Tag Archives: Tansey

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.

Halloween in Caldecote

Halloween cardHalloween.   October 31st.  There are some families in Australia  who have good reason to pass on their ancestral Halloween traditions to their children while the Christian community celebrates October 31st  it in its own way as All Hallows Eve.

Usually it is a most unremarkable day in Australia.

But in other parts of the world  it is a time for  black cats, bats and spiders,  ghosts, skeletons, witches and wizards;  or pumpkins,  cobwebs, haunted houses  and graveyards

So this Halloween let us glide over to the  graveyard at The Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Caldecote, Huntingdonshire, a few miles south of Peterborough.

Caldecote-Church The church has now been converted into a private residence after having been de-consecrated in the mid 1970s  and the headstones  have been stacked against the church wall the last time I heard.

A_second_row_of_gravestones,_Caldecote_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1162330

Photo from Michael Trolove

Perhaps the ghosts rise up on the night  of October 31st to protest at having been disturbed.  There might even be some Tanseys and some Lawsons among them.  A perfect setting for all things supernatural.

Headstone Thomas Rebecca tanseyThis lonely church  is where my  grandfather’s grandparents, Thomas Tansey and Rebecca Lawson, were  married in 1834  Later they were buried  there  after all twelve of their children were christened there and five of their children  buried there.

Thomas-Reb-Marr-CertThere are three different spellings for the same person’s surname.  Thomas signs Tanser, the Curate writes Tansor and the headstone says Tansey.

But when Thomas was born in 1813 in Whittlesey to the east of Peterborough he was christened as Tansey.  That was the year that Richard Wagner was born, Napoleon invaded Russia and the USA declared war on the UK, a war which lasted 2 years

Further links to the colourful Halloween card can be seen at this week’s Sepia Saturday post

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Sisters – Vera and Hilda Tansey

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Sepia Saturday  has suggested that we explore Sisters this week and so my photo of my mother Vera Tansey (on the left) with her younger sister Hilda.

Vera was born in Geelong  in 1899 and Hilda  fifteen  months later. But being so close in age Vera was held back so that the sisters would start school together.

But this lovely photo was taken in 1915 when they were living in Traralgon, in Gippsland. The photo was in postcard form and had been sent to a friend.  So how did it come back into Vera’s possession ?

Vera Hilda 1915 Traralgon postcard backVera has later added 1915 and Traralgon.  I believe Hilda had written the original inscription.  Who would they have sent it to, someone who Vera would see later in life for it to be returned.  Before coming to Traralgon they had been living in Murtoa  where they were friendly with Jack Findlay. He had come with them from Geelong to Murtoa but remained behind in Murtoa when they shifted to Traralgon.  However he kept in close touch with the Tanseys and later he shifted to Traralgon and married a local girl, Fordyce Brereton.

Vera kept in touch with Fordie (Fordyce) for most of her life and I think it highly likely that was how the photo was returned to Vera.

A younger Vera (on the left) and Hilda had also been photographed while living in Murtoa, on this occasion dressed in fancy dress.  Murtoa was also the place where Vera suffered from Scarlet Fever and was given daily twenty minute  cold baths containing ice, as part of the treatment.   Murtoa had recently acquired an Ice Works.

Vera-&-Hilda-1911-Murtoa-Fancy dressAnd we can follow the sisters further back  to 1902 in Geelong where we have another photo of the two sisters together, this time in a family group.

Vera Hilda Tom Amelia Geelong 1902-3Vera became a traditional housewife,  caring for her husband and children.  Hilda married three times, was a bookkeeper and was involved with brass bands as player, conductor and teacher.

Further examples related to this week’ s Sepia Saturday image can be found on their blog.

Two Coppers and an Ape Knee

1921     George V was on the throne of England,   Billy Hughes was Prime Minister of Australia, Harry Lawson (from Castlemaine)  was Premier of Victoria and Charlie Chaplin starred in “The Kid”.  Ginger Meggs made his first appearance in a comic strip, Australia beat England 5-0 at cricket (howzat ?} and Tom Tansey used three coins – – two pennies and one halfpenny — as a fob  to weight the end of his watch chain, with the help of a black grosgrain ribbon.Fob Watch Halfpenny b Fob Watch Penny back bSince the  Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 (Australia) it has been a criminal offence to deface or destroy current Australian currency coins but in the past it was quite common to punch a hole in coins and use them as a fob.     Fob Watch 1 bAnd do I have a photo showing Tom wearing his watch ?  Unfortunately no.  There are plenty  of photos of Tom in band uniform and but very few family photos of him.  And so it is hard to work out exactly how Tom wore his pocket watch.  The map and two shields on the black grosgrain ribbon seem to suggest that this ribbon may have been worn horizontally with a chain and watch attached  He may have kept his pocket watch in his trouser pocket or his waistcoat pocket.  He may have attached the chain through a buttonhole.  He may have ……I will probably never know.

Tom&Amelia 1940s Sydney

Tom In Sydney in the 1940s but no sign of a watch chain,

Fob Watch Three coins b

And so — two pence and a halfpenny

–                        tuppence and a ha’penny

–                                two coppers and a ha’penny

–                                         two coppers and an ape knee

More Money, Money, Money stories to be found in this week’s

Sepia Saturday

Kitchen Week – in Snitterfield

When Tom Tansey left Snitterfield near Stratford on Avon in 1888 to travel half way round the world to Geelong in Australia he knew that there was little chance that he would see his family again.  I find that hard to imagine, sixteen years old and never to see your parents, three sisters and brother. again.  Another sister was born the year after he left  but he was to meet her later on as she  also came to Australia.

Letitia Trickett, Geelong, aunt of Tom Tansey

Letitia Trickett, Geelong, aunt of Tom Tansey

 

One consolation was that he came to live with his Aunt Letitia  – his mother’s sister. She had married Phillip Trickett and settled in Geelong.  But she was a stranger to Tom as she had come to Australia in 1870, two years before Tom was born.

One thing Tom did have though was a photo of the kitchen that he left behind, the kitchen where he had grown up for sixteen years.

kitchen in SnitterfieldThe heart of the kitchen was a Victorian cast iron range- a utility version of the many kinds which were available.  There is a central firebox with a small oven either side and a chain hanging down to suspend a pot or kettle.  Either side of the range was a small warm nook, just the right size for a child.  There are interesting things to speculate on in the image – the lamp,  knickknacks on the mantlepiece, Father’s chair by the fire, bellows to blow the fire, a stool for a child  and what appears to be a curtain

There was a second brick oven outside in the  wash house.  It was there that the Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding was cooked. The neighbours would bring their dinners to be baked and were charged a penny to help to help pay for the wood – they would also bake pies and tarts for the week.

This kitchen was the place for the weekly Saturday night bath in a tub in front of the fire.

It is where Tom’s mother sat to make rag rugs for the floor.

It is where Tom’s father would sit by the fire to read his Birmingham Weekly Post with a stumpy old clay pipe in his mouth (his nose warmer) and the cat Moses 0n his knee.

It is where Tom’s mother would set out for Gospel Oak to buy their honey and when there having to accept a cup of “tay” which had been strained through the seller’s hessian apron.

It was from this kitchen that Tom would set forth to band practice.

And from here he would also leave to go to school where he learnt his beautiful copperplate handwriting.

The details of life in the kitchen came from Ellen (Nin) Tansey (1889-1975), Tom’s sister who came to Australia as a war widow in 1920, to remarry and settle in Sydney.

More kitchen related stories can be found through this week’s Sepia Saturday bloggers.

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Polka Music in Geelong

The railway line between Melbourne and Geelong opened in 1857 and in 1866 von Rochlitz published the Geelong – Melbourne Railway Polka, this copy from the National Library of Austtalia.   It was a common practice for a new song to be  commissioned for the band to play at the opening of a new railway.

Geelong-Melbourne Railway Polka

Over the years Polkas appear in the programs of musical entertainments in Geelong including performances by Geelong’s Volunteer Rifle Band, the oldest Victorian Militia unit, first raised in 1854 in Geelong as a Volunteer Rifle Corps

The Volunteers were present for the arrival of the first train and the official opening of the Geelong Railway Station  and so was a band who played some spirited items.   A huge banquet was arranged but unfortunately the train was late and the locals had their fill of the feast before the  invited guests arrived, including the Governor, Members of Parliament  and other dignitaries.

The Geelong Artillery Band , as the Volunteer Rifle Corps band later became,  is commemorated in the Bollard Walk along the seafront.  The band played its  first recital in 1861

bollard band

And what could they possibly be playing ?

Geelong Polka music  Flickr 3374324250_5290276276_z

My grandfather, Tom Tansey, joined this band some time after arriving in Australia in 1888  and was with them until 1899.  This photo of the Artillery band was taken in 1890

Artillery-1890And was Tom with the band when this photo was taken ?  I don’t know. His portrait (below) was in the uniform of the Geelong Town Band c1900.

Tom-ValveTrombone

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This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday for this week but there are plenty more examples of polkas, violets, music and mystery posts to be found in the links on the Sepia Saturday page.

 

Dockside with the Randwick District Town Band

This week Sepia Saturday  has given us an image of a harbour, with its docks busy with ships.  And so I go to a Sydney dockside, back in  the  1960s when the big liners were a way of travelling from country to country and not just for holiday cruises, ships like the Oronsay travelling  from Sydney to England in about 3 weeks.   It was also a time when brass bands would play dockside as the liner was leaving.  In this photo from the 1960s it is the Randwick District Town Band which had formed in 1961.  Hilda Tansey. now in her sixties, is near the lower right hand corner, long after she was Bandmaster of the Sydney Ladies Brass Band.  Each departure was a big occasion

Randwick Band 1960s

Today we  don’t see aeroplanes departing for overseas being farewelled in such style.

The following quote is taken out of its original context which dealt with more creative activities,   http://tinyurl.com/q2pp332

 `There’s something to be said for following those little voices in your head that say, “Do it.”

`Because if you don’t, that moment gets lost to history.

But I feel it applies equally well to my  posts in Sepia Saturday (and to yours too).   In time there is always a reader or two who has a definite connection to what i am writing. When I link photos, facts and occasionally speculations there is always the possibility that if I don’t some little thing will be lost to history for all time . I’m not referring to momentous events but to the changing way of life over the years..

This week I started converting a box of slides from the 1960s into .jpg format for the computer.  So when browsing today I was delighted to find that the Daily Mail online has an article on slides from the 1960s which have been recovered.

There you will find a delightful snapshot of Britain in the 1960s. Most of my slides seem a bit ordinary in comparison but some might be of interest in the future.  For example, does anyone at children’s birthday parties nowadays play games like these, as in 1961.

Which brings me  to what Sepia Saturday is all about, as they state on their blog.

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind (they don’t have to be sepia) become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

I like that expression launch pad.  It is exactly what  we do, begin with a photo and then launch ourselves off in varying directions   Fantastic.  Thank you Sepia Saturday.

More harbours, ports, docks, coastlines at this week’s Sepia Saturday.

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Hilda and the Sydney Ladies’ Brass Band

2014.11W.10This week’s theme for Sepia Saturday shows swans and carriages for a  ball at Grace Bros , a department store in Sydney in 1930. There was another department store in Sydney called Farmer’s  and through this contrived link we will find Hilda Tansey, daughter of Bandmaster Tom, working there in that same era.

 

She was a cunning poker player, loved her budgie, had a great sense of humour and she was my aunt. She was also a fine player of brass instruments, conductor and teacher, and the first lady conductor of a brass band in Australia..

Hilda Traralgon

Hilda sitting with her father in a photo of the Traralgon Town Band

Her father began teaching Hilda when she was 6 years old and had to stand on a box to see the music on the music stand . She gave her first public performance in 1909 in Murtoa, playing a cornet solo at a school concert – “Songs we sing at School”, which had been especially arranged for her. Soon she was playing with the band, and then with the Traralgon Brass Band, where she became first collector, then Secretary at age 15.

 

 

However by the early 1930s she was living in Sydney.   The Sydney Ladies’ Band had been formed in the early 1930s but by April 1934 the band was practically insolvent with debts of 107 pounds for uniforms and instruments.

Hilda-Tansey-1934

Hilda Tansey 1934

Hilda and ten other women  players took over the debt and formed a new organization, the Sydney Ladies’ Brass Band, with Hilda as honorary conductor and teacher. She was working at Farmers at the time and hired a room at the bottom of George St near the Quay for practice at five shillings a week. Other women joined until they had 29 members.  Not all of them could read music when they started, or even play an instrument.  Not a man in sight – all previous women bands had men involved in the training etc.

With the exception of some bass instruments and drums, each girl bought her own instrument, and they made their first appearance in a grand pageant on Gala Day, November 22, 1934.

During their initial preparation and training period they raised 65 pounds through social functions, and by adding  £35  from engagements and the remainder from the members’ contributions of one shilling per week, they had paid off the debt with which they started within four months of accepting engagements.

SydneyLBB-34

Sydney Ladies Brass Band 1934

As a comment on their success, the Australasian Band and Orchestra News of July 26, 1935 says “Here is a practical illustration to many male bands of the saying “Never have your wishbone where your backbone ought to be”.”

band leading nurses march 1938

Sydney Ladies’ Brass Band leading a march of Red Cross Nurses in 1938

 

 

They were very busy ladies. In April 1938 they led a parade of Red Cross Nurses through the city for the laying of the foundation stone of the building in Jamieson St which was to become the home of the NSW Division of the Red Cross Society.

 

They played at the official opening of the Velodrome at Canterbury in 1936 and appeared regularly at Mark Foy’s store on Friday nights, as well as playing on beautifully decorated floats during parades and at garden parties.

Float1In their spare time Hilda and some of the others played in a ladies’ dance band at the Trocadero or as a filler between bouts at the Wrestling.

Trocadero

Playing at the Trocadero. Hilda, back left.

During the War years the band used to play for the troops at Liverpool and Ingleburn, and at the Showground. Unfortunately the R.S.L. refused to let the band march on Anzac Day in 1945, and this was just one of the contributing factors to the members’ decision to disband.

More swans and carriages, serious and frivolous interpretations os this week’s theme can be found through the links at Sepia Saturday

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