Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sepia Saturday 221: 29 March 2014

Alan from Sepia Saturday says:

When I previewed this Sepia theme image a few weeks ago I suggested "floods, water, weather, floating cars and sepia skies" as possible interpretations. Looking back at this list now, I have to say that I, for one, am heartily sick of the first four on the list and I suspect the last suggestion is somewhat inaccurate. Those aren't sepia skies they are a kind of faded pink skies. But here at Sepia Saturday there is no such thing as a mistake, merely a new potential interpretation. So you can add to the list strange tints and colours in old photographs. I chose this particular photograph for a theme because it comes from a new contributor to Flickr Commons - the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Canada. Lovers of old photographs everywhere should celebrate every time museums, archives and galleries add their digitised image collection to Flickr for the free enjoyment of everyone rather that burying them within a barbed-wire corset of copyright laws. The photograph shows a barge moving cars to dry land during the waterways floods of 1936. Whatever your interpretation of the image all you have to do is to post a post on or around Saturday  29 March 2014.

Brisbane is famous for floods.  When I started work at the ABC many years ago one of the first things that was pointed out to me as a newbie was the flood-line marked on the wall downstairs near the film library from the January 1974 flood.  It was marked in gaffer or duct tape and seemed amazing but unreal to a naive 21 year old.  The studios then were on the banks of the Brisbane river at Toowong.  I was to witness our next big flood in Brisbane along with many others only three years ago in 2011.  I understand the flood in 1893 was worse than 1974 or 2011.  In preparation for today's post, I looked at photos from the Picture Queensland site. I'm not sure that the site is working properly today because I seemed to have trouble locating copyright information so I decided not to use any of the 1500 images that you can discover there.

Instead I thought I would give you some images from my husband's family archives.  Not very many but they took me on an interesting trip down our nation's memory lane.

Slide 12

I wish I could tell you where this was taken.  I suspect somewhere in Victoria.  I know that Robert's parents went on a trip to Melbourne in about 1956.  

Slide 14

This slide seems to have the same kinds of clouds doesn't it?  So maybe someone recognises that dam and can tell me where it is.  I'm thinking it's the Hume Weir near Albury looking at other photos on the web like this one.  Or these on Trove.

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Anyway, when I googled flooding Victoria 1956 I found this website which has some great footage and oral histories of the flooding of the Murray and Darling Rivers in 1956.

This next slide is part of the same collection and I suspect taken at about the same time.  It's not really to do with flooding but it does have a barge.

I don't know what Robert's father was doing at this particular time but it seemed to involve going to Fraser Island I think and helping on a job there.  This was how they got there.  I think those shorts look very WW2 army surplus don't they?  Here's another one from the time when 4 wheel drives were driven in 4 wheel drive country and not the burbs...

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So not many photos today but plenty of food for thought and further enquiry.  For more images of flooding et al....head over here.


I've taken some photos of the slides from which the first photos were taken in an attempt to date them.

These websites here and here indicate that they date from 1950-1955 but I'm happy to stand corrected if someone has better information.

This is what they look like through the slide viewer....

In the process of sorting them and trying to work out the sequence of them, I found one of a lighthouse.  I'm not sure if it will help or not but here is the image of the slide for you.  Do you recognise this lighthouse?

Slide 13

Well at least I think it's a lighthouse.  What do you think it is?  It may help us place the first slide showing a flood somewhere.

Another slide in the set is this one:

Slide 11

The Fraser Island slides probably date from 1955 - 59 as they have "Processed by Kodak" written on the mounts as well.  Time to ring Aunt Alice now and ask her for more information.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sepia Saturday 220: 22 March 2014

Alan from Sepia Saturday says:

Our sepia friend Postcardy suggested statues and monuments as a theme for this week and also pointed us in the direction of this 1914 photograph of the Jefferson Statue in Columbia (which is taken from the Library of Congress collection on Flickr Commons). Photographers of all ages and all times have always been drawn to statues : there is nothing like a mounted equestrian hero or a stone-clad voluptuous heroine to get the camera shutters clicking. So for Sepia Saturday 220 (post your posts on or around Saturday 22 March 2014) all you have to do is to highlight an old photograph which in any convoluted way fits in with the theme image and tell us a little about it. Post your post, link your link, visit your visitors and help make Sepia Saturday a monument to blogging nostalgia.

Statues...I love 'em.  Brisbane's got quite a few when you think about it.  We got all excited about them during World Expo '88 and the ones from Expo are scattered throughout the city and Queensland now delighting tourists and resident alike.  Have a squizz here if you're interested.

City workers might recline and admire Queen Victoria's statue in Queen's Park or the one of TJ Ryan our 19th Premier and ponder on his early demise.  I live in the Federal seat of Ryan named after him.

From State Library of Queensland - View across Queen's Park. Palm trees, trimmed lawns, and flower beds set the scene for a relaxing moment in the park. The old Executive Building stands on the left with a statue of Queen Victoria, first unveiled by Lord Chelmsford in 1906, in front of it. Field guns were located in the park either side of the Queen Victoria memorial, commemorating Queensland's participation in the South African War of 1899-1902. Motor cars can be seen parked along George Street.

Here's a picture of the day the statue of Queen Victoria was unveiled.  
Goodness!  They were pretty excited then too.

From State Library of Queensland

And again in 1925 when they unveiled the one of TJ Ryan.  I think they must have moved the statue since if you look at where it's located now on Google Maps.

State Library of Queensland - Crowd gathers at the unveiling of a statue of T. J. Ryan at Queens Garden in Brisbane, 1925 

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There's lots of sculpture to see now at our beautiful Gallery of Modern Art including an elephant standing on its head here....and an exhibition of Cia Guo Qiang's work which I have yet to see but of which I am hearing rave reviews.  You can read more about it here.

When I was ten we travelled to Europe where there was lots....and lots of sculpture.

It is important to record what a dag I have been in my life...I see with shame that I am wearing socks with sandals...sigh.  The ignominy will never end.

The statue above reminds me of many hours in Latin trying to translate Ovid's Cupid and Psyche.  But I think it is actually a photo of Berninis sculpture of Apollo and Daphne.

Statues galore...I'm ashamed that I can't name them.

So we were fasincated with things classical then.  What an amazing place.

Here are some snaps I found of more statues from my grandfather's collection.  I think they're rather sweet.  And to think that I was only in the same place a couple of weekends ago.  Boy the trees have grown.

Tom McLoughlin at the Archibald Fountain Hyde Park, Sydney c. 1930s

If you look at the photo of Tom, you can see the Anzac Memorial in the background there.  Here is another photo of it at about the same time.  To check out what it looks like today go here.

It is a sculpture (by Sicard) of Apollo with Diana to the left and Theseus to the right.

Kit McLoughlin at the Archibald Fountain Hyde Park Sydney

This is written on the back of Kit's photo.

Perhaps the most loved photo in our family of a sculpture is this one of my mother aged 4 and 1/2 precisely on the lioness statue in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

Barbara McLoughlin c 1939

If you want to find the lions, they are Number 18 on this map here.

Here are some later photos of my mother at Ashfield Park near the war memorial.

Who remembers playing "Statues" when they were a kid.? Great game.  

For more statues and memorial head over here.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sepia Saturday 219: 15 March 2014

Alan says:

We have Wendy Mathias to thank for our Sepia prompt once again this week and she points us in the direction of domes, ceilings, arches, and significant buildings. The dome in question is that of the Reading Room of the Library of Congress in Washington. There is a rather pleasing pattern to the image - which dates from the very beginning of the twentieth century - so you might want to add patterns to the list of possible interpretations. 

If you would like to participate, go here for more instructions.

Customs House Brisbane 1889 courtesy of  State Library of  Queensland

I always find it difficult to find a focus for these themes. I do tend to jump all over the place - hence my blog name - Family Tree Frog.

Possibly the most famous dome in Brisbane where I live is the one belonging to Customs House.  I've been to a wedding there once -  or was it just the reception? Anyway - it's all very swish and hasn't changed much from the photo above. Check out the street view on Google Maps.

View Larger Map

Our own wedding had a bit of a took place at St Ignatius at Toowong and is very lovely.

1st September 1990 Robert and Alex wedding

Whilst the above photo doesn't strictly fall within the 30 year time frame of what constitutes a sepia photo, I'm sure you'll forgive me for the purposes of the exercise.

Going through my grandmother's album, I found some photos from her journeys overseas of domes and ceilings and the like...

Dubrovnik Cathedral

I'm not sure that my grandmother took these photos.  I suspect she may have bought them at a tourist shop but I might be wrong.

They were taken in the early 70s I think when she started going overseas quite a few times.
The Gallery Monaco Palace

I thought the arches in this photo were rather lovely.

And then of course, there's Venice.

When I went overseas in my youth, I was always fascinated with the architecture in old Europe - so very different from my own country which was relatively young in terms of architecture.  I took photos of things that caught my eye....

From memory, this is the front door to the cathedral in Koln but I'm happy to be corrected.

Last weekend I went to Sydney to see the folks.  We did all sorts of fun things, like going to Luna Park and having a ride on a ferry down the Parramatta River.

Sydney is of course most famous for the biggest arch of them all.  This photo was taken from a restaurant called The Deck near Luna Park.

My folks are architects by profession and have a keen interest in the architectural heritage of cities.  As we moseyed around the harbour, I was told that some of the recent architectural heritage of Darling Harbour is being demolished. i.e. the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.  You can read more about it here.

I was also amazed to see the huge development along the foreshore for the
$6 billion Barangaroo Development.  It will incorporate a new financial district for the city, a casino, residential blocks and parklands.  East Darling Harbour used to be docks and shipyards.  Here's a picture of one of the wharves, featuring of course, some arches.

Wharves on Hickson Road c. 1920 State Records Authority of NSW

I think the photo below is taken on the north side of the bridge near where Luna Park is today...all those houses have gone of course and have been replaced by blocks of units and commercial buildings.

Barbara McLoughlin and friend c1950

The photos below with my mother and grandmother are taken in the Harbourside Shopping Centre at Darling Harbour.  And yes, there is yet another dome.  Taken in the early 80s we thought the centre was  a bit ground-breaking in it's day in terms of design and construction. 

You can see Centrepoint Tower in the distance there on the left - that tall stick next to the building.  I used to work in Centrepoint many moons ago as a waitress at Miss Brown's Tea and Coffee House - iced coffees, toasted chicken sandwiches, waffles - that sort of thing.

Last weekend I was very brave and did the Sky Walk.  Your reward for wearing a very unflattering blue suit is rather spectacular views of Sydney.  Our guide advised us that we were twice as high as the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


See that gold bit on top of the stick?  I was walking around the outside of that.

And now you'll forgive me if I show you some non-sepia but very contemporary photos of the State Library of NSW which I took last Sunday.  I was so glad I ignored all the advice that the room was closed.  Yes, it was closed but you could still go in and see it.  I thought I would never see it again.  My maternal grandfather loved this library.  I can understand why.  

Do you remember Tom?

Thomas McLoughlin

The inscription on the wall in the entrance reads:

In Books lies the Soul
Of the whole past time
The articulate audible
voice of the past
When the body
And material substance
Of it has altogether
Vanished like a dream

Google tells me this is a quote from Thomas Carlyle from The Hero as a Man of Letters.

Yet another title to add to the TBR (To Be Read) pile.

Want to see more domes, ceilings, arches or significant buildings?

Click here or tell me what you've seen lately or remember fondly.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sepia Saturday 218: 8 March 2014

Alan says: 

We have Sepian Wendy Mathias to thank for our theme image this week. It is from a series of images showing the areas in Sydney affected by the outbreak of Bubonic Plague in 1900. Wendy suggests fences, back yards or bubonic plague as possible theme suggestions, but, as usual, the choice is yours. All you need to do is to find an old image - whether it is linked to the theme image or not - say a few words about it, post your post on your blog on or around Saturday 8 March 2014 and add a link to the list on Sepia Saturday.

The great Australian back yard.  What would we do without it I wonder?  It used to be conventionally a quarter acre block but you're pretty lucky if you have that now.  We've got a large handkerchief sized block.

Here's someone practising hanging out the washing.  I think it might be Joyce Wingfield but it might be my mother.

And this is definitely Joy seeing what's going on in the next door neighbour's back yard....

Here is my mother in her playpen.  I don't know which back yard this is...Bondi? Katoomba? Hamilton?

This is more grim but reminds us that not everyone has grass in their back yard...I suspect it is Katoomba or Bondi....

This one is more cheerful but I am struck by how short the coat length is and that these are the war years c. 1940.

Back yards are for growing vegetables and flowers.

I laughed when I read the back of this photo.  It says "Belle and Barbara (but mostly the spinach)" - they had a dry sense of humour those Forfars/McLoughlins and Wingfields.

Back yards are for learning to ride a bike before you go out on the street...

Here's my mother (she'd hate this photo but I love it's natural quality)

Like mother like daughter, here I am on my tricycle in the backyard at Edinburgh.  This is a tiny photo and blew up quite well I thought.  You can see the houses in the background.  This would be Cargill Terrace I think.

Back yards are for sitting with your family or your beau and chewing the fat or appreciating mother nature.

Barbara and I think her Uncle Bill.

Shirley and David

Back yards are often used for portraits in memory of special occasions.

I don't know who the people below. I suspect they are McLoughlins or friends of McLoughlins but they look like they are trying to make an impression.

You can cook up a storm in a back yard with a BBQ like my Gran.  I think this is My Bush at Springwood and it looks like a home made BBQ to me - the best.  I think that enamel dish was around for a long time, if we don't have it still!

But you'd better get the washing off the Hills Hoist first!

Here's the first proper back yard that I can remember - 22 Elliott Street Campbell.

No back yard is complete without a pet of some kind or a shed for the bloke to have a tinker with the car.

Time to tip the cat off the baby's chair and get it to work on some proper mousing or catching of rats to avoid the Bubonic Plauge (see - I got there in the end). 

I'm not sure who the woman in this photo is but I'm thinking it might be WW Forfar's second wife - Alice Agnes (nee Bourke).

This week's post is in memory of a fine specimen of feline - Wes

Wes used to help me count stitches.

He wasn't my cat.  He was a borrow cat.  I used to walk in Wes' garden and he would try and leap out and surprise me or race me up the stairs.

But counting stitches is exhausting as you can see...

and so Wes was buried in Grand Purl Baa's back yard this week.  

The wallabies will keep him company, bouncing around looking for the choicest leaves and the birdies will sing him lullabies I'm sure.  

Bye Bye Wes.  You will be sorely missed.  xxx

For more fences, back yards and mousers - head over here.