Lithgow explores its Scottish roots at heritage weekend

‘My Culture my Story’, the National Trust Heritage Festival theme and LithGlow heritage weekend, gave many with Scottish background the chance to trace their ancestors from Lithgow’s earliest days.

The local branch of the National Trust presented a fascinating talk with a traditional Scottish afternoon tea on May 13. 

John Cambridge of the Lithgow Highland Pipe Band and Pat Connell’s moving Scottish airs filled the Bowenfels Presbyterian Church Hall, which was packed to capacity for the talk by Professor Ian Jack. 

Professor Jack talked about the Scots of the Lithgow District in the 19th Century. The audience was amazed to learn of the heritage significance of buildings still standing in the town today.

Dr Jack, of St Andrew’s College within the University of Sydney, stressed the influence of the Scottish character in developing a pastoral empire in Bowenfels into Lithgow, a major industrial town.

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A replica of Christina Brown’s hand-worked quilt, embroidered by ladies of the Bowenfels Church, was on view and organisers welcomed Helen Hall, a direct descendant of Andrew Brown of Cooerwull, a previous owner of the quilt.

Following the introduction by Jan Saundercock, the Lithgow and District Family History Society encouraged many to provide details of their ancestors to the Society or further their research.

The Lithgow branch of the National Trust thanked Bowenfels Church for making its excellent hall and volunteers available.