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Curran ledger - a new treasure

16 December 2020

Chris and Lyn McAppion, Alastair Crombie
Chris and Lyn McAppion, Alastair Crombie

Descendants of the last blacksmith at Ginninderra - Chris McAppion and Lyn Benn (McAppion) - visited the Centre on 15 December and presented us with the Curran blacksmith shop ledger - a record of transactions at Harry Curran's blacksmith shop for the period 1920 - 1940. As part of our 'Rediscovering Ginninderra' display we have a storyboard on the blacksmiths shop, and a fine scale model of it. The ledger, with its fine grain detail of customers and the work done for them, over more than two decades, greatly enriches our existing information.

Chris and Lyn's mother Beulah McAppion was a determined advocate for preserving the old blacksmith's shop. As a child (she was pupil at Hall school) she spent long hours there with her grandfather, Harry Curran, and left behind some vivid accounts of the place.

The customers listed in the ledger are a roll call of well-known Ginninderrans - E G Crace, E Boreham, various members of the Bolton, Rochford, Rolfe, Maloney, Moore, Southwell and other families. The jobs recorded relate mostly to horses and harnesses, but also to repair of ploughs and other agricultural implements. It is easy to imagine the blacksmith's shop as a popular community meeting place and 'bush telegraph'.

Our warm thanks to Chris and Lyn for entrusting us with the care of this family treasure, which enriches our capacity to tell the story of Ginninderra.


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