Category Archives: Castlemaine

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

A Hotel in Castlemaine

I wouldn’t like to count the number of times I have walked around this corner  But that was many years after this photo was taken in 1906 at the corner of Barker and Templeton Streets in my home town of Castlemaine  in Central victoria.

Sepia Saturday tempted us this week with a photo of an imposing but austere hotel. I am much fonder of Australian buildings with their verandahs to protect us from the sun or to provide a place to sit and catch the evening breeze in the hot weather.

Castlemaine Council Club Hotel bThis well worn postcard  has 1906 handwritten on the back, but no message.  The hotel was originally built in 1875 as a single storey building  but in 1906 was converted to a fine two storey building. The next image shows the re-opening in 1906.

Castlemaine council club p-aitken-openingThis image came from  The Hub at 233 Barker St Castlemaine which is the present name of the building. They have a fine collection of photos of the Hotel over the years. De-licenced in 1970 in its present life The Hub is home to fifteen offices and one restaurant.

This is how Google Earth saw it in 2010 when it was undergoing its most recent renovation.

Castlemaine Council Club corner 2010 google earthBut my imagination takes me down the hill in the 1940s past, among others in the first block , the lawyers where for a while I thought that might be a good thing to do on leaving school, the bike shop where once stood a bike which was  labelled with my name as it waited for my birthday, the hairdresser – first perm, the shop where I spent my first ever earnings on a Toby jug for my mother,  the shop where I bought a hat with money i had earned myself,  the cafe where I washed dishes one school holidays, the newspaper shop where the morning paper cost tuppence,  the excellent photographer and the dreaded dentist.

As I said, I knew that corner well though I was never to go into the hotel.

More interesting hotels and big buildings can be seen through the links in

This Week’s Sepia Saturday

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

 

 

Not your Everyday Clothing

No fans, and no national costumes among my family memories to match this week’s theme in Sepia Saturday.   After all this is Australia and we have no national costume.  All we have is embarrassment at some of the outfits worn by the  Australian finalists in the Miss Universe or Miss World competitions when all the young ladies turn  out in their national costume.

National costume mostly means something different to your usual everyday dress, some form of dressing up,  and so I turn to other forms of dressing up at Castlemaine High School (Central Victoria)  in 1946.  The occasion was either the mid year Concert or the end of year Speech Night, both of which took place in the Castlemaine Town Hall.

Chs 1946 speech night play b

From left to right, Margaret Bearlin, Barbara Fricke, Joy Cooper, Norma Woodward, Leonie Bryson

When I went searching for this photo I had thought the young lady was holding a fan, but no, she is just clutching her skirt.

Those were the days when, although it was a co-educational High School, it wasn’t thought proper to have both boys and girls in the same play.  The girls had their one act play and the boys had theirs.

Prior to that c1938 , once again in Castlemaine,  it was a case of dressing up as Grumpy (a bit of type-casting there) not long after the movie Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs came out.  I don’t know what the occasion was.

Sniow White and The Seven Dwarves Castlemaine c 1938

Or you could go back to about 1910 at Murtoa when Vera and Hilda Tansey were all dressed up.  I can’t  explain why they were wearing  these costumes.

Vera & Hilda 1911 Murtoa Fancy DressHilda on the right wears a sash saying M.B.B .for Murtoa Brass Band  and is holding her father’s baton.  She also has her father’s South Street medals pinned on her bodice.    Vera on the left  is  wearing   ????? .  I think perhaps  she is dressed as a flower, possibly a daffodil, with that frilly skirt.  A lot of effort had gone into both costumes – i don’t think they came from any hire shop.  And of course the dog had to be in the photo too.  They were a doggie family.

2014.08W.25

 

And for more flirting with fans, national costumes or other forms of dressing go to the links on this week’s Sepia Saturday.

 

 

Honeymoon in the Snow – 1929

Last week I was sweltering in a bushfire story and this week Sepia Saturday has suggested we look for our snowy photos.  So I will go to the Mount Buffalo Chalet in the Australian Alps in Victoria in the winter of 1929 and this time let the pretty pictures tell the story.

Mt Buffalo Chalet Aug 1929The Mt Buffalo Chalet is a guest house which was built in 1910 and was run by the Victorian Railways. Unfortunately it was burnt down in 2006.

Arriving or Departing Mt Buffalo 1929Take the steam train to Wangaratta,  bus along the Ovens River valley to Porpunkah then up the mountainside to the grand old dame.  Well swept of snow.

Mt Buffalo Sled - Charles Vera 1929The honeymooners, Charles and Vera Fricke (nee Tansey) from Castlemaine.

Holidaymakers (inc Vera centre) 1929Time to make some new friends.  Vera second from left, back row.

Mountain Hut Mt Buffalo 1929Stop off at a hut for a cuppa.  Notice in these photos how the women are all wearing jodhpurs.   They were fashionable wear at the time and not just for horse-riding.

Snowman Charles Vera Mt Buffalo 1929Time to build a snowman.Vera skiing 3 Aug 1929

Or to practice this increasingly popular hobby of skiingMt Buffalo Skiing Aug 1929

And admire the dramatic landscape.

On another matter I recently read the book Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller.  At one stage it was discussing whether conserving old properties was the right thing to do or whether conservation destroyed the spirit of the people who had lived there, I don’t necessarily agree with that but I can appreciate the point they were making and have written a little about it elsewhere, illustrating with an example from my family’s past.

Journey to the Stone Country – Alex Miller and Ideas on Conservation 

2014.01W.06Click on Sepia Saturday to find links to more Snow Stories.