Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sepia Saturday 491: Saturday 12th October 2019


"Our theme image this week features mill workers in America in the early years of the twentieth century, and it is an image that has a very personal connection for me. Whether you, like me, have mill workers in your family tree or not, the fabric of our theme can easily stretch to encompass any aspect of the world of work. Or machines, or fabrics, or .... whatever your imagination wants to do with it."  Alan Burnett on Sepia Saturday 

Today's post is going to be very weavy, windy because that is how my brain is at the moment.  Very weavy, windy.  Not windy.  Winedy. 

So I set out with the intent of talking about my Forfar ancestors, because I believe they worked in mills in Bannockburn, Scotland.  When I googled Bannockburn, I came up with a Bannockburn in Queensland.  How about that?  







It's just south-west of Yatala (where you can get some delicious pies) and is part of Logan City Council.  You can find out more about Bannockburn here.  

Here is an article about the property from Trove.



According to the article below, Alexander Watt had been a forrestor for the Earl of Wemyss.This is entirely possible as he was born at Aberlady which is in the vicinity and was still there in 1851 as an Ag. Lab.  


South Coast Bulletin, 18th August 1954, courtesy of Trove.
On a Pigot's Directory, I found a James Watt wheelwright at St Ninians (near Bannockburn) and also some Raes (another one of my ancestors' names I think) and learned that a "flesher" was Scottish for butcher; Alexander Rae was a flesher at St Ninians as well as a grocer and spirit dealer.  



I had hoped to find you a photo of the property but it has been a long time since I looked at SLQ's new website, so there went a day trying to navigate my way around it.  These photos are the closest I could come up with something at least in the same vicinity.  


Employees of Otmoor Sugar Mill, Upper Coomera, ca. 1890 courtesy of State Library of Queensland

One of those employees is distinctly child-like - thought this was probably the norm.  Mike of Temposenzatempo you will know why I selected this photo!  Now please tell me what the instrument is !


Australian South Sea Islanders at Otmoor sugar plantation in Upper Coomera, Queensland, ca. 1889 courtesy of State Library of Queensland
Isn't everyone well-dressed?  But not particularly happy looking.  I think they must be at church as some of them are holding books.  Bible I presume.  

The next photo is from a mill on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, rather than south but I just loved the clarity of it.  Can you see the two boys?

Workers at the Moreton Central Sugar Mill, Nambour, Queensland, ca. 1900 courtesy of State Library of Queensland 

Sad to say, the Moreton Central Sugar Mill is no more as I suspect is the Otmoor Sugar Mill.  There's a great list of current and old sugar mills of Queensland here on Wikipedia.  It reminded me that when I was helping out on the mobile library earlier this year that we had travelled past cane fields when we went to Alberton, Cabbage Tree Point and Jacobs Well.  We must have been very close to the Rocky Point Sugar Mill.

Here I go a wandering now.  I do like maps.  I think that is why I liked Milly Molly Mandy so much - the map in the front of the book.  Here is a map of Bannockburn courtesy of the Library of Scotland.  You can see it much better on this website.



Anyway, that's enough from me.  For more sensible stories head on over to Sepia Saturday.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Sepia Saturday 490 - 5 October 2019



Don't these women look relaxed in this boat?  It's a long weekend this weekend in the land of Oz.  The Queen's Birthday weekend to be precise.  And I fully intend to relax.  

When I searched for photos in our family collection of women in boats, I came across this one.


I didn't think much about it to be honest.  I have no idea when it was taken or who that little girl is.  I am now wondering if it was my mother's cousin Joy.  I think it is certainly my mother's mother Kit sitting on the left with the hat.  This is one of my maternal grandfather's photos.  No writing on the back to help me.  So I'm going to guess sometime in the early 1930s before my mother was born in 1935.  

The name of the boat certainly did help me.  As I blundered my way around Trove and Google, I have now come to the conclusion that this must be a speed boat.  

My grandfather loved horse-racing so it is not too far a stretch to think that he might e might have been interested in anything that went fast.

So here are some of the things I found.  First this page, when I searched for images of motor launches, called Kookaburra.  This doesn't look anything like Manly to me from the background in the photo but I probably have no idea and welcome comments.  It looks more like a big river like Parramatta or a lake.  

This bulletin board mentioned a few other possible sites like Farm Cove, Clifton Gardens or Luna Park.  The mention of Luna Park reminded me that one of my library friends featured in the SMH today regarding her collection of all things Luna Park.

Here's another article about the Kookaburra II.

Some articles from Trove were fascinating.

I like this one from 1929 (see the unfinished Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background?)


The Sun, Tuesday 10 December 1929 courtesy of Trove.
I do wonder if this is precisely what Tom and Kit did i.e. caught the Kookaburra up to Newcastle to see Kit's twin sister Belle or whether they came back the other way, bringing Joy with them to spend some time with them in Sydney.


Here's another more recent article from 1947 giving us a better photo and dimensions of the craft.

Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 1947 courtesy of Trove

Most appropriately on this weekend, I found an article about the Queen of Speedboats tournament in the Referee from 14th December 1933 on Trove.



How much would it have cost to go for a joy ride like this.  Well,  P Dunbar aged 16 paid a shilling to go on the harbour in 1934 and this was his account.

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 May 1934 on Trove.

I hope that you enjoy this Queen's Birthday weekend and are full of joy, gliding or racing on sun-kissed water.  Do you think P Dunbar was a man or a woman?

For more Sepia Saturday stories go here.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sepia Saturday 489: 28th September 2019


I've said it before and I'll say it again, all I ever wanted for Christmas was a swing.  Did I get one?  No.  And now I am old I would still like a swing - probably a more sedate one like this.  My grandmother had one of those swing seats and I thought they were grand.  I still want one.  If anyone is listening.  Anyone? Sigh.

Here are some photos of people on swings for consideration, from my mother's albums again.

Swings come in all shapes and sizes.  Look at this beauty.  Taken in Newcastle me-thinks.


Dolly, Kit, Shirley, Barbara
I have no idea who Dolly is.  She must have been a friend of Kit - my mother's mother.  I think Dolly has her back to us.  All you can really see of Barbara is a little face between Kit and Shirley.  They are on the left-hand side of the swing facing us.  At a guess, I would say this is taken about 1939.  Perhaps Belle, Kit's twin sister took the photo.  Maybe she didn't like swings.  Maybe she was thoughtful and considerate.  We'll never know. Anyone who might know is long gone.


Barbara McLoughlin on swing
First up, just saying my mother would hate this photo.  Sorry Mum.  Not sure where this is taken.  Ashfield?  Summer Hill?  She'd be about fourteen or fifteen so we are talking 1949 or 1950.

Norma


Not sure who is in this last photo, but I'm guessing it's Carol.  I saved it for last because of the Box Brownie in front.  Always put your Box Brownie down on the ground when having a swing :)  I'm guessing this was taken in the Blue Mountains judging by the stone wall and the treetops.

So there you are munchkins - that's my offering for you today.  And because swing often means more than just conventional swings...I leave you with one of my favourite clips from YouTube for the day....enjoy!  For more variations on a swing theme for this week's Sepia Saturday go here.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Sepia Saturday 488: 21st September 2019


I am having a great deal of difficulty staying on theme today.  Here is my photo which probably just scrapes in on the 30 years old Sepia Saturday rule; although the "rules" on Sepia Saturday have always really just been guidelines with plenty of room for wriggle.


Jim and Alex en route to Melbourne circa 1990

I'm pretty sure this was taken on a trip to Melbourne with my parents just before I got married.  That is the weekend Australian I am reading and if I was holding the paper straighter, we might have been able to read the date.  Oops I'd better make it sepia hadn't I?  There you go.



If you read my blog last week, I am excited to report that there is an update on the photo of my mother and the dog Pete and that we have been able to locate where the photo was taken so head on over and have a look at the postscript.

Here are some other photos where I am unable to place them but they called to me this morning from the album.  All thoughts and comments welcome.

Barbara
I suspect this was taken somewhere in Sydney's western suburbs.

Here's a close up.


These are tiny photos - about 8 x 6cm so sorry the clarity is not that fab.



Here's another one of which I am keen to discover the location.  It is such a distinctive structure around the tree trunk, someone must know.  I'm thinking that that is my maternal grandmother Kit with my mother's cousins Shirley on the left and Joy on the right with my mother in the pram or stroller in the front.  I am interested that looking at Shirley's face, I really see my mother's smile - it's the eyes and the mouth.  I've never noticed that before.  




Here's another one taken on the same day judging by the clothes.  Who is the other woman?  I don't think it is Belle, Kit's twin sister, but maybe it is.

Last photo.






I can recognise my mother - the little girl in the front and probably her mother standing on the far left but I have no idea who all these other women are....ooh, that could be my grandfather I think right in the middle standing in the background...all you can see is a tie.  Maybe this is taken in the Blue Mountains.  Maybe it is my grandmother's step mother standing in the front with the walking stick - Alice Forfar (nee Bourke).

So not much research today I'm afraid.  A tree though, from which paper is made and quite a few hats and berets, a bit like the one on that newspaper boy's head.  

I wish you a happy weekend full of newspaper reading, turkish trophies or time in the parlour playing pool.  For more Sepia fun head on over here.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Sepia Saturday 487 - Dog and Trainer


Sepia Saturday  this week encourages us to consider the dogs in our life or past lives and maybe the training thereof.  I could bore you witless with tales of the Adorable Arwen.


Arwen wrapped up in her winter coat looking adorable
Adorable Arwen

She is, without a doubt, the Apple of my Eye and walking companion par excellence.  She has us wrapped around her dew claw and we have to be careful not to give her too many treats or she will end up as tubby as me.

Let's have a look at some other puppies in the family tree.

My mother and father both grew up with dogs.  I desperately wanted a dog when I was very little.  A black spaniel, Dino, was duly purchased and given to me when I was about six I think.  But Dino did not like me one little bit so he had to go.  Then the dachshund across the road bit me on the knee when I went to visit Elizabeth-Anne, so I was a bit shy of dogs after that.  My friends had dogs who were all very lovely - Jill's beagle Jip and Judith's endless succession of dogs, the names of which are difficult to remember but Soxy is one that leaps to mind.  So, we had cats by and large when I was growing up and dogs came to me later in life (mostly because, in turn, my children begged for one).


A man dressed in overalls stands with his arm outstretched to a very large dog as if to keep it still.  The dog is as tall as a little girl Barbara aged 5 standing next to it with her arm resting on its back.  The photo is taken in front of what looks like a petrol station and garage.
Barb and Pete 1940


I have posted a photo similar to this one before of my mother with Pete.  It's such a great photo, isn't it?  I'm happy to report that on the back of this photo, it says 1940.  The back of the other photo says "Taken 6th March 1940 - Barbara 4 years Pete 11 months".  To the best of my knowledge, Pete did not belong to Barbara but I think was encountered during a walk.

I would love to know where it was taken.  And there are probably plenty of hints in the background of the photo.  The man with the dog does look as though he works at a garage, doesn't he?  

B.A.P. I have discovered was probably the precursor to BP - British Australian Petroleum.  If anyone has an idea of where this might have been taken please let me know.  My mother's parents were living either in Hampden Road Abbotsford or Campbell Parade Bondi.  I have looked at all the locations for BAP in Sydney at the time but am hard-pressed to place it.  It might be 648 Botany Road Alexandria but I don't think so.  I think it is more likely National Park Street Newcastle where my mother's aunt had a cake shop (perhaps Barbara and her mother walked her cousins to the local high school nearby) or in Katoomba.  


Jack, Barb and Bobby

I came upon this other photo of my mother probably taken about the same time.   It just says Jack, Barb and Bobby.  Jack would have been my mother's paternal uncle, Jack or John Patrick McLoughlin.  My grandfather, Thomas McLoughlin, was born in 1898, the eldest of seven children.  Jack was his eldest brother but they were five or six years apart in age so Tom may have been closer to his sisters -Margaret and Mary -who were older than Jack.  Again I am not sure where this would have been taken.  Jack and his wife were living at 4 Roslyn Court, 6 Queen Street Ashfield in 1937 according to the electoral rolls.  Their flat looked very similar to the one my mother and her parents eventually moved to in Nowranie Street Summer Hill.  Again, Bobby the dog I think belonged to Jack and Christina rather than Barbara, but I may be wrong. 

Jack and his wife Christina owned a photographic studio in Drummoyne - Alva Studios - and I think my mother would have loved to have been a photographer.  I have written about the Studios before here and here .  

I did a bit more research about Jack today and discovered the following.  


NSW Police Gazzette 1925 , p 398



This was further confirmed to be our Jack by searching the NAA naval records which you can see here.  Jack joined the Navy on 26 March 1925 for a period of 12 years.  His father John was recorded as living at The Grange in Irene Street Five Dock at the time.  Here is an article from the time extolling the virtues of life at HMAS Cerberus which was the Flinders Naval Depot rather than an actual ship.

MAKING REAL MEN (1925, July 16). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 26. Retrieved September 14, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244044581

Obviously, Jack and the Navy did not get along.  I am glad he found another career that suited him.  I think training in the defence forces would be very difficult.  Away from home and family.  Maybe being a sea dog wasn't for Jack.

While I was researching this I was thinking to myself "HMAS Cerberus?  I'm sure I've heard of that before."  And yes I had.  I have written about the Cerberus in connection with my paternal great grandfather Edwin Conner who served on the Cerberus from March 1919-December 1920.  Phrases like "small world" and "ships that pass in the night" spring to mind.

So now we have come full circle from dogs to training and back again.  For more stories about dogs and training go here.

Postscript:

Wonderful Jen Coates who set up the Australian Local and Family History Bloggers Facebook page was able to geo-locate the photo of Barbara and Pete really quickly on Trove.  Take a gander at this!







Lord and Fry Farm and Dairy Produce Merchants buildings, trucks
and workers, Newcastle, New South Wales, ca. 1928
https://nla.gov.au:443/tarkine/nla.obj-151650887



So it is interesting to see how much the building changed in just fifteen years.  Thanks so much Jen!  So my gut instinct was correct.  It was in Newcastle where my mother's mother spent a lot of time visiting her twin sister.

Lord and Fry...why didn't I think of that?  I was stuck on Ford.  Just goes to show that picking your search terms is really important to get results.  Jen used "?rd and Fry" whereas I used "ord and Fry" - what a goose!  Live and learn.
  

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Sepia Saturday 486 7 September 2019



School days.  Good morning everyone. Good morning Mrs So - and - so.....said in a long drawn out sing-song voice.  

I have spent a restless night, waking frequently to hear wind moaning as it snakes its way in through door and window crevices.  It's not good.  There are fires raging around south-east Queensland and parts of NSW.  I am worried for the good folk at Binna Burra, Stanthorpe, Applethorpe,  Tenterfield and Armidale. All this week, as I have driven from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, I have been driving through smoke haze from about Helensvale onwards. We've had a dry end to winter and the climate outlook for the remainder of the year shows an increased risk of bushfires.

When I looked for bushfires and schools on Trove, I found photos of the Hornsby Home Science School which was destroyed by bushfire on 30 November 1957.  It wasn't the first time the school had been threatened by a fire.  Newspaper articles give accounts of the fire threat five years earlier in 1952.





The Daily Telegraph 1st February 1952 courtesy of Trove.
I had to explain what domestic science was to my son the other day, it's such a quaint old-fashioned concept now.

Another interesting series of photos I discovered on Trove was of the Chateau Napier in Leura.  My parents used to live at Leura and I have many happy memories of spending May holidays in the Blue Mountains.  My mother used to tell me stories of when she was a small child being evacuated to the Blue Mountains during the war.  But I didn't remember hearing about Chateau Napier.  

Chateau Napier, 1946, courtesy of Blue Mountains City Library found on Flickr here.

I was keen to see where exactly this was located in Leura.

Bascially if you go to the top of Leura Mall, cross over the railway line and keep walking along Leura Mall, it was on the North-East corner of the roundabout where the Mall intersects with the Great Western Highway.  This street view photo shows all that is left of the original building...some exterior walls and archway leading into the garden.




You can see the arch more easily in this photo taken after the fire in 1957.

Remains of Chateau Napier Leura courtesy of Blue Mountains Library Local Studies Collection found on Flickr here.

What does this have to do with schools you may ask.  Well, this article here will fill in the gap a bit.  This was found on Trove in the Blue Mountains Advertiser, Friday 13 February 1942, page.4.





So there you go.  Students from SCEGS or Sydney Chruch of England Girls Grammar were evacuated to Chateau Napier during the war. There are some really interesting articles about the Chateau and the bush fire of 1957 here and here. Oh and this one too.  The latter makes me hunger for another holiday in the Blue Mountains.  I do miss it.

And just to finish off on happier memories, here's some photos of my Mum and her school friends at I think at Fort Street Girls High and Summer Hill Public school in Sydney.


My Mum isn't in this photo.  That's another Barbara but I chose the photo because of the tilting window a bit like the photo prompt.  I'm thinking this was probably taken around 1952-53. 

My Barbara is in this next photo of Summer Hill Girls Practice School - taken 9th September 1946. She's in the back row on the end at the right.


For more responses to the Sepia Saturday meme go here.



Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sepia Saturday 485: A tisket A tasket


It has been a ridiculously long time since I blogged.  All work and no play makes Alex a very dull girl indeed.  And I do miss blogging.  Particularly Sepia Saturday.  So here goes.  A short post about a basket.  

I picked up the nearest old photo album I could find and found this on about the third page.



Dated August 1950, my mother would have been 14 years old - a couple of months shy of 15.  The photo would have been taken by her BFF Val.  And I love this photo because it is of my mother painting and she was very good at drawing and painting.  See previous post here.

So there you are.  You can carry a sketch pad and paintbrushes with you in a basket.  And there I was thinking it would be food.  Well, there was probably food too.  Starving artists notwithstanding.

And I am completely fascinated by what she is wearing.  My mother always loved a good kilt.  Scottish heritage and all that.  For more about Scottish ancestors go here.

Being a knitter I am particularly intrigued with the jumper or sweater as they call them overseas.  The photos are very old and not so clear with the lighting.  This photo gives you some idea of the detail.



I've enlarged it as much as I can so its a bit blurry.  Cute huh?  It would be great to find a clearer photo or pattern of the original.  I wonder if it was knit for her, by her or a bought one.  I found a great website with vintage patterns on it. Oh and here is another.

Here's a photo of Barbara and Val together back at Barbara's family's flat in Summer Hill.



Whenever you say basket I'm reminded of the old rhyme "A tisket a tasket".  I did not know it was made into a song by Ella Fitzgerald in 1938.

Here's the rhyme (according to Wikipedia - of American origin apparently which is probably why I can't find it any of my nursery rhyme books which had a very English focus) :

A-tisket a-tasket
A green and yellow basket
I wrote a letter to my mom
And on the way I dropped it,
I dropped it, I dropped it,
And on the way I dropped it.
A little boy he picked it up

And put it in his pocket

And here's Ella 



And here's a blog with a story about Ella and A Tisket A Tasket.

So - happy weekend to you.  I hope you aren't feeling dull and dreary but that you have a basket full of something: memories, knitting, pencils and paper or at the very least some scrummy food.  For more basket cases - er...stories about baskets go here....