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Grace Darling was a sassy 19th century heroine and celebrity, feted by socialites and adventure-seeking folks worldwide. In 1838, after spotting a shipwreck from her Northumberland Lighthouse home, the 22-year-old maiden rowed out to sea, saving nine sailors and sending the Victorian version of the paparazzi into a flap. On that day an English rival to the legend of Joan of Arc was born, and – with the twin advantages of being better dressed and still alive – began to kick the French lady’s butt in three directions. William Wordsworth wrote a poem, The Queen sent 50 quid, someone immortalised her achievements in song – and, before anyone had heard of Britney Spears, Grace began selling off bits of her hair. After yielding to consumption (and not the Saturday night kind) Grace Darling had a hotel named after her in downtown Collingwood – officially opened by a Tassie Politician in 1854 with luminaries such as Squizzy Taylor knocking the froth off a few at the launch party. So goes the legend of Grace, and her ghostie remains (alongside the Collingwood F.C.’s) in this pretty bluestone brick and stone building.

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