Saturday, July 27, 2013

Home and Away - Sepia Saturday 187: 27 July 2013

What is precious, tattered, torn and handed down? To so many of us Sepians, the answer is photographs - family photographs passed on from generation to generation are the currency of Sepia Saturday. But occasionally other things are handed down - and in so many cases it is the family bible that becomes the linchpin of family history. So for Sepia Saturday 187 (post your posts on or around Saturday 27 July 2013) we focus our attention on family bibles. But in the best traditions of Sepia Saturday themes, you can interpret the theme in any way you want : books, lettering, printing, hand-me-downs  ... 
they all fall within our theme this week.

Mybush, 30 Valley Road, Springwood 1954





















Welcome to this week's Sepia Saturday post.  I'm taking books as the theme rather than bibles.  We have beautiful family bibles but they are not very old.  I have already blogged about them here.

I have so much that is precious, tattered, torn and handed down.

I have spent the afternoon scanning baptismal cards, funeral cards, ration cards, enrolment forms, receipts...you name it - we've got it.

But it is important to be a bit focused, yes?

And so for my inspiration - and because I've wanted to scan and show you this photo for a while - I thought I would use the title of that famous Australian TV show - Home and Away.  Cue cheesy theme music.

The first photo in this post is of the living area at Mybush (according to the electoral roll) or Natoma, where my grandmother and her husband lived - my father's parents.  You can see knick-knacks on the shelf - a model aeroplane, china dogs, boxes, vases and down the bottom, lots of books.   I never knew my paternal grandfather -  which is a great shame because he sounded like a lot of fun - just like my lovely father.  Unfortunately, Edwin Arthur James Conner died just before my parents married.  Thirteen days to be exact.  


My grandmother, Ethel, went on many overseas trips in her retirement - a bittersweet experience for her I'm sure as she was not able to share the experiences with her husband.


So, in terms of books I have one of her diaries from her overseas trip in 1964.  I think it was her first trip overseas.

By then she had left Mybush and lived in her new home The Nook at Burradoo, as can be seen from the title page.


To be completely honest with you, most of the diary is pretty boring but I did find the pre-printed material in the front rather amusing...for example...



Can you just imagine if you were asked any of these questions whilst on your travels?????

I'm thinking only the Mayor of Crazy Town might ask an Australian tourist these kinds of questions but perhaps I have led a narrow existence.

Here's a photo of me with my Gran in Edinburgh when she came to see us.  I'm pretty sure this is in 107 Trinity Road Edinburgh.  Our temporary home away from home.

Ethel and Alex Edinburgh 1964


The other travel diary I have in my proud possession is the one my father kept of our overseas trip when I was very young.


It's got everything in it - postcards, programs, menus, luggage labels, photos, illustrations.  Fantastic stuff.

Here's the front page decorated by my father...




Here's everyone who came to see us off and wish us well.

Circular Quay, Sydney - 12 September 1962


I'm sure that's my maternal grandfather Tom McLoughlin smack bang in the middle of the 2nd row with his hat on.

My godfather, godmother and "aunt" are in a trio not far behind.  My godmother having a very prominent white handbag and "Auntie" Jean wearing one of those odd hats one wore in the 1960s.

Here's the passenger list.




Here's the invitation to the Cocktail Party.....



And here's my mother meeting Commodore Edgecombe....I remember her telling me that she was so worried about not having enough of the right kind of dresses to wear.  Right up til the night before we left, she was feverishly sewing outfits.



This is what it cost to dine at the Silver Grill.....


30 cents for lunch - not bad.  

What fun!  A pity I was so young and don't really remember it.
Have you got a travel diary floating around somewhere?

Cruise on over to Sepia Saturday and see what other books are on offer.....

36 comments:

Brett Payne said...

That's quite a haul of family ephemera you have. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Jill Ball said...

That must have been quite an adventure for you, Alex. You would have been very young when you made that mammoth trip.

Deb Gould said...

I love that shot of you and your grandmother on the sofa...what are future generations going to do without REAL photographs? (Do we end up storing family computers?)

Hazel Ceej said...

Questions you may be asked ... made me smile. Your mother is a beautiful woman. I like her dress, hair and smile and she's got beautiful legs.

Hazel

Kristin said...

Those questions were funny and I think you are right about who would ask them. I do have a few travel journals - my own :) Nobody else seems to have kept one.

Titania said...

How fortunate you are to have such a fantastic collection of diaries and photos. Your mother would not have had to worry; she looks very beautiful in her high heels and lovely dress.

Gail Perlee said...

Travel diaries or journals of relatives - such as great grandfathers long gone - can give so much insight as to who they were & what sort of personality they had by what they feel is important to write down. I have my great grandfather's journal of his trip to 'Yo-Semite' in 1874 & every once in a while, I take it out & reread it. But it was written in light pencil & is beginning to fade a bit, so I keep it in a tightly closed fire safe box. Also, a few years ago - though she didn't keep a journal, my daughter took a trip to places in Asia & every few days she would email us about where she was & what she was seeing. I had no premonitions about it, but saved all her emails. A few years later she was injured in a boating accident suffering traumatic brain injury. She has made a remarkable recovery overall, but one of the things lost to her is her memory of places she's been & things she's seen. "I have pictures of them," she laughs, "so I know I was there!" Yes, & because I saved her emails, she has a 'journal' of her Asian trip. Too bad she didn't email us from Budapest, but . . . oh well. :->

Alex Daw said...

It is Brett - and I am drowning under it! I am incapable of throwing anything out, more's the pity.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Jill - yes - 16 months old to be precise...three when coming home to Australia. My first memories are of hanging on to Dad's back in the swimming pool on the Oriana.

Alex Daw said...

Hi Deb - I love that shot too. It was from a bunch of tiny - and I mean tiny (3.8cam x 2.5cm)- proof prints. Didn't enlarge too badly did it?

Alex Daw said...

Hello Hazel - yes, she was very beautiful. Unfortunately I did not inherit her shapely leg genes ;)

Alex Daw said...

Dear Kristin - aren't they a scream? My travel journals are all about food - one track mind ;)

Alex Daw said...

Dear Titania - I am lucky aren't I? There are some advantages to being an only child ;)

Alex Daw said...

Dear Gail - your observations are so accurate about what people choosing to record reflecting their personality. Emails are a great source of family history and we do need to be more vigilant about archiving them. Your story is a very pertinent and valuable one.

Joan said...

I was never very good about keeping travel journals - or journals of any kind. Not even a very consistent letter writer. But now, I can feel somewhat vindicated -- I email consistently, archive everything, and catalog photos from emails. O, I wish the computer had been available when I was younger. Thanks for taking us on your travels.

Brett Payne said...

Join the club. Add that to an acquisatorial habit, and you have a serious problem.

Alan Burnett said...

Those are wonderful books, full of life and memories - the best kind of books.

Bob Scotney said...

What a collection. You are very fortunate to have them. The photo of your gran and you is delightful.
I've lots of photos from where I've been but never thought of keeping a journal - too late now I fear, although my blog substitutes sometimes.

Liz Needle said...

A fascinating post as usual. I wish I had thought to keep a diary - always good intentions, never fulfilled. I love your mother's dress - a harem line skirt. I remember making one myself. Your mother seems to be of my era.

Wendy said...

Wow - that Australian travel diary is intimidating. Hardly the kind of information that entices one to travel. But I'm glad your family did.

Jackie van Bergen said...

Oh no! Another sepia saturday that has opened up more distractions for me just when mum and dad have turned up here with a huge box of additions to my family memorabilia - now just where are all our travel 'diaries'? We did loads of road trips and mum used to set us each to keep a travel journal with cuttings from brochures, photos, stories, etc - she found it stopped us fighting in the back seat :)
Love those questions!
I guess blogs are the travel journals of the future / the present even.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Joan - you are a shining example to the rest of us. Despite all the assistance of modern technology, my virtual and actual housekeeping is very messy. I vant to be an organizied genealogist but it keeps eluding me.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Alan - lovely thoughts indeed. My father put a lot of work into his diary (I think it was a Christmas present to my mother) - the love shines through the drawings and the dedicated placing of memorabilia.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Bob - it's a great little photo isn't it? I'm having fun scanning and enlarging this little set of proofs. I've had journals in the past but they'd bore the pants off everyone. Blogs are better ! More constructive I think.

Alex Daw said...

Ooh Liz - thank you for that observation on the hem - I didn't know that - I knew it was "different" but couldn't articulate what it was.

Alex Daw said...

Wendy - isn't it hilarious? Intimidating is just the word!

Alex Daw said...

Your mother was one clever woman! Ah yes those holidays in the back seat. I remember lots...and lots...and lots of singing.

diane b said...

I've enjoyed scrolling through your blogs. Although I found them hard to find from your comment link which took me to Google+. I love your collection of old diaries and travel books and it reminded me of the series of posts I did on my mother's diary of our journey to Australia when we migrated in 1949. You may be interested, the first post is here :
http://diane-adventurebeforedementia.blogspot.com.au/2009/04/fascinating-find.html

The link to the series is on my side bar under "Migrating to Australia"

Little Nell said...

There is so much to enjoy in this post Alex and I admire the picture of your grandmother and you, but the one of your mother with the commodore is priceless.




Mike Brubaker said...

The travel diaries are terrific and a reminder that taking a ship from Australia to Britain was still common in modern times. The "Questions you may be asked" was a hoot! What were they thinking?

Alex Daw said...

Curtseys and blushes...why thank you, Little Nell;)

Alex Daw said...

What were they thinking indeed Mike!

Alex Daw said...

Dear Diane - Thank you so much for providing me with a link to your blog. I've had a lovely hour or so reading those posts. Fantastic blog and I will be back for more!

barbara and nancy said...

That artwork of your father's is beautiful. I love the photo of your mother with her new dress. She made that? It's really pretty.
Nancy

TICKLEBEAR said...

About your great grandfather's journal, I would strongly suggest to have it scanned NOW, so you can adjust the gamma to highlight the writing, so you'll have a perfectly readable digital copy, and you can also print it for your future enjoyment, while preserving the original in its box.
A Win-Win scenario!!

TICKLEBEAR said...

Well, your mom sure was a great seamstress.
And look at her entrance!!
Such allure!!

Those diaries were like the ancestors of contemporary scrapbooking, and you showed us a great collection of items.

Love the Circular Quay picture.
Farewells are always such a touching moment!!
:)~
HUGZ