Monthly Archives: November 2013

Attached to a Moustache

Charles Fricke Snr (1869-1964) was born at Park Farm, Carisbrook in Central Victoria. He had a moustache for the whole of his adult life and where that moustache went Charles was sure to follow.  Little did he know that one day Sepia Saturday would be interested in his moustache.

Male-5-(Farr)-possCharles The daughters of the family did as was expected of them and married, so their welfare was taken care of. Of the four boys the eldest son was to have the home farm, Charles, the second son was helped to set up a farm near Apollo Bay on the south coast, and the two other boys went into the public service where they did quite well for themselves.

After working on his father’s farm until he was 21 he selected land at Tuxion in the hills above Apollo Bay. Family members would travel down each winter to clear the bush and prepare a farm.

Charles has left us a description

My Father and brother Alfred and a man went to the Bay a year before me and with the help of a neighbour cut about 70 acres of scrub and left it for the neighbour to burn for us in the summer time. And then my father and I went down to the Bay to pick up what the fire did not burn and sow the grass seed. When I arrived at the Bay after that awful trip, I found a small Hamlet of six houses which did not look very inviting at the time as it was windswept with sand everywhere. We arrived about midday, had dinner and then set out for the selection. We travelled as far as the foothills and left the Waggonette there as it was impossible to take it to the selection which was 700 feet above sea level. Then came the task of getting all out things to the Selection. Imagine me sitting on one of the horses, carrying the tucker box (a gin case) in front of me, especially as I was born and bred on level country, and father on another horse, leading the third with a big pack of blankets etc

As they always travelled down in the winter the conditions were atrocious.

After climbing several mountains, up hill and down dale, it was still raining when we came to a level piece of ground where the water was pouring down the sides of the surrounding mountains making the flat a complete quagmire. We were struggling through the mud when the leader in the Waggonette almost disappeared in a bog hole where the poor brute lay. It seemed as though the heavens had opened and let out all it=s rain. The hole had been made by Bullock-Waggons, and the rain had filled it with mud and slush. So my father and I took the other two horses out and put a chain around the leaders neck and pulled it out of the bog-hole. Then we cleaned the horse as best we could, yoked up and travelled on. As it was often raining and too wet to light a fire, we made a practice of getting hot water when possible from the Settlers

They split palings and built first one room, then two more. The following year once the harvest was complete at Carisbrook Charles brought down the first cattle to his new farm.
And by 1896 the farm was fully operational.

About that time – 1896 – 1897 – I did not go home to Carisbrook for the harvest, as I was milking some cows, making butter and sending it to Melbourne whenever a boat came into Port, which was not at regular intervals as Apollo Bay was an open Port, making it dangerous for small boats. With the butter returns and a few head of cattle I used to sell, the place was beginning to pay dividends.

But in 1898 the bushfires came through and destroyed everything.  It was time to start all over again. But that’s another story.


And for this week’s collection of moustaches go to Sepia Saturday.


Framed in a Doorway in Snitterfield

Sepia Saturday has commented on how many of our family snapshots are taken in the doorway of the home and asked us to take that as our starting point for Sepia Saturday 203

MatildaTansey and unknown girlMy first post for Sepia Saturday spoke of Tom  Tansey leaving Snitterfield near Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire and coming to Australia.  This is his mother Mary Matilda Tansey  photographed with an unidentified girl in the doorway of the home where Tom grew up. The house was in The Green, Snitterfield which is near Stratford on Avon in Warwickshiure. If the girl is Matilda’s youngest daughter Ellen Matilda then this places the photo c1900

I never met my great grandmother Matilda but our lives overlapped for a while so I feel as though I can reach out and touch her, and through her touch her grandfather William Hutchins who was born in 1782.  Matilda was the youngest of five children and as her father was a lot older than her mother Matilda  was less than three years old when her father died in 1853  Her mother was left with five children aged twelve and under to look after.

Next door lived Matilda’s grandfather, William Hutchins, a widower.

You might have expected a father to give his widowed daughter a helping hand. but a complaint was made against William Hutchins for not maintaining his daughter Mary Checketts and in 1854  the Overseer of the Poor at Stratford Union ordered him  to pay 5 shillings a week in order to maintain his widowed daughter and her children.

BUT, he didn’t do as he was told to and on 21 July 1854 it was ordered that goods of his should be taken to cover the debt and the expenses.

BUT no goods to sell to cover his debt could be found at his house and he was committed to the Common Gaol at Warwick for three months. It cost four shillings and six pence  to transport him there.

1854 PrisonerBy 1861 William, his daughter Mary Checketts and four of her five children were all living together in a house in The Green, Snitterfield,  one hopes happily !  He is even listed as a retired brickmaker and  the Head of the Household in the 1861 Census.  So through my great grandmother Matilda who was later to marry Thomas Tansey Snr. I feel I know her naughty grandfather.

It does raise a few questions.

1. At the time he was a brickmaker.  Was he just  “crying  poor” so that his daughter  could get extra money ?

2. No goods worth selling in his house ? Sounds to me as if they weren’t allowed to seize tables and chairs, beds etc

3. If he genuinely couldn’t pay then why put him in gaol ?

But then again it might just have been discord between the two families when you look at this entry from the National Archives

[no title]  ER10/3/1101  27 April 1852 Contents:

Complaint of George Checketts, Snitterfield v. William Hutchins and Elizabeth his wife for assault and threatening behaviour.

Poor William !  He survived until just after the 1861 Census.  I hope his daughter and her family were nice to him.

2013.10W.22See more doorways with the links on Sepia Saturday 203

Apollo Bay and the Folding Kodak

Hazel Enid Charlie Beach AB c1928  It is about 1928 down at the beach at Apollo Bay in southern Victoria.  Relaxing in their woollen bathing costumes are brother and sisters Hazel, Enid and Charles Fricke..  All three are teachers and the time is the summer school holidays.

Holding the camera to take this photo was Charles’ friend, Vera Tansey from Castlemaine, who was later to become his fiance and then his wife.  Charles was teaching in Castlemaine.  Vera changed places with Enid and Enid took the next shot of Hazel, Vera and Charles.

Hazel Vera Charlie Beach AB c1928

BUT, what is that on Vera’s left shoulder ? I’m wondering if it’s some wonderful little gadget of the times for chasing away those never-ending clouds of flies.

fly chaserA beach picnic was held on another day when it doesn’t appear to be quite as warm,  This time Enid, Charles and Hazel  are joined by their younger brother Allan, a future public servant, complete with cap.  No parasols were need for protection from the sun that day.

Enid Charlie Allan Haxel beach AB c1928All these photos were taken on a Kodak folding camera. which was still taking great photos in the late 1950s and was always stored in its carrying case,

Kodak Folding Cameracamera caseTwenty years after the beach photos if you had that same Kodak and you wanted a selfie, well, you just got and length of string !

Selfie 1948  aSelfie 1948  b

Blessing the new house in Vallstedt in 1811

Background  – From the time of King George I  in 1714 until the death of King William IV in 1837, Great Britain and The Electorate of Hannover shared  their ruler as the King of England was also the ruling Duke of Brunswick-Lueneburg of Hannover. After the Napoleonic Wars it became the Kingdom of Hannover.  Unfortunately William IV only had one child, a daughter, and Hannover wasn’t prepared to have a woman as a ruler.  Bad luck, Victoria.

About 30 miles from the city of Hannover is the village of Vallstedt and the Fricke family were in that village for all the time of the shared ruler.

This was the home of my great-grandfather’s grandfather.   That’s my ggg grandfather.  It is in Vallstedt  and this is what it looks like in more recent times. But when he built it in 1811 he had had no idea that in 1852 his 16 and 20 year old grandsons from his second marriage would come to Australia to start a new life and a new family.


The house was built by Johann Heinrich Christoph Fricke  in 1811 after previous houses on that side of street burnt down. Johann had been born in 1768 in Vallstedt but he popped over to Adersheim in 1805 to marry his second wife Anna Sophia Juliane Brandes.

I have been told that  the roof is built now with concrete tiles but in past times was built with burned clay tile.

The house  was built  in the centre of Vallstedt and the land  was outside of the village. He was a big farmer with large landed property. In that village he was a rich man. He was also described as  ” Huf- und Waffenschmied auch Grosskothsasse” which I believe is Blacksmith and Armourer and large landowner.

Now this is where the house becomes interesting. There is a beam with a carved  inscription along both the front and the back of the house.


At the right hand end of the front beam  it says Johann Heinrich Fricke, Anna  Sophia Brandes geborne aus Adersheim.

Isn’t that just wonderful, the original owners of the house stating their right to the house for all to see. You can see how it goes along the whole of the house in the first photo.

The full text of the two beams is at the end of the post and I don’t have an accurate translation but I understand that apart from giving the names of the original owner and his wife they give thanks to God and ask for blessings on the house and its occupants.

Luftbild Teil3



These photos come about due to the wonders of the internet.  I didn’t go looking for them but from the early days of the internet I had these names available to anyone who searched for them online.  Apparently the house stayed with the Fricke family until after WWII and it was a later resident who idly googled the names on his house, found me and contacted me to inquire about my interest in the family.  His grandfather had bought the house from the Frickes in 1954.  He then sent me these photos in 2004.

The front beam says

Bis hierher hat mich Gott gebracht, durch seine große Güte, bis hierher hat er Tag und Nacht bewahrt Herz und Gemüte, bis hierher hat er mich geleit, bis hierher hat er mich erfreut, bis hierher mir geholfen. Gott segne dieses Haus und lass es sicher stehen, bis endlich alles muß in dieser Welt vergehen. Johann Heinrich Fricke, Anna Sophia geborene Brandes aus Adersheim.

And the beam at the back of the house says

Wer an den Weg bauet hat viele Meister, der eine wills so haben, der anders wills so haben, aber ich will es so haben. Ich habe nicht gebaut aus Hochmut und aus Pracht, sondern die Feuersnot hat mich dazu gebracht.

2013.10W.07And for more stories about homes and houses go to the links on Sepia Saturday 201