• Red Cedar - Red Gold, trilogy by Ian Ridgway
    Red Cedar - Red Gold, trilogy by Ian Ridgway

Author: Ian Ridgway
Publisher: Ian Ridgway
First published: 2006
Cost: $25 each postage included


Ian Ridgway talks about how and why he wrote his trilogy of books, Red Cedar - Red Gold.

The way I see it, wood is wood, and woodies of all ages enjoy reading about timber as much as working with timber — especially when that timber is red cedar.


These books are an amalgamation of stories from my early family history, local bushmen’s tales, forestry, milling and cabinetmaking practices of the era, my own eperiences working this wonderful timber, and an overview of the fascinating story of red cedar.


Rather than a stodgy collection of facts and figures, I have written an engaging story of the final days of cedar-getting on the east coast of New South Wales — along with its rather unique characters — covering the time period from 1920 until 1946.


This period saw great changes in the timber industry as wartime technology was transferred into the bush, with many steam-powered mills located in isolated parts of the Great Dividing Range — some still commercially running timber as late as the early 1970s.

All the information contained within the pages of the trilogy is technically and historically accurate, all the characters are based on real people I have met and worked with, and the storyline blends real situations and happenings.


My initial link to the red cedar story can be traced back to 1800 when my convict ancestor — a carpenter — broke down slabs of cedar in a sawpit near to where the Sydney Harbour Bridge now stands.


Throughout the following 214 years, members from both sides of my family tree have had links to red cedar.


My personal connection to red cedar comes from 22 years experience in teaching Industrial Arts thence running a successful wood machining and cabinetwork shop in Port Macquarie, building my own small mill for breaking down salvage red cedar and other valuable cabinet timbers, and later, operating the steam-powered sawmill at Timbertown, Wauchope for five years as well as helping to restore and drive the steam train at the theme park.


Since a small boy, the story of red cedar has enthralled me with its almost hypnotic saga of exploration, adventure, action, skullduggery and exploitation, and it seems logical that I would one day write about perhaps the most iconic of all Australia’s trees.


See Ian's website for more information and to purchase the books.


The first reader to email competitions@woodreview.com.au as to why they would like to receive these books will receive a free trilogy. Don't forget to include your postal details! See here for terms and conditions.


Please note: both trilogy sets have now been claimed!!

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