Monthly Archives: February 2014

What’s in a Name – Fedora, Trilby or Something Else..

For the  Men in Hats theme this week for Sepia Saturday I have this photo taken at  Kooba  in 1920.   Kooba was a 120,000 acre station in south-central New South Wales .  The station had been sold and now it was time to sell its 40,000 sheep as well as some cattle and horses.   This photo of three men at their ease was taken at the sheep sale near the Woolshed yards  at Kooba in October 1920.

Kooba Sheep Sales 1920The man in the centre is Alfred Ellis (1897-1954) and he worked for the Stock and Station Agent Wilkinson and Lavender which had a branch at Hay.. This was the firm which handled the sale of the Kooba sheep.

We have been to Hay before when we looked at an early plane crash there and where  Alf Ellis  became friendly with the Tansey family. But on this day of the sale  he was about 100 km to the east of his home town.  These Stock and Station Agents covered a large area arranging the sale of  properties and livestock.

Now I could be completely and utterly wrong but I think the two men on the outside of the photo could be  wearing hats called a Fedora  while Alf Ellis in the centre is wearing a Trilby which is a type of Fedora. Or is Alf wearing a Fedora and he is simply showing his individuality by turning the brims down and not creasing the crown   I can’t find any other style which seem similar to the hats in the  photo. Alf Ellis appears to be wearing the same kind of hat in the final photo on the previous Hay Plane Crash page.

Fedora v TrilbyHere is another photo taken on the same day and once again the hat on Alf Ellis in the centre has the high crown and the turned down brim. 2 Alf Ellisat salesThe next two photos  which also involve Alf Ellis give some idea of what the wool sale at Kooba was like but instead were taken at Carrathool which is nearer to Hay than Kooba.  But they give a feeling for the size of these sales.

1 Carrathool sheep sale c19202 Carrathool sheep sale c1920Kooba Map2014.02W.04And there’s plenty more men and their hats to be found by following the links on Sepia Saturday.

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Crowded Streets

A first reaction to the idea of crowded streets is “Cars”.   But there are many ways to crowd a street.

Stratford Memorial 1922February 12, 1922 and Bridge Street in Stratfod-on-Avon in Warwickshire was crowded with foot traffic for the unveiling of the War Memorial which listed the names of the local serving men who died in World War One.  Notice that the Memorial is standing in the middle of the street.  After it was hit by a lorry it was shifted to a safer location.

We met Mary Matilda Checkets in Framed in a Doorway in Snitterfield , By 1922 she was  the widow Mrs Tansey, had moved from Snitterfield and  was now  living in Stratford on Avon .  Her youngest daughter Ellen was also a widow.  She had been married to Private Amos Unitt but he had been killed at Pozieres in 1918  and Ellen had gone to Australia and re-married.

Mary Matiilda sent this postcard to her six year old  grandson in Australia.  His father Amos Latham Unitt had  been born in Stratford on Avon and so his name was entitled to be included on the War Memorial.

Stratford Memorial 1922 Back

I think there is a little bit more to this postcard.  It is stamped so has been sent to Mrs Tansey  without putting it in an envelope .  Then she has signed it as Gran and indicated that it was for her grandson Stan and it has ended up in Australia.   I think the two handwritings are different so who was it sent it to Mrs Tansey in the first place ?

Earlier than this, in 1907 on the other side of the world, Camp St in Beechworth was crowded  with four horse- drawn vehicles. Beechworth in north eastern Victoria is a remnant of the  gold rush in the 1850s  This postcard has a linen type texture which makes it hard to scan.  Bandmaster Tom Tansey and his wife were to live in this street in the 1930s.

Beechworth Postcard 1907Perhaps some day I will be able to find a family member connected to the recipient of this  Beechworth postcard and hand it over.

Beechworth Postcard 1900 BackA Parade is another way of crowding a street.  A Gala Day Parade is held each year in Geelong to raise money for the local hospital  Here is the Geelong West Brass Band marching down Moorabool Street in the Gala Day Parade in 1931.  The bandmaster was Eric Searle.  The band had been revived in 1929 after having lapsed a couple of times.

GWest-Gala-1931

Anyone who follows the road bike racing might be interested to know that this is the part of Moorabool Street which was the start and finish of the 2010 World Road Championships Time Trials. and was the finishing point for the Road Races,

And in a Parade in Sydney c1938 the members of the Sydney Ladies Brass Band were on a highly decorated float, led by their trainer and conductor Hilda Tansey.

Float1For more interesting early  street scenes go to the links in Sepia Saturday

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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.

Holidays with Father

Suitcases are our theme for this week. It was impossible to go on holiday without a suitcase. Sometimes it even came in handy as a seat,

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERABarbara and Charles Fricke c1940 holidaying at Hastings, a small town on Westernport Bay in Victoria,  They were staying with Charles’s sister on an orchard, a couple of miles out of town. I suspect that Barbara was being left here on her own for a holiday. as I don’t think she would be going travelling with those muddy shoes !

F3 Travelling 1943 - Copy

Barbara and Charles Fricke again in 1943, this time walking down a street in the centre of Melbourne with a smaller suitcase while Charles sucks on his cigarette though a cigarette holder

Barbara is wearing a mixture of clothes.  Remember it is wartime and clothes coupons were issued for the purchase of clothes.  So… there is a navy blue hat – at least one hat was needed  for wearing to church.  Under the coat is a navy blue school uniform topped  with a hand-knitted russet coloured cardigan with a knitted tie at the neckline  to turn it into a going-out outfit.

I had always thought of the rationing in Australia as being due to shortages but apparently the reasons were more complex.  It’s also a bit embarrassing to  even think about it when you think of the severe rationing in Britain.

Australian Clothing Coupons from World War II.

Australian Clothing Coupons from World War II.

The Australian War Memorial Web site tells us …..

“Rationing regulations for food and clothing were gazetted on 14 May 1942. Rationing was introduced to manage shortages and control civilian consumption. It aimed to curb inflation, reduce total consumer spending, and limit impending shortages of essential goods. The broad reasoning behind the introduction of rationing was to ensure the equitable distribution of food and clothing. It was also hoped that a cut on consumer spending would lead to an increase in savings, which in turn could be invested in war loans.

Australians were never as short of food nor rationed as heavily as civilians in the United Kingdom. Rationing was enforced by the use of coupons and was limited to clothing, tea, sugar, butter, and meat. From time to time, eggs and milk were also rationed under a system of priority for vulnerable groups during periods of shortage.”

Go to Sepia Saturday for more links to people’s adventures with their suitcases.

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ctoria, south-east of the capital Melbourne.