WESTON (NSW) HISTORY & HERITAGE
Celebrating the Past with Hope for the Future
Take time to gather up the past so that you will be able to draw from your experiences and invest them in the future.
~ Jim Rohn
Welcome to Weston!
This website was established in conjunction with Coalfields Local History Association Inc. and the Facebook page: I grew up in Weston and Survived (IGUIWAS). Special thanks to Mélissa Martin and Lynne Kermode for transcribing the Pioneering Days articles for publication. Please report broken links to the: Website Manager
Weston (NSW) History & Heritage is a not-for-profit website dedicated to preserving some of the history and heritage of the town of Weston in NSW, Australia. The scope of the website is to provide the history and heritage of Weston in a predominantly pictorial fashion from the birth of the town up until 2020. We attempt to capture the essence of the Weston of yesteryear; the history, the heritage and the heart. Among many other pages of historical interest, there are five timeline pages included in the drop-down menu at the top of the page: The Past - Weston to 1910; Weston 1911-1920; Weston 1921-1960; Weston 1961-2000; and Weston 2001-2020. See also details of many early businesses on the Services & Establishments page. These pages contain a great deal of information and many photographs relating to the development of the Weston township. Please note, any downward facing arrows in either the top menu bar or the drop-down menus always indicate additional pages underneath. Just hover over, tap or click the arrow to reveal them. We also discuss The Future of Weston.
Weston began to grow as a private town of great promise in 1903 due to the vast coal deposits lying beneath; yet over the decades has suffered many challenges and loss of services. No doubt this town will continue to transition over time, with potential opportunities abounding for those with an eye to the future. See The Future.
Will the days ahead draw on aspects of the past? This notion does not seem beyond the realms of possibility. When Cessnock Road was known as Aberdare Street in the early days of Federation, it was a vibrant business hub (see The Past - Weston to 1910) and the Services and Establishments pages). Might it be again?
While the Hebburn Collieries led to the Birth of Weston, tragically, many men lost their lives in the local mines; a fact that should never be forgotten. Please take note of the crosses on the timeline pages (navigation via the drop-down menu at the top of the page) where we remember those miners. The Hebburn Collieries could not have flourished as they did without them. The Hebburn township no longer exists as a separate town; it now forms part of Weston. We hope that the unique heritage of Weston's past helps to ensure that the coming years are filled with opportunity and prosperity. When Basil Ralston wrote his memoir, see 'My Ten Years in Weston, 1926-1936' , he stated in the Introduction, ' You have a heritage like no other people in Australia. If I can show you something of what I know of it, I will have done something for Weston.'
We bring our timeline pages right up to 2020. See Weston 2001-2020. After all, the pioneers who built this town left many descendants with the same gritty determination to see their town prosper. See Weston Worthies page.
Some of what we share on these pages will be sad and other items will be humorous, but above all, what we publish will be about the real character of Weston and the strength and spirit of its people. The photographs appearing on this website will have been contributed by many different sources including the Coalfields Heritage Group (now known as the Coalfields Local History Association Inc.) from collections at the Sir Edgeworth David Memorial Museum. Where we can, we will cite the original sources; however, some photographs may have been taken by photographers unknown to us. If you have concerns in relation to any photographs that we publish on this not-for-profit website, or are able to confirm sources where we have been unable to cite them, please contact the Website Manager.
The town of Weston is located in the historic Parish of Heddon and County of Northumberland in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales. It lies within the local government area of the City of Cessnock. Weston is situated approximately 2km west of Kurri Kurri, 3.5 km east of Abermain, 13km east of Cessnock, 11km south of Maitland and 40km north-west of Newcastle.
The postcode for Weston is 2326.
Nearby places sharing the same postcode are: Abermain, Bishops Bridge, Loxford, Neath and Sawyers Gully.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has the following data on the population of Weston at Census of 2016:
Median Age 37
Average children per family 1.9
All private dwellings 1,480
Average people per household: 2.6
Median weekly household income $1,084
Median monthly mortgage repayments $1,387
Median weekly rent $240
Average motor vehicles per dwelling 1.8
Today, Weston is still a small town but it grew from people with big hearts. Many were Scots and also Geordies from the north of England. These pioneers who came to work in the Hebburn Collieries began with nothing but the will to create a better life for themselves and their families. First though - they had to build a town to live in! These sturdy souls knuckled down and worked harder than most of us could ever imagine and soon this little township grew and flourished. Daily life always revolved around the sound of the pit whistle, but the all too frequent sound of the dreaded emergency signal sent shivers of fear down the spine. Over the decades, Weston has seen its sons go off to war, lose their livelihood with strikes and mine closures, and face the usual ups and downs of commerce and industry. Weston has always adapted to changing circumstances. Given the inevitable circle of life, new families have come to settle in the town and others have departed, but to those of us who descend from those early pioneers, Weston will always be 'home'.
I grew up in Weston NSW and Survived is a Facebook group for all Westonians - past and present. Within that group we are able to reconnect with old classmates, workmates, friends and neighbours - or simply make new friends. If you are on Facebook, we encourage you to join the group and share your old photographs and family stories. Perhaps you will even allow us to publish some of them on this website since our aim is to preserve Weston's History and Heritage.
Coalfields Heritage Group (now known as The Coalfields Local History Association Inc.) operates the Sir Edgeworth David Memorial Museum. The Museum was located in the grounds of Kurri Kurri High School but is now, as of March 2020, relocating to the School of Arts building on Cessnock Road, Abermain. See Weston 2001-2020. This facility is literally a treasure trove of information on the history and heritage of the Coalfields in the Hunter Valley.
Above: The Welcome to Weston sign at the entrance to the town.
Above: Jock Stewart Park Cnr. Station and Second Streets.
~ Google Maps
Jock Stewart Park was named in honour of Weston identity, Jock Stewart. Jock, along with his wife, Mary, conducted businesses on both the site of this park, and also on the opposite side of Station Street. More information and photographs on Services & Establishments page.
Above: The War Memorial in Cessnock Road Weston
~ NSW War Memorials Register
The plaque with photograph at front left commemorates Private Richard E. Lloyd and the one on the right: Private Errol J. Bailey. See photograph at right.
See also: Weston Roll of Honour
Lest We Forget
Above: The Weston Cenotaph
From Monuments Australia
~ Photograph supplied by Sandra Brown
'Weston Cenotaph commemorates those who served in conflicts in which Australia has been involved.
The cenotaph contains plaques to Private Richard LLoyd and Private Errol Bailey who were killed in action during the Vietnam War. The memorial also contains an Australia Remembers plaque commemorating those who served in World War Two and a plaque has been placed on the memorial to commemorate 100 hundred years since the First World War. '
The name 'Maybury Peace Park' is in honour of the late Jeff Maybury who was a councillor on Cessnock City Council for 35 years. He was responsible, along with Jack King and others, for seeing to fruition the completion of Peace Park. Councillor Jeff Maybury was also responsible for the formation of the Weston Tidy Towns Committee. He passed away in 2015. See Weston Worthies page and Weston 2001-2020.
Above: Hospital Road Weston
~ db Photography
Above: Ernie Dunlop Park, Webb Street Weston
Locally, Ernie Dunlop was a top sportsman in Rugby League both as a player and official. In 1980, he presided over the re-formed Weston Retired Mineworkers Association and in 1989 was Cessnock Senior Citizen of the Year.
~ db Photography
Above left: The Civic Centre in Station Street Weston
This site was formerly occupied by the Capitol Theatre.
See 'Weston's Three Picture Theatres' at Services & Establishments .
The small building in the centre was once Dr John Meredith's surgery.
~ Google Maps
Above: Section of Station Street Weston
The premises occupied by the Vet clinic was formerly Kirkwood's Grocery and Produce. There used to be a large produce store at the right of the shop. The building to the left was formerly the Weston Commonwealth Bank
More on the Services & Establishments page.
~ Google Maps
Above: Thomas Fell Park Cnr. Station & Swanson Streets
~ Google Maps