Tag Archives: Geelong

Paddling, Dipping the Toes In

Sepia's Paddling PhotoHow can we possibly live up to our theme photo of this week.  It is just about perfect  Let’s just look at it.,  A group of four young ladies being very daring and raising their skirts so that they could paddle in the lake.  And the two young boys tagging along.  Can’t you just hear one of the mothers saying You can’t go walking unless you take Billy and Johnny with you.  And there are the boys, not quite a part of the group but on the periphery.

Like most groups of girls there is a range of personalities.  Look at the haughty  expression of the front girl facing the camera,  challenging the photographer to please explain what he thinks he might be doing.  A much more demure but mischievious young lady in the dark dress carrying a  more sensible hat is seeing the funny side of the situation while the other two girls pretend that nothing is going on.

A moment in time but all is not still. The movements of legs in the water has created ripples, expanding out in all directions.  And wouldn’t it be nice if they expanded all the way to author Toni Jordan so that she could create a back and future story for these six characters.

And then from the sublime to something a bit less sublime, the beach at Apollo Bay c 1936.  Have you ever used the phrase a face only a mother could love.  I think some photos fall into that category too.

Apollo  Bay beach  c1936A grandmother doing supervision duty on an empty beach.

Going back further in time, to some time between 1880 and 1900 , at the State Library of Victoria we find an elegantly dressed woman and formally dressed man  at the edge of some water watching the  two older children have a paddle in a little byway of a larger expanse of water.

paddling pre 1900And  closer to home, the sea water Paddling Pool in front of the enclosed swimming area at Eastern Beach in Geelong.This photo from the State Library of Victoria was taken about  1949.

Easter Beach Paddling PoolWater is not the only  medium  which makes for fun  paddling, and hands are good for paddling in mud  too.  – Melbourne 1962Face in hose 1962Back to hose 1962These are the photos which have sprung to my mind when looking at this week’s theme photo for Sepia Saturday. Other people have contributed different photos and they can be found through the links on Sepia Saturday

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A Fishy Tale in Traralgon – More Treasure from Trove

In February 1916 the fishing in the river at Traralgon in Gippsland was going well and was reported in the Gippsland Farmer’s Journal on February 8th, mentioning   Bandmaster Tom Tansey and two of the bandsmen.

Feb 1916 fishing Traralgon 1But lthe following year  it was a completely different story.

In the Australian song Waltzing Matilda the trooper comes riding down on his thoroughbred  to the billabong and asks the swagman to show him the  stolen Jumbuck (sheep) that he has stowed in his tuckerbag

In this story the policeman rode down to the riverbank and asks the fisherman to show him the undersized trout that he has stowed in his tuckerbag. On Feb 27th 1917 the Traralgon Record screamed the heading

Heading feb 27 1917The local resident  in question was the town’s Bandmaster,  Tom Tansey, one of the local “fisher folk”  who “betook themselves” to  the banks of the Traralgon Creek to fish but not observing the regulations as to size.

Even the Bairnsdale Advertiser on March 3rd, 1917, gave a full report.

… and there espied John T. Tansey dangling a rod and line in the placid waters of that stream near Koornalla. The inspectors approached the fisherman and the constable remarked. “Hullo, got any fish. Mr Tansey, ?” The   angler confessed that he had “one:” and on being asked to produce it for inspection he fumbled about his bag and then presented one about 14 or 15 inches long. That’s well  over the size,”said the Constable     “You’ve got some more there, let’s see them.” The sportsman demurred  but on being pressed  produced  another fish, ..

Gradually more and more fish were produced from the bag, all of them undersized, i.e. less than 11 inches long. The Constable took possession of the fish and  promptly took them to the local butter factory so they could later be presented in court in a nice fresh state as evidence of Tom’s naughty deed.   He was brought to court in front of three local magisgrates, and was fined  £2 plus costs.

What the newspaper doesn’t say is that Tom and at least one of the magistrates knew each other.  Dr McLean was President of the Town Band, of which Tom was bandmaster, and may have played a part in bringing Tom to Traralgon.  Dr MacLean had come to the town in 1904. as  a young doctor, fresh from the Geelong Hospital and was the only doctor in Traralgon during the years of the First World War.    He had also played football for.Geelong

So he had been  living in Geelong at the same time as Tom, when Tom was well known for his skill as a brass instrument player.  Tom had been winiing medals for his solo performances at the National Band Championships at the beginning of C20th,  a time when the bandsmen were revered in the same way that pop idols are nowadays.  When the Geelong Town Band was leaving for competitons crowds would follow them as they marched up the street to the railway station and  greet them on their return.

Here they are in the same photo when the Traralgon Band and Members made a presentation to Dr McLean. with Dr McLean in the centre, Tom with his medals to the left and a young Hilda Tansey at the top.

McLean PresentationIt is interesting to wonder if the news of Tom’s fishing trip made it back to his mother, in  England, or to his younger brother William.   At the time William was Gamekeeper at Cotterstock House in Northhamptonshire.   Tom and William, oppposite ends of a spectrum but half a world apart.  What would William have done if he had been inspecting the creek and had come across Tom fishing ! And as a bit of trivia, Cotterstock House is where the movie Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe was filmed.

Transcript from the Bairnsdale Advertiser and Tambo and Omeo  Chronicle, Saturday, March 3rd, 1917

UNDERSIZED FISH.
TRARALGON RESIDENT PROSECUTED
For some time past, says the Record, there has been a suspicion amongst members of the Traralgon, Fish and Game Protection Society that all the “fisher folk” Who betook themselves to the banks of the creek for the ostensible purpose of fishing for trout were not observing the regulations as to size ,of the fish they took from the creek. During last month Constable Lineen, an inspector of the Fisheries Department, and Christian Stammers, an honorary Inspector, paid a visit to the upper reaches of the Traralgon Creek and there espied John T. Tansey dangling a rod and line in the placid waters of that stream near Koornalla. The inspectors approached the fisherman and the constable remarked. “Hullo, got any fish. Mr Tansey, The angler confessed that he had “one:” and on being asked to produce it for inspection he fumbled about his bag and then presented one about 14 or 15 inches long. That’s well over the size,”s aid the Constable “‘You’ve got some more there, let’s see them.” The sportsman demurred but on being pressed, produced another fish. “That seems to be undersized remarked the constable. “Have you any more ?” “Uh, no” replied the fisherman “only a salmon trout”. “Well, let’s see it” persisted the policeman. A trout, somewhat smaller than the other one was produced. The constable informed the angler that he would have to take possession of the fish. He measured them in the angler’s presence, one measuring 10 inches and the other 9 ½ inches in length and both were cleaned and ready for cooking. In explanation of having these fish in his possession the fisherman said he had caught several smaller ones and had thrown them back, but the two in question were so badly hooked that they died when the hook was extracted and he put them in his bag. Such was the summary of the evidence given at the petty sessions when Tansey was called upon to answer to a charge of being in possession of certain fish of a less length than that prescribed by section 28  of the Fisheries Act, the said fish being indigenous to Victoria. Defendant was fined £2 with £14/- costs.

Folk Dancing at School in 1970

We sometimes called it Folk Dancing, at other times Country Dancing.  I don’t know how much resemblance there is between the dance that these children are doing and true folk dancing..  But this is what these school children were taught in 1970 for a display at their annual school fete.

So from home movie to tape  to DVD to computer and the gradual loss of quality this is what the St John’s Lutheran School fete looked like in Geelong in 1970, beginning with a display of folk dancing.

 

The music is Percy Grainger’s Country Gardens.

Other examples of dancing and folk traditions among many other things can be found on Sepia Saturday.

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My Mother’s Back Yard

Our theme this week for Sepia Saturday is back yards and hence this small and indistinct photo of my mother (1899-1990) in the back yard of her home at 96 Ryrie St, Geelong  A little girl of three or four posed with a man’s bike in a backyard which matches our theme photo with its outside wash-house and rope clothes lines.

From this back yard we can radiate outwards to some of  the distinctive sights seen by this girl from 1899 to 1908

Vera back yard ryrie stThere wasn’t much room to play in the back yard so their mother would sometimes sit  Vera Tansey and her younger sister on the front step   The other side of the street was much more impressive. to look at.

ryrie st geelong 1900As seen in 1900 opposite them in Ryrie St,  to the right was the Post Office with its prominent clock tower. To the left of the Post Office was the Telegraph Station – see the Time Ball resting on the roof.  Just before 1pm each day the ball was raised  to  alert citizens and ships on the bay that 1 pm was imminent.  On an electric signal from Melbourne  the ball was dropped to indicate 1 pm.  I don’t know when it last operated but i wasn’t operating in  1900.

The vehicle is possibly a Walker’s Omnibus which serviced the suburbs of Geelong.

Then came the solidly built  Mechanics’ Institute where the family used to attend concerts.  Originally it was this  single storey structure  but by 1900 was two storeys high. You can just get a glimpse of the :Presbyterian Steeple Church beside it.

MECHANICS INSTITUTE GEELONG RYRIE STIn 1913 the steeple was transferred to another church,

steeple church geelong ryrie st Both the Mechanics’ Institute and the Steeple  Church were later incorporated into our Geelong Performing Arts Centre where a couple of weeks ago I saw a brilliant local performance of My Fair Lady.  The body of the Steeple Church is still there  housing a Dance Studio with  a stage, sprung floor and mirrors,.Theoretically the facade of the Mechanics’ Insiitute was preserved but apart from the name for me it bears little resemblance to the beautifully ornate original. But upstairs the facade now hides a  dance studio

As the girls grew so their freedom increased..  They attended the nearly Flinders State School

Flinders state school 1906And in their spare time were able to visit the zoo at Kardinia Park, now home of the Mightly Cats. (That’s a football team !)

As Vera said      “When I was big enough to be trusted to look after Hilda, Mum would let me go to Kardinia Park to feed the numerous animals. She kept two brown paper bags on the copper wall and bread scraps went into them for us to take on a Saturday for the monkeys etc. We would call at Podbury’s coming home for a loaf of bread and Mrs Podbury would give us a bun each. One Saturday we called in and she gave me one look and said “Go home and tell your mother you have measles”. The warm sun had brought spots out all over me.”
The Zoo, Kardinia Park, Geelong, 1910This is the Kardinia Park Zoo in 1910, a modest zoo with monkeys, ducks, swans, guinea fowls, an emu, kangaroos, wallabies and deer.  Bur everyone was upset when the emu died in 1907 and even the newspapers in New Zealand reported the fact.   The Zoo gradually suffered from lack of proper upkeep and was closed.

Emu 1907 Kardinia Park zooWelcome to Old Geelong.

In 1908 the family left Geelong and shifted to Murtoa,

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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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