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Australian History Videos & DVDs

Coffs Harbour History Videos

Over the years, I have produced and narrated a number of Australian history documentaries, videos & films. These educational videos are full of Coffs Harbour history, Dorrigo history, and more.


These historical videos about the NSW North Coast are great for:

Cinema Screenings for history buffs

Educational Coffs Harbour History Classes

In-School Video screenings

For history enthusiasts to enjoy at home


To order a Coffs Harbour History video, simply click here and fill in the form to request more information.


Tom Timms One

Australian History Video/ Topic: Eastern Dorrigo History

The Eastern Dorrigo was first settled early in the 1900s.


Tom Timms was fifteen years old when he arrived with his father. Other settlers arrived with their families  to clear the forests so they could set up farms. Tom and his father Thomas were planning to set up a dairy farm.


They soon found they could sell the timber and it could be shipped from Coffs Harbour to markets in Sydney and other cities that need sawn timber. Tom was twenty two years old when he built his first sawmill.

Video is 48m. / Preview 2m 13s.

Tom Timms Two

Australian History Video/ Topic: Eastern Dorrigo History

The is the continued story of Tom Timms. It was a difficult period with two World Wars and The Great Depression in the 1929-1930s.


The Eastern Dorrigo was a very cold area in the winter and was some distance from the surrounding towns.


The Glenreagh to Dorrigo railway was opened in 1924 and motor vehicles were becoming easier to buy. Because the railway had opened many new sawmills were operating on the Eastern Dorrigo. There was plenty of work for everyone. Tom built a sawmill and bought into many other businesses.

Video is 55m. / Preview 2m.

Timmsvale and Ulong

Australian History Video/ Topic: Eastern Dorrigo History

This video shows the changes in these two timber villages before and after the NSW government stopped log falling on the Eastern Dorrigo.


Sawmills were closed and many families left the district looking for work.

Video is 5m 10s. / Preview 2m 18s.

Jack Hurley and the Lions Road

Australian History Video/ : Lions Club

Jack Hurley had seen more changes in ninety years the most of us could imagine. Jack was a young man when the famous "Spiral Loop Line" was being built.


Jack Hurley was the "Big Chief" behind the "Lions Club" push to build a road through the Border Range National Park.


He was the chairman for over forty years.

Video is 54m. / Preview 3m.

Coffs Harbour Story Part One

Australian History Video/ Topic: Coffs Harbour History of the Jetty

The building of the jetty and the harbour break walls. Then the massive job of building the "North Coast Railway".


A number of Coffs Harbour Residents talk about how they saw these massive tasks. The small town grew into a city.


It had a major Railway Station, Sea Port, Aerodrome and The Pacific Highway which linked Sydney and Brisbane.

Video is 57m. / Preview 3m.

Coffs Harbour Story Part Two

Australian History Video/ Topic: Coffs Harbour History of the Jetty

The building of the jetty and the harbour break walls. Then the massive job of building the "North Coast Railway".


A number of Coffs Harbour Residents talk about how they saw these massive tasks. The small town grew into a city.


It had a major Railway Station, Sea Port, Aerodrome and The Pacific Highway which linked Sydney and Brisbane.

Video is 57m. / Preview 3m.

100 Years on the Eastern Dorrigo

Australian History Video/ Topic: Dorrigo Sawmill History

From 1906 through till 2006 was a very busy time for the eastern Dorrigo. It was a very cold area in the Winter and many arrived in the area in 1906 to clear the land for Dairy farming.


It was soon found the timber they were cutting down and burning could be sold. Many sawmills were built and more families moved to the area because of the jobs which were then available.


Each village had a School, Post Office, Dance Hall, and Church but It all changed over one hundred years.

Video is 68m. / Preview 2m 22s.

Joe Corrigan

Australian History Video/ Topic: Sawmill History

Joe grew up near Moonee which is a few miles north of Coffs Harbour.


At six years old Joe walked three miles to school each day with his brother. By the time Joe was ten years old he could drive a bullock team on his own.


Joe Corrigan drove bullocks all of his working life and in 2015 still owns a bullock team.

Video is 34m. / Preview 2m 36s.

The Bellinger Valley Through the Years

Australian History Video/ Topic: Bellinger Valley History

This is the history of this magnificent valley. It begins in 1841 when a party of timber cutters were looking for rivers where ships could load their produce and ship it to Sydney where it was in big demand.


It was surveyed and it was claimed the river entrance was navigable.


The "Sydney Morning Herald" wrote the rivers bar could be crossed and there was an abundance of the finest quality cedar in the valley That was just the beginning.

Video is 59m. / Preview 3m 29s.

The Revered Colin Steep

Australian History Video/ Topic: Church History

The reverend Colin Steep grew up on a small property 60 kilometres west of Port Macquarie. 

Through the depression in the 1920s and 1930s. There was no money to buy anything and so the family of eight lived on what they grew on their small farm.


Colin worked on the farm with his father because his brothers had joined the army. We talk about why he joined the church and his life after that.

Video is 62m. / Preview 2m 29s.

Jack Gerard the Showman

Australian History Video/ Topic: Coffs Harbour History

This is one of my most popular videos. Jack grew up on a small farm not far from Coffs Harbour.


As a young man he worked and travelled with Lawrence Penn who travelled the country showing "silent pictures" in the country halls.


Jack set up his own picture theatre "The beautiful Tasma Theatre" and became a Movietone reporter.


Some of his films were shown around the world.

Video is 25m. / Preview 2m 18s.

The Glowing Cross

Australian History Video/ Topic: Lismore's Glowering Cross Mystery

In 1907 a young railway worker was killed in a train accident at Mullumbimby. In 1918 the headstone in the Lismore cemetery began to glow at night. The light would light up the gravestones around it.


A lady wrote to the Lismore newspaper wanting to know why it glowed. The paper was looking for answers and the Cross became world news.


People from all over the world came to look at it. A video produced by John Westwood and Graham Bell and won the "Silver Standard Award' in the "British Amateur Film Festival" in 2006.

Video is 20m. / Preview 3m 50s.

Dick Willis Race Car Legend

Australian History Video/ Topic: Motor Car Racing

Coffs Harbour man Dick Willis made his mark motor car racing in Australia. Dick has also built up a collection of race cars which are on display in his race car museum.


He competed in the Grafton Hill-climb in 2010 and that was his 100th entry in that event. He has competed in Speedway, Hill-climb and Circuit events for many years.


Dick is also a regular writer to newsletters in car racing magazines.

Video is 33m 30s. / Preview 2m 15s.

The Rusty Iron Rally 2005-06-07

Australian History Video/ Topic: Farm Machine History

The Rusty Iron Rally is held on the Macksville Showground every year on "Fathers Day".


Each year spectators and farmers come from hundreds of miles to see the machinery. Tractors, Trucks Old Cars as well as many small milking machines and large boilers and Traction Engines are all on display. T


here are two of these DVDs "The Rusty Iron Rally 2005-06-07.    


The other DVD is "Rusty Iron Rally 2008".

Video is 40m. / Preview 2m.

The Rusty Iron Rally 2008

Australian History Video/ Topic: Farm Machine Rally in Macksville

This is the second video about this popular yearly event held at the Macksville showground.


Organized by  the "Mid North Coast Machinery and Restoration Club" and held every year on Fathers Day  drawing very large crowds.


Some events are "Tappert Cover Racing", Motor Bikes, Trucks and Car Parade, The big parade is the Vintage Tractor parade.

Video is 33m 11s. / Preview 2m.

Anzac Day Dorrigo 2015

Australian History Video/ Topic: 100 Years After Gallipoli Landing

In 1915 Australian and New Zealand troops landed  on the beaches of Gallipoli.


One hundred years later the small country town of Dorrigo held a special Anzac Service to honour the young men and women who fought for our freedom. Many of them died, on the shores of Gallipoli the Australian and New Zealand armies fought for eight months.


Eight Thousand Anzac Soldiers lost their lives before the Allies called for an evacuation.

Video is 38m. / Preview 2m 9s.

The Way it Was

Australian History Video/ Topic: Coffs Harbour History

This is a video that will bring memories back to many Coffs Harbour people.


It has lots of film footage from captured from 8mm films.


The video begins with the opening of the Ex-service Club in 1950.


There are lots of parades and street scenes from the 1950s and 1960s. It also includes the "Sesquicentennial Parade" which was held in 2011.

Video is 30m 35s. / Preview 2m 20s.

Nymboida - Canoeing & Camping

Australian History Video/ Topic: Adventure Experience on the Nymboida River

Three trips canoeing down Nymboida River.  


The quiet dark nights were enjoyed on three different trips.


River levels, different people made each trip a new adventure. 


Troy and Cloe Bell narrated this video.

Video is 40m. / Preview 2m 20s.

Peter Blacker Catchin' Bara

Australian History Video/ Topic: Catching Barramundi in North Queensland

Peter Blacker and his wife Grace would travel to the Roper River each year to catch Barramundi.


There are some great video shots which was taken by Grace. For thirteen years Peter and Grace would take the three day trip from Coffs Harbour to the Roper River. They would carry their camp gear, fuel and boat.


They saw many King Brown snakes and counted fifteen pairs of crocodile eyes one night all at the same time.

Video is 38m. / Preview 1m 45s.

Life Story of Bill and Aileen Shipman

Australian History Video/ Topic: Australian Country Music Artists

They were both very keen Country Music entertainers.


Bill was from a small farm next to the "Tallawadga Creek".


Bill and Aileen loved Country Music and married. They toured with the "Reg Lindsay Show" for a number of years.


Bill has appeared on stage with Smokey Dawson, Chad Morgan and many other Country Music performers.

Video is 10m.

Snakes Alive

Australian History Video/ Topic: Snake Excitement

I came across these snakes South of Tweed Heads.


I videoed their performance.


I'm not sure what they were doing there??

Video is 30s.

Gold Mine Adventure

Australian History Video/ Topic: Gold Mine History

We visited an old abandoned Gold Mine while making the "Early Days of Coffs Harbour" Video. This mine had not been worked for Eighty odd years.

It was a bit "spooky". This video was produced when the Coffs Harbour One video  was produced.


I had to find someone who knew firstly where there was a an old mine and to go into it so it could be videoed.

Video is 4m 15s.

Steam Train Visits Coffs Harbour 2010

Australian History Video/ Topic: Steam Train

This train takes you back in time. It was a great day for young and old. 
Older folk recalled trips from Coffs Harbour to Sydney.


Young passengers were excited about the ride on a Steam Train.


The Maitland Steam Train Museum would come up the3 coast and spend a few days taking trips to Coramba and back.


It was very popular.

Video is 4m 32s.


Australian History Video/ Topic: Prawn Trawling

Triton was a prawn trawler I built in my "Backyard" during the mid 1970's
I was the first to use a weather radar and to also pull three smaller nets at the same time.


The film was taken with an 8mm movie camera and it was shot through the daytime off the Bellinger River mouth which had flooded. I  worked out of Yamba and Iluka most of the time. We would drive back to Coffs Harbour when the weather was not good. I worked the trawler for nine years.


Prawn Trawling was a night-time job and we were trawling for "King Prawns" in depths of between 20 to 30 fathoms.

Video is 2m 20s.

View Videos

Graham Bell Australian History Videos

WEB.Jetty 2-8-13  .JPG

Showing Videos at
Jetty Theatre in 2013

"British Silver Standard Award"
Won by John Westwood and Graham Bell. 
John was very experienced and became a good friend and helped me in many ways. 

Silver Award England,.jpg
WEB.Sawtell Theatre .jpg

Showing Videos at
Sawtell Theatre in 2011

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