In 1989, the then Gisborne Shire Council, in its wisdom, embraced and supported an Oral History Project of the area.
An enthusiastic bunch of collectors set-to, recording the memories of some senior residents and ex-residents of Gisborne, New Gisborne, Gisborne South, Bullengarook, Macedon and Mt. Macedon.
It is over forty years since I have lived in Gisborne and I am still nurtured by memories of growing up in a safe environment, and the rich heritage, bestowed on me by my forebears.
This era, when children were seen and not heard, I feel, was conducive to the enhanced absorption of my surroundings and the ability to really listen. I can remember some of the characters and stories, which have been captured between the pages of this book. They spring from a time, before political correctness consumed this country, when the true Australian spirit was given freedom of expression.
This is by no means a history, nor is it a comprehensive account of Gisborne. Call it a window, if you like, on a small community and its surrounds, drawn from living memory and spanning a period of fifty years from the turn of the century until the 1950s, with some exceptions.
Among historical facts the reader will find natural discrepancies expected when relying on memory of bygone days; also folklore, which in itself reflects the culture of the people who lived, worked and died in the Gisborne Shire in this era.
If you wish to order your copy of The Village That Was.
I have just finished reading your book and wish to thank you for the experience. I am a direct descendant of the Sansom family and have lived in the area for most of my life. Moving away for a short time in my twenties but returning to the area I love to raise my children. It was so warming to read the many moments in village that I believe makes me who I am today.. I will be passing this book to my children, and telling as many people as I can about it. Once again I would like to thank you for your effort.
Today I finished this book by Lesla Soulsby. Next time you see her, tell her I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I've heard of the place because of looking up references to Cherry & Sons manufacturing business which was based there. They made butter churns in the old days and were well known for their quality workmanship. While I've never been there to my knowledge, I feel already as if it's a part of my own memories
John Oliver - Western Australia
I miss Gisborne and Macedon [now] I miss the old one, not todays one. Your book is one of the best, you can hear the people talking as if to you; Anton, Olive, Frank Heard, Phyliss Bullard, Olive and Rex all come to life.
Thank you so much, it's a wonderful edition.
I have so enjoyed your book. Many smiles,few tears,so much thought has gone into peoples memories. I remember well, when the family were young; we would stop at the park on the Highway for the kids to have a run, and I remember the town with its beautiful trees. But it's a busy little towm now, a nice place to be and know the history.