Birthday Parties

1509W.132Sepia Saturday’s choice of an image shows some Estonian children playing a game in a circle.  It’s quite possible that the occasion was a birthday party.  It’s also interesting to see that children are wearing the popular pinny  made with crossover straps at the back.  That is a bit puzzling.  Why would the children be wearing pinnies if it was some kind of special occasion. There are  also three children at the back not taking part in the game while an older lady supervises.

It’s not often that a photo of a party or playground game was taken in the 1920s and1930s.  If  was more likely to be a group photo,

Esme Hather birthday 2-4-1936These two photos were taken at Esme Heather’s birthday party in Castlemaine on April 2nd 1936 in the garden  of her home.

Esme is third from the right in both photos.

Just one festive balloon to be seen in each photo.  One of the highlights of a Esme Hather birthday 2-4-1936 at CarinyaHeather party was the dressing-up box in Esme’s bedroom.  And a treat with  the food were the home-made lamingtons.

The Heathers lived at “Carinya” at the corner of Fletcher and Berkley St in Castlemaine, Central Victoria.


The next birthday photo was taken at the same place on April 2nd, 1941.  This time everyone had a balloon and a party hat.  Esme is centre front, kneeling,  and her mother Daphne at the left hand end of the back row.

Esme Hather birthday 2-4-1941

You can see part of  the house next door in the previous photo.  It is still there and can be seen in this shot of Carinya from Google Earth.

Heather's cnr Fletcher Berkeley - Carinya

Further nostalgic links to this week’s Sepia Saturday image can be found here.


11 thoughts on “Birthday Parties

  1. postcardy

    I never saw “pinnies” like that. If they were ever popular here, they probably would have been called “aprons.” I thought the prompt picture looked like some kind of preschool.


  2. lulubelleliz

    I well remember those happy birthday parties – balloons, hats and of course fairy bread, baby frankfurts and birthday cake. They seem to have become so much more sophisticated (and expensive) these days.


  3. jofeath

    Was Esme a friend or neighbour of yours? She looks very happy to be the birthday girl. I’m tempted to reply to Deb re lamingtons but will leave it to you to describe them.


  4. jamestaylor

    Lulubelleliz, and jelly with, perhaps, a scoop of icecream with sprinkles on top. I, too, thought it looked like some sort of pre-school. My sisters always had to don aprons when they came home from school.


  5. Wendy

    I love the sweetness and simplicity of birthday parties of the past. Even in my youth we were excited to be invited, to get to wear a party hat, to enjoy nothing more than cake and ice cream and maybe play a simple game like Pin the Tail on the Donkey or Blind Man’s Bluff. Now parents work themselves into a frenzy reserving a bounce house or shuttling party-goers to a ball pit or laser-tag venue.


  6. Barb R

    We lucky elders with such memories of our simple childhood parties! Of course the fun of our youth has become much more gay (sic) than it may have been at the time. I also feel so badly toward my grands who have to have so much hoopla surrounding any birthday. These are great photos and memories shared!



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