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  Featured Steathams - Alfred Steatham

Steatham Research - Australia Connection - Alfred Steatham

Expect for one or two exceptions, Steathams have not migrated/moved much from England.

A search of telephone directories will only find one in the USA, a few in South Africa, and virtually none elsewhere.

This is the story of the Steatham link to Australia.

I would like to thank Alfred's grandson, Robert Caldwell for the contribution he has made to this research, in providing photos and information regarding his grandfather.

Alfred Steatham was born on Tuesday the 14th April 1868 in Willenhall, and was baptised on Thursday the 7th May 1868 at the Union Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel Willenhall.

He was the eldest child of Josiah Steatham (1842-1920) and Harriet Fisher.

The Derby Steathams as I call them.

Josiah was a son of Moses Steatham (1813-1891), one of Robert Steatham's surviving sons.

Photo of Austral Immigrant Ship

The Austral Immigrant Ship,
in which Alfred Steatham,
travelled to Australia.
We next find Alfred travelling to Australia on the Immigrant Ship Austral.

Austral was a 3214 Ton, two funnelled, three masted, steamship of the Orient Line / Anchor Line, and the Master for this trip was a James Nixon.

There was a crew of 173, to accommodate, both steam and sail, and the 139 passengers; those that were listed as being on board when the ship reached Sydney.

It left the port of London and arrived at Sydney on Tuesday the 5th August 1890.

Click the link below to search the records for the ship.

Fill in the name of the ship Austral on the form.

Immigrant Ship Austral Passenger Listing

Alfred Steatham's wedding.
On Wednesday the 23rd September 1903, Alfred Steatham married Emily Louise Sharp, born 1877, at St Aidens, in the town of Blackheath.

Alfred was stated as being aged 35, and Emily aged 26.

Emily Louise Sharp's father was a Henry Sharp born Saturday the 13th May 1837, baptised on Tuesday the 29th May 1838, at Blankney, North Kesteven District, Lincolnshire.

We see a Henry Sharp, aged twenty four on a passenger list for the the Melbourne, departing Gravesend, arriving November 1861 in Melbourne.

Also we see a passport (7218) application for a Henry Sharp made on 2nd August 1858. both these records fit well for our Henry.

Henry Sharp died, aged 73, on Friday the 17th February 1911, and is buried at Blackheath cemetery.

Wedding photo. Relationship to bride in brackets [].

Back row: [L > R] Annie Maria Little [sister], Mary Sharp [mother], Henry Sharp [father], Maude Sharp [?], Victor Hugo Sharp [brother] holding Millie Sharp [neice?].

Front row: [L > R] William Casterbrook, Edith Sharp, Alfred Steatham, Emily Louise Steatham (nee Sharp).

Alfred's grandson, Robert Caldwell submitted the following,

"Alfred was travelling to Australia to join a family friend, Mr. J Hurd who was operating a grocery and general store at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.

On the 5th August 1890 he arrived in Sydney and made his way to Blackheath. A description of their meeting at the railway station was printed in the ‘Clarion’ newspaper of Tuesday 10th August 1948 (following Alfred’s death). It reads in part:

Mr. Alf. Steatham arrived on the Fish (afternoon) train in 1890. One of the diversions of that day was to watch the train come in. One resident Mr. Hurd, greeted young Steatham with a kiss. He had known the lad in the Old Country, and had invited him to come to Australia to help him in his store.”

Some months after the arrival of Alfred to Blackheath family pressures necessitated Mr. Hurd returning to England and he sold the business to Mr. H.J. Collier, so commenced an association between Mr. Steatham and Mr. Collier that lasted over forty years.

In June 1903 Alfred purchased a block of land in Blackheath and commenced building a residence where he would live for the rest of his life."

Alfred Steatham - Outside the store.

Collier's General Store - Station Street; This store was destroyed on 26 June 1895 by fire. Photo was taken about 1888. On horse Alfred Steatham. 2nd from right Nick Delaney. H.J. "Old Man" Collier. Rub Delaney.

Alfred Steatham - Outside the store.

Collier's Store at the corner of Bathurst Road and Govett's Leap Road, 1890. Left to right: Alfred Steatham (on horse), Eddie Jackson (carter), Mr Slatyer, Ruby Delaney (Mrs Richards) on pony, Grandfather Collier, Nick Delaney. The four Collier children at the front door, beyond the tethered horses.
Photo of St. Aidens as it looks today

St. Aidens as it looks today.
The wedding was reported in the ‘Mountaineer’ newspaper of 2nd October 1903. It reads in part:

A pretty wedding was celebrated in St. Aiden’s Church on Wednesday morning last, when Mr. Alfred Steatham, of Derbyshire, England, and lately of the Central Stores, Blackheath, was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Miss Emily Sharp, fifth daughter of Mr. Henry Sharp, of this town. The officiating clergyman being Rev. F. Beeman. The church was tastefully decorated with flowers and greenery by girlfriends of the bride. The bridesmaid was Miss Edith Sharp, sister of the bride and Mr. W. Easterbrook, of Lithgow, was the best man.

Alfred's grandson, Robert Caldwell recalls the following,

"During Alfred’s (Alf as he was known to his friends) life he was involved in the Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) Lodge, the Blackheath Rifle Club, the School of Arts and a number of community projects around Blackheath.

This is well documented in several publications including “Grandfather Worked on the Pool: Tales of Old Blackheath” by Nance Smith and “Historic Blackheath” compiled by the Rotary Club of Blackheath 1975 - 76.

Alfred was always proud of his English heritage and of his Steatham surname".

Photo of Alfred Steatham & Jean Ella Caldwell (nee Steatham) circa 1946

Alfred Steatham &
Jean Ella Caldwell (nee Steatham)
circa 1946.

Photo of Fangs of the sea book cover

Introduction - Fangs of the Sea.

At Grassy Island.

Author's chair.


Author's boat.

Alfred and Emily had one child, Jean Ella Steatham, born on Friday the 10th August 1906.

Leaving the last word to Robert,

"Emily Steatham died on Saturday the 3rd of March 1934. She is buried in the Blackheath Cemetery. Alfred Steatham died on Friday the 30th July 1948 after a short illness. He also is buried in the Blackheath cemetery".

There only child, Jean Ella Steatham (1906-1996), on Wednesday the 9th September 1936, married Norman Wallace Caldwell (1883-1958), at Blackheath, They had two children.

Jean Ella died on Monday the 15th April 1996 and is buried at Blackheath Cemetery, joining her husband Norman Wallace Caldwell, who pre-deceaseed her and had died 1958.

Alfred, his wife Emily, their daughter Jean, his son-in-law Norman, all rest now together, in the same grave, in Blackheath cemetery. [Church of England, BCE1, Row 8, Plot 9/10].

Their grave can be viewed At Find a Grave click here

Norman Wallace Caldwell, was born on Friday the 24th August 1883, in Richmond, Victoria, he was a Shark expert / researcher and Journalist, and authored the book, "Fangs of the Sea" [by Norman Caldwell & Norman Ellison, 282 pages, illustrated. Shark fishing. Crocodile hunting, portrait of the author by Syd Miller, published by Angus & Robertson 1st Jan 1936]. There is a review of his book, where he is described as a professional shark hunter, in the "Australian Museum Magazine Vol. VI, No. 4 October-December, 1936.

He also authored other books,

"Titans of the Barrier Reef : further adventures of a shark fisherman" under the pen name "Norman Ward Caldwell", 248 pages, illustrations, maps on lining papers, published by Angus and Robertson, date: 1st January 1938.

"The mystery of Grassy Island". Later books include "The Secret of Mystery Island" and "The ghost ship".

Norman Wallace Caldwell had such an interesting life as can be seen by the newspaper mentions [in date order] we have of him...

The Katoomba Daily Friday 22nd May 1936.

Mr. Norman Caldwell, a journalist, also known as a shark expert, will deliver a lantern lecture in the School of Arts on Tuesday, June 2. He will talk on Sharks, the Great Barrier Reef, and Turtles. Proceeds go towards School of Arts funds.

The Katoomba Daily Thursday 28th May 1936.

On Tuesday next, at the School of Arts, Blackheath, Mr. Norman Caldwell will give a lantern lecture on "Sharks." Mr. Caldwell has a large number of interesting slides.

The Katoomba Daily Thursday 11th June 1936.

A most interesting lecture was given on Tuesday night last at the School of Arts, Blackheath, by Mr. Norman Caldwell, the shark expert, and well known writer for the "Referee" on Sharks Mr. Caldwell also showed a wonderful collection of lantern slides taken by himself. After explaining the types of jaws, and how a shark's teeth are replaceable, Mr Caldwell showed the various types that inhabit the Australian coastal waters. He gave a description of the way in which meshing nets were set down, and how the shark was meshed, showing slides of sharks thus caught, the effects of storms and tides on the meshed sharks, and how other sharks attacked the meshed sharks, tearing large portions away. He showed a picture of a large white shark's head, which was all that was left after another shark had made a meal of the meshed shark. Another slide showed a shark from which a great piece over three feet long had been torn. On one occasion, 210 sharks were meshed in nets put down off the Newcastle and Stockton surfing beaches. From two nets put down off Bondi, 29 sharks were taken.

Mr. Caldwell explained the skinning of a shark, the removal of the flesh from the hide, and the commercial use of the monsters: the hide for leather, the liver for oil, fins as a Chinese delicacy for soup, the flesh for fish meal and fertiliser. Pictures were shown of shoes and handbags made from the hides of the carpet and tiger sharks. One slide showed the jaw of a tiger "shark which measured 38in. across by 28ins. This, Mr Caldwell described as a quick exit from earthly worries. He also related several, amusing incidents in his experience while in charge of Marine Industries Ltd., operating at Fort Stephens, and exploded quite definitely the idea that sharks turn over on their back to bite. In his ten years' experience of shark fishing in Australian waters he has never known a shark to turn over on its back to attack anything. Sharks have a wonderful sense of smell, but their range of vision does not exceed three feet. His method of killing a shark is not one that would appeal to most people. He brings the captured shark to the side of his boat, then leans over and knifes the captive through the brain. When it is realised that a shark's brain would go into a small egg cup, It may he imagined that killing sharks like this is not an easy matter especially as some of the brutes are anything up to 18ft. in length.

Mr. Caldwell also showed pictures of Grassy Island, one of the Great Barrier Reef islands where he spent 2 1/2 years investigating the possibilities of shark fishing for a Queensland company. His boat, The Normede, from which he does his fishing, the wonderful coral gardens that surround this island paradise, and some of the sharks captured by him. Included among the latter was a shark that moaned and spouted water when he struck it with a lead-filled waddy.

Mr. Caldwell's method of fishing would not appeal to all fishermen. His boat is only 18ft. long, with sails or oars for motive power, and, to handle sharks single-handed from an 18-footer, like some he showed us, is not an easy task. His largest catch was of a tiger variety, which measured 18ft 4in. in length. He secured a wonderful under-water picture, while hanging on to the shark with one hand, and the camera with the other. He has also landed a groper that turned the scales at 280lbs.

From Grassy Island, - Mr Caldwell took his audience right across Australia to a little town called Cossack, [over 3,000 miles west of his home in Blackheath, well over 52 hours driving] on the Northwest coast of Western Australia, showing them pictures of the Cossack Creek, the pearl shell and boats. The town of Cossack, with its modern turtle soup cannery, the method of catching the turtles by chasing with a speedy launch, and diving over to turn the tired out turtle on its back, when it is hauled into the chaser and taken to the pen. Mr. Caldwell then showed the factory, with its pans, retorts, and can making machinery, explaining how the soup is made.
The proceeds of the lecture went to swell the funds of the Black heath School of Arts. It is hoped that, at some future date, Mr Caldwell may be persuaded to give an other lecture as enjoyable as this one proved to be.

The Katoomba Daily Thursday 6th August 1936.

Mr. Norman Caldwell, who has been residing at Blackheath for some months, has written a book entitled "Fangs of the Sea," which has been accepted by Angus and Robertson, of Sydney, and will be published in six weeks. Mr. Caldwell has been asked to write another book on the subject of the inhabitants of the deep. Mr. Caldwell recently thrilled a Blackheath audience when he delivered a lecture on "Sharks."

The Katoomba Daily Thursday 7th January 1937.

At the conclusion of an interview recently by the 2BL Radio Roundsman of Capt. R. C. Dwyer, commander of the U.S. mercantile training ship. The California State, the Radio Roundsman presented the captain with a copy of "Fangs of the Sea," written by Norman Caldwell, of Blackheath. This was the first Australian book in the ship's library. In response to a request by an eminent Dutch firm of publishers "for the most outstanding Australian book published in 1936, for publication in Holland, Angus and Robertson selected "Fangs of the Sea," and it is expected that this book will be published, in both England and America shortly.

The Sun (Sydney) Sunday 10th January 1937.

The Men who caught the Fish by "Wobbegong"
...Norman Caldwell, author of "Fangs of the Sea," is back at Blackheath after three months at Grassy Island and Bowen. He caught some large sharks, including one he calls a "mystery" shark 10 feet long. This is only the second he has caught. It is of light color, has a nearly smooth skin and moans when being handled. It also ejects great spouts of water from its mouth when near the surface...

The Katoomba Daily Friday 5th February 1937.

Mr. Norman Caldwell, author and big game fisherman, also an expert on sharks, whose recent book "Fangs of the Sea" is now in tbe third thousand, returned to his home town Blackheath and his young wife (nee - Jean Steatham) after three months on the Great Barrier islands. Mr. Caldwell looks like one who has lived in the tropics all his life.

The Katoomba Daily Friday 15th April 1937.

A resident of Blackheath, Mr. Norman Caldwell, so well known for his book on sharks and other big fish, has gone to the north of Queensland, to gain material for another book, and purchase shark hides. Mr. Caldwell has recently completed a series of lectures on sharks and their habits.

The Katoomba Daily Friday 14th October 1938.

Let's go Gossiping by "Jennifer J."
Local Colour
Mrs. Norman Caldwell has a great deal of interest to tell her many friends at Blackheath at present. She is visiting her father, Mr. A. Steatham, at Blackheath, after having lived on Hayman's Island, Queensland, with her husband, for the past fourteen months. Mr. Norman Caldwell is the well known novelist, and his new publication, "Titans of the Barrier Reef," will be on the press this month.

The South-Western News - Friday 9th December 1938.

by Norman Caldwell.-Price 8/6 (Post 5d).
This is a record of the author's exciting and dangerous experiences as a shark fisherman on the Great Barrier Beef. In an eighteen-foot boat he goes forth to do battle with white sharks, tiger sharks, devil fish, groper and huge eels. There is enough adventure in these yarn to satisfy any one between 16 and 60. A striking figure in the 'book is Boyd Lee—a returned soldier and fisherman at Grassy Island. The episode of his fight, in the dark, with a crocodile enmeshed in his net is hair-raising.

The Katoomba Daily Friday 6th January 1939.

To a Mrs. and Mr. Norman Caldwell (nee Jean Steatham, of Blackheath of the Barrier Reef, and at present residing in Blackheath, a son was born in the Camberwarra Hospital. He will be christened Robert Norman.

The Blue Mountains Advertiser Friday 24th March 1944.

...another interesting item around the camp fire will be yarn told by the well known Barrier Reef author, Norman Caldwell...

Lithgow Mercury Thursday 7th November 1946.

Unofficial War History Of The Torres Strait Area
Proposed Survey By Barrier Reef Explorer
(By BEDE LEIGHTON, ex-Editor "Torres Strait Zero Post.")
In the concluding chapter of The Unofficial War History of the Torres Strait Area I have briefly described the gradual disappearance of the Thursday Island garrison; the return to the pearling grounds which had remained almost undisturbed during the war, and an interesting interview with author and shark killer, Norman Caldwell. By December 7, 1940, the dust still swirled on the once again almost deserted streets of Thursday Island, broken doors still swayed drunkenly from warped frames, derelict luggers pushed their broken bows above ebbing tides. Horn Island jetty no longer resounded to the creaking winches of the S.S. Wandana. unloading petrol and aerial bombs; and the little grave of Clara Galora remained hidden in its jungle fastness.

White troops gradually disappeared towards peace time pursuits, the British aircraft carriers had passed with their complements of released P.O.W., from Singapore, and soldiers of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion began forming small companies, pooling their military pay and allotments in preparation for tne time when they could purchase Commonwealth disposal luggers to capture the pearl trade in the new season. At the present time the pearling grounds throughout Torres Strait are a hive of activity, and large hauls of pearl shell — gold lip, silver lip and back lip — besides trochus, are being unloaded on the Townsville and Cooktown markets. It is to these pearling grounds and the "new" Thursday Island that noted Australian author and Superintendent of Shark Fisheries, Norman Caldwell, is planning an experimental trip, in conjunction with the Australian Chemical, Scientific and Industrial Research Bureau. Author of "Fangs of the Sea," "Titans of the Deep," "The Mystery of Grassy Island," and other popular books, Mr. Caldwell has had numerous works and articles published both in Australia and America. He is recognised as an authority on sharks and other marine life, and not infrequently has assisted United States Fisheries Departments in valuable research work.

Mr Caldwell, who is at present supervising the operation of a factory at Eden, on the South Coast [about 350 miles south of Blackheath], for the purpose of processing shark livers and extracting rich oils containing vitamin A (vitamin A is found especially in fish livers, butter and eggs), Has searched for and experimented with various types of sharks in Western Australian waters, off the coasts of Victoria and N.S.W., and throughout the length and breadth of the world famous Great Barrier Reef. When preliminary arrangements have been completed, launches and invasion barges equipped, and stocks of fishing tackle replenished, Norman Caldwell proposes to search the waters and reefs of Torres Strait in an effort to discover marine monsters or fish as yet unknown to science, conduct extensive experiments on shark livers and oil and to examine the potentialities of the pearl and trochus shell beds.

While "combing" the Barrier Reef several years ago he captured three freak sharks, the existence of which had never before been realised.; His astounding discovery brough recognition even from American shark fishing authorities, and data compiled on the strange sea scavangers was placed at the disposal of the Sydney Museum. The sharks were technically termed the Nebrodes, but the name Madam X, coined by Mr. Caldwell and his enthusiastic partner and wife, has remained to describe, the strange monsters in fishing parlance.

Interviewed at his home in Clan William-street, Blackheath, recently Mr. Caldwell stated that shark oil had retailed at only 2/9 per gallon prior to 1939. At the outbreak of war when England was unable to export supplies, of necessary cod-liver oil to this country he began extensive research work on shark liver, in search of a substitute commodity equal in vitamin potency to cod-liver oil.

A lifetime of experience in coastal waters, combined with his knowledge of the subject, confirmed his early belief that the oil obtained from the processed livers of school sharks, commonly referred to as snapper sharks in Victorian waters, gave the best results. Fishing boats operating from Eden and off the N.S.W, coast from Newcastle and Bondi to Victoria, began to cover the jetty at the Eden factory with hundreds of carcases of shark's of every variety, and when extracted under distillation methods oil with a vitamin potency equivalent to 50,000 international units per gramme was valued at £10 per gallon.

Comparing the oil capacity of sharks and whales Mr. Caldwell said the gigantic mammals had a vitamin oil potency equivalent to approximately 200,000 international units per gramme, and were therefore a prize worthy of being hunted. He deplored the fact that whaling permits had been issued to the Japanese; contending that this country was in definite need of whale products from which' a substantial source, of national income could be derived.

When engaged in shark fishing in the Barrier Reef Islands the author spends hours playing giant man-eat ing sharks and, when they have been hauled alongside his launch, stabs them through the brain with a large sheath knife. He explained that the shark possesses a brain only the size of an egg cup, and his method of dispatching them, although attended by danger, is nevertheless, very effective.

Also an intrepid adventurer Mrs. Jean Caldwell assists her versatile husband in his shark fishing expeditions, literary works, photography and lantern slide preparations and his paintings. Her largest catch on a shark hunting expedition was recorded off Gumbrall [Gumbrell - [1100 miles north Blackheath]] Island (Q'ld.) when she landed a groper weighing more than 550 1bs. Gropers have been known to grow to enormous sizes and are described as being not unlike a gigantic cod. Native divers both respect and fear the groper more than the shark, because with the latter they at least have some chance of survival, whereas with the groper, and its rows of savage teeth extend ing deep into its throat, there is no hope for the unfortunate swimmer who becomes the victim of its murderous attack.

Mrs. Caldwell said she was deeply interested in her famous husband's career but many times feared for his safety. Perhaps her most unnerving; experience was when her husband overbalanced on their boat and fell into the sea after harpooning a devil ray, in the vicinity of Armit Island [1100 miles north Blackheath] as he was swimming back to the launch an 18ft. tiger shark fiashed towards him but at the crucial moment the monster changed course and ferociously gorged itself on the mortally wounded devil ray, which had threatened to pound the adventurer with its ponderous and ugly flat body.

Besides being an expert fisherman and navigator Norman Caldwell is an enthusiastic photographer and his valuable collection of naturally tinted slides depict the beauties of the Great Barrier Reef and their associate dangers.

When not occupied with research work the author lives with his famly at Blackheath and can always be found listening to radio serials, writing new stories; or examining his many peculiar collections of coral, and other Barrier Reef trophies.
His study and library is a souvenir hunter's paradise with its paintings of desert scenes, storm swept seas, boats, birds; also 19th century vases, gaping shark jaws containing row's of razor sharp teeth, pearl shells, cowrie and bailer shells, coral formations, tropical fish, turtle shells, lugong ivory bones and jars of pre- rerved tiger sharks and octopi in the embryo stage. Before leaving for Thursday Island, and the Torres Strait area Mr. Caldwell said he hoped to complete the re-writing of "Tirans of the Deep", and prepare his new novel, "The Adventures of the Argo," which will set out in detail an account of his recent trip to the Swain Reefs which are situated 150 miles east of Townsville. These reefs are composed of a 50 miles expanse of coral; portion of which was unchartered until discovered by Mr. Caldwell's party about two months ago.

If "The Adventures of the Argo" is received favorably by the authors two most dependable critics" — son Bob aged seven years, and daughter Judy aged five years - it will be presented to Mr. Caldwell's publishers for wholesale distribution.

Mr. Caldwell is well known in Lithgow and his friends will, no doubt, be interested to learn of his exploits when he visits Torres Strait at some future' date. He has promised to release, this information per medium of the "Mercury."

Note that Armit, Grassy and Gunbrell Islands, Queensland, are all near each other.

Bowen Independant - Friday 20th May 1949.

All interesting visitor during the week was noted author and shark expert Norman Caldwell, who is investigating the proposed removal of his shark fishing industry from Eden (N.S.W.) to Bowen. Mr. Caldwell is no stranger to these parts, having spent long periods before the war at Grassy Island, where he experimented with shark fishing and gathered material for his Barrier Beef books and articles, which have gained him a very large rending public.

Mr. Caldwell told us that the establishment, of his activities, locally depends on one thing the vitamin A content of the oil from Northern shark livers. This factor is an important one in the grading of shark oil for commercial use and on it depends the price received. If sharks in these waters have sufficiently rich livers so to speak, the transfer of the industry to Bowen will proceed without delay. Mr. Caldwell is confident that samples of oil taken from sharks caught on a recent trip to Whitsunday will on analysis, come up to requirements. He left this week aboard the launch Cheerio 11 to make further investigations in the Whitsunday Passage. From earlier experience,he has no worries about the quantities of sharks available, which are caught on set lines. Mr. Caldwell’s intention is to pro duce shark oil, fish meal and, fertiliser but not hides, as was previously, reported. Although claims have at times been made to the contrary, economic method of removing the tough Shagreen from shark skins has yet been found. The substance can be removed by an acid process, but as each skin must be treated separatly, the finished product, is too costly. We learned that Mr. Caldwell now has two new books in course of publication - one in America and the other in England, and both have Bowen as locale. Their titles are “The Secret of Mystery Island,” on the adventure of it white and an aboriginal boy in Bowen and the islands during the war and “The Ghost Ship”, in which the hero's father is police sergeant at Bowen. The publicity will be useful to Bowen and we look forward to reading the books.

What lives they had! I think we can firmly say that the lives of Norman and Jean were extraordinary to say the least, and such a long way from the life Alfred left in England.

Moving on with Alfred's story we can see Alfred Steatham and his family mentioned in a number of newspapers of the time, as follows,

The Sydney Morning Herald - Wednesday 10th May 1899.

Northen Rifle Association - Katoomba, Tuesday.
A rifle match between teams of 10 men of the Blackheath and Katoomba rifle teams clubs took place at the former range on Saturday. The contest is the first of a series of three competitions for the Bronger Challenge Shield, which at present is held by Katoomba Club.

The weather was against high scoring, there being a strong and gusty wind. Conditions, seven shots at 500 and 600 yards. The match resulted in a win for Blackheath by 3 points.

Scores : Blackheath, 436 (Slayter 58, Steatham 52, Delaney 51) ; Katoomba, 433 (Murray 56, Spark 49, Bashford 49).

Evening News - Saturday 3rd October 1903.

A pretty wedding was celebrated in St. Aidan's C.E. Blackheath, on September 23, by the Rev. F. Beeman, the contracting parties being Mr. Alfred Steatham and Miss Emily Sharp, of Black heath. The bridesmaid was Miss Edith Sharp (sister of the bride); and Mr. Will Easterbrook, of Lithgow, was the best man. The wedding breakfast was held at the residence of the bride's parents.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 18th August 1906.

STEATHAM August 10, the wife of A. Steatham, Blackheath, of a daughter.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Friday 14th September 1906.

Rifle Shooting Blackheath Thursday.
The final shooting for prizes in connection with the Blackheath Civilan?Rifle Club has concluded. Results. First. W Scrague: Second, A. Steatham: third. H. Neate: Fourth, C. Neate. The prizes were ? cash.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 15th July 1911.

Blackheath Friday.
The installation of officers of Blackheath lodge-room last evening by Bro. A. Steatham, lodge-room last evening by Bro. A. Steatham D.D.G.M.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 23rd March 1912.
Blackheath Friday.

At a meeting of Blackheath Lodge 76?, I.O.O.F, Bros. S. Jones was elected representative of the ensuing grand lodge session., and Wor. Bro. A. Steatham, D.D.G.M, was again nominated for the position of District Deputy for grand lodge's approval. A visit was paid (sic) by number of members of lodge Good Intent, No. 37, Hartley Vale.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 7th May 1912.

Personel Column,
Blackheath Friday.
Bro. A. Steatham D.D.G.M., and secretary to Blackheath Lodge, I.O.O.F., was presented by Bro. B. Beedman, N.G., on behalf of the members, with a P?st Grand Jewel, in recognition of services rendered to the lodge.

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 21st October 1921.

Sister Institute
There was attendance at the regular committee meeting of the School of Arts on Friday, with the president, Mr. Steatham, in the chair...

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 27th January 1922.

The monthly meeting of the Blackheath School of Arts was held on Monday, Mr. Steatham, president, in the chair...

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 27th January 1922.

'Heath Rifle Club
The Blackheath Rifle Club held its second regular meeting since re-establishment, on Monday night Capt. Steatham in the chair...

The Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 23rd February 1922.

Intermediate Exam Pass list.
Katoomba Intermediate High School.
Steatham, Jean. 1B (English), 5B (Mathematics II), 7B (French), 12B (Botany), 13A (Geology).

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 21st April 1922.

The monthly meeting of Blackheath School of Arts committee was held last Friday, Mr. Steatham (president) In the chair...

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 16th June 1922.

Billiards Booming
At Blackheath
The monthly meeting of Blackheath School of Arts was held on Friday, held last Friday, with the president Mr. A. Steatham (president) in the chair...

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 28th July 1922.

With the Tide
'Heath's Social Club

The 18th annual meeting of the Blackheath School of Arts was held on Wednesdny night, President A. Steatham occupying the chair. There was a large attendance, and the meeting was voted the best held since the inception of the institute...

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 6th October 1922.

Arts Committee
The committee of the 'Heath School of Arts held its monthy meeting on Friday last, with President A. Steatham in the chair...

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 2nd February 1923. []

Arts Committee
Heath's School of Arts
The monthly meeting of the 'Heath School of Arts was held on Monday. President A. Steatham in the chair...

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 23rd March 1923.

Blackheath Notes
The Wentworth Falls rifle club has challenged the Heath to match — teams of eight a slde. Captain Steatham has the matter in band and, no doubt an acceptance will follow.

Lithgow Mercury - Wednesday 18th April 1923.

The monthly meeting of the School of Arts was held on Friday night. There present: Messrs. A. Steatham...

The Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 25th July 1925.

The twenty-second annual report of the Blackheath School of Arts showed that the number of members was 369, and subscribers 489. The following officers were elected. Presldent, Mr. A. Plttendrlgh; vlce-president, Messrs. W. Downie, H. J. Collier, and II, Mack; hon. secretary, Mr. R. Faulklner; hon. treasurer, Mr. Collier; committee, Messrs. W, Bligh, S. T. Green, J. H. Jones, W. C. Lam, S. Scandritt B. Scandritt, C. Mcpherson, A. Shearin, and A. Steatham.
An honorarium of £10 was authorised to be paid to the librarian, Miss Boyne.

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 7th August 1925.

Miss Steatham has gone to Orange for a few weeks holiday.

The Blue Mountain Echo - Friday 17th February 1928.

Blackheath's Institute
Present at the School of Arts meeting held on Friday were ... A. Steatham ...

The Blue Mountain Echo - Tuesday 24 July 1928.

Mr. and Mrs. A. Steatham, of Malvern, Blackheath, are spending a happy holiday in Adelaide.

The Blue Mountain Echo - Tuesday 2nd October 1928.

Miss A. Steatham is back on duty again after an enjoyable vacation at Bondi.

The Blue Mountain Star - Saturday 3rd August 1929.

Miss Jean Steatham, from Mr C. R. Thompson's office, is suffering from the prevailing " 'flu," and will be compelled to stay away from the office for a few days.

The Blue Mountain Star - Saturday 5th July 1930.

Mr. and Mrs. A. Steatham, of Blackheath, left by the S. S. Canberra, for a three weeks trip to Cairns, Queensland. There was quite a jolly sendoff on the station and a few tears from Miss Steatham who has been left behind to look after the home.

The Blue Mountain Star - Saturday 19th July 1930.

Mrs and Mr. Steatham, so well- known at Blackheath, are returning to their home town next Monday after a most enjoyable holiday at Cairns. They write to say the weather has been perfect, and the sun has been following them and shining all the time.

What a lovely snippet to have from their lives!

The Brisbane Courier - Monday 21st July 1930.
Ship Intelligence
Mentioned is the departure of the Canberra on Wednesday the 19th July, via Sydney and Melbourne (passed Pile light 2:15 pm), of a passenger, A. Steatham.

Is this them returning from their holiday above?

Lithgow Mercury - Thursday 10th December 1930.
Mr. A. Steatham went to Sydney on Wednesday to undergo a slight facial operation at Wootton private hospital. This was successfully performed.

Blackheath Bulletin - Thursday 18th December 1930.

Mrs. A. Steatham of Blackheath, who proceeded to Sydney for medical treatment, was admitted to Prince Alfred Hospital on Wednesday.

The Katoomba Daily - Friday 28th October 1932.

Grand Dramatic Entertainment
"All a mistake" is the name given to the play being organised by Mrs. A. Steatham to be produced at the Arcadia Picture Theatre, Blackheath on Friday, Nov 18, The proceeds of this three-act farce-comedy are to benifit the Blackheath School of Arts, and as this is the first entertainment by the Dramatic Club, the theatre should be packed on the night of the school especially as tickets are only 1/6 (2/- booked).

The Sydney Morning Herald - Monday 5th March 1934.

Family Notices - Deaths.
STEATHAM, - March 3, 1934, at Katoomba, Emily Louise Steatham, late of Malvern, Blackheath, dearly loved wife of Alfred, and beloved mother of Jean, aged 56 years. At rest.

The Katoomba Daily - Thursday 8th March 1934.

The funeral of the late Mrs Emily Louise Steatham, of Clanwilliam St, Blackheath, whose death occurred on Saturday last, was attended by a large representative gathering of citizens. A service was conducted by the Rev. H. A. C. Rowsell at her residence and the graveside. Over 80 wreaths were forwarded by friends and mourners. Mrs Steatham was a well-known worker for charitable causes, and her loss particularly to her husband and her only daughter, Jean is indeed a sad one. Wood Coffill Ltd. carried out the funeral arrangements.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Monday 12th March 1934.

Family Notices.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES. - Probate Jurisdiction. - In the Will of EMILY LOUISE STEATHAM late of "Malvern" ClanWilliam-street Blackheath in the State of New South Wales Married Woman deceased. - Application will be made after fourteen days from the publication hereof that Probate of the last Will and Testament of the abovenamed deceased may be granted to ALFRED STEATHAM the sole Executor therin named.
All notices may be served at the offices of the offices of the undersigned to whom all persons having any claims against the Estate of the said deceased are required to furnish particulars thereof within such fourteen days as aforesaid. KERSHAW MATTHEWS LANE and GLASGOW, Proctors for the Applicant, Ocean House, 34 Martin-place, Sydney.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 18th April 1934.

Miss Jean Steatham is still recuprating in the city. From recent reports, her health is improving. There is hop of her soon being able to return to Blackheath.

The Blue Mountains Advertiser - Friday 18 February 1944.

Blackheath School of Arts
Life Members Elected.
A wonderful record of service to the School of Arts was disclosed at a meeting of the committee last week, when Messr A. Steatham and B. Scandritt were unanimously elected life members.
Mr. Steatham's service extends over 40 years, before the School of Art building was erected, the institute then being conducted in St. Aidan's Hall. Mr. Scandritt has given 33 years' service, and is still the treasurer. It is suggested that very few mountain residents can boast of such continuos service as these men and their life membership is a tribute to their sterling work.

The Blue Mountains Advertiser - Friday 3rd May 1946.

...Two shops, where House Bros.' timber shed now stand, were opened in 1889 by Mr. Hurd, from London, as a general store. Early in 1890 he invited young Alf Steatham, whom he had known in the Old Country, to come out to him as an assistant. Later, Mr. H. J. Collier bought out Mr. Hurd and carried on the stores with young Steatham. In June. 1895, the premises were destroyed by a fire and Mr. Collier then went across the railway to the corner of Govett Street and the Great Western Road...

The Blue Mountains Advertiser - Friday 17th May 1946.

The person who must be described as the encyclopedia of Blackheath is Mr. Alf Steatham, already referred to in connection with Collier's Store, and we give some extracts from an item he wrote for the 'Greater Blackheath Bulletin' in February, 1944. 'What a transformation there is in Blackheath to what it was when I first set foot in it in the year 1890. On alighting from 'The Fish' train it was to step on to a single platform, and, making for the high road one passed within the railway precincts the local post and telegraph office, which was a little structure about 12 x 10 feet, with a small waiting room about 8 x 8ft. Then you were faced by the Hydora Hotel (Gardner's) with an office that was occupied by the London Chartered Bank of Australia.

The Hotel was the only building on an estate of many acres of unused land, right where, what was to become the heart of our township. The roads, in those days, were mainly tracks made by the local tradesmen in winding their ways to the scattered homes. At this time the only civic effort to make improvements was the local Progress Committee which was run by well known identities of the time who spared no effort to improve roads and paths, working mostly in voluntary efforts; among whom were: Rev. Trickett, C. of E.; Jim Daly; John Neate; H. J. Collier; McPederiss; Hammersley; Stutchbury and myself. I can point out roads that were formed and metalled THEN that are standing up to the traffic of today.

A few years later came the sale of the Bloodworth Estate (formerly the Gardner's Inn property) re-leasing land that had held Blackheath back, and this sale enabled the township to assume a new appearance, for business which had seemed to set its foot on the western side of the railway, now turned its attention to the new building sites available, with the result that new stores were built, including a brand new post office, and didn't we think it some improvement to have the facilities offered.

The social functions of those early days were centred in the local hall (now known as the Peg Factory), and the good old days were bright and happy ones. All seemed to join in, making events social in every respect. It was in the early nineties that the Heath had its first aspirations for municipal honours, when a strong committee got together and carried their efforts so far that the municipality was officially gazetted, only to be defeated by those able to pull the ropes behind the scenes, thus throwing the township back to as it were to be succeeded later by its absorption in the Blue Mountains Shire brought about by the Local Government Act.

This was all right for a time, but the local rate payers soon began to see that their rates were going to other parts of the Shire for its improvements, hence the necessity for some drastic step. This took the form of secession from the Shire to attain what had been desired so long, the Incorporation of Blackheath as a Municipality. Mr. Steatham refers to the 'good old days,' and we heard of this from another angle or viewpoint, from a lady who spent her girlhood here, in those days.

There was a building, where the New Ivanhoe now stands, erected before Mr. Collier took it over as his store. It had been erected to secure a new hotel licence, but was defeated by the townspeople, and the building was put to various other uses. One was as a billiard saloon. The 'lads about town' would peer through the window of this saloon and, if they saw their only policeman playing a game, they knew they were safe for an hour's skylarking, and they used it to their hearts' desire.

The Blackheath Progress Committee published a small book on Blackheath in 1903, but no knowledge was forth-coming from any of the present generation of its whereabouts, and it only came under our notice by investigations at the Mitchell Library. In this book we found these words: 'There are quite three suburbs in Blackheath; one on the Govett's Leap Road, another on the Hat Hill Road, and a third known, as 'Paradise'. I was interested in this latter, as it was the place of my abode.

A further statement was: 'Blackheath has the proud pre-eminence of being the highest mountain town, and is therefore the coolest. Its great sight is Govett's Leap, which is the nearest approach to the Yosemite Valley that we have in Australia.' Truly, the Progress Committee of 1903 were enthusiastic about their town Council.

The Blue Mountains Adcertiser - Friday 31st May 1946.

This is one of the best known places in Blackheath today, and is situated on the Main Western Road right opposite to the railway station. It was inaugurated on October 31st, 1904, and the building was erected and opened officially on June 30th, 1906. Mr. Alf Steatham was a foundation member and still is a member of the Council.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 31st July 1948.

STEATHAM, Alfred, - July 30, 1948, at his residence, Malvern, 74 Clanwilliam Street, Blackheath, beloved husband of the late Emily Louise Steatham, and fond father of Jean (Mrs. N. W. Caldwell), aged 80 years.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 31st July 1948.

Family Notices - Deaths.
STEATHAM the funeral of the late ALFRED STEATHAM will leave St Alden's Church, Blackheath, This Saturday after service commencing at 2 pm for Church of England Cemetery Blackheath Wood Coffill Limited corner Bathurst Road and Cascade Street, Katoomba. Phone Kat 41.
STEATHAM, - Lodge Blackheath np 75 IOOF - Officers and Members of the above lodge are requested to attend the Funeral of their late Secretary, Bro. ALFRED STEATHAM P. G. See above notice for particulars. regalia J. Harris N.G.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 7th August 1948.

IN the Will of ALFRED STEATHAM late of "Malvern" Clan William street Blackheath In the State of New South Wales Grocer deceased. Appllication will be made after 14 days from the publication hereof that. Probate of the last Will and Testament dated 17th April 1934 of the abovenamed deceased may be granted to Jean Ella Caldwell (In the said Will called Jean Ella Steatham) the Executrix named in the Will and all notices may be served at the offices of the undersigned All creditors in the Estate of the deceased are hereby required to send In partlculars of their claims to the undersigned within such period of 14 days as aforsaid. KERSHAW MATTHEWS LANE & GLASGOW, Proctors for the Applicant, 34 Martin Place, Sydney.

There in total about three hundred and eighty reports in the newspaper archive, so we have to leave it where it is for now.

Now for something very odd indeed, we see in the

The Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 1st October 1861,
the following.

City Court - Drunkeness - a Benjamin Steatham fined 5s.

The name Steatham is spelt correctly, I suppose we have to make of it what we can. But in this time period there never was a Benjamin Steatham!

Click this link to see the original newspaper records

Australian Newspapers

What a fascinating story this is; as we know Alfred's father, Josiah Steatham, moved his family from Willenhall to Derby.

In the days of no welfare support, if you lost your job, it was quite courageous to move away from an area where all your family and friends were.

Alfred seemed to have the same desire to see the World, but he was obviously a man who did not do things by halves, and it must have been quite an act of faith in his own abilities to have undertaken this move to the other side of the World, at the age of only just over twenty two years.

The wealth of information we have about Alfred's life is in part due to the excellent work done in Australia to make available newspaper records.

Note - there are other connections to Australia, but they are of a more recent date, so the details cannot be divulged.    All Rights Reserved.