Sunday, May 31, 2015

What's New?

I'm on duty today at QFHS.  It's very quiet.  Just one happy, but possibly over-serviced member, with three volunteers to look after him - all of us working away at our family history. Honestly if you want to come to the library when it's quiet, Sunday afternoons seem to be the "go".  I love coming to the library every month.  I always get to see the new additions to the library (as pictured above).

Look at all these lovely books!  What's not to love?  

And for those of you who are particularly interested in Brisbane history, I am delighted to report that the book (that came out at Christmas time I think) - Lost Brisbane and surrounding areas 1860-1960 by the Royal Historical Society of Queensland in partnership with QBD The Bookshop is now on sale at QBD for $29.99 (a saving of 57% the QBD website tells me).  I couldn't resist. 350 pages of photos of Brisbane.  The first 100 pages or so are of the city, then onto South Brisbane and other suburbs.  There are chapters devoted to The River, The People and then a chapter each for The Gold Coast and The Sunshine Coast. For someone like me, who didn't grow up here, it's a great overview of what once was et al.  I really liked the Introduction too - easy to read and a potted overview of the creation of this city and significant events in its timeline.  

And in other news - if you're looking for something to do this week family-history or local history wise in Queensland - there's plenty on for free.

Monday 1st June - 10-11am - Albany Creek Library - As part of the Your History Our History program - Chris Schuetz will talk about "The Servant Problem." Learn about the history of Australian servants from convict to free settlement, including life from a servant’s perspective and also complaints masters made about their servants.

Tuesday 2nd June - 10am - 12pm - Stratford Library in Cairns - First World War Treasures.  A hands-on look at some of State Library’s precious original First World War materials. In a unique opportunity to put on the white gloves, you can get up close and personal with a curated selection of treasures from SLQ, such as letters, diaries and photographs. 

In the afternoon from 1-4pm they will also have a Caring for your First World War collections seminar at the same location.  For bookings click here.

Tuesday 2nd June - 11am-12pm - Queensland State Archives are hosting a seminar at Runcorn which will also be broadcast online as a webinar "Convict Records @ QSA" - you can log in from home (you can find instructions for how to login here ) or if you would like a bit of company or are feeling less than technically competent (as I often do), QFHS are hosting it at Gaythorne. Focussing on convict records from QSA's collection, this seminar will provide researchers with insight into the importance of the records to Queensland and highlight their online accessibility.

Wednesday 3rd June & Thursday 4th June - Stratford Library in Cairns - Promote and share your collections Online.  Are you a representative of a heritage organisation, interested in promoting and sharing your collections online? Come along to SLQ's workshop, which introduces you to a range of online tools available to enable the promotion and sharing of collections online. To book click here.

Thursday 4th June - 11am-12pm - North Lakes Library  - "The Servant Problem" see above for content details.

Friday 5th June - 10-11am - Burpengary Library - the lovely Helen Smith will be presenting Death Certificates and Archaic Medical Terms as part of the Your History Our History Program.   Helen explains the history and evolution of death certificates and the meaning of archaic terms used in them, including, cachexia, breakbone fever, byssinosis, coeliac passion, dipsomania, inanition and Potter’s Rot.

Last but not least, Queensland Day is on Saturday 6th June.  All week various buildings will be lit in the famous maroon colour, restaurants and cafes will be celebrating with menus featuring Queensland food and wine and if you want to have a sneak peak into the Governor's abode then Fernberg House will have an open day Saturday 6 June from 12-4pm.  Fernberg House is 150 years old this year.  How about that?

All these events are free but bookings are required (except for the Open Day at Fernberg).  So much to do, so little time.  Enjoy the week!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sepia Saturday 281: 30 May 2015

Alan from Sepia Saturday says:

our theme image for Sepia Saturday 281 (is) a 1972 archive photograph from the Flickr Collection of the Cloyne and District Historical Society of Canada. It may put you in mind of baking, kitchens, or pies.
Oh I do like a kitchen - so I do.  When I was young, my parents used to love tramping through exhibition homes in new estates to get ideas for home.  The kitchens always used to be a source of fascination.  "Oooh.  Aaah. " we used to say...."I like that" or "How did they get that so wrong?"  or "They were doing so well until they chose those tiles or that finish."  And then as I got older and went to parties, this was a popular song....

Gawd, we were all so serious then....

So many kitchens to remember.  There's all the ones in all the homes you've ever lived...your friends' homes....the ones you've tried to create when camping...the ones at work...the ones at school or in sports-fields or after school care or pony many kitchens...some archaic...some modern....

Here are a few photos of the kitchens I have been in over the pre-remembered babyhood and more recent memory.

Kitchen Edinburgh

Now I know this isn't a very good image.  It's a scan of a proof so was tiny to begin with.  It would be nice to think that I had the original negative somewhere...cough..cough.'s another photo showing what's above...

Washing in kitchen in Edinburgh

And yes, that's a great big piece of paper stuck to the print...all of these proofs were glued together in the album - it's the best I can do for the moment.  When I enlarge the photo I can see that the shelving under the sink had curtains in front of it.  So quaint.  I can also see an electric kettle and I think an electric frypan.  And I'm going to guess that its red and white checked contact stuck on the kitchen counter top.  And the obligatory newspaper on the kitchen table.  Does anyone NOT have a newspaper on their table.  Perhaps that will become a thing of the past. And is that a teapot in the bottom right hand corner?

So these photos were taken in the early 60s in Edinburgh - 2A Cargill Terrace Trinity Edinburgh to be precise.  It was a flat.  We moved in here in about July or August 1963.  This is what my father said in his letter to his mother at the time: 

We are tickled with our flat.  The shops are so handy over the road, and the fire in the kitchen which heats the hot water is very easy to keep burning at night and day on only two shutes (sic) of coak (sic) and provides large quantities of hot water too.  ...Barb has a good modern gas stove in the large kitchen where we eat our meals at a table in the centre of the room, and right now there is a roast cooking ready for tonight's tea.  
And my mother wrote this to her father:

I don't mind if it rains all the time as long as I can get the clothes dry and I can here.  It is the custom in Scotland to have a line on a pulley in the high ceilinged kitchens, so I never take any clothes downstairs at all as this is a marvellous quick way to get things dry.  The fires keep me busy, they burn day and night just very low...
A note from a previous tenant or perhaps the owner reads as follows:

All very different to the kitchens my children know now.  

Views from kitchen windows are important too aren't they?  Here's the view from the kitchen window at 3 Nungara Street Aranda back in the 1970s.  My mother would hang a red teatowel out the window to signal it was time for me to come home from the park.  We were more relaxed in those days. You can see the park to the right of that house across the way on Banjalong Crescent.

3 Nungara Street Aranda circa 1974

Here is Robbie in our first shared house in Brisbane all those years ago in a contemplative that kitchen saw a few parties.....

21 Carrington Street Rosalie kitchen circa 1982

21 Carrington Street Rosalie was memorable for many reasons - the pantry in the corner behind Robert in which everything had to be stored in V formation because of its placement.  The glass louvres on the west wall which had to be shut at sunset to stop the American cockroaches flying in, skidding on the linoleum and then making their way across the purple shag pile carpet in the living room - ewwww.  Those were the days.  What's on the table?  Mugs, glasses, flowers and Ponds facecream I think.

And here is our kitchen in another rental property in Chelmer - 88 Leybourne Street.  I'm looking in the paper for houses to buy I think.  The house has been demolished now I think and a very smart new townhouse is in its place.  

88 Leybourne Street Chelmer circa 1985

I must say I like all the display cupboards where you can see what's in them although I realize that is now very old fashioned and probably painful having to reach up to get things but at least you can see what you're getting.

31 Equinox Street Taringa Kitchen c 1989

Second last one I promise...this was our kitchen in our first home - as in first purchased home...31 Equinox Street Taringa.  It used to back on to bush.  Note the separate hot and cold taps.  Crazy.  Note the mess...yes, well...I was never known for my fabulous housekeeping skills I must say.  Have I said that I miss the display shelves?  I can see our old Tandy radio/cassette player peeping out from the bench there. Another obligatory item to stop you going mad with loneliness in domestic isolation - the good old radio.  We had lots of baby fun in that kitchen.  A bit like this photo from Picture Queensland.

Baby being bathed on the kitchen table, ca. 1918 State Library of Queensland 

What are your kitchen memories?  Share them on Sepia Saturday with us, why don't you?  We can have a party in the kitchen.  I'll open a bring the French Onion Dip.

Or if you want to get out and about may I recommend a couple of exhibitions at some local museums?  You'll need to be quick to see The Finishing Touch at Redcliffe Museum - the last day is tomorrow - you can see it today and Sunday 31 May - 10am until 4pm. This exhibition features examples of embroidered and crocheted pieces from Australian homes - doilies, milk jug covers and table linen.  

Ethel Conner (nee Carrett) at table.

Recently opened is the last leg of a fabulous exhibition (and yes I am very biased in promoting this one) at Bribie Island Seaside Museum - Portraits of a Tea Cosy - an ode to the taking of tea and the making of friends and the keeping of memories by yarn artist Loani Prior aka the Queen of the Tea Cosies and professional photographer Mark Crocker.  The Museum is open 10am - 3pm on the weekends and 10am - 4pm Wednesday - Friday.  The exhibition closes 26 July and you'll be sorry if you miss it.  The Bribie Island Museum is truly fabulous - 5 years old this year  

There's something for everyone....blokes will like it for the exhibition of fish specimens caught nearby...historians will love it for the exhibition about early days and war time Bribie...arty types will love the retrospective on Ian are catered for too...there are even craft sessions on to brush up your crafts skills from granny squares to candles.

Go on - get out and amongst it.  Have a breath of fresh air and a giggle and mebbe some fish and chips.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sepia Saturday 280: 23 May 2015

Alan says: 

The themes for Sepia Saturday 280 include boys, girls and dances. The caption on the old vintage postcard (which is here wrongly attributed to Flickr Commons but in fact comes from my own collection) reads "In Leap Year - The Ladies after a little wine and tobacco join the gentlemen in the drawing room". So another potential theme you could have is that of "reverses" - occasions when the usual arrangements are reversed.

I have been a very slack Sepia Saturday contributor of late, for which I apologise.  I can't resist posting this photo which I took earlier this year on my mobile phone - a Samsung GT19507 model.  I realise it's not Sepia - but it is a reverse shot yes?  It was taken at night (9:35 to be precise) at the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on the Gold Coast Queensland or 27 51\'6" S and 153 21\'35"E to be more precise.  I was helping my friend inspect the venue for a conference.  It's all a bit swish and lovely at the Intercontinental and this image of a tree reflected in the pool in the gardens out the back was too tempting if a bit eeerie.  

But for the true sepia stalwarts, here are a couple of postcards that I picked up at the recent UQ Alumni Book Fair (10 postcards for $4.00) ...where the men are wearing skirts and the girls are wearing, well, skirts too.

To be honest, I'm not really taken with this first's a bit naff I think. But the "mystery" of postcards and trying to work out who wrote what to whom and why is part of the attraction for me.....

So I guess the first thing to work out is when this postcard might have been purchased or sent.  I know nothing about postcards or stamps so all you postcard collectors feel free to chime in and put me straight on any factoid you see fit.  (PS Word of the Day - Did you know that Deltiology is the word for collecting postcards?  I didn't.  The things you discover on eBay!) This site tells me that if my postcard has a divided back then it is post 1907 but because it was printed in Germany then it is probably pre WWI - how about that?

The date mark on the stamp could be December 9 at 11am or December 9 1911 and I think the postmark is Kogarah but am happy for others to provide suggestions.  This site posts a similar postcard and dates it at 1910.  

Ancestry tells me that an Elizabeth Jane Ashenden lived at 20 Taylor Street Armidale in 1930.  But, even better, Find My Past, gives me the index to Wills in NSW, particularly William Henry Ashenden a labourer from Armidale who died in 1929 and bequeathed his estate to his wife Elizabeth Jane Ashenden and, after her death, to his daughter Fanny Amelia Court wife of Henry John Court.  So I think I have found the addressee.  I have no idea who Ida is though.  Perhaps just a friend.  Ida asks Fan to remember her to Harry - perhaps that was Henry John's nickname - Harry.  What do you think?  

It seems to be confirmed in this sad family notice, courtesy of Trove.

Notices. (1912, May 25). The Armidale Chronicle (NSW : 1894 - 1929), p. 4. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from

Further research on Ancestry reveals that Fanny was born at Uralla in 1887.  and that she married Henry J Court in 1911 at the age of about 24.  They didn't move far from Fanny's mother, living at 16 Taylor Street Armidale in 1930.  Harry was a coachbuilder but went on to be Managing Director of Armidale Motors Limited.  Fanny and Harry went on to have at least two children that I can discover through articles on Trove.  Their daughter Venice defied the usual gender stereotypes in this fabulous article...

Family LONG CAR CHASE. (1935, January 21). Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954) , p. 1. Retrieved May 23, 2015, from
So I think that is enough about that postcard.  I think we can date it at about 1910.  I have absolutely no idea where that phrase "Mid the poppies and the corn" comes from by the way so would be glad if anyone can enlighten me.

The next postcard also has a Scottish theme....

Guess what?  I'm not even going to pretend I could even begin to figure out who this card is from or to....but I am going to say Sandy boy ???  Sandy??? I thought it was Danny boy!  Over to you Deanna....

For more boys, girls, dances and reverses...head on over to Sepia Saturday.

Just a couple of things since I've had some feedback from lovely Postcardy and Brett - this postcard could be as early as 1902.  My husband has also pointed out that the franking stamp on the stamp does not go on to the postcard which seems to indicate that perhaps the sender re-used a stamp.  What do you think?  It's also a NSW stamp which were in issue up until 1913 when we changed to Australian stamps.  And Brett found the lyrics for the song which you can listen to here....This was recorded 1905-10-12 which I think means the 12th October 1905 but it could mean 10th December 1905.  At any rate I think that now puts the postcard between 1906 and 1912.  You can read the lyrics for the son on this site here - it seems the words were originally written by Clement Scott set in the cemetery at Sidestrand.  National Library of Australia has the score here and I note that copyright is 1891 by Chappell and Co. Maybe Ida and Fan learned the music on the piano.  Most of the editions on WorldCat date from 1900 or 1907.