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,

 `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.


14 thoughts on “Dockside with the Randwick District Town Band

  1. Susan Donaldson

    It is a wonder the band could play with all that ticker tape and streamers landing on them. Thank you for the nostalgic trip into the 1960’s. Yes I remember those party games and now enjoy introducing them to my little granddaughter – great fun at little cost.jj


  2. Mike Brubaker

    That’s a terrific image! The streamers add a rare element of movement to a concert photo. I wish passenger liners were still an affordable way to travel. There is nothing to celebrate with modern air travel. And I’m glad postcardy mentioned that link to your earlier post on Hilda Tansey as I missed it too and left a belated comment.


  3. Deb Gould

    I’d forgotten the “feeding each other blindfolded” game — yes, we played that, too. Loved your comment about how Sepia Saturday connects us all…so true, so true.


  4. Sheetar

    I love the image with the band and all the streamers. I think having bands play people off on their flights would probably reduce the anger around delays and waiting in the boarding lines. Little roaming quartets even!

    Wholeheartedly agreeing with you about Sepia Saturday being a launch pad for new discoveries and sparking new research. It’s also made me think a lot about my own more recent photos and how to better preserve those for future viewers with everything being digital nowadays.


  5. La Nightingail

    I think they still play musical chairs at parties; also (maybe?) Pin the tail on the Donkey. But dropping clothespins into the narrow neck of an old-style milk bottle? Probably not. Eating crackers as fast as you can with your teammates yelling to encourage you & then trying to blow up a balloon? I hope they still play Gossip where a person starts a ‘rumor’ & it gets whispered one-by-one around a circle till the final ‘rumor’ is generally nothing like it began. One of my favorites was a timed memory game where everyone was given a different color marble & we tried to remember who had what marble so we could ask for it & the one with the most marbles at the end of the game was the winner. Fun times!


  6. jofeath

    I wonder how the band kept playing amongst all those streamers! I don’t think people throw them any more, but I remember there were streamers when we left Circular Quay on a short Pacific cruise in 1988, and I think there were bands playing at a few of the ports, and on the only other cruise I’ve done in 2010, around NZ with my mother, there were bands in a couple of ports there too.


  7. Joan

    The main photo and the quote brought to my mind a late 1930s photo of my aunt, Joyce Sigford Williams standing at the ship railing, bound for Alaska. A surprising example of “Do it Now …” for a young woman brought up in rural southern Oregon — and she loved every minute of that adventure. Need to blog about her adventure, before the memories are lost.


  8. hmchargue

    On a cruise in Japan, a school choir came to one dock and a band to another. Everyone on board enjoyed it..I say that because the decks were crowded and I heard plenty of hurrahs.
    Made me want to go back….excellent public relations.


  9. Gabbi Mac

    I searched for this band for an elderly gentleman and this picture came up, he had tears in his eyes as he recognised himself, he is the conductor. I would love to know if there are any more photos.


  10. Pingback: Early female brass bands in Australia: they were rare but they made their mark – Band Blasts from the Past

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