Thomas Croudace is famous around Newcastle in a historical, distant kinda way.
His name is on a suburb and a road. Plus, he was a successful mine manager way back in the day, helped establish the suburb of Lambton, was mayor of Lambton Council and donated land for Lambton Park.
Two people pretty chuffed to be related to Thomas Croudace were pretty chuffed to have met for the first time.
Hugh-Angus Bright, 14, of Maryland, is the great, great, great grandson of Thomas Croudace.
Newcastle's Libby Maskey is the great great granddaughter of Thomas Croudace.
A few months ago, Libby posted on the Lost Newcastle Facebook page about her links to him.
Hugh-Angus responded. The pair decided to meet up last Thursday. And where did they meet? Why Croudace House, of course, which was once the home of their revered relative and now sits in the grounds of Newcastle Private Hospital at New Lambton Heights. Thomas Croudace built the heritage-listed house in 1863.
When Libby and Hugh-Angus met at the house's coffee shop, they had a lot of history to reflect upon.
"It was a bit surreal," Hugh-Angus said.
Libby gave her long lost relative a family crest. "Family is family," she said.
Hugh-Angus has compiled a family tree that extends to 4000 people.
"Dad's obsessed with war and history - he passed that onto me," Hugh-Angus said.
"I have five siblings and I'm the brainiest of the children."
This, he joked, accounted for his interest in history at such a young age.
He began compiling the family's history when his dad asked him to find any relatives who died on the Western front, so he could visit their grave sites on a trip to Europe.
Hugh-Angus did end up finding a relative who died on the Western front.
Topics: "Did you go and visit the grave site?"
Hugh-Angus [again showing that sense of humour]: "In true mum and dad fashion, they didn't take us to Europe."
Andrew and Bill Whitbread-Brown, of Cardiff Heights, are in Amsterdam.
They had dinner at the weekend in a "rather cool-looking Thai restaurant".
They soothed their jet-lagged souls with a French red and ate a "beautiful meal".
"The maitre d' brought our bill and what looked liked two Alka-Seltzers."
The waiter then poured hot liquid over the two apparent pills.
"We thought maybe they were after-dinner mints with a twist," Andrew said.
The pills then "grew upward like marshmallows".
"We were both impressed. We waited till they cooled. We bit the ends, expecting gooeyness. The matre d' came back and told us they were warm-heated towelettes."
They laughed, paid the bill and departed "into the brisk Dutch autumn night".
"No coffee shops were visited before this occurred," Andrew assured us.
Shop 'til you Drop
The economy may be tanking, but shopping on social media seems to be on the rise.
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