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Hamilton Heritage Bed and Breakfast

Newcastle's Family and Pet Friendly Accommodation.

Catch Up with Gossip

July 23, 2015

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The History of the Beautiful Early 1900 dwelling that has become Hamilton Heritage Bed and Breakfast.

Hamilton Heritage came into existence in 2001a long time dream of my husband Colin, he always wanted to own a Motel and it repulsed me, we had two high school children at the time and it was the last thing I wanted to do.  A couple of our friends took the step and bought a Motel one in Cobar and the other in Byron Bay, uprooting their families to partake this new adventure, my husband was not happy at all, as it had been something he had spoken about in length to both parties, they jumped on the wagon and I stopped his dream.

Life continued and our Daughter decided to pursue a Ballet career, I was adamant that she sit for her HSC but all she wanted was full time Ballet, so the only solution to satisfy both of us was to send her to a Ballet Academy in Sydney where she could also obtain her HSC, for this to happen we had to sell our home which was out of town so to speak and move in closer to Newcastle to be nearer to a Railway Station as she would board throughout the week and come home on the Friday night, so we found this delightful 1900 Brick/stucco Bungalow just a short walk to the Broadmeadow Station, the house was amazing it had all the original features that I had always dreamed of. 

When I was younger before marriage and living at Charlestown I belonged to a car pool of people who lived out my way and had to travel into Newcastle to the Water Board where we all lived, we traveled along what is now known as the Pacific Hwy bypass from Charlestown to Newcastle along Steward Avenue Hamilton, we passed by all the beautiful houses built between the 1887 and 1960s glorious architecture, return verandah, stained glass windows, I drooled each time we drove past them, vowing to one day live in one of them.

Well the time came many years later of course, because when we first married and were preparing to purchase a home the banks would not allow home loans on second hand homes as they called them, newly weds had to purchase new homes, so we ended up a good way out of town so to speak with our first home package.  Our children went to local primary schools but both ended up having to travel into Newcastle for High School, two buses per day each way, not leaving much time for any social life, at least they were not roaming the streets like the young ones seem to do today, because of too much time on their hands.

I seem to have gone off on a tangent, back to how this house of ours became a B&B, after the children had both left to pursue their own lives, our Son moved to Victoria and is School Teaching in the top end of the East Gippsland Rain forest, we just love to visit, and our Daughter off to fullfil her Dance Contract in Spain, England and Coribean and USA.   We were rattling around this big home on our own with our cats, friends children who lived out of town needing to be close to Uni and their School to sit the HSC came to stay with us, it was so nice to have some other people in the house. Then my Sister's friend's Daughter needed to come to Uni and had never been away from home before came to stay with us for her first year of Uni, she was independent, did her own thing so to speak, but another presence in the house, after her year ended and once more we were back to just us and the cats, Colin turned to me and said " You know this place would work really good as a Bed and Breakfast" I was stunned and almost ready to say No way, when the little voice inside the head reminded me that I had stopped him from having his Motel, so I agreed, and hense Hamilton Heritage was born.

We have been operating for over 15 yrs now and I have loved every minute of it, I love meeting the people and as Colin says often that we solve the world's problems over the Breakfast table, and there is always a fresh point of view and an interesting topic of conversation each and every morning.   I just adore meeting all the beautiful Fur children especially the little rescue dogs, they seem to have the most amazing understanding of how lucky they are to have a forever home.

This is at the moment a never ending story, but as the years progress and we head to the 3rd quarter of our lives I suppose the day will come that we will have to close the doors and take a long earned rest, but I am not ready to do any of that, I enjoy it all too much.   I suppose you could say I am a social person and it is so nice that the social side of life comes through my door every day.

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WHAT HAPPY GUESTS HAVE TO SAY.

* Great 1st visit and we have booked again, my furry friend loves it and will return with another furry friend."  Lorraine Mack,  Rockdale NSW

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* "Great nights sleep, loved the compote!, Great for Jack our dog he loved it."  J & S Gibson ,Berowra NSW.

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*"Although we only spent on night there, we were all very impressed with the accommodation.  We went as a Family and used all 3 rooms and also took our new puppy. They very kindly looked after him when we were out at a wedding, so that was an excellent service!    The breakfast was amazing! Plenty of it and a large choice which suited everyone."  D. Pryor, Sydney NSW

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* "Made feel very welcome, lots of little extras included.  The hospitality was superb as was the presentation & food. Our dog was also welcomed as if their own."     Rob & Kim Testi, Glen Waverley VIC

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*  "The personal touches and little luxuries such as flavoured teas and filtered coffee make you feel like a treasured friend rather than a guest".  Kathie Fokes, Scone  NSW

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* "Laraine & Colin are beautiful people.  I felt extremly comfortable, like I was at home!! Their home is yours, that's amazing!!  Shannon Andrew Cowaramap WA.

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 * "Very happy, friendly, lovely house, great breakfast, not staying in town again! Broughan Mackin  Miranda NSW

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*. In one word: FABULOUS!  Francesca Pertici Livorno Italy.

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* "It was really nice for our whole family - including our furchild - to be accommodated together in such a welcoming home.  Our room had everything we needed to make our stay comfortable.  It was so nice to have breakfast cooked for us - the kids enjoying crumpets and pancakes - before hitting the highway to finish our drive home. 
The directions were easy to follow and the accommodation is centrally situated in Newcastle.

Thank you Laraine and Colin for your lovely hospitality."        Desiree.

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"Very friendly and helpful owners. Extremely convenient to everything I needed.  A little difficult to schedule a very early work start around Breakfast.  Loved the brekkies!  Will stay again if I am coming to"     Stephanie.

 

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 On another Topic that some people seem to be fascinated with and one we have kept under wraps so to speak and that is Hauntings! 

The Haunted Happenings on Historic Hamilton Hill.

It is hard to put a finger on just when it all started to happen, my daughter often said she did not feel comfortable in the lounge room on her own..    She often remarked that she saw something out of the corner of her eye in the corner where now stands a piano, on loan from a friend.   These senses or sightings that our daughter spoke of, we did not take serious, just put it down to nervousness at being home alone.

 

I suppose it was a couple of years after settling into the house, I was still sign writing and had taken up pottery and I thought it would be a good idea to have a pottery studio built, so we decided that the space that had already been cleared under the verandah would do nicely, we had to dig out the area to put in foundation and make the room high enough to stand, council regulations had to be obeyed.    So the excavation began it took over 3 years for the room to be built, doing it ourselves and not having access to the yard for any digging equipment we my husband and myself dug it out by pick and shovel and my husband had to barrow it up the side lane and dump the clay in a skiff at the front of the house.    Whilst this project was happening, my daughter returned from overseas and decided to put together her own song and dance show, so with the help from my mother the three of us became busy sewing costumes, we turned the dinning room into a wardrobe department.   It was at this time that things started to happen.

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It was about 1993 and just another typical night in the Hamilton Hill household, sewing, round the clock sewing with deadlines to meet, costumes to create and girls to fit.  We had kidnapped Grandma and literally chained her to the sewing machine, while pins and scissors became an extension of my fingers.   The all nighter had started 3 women home alone, four cats enjoying the rustle of fabric.

Hours had passed we had been busy little beavers, the pizza had arrived, time to take a break.  We moved to the kitchen table my daughter and myself  facing the window that overlooked the verandah while Grandma sat facing us and the hall to the front door. As I reached over to help myself to another piece of pizza I caught sight of my mother with her finger in her ear wiggling it around I asked if she was ok to which came the reply that she had not heard the door, her reply amazed me and I asked her to explain.   She told me that she had seen a man walk across the hall past the old sewing machine that stands between the front door and my bedroom door.   I told her that was impossible there were just us in the house and that my husband was not due home for hours as he was in Sydney.     She insisted that she had seen a man walk across the top of the hall; my daughter and I decided to check it out as she was most disturbed by what she said she had seen…      My daughter picked up the rain stick which by the way is a musical instrument made from hollowed out branch with stones inside and it is used as a percussion instrument in bands, we had one hanging on a hook near the hall door it was just decoration, so armed with a percussion instrument we made our way up the hall giggling as we did it was all to put Grandma at ease.   Absolutely no=one in any of the rooms just the three of us and the four cats, they had missed it all they were curled up in amongst the fabric sound asleep. Grandma just would not have it she knew what she had seen, once she had satisfied herself that there really was not another person in the house we settled back to the sewing.   After several hours my husband returned we relayed the story to him and he thought it was a huge joke. We all got a lot of mileage out of the incident it was the topic of conversation for quite some time.

 

Finally the room under the verandah was finished it was such a relief.   The pottery wheel and art equipment was moved to its new home, what a wonderful space the windows looked out into the garden I was all inspired ready to get started creating.  Each time I headed down to my new space I was overcome with a strange feeling and quickly turned around and headed back up the steps.   I cannot explain just what the feeling was but I felt as though I was walking into a barrier and could not venture any further, this happened once too often and the room I had craved became a storage room with old chairs and lots of other things that one day would all be restored.   At the bottom of the spiral stairs to this room we had set up a wine cellar of a sort, it was nice and cool as part of the stair well and room had been built into the clay earth.   A friend came for a visit and had overstayed and missed the bottle shop as she was to pick up a bottle of wine for her guests who she was entertaining that night.   I told her to help herself to the wine down the spiral stairs and she could replace it later.    She came back up into the kitchen with the bottle of wine in her hand and a strange look on her face and she spoke the following words – Uncle Harry said that you have to go and tidy up the space it is a mess.    I just looked at her with open mouth and asked her to repeat what she had just said.   It was then that she opened up and told me that she sees spirits and converses with them..    It was all too much for me, I really was not a believer, well I knew that other people have these things happen to them but this was just too much for me.     I told her about the incident with my mother a few years earlier and she just smiled, you know that smile that people get when they know.      She headed home to her guests, once again I was home alone my husband doing business in Sydney.   The phone rang it was quite late and it was my friend she asked me to please go down and tidy up the chairs, apparently Uncle Harry was pestering her.   With phone under my chin I headed down the stairs into the room that I have not been able to enter for a long time, I asked her what I was supposed to do with the chairs, she told me that he wanted them stacked..    I was being very frivolous and making a huge joke of the incident but it did go down well.  My friend was being very serious and when I finally stacked the chairs onto each other rather than the pile they were in, which were my husbands doing.   Once the chairs were all stacked neatly she told me that he told her that would do.  That really freaked me out Uncle Harry was talking to her and yet he could see what I was doing.  Then she told me that he did not mind the fellow going into that room but was not happy about me going in there.   She thanked me and said that he had stopped talking to her.   Wow did I have some information to share with my husband when he returned.   The whole incident was quite a topic of conversation for several months as well as the sighting by my mother many months prior.

 

My sister came for a visit at the same time a friends son was staying with us, both of them reported unusual things happening, my sister said she felt like she ran into something but there was nothing visible and my friends son said a similar thing.    This started me wondering.      A few months later my Granddaughter came for a visit the weather was wonderful so we decided to sit out in the garden, she forgot her pencils and returned inside to retrieve them.  She returned to the garden rubbing her eyes and said to me that she sees things in my house, she told me that the man was there leaning over the hand basin in the bathroom and told me what he was wearing, According to her this man had brown pants and white shirt and brown jumper and red tie.    I did not want to alarm her by reacting to what she told me.    I simply told her that it was Uncle Harry.    She just accepted that and continued with her drawing as though it was normal.    

 

I had been learning a healing technique called Chironic Healing and the lady who was teaching was passing through from Qld to Victoria and thought it would be good to have a stop over in Newcastle and hold a refresher for all of us who had not long learned the process.    She was going to stay at our place, whilst the session was in process one of the other ladies spoke about a spirit that lived at her home and was asking guidance as to how to move this spirit on.   The whole topic of conversation fascinated me, I had previously heard of sending spirits to the light…    After the incident with my Granddaughters sighting I had walked the rooms of my home speaking the words- I come from God with love, look to the light and I will help you -  But the barrier was still firmly in place into the room at the bottom of the spiral stairs.   After returning to our place and settling Lisa into our daughter’s empty room, we settled down in the kitchen to have a cuppa, Colin had arrived back from Sydney so throughout the course of the conversation I brought up the incident that had happened in our Chironics Refresher earlier in the night, explaining to Lisa that we have had some strange occurrences happen over the years that we just cannot explain, I filled her in on the encounter that Sue had had with Harry, and that I had used the clearance that Bruce Pope had given me and that it seemed to be of no avail.

Lisa sat quietly for a few seconds then reported to both Colin and myself that Harry does not want to go to the light because she is there.  Both Colin and I looked at each other then back at Lisa both wondering what on earth.  Lisa explained that Harry was very attached to the house and didn’t want to leave it, also he was not happy about the bottom room being built in his space and was most upset that I wanted to use it, I could see Colin shaking his head in disbelief at what he was hearing.  Then Lisa changed the subject totally and spoke about a bearing challenge that she said Colin had been puzzling about all day, well this really sat Colin back on his heels, he wanted to know how on earth she would know what he had been struggling with all day, Lisa just smiled, then asked Col if he now believed she was in communication with Harry.  Lisa continued her conversation with Harry, both Col and I waited patiently wondering what would be the outcome, Lisa reported to us that Harry was happy to have the house recreated in the Etheric world.

Not long after that I was able to walk into the downstairs room the barrier was gone.

 

I was speaking to Betty Croft who resided in Qld with her husband Colin and their daughter Helen, they had lived in the house for a few years until Colin was moved to Qld for work and they had to say farewell to dear old 178 as Betty affectionately referred to the house, I was telling her about the Harry incident and she went very silent on her end of the phone, it turned out that after they moved into the house they also had visits from Uncle Harry but as Betty told me they never dared to tell anyone.  Betty explained to me that the space under the house that we turned into our basement used to be Uncle Harry’s refuge, apparently when Emma his wife had the Church Ladies over for choir practice or for a Church fund raiser he would go out the front door down the side lane then around the back where the laundry was and walk in under the back veranda and he would sit there with the dog and smoke his pipe in peace and quiet, so then the whole incident of not wanting that woman (me) in the space made a lot of sense, poor Harry a woman invading his special sanctuary.

 

As the years passed without incident,  I had full access to the basement room which eventually was turned into an office and then a bedroom while we built an Attic residence for ourselves as we turned the house into a Bed and Breakfast.

 

Then it all started again, our guests at breakfast would ask us strange questions about certain things happening in their rooms, such as taps turning on and wondering if the place was haunted, Colin and I always played it down and never told them about the past incidents.   One particular morning a gentleman who actually was our only guest for a change wandered out to have his breakfast, he sat down at the table as I busied myself with preparing his eggs.  “Busy place you have here” he said.  I thought he was being flippant because he was the only one for breakfast that morning, my reply to him was “It can be, but you are the only guest today” his reply to me was “I do not mean on this plain of existence” I was puzzled, then he continued “I had a really good conversation with Uncle Harry” my knees buckled and I almost dropped his eggs.  Then he proceeded to tell me that there was a lot of coming and going happening and that we are on a vortex, nothing to worry yourself about he told me, they are just passing through, I had to sit down, I opened up to him and related the other incidents that others had had and the barrier that I felt to the basement, we talked for ages on the subject.

We had a mother and daughter stay over just the one night and they told me at the Breakfast table that they had been visited by a young girl, I asked if they were open to that and did not take the conversation any further because that was all new tome re the girl, now if they had said something about Uncle Harry I would have been interested, I asked them if the girl could have come with them, they mulled it around and said maybe as they do see things often.

 

Time has passed without any incidents or people reporting anything to us out of the ordinary at Breakfast; it is a vague memory that is prodded now and then.  2014   I had received a phone call from Helen Betty Croft’s daughter telling me of Betty’s passing, we had a very long conversation in regards to the visits by Uncle Harry to which Helen told me she remembered when he visited them when she was a young girl living at the house.   I told her about Emily seeing who we expected was Uncle Harry, I described his clothing as Emily had to me, to which Helen gasped and told me that it was not Uncle Harry but her Dad Colin and that was the clothes he wore every day to work. This puzzled me because Colin was alive and living in Queensland when the appearances were happening, I told her that I was puzzled, she explained that even though her Dad was alive he was totally bed ridden and had been for years until his death, but they often wondered how he stopped himself from going mad and often it would seem he was not really with them, she told me that I had answered a puzzlement for her as to where her Dad would disappear.    I have heard of people mind walking and there is a whole book series about such a thing called the “Many Coloured Land” that I had read years ago and the people were made wear a Golden Torque to stop them from leaving their bodies and going places, well you could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard Helen’s words, also I had found out that at Pine Gap on the coast of Western Australia has a detection for mind walkers, so much in this world we do not really know about.

 

It is now 2016 and nothing has happened in regards to Harry, but today at breakfast our guests asked us a very strange question in regards to people leaving without paying, our guests had a very strange look on their faces not smirks but half smiles with apprehension, if that makes sense,  we told them that we did have some people do a runner by jumping out of the window and not paying, but that was not what they were asking, all three looked at each other and then the Mum told of the incident to which the son took over the telling, they all three had been using the main bedroom of the Grandiloquent suite there is a double and single bed so instead of the son staying in the other bedroom they all just crashed in the one bedroom, he had woken (“fully awake” were his words) and saw a small figure with long hair walk from the bathroom through the bedroom past their beds bend down and pat the dog who growled and then disappeared, his words What the ….., woke his Mum and Dad, they did not see anything other than his reaction.  So we told them about Uncle Harry over the years but the little girl was a mystery.   It turned out that they had encountered this sort of thing at a house they used to live in, in a remote area when their children were much younger, (by the way the fellow who saw the girl was not a child he is University Age), on a few separate occasions each member of their family had had a sighting, so it was not something that was new to them.    They were not fazed in the least. 

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Our daughter Kimberley and her Hubby Ron  staying with us at the moment on an extended holiday, his daughter Savannah arrived waiting to be driven to work as the weather is absolutely dreadful rain, rain, rain, flooding in parts, we are high and dry so not so challenging for us, just unpleasant, I related the incident to Savannah and she said that Emily our other Granddaughter had told them that she saw a young girl going around in circles up high in the front room screaming.  I quizzed Savannah on this as to when did Emily see this, apparently it happened when Emily was little, now Emily never told me about that incident, yet she did tell me about the man cleaning his teeth, and I do remember her words as she rubbed her eyes, “ Grandma I see things in your house”  I really didn’t pay that statement any mind until she told me about the man in the bathroom the story of which I have related in detail previously.

I then text Emily re the girl flying in circles and she replied,  “The Ghost? She wasn’t swinging she was flying around in a circular motion around the roof and screaming, she was scary as haha” This apparently happened before 1998 Emily is 20years old now.

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