..::Louth Park Mob::..


..::Books by Doc and Mick::..

high street maitland 1955 flood


Since 1820

Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty

The second book by Mick and Doc deals with the floods that have affected Maitland since settlement in the early 1800s.
The most well-known flood occurred in 1955 but investigations have revealed a number of floods before and since then.

Maitland Railway 1955 flood

Maitland Sportsground 1955 flood
Belmore bridge at top left leading across the Hunter River to Lorn, which appears unscathed, compared to the flooded High Street leading to the Sportsground at lower right.

  Experience flooding back
  28/11/2007 Maitland Mercury

  Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty know what it's like to be on the frontline of a flood emergency.
  The pair worked side-by-side with State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers to help move furniture from the rising waters of the 1971 Maitland flood.
  Now the budding authors have included their personal experiences in a book, called Memories Come Flooding Back.
  It details the floods that affected Maitland between 1893 and 2007, including the infamous 1955 flood and the city's most recent natural disaster during the June long weekend.
  More than 200 photographs have been brought together for the first time in the book, along with stories of the floods based on the memories of Maitland residents.
  Mr Fairleigh said the pair came up with the idea for the historic tome while researching their first venture into publishing, The Louth Park Mob - A Collection of Stories, Anecdotes and
  History of Louth Park.
  He said he was given two photos of the Louth Park corner store, with one showing it during the 1949 flood.
  The men kept the flood picture aside for their second project based on the city's flood history.
  While their first book took about 18 months to compile, Memories Come Flooding Back was a much quicker process, with the men inundated with calls from people wanting to give
  them photographs.
  Mr Fairleigh said he had high hopes for the book following the success of their first publication. It is now in its fourth print run, having sold 900 copies.
  Part of the proceeds from of Memories Come Flooding Back will be donated to the SES.
  The book was launched on December 8 at St Paul's Church Hall, near Maitland Park.
  It went on sale the following Monday at McDonalds Booksellers, Maitland West End Newsagency, Rutherford Newsagency, Maitland Tourist information Centre, Hill's Newsagency and
  ABC Centre East Maitland and Green Hills Newsagency.

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Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty

article 5th dec 06

Mick and Doc's first book deals with the history of their locality near the city of Maitland.

Friends Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty have spent two years working on this book, which was launched at the home of their old Sunday school near St Paul's Church, Maitland Park on 5th December 2006.
"Gathering the information for this book has been absolutely fantastic," Mr Fairleigh said. "Every minute has been a high and we've uncovered so much history about Maitland."
Mr Fairleigh and Mr Doherty met when they were young boys in Louth Park and their friendship has stood the test of time.
"We grew up together and as we got older and started getting together for barbecues, our wives would say 'why don't you pair get together and write a book?'
"So two years ago we started the process and today we have a 200 page history book," Mr Doherty said.

..::St Ethel's::..
earliest image of st ethels school

Blood, bandages and hard knocks.
The third book by 'accidental authors' Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty.

Two mates have turned their talent for spinning a yarn into a successful publishing venture.
By Jane Parsons Newcastle Herald 9 January 2010.

Another larrikin account of growing up in Maitland has been brought to the page by two accidental authors who have already charmed their way into the hearts of the reading public with their sometimes serious, but usually comic goings on about growing up in their home town.

Maitland mates Mick Fairleigh and Paul (Doc) Doherty have hit on a winning formula that would make most other would-be authors green with envy.
They are now the publishers of three books, a feat even they find hard to believe.
It was at backyard barbecues and casual get-togethers that their stories and yarns first became a hit. They not only provided plenty of entertainment for party goers, but their audiences first put the idea of writing down their memoirs into their heads.
"People of all ages would come up to us and say 'You should write a book' and it just went from there," Fairleigh, who with Doherty produced their first book, The Louth Park Mob, four years ago, says.

"We got the taste for it and when that one was out, we were already onto the next one."
They did not immediately warm to the process of writing, but it soon came naturally. The Louth Park Mob struck such a chord and proved such a hit that they were urged to write another tome.

map of st ethel's location Two more books followed, with the latest, Blood and Bandages, St Ethel's School of Hard Knocks, launched last month.
It was in their second book, on Maitland's floods, Memories Come Flooding Back, that the mates decided to include more anecdotes from the public and this sealed their success.
"People love recalling the different events during their lives and everyone else loves reading about them because they can relate to it too," Fairleigh says.

"We wanted to include more stories from the locals and we did this with the second book and now the third book. "The book is their story as well as ours. We can recall different events and other people remember other things that happened. "I said to Doc when this last book came out, we have the definitive book on St Ethel's. It must be a first."

The books, which include hundreds of photographs, surprised even the authors with the information they uncovered. The now-closed St Ethel's Public School attended by the mates, produced its share of successful adults from academic achievers to sports people, including Special Olympics gold medallist Glenn Rose and dual state cricketer (NSW and Qld) Charlie Andrews.
"The achievements of this little school here have reached across the earth if you like because some of the people are living and working overseas in important postitions like cardiac research," Fairleigh says. The book includes stories of favourite teachers, not-so-favourite teachers and plenty of skylarking, which inevitably ended in 'getting the cane'. "It is our style to get people to tell their stories, it's our hallmark if you like, and this time we did it decade by decade."

The books are further brought to life with the inclusion of photographs, many of them family-style snapshots. There are more than 200 photos in the new book's 160 pages. "They really go over big with the readers, some of them have rarely been seen and they really bring back memories," Fairleigh says. So buoyed are they by the continuing accolades for their lively publications the childhood friends have not one, but two more books in their sights. The history of Maitland Police Boys Club and Maitland Show will be the next to get the larrikin treatment. "History books don't tell the whole story, we like going for the eyewitness accounts and behind the scenes," Mick says.

..::The Police Boys Club::..
chinups at maitland pcyc

The History of Maitland Police Citizens Youth Club.
The fourth book by 'accidental authors' Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty.

PCYC: 60 years and going strong in Maitland
By Rebecca Berry
Dec. 8, 2012

When Maitland Police Citizens Boys Club opened its doors on December 12, 1952, the-then mayor MJ Clyde said although it had been costly it would pay big dividends in character building and good citizenship in years to come.
Alderman Clyde said the club was regarded as one of the great social services to Maitland along with the city library. The late Herb O’Brien of Horseshoe Bend was the first person to join the club, while a young Jim Berthold of Anzac Street, Maitland was the first person through the doors. He was keen to play table tennis and reached the semi finals of the A reserve singles in the State championship held in Sydney in 1958.

These fond memories and many more like them are recorded in the book The History of Maitland Police Citizens Youth Club aka The Police Boys Club, by Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty.
Their book, compiled after two years research and edited by Dave Sciffer, will be launched in time for the club’s 60th anniversary on December 9 at Maitland Park Bowling Club at 2pm.
mick and doc at pcyc In their introduction, they write “what a great time we had at the Police Boys Club.”
“Every Friday night we would be there with our usual gang of the Louth Park mob - Johnny Tiedeman, Mick, Doc, Kerry Sharpe, Eddie Wozniak and Robert Newton.

“You had to be there early to beat the mad rush to the front of the line, for there was always a long line of boys waiting to get in. Sometimes the line of kids used to go from the front door along the pathway to the footpath and almost to High Street.”

One of the club’s most popular activities was the trampoline which had a time limit of three minutes per person and other activities included weekend camps, walking in marathons, table tennis, small bore rifle shooting, basketball, boxing, judo, billiards, chess and draughts, cricket and model aeroplane making.

The growth of the Maitland Police Boys Club was because of the dedication of its first secretary manager Sergeant Vic Moffitt, described as a brilliant organiser and manager, despite not having any experience in that area.
The club’s membership was 653 and attendance numbers were close to 20,000.
Constable Fred Brown became Vic Moffitt’s assistant in 1954 and was also appointed captain/coach of Maitland Pumpkin Pickers rugby league team.

A book signing with the authors will be held at central newsagency in the Heritage Mall on December 15 2012.
The History of Maitland Police Citizens Youth Club aka The Police Boys Club, by Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty.
Meanwhile, the book is available to purchase at West End, Central, East Maitland (Lawes Street) and Green Hills newsagencies.

Maitland Tourist and Information Centre High Street Maitland
McDonalds Book Store High Street Maitland
Angus & Robertson Bookstore Newcastle Mall Hunter Street Newcastle
GreenHills Newsagency
ABC Shop East Maitland Newsagency Lawes Street East Maitland
West End Newsagency High Street Maitland opposite Belmore Hotel
Central Newsagency Maitland Mall
Whizzer's Barber Shop Rutherford Mall

Book 1 Louth Park Mob $25 plus postage and handling (ISBN 9780646495125)
Book 2 Memories Come Flooding Back $25 plus p&h (ISBN 9780646490151)
Book 3 Blood and Bandages the School of Hard Knocks $30 plus p&h (ISBN 9780980736304)
Three Book Special $65 plus p&h

Ring the authors
Mick Fairleigh and Paul Doherty
Phone 0402 507869

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  Page last updated 26th March 2017