Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Merry Sepian Christmas from Down Under

Christmas at Glen, Avon, Apollo Bay, 1938??????????????Christmas at my grandparent’s farm, Glen Avon, Apollo Bay

on the south coast of Victoria

in 1938

complete with gum tree Christmas tree

And how different times were when a new handkerchief pinned to the tree was to be treasured..  This year’s new addition to the family was given a doll and there were some crackers for the dinner table, all displayed on a gum tree branch from down the paddock.

We didn’t know that day that less than 3 weeks later, on Black Friday, January 13th 1939, we would spend the night on the beach watching the smoke and sparks billow from behind the distant headland each time a house in Lorne caught fire. We had come down from the farm with Grandma’s glory box strapped onto the luggage rack at the back of the car.  the car was always known as “Susie”

smoke on horizonThis photo of fire on the horizon came form Jack Jones oral history of this fire in the Otways.  Jack was 18 at the time.

But this happy  Aussie Christmas song didn’t come until later.

And a very  Merry Christmas to you all.

And for more Christmas writings from the sepians go to Sepia Saturday


Delivering the Motor Spirit

The photo for Sepia Saturday 207 is wide open for choice so I have zoomed in on the furniture van to match with one of my photos.  I don’t have a furniture van photo but I have another kind of delivery vehicle, which might not look out of place in the same photo, in this case a truck delivering Plume Motor Spirit.

The Telford shop receiving a delivery of Plume Motor Spirit

The Telford General Store  receiving a delivery of Plume Motor Spirit

Notice how the delivery man is nicely dressed in a company uniform and you can just see the feathers or plumes which were the symbol for Plume Motor Spirit  on the truck’s tank. The driver is in  the main street of Apollo Bay  on the south coast of Victoria   delivering to  the Telford General Store  which has an attached  building where Motor Spirit was sold.  Now was it a garage, was it a repair shop – I don’t know what they called it but they did supply the necessary to keep the motor vehicles running.

I can’t date the picture but I think it is a 1920s car.  If it is before 1930 then the store belongs to my great grandfather Walter Edward Telford, but after his death in 1930 then it would have been my great uncle Walter Edward Telford Junior.  It is just a hop, step and jump across the road and onto the beach.

Here is another photo of the shop which had been labelled 1930.  The garage/repair shop in the above photo is seen behind the electricity pole in this new photo.  And to the right is another store belonging to Watler Edward Telford, this time a draper’s shop.

A second view of tghe shop in 1930 with another W.E.Telford store, a draper's shop, to the right.

A second view of the shop in 1930 with another W.E.Telford store, a draper’s shop, to the right.

The two Walters have a long history of running General Stores.  The earliest I found was  in 1885 but it burnt down in 1887. He perservered.  Burnt down again in 1913.  He perservered !  Stubborn blokes these Telfords.  But what an asset to a very small communityand its outlying farms, What a place to supply some of the necessities of life and for the exchange of news and gossip..

Walter Edward Telford Snr, (1863-1930)

Walter Edward Telford Snr (1863-1930)

This is Apollo Bay in 1925, curved around the sea front with a background of bare hills which had once been fully forested but were cleared for farmland and timber.

The main street of Apollo Bay in 1925

The main street of Apollo Bay in 1925 – Image from the State Library of Victoria

Here is the Sepia Saturday image of Liverpool which influenced my choice of photo for this week.  Can’t you just see my Plume Motor Spirit truck chugging across this large open space ? Other people’s choices can be seen by going to the links on Sepia Saturday.


Men in Aprons – The Potter

I am using a photo from the The Advertiser, a newspaper in Adelaide, South  Australia, October 9th 1943 to illustrate this week’s Sepia Saturday theme of an apron wearer.

TOM-WORKThis is taken from a lovely article about the life and career of well-known potter Thomas George Bosley , born in South Australia in 1867. He was a cousin of my Fricke  grandfather but I doubt that they ever met.  He had trained as a potter with his father and uncle at Shearing’s Hindmarsh Pottery in Adelaide.  He then went to West Australia, returning to South Australia after twenty years, c1913 to manage the Metropolitan Brick Works at Eden Hills. But when the Depression arrived in Australia with an associated slump in building, the company shut down its brickmaking operations.  He was kept on as a caretaker for a while until he was finally out of work.

Lady Bonython’s assistance for the unemployed

Lady Bonython

Lady Bonython was Mayoress of Adelaide and was on a committee which opened a shop where unemployed people could sell their handcrafts to earn some income and gain self-esteem..  It was called the Unemployed Sales Depot.  Thomas Bosley, aged 65 and his son Alfred, bought a few shillings worth of clay.  They made some bowls and vases which they sold at the Unemployed Sales Depot, as did another out of work potter, Jack Murphy.  Lady Bonython liked what she saw and ordered more vases and bowls with simple lines to her own specifications.

Success motivated Thomas to start his own pottery in the back garden of his bungalow in suburban Mitcham (now Hawthorn) in early 1933.  First he and his son made the bricks with an old manual brick-press machine so that they could build a kiln.  They started by making breadcrocks and vases. Gradually the vases  and ornaments, such as gnomes, frogs and kookaburras,  became more decorative and brighter colours were used.

kookaburraHe had an old Morris Cowley car which he put up on blocks and with belts and pulleys was able to power a potter’s wheel.  Once a week they would have to disconnect the potter’s wheel so that they could go off in the car to make deliveries and buy more clay.

The State Centenary in 1936

 Thomas was experienced in mould making so he created a Centenary Plate featuring a famous old gumtree at Glenelg, near where the Proclamation of South Australia and the swearing in of the first officials took place. It also showed the ship “Buffalo” which brought the official party to S.A.

1836 centenary plateBosleyware is now a collector’s item. But my favorite in this story is the thought of the old Morris Cowley up on blocks and providing power. Where there’s a will there’s a way.   I always visualize it as one of the bullnose variety of the Morris Cowley theough I have no way of knowing which model of the car it was !

0f_1_bvase bosleybosley frogFreddo Frog















You might also enjoy Men in Aprons – The Hurdle Maker


Follow the links in Sepia Saturday for  information on a variety of other apron wearers.

Men in Aprons – The Hurdle Maker

At first glance our Sepia Saturday theme this week of Aprons seems a strange choice, but when you start digging you find some remarkable examples.  I have decided to go with the men folk.

ChatterleyHurdleMakers bA distant relation found this photo in a display in the village hall in Snitterfield.  It is the Chatterley family who were wooden hoop and hurdle makers.  I believe the man on the right is John Chatterley (1816-1899) which would place this photo in late C19th,  His two surviving sons, Thomas Chatterley and William Turner Chatterley were members of the 1887  brass band whose photo I used in A Parting Gift

Chatterley BrrosHere they are in the band photo – William at the back and Thomas to the front. With their full beards they are hard to match to the first photo. Their mother was a cousin of my Tansey grandfather’s grandfather, so there is a distant connection to me through the Hutchins family.

The hurdle making is a fascinating process.  One of  the uses the farmers had for hurdles was for making small enclosures for lambing ewes.  In this photo notice the padded leather protector worn at waist level to protect his clothes from being torn when weaving the hurdle. The man seated in the first photo is also wearing one.

The Hurdle MakerHere is an interesting and instructive video on hurdle making.

In John Chatterley’s will he give and bequeath the goodwill of my trade or business of a Hurdle Maker and Hoop Shaver and the stock in trade tool-utensils chattels  to his sons William and Thomas ,  This is the first time I have seen this phrase Hoop Shaver.  Wood hoop maker is the term usually applied to the family members whereas a Hoop Shaver: created and fitted metal hoops to barrels, casks and tubs.

One interesting comment I came upon was The main use for (wooden) hoops by the middle of the 19th century would have been for baskets and light tubs: barrels tended to be hooped with iron. Expect to find a thriving baket-making industry where you find hoop makers!

Perhaps the Chatterleys even contributed to the basker making for the lovely ladies of Cranford ! of

There are some things in the photo of which I am not sure, such as what appear to be stacks of hoops.of many sizes or concentric rings. Has anyone any knowledge in this field.

PS He didn’t mention leaving any aprons in his will.

You might also enjoy Men in Aprons – The Potter


And for a range of apron stories visit the links in Sepia Saturday