Tag Archives: Beechworth

The Glint of Gold at Beechworth

Tom Tansey lived in Beechworth during the 1930s.  He lived in Camp St and when he walked to the end of the street it was just a hop, step and jump  to Reidy Creek where the photo shows Tom, on the left,  indulging in his hobby of sluicing for gold with his friend Rex Thompson.  His hobby might have been fishing when he lived in Traralgon but now it was the search for gold.

Tom was looking for alluvial gold in the creek bed or trapped in the fissures in the rocks.  After filling his barrow with soil and rocks he would then use water to wash away the relatively lighter soil and leave behind particles of gold. For this he  could either use a small round pan   or  a larger sluice.  They both did the same job of separating the heavier gold from the lighter soil – the sluice just coped with larger quantities.  Alas, Tom didn’t make his fortune.

These two images from the State Library of Victoria show miners using the two methods.

And finally an image of three miners  from a Beechworth History page   to complement  this week’s theme image of three miners out fishing which Sepia Saturday had used.  These three look as though they were having a fine old time.

Go to the links on  Sepia Saturday for more tall tales and true  of miners and anglers

A Cane Chair in Beechworth with a side serve of Brass Bands

Sepia Saturday has suggested cane chairs – or should I say wicker furniture – as a possible theme for this week.  Here is Amelia Tansey in 1931 nursing one of her four grandchildren while seated in a cane chair  at the side of her house in Camp St, Beechworth .

CampS7, , Beechworth  1931

So while wifie was at home cooking, cleaning, washing, sewing etc, etc,  what was hubby Bandmaster Tom doing?   If not at work he might have been at the State School training their brass band.

He would have been using his favourite teaching methods.  My cousin Larraine gave me a copy of his hand-written notes in his lovely  cursive script  This is the first page of three.

Tansey's Silly System 1Here is Tom at the centre of the State School Band playing in front of the school in 1931.

Beechworth School Band in front of school 1931And then again after playing at the hospital for Christmas in 1931. Some of the boys look quite old but some schools went up to  the 8th grade and the boys would be 14 or 15.

Beechworth School Band in front of the hospital 1931

At other times he might have been rehearsing  the Town Brass Band. or putting the band through their marching practice, this time in 1934

Beechworth Town Band 1934

Other  interpretations of this week’s  theme can be found at Sepia Saturday

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Crowded Streets

A first reaction to the idea of crowded streets is “Cars”.   But there are many ways to crowd a street.

Stratford Memorial 1922February 12, 1922 and Bridge Street in Stratfod-on-Avon in Warwickshire was crowded with foot traffic for the unveiling of the War Memorial which listed the names of the local serving men who died in World War One.  Notice that the Memorial is standing in the middle of the street.  After it was hit by a lorry it was shifted to a safer location.

We met Mary Matilda Checkets in Framed in a Doorway in Snitterfield , By 1922 she was  the widow Mrs Tansey, had moved from Snitterfield and  was now  living in Stratford on Avon .  Her youngest daughter Ellen was also a widow.  She had been married to Private Amos Unitt but he had been killed at Pozieres in 1918  and Ellen had gone to Australia and re-married.

Mary Matiilda sent this postcard to her six year old  grandson in Australia.  His father Amos Latham Unitt had  been born in Stratford on Avon and so his name was entitled to be included on the War Memorial.

Stratford Memorial 1922 Back

I think there is a little bit more to this postcard.  It is stamped so has been sent to Mrs Tansey  without putting it in an envelope .  Then she has signed it as Gran and indicated that it was for her grandson Stan and it has ended up in Australia.   I think the two handwritings are different so who was it sent it to Mrs Tansey in the first place ?

Earlier than this, in 1907 on the other side of the world, Camp St in Beechworth was crowded  with four horse- drawn vehicles. Beechworth in north eastern Victoria is a remnant of the  gold rush in the 1850s  This postcard has a linen type texture which makes it hard to scan.  Bandmaster Tom Tansey and his wife were to live in this street in the 1930s.

Beechworth Postcard 1907Perhaps some day I will be able to find a family member connected to the recipient of this  Beechworth postcard and hand it over.

Beechworth Postcard 1900 BackA Parade is another way of crowding a street.  A Gala Day Parade is held each year in Geelong to raise money for the local hospital  Here is the Geelong West Brass Band marching down Moorabool Street in the Gala Day Parade in 1931.  The bandmaster was Eric Searle.  The band had been revived in 1929 after having lapsed a couple of times.

GWest-Gala-1931

Anyone who follows the road bike racing might be interested to know that this is the part of Moorabool Street which was the start and finish of the 2010 World Road Championships Time Trials. and was the finishing point for the Road Races,

And in a Parade in Sydney c1938 the members of the Sydney Ladies Brass Band were on a highly decorated float, led by their trainer and conductor Hilda Tansey.

Float1For more interesting early  street scenes go to the links in Sepia Saturday

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