January 06, 2010


The 5th child of James and Mary Hannell, was Fanny Ann HANNELL, (27/1/1844 - 29/10/1910), who married Joseph Wood, (1842 - 23/11/1908), who was one third of the famous Wood Bros. of Newcastle.

The Wood Bros. - Joseph, John and, (I think) Edward, were Wine and Spirits Merchants, and had a business in Bolton St, Newcastle, which they started in 1867. The Great Northern Railroad finally stretched to Murrurundi, in the Upper Hunter Valley, in 1872, and the Wood Brothers eventually became an agency for the Sydney Company, Castlemaine Brewing, through association with Castlemaine's Messrs. Prendergast and Fitzgerald.

This association bore fruit when, in 1876, a 7000 sq.ft (650 sq.mtrs) brick building, on a sound stone foundation, was ready to start producing 250 hogsheads of beer - each week! The business was originally called Prendergast, Wood & Co. but was changed, in 1886, to Castlemaine Brewery & Wood Bros. & Co. It had it's own well for good water quality, and steam-cleaned it's own barrels!

The building was on Charlton St, which eventually became part of Hunter St. Castlemaine was acquired in 1921, by then giant brewer, Tooth & Co. and continued operation until 1931, when production stopped. It became a depot for Tooth's.

The Wood brothers were renowned in Newcastle, for their expensive tastes - housing being one of them. The fabulous Jesmond House, near the Newcastle Obelisk, was an example.

* The above image was retrieved from a gazette, published by the Newcastle Herald, entitled Hunter History Collection, p.7., of photos provided by the Herald to the Newcastle Region Art Gallery, to celebrate 125 years of service to Newcastle, by the newspaper.

Joseph and Fanny's home was the modest mansion, called Woodlands, at 51 Church St, Newcastle. Built in 1878. Modest may not be the adjective I desire, here, perhaps magnificent, but it certainly was modest, when compared to Jesmond House.

Also, on the Wood Bros.' books, was an incredibly ornate office building in Scott St, called Wood's Chambers. It was designed by the prominent architect, Menkens, in 1892. It eventually became known as Longworth House.

The above image caption, suggests that the brother, John Robert Wood , who built Jesmond House, married the celebrated actress, Essie Jenyns, née Elizabeth Esther Helen JENNINGS, b. 1864, in Brisbane. I believe Essie married the son of John Robert, who was partners, with his brother, Joseph, in the Brewing Business, because John and Joseph started business in 1867, and the article from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, suggests that Essie married " a prominent cricketer and son of a wealthy Newcastle brewer!"

However, this largesse did not filter into the business -

Fanny Wood was possibly the driving force behind the acquisition of the magnificent organ at the Christ Church Cathedral, in Newcastle. A bronze plaque depicts her efforts and is a lasting memorial to this wonderful lady.

Fanny and Joseph produced children, as well as beer. Their eight (8) children were:

Agnes Mary W., (b.23/8/1869) - m. Herbert Holtham LANG, on 8/1/1890
James Campbell W., (b. 26/12/1870 - d.1942)
Joseph Arthur W., (b. 20/4/1872 - d.1943) - m. Olive Leigh TURNER, on 10/8/1904
Harriet W., (b. 11/5/1874 - d.18/5/1874)
Muriel Hannell W., (b. 4/8/1876 - d.4/8/1960) - m. Charles Frank WARREN, in 1899
Thomas George W., (b. 28/4/1879 - d.28/4/1879)
Myra Florence W., (b. 1880) - m. Marcus W. LOGAN, on 28/10/1908
Keith Hawes W., b.22/8/1882 - d.22/7/1928


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