Pianists from the Past

2014.01W.25I have been acquainted with many different pianos over the years but few of them have made their way into a photograph such as we have for this week”s theme.

It was part of the life of many a girl to learn how to tinkle the ivories, to play a pretty tune, to accompany  a singalong around the piano,  to be able to play a waltz or a barn dance for a bit of dancing, and once even to sit on a stage at a grand piano to accompany a school choir.

But the earliest photo I have was taken in the beer garden at the old pub at Porepunkah in 1953. It was called the beer garden but it was simply a ramshackle lean-to at the back of a quaint old pub.

Porpunkah Hotel Beer Garden 2. Jan 1953I have mentioned Porepunkah before in  Honeymoon in he Snow – 1929    as it is where you branch off from the valley road to go up the mountain to the Mount Buffalo Chalet.  This Ovens Valley was a great place for growing tobacco until recently  Because the Chalet was “dry” guests would often wander down to the Porepunkah Pub for a bit of variety.

Later a young one started to take an interest in the piano

Sally at piano 8 monthsThis piano is rather special as it had belonged to a family whose only son was a talented pianist.  But he died of polio at age 17.  When it became clear that the family could no longer bear to have his piano in the house we were lucky enough to buy it.

The young one later learned to play.

Sally at pianoShe later  put it to good use

Lachlan Rod Sally Diane sing-songBut nowadays none of us go anywhere near a piano.

And with a little hesitation I add this newspaper cutting c1952 from the Castlemaine Mail.

Fire Brigade DanceStudents will do anything to earn some money and all you needed was  to be able to  keep a good regular beat. Good on our fire brigades.  I turned on the news at 7 am this morning to hear that a grass fire was under way about 5 km from here on the outskirts of town.  It was soon brought under control  by men with 17 fire trucks .  The section of our Country Fire Authority which deals with these fires are volunteers and we can’t praise them highly enough. At the moment the idea is to tie a red balloon to your fence or tree or car  to show that you appreciate what our volunteers are doing for us.

red balloon 2I’ve wandered off topic.  But our volunteers needed to raise money and Saturday night dances (with a piano being played) used to be one way of doing that.

13 thoughts on “Pianists from the Past

    1. boundforoz Post author

      Many thanks for letting me know about that problem. Don’t know how that happened but that was a link within the post. I’ve re-entered the correct link in Mr Linky. Thanks again.

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  1. Wendy

    I always wanted to be able to sit down and play tune after tune, to entertain others. But I wasn’t willing to work at it. I didn’t like practicing. Don’t ask me what else was going on in my little teen life that drew me away — I can’t recall a thing.

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  2. Kent Bates

    Frank Griffin, was the best Ball and dance MC in Victoria .He taught me the art in the late 1970’s we still have one Dance a year in Castlemaine. on that day in September when I call the dance. As each year passes our ranks grow thinner and i think of Frank and all the great local muso’s and dancers who are now in the great Dance Hall. for when I sit there and listen I hear the ghosts and that wonderful call “‘TAKE YOUR PARTNERS PLEASE”‘

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  3. Pingback: Enjoying Music in the Fifties | Bound for Australia

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