cm x 29.5 cm

printed 2007

cost $10

Down To The Sea in Ships

Produced by Manning Valley Historical Society

Edited by Penny Rich

The book details the proud record of ship building, in the Manning Valley, from the 1830’s when William Wynter built the Tarree right down to the craft built by Steber and Linton today.

It also contains the details of every boat built on the Manning River as well as over 60 photos.

64 pages
21 cm x 29.5 cm
First published 2002
Cost: $10

Forest of Dreams

and Other Journeys of The Red Road

by Roderick Williams

“Rod gives us another superb helping of his ingenious poetry and short stories in a way only Rod can serve it. He writes of characters and places within this Great Southern Land, with words which can be as gentle as the breeze through a gum tree, or as potent as the bite of a tiger snake.”
Neil McArthur

Glossy pages, illustrated with photographs – a beautiful book.

122 pages
14 cm x 21 cm
First published 2006
Cost: $20

Frogs and Dogs and Kids

Rhyming Performance Poetry for Children

by Roderick Williams
Illustrations by Sophie Glascott

“This book was written mainly for Primary school children, but some of the poems will have a wide appeal and I’m sure Sophie’s lovely drawings will thrill all eyes. The likes of ‘The Battle in the Garden’ – ‘A Secret Place’ – ‘The Liverpool Street Honker’ – and ‘My Blue Mate Jessie’ are performed to the delight of both children and adults.”
Roderick Williams

64 pages
20 cm x 25 cm
First published 2002
Cost: $15

Gold on the Manning

revised by Maurie Garland and Glenda Smith

The story of the search for gold in the Manning mirrors the rise ad fall of the area’s eonomic prosperity  In prosperous times there was little interest in the search, however in periods of recession 1860’s, 1880’s-90’s and 1930 there was a lot of effort and money spent.  Our story focuses on the two best paying fields on the Manning.

36 pages
14.5cm x 21 cm
first ed. 1997
second ed. 2002
cost  $8

Historic Wingham and the Upper Manning

Mal Rattray & Maurie Garland

The editors have been producing a weekly historical article for the Wingham Chronicle since 2003.

With over 200 photos on glossy paper, the book gives a smorgasbord of Wingham’s history with more written detail behind the photos gleaned From The Archives of the Manning Valley Historical Society.

72 pages
21 cm x 29.5 cm
Printed 2005
Cost: $15