Away from the Madding Crowd

Let’s have a look at this week’s suggestions from Sepia Saturday-

Running Away – in a nice sort of way           √ Check

Escaping the Crowd                                        √ Check

Off to the Beach – well, some of the time    √ Check

And to these add

Married for four months

What better reason for saddling up a pack horse, running away, escaping the crowd and heading off into the bush in the Otway Ranges of south west Victoria.

D8 Walking trip with horseFour months ago they were honeymooning in the snow at Mt Buffalo and now in January 1930 Charles and Vera Fricke are at the Fricke farm on Barham River Road at Apollo Bay ready for a few days bushwalking.

Mill- 1930 Walking trip Apollo Bay toPortCampbell

Timber Mill in the Otways, 1930

At one stage on their trip they  passed this timber  mill. Timber had long been a natural resource of the Otways.

Farmhouse Jan 1930 on Charles and Vera;s walking trip

In the Otways, 1930

They camped one night near this farmhouse and were able to buy meat and milk there.

D7  Jan 1930 walking trip

We have seen  Charles and Vera before boiling the billy for a cuppa on the beach  during this trip.

The extensive network of sealed roads had still to be developed so much of the trip would had been done on unsealed roads.

Aire River

Looking down on the Aire River valley

Overlooking the Aire River, and then a bridge over the Aire River. It is just a short river with good river flats for farming.

Aire River Jan 1930

A bridge over the Aire River

Getting closer to the ocean at Princeton, a small town a little further along the coast from the Aire River.

Princeton Jan 1930

Princeton 1930

And finally Port Campbell, another tiny coastal town.   The story is that they put the horse in the Police Paddock that night.   Unfortunately the paddock was only fenced on three sides, a swamp forming the fourth side.  The horse managed to make its way through the swamp during the night and disappeared and they had to ring home to Apollo Bay for someone to come and get them.

Port Campbell  1930 Walking trip Apollo Bay toPortCampbell

Port Campbell 1930

Port Campbell 1930 from Peterborough Road b

Port Campbell 1930

So  ended the bushwalking holiday in the Otway Ranges.  And nine months later ——————

More running away and escaping from crowds

in the links on this weeks Sepia Saturday

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Not your Everyday Clothing

No fans, and no national costumes among my family memories to match this week’s theme in Sepia Saturday.   After all this is Australia and we have no national costume.  All we have is embarrassment at some of the outfits worn by the  Australian finalists in the Miss Universe or Miss World competitions when all the young ladies turn  out in their national costume.

National costume mostly means something different to your usual everyday dress, some form of dressing up,  and so I turn to other forms of dressing up at Castlemaine High School (Central Victoria)  in 1946.  The occasion was either the mid year Concert or the end of year Speech Night, both of which took place in the Castlemaine Town Hall.

Chs 1946 speech night play b

From left to right, Margaret Bearlin, Barbara Fricke, Joy Cooper, Norma Woodward, Leonie Bryson

When I went searching for this photo I had thought the young lady was holding a fan, but no, she is just clutching her skirt.

Those were the days when, although it was a co-educational High School, it wasn’t thought proper to have both boys and girls in the same play.  The girls had their one act play and the boys had theirs.

Prior to that c1938 , once again in Castlemaine,  it was a case of dressing up as Grumpy (a bit of type-casting there) not long after the movie Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs came out.  I don’t know what the occasion was.

Sniow White and The Seven Dwarves Castlemaine c 1938

Or you could go back to about 1910 at Murtoa when Vera and Hilda Tansey were all dressed up.  I can’t  explain why they were wearing  these costumes.

Vera & Hilda 1911 Murtoa Fancy DressHilda on the right wears a sash saying M.B.B .for Murtoa Brass Band  and is holding her father’s baton.  She also has her father’s South Street medals pinned on her bodice.    Vera on the left  is  wearing   ????? .  I think perhaps  she is dressed as a flower, possibly a daffodil, with that frilly skirt.  A lot of effort had gone into both costumes – i don’t think they came from any hire shop.  And of course the dog had to be in the photo too.  They were a doggie family.

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And for more flirting with fans, national costumes or other forms of dressing go to the links on this week’s Sepia Saturday.

 

 

A Letter from Welcombe

Grandpa Tom Tansey is turning out to be a good source of family stories, which is surprising because when he died his daughter found her mother busy tossing photos and papers into the incinerator  Fortunately she was able to rescue many of them.

Tom had migrated from Snitterfield in Warwickshire to Australia in 1888 as a 16 year old and came to Geelong to live with his aunt who had migrated many years before and married.  The next year he received the following letter.

Letter from Welcombe 1

Letter from Welcombe 2Letter from Welcombe 3

Welcombe   April 29 1889

Dear Sr

I was very glad to receive your letter of 19 March & find you were doing well.

Enclosed I send you a £5 note to help you on.

I send you a Stratford  paper with an account of a Sham fight here on Easter Monday -

Things are rather better here than when you left, there is more work as prices seem better and generally speaking everybody is more cheerful.

I shall be glad to hear how you get on. I trust you will keep your health which is very important.

I am truly Rob N Philips

The family story is that Tom was promised that £5 note if he wrote to Squire Philips to let him know how he was getting on in Australia.   But was he normally a good correspondent ?  Again the family story tells us that  after he was married it was his wife who was responsible for any correspondence with his mother.

Welcombe House was a  country mansion  near Snitterfield and Stratford upon Avon, built about 1835 by the Philips family. The Welcombe estate  included the village of Snitterfield.   It has some interesting associations.  Robert Philips was grandfather of the historian G.M.Trevelyan, and  a subsequent owner, Sir Archibald Flower, financed the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford  on Avon.  Welcombe  is now a hotel.

(c) Bury Art Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Robert Needham Philips in 1875, from the Bury Art Museum

But at the time of the letter Welcombe  was owned by Robert Philips.  He formally addresses Tom as “Sir”,  to someone who had just had his seventeenth birthday.  And he mentions sending a newspaper which reported on a “sham fight” at Welcombe on Easter Moday.

Now I promptly thought pugilists and fisticuffs but I was wrong.  I couldn’t find the Stratford newspaper he mentioned but I found plenty of others reporting on these sham fights taking place around the country over Easter, the manouevres being practised by the various regiments.  At Welcombe it was the 1st and 2nd Warwickshire Volunteers.  You can read the reports in the transcripts from the LEAMINGTON SPA COURIER Saturday 27th April 1889  and the Coventry Herald Sham fight.  They sound very like a setting for Midsomer Murders.

But it was this sham fight carried out at Welcombe which led me to the Worcester Cyclist Corps.  1889  .

Cyclists on Singer bikes

When you stop and think of the times, the use of bikes for reconnoitering  and passing on communications makes sense.  Most photos you can find show bicycles, not tricycles,  in use by the armies so I wonder how long the tricycle mentioned in 1889 lasted in use,

Singer tricycle 1889

The Singer Tricycle in 1889 from the Stilltime Collection

This Singer is not to be confused with the Singer of sewing machine fame.

After  the demonstration of military prowess suitably watched by the gentry there was the matter of some refreshments to be had.

Snitterfield band entertainedSo the Snitterfield Band “discoursed music”.  Tom had been a member of this band before he left for Australia. and perhaps he played for the Sham Fight at Welcombe the previous year or at one of the many other times the band played at Welcombe.  R,N,Philips  had given the village a full set of  instruments in 1883 so they could form a Brass Band. Tom would have been 11 then.  I wonder how old he was when he joined the band .

why not cycle for the kingMore letters can be found on this week’s Sepia Saturday

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Tom Breaks the Law

Subtitled,   A Fishy Tale from Traralgon  in south-eastern Victoria

I had posted this story earlier in the year but I didn’t link it to Sepia Saturday at the time so perhaps you haven’t seen it. But it fits in to this week’s theme of All Things Criminal so I will re-blog it.

In February 1916 the fishing in the river at Traralgon in Gippsland was going well and was reported in the Gippsland Farmer’s Journal on February 8th, mentioning Bandmaster Tom Tansey and two of the bandsmen.

Feb 1916 fishing Traralgon 1But lthe following year it was a completely different story.

In the Australian song Waltzing Matilda the trooper comes riding down on his thoroughbred to the billabong and asks the swagman to show him the stolen Jumbuck (sheep) that he has stowed in his tuckerbag

In this story the policeman rode down to the riverbank and asks the fisherman to show him the undersized trout that he has stowed in his tuckerbag. On Feb 27th 1917 the Traralgon Record screamed the heading

Heading feb 27 1917The local resident in question was the town’s Bandmaster, Tom Tansey, one of the local “fisher folk” who “betook themselves” to the banks of the Traralgon Creek to fish but not observing the regulations as to size.

Even the Bairnsdale Advertiser on March 3rd, 1917, gave a full report.

… and there espied John T. Tansey dangling a rod and line in the placid waters of that stream near Koornalla. The inspectors approached the fisherman and the constable remarked. “Hullo, got any fish. Mr Tansey, ?” The angler confessed that he had “one:” and on being asked to produce it for inspection he fumbled about his bag and then presented one about 14 or 15 inches long. That’s well over the size,”said the Constable “You’ve got some more there, let’s see them.” The sportsman demurred but on being pressed produced another fish, ..

Gradually more and more fish were produced from the bag, all of them undersized, i.e. less than 11 inches long. The Constable took possession of the fish and promptly took them to the local butter factory so they could later be presented in court in a nice fresh state as evidence of Tom’s naughty deed. He was brought to court in front of three local magisgrates, and was fined £2 plus costs.

What the newspaper doesn’t say is that Tom and at least one of the magistrates knew each other. Dr McLean was President of the Town Band, of which Tom was bandmaster, and may have played a part in bringing Tom to Traralgon. Dr MacLean had come to the town in 1904. as a young doctor, fresh from the Geelong Hospital and was the only doctor in Traralgon during the years of the First World War. He had also played football for.Geelong

So he had been living in Geelong at the same time as Tom, when Tom was well known for his skill as a brass instrument player. Tom had been winiing medals for his solo performances at the National Band Championships at the beginning of C20th, a time when the bandsmen were revered in the same way that pop idols are nowadays. When the Geelong Town Band was leaving for competitons crowds would follow them as they marched up the street to the railway station and greet them on their return.

Here they are in the same photo when the Traralgon Band and Members made a presentation to Dr McLean. with Dr McLean in the centre, Tom with his medals to the left and a young Hilda Tansey at the top.

McLean PresentationIt is interesting to wonder if the news of Tom’s fishing trip made it back to his mother, in England, or to his younger brother William. At the time William was Gamekeeper at Cotterstock House in Northhamptonshire. Tom and William, oppposite ends of a spectrum but half a world apart. What would William have done if he had been inspecting the creek and had come across Tom fishing ! And as a bit of trivia, Cotterstock House is where the movie Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe was filmed.

Transcript from the Bairnsdale Advertiser and Tambo and Omeo Chronicle, Saturday, March 3rd, 1917

UNDERSIZED FISH.
TRARALGON RESIDENT PROSECUTED
For some time past, says the Record, there has been a suspicion amongst members of the Traralgon, Fish and Game Protection Society that all the “fisher folk” Who betook themselves to the banks of the creek for the ostensible purpose of fishing for trout were not observing the regulations as to size ,of the fish they took from the creek. During last month Constable Lineen, an inspector of the Fisheries Department, and Christian Stammers, an honorary Inspector, paid a visit to the upper reaches of the Traralgon Creek and there espied John T. Tansey dangling a rod and line in the placid waters of that stream near Koornalla. The inspectors approached the fisherman and the constable remarked. “Hullo, got any fish. Mr Tansey, The angler confessed that he had “one:” and on being asked to produce it for inspection he fumbled about his bag and then presented one about 14 or 15 inches long. That’s well over the size,”s aid the Constable “‘You’ve got some more there, let’s see them.” The sportsman demurred but on being pressed, produced another fish. “That seems to be undersized remarked the constable. “Have you any more ?” “Uh, no” replied the fisherman “only a salmon trout”. “Well, let’s see it” persisted the policeman. A trout, somewhat smaller than the other one was produced. The constable informed the angler that he would have to take possession of the fish. He measured them in the angler’s presence, one measuring 10 inches and the other 9 ½ inches in length and both were cleaned and ready for cooking. In explanation of having these fish in his possession the fisherman said he had caught several smaller ones and had thrown them back, but the two in question were so badly hooked that they died when the hook was extracted and he put them in his bag. Such was the summary of the evidence given at the petty sessions when Tansey was called upon to answer to a charge of being in possession of certain fish of a less length than that prescribed by section 28 of the Fisheries Act, the said fish being indigenous to Victoria. Defendant was fined £2 with £14/- costs.

More Criminal Tales and more Non-Criminal Tales are to be seen on Sepia Saturday.

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A Postcard …… from Jack Findlay

Murtoa is a small town at the centre of a wheat growing district in Victoria.   It is 305 km to the north west of Melbourne and this postcard, showing the railway station, was sent in 1913.

Murtoa Railway Station postcard 1913

We can see the two platforms, and a couple of horse drawn drays.  As yet I haven’t identified the billboards.  But  Murtoa hasn’t had a passenger train service  since 1993 though the lines are still used for freight.  It now has a population of less than 1000 people.

When the Tansey family shifted from the port town of Geelong to the flat plains of Murtoa in 1909 the young man Jack Findlay went with them. I don’t know why he did this.  His parents were still living in Geelong.  Jack  worked as a driver in Murtoa,  So who was this friend of the family, Jack Findlay ?

By 1913 the Tansey family had moved to Traralgon but Jack remained in Murtoa.  He posted the card the day before Hilda’s 12th birthday.

Murtoa Railway Station postcard 1913 BACK25.2.13

Dear Hilda

We are having warm weather up here.  Billy Heal is working for Wynne and Scott.  If you and Vera like to send views of Traralgon I will send you some views of Murtoa.    enclosing 5/- P.N. for your birthday.

Jack

N.B.     5/- P.N.  –  five shillings postal note

Wynne and Scott were coachbuilders.  13 refers to 1913  !!

But Jack eventually followed the Tanseys to Traralgon and married there to Fordyce Brereton in 1921.  But by that time the Tanseys had moved on to Hay in N.S.W.   Here  is Jack’s  wedding photo. He was 35 and Fordyce was 33.

 

Findlay Brereton 1921The Electoral Roll shows Jack  as a grocer in 1924 then a labourer in 1931.

A transcript from the Traralgon Record of  Tuesday, 18th October 1921, tells us

Wedding. FINDLAY-BRERETON.   A pretty wedding was celebrated at the Presbyterian Church on   Saturday last. when Mr John Findlay was united to Miss F. Brereton daughter of Mr J. H. Brereton, of Traralgon. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. James Smith. The bride, who was given away by her father, was attired in ivory crepe do chene, with Georgette over-skirt, and wore a handsomely worked veil (loaned by Mrs H. Campbell.) The court train was lined with shell pink crepe DE chene, embroidere with pearls and orange blossoms. She carried a nice shower bouquet. Miss Ruth Phillips rendered “Because” while the bride was signing the register. The bridesmaid were Misses Main and Pearl Elliott (friends of the bride), and they wore pretty frocks of lemon and lavender crepe do chene, with black tulle hats., and carried posies of pansies and sweet peas. The train bearer was little “Diddy” Rogers (niece of the bride), who wore a pretty frock of shell pink crepe do chene and hat to match. She carried a basket of pale pink carnations and Mr Ed. Findlsy was best man, and Mr Alf. Brereton groomsman. The reception was bold at “Loch Gorm,” the residence of the bride. The usual toasts were enthusiastically honored. The reception room wee prettily decorated with ferns and pink roses. The bridegroom’s gift to the bride was a pair of pearl ear rings, and the bride’s gift to the bridegroom a pair of gold sleeve links. The happy couple left by the even- ing train for Lorne, where the honey moon will be spent. The bride traveled in a smart navy coat and skirt,   with hat to match.

They were singing “Because” at weddings even that long ago.  Those naughty Beatles pinching the name of the song for one of their jingles  !

So this little mystery remains. Why did Jack Findlay follow the Tanseys around Victoria.  The Tansey girls were only children and Tom Tansey was 16 years older than  Jack. There is no obvious connection between the two.  But friends are friends so who am I to question that.

Other interpretations of postcards and proverbs, many humorous and some serious, can  be seen on this week’s Sepia Saturday..

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And the sign said ….. Bootmaker

The Aston family of Carisbrook in Central Victoria has been well documented by its descendants and others, particularly as their blind daughter Tilly was so well known.  But this week I chose this photo to represent Sepia Saturday’s Theme of “Signs” as we can see Edward Aston’s sign of Bootmaker on his place of business (and home)  in the 1870s.

Aston ShopStanding in front of the shop in Simpson St, Carisbrook, are Sophie (b1862) and William (b1860) with their parents Ann and Edward Aston, some time in the 1870s. Ann and Edward had eight children, the youngest being Matilda, born in 1873.  When Tilly (Matilda)  was seven she became blind but was an inspiration as she overcame her difficulties and became well known as an author and teacher , and establishing organizations which were later to become the Victorian Braille Library and Vision Australia. An Electorate in Melbourne for the Federal Parliament is named Aston in honour of Tilly.

At the side we have an early example of a photobomber – I don’t know who she is  !

I am interested in this family as when my great-grandmother Eliza Bosley arrived from Coleford in Gloucestershire she stated when she landed in Melbourne that she was travelling to her Uncle Edward Aston in Carisbrook.

In fact Edward was not Eliza’s uncle but her cousin – their mothers were sisters.

Back in Gloucestershire there had been four  Baynham  sisters. Any of the following names which are underlined are people known to have lived in Carisbrook.

Amelia Baynham  b 1808 became Edward Aston’s mother

Ann Baynham b 1815 became Eliza Bosley’s mother (my great grandmother)

Charlotte Baynham b 1812 married Samuel Attwood  and Charlotte herself came to Carisbrook, the only one of the sisters to do so,  She was Charlotte Amelia Attwood’s mother and Charlotte Amelia married Frederick Eager who, prior to their marriage had been a partner with W.R.Smith in the shop  from the  photo lower down.

 Frances, Baynham b 1819  married William Thomas.

There is always a mystery, an unresolved issue with my ancestors.  In this case Tilly Aston had said in her Memoirs that her father, Edward Aston,  had come to Carisbrook in 1857  because he already had an uncle in Carisbrook. Originally Edward and Ann had  spent 2 years in South Australia before coming to Carisbrook, so who was the uncle ?

I think it most likely that it was someone on his Father’s side of the family, either Samuel Attwood  or William Thomas.  In the 1856 Electoral Roll for Carisbrook where is a William Thomas living at nearby Alma, who is on the Roll as he is the possessor of a Miner’s Right. And there is plenty of evidence of a Samuel Attwood with a nursery at Carisbrook. As yet I have found nothing similar on his mother’s side of the family.

Or was Edward just using the term Uncle in a creative way as Eliza did when arriving in Australia.

As with all family history research there is always room for the next person to continue the research.

Store

F. Eager, connected to the cousins by marriage, was a founding partner of the W.R.Smith shop.

A theme like Signs leads to infinite varieties of interpretation – serious, historical, humorous.  Check out what other Sepians have found through the links on Sepia Saturday.

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Apollo Bay Hula Dancers

 Four Ballet Dancers

In reply to Sepia Saturday’s suggestion of four ballet dancers I give you …….

Four Hula Dancers, with their partners, late 1920s

Apollo Bay Hula Dancers late 1920sThe couples from the left are

Ron Telford and Hazel Fricke

Fenton Dobson and an unknown lady

Mr and Mrs Smith

Unknown man and May Telford

I don’t know where the photo was taken but I believe the group is from Apollo Bay.  Hazel Fricke and May Telford are cousins and Ron Telford is their first cousin once removed. Apollo Bay people were very good at putting on amateur enertainments.

Hula Dancing was  popular as an entertainment in  the era and both the men and the women are dressed appropriately.  The grass skirt or palm leaf skirt has been replaced with either paper streamers or perhaps ribbon, though I suspect the quantity of  ribbon needed would have proved expensive.  All are wearing leis and the women headbands to represent a wreath of flowers.

I can’t decide if the small ukeleles the men are holding are real or imitation. I can’t find similar images.

Hula dancers 1883These hula dancers were photographed in 1883 and can be seen in a most interesting collection of historical hula dancer photos on A Polar Bear’s Tale blogspot

But if you really want to put a smile on your face then have a look at this video made by some students at the University of Hawaii . It  gives some history of the dance then a very easy to follow lesson in doing the hula.  Do  join in.  Guaranteed to make you happy and relaxed.

And more dancing related posts can be seen through the links on Sepia saturday