Manilla Express Office1907

(200 Manilla Street)


The MANILLA EXPRESS has been the major resource for the telling of Manilla's history down the years. Founded by Henry Cleave Vincent of the Glen Innes "Examiner" on January 10 1899, it has been going to print on a continual basis since publishing its first edition on January 14, 1899. Publication halted for a time during the second World War. Most original copies of the newspaper are held in the Community Archives at Manilla Heritage Museum, along with a set on microfilm, processed by the University of New England. The only known first edition of the Manilla Express is held in the Australian National Library - minus page 1. Museum attendants were fortunate to see and record page 1 of the first printing some years ago. See 'Manilla Newspapers'. Editions [1899-1955] are available to view in the Australian National Library's TROVE listings. 

A, HC & C Vincent Driving The Manilla Ex
Staff of the Manilla Express pictured outside premises eastern side of Manilla Street 1910s. Cecil Vincent seated.
History of The Vincent Printers 1839-193

Arthur, Cleave and Cecil Vincent

Staff of the Manilla Express around 1910. Editor Cecil Vincent in foreground.

History of The Vincent Printers 1839-1939

The First Manilla History Book

'The TRANSFORMATION of MANELLAE' was written by Alton Richmond Macleod (1887-1951), proprietor of The Manilla Express between 1918-1947. For his history book, he researched the pages of  the Manilla Express, editions of the Government Gazette, feature articles from major newspapers and drew upon local knowledge.
After editing the Express for 24 years, "Mac" sold the newspaper to George Greaves of Barraba in 1947, to concentrate on completing his book. With the aid of a mortgage, Macleod's history book was self-published in 1949, 2 years before his death. It has been digitised and can now be viewed on the A.N.L.'s Trove website.

Photo of local historian A.R. Macleod with rotary Club badge inset
AR 'Mac' Macleod's Rotary Badge

Alton Richmond Macleod
 Editor, Manilla Express 1923-1947 

The Second Manilla History Book

"A HISTORY OF MANILLA 1853-1979" by Marion Bignall (1914-2015) & Lindsay Bignall, (1913-2000), foundation members of Manilla Historical Society. Their research was based upon Alton Macleod's book, and the history brought up to date via additional articles from later editions of the Manilla Express and local oral history accounts.
This book was published in 1980 with the assistance of Manilla Historical Society and Manilla Shire Council. It is now out of print, but 
may be available for purchase online.

Local historians Lindsay & Marion Bignall. Photo by E. Valks Gunnedah 1990s

Lindsay  &  Marion Bignall (Macleod)

Future Texts

In many locally published histories - however genuine the intent - flaws may be found, and texts inevitably disputed. Bias may also be revealed and sensitive topics conspicuously overlooked in histories drawn from self-reference. Historians today are fortunate to have many more avenues of research available to them and our purpose as 21st century historians is to further research the topics covered, further afield from our immediate resources, to evaluate past entries against other histories and to update the record.
It is our aim to broaden the existing record, to look at our past in view of the bigger picture of events and factors which influenced the making of this and other communities down the years. Public input to the task is most welcome.
Please get in touch via our contact form if you would like to help in this research, or advise of any anomalies in this online edition.

Di Nichol



NB: This content is subject to ongoing research and review. Duplicate outdated texts may exist elsewhere on the internet.​ Please check here  for current editions.
Images: Manilla Community Archive unless otherwise stated.
Text Edits: ©Diana Nichol  2000-2020   E: |

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