There seems to be a diminishing number of web sites related to Ned Kelly, and the ones that are still accessible are seeing less and less activity – theres a limit to what anyone can say and write about one historical figure, though of course arguments can go on for ever!
One site that has certainly seen reduced activity in the last year or two is at www.elevenmilecreek.blogspot.com.aua site that I hope will continue to be available because it has an extensive archive of really interesting Posts from Sharon Hollingsworth and Dr Brian Stevenson, the two Kellyphiles that run it. I think they have written something about almost everything possible in the Kelly story, and they have commented on and provided links to many if not all of the media discussions over the last four years that were in any way related to the Kelly story. Unfortunately some of the Links are now dead – eg to old Weeklytimes articles – but the latest innovation, of having a Guest Contributor will hopefully revitalize the Blog a little. Brian MacDonald’s contribution was excellent.
As you might imagine, the creators of such an interesting site,Brian and Sharon are two very interesting people.
Firstly, I am not sure that they have ever met, as Brian lives in Queensland and Sharon, who lives in the US has never been to Australia – maybe Brian has visited her there – I am not sure – but their collaboration has been more or less entirely “Virtual”. Secondly, though Sharon is an avowed Ned Kelly fan, and Brian is a declared “Skeptic”, they have managed to successfully collaborate and produce a wonderful blog for four years – an example of tolerance and the respect for different points of view that is sadly rare in the Kelly world. Thirdly, to my surprise they are both continuing members of the Ned Kelly Forum – though its clear prominent NKF members entertain deep suspicions and jealousies about both of them. In fact Brian and Sharon are not “Members” of the NKF – after the most recent purge of members because of a “Security” scare – their status was downgraded to “Contributor” and they were excluded from the secret “Members” Forum. I would imagine that they think very carefully about what they post on NKF these days as the NKF leadership has proven itself in the past to be very intolerant of contrary opinions.
Brians intense interest and vast knowledge of Ned Kelly got him to the finals of the TV Quiz show The Einstein Factor in 2005, his topic being the Life and Times of Ned Kelly. He came second – the winners topic was Dr Who. His most recent contribution was about a Sexologist! But he has written a great 3 part dissection of the book the NKF refuse to allow discussion of, the Kelly Gang Unmasked, and a review of a PhD thesis on the “Social History of Kelly Country” among many other serious and not so serious contributions.
Sharon is also an expert on Ned Kelly. Peter Fitzsimons called her the “world expert on Ned Kelly “ last year when he asked her to look at the final draft of his Kelly book, and she apparently found 25 mistakes not identified by the 6 Kelly experts who had already checked it ! Recently she has written a review of the re-issue in book form of a newspaper cartoon serial, and before that of a novel in which Ned Kelly is a Zombie Hunter. Its fun to read her review as she clearly has a great sense of humour and enjoys writing.
So, these two unlikely collaborators have created a Blog with many very interesting Posts, all of which are out there waiting to be read and re-read. There are posts which are both “pro” and “anti” Ned Kelly and there is no vitriol or name calling, there seems to be respect for all sides and for the Police and authority – all in all it’s a great place to browse, an almost perfect Kelly web site.
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