THE GHOSTS HAVE NEVER LEFT- Marie & John Watt in conversation with local storyteller, Anne E Stewart

September 26, 2021 @ 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm

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Listen as we uncover stories of the Goldfields, their ghosts and their memories.

‘THE GHOSTS HAVE NEVER LEFT – Victorian Gold Rush Towns and the Stories They Could Tell’, published by CREATOURS PRESS, captures in words and images both the glory days and haunting reminders of 21 Victorian Gold Rush towns, which today are either small, sleepy or non-existent.

Alongside each town the authors have recounted a connected, important and often little known tale of Victoria’s diverse and fascinating past.

Ballarat, Bendigo and Castlemaine are well known and deserved monuments to an extraordinary period in Victoria’s past.  What this book seeks to achieve, however, is to point out by way of words, combined with more than 130 contemporary infrared and archival images, that the gold rush spawned, enlarged and linked many lesser known towns across Victoria.

In the wake of these remarkable years, a unique and haunting landscape remains, ranging from unusual natural features such as Melville Caves and the Devil’s Kitchen, enormous skeletons of infrastructure exemplified by the Eldorado Dredge and Garfield Water Wheel, to evidence everywhere, typified by overgrown foundations, abandoned shafts, and huge mullock heaps, of the frenetic search for the precious metal.

By association each of the 21 towns covered has contributed one or more pieces to the jigsaw that is Victoria’s history.  Examples include the long trek of over 16,000 Chinese from Robe in South Australia to the Victorian goldfields, the birth of John Flynn at Moliagul, construction of the Coliban Water Scheme and the existence, or otherwise, of wild beasts in the Australian bush.

This book provides the reader with a brief, accurate, easy to read and visually attractive overview of the unfolding gold rush in 21 lesser known gold rush towns, along with interrelated stories.  It serves as a drawcard and pointer for those considering a visit to the goldfields, or as a stimulant and stepping stone to further exploration and study.

Printed in Victoria, the 280 page ‘THE GHOSTS HAVE NEVER LEFT’ is available in three versions:

  • Paperback (RRP$39.99)
  • Hardback (RRP$54.99)
  • Premium Hardback (RRP$180) (larger, section sewn, archival quality)

‘A loving, haunting, fitting tribute to the material legacy of a generation of dreamers and schemers.  The Ghosts Have Never Left is a rich addition to the lode of gold rush literature.’ –Professor Clare Wright OAM, author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

 ‘What an extraordinary tribute to Victoria’s goldfields history.  A haunting, eerie evocation of places that are thronged with ghosts.’ –Jane Sullivan, Senior Contributor, The Age

‘You have taken me to places I didn’t know existed.  Told me stories I had never heard before.  Every Victorian should make this delightful book compulsory reading.  Go and visit.’ –Hon. Ted Baillieu AO, Former Premier of Victoria

Books will be available to purchase and be signed at event.

Price: $15/ $10 concession

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are only releasing 50% of tickets now.

If those restrictions are lifted, we will release the remaining tickets 2 weeks before the festival.

So please don’t wait! If you want to attend, please book early. Thank you!



Daylesford Town Hall
76 Vincent St. Daylesford,
Victoria 3460 Australia


Words in Winter is an annual literary and arts festival held in August each year in the Hepburn Shire and surrounding districts.