Monthly Archives: January 2015

Dockside with the Randwick District Town Band

This week Sepia Saturday  has given us an image of a harbour, with its docks busy with ships.  And so I go to a Sydney dockside, back in  the  1960s when the big liners were a way of travelling from country to country and not just for holiday cruises, ships like the Oronsay travelling  from Sydney to England in about 3 weeks.   It was also a time when brass bands would play dockside as the liner was leaving.  In this photo from the 1960s it is the Randwick District Town Band which had formed in 1961.  Hilda Tansey. now in her sixties, is near the lower right hand corner, long after she was Bandmaster of the Sydney Ladies Brass Band.  Each departure was a big occasion

Randwick Band 1960s

Today we  don’t see aeroplanes departing for overseas being farewelled in such style.

The following quote is taken out of its original context which dealt with more creative activities,   http://tinyurl.com/q2pp332

 `There’s something to be said for following those little voices in your head that say, “Do it.”

`Because if you don’t, that moment gets lost to history.

But I feel it applies equally well to my  posts in Sepia Saturday (and to yours too).   In time there is always a reader or two who has a definite connection to what i am writing. When I link photos, facts and occasionally speculations there is always the possibility that if I don’t some little thing will be lost to history for all time . I’m not referring to momentous events but to the changing way of life over the years..

This week I started converting a box of slides from the 1960s into .jpg format for the computer.  So when browsing today I was delighted to find that the Daily Mail online has an article on slides from the 1960s which have been recovered.

There you will find a delightful snapshot of Britain in the 1960s. Most of my slides seem a bit ordinary in comparison but some might be of interest in the future.  For example, does anyone at children’s birthday parties nowadays play games like these, as in 1961.

Which brings me  to what Sepia Saturday is all about, as they state on their blog.

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind (they don’t have to be sepia) become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

I like that expression launch pad.  It is exactly what  we do, begin with a photo and then launch ourselves off in varying directions   Fantastic.  Thank you Sepia Saturday.

More harbours, ports, docks, coastlines at this week’s Sepia Saturday.

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Reading for Women in 1939

This week Sepia Saturday has invited us to start with an old advertisement.  And so I chose this one from a coverless copy of the  Australian magazine Woman  of  5th June, 1939 .  Who could have imagined instant hot water in the kitchen sink.  No more carrying kettles of boiling water over to the sink from the stove.  Marvellous.

sink HWS 1939The magazine has an advertisement on nearly every page with a strong emphasis on cures for colds, tinned food, bile beans, pick-me-up Worcestershire sauce, sewing machines – all things to tempt the housewife.

But I was in for a surprise.  Do you remember this famous opening line ?

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again

This was from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier  and here it is being serialized in a 1939 magazine.  In this issue they are up to Chapter 6, soon after Mrs van Hopper has been told of the engagement.

Rebecca serial 1939So, the book was published  in 1938, serialized in 1939 and made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940 starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.  Big Sigh.  Then remade in 1997 starring Charles Dance and  Emilia Fox.  Little Sigh.   I was interested to see it referred to as a gothic romance in the early days but then became a psychological drama once filmed.

And the reason for my mother having saved this particular magazine was that pages 2 and 3 were given over to And Listen to the Band, photos and text about women’s brass bands in Australia, including her sister Hilda Tansey and the Sydney Ladies Brass Band.

pp 2 3 Woman Listen to the Band 1939And the tempting little offer of Free Best Quality Aluminium  ware was available if you saved the labels of Inglis products such as their tea, coffee, porridge, etc, a forerunner of our present day Reward points.

Sepia Saturday gave us this advertisement for nice soft cushions to place on the horse’s hooves.  Other Sepians will have all other kind of interesting ads.

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At Home in Newland St, Coleford

This week I begin with an  postcard which is showing its age at 111 years  and which has some identifying printing on the front, though no message has been written in the conveniently placed blank space.

postcard of newland stIt tells us that it is a photo of Newland St in Coleford, on the edge of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.

The printing at the end  also tells us that it is one of The Wrench Series of postcards and also has the name  Arthur J. Bright,  Coleford.  Arthur Bright was the Editor of The Dean Forest Guardian.

The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney tells us about the Wrench Series.

One of the first picture postcard companies which offered British views was set up by a 17 year old teenager Evelyn Wrench. His idea for the company, Messrs. Wrench and Co., began while on holiday in Germany with his parents in 1900.

On the left is the Baptist Church  and at the far end of the street you can get a glimpse of the clock tower standing in the Market Place at the crossroads at the centre of the town. Originally it was part of an octagonal church.  These can be seen on this section of an 1840 tithe map of Coleford

map newland stThe postcard was in the possession of my great aunt whose mother Eliza Bosley  had come to Australia from Coleford in 1863 and the image was provided to me by a second cousin.  The card had been posted in Coleford in 1904 to a Mrs Ambery  in Williamstown.  Friend or relation, I do not know at this stage, but with the help of some clues from Mark  Dodd I now have a reasonable explanation of  how it came to shift from Williamstown, a suburb of Melbourne, to Eliza Fricke in the mid-Victorian town  of Carisbrook.

postcard of newland st 1904 - bqackWhen Eliza was young and living in Coleford her maternal aunt Amelia Baynham and her husband Stephen Aston, living at Five Acres, just to the north of Coleford, had a lodger.   It was 1851 and the lodger was William Ambery, a year younger than their son Edward Aston.  Eliza would have known these two young men. After all Edward Aston was her cousin.  Both boys were to marry and together with their wives emigrated to Adelaide in 1855 on the John Banks.  Then both families either together or separately moved over to Carisbrook in Victoria. Edward Aston was to remain in Carisbrook but William and Mary moved on after a while. 

Meanwhile Eliza grew up, lost both her parents and with two younger sisters came out to Carisbrook  in 1863 to be reunited with  Edward and his wife Ann, and William and his wife Mary.  And so  it stands to reason that Mary, later on living  in Williamstown, would  pass on to Eliza a picture of “the street where you lived” which had been sent to Mary – Newland St, Coleford. There is still the question in my mind as to whether or not William Ambery could have been related to his hosts, Stephen and Amelia Aston.

Here is a  similar view of Newland St  taken by my sister in 1986 with someone sitting on the front fence of the Baptist Church, taken before I knew of the postcard’s existence.NewlandSt1986And why is this particular view of Newland St of interest to me ?  It is because of this next photo which is the house where  Eliza Bosley lived  in Coleford before coming to Australia and it was somewhere opposite the Baptist Church.   Presumably that is Eliza or one of her sisters in front of the house.

ColefordHouseTwo vertical groups of three windows, with the uppermost being slightly smaller.  Could this building  possibly be the same white  house, in the centre of the 1986 photo, with a single doorway replacing the original two doors.  It is opposite the Baptist Church,   Or is it just my imagination.

As for William and Mary Ambery, William had joined the Victorian Railways and was a train examiner at Castlemaine, then after an illness moved to Williamstown and opened a woodyard,  in Douglas Parade. He was also elected a Councillor on the Williamstown Council. (Trove)

And so my story comes full circle beginning with a postcard arriving for Mrs Ambery in Douglas Parade,  Williamstown.

Meanwhile, over at Sepia Saturday   people are posting about courtrooms and all things legal, or anything else which takes their fancy.

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