Tag Archives: NSW

What’s in a Name – Fedora, Trilby or Something Else..

For the  Men in Hats theme this week for Sepia Saturday I have this photo taken at  Kooba  in 1920.   Kooba was a 120,000 acre station in south-central New South Wales .  The station had been sold and now it was time to sell its 40,000 sheep as well as some cattle and horses.   This photo of three men at their ease was taken at the sheep sale near the Woolshed yards  at Kooba in October 1920.

Kooba Sheep Sales 1920The man in the centre is Alfred Ellis (1897-1954) and he worked for the Stock and Station Agent Wilkinson and Lavender which had a branch at Hay.. This was the firm which handled the sale of the Kooba sheep.

We have been to Hay before when we looked at an early plane crash there and where  Alf Ellis  became friendly with the Tansey family. But on this day of the sale  he was about 100 km to the east of his home town.  These Stock and Station Agents covered a large area arranging the sale of  properties and livestock.

Now I could be completely and utterly wrong but I think the two men on the outside of the photo could be  wearing hats called a Fedora  while Alf Ellis in the centre is wearing a Trilby which is a type of Fedora. Or is Alf wearing a Fedora and he is simply showing his individuality by turning the brims down and not creasing the crown   I can’t find any other style which seem similar to the hats in the  photo. Alf Ellis appears to be wearing the same kind of hat in the final photo on the previous Hay Plane Crash page.

Fedora v TrilbyHere is another photo taken on the same day and once again the hat on Alf Ellis in the centre has the high crown and the turned down brim. 2 Alf Ellisat salesThe next two photos  which also involve Alf Ellis give some idea of what the wool sale at Kooba was like but instead were taken at Carrathool which is nearer to Hay than Kooba.  But they give a feeling for the size of these sales.

1 Carrathool sheep sale c19202 Carrathool sheep sale c1920Kooba Map2014.02W.04And there’s plenty more men and their hats to be found by following the links on Sepia Saturday.

A plane crash at Hay, 1927

I have talked about Tom Tansey who was bandmaster at Hay in south-west New South Wales from 1919 to 1923.  When he and the family left town  they left behind people  who were to become life-long friends and daughter Vera left behind a fiance, later to become an ex-fiance.

So it is no surprise that that they kept in touch with these people and occasionally they were sent photos taken in Hay.  Two such photos were taken on December 27th 1927.  It was big news in the town as that afternoon  a passenger aircraft called Satin Bird had crashed when taking off from the Hay airfield. I’ll use these for today’s theme which is blurred photos

A Satin Bird Crash 1927B Satin Bird Crash 1927The plane had come from Adelaide that morning and on board were the pilot and mechanic, two English lady exchange teachers, a Japanese couple on a honeymoon trip and a Hay resident.

Just like today’s papers you are not quite sure what to believe.

The plane is not beyond repair OR the plane is a total write-off.

Came from Adelaide OR  came from Melbourne.

Is in hospital in a serious condition OR no-one was detained.

Now the pilot”s name was Basil Daish and it seems he was to have an interesting life.  Look what the Sydney Morning Herald and others  reported on him  in November 1930.

Aviator Stuns Woman To Stop Her Jumping From Plane


SYDNEY, Sunday.— Five hundred feet above Mascot Aerodrome yesterday, Capt. Basil Daish, formerly of Australian Aerial Services, had to knock a woman unconscious to prevent her from hurling herself from the plane. During the struggle the woman’s hands came in contact with the controls, and it was with the greatest difficulty that Capt. Daish prevented a crash. She was later taken to a reception house. After telling the police that she had intended to leap out of the plane, she said she was living apart from her husband. The pilot was hired for a flight that would have taken I5 minutes, but he had not been long in the air when the woman, who was in the front cockpit, tried to leap from the plane. Capt. Daish struggled with her. but was fighting: a losing battle when he decided to knock her unconscious.

HIT ON CHIN .He hit her on the chin and then descended. Just before landing the woman regained partial consciousness and made another attempt to leave the plane. Capt. Daish pushed her back. She was taken from the machine in an hysterical condition and rushed to South Sydney Hospital. Before that the police are alleged to have found a bottle of poison in her possession. Capt. Daish said tonight that’ when half-.way between Mascot and the Harbour Bridge he saw the woman stand up. The safety belt was undone. After realising what she intended to do. he tried to force her back, keeping one hand on the controls. The plane sideslipped several times. She fought back, and In the struggle her coat was torn and It wrapped itself around his head. He threw it clear, and again tried to force his passenger into her seat.. As he thought that he was losing altitnde. he took the extreme action of striking her. In the struggle a wire stay  and glass in the cockpit were smashed .

But to come back to Hay.  Here are a couple more 1920s photos of  of a plane at Hay airfield, one which Vera Tansey was about to board. One can only wonder if they were also photos of the Satin Bird,

In the first photo she and her fiance are  the couple to the right
Plane at Hay 1920s
whereas in tthe second photo she stands between two other women on the right hand side while her fiance does the man thing and inspects the plane.

Plane - Hay 1920sOther misty photos can be seen through the links  on Sepia Saturday.


Concentric Circles

2013.08W.36Sepia Saturday says  ‘Some times you just need to be alone. You need space , space to think, space to breathe, space to contemplate your place in the great scheme of things’  Well there’s plenty of space in this photo which involves a visit to the river to escape the relentless heat.

Hay river 1924This boat  is  on  the  slowly moving  Murrumbidgee River  at Hay in south-western  New South Wales. In 2013  Hay recorded a maximum temperature of 47.7 °C (117.9 °F) but the average temperature for January, the hot month, is 33.0 °C (91.4 °F).  This family album photo was taken in  1924 and the people, protecting themselves from the sun with hats or scarves or towels aren’t identified but it could possibly be the two Rawnsley children with their parents But whoever they are  they are connected with Tom Tansey, the town-hopping bandmaster who brought a book on Shakespeare with him when he came from England in 1888.

Think of concentric  circles.  At the centre we have this drifting boat. The first circle is the Murumbidgee River, the second circle is the small town of Hay and the third circle covers  the agricultural district  near Hay and the wide open plains of the Riverina. It’s quite a long way from the bigger cities of Australia.

It is 1924, the year after Tom Tansey left Hay to move to Castlemaine. The First World War has been over for a few years but its effect is still felt in this district.

My interest in the photo comes from the fact that these people are living in a town which has had a town brass band since  1897 ,  and the unique place the town held  in World War I in Australia.  They had one of the highest losses in any community in Australia – from the 641 men who enlisted for service   one sixth of them were killed, over 100 young men missing from the post-war community.

This is shown in this brief film clip from Australian Screen, made in 1993.  I know that the big  award-winning brass bands are beautiful to listen to.  But I just love the small town brass bands, the mixture of young and old players, the variety of skills, the pleasure that they give to their listeners. The film clip then takes you back to the band farewelling the volunteers in 1914, sending them off in a train which doesn’t look as though it is usually used for  passengers, taking them off to fight a war on the other side of the world.

Enjoy Hay’s band in its wide brown space.

We will have music wherever we go.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

– Dorothea MacKellar, c1907