Category Archives: Books

The Old Castlemaine Schoolboys Association

This photo appeared in Table Talk on 26th February 1920 recording an event which had taken place on Feb 15th.  Just a group of men having a dinner and Smoke Night in the Melbourne Town Hall.  But the interesting fact is that they all went to school within a few miles of the Castlemaine Post Office  and that there were enough of them to fill the Hall

old boys reunion Table talk Melbourne 26-2-1920

The Association was formed in 1912   Prominent people like Harry Lawson MP and Frank Tate the well known Director of Education were among the early members.  So too was Colonel Fields, whose granddaughters attended the High School later on and are remembered by  some of us who are still around. Mostly the annual reunions were held in Castlemaine but occasional ones were held in Melbourne.

I took the next photo in the front hallway of the North Castlemaine State School in 2003.  It shows the Dux of School, i.e. Grade 6,  a prize awarded each year from 1928 to 1973 by the Old Castlemaine Schoolboys Association.  It was a small  school with only one class for each level from Prep to Grade 6.  But political correctness took over after 1973 when the teachers refused to set the examination to decide the prize winners.  Notice the  emblem for the Association was the blue orchid which grew locally each Spring  in the harshest of grounds

2003 Reunioin Old Schoolboys Association board b

 

This is the prize awarded in 1940, a leather bound copy of the Poems of Adam  Lindsay Gordon..  The Association’s emblem is on the front cover and a keepsake of one of the real blue orchids has been kept pressed inside the book

The first winner for this school in 1928 was H.L.Stacey.  I’m hoping that someone can tell me about that family.

The Alien’s Egg is Ready to Hatch

Library 1 b

 

An Alien’s Egg.  That is exactly what Geelong’s new Library and Heritage Centre looks like.  And it is due to hatch on November 21.    Every day the workers are swarming around and cossetting it in preparation for the big delivery day.

Johnstone Park

An earlier postcard of Johnstone Park at the State Library of Victoria : http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/66156

 

This impressive  building overlooking Johnstone Park and its bandstand  had the Town Hall, some Council Offices and the Art Gallery.  Victoria’s oldest surviving municipal building was built in 1855 and further extensions blended in tastefully until now.  The old Library and Heritage Centre was tucked in the back right hand corner.

library roof jan 2015

Adding the roof, January 2015 From http://www.tcl.net.au/news/work-in-progress

But the old Library and Heritage Centre  needed expanding and have now been replaced with this golf ball. a bulbous  appendage soaring over the back of the building.

Don’t misunderstand me.  It is  a nice building with an interior which promises to be very useful with all its high tech appliances.  Strange though that when I read reports about it  I rarely see the word book.

This is to be our central Lending Library. Wouldn’t it have looked lovely if it were were nestled into parkland  or rolled onto a point overlooking the bay – think Sydney’s Opera House.  Or how about floating on Corio Bay – now that would be something.  There is also the golf course on Belmont Common.  This  shape could look quite cute sitting on the river bank.  It is not the building which is offensive,  it is the positioning  of it.

 

 

Clocks – for more than just telling the time

1509W.125A long time ago it was not necessary to open your iPhone to find out the time because you would have a watch on your wrist or, if indoors,  you would have a handsome clock on your mantelpiece, just as in the background of this group posed to have everyone looking in the same direction.  No posing was done in the next photo – someone off-stage is creating mirth.

XmasIt’s Christmas time about twenty years ago.  The house is my daughter’s, the man my son, the children his niece and nephew, and the clock had been part of my husband’s collection.  For clocks  and clock books were one of his hobbies. He collected a few, he studied their workings and took them to bits and then re-assembled them, he read about them and a couple of times constructed a new clock from pieces of old clocks.  Unfortunately no-one told me that one day in the future I would find a group called Sepia Saturday where photos play an important role and so few photos were taken.  (BTW, Jo, I knitted the cotton Father Xmas jumper.)

Here are some books and papers from his collection.

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Back in the early 1980s there was this photo of my daughter with his home-made  wall clock.  It began with a re-cycled clock face, then there was a brand new pendulum with a brass weight.  My husband designed the wooden case and out of sight at the top of the clock was a square battery which was organized so that something clicked around and every 30 seconds made a connection which gave a nudge to the pendulum.  Just don’t ask me how that worked but it helped the clock to keep good time instead of slowing down.

Sally Clock 1980sEarlier still, in October of 1948, another clock in the background when  the Adelaide College of Music Drum and Fife Band performed   “My Grandfather’s Clock” at the Tivoli Theatre. in Adelaide.  Thanks to friends P and G Flynn for this image.

Grandfathers Clock 1948

My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride;
But it stopped short never to go again,
When the old man died.

CHORUS:
Ninety years without slumbering, tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering, tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short never to go again,
When the old man died.

Have a look at other blogs inspired by this week’s Sepia Saturday image.

The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland

1509W.55Sepia Saturday provided us with a most unusual image this week.  I definitely needed those few words at the bottom,  those words/themes/suggestions to help us feel some empathy for the image and to help us connect to an image or an experience of our own.

It was the word cut-outs which resonated with me. But it took several searches, high and low,  before I found something which I had last sighted more than twenty years ago.  Fortunately I did find it as often I don’t find things until it is  too late for them to be of use for a post.

But find this one I did.  And this one is a book which is full of images which also happen to be cut-outs which can be stood up in place on the page to illustrate part of a story.  This book which very briefly tells the story of Alice in Wonderland  was given to me as a prize for attending Castlemaine’s Christ Cburch Sunday School on 30 Sundays in one year. I don’t know what happened on the other twenty-two Sundays.  I think Canon Vanston may have been Vicar at the time.

 

Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole

This book of stand-ups was published in 1934 by the Saalfield Publishing Company of Akron, Ohio with the design by Sidney Sage, who did many books in this style.   My copy has been well used and is in poor condition. Each cut-out is still connected to the book by its base and has a small wing at each side to fold back and hold up the character.  But may of these wings are now missing and  I had to prop up some of the cut-outs with other objects to be able to photograph them. The tale for each tableau is told inside the back and front covers.

In the Duchess' Kitchen

In the Duchess’ Kitchen

The King and Queen of Hearts

The King and Queen of Hearts

The Lobster Quadrille

The Lobster Quadrille

turtle and gryphon original

The is the original illustration by John Tenniel in the 1865 edition

Though out of Copyright I can find no courtesy reference to the author Lewis Carroll or the illustrator John Tenniel in this 1934 Stand-Up version of the  book though Saalfield claim to have copyright of this version.

All Saalfield’s tableaux are copies of the original illustrations then coloured.

Who Stole the Tarts

Who Stole the Tarts

I think my favorite is the Lobster Quadrille.

” The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice and tried to speak, but, for a minute or two, sobs choked his voice. “Same as if he had a bone in his throat,” said the Gryphon; and it set to work shaking him and punching him in the back. At last the Mock Turtle recovered his voice, and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went on again:

“You may not have lived much under the sea—” (“I haven’t,” said Alice)—”and perhaps you were never even introduced to a lobster—” (Alice began to say, “I once tasted—” but checked herself hastily, and said, “No, never”) “—so you can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster-Quadrille is!”

“No, indeed,” said Alice. “What sort of a dance is it?”

“Why,” said the Gryphon, “you first form into a line along the sea-shore—……………………………..”

You can re-read this story of the Lobster Quadrille at http://www.authorama.com/alice-in-wonderland-10.html

Or you can see how other members have responded to this week’s Sepia Saturday image.

 

Tools of the Trade – The Housewife’s Cook Book

Once upon a time the head of the family, the husband, went out to work each day to provide for his family while the wife stayed at home and followed her trades  as a  cook, cleaner, laundress, nurse, etc.  And one of the tools she needed for her trade as a cook was a cookery book with detailed instructions on how to put those important meals on the table.

D2 Chas & Vera 1929Vera Tansey married in 1929 and is pictured here a few weeks after her wedding. She had provided herself with an Every Ladies’ Cook-Book by Miss Drake.

Mrs Drake Cookery Book Cover bAs you can see it has been well and truly used by my mother

Lucy Drake who had trained in London had been in charge of cookery classes at Swinburne Technical College in Melbourne.  Her salary when she started in 1914 was 12/6 a week.  The publishers of Everylady’s Journal decided Australia needed a cook book which was suited to our climate and our tastes and offered Lucy Drake a large fee to compile such a book. Swinburne College granted her six months leave on half pay  and she set off for Tasmania on holidays and went to work. Unfortunately a couple of weeks after the manuscript was delivered to the publishers she became ill and died.

It is a good cook book. The recipes are clearly explained and mostly still very usable.  It was a time when apart from a few saucepans you would probably have had a basin, a wooden spoon, a sieve or sifter , a mincer/grinder  to screw onto the table and not much else. You did everything by hand.   And you probably didn’t have refrigeration – at best an ice-box or a Coolgardie safe.  So I could understand why you were told  how your soup stock should be boiled up every day to keep it fresh.

I was happily browsing the recipes when I came to a full stop;.  How would you like to make some Ammonia Biscuits using a lump of Ammonia the size of a nutmeg ?

Ammonia Biscuits

I was shocked !  Ammonia !  But it wasn’t quite what I thought.  Ammonium bicarbonate was the forerunner of the Carb Soda and Baking Powder that we use today and it is still widely used today in commercial cooking as a raising agent and a stabiliser.

I try my best not to buy foods with a list of numbers in the ingredients but at last I know what one of those numbers stands for – 503.  Miss Drake’s cook book was first published in 1923 but now a digitized version is available  at http://images.swinburne.edu.au/handle/1111.1/5887

This version  is from a later reprint, 1940,  and includes pages of advertisements. And  should you wish to you can download the whole book or read it online.  I have nothing but praise for Swinburne or any other educational institution which makes information available free of charge.  Because of them I know a little more today than I did yesterday.

You might like to try Lucy Drake’s  Mushroom Sandwiches or Crullers (American) or Jelly Doughnuts or Bath Buns or ………

And so to everyone else’s interpretation of this week’s Sepia Saturday  picture with its street trader, tools of trade, menders, cobblers, etc.

2014.09W.13

 

 

A Soldier’s Farewell to his Girl

Sepia Saturday’s them for the week  – trains, trams, transport.  But  if  I say trains and transport then the next word is troops.

I prefer to use images from the family albums but this time I am going with my favorite photo from the State Library of Victoria.   It is listed as being from the Melbourne newspaper of the time, the Argus on August 14th, 1940.  However it does not appear in the paper. but  is one of a collection which came from the paper.  Why ever wasn’t it used.  Every photo tells a story and this photo tells a very powerful story.

The unanswered question is – Who are these two central people ?

14th August 1940

14th August 1940

Is she his wife,  fiancee, girl friend ?  Was this an embarkation leave farewell?  Troops were still being sent to the Middle East .  Did he come back safely or was he killed at Tobruk like the driver of the bread van in my home town ?

In this second photo  you can again see her on the shoulder of some strong person.

Aug 14th 1940

Aug 14th 1940

Another time we see the soldiers marching down platform 10A at Spencer St Station  in 1944,  the engine for their train waiting t in the background.

Platform 10A, Spencer St. 1944

 

Then in 2012  Toni Jordan published her novel Nine Days which was inspired by the kiss photo.  She put her imagination to work to give a story going both back to the past and forward  to the future.  It is so believable and particularly enjoyable to anyone who enjoys their inner Melbourne suburbs and the idea of life as it was,  in this case  inner-city Richmond.

Nine Days by Toni JordanThe photo, with the help of a bit of colour, was used for the cover of the book.

How the novel came about, The Age, Aug 19th, 2012

Review of Nine Days by Toni Jordan in the Age, August 26th, 2012

And a bit of trivia for the young-uns as to those beautiful marcel waves in the first photo.  These days with all the electric wands for straightening and curling you might not know that in the 1930s when these marcel waves were popular, to make them at home you used these torturous butterfly metal grips with sharp teeth which pinched the damp hair together into ridges.  When dry the hair would comb out into waves.

Marcel Waves

Making Marcel Waves

 Go to Sepia Saturday to read more stories of earth-bound transport of every imaginable kind.

Sepia Saturday

 

 

Beds, Bairns and Books

This was reblogged as it moves on to  children’s books from the 1930s.Jacqueline and book Roslyn RdThis week’s Sepia Saturday’s beginning point has a sick child in bed with his toys, attended by a doctor.  Fortunately in life that doesn’t happen too often . To me children and bed means bedtime reading.  But reading is also a daytine activity..  The lass above, now grown up and at University, obviously got pleasure from the sounds whch are telling the story., whereas her mother,  thirty years earlier preferred to concentrate on the pictures.

Barbara reading to Sally c June 1963That was, until she was old enough to choose her own book

Sally at bookshelfOr get an early education on how to avoid the traps laid in your path by the advertising industry by studying The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard

Sally book 9 months SunshineIt wasn’t long until she was reading to her dolls

Sally reading to dolls 2

But I would like to know why on her ninth birthdy she appears to be reading a book about Edmund Kean.  Where did that come from ?Sally reading 3-931970Seeing her sitting there with her legs curled up I wonder if that was the day that she stopped reading to find herself surrounded by water.  Her toddler brother had  brought the nozzle end of the garden hose in the back door and up the hall then gone back outside and turned on the tap.A silent flow crept through part of the house.

I’m pleased to say that she is still a reader.

But going back another generation …..

For  the previous generation  there are no suitable photos. But these books were gifts from the age of 5 to 10 in the 1930s  beginning from Santa, then from a very formal Mother and Father, followed by Grandma.

booksThe bottom book is The Children’s Treasure House all 768 pages published by in 1935 by Odhams Press of London.  It contains nearly 150 stories and poems by famous authors.

Pages 1The other big book, The Mammoth Wonder Book was published  the same year but was gifted in 1937..  These were gifts to an Australian girl who was to grow up reading little else but English stories. Is it  any wonder that the word paddock wasn’t in her vocabulary and who, when down on the farm, would talk about the cows in the meadows, apparently to the amusement of the adults ! “The Younger Sister” was given some Australian themed books.

It must have been some time before she could read those tomes for herself, but read them she did , again and again. By the time she was ten she was borrowing from the library in the Mechanics Institute.of  the small  Victorian country town of Castlemaine,   Only one trouble – the old spinster lady who presided over the books wouldn’t let her borrow the book Man-shy.  Never judge a book by its title.  Little did the librarian know, this one is about a red heifer who likes being free and escapes to the hills.

Here are some samples from The Children’s Treasure House.

Pages 2Pages 3Pages 4Pages 5Pages 6bPages 7Pages 8Pages 9Pages 10pages 11pages 12pages 13 pages 14pages 15pages 17

For more interpretations of this week’s theme  click on the links in Sepia Saturday .

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