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Saturday 3 October 2020

Explore the history on Sydney's doorstep

Even in lockdown, Sydney residents can still explore their own city and its history. 

It has been 75 years since the end of World War II with many stories and discoveries still to be unveiled. 

Sydney historian Dr Peter Hobbins has collaborated with Renaissance Tours to lead Wartime Sydney - a tour uncovering wartime tales on our doorstep.

Dr Hobbins is Principal Historian at Artefact Heritage Services in Sydney and an honorary affiliate in the Department of History at the University of Sydney.

The tour will delve into the challenges faced during times of conflict, visiting significant landmarks that played pivotal roles in the defences of a nation at war. 

From air raid shelters in the Sydney Domain (who knew?), to a private tour of the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre on Garden Island under the guidance of Dr Hobbins, tour attendees will gain a greater appreciation on the impact of the war.

 “Not many Sydneysiders know that the Royal Australian Navy shot down an aircraft that was threatening our city at the height of the Cold War or that way beneath St James Station in Hyde Park, a secret air defence headquarters was built, and then later abandoned,” said Dr Hobbins.

 “What is still there beneath layers of rubble? I look forward to sharing this and many other insights on the day.”

 The program continues with a curator-led behind-the-scenes tour of the recently restored Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.

 The tour – on November 14 - also includes a special private viewing of memorabilia and documents from WWII at the State Library of New South Wales – and lunch.

 Wartime Sydney is part of the Renaissance Tours expert-led curated series of day tours launched in spring 2020.

 You will find a full list of tours here: 

# This is a version of a story that appeared in Ciao Magazine.

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