Historical information

Nola (Nettie) Maher was born in Beechworth on 31st December, 1935. Her father returned from World War One and purchased a miner’s cottage in 1919 where Nettie lived in for the majority of her life.

Nettie worked for ten years at the Pittman’s Shoe Factory, once located on Ford Street, which was in operation from 1 July 1947 to 28 August 1961. She fondly recalls the camaraderie amongst the staff and certain managers, and details the factory processes, union activities and the work she continued to do once she was married and had children.

This oral history recording was part of a project conducted by Jennifer Williams in the year 2000 to capture the everyday life and struggles in Beechworth during the twentieth century. This project involved recording seventy oral histories on cassette tapes of local Beechworth residents which were then published in a book titled: Listen to what they say: voices of twentieth century Beechworth.

These cassette tapes were digitised in July 2021 with funds made available by the Friends of the Burke.


Nola Nettie Maher’s account of her personal and working life in Beechworth and the local area during the 20th century is historically and socially significant to the cultural heritage of the region. She details important details about life and working in the region post World War Two, including insights into women’s working roles, as well as the social aspects of town life.

This oral history account is socially and historically significant as it is part of a broader collection of interviews conducted by Jennifer Williams which were published in the book ‘Listen to what they say: voices of twentieth-century Beechworth.’ While the township of Beechworth is known for its history as a gold rush town, these accounts provide a unique insight into the day-to-day life of the town’s residents during the 20th century, many of which would have been lost had they not been preserved.

Physical description

This is a digital copy of a recording that was originally captured on a cassette tape. The cassette tape is black with a horizontal white strip and is currently stored in a clear flat plastic rectangular container. It holds up 40 minutes of recordings on each side.

Inscriptions & markings

Nola Maher /