We visited in early Feb 2010, I’m just cleaning up all the Tinsmith files in preparation for a publicist’s visit tomorrow morning. The coffin liners were a particular highlight for Barbara and I, we have another friend Ben Ziegler in LA who would like the the high-res coffin image . . . it  is downloadable here.

St Helens History Room: Sue Briginshaw and her team of curators, gallery guides and many local historians made us welcome, opened up exhibits and took the time to explain elements of the local tin trade. The History Room is attached to the local council chambers, right beside the place where locals attend to their cray pot licenses, pay their rates and it is a mecca for tourist leaflet collection – a perfect positioning for the old world stuff we love. Sue and her husband John are close neighbours and friends of John Potter and Roz MacAllan at Binalong Bay, it was there over a long delightful summer evening that we first swapped tin snippets and we showed a DVD of Barbara’s mother’s family movies of Christmas holidays on the East Coast from the 1920s-1940s.

The Derby Tin Centre: The tin trail runs over the north-east area of Tasmania known as the Blue Tiers. We first became acquainted with the story of the Chinese on the tin fields through Joan Scott’s little research book – Celestial Sojourn. Joan pays tribute to the gentle Chinese who so diligently worked this area and whose contribution has largely gone unacknowledged. Once we had visited all the graves, the older camps and towns we ended up at the Tin Interpretation Centre at Derby. There we met the local councillor and historian, John Beswick. One of Derby’s best known and fourth generation sons, John Beswick penned the famous book on Derby’s tin mining history; Brother’s Home. John was curious about our research and showed us through the centre, signed our copy and made suggestions of places and sites for further visits. The book can be sourced via email johnanddotb@vision.net.au

The powerpoint of the trail is downloadable here, its 24 Mb. Slide 1 is shown above – Miners asleep in the bush.