Cricket down The Bay

It is interesting how various kinds of Sports Clubs were formed in the small country towns around Australia.  Apollo Bay on the south west coast of Victoria  was no exception and the men of the Telford family were participants, both on and off the field.

The newspaper at the larger regional town of Colac reported news from all the surrounding small towns and so we know that at various times the Telford brothers George  , Robert , William,  Norman and either Abner Albert  or Arthur Alfred  all appeared as members  of the Apollo Bay cricket team before the First World War.  Only  initials, not Christian names,  were used in the reporting, hence the confusion with the “A”.

Cricket Team  at Apollo BayI think this  photo of the Apollo Bay cricket team could have been taken between 1900 and 1910.   Which of the Telford brothers were playing that day ?

Here are four of the Telford men.  Time to play pin the tail on the donkey or match the faces. I come up with a different solution every time I look at it but there are definitely some Telford faces in the cricket team. I wish you luck.  Missing are photos of the two oldest, George b1869 and Robert b 1872. It’s interesting to see how the men tended to wear their hats pushed back on their heads.  And some of them playing cricket in a collar and tie.

ss dorset

S.S. Dorset

Matches were played against other communities.  Some of these were inland but contests with Lorne involved a boat trip around the coast.  Often the Rifle Club had a contest on the same day.  The Albert Park cricket team came down from Melbourne for a match on Christmas Day 1901.  Away from home on Christmas Day ?  That sounds a bit strange.  They came down on the SS Dorset, which involves a trip down Port Philip Bay then through the Heads and out into the open ocean.

And then there was the local  Athletics Club.  In the 1908 AA Telford  (which AA? – Abner at 34 or Arthur at 25)  travelled to Stawell to compete in a larger annual Athletics Championships – who doesn’t know the Stawell Gift – and was placed 2nd in one of the heats of the 130 yd Hurdle Race.

Julia Telford Aged 17

Julia Telford Aged 17

But the ladies are not completely forgotten and their clothes  are always of interest.   At the Ball which followed the Annual Sports Day at Apollo Bay in 1898 it was reported that my 11 year grandmother Julia, niece of all these Telford sportsmen,  wore fawn, with trimmings while her slightly older sister wore shot lustre and her mother  black with jet trimmings.   I’m sure there must have been a pecking order in that newspaper list of guests at the Ball. They definitely weren’t in alphabetical order and the list, as always, was supplied by a local correspondent.

 Future  CricketersMore sporting memories are to be found in

this week’s Sepia Saturday

People sometimes comment that I seem to have a large collection of old family photos.  I should point out that I don’t own the original of all of them.  But I have collected copies of photos from family members for a long while.  At first someone photographed them for me, then the scanners came along.  My first scanner was a small hand held roller which you had to roll steadily over a snapshot.  Then came the better quality scanners.  Many of the owners of the photos didn’t want it known who had these family treasures.  I am very grateful to those people who let me copy their photos and in some cases actually gave me the original as at the time it was of an unknown person.  So what you see are  my family scans of which I own  quite a few of the originals but not all. Some of the original group photos  have already been donated to the State Library to make sure they will always be shared.b  They are online for all to see.



9 thoughts on “Cricket down The Bay

  1. jamestaylor

    What cricketer wouldn’t look resplendent in tie – and let’s not forget braces and a waistcoat.

    Just on your mention about being away from the family on Christmas Day, I have been reading 19th century editions of the Star newspaper, Ballarat, online and they put out a special edition on that day with a supplement! (which amounted to one page) Times change.


  2. jofeath

    Not sure about Abner, but I think I can pick the other three. My ggg grandfather Charles Byles (the same one who cornered and shot a rabid dog) appeared to have been a cricketer according to various mentions of games in the Windsor and Eton Express, but no photographs from the 1840s of course.


  3. andrewsarch

    You have a good eye for detail – dates and names, but also fashion. Nice observation on the cricketers’ hats tipped back. My favourite photo is Julia; we get a good sense of her character.


  4. Mike Brubaker

    The old informal style of team photos have much more charm than the modern stiff and symmetrical lines. Unfortunately those mustaches make great disguises when trying to match identifying features.


  5. Wendy

    There is something so heartwarming in the stories about community leagues and friendly competition. Seeing your ancestors so involved makes me wonder what happened with my ancestors – were there no teams or just no record?


  6. Tattered and Lost

    I have never understood Crickett. I always liked the white outfits, so dapper.

    I too have scanned a lot of family photos that don’t belong to me. I managed to borrow a large box from my uncle a year before he and my aunt passed. I’m so glad to have those scans because the photos are now in the care of one of my cousins who lives far away. I’ll never see the originals again. Thank god for scanners.



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