Nowhere is the juxtaposition of affluent and poorer class living more evident than in a small Australian suburb known, ever so fondly, as The Bend.
Sidled up against the banks of the Hunter River, Horseshoe Bend is one of Maitland’s oldest settled areas, but for Mick Belcher The Bend has, and always will be, home.
“The Bend is a unique area in Australia,” he said.
“And it’s also fantastically historical in the sense that it was one of the areas in Australia where you had a huge mix of classes. You had really well-off people living cheek to jowl with the poorer classes.”
Mr Belcher along with architectural history guide Wayne Campbell – will take people through the narrow lanes and streets of Horseshoe Bend for the Friends of Grossmann House first heritage walk of the year.
“My job will be to look at the social and historical side of Horseshoe Bend, which I think is the only place in Australia where you can find examples of early, mid and late 19th century architecture along with early and mid 20th century architecture within a couple of square kilometres,” Mr Belcher said. “But it’s also got a unique social history with examples of three generations living in the one house.
“In fact there are people living down here whose families have been here for up to six generations. So it’s absolutely unique as far as I’m concerned.”
As part of the walk, people will hear how the character of The Bend has formed from the time of Molly Morgan to the present day.
“I lived in The Bend for 45 of my 65 years and it’s just a fantastic place. I love it ... always have.”
n The Friends of Grossmann House Horseshoe Bend Heritage Walk will be held on Sunday, March 10, starting at the Maitland City Council car park at 3.30pm. The walk will end with an afternoon tea at Brough House, Church Street, Maitland. For bookings phone Holly McNamee on 4934 4314 or Grossmann House on 4933 6452.