Friday Five Newsletter 2018.6.22

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Westprint Friday Five Friday June 22nd 2018

Let’s be adventurers.

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 24th April 2015 to 24th December 2015

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2016 to 23rd December 2016

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2017 to 29th December 2017

Click here to view Newsletter Archives from 5th January 2018 to current


FREE postage on ALL folded paper maps. Laminated maps rolled in mailing tubes still have postage added as below.

FREE postage on ALL orders over $100.

Otherwise there is a flat rate postage rate of $9.50 on all books, DVDs and talking books, regardless of the number of items ordered.

To order any of the books listed blow, click on the title to open a web browser, then use the Add to Cart button and proceed to the checkout. (or continue shopping for any additional titles you want.)

Visitors are welcome to call in at 6 Park St, Nhill, Monday to Friday. Please phone/email beforehand as we are not always open. Phone. 0353911466.

Friday Five Books

  1. Iron Roads in the Outback. $69.95. The Legendary Commonwealth Railways by Nick Anchen. Hard cover. 208 pages. Published 2017. The Iron Roads of the Australian Outback - the legendary Commonwealth Railways - were built through some of the harshest landscapes on Earth. They were railways like no other, where men and women battled extreme temperatures, flash floods and maddening isolation to keep the trains running. The focus of this book is squarely on the Central Australian, North Australian and Trans-Australia Railways, and features hundreds of stunning photos, not only of rail stock, but also of the rugged terrain the lines were built through. Nick Achen has combined many historical photos from the past alongside his own photography of current trains and their amenities.
  2. Great Convict Stories. $30.00 New book. Graham Seal takes us back to Australia's ignominious beginnings, when a hungry child could be transported to the other side of the globe for the theft of a handkerchief. It was a time when men were flogged till they bled for a minor misdemeanour, or forced to walk the treadmill for hours. Teams in iron chains carved roads through sandstone cliffs with hand picks, and men could select wives from a line up at the Female Factory. Great Convict Stories offers a fascinating insight into life in Australia's first decades.
  3. Captain Thunderbolt & His Lady. $30.00. He was the gentleman bushranger ... she was the woman who rode with him. This is the true story of Captain Thunderbolt and his lady. ‘Bail up!' demanded Captain Thunderbolt before he shouted the bar with the inn keeper's own profits. Driven into banditry by injustice, this colonial Robin Hood, magnificent horseman and skilled bushman was celebrated by his victims as vigorously as he was hunted by the law. She was his chief lieutenant, his eyes and his ears. Intelligent and beautiful, Mary Ann Bugg dressed as a man, rode like a man, and helped keep Thunderbolt ahead of the troopers and trackers intent on pursuing him to his end. Until one day... First published 2011.
  4. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt? $32.95. Ellen Thomson - The Only Woman Executed in Queensland. Author - Vashti Farrer. Free postage on this book. North Queensland was alive with goldrush excitement when a young widow moved to the new township of Port Douglas. Vashti Farrer opens the door on a colonial world, and hard pioneering lives in a tropical paradise. This illustrated book describes the men in Ellen Thomson’s life, including the husband she was blamed for killing. It follows her agonising trial and surprise hanging, as well as the roles of Aborigines, Chinamen, policemen, Ellen’s children and a judge whose mind was made up. This riveting true story leaves readers wondering if justice was done.
  5. Telegraph Tourists. $19.95. The first successful north - south crossing of Australia by motor vehicle was completed in 1908. Few had done it since. In 1929 Frank Wright repeated this feat and kept a daily diary. First published in 1993. 

Friday Forum

Do you recognise these pictures? 

Hi, I’m looking for clarification from your readers as to where these are. They are Cape York and could be Moorehead, Archer or Wenlock Rivers. The last photo may be the Jardine before the barge.   Justin.

 jardine 1

jardine 2

jardine 3

jardine 4

Drinking Straws

I received the following email a few months ago and I’ve been thinking about it off and on since then. It is part of a list of ‘uses for drinking straws’. 

1.         Condiments to go. Cut a straw into quarters. With a pair of pliers and a lighter, melt one end of the straw and seal it shut. Fill the straw with the spice of your choice and seal the other end. You can also make little containers of lotion, foundation, or powder. 

2.         Make a “Fire Straw”. Wipe cotton wool liberally with petroleum jelly then use a stick to push the cotton into the straw until it is filled, then seal the other end as well. To use it, all you need to do is cut open the straw and light the cotton for a long-lasting flame, perfect for camping. 

This reminds me of a home handyman meme that goes ‘why would I buy it for $10 when I could make it myself for $20 plus two hours labour?’

Shoving cotton wool into a straw seems like a lot of hard work when you could just put some vaseline in one ziplock bag, some cotton wool in another for the same result but with a lot less work.

Last year when I was hiking in Peru, I had the brilliant idea that I was going to use straws to keep small amounts of various lotions. Wisely, my children advised against travel in South America with small straws filled with white powders. I used ziplock bags, well labelled and hoped that customs would at least test the contents before arresting me.

But really what I want to know is – does anyone do any of the things listed above? They all seem like a lot of work for little reward.

And given that the spotlight has recently been on the extraordinary environmental damage by drinking straws it has made me even more curious? Up until a few days ago, I had naively thought that drinking straws were recyclable. They are not. They can’t be melted for reuse as other products as the material they are constructed from, polypropylene, is so toxic.

When it does break down it releases toxic chemicals into the environment.

So, given that straws are such bad news at the moment, does anyone use them for travelling or do you have other tried and true packing tips? Jo. 

Book Reviews 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

The official blurb for this book reads… “The incredible story of the Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist and the woman he loved. Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies' man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport of men from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tätowierer - the tattooist - to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita who steals his heart. His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good. This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable”.

The cynical side of me thinks that the main character remembered events in a very self-flattering light. I don’t think one person could have done all those incredible things just for the good of others. Apart from the larger than life main character, it is still a great read. Jo. 

This book is temporarily out of print but should be available soon. You can order from Westprint. Price $30.00 

The Hornet: From bullied schoolboy to World Champion. I would have to say that boxing has never, ever been on my radar. The book only popped up because it was an Australian story and there was nothing else around to read. I was really surprised and enthralled. The tale of a boy who, took up boxing after being tormented as a teenager. Fast forward a dozen years and the former bullied schoolboy - now humble schoolteacher - became world boxing champion on 2 July 2017 at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium. Although Horn has recently lost his World Title, after reading this book I have no doubt he will win it back again. His message is simple: never give up on your dreams because if you push through tough times, amazing things can happen. Jo 

We don’t have this book in stock at the moment, but we can order it in for you. $40.00. 

Ernest Giles (1835–1897)

William Ernest Powell Giles was born in Bristol, England, and educated at Christ’s Hospital in London. His parents migrated to Australia and he joined them in 1851 after completing his education. Between 1861 and 1865 he took part in several expeditions in western NSW to assess the country beyond the Darling River

Sir Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von Mueller (also known as Baron von Mueller), the Victorian Government Botanist, recognised Giles’ experience and in 1872 asked him to lead an expedition from the newly built north-south Overland Telegraph line that connected Adelaide to Darwin, to the Western Australian Coast. Although unsuccessful, this expedition added much to European knowledge of Central Australia.

His next attempt the following year was also financed by von Mueller. He started from the Overland Telegraph Line where it crossed the Alberga River north of the present-day Oodnadatta. During this exploration a member of Giles’ party, Alfred Gibson, became lost and perished in an area now known as the Gibson Desert.

In 1875, equipped with camels by Thomas Elder, Giles set out from Beltana, South Australia proceeding north-west and then west along a string of waterholes, Wynbring, Ooldea, Ooldabinna and Boundary Dam, until he reached the Western Australian border. He then risked a 500-kilometre, 17-day waterless trek across the Great Victoria Desert before reaching the Queen Victoria Springs. From there Giles found the travelling was a little easier and he arrived in Perth in November 1875. On the return trip in 1876 he went north to the Murchison and Ashburton Rivers, crossed Gibson's Desert and reached the Rawlinson Ranges and eventually Oodnadatta. For his efforts Giles was given land grants in South Australia and the Northern Territory but was refused an official appointment because the South Australian governor Sir William Jervois claimed, ‘I am informed that he gambles and that his habits are not always strictly sober’.

Giles became interested in gold mining and was known to be on the Halls Creek field in 1885. Prospectors often sought his advice during his last years as a clerk in the warden’s office at Coolgardie where he worked until his death from pneumonia in 1897. Giles wrote prolific notes and journals, many of which are still in print and available from Westprint.

(Ernest Giles is this week’s clue to the secret project we are working on.) 

What’s On? 

Bedourie Campdraft, Rodeo & Bronco Branding. July 6-8. Bedourie Queensland. A jam-packed weekend experiencing the unique sport of campdrafting. Watch the amazing skills of our local stockmen and women as they compete against each other for prize money.  Saturday is the finals of the Campdraft followed by the Gymkhana in the afternoon and the Rodeo at night.  On Sunday experience Bronco Branding. a competition displaying the traditional working method of branding stock. Free camping is available at the Bedourie race course, with entertainment, catering and bar facilities. 

Bedourie camel and pig races and Camp Oven Cookoff. July 14, Bedourie Queensland. Forget horses as it’s the camels that reign supreme on in Bedourie. Also, amongst the action is pig racing, wood chopping and novelty events like the ‘old farts’ and ‘old boilers’. Plus, enjoying the traditional camp oven cook-off, where you’re invited (free of charge) to bake your very own bread using provided ingredients. 

Second Hand Selection.

Price of the following books includes postage in Australia. These books are not available on our website. To order any of these second-hand books send an email to If more than one person requests any book a ballot will be held on Monday. 

This week’s Secondhand selection is a little different. We have a number of books about stamps, stamp collecting and ‘barred numerals’. I’m not sure I even know what ‘barred numerals’ are, but I am sure that those with an interest in philately will know.

Books are:

Victoria: The ‘Barred Numeral’ Cancellations 1856-1912. Hardcover. Used but still in reasonable condition. Published 1963. $40 including post.

Australian Numeral Cancellations: A Compendium. Hardcover in very good condition. 1983. $40 including post.

Australian States. Specialist Catalogue 2005. Spiral bound with plastic covers. In excellent condition. $22.00 including post.

Comprehensive Colour Catalogue of Australia Stamps. 2003. Spiral bound with card covers. $40 including post.

The Stamps of Victoria. Hardcover in excellent condition. 1993. $40 including post.

The Australian Commonwealth Specialists’ Catalogue. Australian Colonies. Small softcover book in good condition. No date c1980. $12 including post. 

NB: These books weigh a lot! Postage has been calculated on individual books. If interested in more than one title, please let me know and I will re-calculate the postage costs for you. 

Friday Funnies


There was a frugal tradesman, a painter called Jack, who was very interested in making a buck or two where he could. So, he often would thin down his paint to make it go a bit further. As it happened, he got away with this for some time.

Eventually the Presbyterian Church decided to do a big restoration job on one of their biggest churches. Jack put in a painting bid and because his price was so competitive, he got the job. And so, he set to, with a right good will, erecting the trestles and putting up the planks, and buying the paint and... yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with the turpentine.

Well, Jack was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly done, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder. The sky opened, and the rain poured down, washing the thin paint from all over the church and knocking Jack far off the scaffold to land on the ground. Now, Jack was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he fell on his knees and cried, "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?"

From the thunder, a mighty Voice spoke, "Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!"


Interviewing the young Swede for a job as teller, the bank president is amazed with the skill the applicant exhibits at handling money.

"So," the president says, "where did you get your training?"

"Yale," the fair-haired youth replies.

"I see. And what did you say your name was?"

He answers, "Yackson."


The three-time felon felt a wave of panic come over him as he surveyed the jury in the courthouse. Positive he'd never beat the murder rap, he managed to get hold of one of the kinder looking jurors and bribe her with his life savings to go for a manslaughter verdict. 

Sure enough, at the close of the trial the jury declared him guilty of manslaughter. Tears of gratitude welling up in his eyes, the young man had a moment with the juror before being led off to prison. "Thank you, thank you - how'd you do it?"

"It wasn't easy," she admitted. "They all wanted to acquit you."


"I'm sorry," said the clerk in flower shop, "we don't have potted geraniums. Could you use African violets instead?"

Replied the customer sadly, "No, it was geraniums my wife told me to water while she was gone."

The Fine Print

About the Friday Five

This weekly newsletter is designed to be informative and entertaining. Wherever possible we try to acknowledge the source of all information contained in this newsletter. We also try to check for accuracy but being a weekly newsletter this is not always possible. We offer no guarantees for accuracy but we do our best.

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To all of our faithful Friday Five readers 

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Phone: 03 5391 1466

Fax: 03 5391 1473

Snail Mail: 6 Park Street, Nhill, Vic, 3418.


Please note that the opinions and articles expressed in the Friday Five are not necessarily those of the Westprint mob. Also we do not endorse any products (other than our own) or tours listed in any contributed articles.


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