Newcastle Hotel Historian Ed Tonks

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Ed Tonks is one of Newcastle NSW’s best known historians.

In this Tourism Conversation of 2015, Ed Tonks talks to Veronica Hope and Emma Howden about Newcastle’s history, in particular the architecture and ownership of the many CBD hotels, more than 2/3 of which are demolished or not in use.

Ed also covers the interesting history of the Newcastle Post Office and the evolution Australia’s biggest coal exporting port.

A retired geography teacher of Kotara High, Ed believes that “Geography is not just something you do in Room 19. It’s to do with real life.”

Tonks asks the question “What happens when the function that kept that building alive is no longer needed?” He grapples with the importance of the life of a CBD, as over 500,000 Novocastrians muse about what happened to a once-great city.