Monthly Archives: February 2016

An Image Free Zone

Sepia Saturday

The image for this week on Sepia Saturday is of women ironing,

I can’t go searching for a similar photo as I have different  things on my mind. But I will say doing the ironing gives you the perfect time for doing some thinking. The monotony of the task takes you deeper and deeper into the mind and though I haven’t done any ironing this week, apart from a few quilting seams ,nevertheless my mind is bubbling over with the results of my thinking.

In the past some of us have discussed this vexed question of always giving credit to the source of any image or text which you “borrow” from another web site to use in your own blog. On the whole bloggers are very good as doing this, particularly those involved with their family history, and particularly those who use Sepia Saturday. Perhaps there’s the occasional slip but that is usually a one-off and done in the excitement of the moment, not with malice aforethought.

But some people who use Facebook exclusively and do not blog are a different breed altogether. Notice that I said some. I know some beautiful people who use Facebook but do not blog.

I am a Blogger who uses Facebook.   I am not a Facebooker.

It is on my mind at the moment because the Admin of one of the Australian Genealogy style Facebook Groups has a bad history of grabbing images from our blogs, from the Government library in Victoria and other sites and loading them into her own Facebook site under her own name with nary a mention of where they came from. Politely asking for the source of an image results in you being immediately banned from the group. It has happened to several of us   You Sep Sats know I enjoy sharing my family photos but I am unhappy about the thought of my images languishing in this unreachable Group.

I’ve been given lots of good advice about complaining to Facebook authorities which might be beyohd me. More likely is that I will never again share a family photo, much as I enjoy sharing. Time will tell.

But at lunchtime today I was remembering the game of Monopoly and got to wondering why  couldn’t we have nice old-fashioned board game called Bloggers v Facebookers.  I forget the rules of Monopoly but if a Blogger hits a  Take a Card square they might pick up a card which says

Most Interesting post today – Collect $100
Well done on crediting your sources – Collect $50
A record number of Comments today – Collect $20
Good choice of Tags – Collect $10
You forgot your Sepia Saturday link – Cough up $5
And then on the Facebookers’ pile of cards

Who did you pinch that photo from ? – Pay back $100
You forgot to use your Spellchecker – Pay back $50
Too many posts per day. Take it easy. – Pay Back $10
I like the picture of your cat – Collect $5

Then of course there are the icons that you move around the board. If you are a Blogger you can choose from some pretty in purple little laptops, scanners, printers, WordPress software box, cup of coffee mug, etc whereas the Facebookers have the choice of mean green, slimy green, little um…..um…..um… well…. A tear drop with I’m a Facebooker on it…….a thief in a hoodie ….or ………
And all of this because of one unethical, disrespectful little Australian

So let’s play BLOGGLEFACE

O you can do something more sensible and go and have a look at what other Sepia Saturdayers have been up to this week.

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The Lay of the Last Miner

I was given this poem written by W. Robertson many years ago as my great great grandfather, (Glaud) Pender is mentioned by name.  The author wanders and reminisces about various early  mine sites in Victoria, Australia. It was originally published as an eight page booklet.  So far I haven’t found any more information or a source for it  but no doubt there is someone out there who can tell us more.

                 THE OLD MINER
or
THE LAY OF THE LAST MINER

Whilst strolling through Con Burrow’s “Home”,
‘Mong lone ones who had ceased to roam,
The eye was caught of miner old,
Who yearned to tell of days of gold.
I bid good cheer, well filled the pipe,
And asked of his adventurous life.
He halved his seat with thankful smile,
And, in response, in digger’s style,
Told of his life in district mines
From early to the latest times.
I noted how his eyes grew bright
In spite of age and locks snow-white;
While proud he held his head erect
As if he had naught to regret,
He started with a pleasure keen, –
A last rally, as will be seen;
He’d pondered oft those stirring times,
In Fifty-one, when but a lad,
At  “Hiscock’s”,  I remember dad
Excited got on finding gold,
And gave up care of shepherd’s fold;
He took me when from there he went
Up further north on golden scent.

We pitched our camp, hence Ballarat
Where gold was got from hill and flat.
They were the days when life was fast –
Mates came from shop, farm, bank and mast,
Chancing nuggets or a duffer:
Some made their piles – some but tucker.
He rushed “Canadian”, also “Eureka”,
And “Black Hill” did the gold seeker,
A rope, pick, dish, with windlass short,
Cradle and tub came as from naught.
Shanked it from ship did chums galore,
Sure on landing of fortunes store.
Good finds first were on shallow ground,
And following, each lead deeper down
To wet and drift on “Gum Tree Flat”,
We found all leads did steer for that.
The “Baker Hill” from “Oval” came,
At Humffray Street went west again;
It gave a nugget at the rise, –
“The “Wecome” – famous for its size.
“Gravel Pits” lead from “Loco” shed
Was traced down past the Fire Brigade,
Then on across the “Main” “Plank” road,
Where southern streams gave it their load.
This “Road” which was our favourite walk
Would history tell if it could talk.
Here with crinoline and flounces
The ladies came to share our ounces;
From then was firm foundation laid,
Of that which we’ve a city made.
We’ve ebbed and flowed, oft been in doubt –

I recall “The East” when luck was out,
Croakers arose – rock was ahead.
Still better north ! so rumour said:
Bendigo news gave gold fever.
I rolled my swag for the walk over;
Worked there a while, then Castlemaine,
When news from West moved me again;
Now on a coach – no more a walker –
Mates booked my seat on to Majorca.
Then my habit – craving for change –
Brought me to “Back Creek” o’er the range;
Easy won wash, good gold was got;
This place is now known as Talbot.
“Cobb” took us then on to Avoca;
Too quiet for me. – thanks for your smoke, sir;
Your weed is good.  Oh! you’re a gent –
Your coin will be carefully spent.
From Avoca to Ararat,
To “Canton Lead”, “Flint” and “Cathcart,”
I journeyed as a digger bold
Who knew all tricks that could be told.
The miners’ life, in their own way,
I lived and lived but for the day;
While luck was in I spent too free,
And thus I oft was “on the spree”.
To “Fiery Creek” I went full tear,
When tidings came of a rush there;
Beaufort was rich, and Raglan too;
We opened Chute, then Waterloo.
‘Twas overrun.  When Linton shone
I joined again the moving throng

To gullies rich and flats that feed
The “Edinburgh” and “Standard Lead”.
“Lucky Woman’s” gave all a thrill
When gold was struck on “Dreamer’s Hill”.
Times were good – we did not dally,
But worked from there to Happy Valley,
In deeper runs my mates then went,
Below basalt, sand, and cement.
We had “Morey”, a “Canterbrey,”
“Volunteers” with the “Waverley,”
But “British” miners beat the lot,
And made this place a noted spot.
We traced the lead down past the “Cleft”,
To Piggoreet right o’er a clift,
Where met we with the Smythe’s creek men,
‘Tween “Trunk” and “Horn” at “Try Again.”
Here was the “Devil’s Kitchen” famed –
Old-timers thought ‘twould ne’er be tamed;
But times do change – they tell me now
“There’s not enough to make a row.
Past “Golden”, “Belts”, “Gates,” “Streams,” and “Lakes,”
Where Pender, Webb, and Maughan were mates,
Through Newtown, up the Scarsdale run,
I worked my passage to Haddon,
And saw that township at its prime,
When no one drew the colour line,
While I was on my country tour,
Ballarat mates made good and sure;
Well paid for all their work they got
By tracing lead west under rock,

Through Curtis Street to Lydiard’s crest,
‘Cross Sturt and Dana, then south-west.
The “Frontage Scheme”, here they did try it –
It caused as much talk as “The Riot”.
In legal fees, it thousands cost,
Thus profits were to miners lost.
We since have found “The Block” was best –
A system that has stood the test.
Over western quartz the dirt was rich,
Here mining reached its highest pitch.
Who forgets the “Koh-i-noor” and “Band”?
The “Albion” or the “Hand in Hand”?
The “Inkerman”? – it gave great wealth,
But scoured a valley for itself.
From Newington it went out west,
Where in the Park, we’ll let it rest.
The main lead to the “Milkmaid” ran,
Past “Malakoff,” out to “Redan”,
‘Twas hurrah! for “St. George” and “Red Jacket”,
As through Sebas, they then did track it,
Right to the edge of “Plateau’s” rails,
Where “Cobblers” fed the “Prince of Wales”,
Past “Bonshaw” on to “Alstan’s” height,
Where Watson ruled with “Gulf” in sight.
There the “Scottish and the Cornish”
On Cambrian Hill lived with the Welsh;
Over a channel was Napoleon.
Which turned the lot east to the Durham;
From here the gold was thin and fine,
But where was crossed the “Eastern Line”;
Though Buninyong gave in its share,

The Durham sluices showed but fair.
Revival came to Creswick again;
“Australasians” call was “More Men!”
I heard, and left the “Chinese” town,
Scarce lost a shift – just there and down.
The lead got poor; you know, I wot,
Of disaster – that’s not forgot!
Awful! Awful! Depressed we were,
While “Spring Hill” continued like a flare,
Inviting all; all roads led there;
Miners re-met from everywhere.
Its shallow runs they gave good divs.
How money flowed in memory lives;
Still deeper down it kept its glory,
Through “De Murska” to “Ristori”.
Here Peacock, Brawn, and Leishman start –
I mean, of course, their mining part.
In Allendale I made my home,
Worked in the “Madame” and the “Lone”;
The crib-time of our life was here,
Where all were gay and of good cheer.
‘Twas “out of date” to have a tent;
The carpet bags to tip were sent;
Red shirts had gone, and moleskins vile;
Sac suits to order were the style.
We sorry were to leave this home
Again alluvial fields to roam.
Quartz ? Not me! I enjoyed too true
The alluvial life and mates I knew;
No quartz for me, with dusty slopes!
The graveyard of  digger’s hopes !
I had a turn at Rutherglen,

But lonely felt among new men.
Soon I was back to Carisbrook
To “Chalks”, “Pioneer”, then o’er to “Duke,”
And “Main Lead’s” mines, where Bryant says
The champions were of mining days.
Timor now waned, Alma had gone,
Craigie no more had “Napes” or “Kong”.
“Mt Mercer” then gave forth a call,
But proved the poorest of them all.
The Rokewood spurt – not worth a fig –
A shallow, sandy place to dig.
At Pitfield we had novel times,
The summer sun roasts as it shines;
Its bleak and windy clayey plains
Are churned to mud by winter’s rains;
But spite of that a lively run,
In huts and shanties there was fun;
The field was poor, and was my last;
Other diggings have gone down fast.
I, wage-earning, left, worked in the creek,
Till age warned me to give up the seek;
From then till now I’ve taken rest,
And followed mining from the press.

The “Mt William” rush was like a meteor –
A flash, then over, was its feature;
Rutherglen’s wound up, Creswick the same,
In Ballarat it lacks a name;
No money for Avoca’s “Stream”;
Tom Mitchell’s tried to “Ristor”(e),I read,
The fortunes of the Kingston lead;
The “Langi” field has been a dud,

“Cept where enriched by Cathcart’s flood;
They’ve failed the “Durham” to revive,
It seems we’ve lost the power to strive.
There’s miles of leads, both deep and wet,
Which for the future will be left.
We’ve enjoyed our pleasures to the dregs,
And put Australia on its legs,
Less fickle goods with gold does change;
Hence, no spurts in “Corner” or “Exchange”.
Ah! thus it seems the end is near
Of life and times I held so dear.

Good luck! to those who canny were,
And now enjoy their own armchair.

But, as for me, I’ve had my day,
I’m feeling faint – ’tis Nature’s way;
Evening’s near gone – give me your hand,
I feel that I no more will stand.
Remember me to miners all;
Tell them I’m paying my last call;
I fancy now two whistles blow –
That means but a short time to go.

Darkness comes on; night shift draws nigh;
The air is bad . . . good-bye . . . good-b —.

W. ROBERTSON    Ballarat East.

What made me remember this poem was an interesting series of posts in  the Carisbrook Historical Facebook Group about the belt buckles the men used to wear  and which people find in these old mining areas.  The ornamentation on the buckles highlights the diversity of people who followed the gold diggings.

Put belt buckles into the Search Box and you will get a ovely selection of photos and comments.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1436750269909379/

The following  Cricket belt buckle was found in the ruins of an old miners hut near Castlemaine, with many Chinese coins beside it.  You can find the full details about it here.

 

Tennis at Barkers Creek in 1926

It is 1926 at Barker’s Creek on the northern edge of Castlemaine in Central Victoria and four men stand by a fence watching a game of tennis in a bush setting .Is is probably at The Hermitage, the home of the Robertson family,  and is a casual affair.  I have written before of the young women playing tennis there and having a picnic style cup of tea.  But this time it is the men’s turn.  The photo from our family album  has been given a place and a year but no names have been added, though possibilities are Webber and Robertson.

Barkers Creek 1926 Men b

The well dressed tennis player would always wear his white flannel or duck trousers

My photo is in response to a 1940 image of a group of four men who are more inclined to play golf rather than tennis. The image was supplied by Sepia Saturday as this week’s inspiration for a post.  Judging by their clothes I get the impression that perhaps  playing golf is not something that they do regularly.

Meanwhile, when not playing tennis, the family album shows that girls just want to have fun and with a little ingenuity and imagination they horse around, with my mother, Vera Tansey, acting as the coachman. Part of the picnic table from the previous post is just visible to the  left of the young ladies.  Bye, Bye all,  See you later.

Barkers Creek 1926 3

Further foursomes can be found at this week’s Sepia Saturday.

Tennis in the Bush

It is 1926 at Barker’s Creek on the northern edge of Castlemaine in Central Victoria and four men stand by a fence watching a game of tennis in a bush setting .Is is probably at The Hermitage, the home of the Robertson family,  and is a casual affair.  I have written before of the young women playing tennis there and having a picnic style cup of tea.  But this time it is the men’s turn.  The photo from our family album  has been given a place and a year but no names have been added, though possibilities are Webber and Robertson.

Barkers Creek 1926 Men b

The well dressed tennis player would always wear his white flannel or duck trousers

My photo is in response to a 1940 image of a group of four men who are more inclined to play golf rather than tennis. The image was supplied by Sepia Saturday as this week’s inspiration for a post.  Judging by their clothes I get the impression that perhaps  playing golf is not something that they do regularly.

Meanwhile, when not playing tennis, the family album shows that girls just want to have fun and with a little ingenuity and imagination they horse around, with my mother, Vera Tansey, acting as the coachman. Part of the picnic table from the previous post is just visible to the  left of the young ladies.  Bye, Bye all,  See you later.

Barkers Creek 1926 3

Further foursomes can be found at this week’s Sepia Saturday.

A Beach Day in Autumn

March 14th  1951

A newspaper cutting from Page 3 of “The Age” the following morning

Three country Victorian girls who had spent the previous year at  Bendigo Teachers’ College .

But here they are  on a beach at St Kilda   in Melbourne on a warm Wednesday afternoon.

Where should they have been ?

Once upon a time I knew the answer to that question but now I’ve forgotten.

But girls in bathing suits, a beach and in this case an unseen newspaper photographer  bears some similarity to another 1951 photo taken  at Bondi Beach in Sydney and used as this week’s prompt by Sepia Saturday.

Further interpretations of Sepia Saturday’s photo can be seen here .

Sepia Saturday 316 Header

Sepia Saturday 316 Header

Trove Tuesday – Looking for Weeroona

“Weroona”  is a house in Camp Crescent, Castlemaine.  My parents lived there for a short while after their marriage in 1929 and I have also  found it mentioned  in newspapers.

There are not many houses in Camp Crescent but in the past there have been many newspaper references to people who lived there.  Mrs Reid who  lived there in 1898 was one of these, though not necessarily in Weroona, but there is no voter of the name Reid five years later in the Electoral Roll.

Servant Camp Crescent 1896

Then in 1913 Weroona is mentioned by the versatile teacher Robert George.

Weroona 1913 Singing lessons Robt George

Unfortunately  Mr. Robt. George does not appear in the Electoral Roll for Castlemaine.John Vale Weroona 1928

 

In the Electoral Rolls Elizabeth is consistently listed as a Stationer of Mostyn St.   Why was she at Weroona when she died.   At that stage could it have been some kind of small Nursing Home

Some facts –

  1.  The house “Weroona” existed as evidenced in newspaper reports.
  2.  A 1929 family album  photo of my mother and her sister-in-law sitting on a verandah with distinctive railings.
  3.  A photo on the same day of my father, Charles Fricke,  with his sister Enid,  presumably  at the same house with similar railings.
  4. A more recent view of the rear of the Old Castlemaine Court House with similar railings.  This building is in Goldsmith Crescent which is the continuation of Camp Crescent.

So – comments and questions –

  1.  In 1929 my parents living at Weroona in Camp Crescent, which bears a uncanny resemblance to the Old Court House in nearby Goldsmith Crescent
  2. Were the first two photos taken at Weroona or the Old Court House ?
  3. In the second picture there appear to be six or seven steps to get to verandah level whereas in the Court House photo there appear to be four or five steps.
  4. In the second photo there is a shield shaped cover at the centre of each of the criss-crosses which are not on the Court House photo.  Surely in restoration work of the Old Court House they would replicate the old style.
  5.  In the centre photo there are single “criss-crosses” between verandah posts whereas in the Court House photo there appear to be two “criss-crosses” between verandah posts.
  6. Weroona is the house where the newly married couple were tin kettled a few days after returning from their honeymoon. ( For an explanation of tin kettling see tin kettlins. )

I am now fairly sure they are two different houses – Weroona and the Court House -and it wasn’t a case of going for an afternoon stroll to visit the Old Court House and take photos.

Somewhere out there if I had the access are the answesr to these questions.  But thanks to Trove I now know tha “Weroona” definitely existed.