Category Archives: Sport

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.

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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.

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.

 

 

Wheels, mostly of the Pedal Power kind – Transport, Freedom, Sport

This week’s image from Sepia Saturday  suggests motor bike, pillion passenger, courier, turban.  towel, camp, lots of things as an inspiration in searching through our photos. But none of them sent me scuttling to the family albums for a match.  Instead it was the wheels in the photo which interested me so I’ll go with some family wheels, but ones without the motor, just pedal power wheels.

George Francis ForseyMeet George Francis Forsey (1870 – 1954).   His wife Wilhemina was my grandfather’s cousin.  He was a miner at Clunes in Central Victoria.  Later, as a widower, he shifted to Birchip and is buried there. His bike was his trusted  form of transport in a typical Victorian country town,

Down the years wheels  have been important as a means of transport from place to place, firstly in 1945 then in 1950.

Wheels again  in 1969 in a home made billy cart for a bit of gravity fueled speed

Lachlan winter 1969 billy cart

Freedom to roam in 1972 and 1978

At last in 1979   ……….. an exciting ride on a visitor’s  motor bike

A visiting -motorbike 1979But in recent years,  for the next generation, wheels have become less of a means of transport and more of a sport – BMX racing – as in this Slideshow of No 39 and No 43,

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And just occasionally a little running repair is needed.

Running Repair

Have a look at the links on the Sepia Saturday page for more interpretations of this motor bike photo.  I only looked at the wheels.2014.09W.03

What the children didn’t know

Garden party

 Our theme for  today is groups of three. These three girls were  prizewinners at Mrs Burnell’s  garden party.in Castlemaine, Central Victoria, on Nov 16th, 1940 . It was part of the way into World War II, when raising money for war effort charities such as the Comfort Fund, Red Cross or Bundles for Britain was the usual reason for holding a money-raising event. It was such a patriotic time, not so long after the last coronation and a new king, with the country at war.  Best dresses and hats were brought out  for this special occasion, and the pram reflects the feeling at the time  with its crown, its Australian flags and red, white and blue bunting.. Crepe paper was the standard material for these creations, willingly constructed by parents. .  And the special doll Elizabeth was  named ,of course, after Princess Elizabeth.

A typical pretty, peaceful, family album picture of the time.  But it is what the picture doesn’t show which makes it interesting to me.  When the two girls on the right got out of bed that morning they had probably been primed to wish their mother a happy birthday.  It was her forty-first birthday.  But they would have been blissfully unaware of the reaction of their parents when they opened their morning newspaper of choice, the Argus, from Melbourne, and its news of the war from England. .Two nights before the worst bombing raid on the city of Coventry was carried out.  Over 4000 homes were destroyed and over 500 people killed. Coventry was the home of the  children’s 90  year old maternal great grandmother.  I don’t know long it was to be before the Australian family  found out that she was alive and well and was to live for another two years. Then on the night of the garden party the Royal Air Force  retaliated by bombing Hamburg.

But the children weren’t aware of this.

The Ruins of Coventry Cathedral

The Ruins of Coventry Cathedral

Also on the other side of the world and on that same day the Warsaw ghetto was closed to the outside world by the Nazis. In the previous month the Jewish people of Warsaw, about one third of the total population , had been rounded up by the Nazis and  confined to a small are of the city, These 400,000 people were held behind three metre high walls topped with barbed wire.  And on this fatal day the gap was closed.  Thirty percent  of the population crowded into two and a half percent  of the area.

But the children in Castlemaine weren’t aware of this

chilldren in warsaw ghetto

or of a group of three chikdren in the ghetto in Warsaw,

The garden party was held at the home of Mr and Mrs Burnell, a beautiful home with a large front lawn suitable for all the stalls and competitions that go with a fund-raising garden party.    It was directly across the road from  Thompson’s Englineering  & Pipe Works, established in 1875, where Mr Burnell was the General Manager.  He had won the MC during WorldWar I.  Thompson’s was the most important business in Castlemaine, commonly known as Thompson’s Foundry  and was spread out alongside the main railway line from Melbourne to Bendigo, an ideal position for transporting the heavy goods which  it made, a wide range of steam-engines, boilers, mining machinery, railway equipment and centrifugal pumps. But during World War II they made  artillery and tank guns, marine engines, circulating pumps and other heavy forging and foundry work.

Making guns for war, what  the children didn’t know.

How's this for a crankshaft ?

How’s this for a crankshaft ?

The  eldest girl in the photos remembers the workmen on their pushbikes, four and five abreast, sweeping up and down the Main Street on their way to and from work. With such a large work force the foundry had a piercing whistle  which screamed out at 7.00am, 7.20am and 7.30am. There was no excuse for being late for work and the whole town and beyond had its own non-negotiable alarm clock.

Small towns are such a web of people and places.  The mother of the two girls on the right had originally come to Castlemaine with her parents as from 1923 to 1928 her father worked in the office at Thompson’s and was Bandmaster of Thompson’s Foundry Band. This is the same man who brought a book on Shakespeare with him when he came to Australia.  The man really did have itchy feet and jumped as bandmaster from one small country town to another several times. The Foundry has had its own brass band since  1887 and 24 members of the band served in World War I, six of whom were killed.  I have no figures for the Second World War.

When is the world going to learn .

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Thompson's in 1960

Thompson’s in 1960

And for more interesting stories about groups of three, click on the links in Sepia Saturday.

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A Bush Picnic

The time is the mid 1920s and the place is Barker’s Creek on the outskirts of Castlemaine in Central Victoria.  That’s in Australia.  And the occasion is the time honoured ceremony of Afternoon Tea, also known as Arvo Tea. teatime

This particular bush afternoon tea is connected with playing tennis.  It has been suggested that the tennis court was at a house called The Hermitage. Looking at the big teapot on the table it has probably been brought down from a nearby house ,with the cups and saucers and food in the suitcase, and probably organized by “Mother” who is blending into the background beside the tree in  her matronly black.

Thought has gone into the picnic  table, made from logs of different sizes overlaid with wire netting.  Wire netting – it’s chicken wire  and hence my SepSat chicken link  .And who could possibly have afternoon tea without a special afternoon tea cloth ?

So who are these  ladies.  They come from the Robertson, Webber and Petherbridge families with Vera Tansey,sitting centre front, artfully displaying her engagement ring. She has come to know the group as she works with one of the Webber girls at the Ball and Welch store

tennis ladies

From left, Marj Robertson, ….Petherbridge. Jessie Webber, Vera Tansey, Marion Webber, Dorrie Robertson., Mary Webber

These are the young ladies in their stockings ,and  some wearing pearls ,who played that day.  Presumably one of them took the tea time photo.  But, look at the “net”.   It’s hard to see but It is there, made from some more of the ever useful chicken wire. It is then topped with twists of some kind of material.  Even the support at the end of the net  looks like a bush makeshift arrangement. I bet they had fun.

Some of the players are wearing what were called closed toe sandals, a canvas sandal styled with a strap across the foot, while the others appear to be wearing the traditional laced-up shoes.  One of the girls having tea is still wearing  her strap sandshoes.  The clothes are the same in the two photos so presumably they were taken on the same day.

And the link between the players ?  Apart from two groups of sisters there is also the “work” link.   Vera Tansey and  Jessie Webber worked at Ball and Welch which  was a draper’s shop which had been established in the Castlemaine area in the 1850s. They later opened an Emporium in Flinders St. Melbourne.

 Two B and W photos

These two photos  are of staff at the Castlemaine Ball and Welch in the 1920s.  There is another  lady in these two photos , a friend of our family, who was connected to  the group of tennis ladies. But  she hadn’t been playing on that special day in Barker’s Creek. Billie  (Wilhemina) Webber  is sitting front right in the left hand photo,  and front centre in the casual dress photo.  She is a cousin of the Webber girls playing tennis.  And guess what .  Last month she celebrated her 107th birthday, well and happy and living in Narranderra, NSW.

 Billie 106 2012

Here is a newspaper photo of Billie, turning 106 in 2012.

And you can join more picnic parties  in the links on Sepia Saturday.

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