Moondyne Festival Snapshot 2022 cover
Moondyne Festival Snapshot, 1984 to 2020: a peek at 35 Festivals (Rest years in 1987 and 2020!)

Authors: Compiled by Beth Frayne (Toodyay Historical Society), with the assistance of Jasmin Devlin (Moondyne Festival Committee). Publication details: Toodyay, WA: Toodyay Historical Society, 2022. 94 p.: ill. Name and event index.

Summary: A quick reference illustrated book about the 35 Moondyne Festivals held in Toodyay over the period 1984 to 2020. Each year includes a double page of photos and basic information about the what was new each year, organisers, sponsors, weather, numbers attending, entertainment, parade participants and information sources.

A Moondyne Joe Gallery is a feature on the end papers, so you can check who played Joe and when.

From the Introduction (29 April 2022), by Beth Frayne:

“A preliminary reference work, commenced in 2018, was completed just in time for the 36th Festival on 2 May 2021. A taster (incomplete version) had been released in May 2019.  This edition is the final ‘snapshot’ work, and names have been indexed! It is hoped a ‘proper’ Moondyne Festival history book will be written by others someday, maybe for the 40th Festival in 2025! My thanks go to Jasmin Devlin for her assistance in producing this overview, and also to Tony Maddox and Terri Watson for photograph identification help. If you have any memories, memorabilia or special images, please contact the Moondyne Festival Working Group or the Toodyay Historical Society, as this may help the next Moondyne Festival story writer.”

7 in stock

ONeill St John the Baptist RC Church booklet cover
A short history of St. John the Baptist Church Toodyay (former)

Author: Adam O’Neill. Publications details: Toodyay, WA: Toodyay Historical Society, 2021. 15 p.: ill., bib. No index.

This church on Stirling Terrace, Toodyay, was built in 1863-1864  and consecrated at Christmas 1864. One hundred years later, the church was deconsecrated on 17 November 1863, and a new brick church with same name, across the road, was consecrated  on the same day.

From the Introduction & Acknowledgements: “St. John the Baptist Church (former), Toodyay, served the Catholic Parish of the district for approximately a century. It …  was part of the fabric which comprised the Toodyay Parish community up until the 1960s. This booklet provides a mere insight into the the interactions of the Toodyay congregation, and how St. John the Baptist Church (former) was central to this communion..”

5 in stock

Grand Parade 2011 DVD cover THS
Toodyay – 175 years: The Grand Parade, 1st October 2011 [DVD]

Production: The Toodyay Historical Society in association with the Toodyay Community Resource Centre. Publication details:  Toodyay WA: Toodyay Historical Society, 2012. 1 DVD: 15 min. Filming: Jenny Edgecombe; Photography: Beth Frayne & Joe Edgecombe; Soundtrack: The school song, ‘This is Toodyay’ appeared on a cassette produced by singer in residence Jonathan Cope with the Toodyay District High School Choir, Donna Marwick and Anne Andrews as part of the recovery process following the 1993 school fire. Used with permission of Toodyay District High School.

Back cover: “The Grand Parade was a major event in Toodyay’s celebration of 175 years. It featured mainly local people and local organisations, celebrating all that is good about Toodyay.


15 in stock

Douglas SW Aboriginal language cover
Illustrated dictionary of the South-West Aboriginal language. 4th ed.

Author: Prepared and illustrated by Wilf (Wilfrid Henry) Douglas. Publication details: Perth, WA: Printed by The Environmental Printing Company, 2024. 40 p.: ill. No index. The publication of this edition was undertaken by Dr Toby Metcalfe.

From the Introduction: ” This illustrated dictionary of Australia’s South-West language has been produced at the request of an Aboriginal elder who was anxious that his people should have some record of the names of plants, animals, insects, trees and other features of their rich cultural heritage.”

9 in stock

Douglas Western Desert language cover
Illustrated topical dictionary of the Western Desert language – based on the Ngaanyatjarra dialect. 5th ed.

Author: W.H. (Wilfrid Henry) Douglas. Publication details: [Alice Springs, South Aust.], Ngaanyatjarra Bible Project (printed in Perth, WA), 2004.  iv, 27 p. : ill. No index.

From the Preface: This work “has been been a popular book over a long period of time. For that reason, when stocks ran out, we were pleased to have reprinted with a slight change in the cover design. Wilf Douglas passed away in 2004. He was a pioneer in the study of indigenous languages in Australia and was a great advocate for indigenous language and culture. There for we feel it appropriate to continue to make this work available to potential students of the Ngaanyatjarra language. We are grateful to our mutual friends Dr Toby Metcalfe and his wife, Dawn, for facilitating this printing for us. Amee Glass & Dawn Hackett, 2010.”

4 in stock

40th Anniversary history
The Toodyay Society (Incorporated) & Toodyay Historical Society (Incorporated): 40th anniversary history, 1980-2020

Authors: Compiled by Beth Frayne, Jenny Edgecombe and Lee Francis for The Toodyay Historical Society’s 40th Anniversary on 25 November 2020. Publication details: [Toodyay, WA]: Toodyay Historical Society, 2020. 132 p.: ill. No index.

Summary: An updated and expanded new edition of the Society’s 2007 Reunion booklet. Each year includes a double page of the Executive, Committee and other position holders, a page of highlights and a page of colourful images. Overviews are also given of our Honorary Life and Benefactor Members, and there are tables summarising position holders in the appendices.

From the: Foreword (2020)
“Forty years is a significant milestone. That this anniversary occurs in a year of world upheaval due to the particularly virulent disease COVID-19, reminds us all that change is inevitable and that the value of maintaining records and preserving contemporary information for future consideration is paramount.  ….
This is now an interesting time to look forward to the next 40 years and what they may hold. I can guarantee that anyone looking back on the last 40 years will be able to glean a substantial amount of information on Toodyay’s rich history due to the hard work and dedication of the Toodyay Historical Society. May it always continue to shine a light on Toodyay history for future generations.
Linda Rooney, President, Toodyay Historical Society (Incorporated)”

10 in stock

Toodyay homesteads, past and present

Authors: Rica Erickson and Robyn Taylor. Publication details: Carlisle WA; Hesperian Press, 2006. 184 p.: ill., maps, bib. Index.

Back cover: ‘Toodyay Homsteads, Past and Present is an invaluable book for anyone interested in Western Australia’s rural heritage. It describes the evolution of the Toodyay district and the farming properties that have operated  since the 1830s and 1840s. The book takes the reader on a journey from Morby Cottage in Northam to the Berkshire Valley homestead in Moora.  Individual chapters reveal the social, administrative, and economic forces that shaped the early development of the Swan River colony, while the homesteads provide insights into the use of local materials, and construction and farming methods up to the present day. Solid archival research by Rica Erickson is given life through her own experiences and early conversations with original settlers and their descendents.


Out of stock

The life and times of Wally Chitty

Authors: Wally Chitty and Jenny Edgecombe. Publication details: Toodyay WA: K. Chitty (Printed by Optima Press, Osborne Park WA), 2015. 201 p.: ill, maps, bib. Index.

Back cover: “:Like Wally Chitty’s famous conversations, this book takes many detours from telling the stories of Wally’s life. The narrative dips into the adventures of George and Mary Chitty and their descendants from Surrey, England in 1842 to Toodyay, Western Australia. Many intriguing Toodyay byways and characters are picked up along the way.

The detours reveal stories of Toodyay’s links to the Greenough Flood, the Boer Wars, the mysterious Deepdale Tramway and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Well-known Western Australian figures such as George Fletcher Moore and the journalist, Vic Riseley, makes appearances. Fascinating episodes from Toodyay’s past include the comical tale of Jumperding School, Toodyay’s outstanding successes in rural education and untold stories behind the tragic 1931  school bus crash.

Wally’s own life is not neglected, from his childhood on a Toodyay farm to his later experiences as a stockman, farmer, family man, sportsman, tourist and local activist.

Toodyay archivist and researcher, Jenny Edgecombe, has compiled and edited this second collection of Wally’s tales, setting them in the historical context of his time.”

25 in stock

Moondyne Joe Elliot Front Cover
Moondyne Joe: the man and the myth

Author: Ian Elliot. Publication details: Carlisle WA: Hesperian Press, 1998. 138 p.: ill, bib. Index. The story of convict Joseph Bolitho Johns; well researched and referenced, but, also easy to read.

From the back cover: ‘Joseph Bolitho Johns, ‘Moondyne Joe’ (or ‘Moonie’ to his mates), was a good badman who gallops across the pages of Western Australian history with all the spirit of a wild bush brumby. His prison sentences were frequently punctuated by spectacular escapes and, in the days when Aboriginal trackers were an integral part of the police force, when a horse was a man’s best friend and bushmanship the measure of a man, Joe became a legend in his own time. His story spans the colonial period from the years of convict transportation to the excitement of Western Australia’s gold rushes. Joe’s bushranging exploits and his determination to be free have a romantic appeal that cannot be denied. He may have arrived as a convict and died a pauper, but he left an indelible mark on our folklore.

9 in stock

In our time: 50 years ago in Toodyay: how the Toodyay community fared in the Swinging Sixties decade, with a focus on the 1967 Toodyay Show.

Author: Beth Frayne. Publication details: [Toodyay, WA]: Toodyay Historical Society, 2017. 31 p.: ill. Index. “Launched on 7 October 2017 at the Toodyay Agricultural Show”.

From the Introduction:

“In particular, this work looks at how the Toodyay Agricultural Society (TAS) ran its Show in 1967, in the middle of the Swinging Sixties, and how the Toodyay community was affected by the Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War from 1962. Some of the other issues and events that the Toodyay community experienced that year and that decade (1960-1969) are mentioned, such as the building of the Standard Gauge Railway.

Significant events in Toodyay town in 1967 included:

  • a national referendum to approve two amendments to the Australian constitution relating to Indigenous Australians;
  • two ballots identifying young men who might be called up for National Service;
  • the building of a new police station;
  • the banning of swimming in the Avon River between the town bridges;
  • a canoe and kayak race from Northam to Toodyay;
  • and the celebration of Toodyay CWA’s 40th

2 in stock

Did the Show go on: Toodyay during the 1940s: how the Toodyay community fared in the World War 2 decade, with a focus on the 1948 Toodyay Show

Author: Researched and compiled by Beth Frayne (Toodyay Historical Society). Publications details: [Toodyay, WA]: Toodyay Historical Society, 2018. iii, 29 p. : ill. Index. “Launched on 8 October 2016 at the Toodyay Agricultural Show.”

From the Introduction:

In particular, this work looks at how the Toodyay Agricultural Society (TAS) ran its Show in 1948, following the Second World War, and how the Toodyay community was affected by the Australia’s involvement in that war (1939 to 1945).  Some of the other issues and events that the Toodyay community experienced that year and that decade (1940-1949) are mentioned.

Significant events in Toodyay town in 1948 included:

  • the compilation of a WW2 service roll of honour;
  • the ending of meat and clothing rationing, but not butter and tea;
  • the start of the Forty Hour Week;
  • the Commonwealth Referendum on rents and prices control; and
  • the cancellation of the Town Christmas Tree, due to concerns about infantile paralysis.


7 in stock

100 years ago in Toodyay: how the how the Toodyay community fared in the Great War decade 1910-1919, with a focus on the 1916 Toodyay Show

Author:  Researched and compiled by Beth Frayne (Toodyay Historical Society). Publication details: [Toodyay, WA]: Toodyay Historical Society, 2016.  iii, 29 p. : ill. Index. “Launched on 8 October 2016 at the Toodyay Agricultural Show.”

From the Introduction:

In particular, this work looks at how the Toodyay Agricultural Society (TAS) ran its Show in 1916, in the middle of the Great War period. It also touches on some of the other issues and events that the Toodyay community experienced that year and that decade (1910-1919).

It was a busy year in Toodyay town in 1916, with no less than six public meetings at which the locals were invited to discuss issues of great importance, such as:

  • the future of the Mechanics’ Institute (dire);
  • the financial situation of the Toodyay Hospital (also dire);
  • the desirability of opening a local fund for the supply of articles for the use of wounded soldiers and also those men in the trenches;
  • the coming election of sitting member the Hon. Vernon Hamersley MLC;
  • how to deal with all the patriotic appeals made to the Toodyay Road Board;
  • and, the National Referendum on compulsory military service.

11 in stock

THS Commem History booklet cover
The Toodyay Society Incorporated & Toodyay Historical Society Incorporated, 1980-2007

Authors: Prepared by Beth Frayne and Jenny Edgecombe for Toodyay Historical Society Reunion held 26 August 2007. Publication details: Toodyay, WA: Toodyay Historical Society, 2007. 69 p.: ill. No index.

From the Foreword by the then President Dr. Robyn Taylor:

This booklet has been compiled to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the original Toodyay Society (Incorporated) established 1980, and its subsequent manifestation in 1994 as the Toodyay Historical Society (Incorporated).  The membership of any group changes and renews itself but as time marches on we are in danger of losing the memory of our past members and what they achieved.  As current members of the Toodyay Historical Society we thought it was timely to capture our own special history from its origins up to the present day. ….

Compiling the information for this booklet has been a huge task willingly undertaken by our current Secretary Beth Frayne.  Beth has burnt much midnight oil trawling through the Minute Books and records to discover the activities of past members and reveal the highlights for each year.  Jenny Edgecombe our Archivist and Librarian completed the text, selected and prepared photographs and pulled the whole lot together into a publishable format.  The Society is greatly indebted to both for their magnificent effort.

We have produced this booklet in advance of the Society’s 30th anniversary in 2010 so that over the next couple of years corrections and additions can be made in time for a bumper 30th birthday publication.   Happy reading!

22 in stock

Challenges and champions: a short history of the Toodyay Race Club and its precursors, 1865-2015

Author: Researched and compiled by Beth Frayne (Toodyay Historical Society).  Publication details: [Toodyay, WA]: Toodyay Race Club, 2015. 31 p.: ill. No index. “Souvenir of the 150th Anniversary of the running of the first race meeting in Newcastle (now Toodyay) on 20 October 1865. For the TABtouch Toodyay Picnic Race Day 27 September 2015”

From the Introduction by the author:

A request from Toodyay Race Club Chairman John Prater has resulted in this small window into a very long and colourful history of a country race club, which has had its shares of wins and losses, as did the folk that patronised the local races.

I thank John and Club members for sharing the archival resources of the Club and personal collections to show what happened here in Toodyay. The Shire Museum and the Historical Society have also assisted. Online and paper issues of the original weekly and current monthly Toodyay Herald have been a boon.

In quick time, here is the story of the Toodyay Race Club and its forebears the Newcastle Race Committee and Newcastle Race Club. No doubt, some things have been missed, or just plain left out, due to lack of space. I acknowledge the assistance of the Society’s Archivist, Jenny Edgecombe, in this task.

The Club’s long history has been divided into four Eras:

  1. Newcastle Race Club (1865-1917)
  2. Toodyay Race Club (1918-1945)
  3. After the War was Over (1946-1997)
  4. Rebirth (1997-2015)

Some lists of interesting facts and names (if somewhat incomplete) appear at the end of the booklet.

4 in stock

Toodyay Good Old Days Cover
Toodyay – the good old days

Author: Wally Chitty; compiled and edited by Christine Martin. Published: Victoria Park, WA: Hesperian Press, 2004. xix, 228 p. Contains photos, maps. Names, locality and general indexes.

Back cover: ‘Toodyay – the good old days is one man’s story of life in the rural community of Toodyay, about 65 kilometres north-east of Perth, Western Australia. It begins in the 1930s and describes the forging of roads and railways in the area, the Avon River, flora and fauna, early farming practices, businesses in the town, schools, industries, occupations, entertainment, sporting events, amazing incidents, local disasters and the effect of two world wars on a small town. But most of all, it is a story about people and the legacy they have left for those of us who are proud to call Toodyay ‘home’.

About the author: ‘Wally Chitty is a member of one of Toodyay’s pioneering families. He began writing reports and collecting old photos in the 1970s and, since The Toodyay Herald started up again in the 1980s, has written historical articles for the paper.’ (TTGOD, p. 11)

19 in stock

The history of the Toodyay Convict Depot: a tale of the convict era of Western Australia

Author: Alison Cromb. Publication details: Dianella WA: A. Cromb (printed by Optima Press), 2010. 147 p.: ill., maps, bib. Index.

The present town of Toodyay was built around, then partly over, the second site of the Toodyay Convict Hiring Depot.

From the back cover:

“This book provides a comprehensive history of the Toodyay Convict Depot, exploring its establishment, operation and aftermath. At the same time it offers a valuable insight  into convict period of Western Australia.”

From the Introduction: “This book … covers the years 1850-1900. The site chosen for the Depot is explored, the building programme is examined and its subsequent operations followed. New information has been discovered, much of it sourced from original Colonial records. …”

11 in stock