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Friday, 8 December 2017

Gone fishing

Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week shows us a little boy holding a freshly caught fish. As he was in Ontario, it could well be a salmon, but I am no fish expert.  I have included fishing photographs in a few earlier blog posts, so this time I will just feature a couple of older photographs together with a couple more recent ones.

Above is my late father-in-law Bob Featherston standing beside the tent and proudly displaying his catch. I believe this was taken near Cowes on Phillip Island Victoria in May 1948. It comes from a collection of negatives saved by Bob, although I imagine that this particular shot must have been taken by his wife Mary. Bob enjoyed fishing in later life also and would head down to fish on the beach in the early hours at Malua Bay on the NSW South Coast, where he and Mary had built a simple beach house in the early 1960s. I sometimes joined the family there on  weekends in the 1970s (see next photo) and I think I remember Bob returning with a fish or two, but there was also the old joke about going fishing and coming back with fish and chips.

 Above are a couple of shorts-clad would-be surfers, standing in front of the Malua beach house in about 1972, and below is a painting of the house by an unknown artist that was observed on display in a local South Coast gallery. It must have been one of the first places built at Malua. In those days the facilities consisted of a temporary tent with a can inside, the contents of which had to be emptied and buried at the end of the weekend, but the luxury of an internal sewered bathroom was added in later years, which was a relief!  Mary is now 92 and still quite regularly catches the bus for the 3 hour trip from her home in Canberra to Malua Bay to check up on and clean the house.

Bob's children and grandchildren do not appear to have inherited his enthusiasm for fishing, but we still have a holiday unit at Hawks Nest on the NSW coast about 2 hours' drive north of Sydney, and the rods and lines stored there are evidence of our occasional attempts to go fishing there with the children, without much success I must admit.

Unfortunately you need a licence to fish in NSW unless you are just assisting children under 18, so these days we would have to go to the trouble of purchasing a licence online and can't just spontaneously throw a line in the water without risking the possibility of a fine.  By contrast, down here in Victoria fishing licences are not required if you are over 60 and entitled to a Seniors Card, and the Victorian rule specifically includes residents of other States with the equivalent card. 
The photo below was taken last year at Bennetts Beach Hawks Nest and shows another gentleman in shorts naturally, trawling for worms which presumeably he would then use for bait. 

Now check here for more lines that other Sepians may have thrown into the deep on the topic prompt this week.

A photo of the beach house from Google Maps, flanked by more recent and much bigger homes.

Post postscript:
Water has surrounded the house a few times after heavy rain resulted in the nearby creek flooding. It didn't come inside luckily, but someone could have fished off the front porch if they had wanted to! This photo appeared in the local paper after flooding in the area last year.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Market selection

Our prompt photo this week shows a market scene in the Yorkshire town of Brighouse. I've already featured some similar photographs taken by my late father-in-law Bob Featherston in an earlier post and you can read about them here in my post on Leicester, but I have included them again all the same.

I searched my albums for other market scenes and came up with the following selection, in random order. Most but not all are from overseas markets, because when you are a tourist you have more time to take pictures, although I try to do so inconspicuously all the same, so they are generally not posed shots. I love visiting different kinds of markets.

Petticoat Lane Market, London, September 1976

Family shots taken at Heidelberg Christmas market, December 1992. The European Christmas markets are full of wonderful delights. 

             Munich produce market in asparasgus season, and lots and lots of cheese, 2009

Fruit and vegetable market in Sigatoka, Fiji in June this year. All the little piles of vegetables make for a colourful and interesting display.

A fascinating variety of colourful and aromatic spices are squeezed in every nook and cranny at the Spice market, Istanbul 2012

Salamanca market, Hobart 2014 is a well-known Tasmanian tourist attraction, with lots of stalls selling locally made goods and produce

Horniman produce market in Forest Hill, London, where our daughter and family live. This is a very sedate and civilised affair in an elevated location with a great view of the City beyond. It is in the grounds of the interesting Horniman Museum, and we have visited both the museum and the market several times.

"To market, to market to buy a fine pig..."  Barcelona Central markets, 2014

Beachside markets, again in Barcelona

The last two shots are of the Scandinavian Christmas Fair, an annual event held at the Swedish Church here in Melbourne. We have been a few times in the past and these photos were taken a couple of years ago. In fact it is on again this weekend but unfortunately it's a very wet weekend and I think attendances would have been greatly reduced, if indeed it went ahead despite the damp forecast. It features lots of Scandinavian Christmas ornaments, clothing and very tasty food.

Hope you are enjoying better weather wherever you may be. To read about markets other Sepians may have visited, either in person or online, go to Sepia Saturday #396

Friday, 17 November 2017

Flowers for the ladies

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt photograph shows a young lady posing alluringly in a photographer's studio with a basket of flowers. In 2011 after my Aunty Pat Morrison passed away we discovered an old album of Cartes de Visite photographs stored amongst her belongings. They are lovely to look at but sadly we have not been able to identify very many of the almost two hundred photographs contained in the album. 
The first photograph below is not from the album, but was shared with me by a distant cousin in New Zealand, which is where most of my family lived, and she tells me that this lady is Mrs Ann Forbes, nee Anderson, widow of William Forbes, who was the eldest brother of my great grandfather Charles Forbes. In other words, she was Charles' sister-in-law. Ann was born in Clatt, Aberdeenshire in 1845 and she emigrated to Canterbury New Zealand in 1851, together with her parents and nine of her twelve siblings. She married William Forbes in 1863 in a double wedding ceremony, in which her sister Sophia married Thomas Ross. At the date of their marriage Ross and Forbes were partners in The Weka Pass Hotel and they also operated a cartage business in the Weka Pass area. William and Ann had five sons and a daughter, but their daughter Ann and youngest son James died as infants, and then William died of Tuberculosis in 1877 aged 38.  Ann might not have had too much to smile about in those times of loss, but never the less she survived long after her husband. She died in 1936 aged 89 and is buried in Balcairn Cemetery in Amberley New Zealand, together with William, Ann, James and her parents John and Margaret Anderson. 

The following photograph is from the old album I inherited, and shows a younger woman posing side on for the same Christchurch firm of photographers, Grand and Dunlop, beside the same vase and a very similar if not identical vase of flowers. There are other photographs by the same photographic studio to be found online showing other ladies posing beside the same vase, so the flowers may not even be real, but the fact that this second photograph is in the album suggests that whoever this lady is, she must be related to the Forbes or Anderson family in some way. Ann had two daughters-in-law but they did not marry her sons until the late 1890s, which seems too late for this photograph, because the photography business was sold by Grand and Dunlop in 1887. It could perhaps be her youngest sister Elizabeth Anderson, who was born in New Zealand in 1852. The lady here could perhaps be pregnant, but that impression might just be the angle of the photograph. Ladies were pretty good at disguising their condition back then, by breathing in, tightening their stays and buttoning up! 
I generally don't include the siblings of in-laws on my tree, so I haven't researched Ann's family in any great detail and consequently can't come to any more definite conclusions about this lady's identity.

It looks to me as if those flowers could be hydrangeas, so in tribute to both ladies, known and unknown, here's a hydrangea in bloom in our garden today, grown from a cutting and flourishing well.

Finally here is my mother-in-law Mary, totally unrelated to the ladies above, doing well and living on her own at 92 years young. We sent her these flowers on the occasion of her 90th birthday. 

Click here for more posts about young ladies with baskets or vases of flowers. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

That old Scottish Tradition

Hallowe'en cards are not something sent by people in Australia today, and I don't know if they ever were fashionable in either Australia or New Zealand, but I thought I would look up a few newspaper articles published in the past about this old Scottish tradition.  Older Australians are often scathing of the way Halloween has become commercialized, primarily under American influence, but they may not know much about the Scottish origins of the celebration. 

My grandmother Mona Forbes was born in Christchurch New Zealand  and never traveled to Scotland, but both her father Charles Forbes and her mother's parents Charles Young and Jane Paterson were Scots emigrants from the district of Glenmuick in Aberdeenshire. I know that Charles Forbes was a member of the Scottish Society and no doubt Mona was well-versed in all things Scottish. Here is a report of the Halloween festival held in Christchurch in 1909, published in the Star on 1 November 1909, when Mona would have been 12 years old. You can see a photograph of young Mona here.

This and the other articles included here are courtesy of Papers Past, the excellent web site created by the National Library of New Zealand

  Next comes a transcription of  most of a report on the Scottish Society's Hallowe'en gathering in 1912, when Mona would have been aged 15 and was a pupil of Miss or Mrs Macdonald. It's very likely that she would have been one of the juveniles mentioned in the report.  

Star 1 November 1912

The Children's Day

 "There was a great gathering of children and young people at the Scottish Society's rooms last night to celebrate the Scottish festival of Hallowe'en.  The celebration was not this year in strict accordance with Scottish custom, but  an entertainment was provided perhaps more pleasing to the Colonial boy and girl than the old-fashioned way. Chief Mackintosh was "father of the house" for the night, and while he allowed fun to run riot, and the young people had plenty of it, never let go his hold on discipline and the command "Silence" was obeyed on the instant. In the course of the evening it was announced that 250 boxes of heather had been received from Scotland, one parcel especially from a school in Jedburgh had arrived that day. A parcel sent by the same school last year also reached Christchurch on Hallowe'en.  The sprigs in the Jedburgh parcel were distributed amongst the elder children, who are expected to write to the senders acknowledging the sprigs and exchanging greetings. The programme provided by the Hallowe'en Committee, comprised a grand march and reel o' Tulloch by the Society's juveniles, under Mrs Bessie Macdonald; a song, "Sound the Pibroch, " by Master Douglas Martin, a fine effort for the boy's years; an action song by the infant class of the East Christchurch School, under Miss Menzies, with Miss Walker at the piano; a topical song by the boys of St Albans School, under Mr R Malcolm; sailor' hornpipe by Miss Fairbairn  and the misses Pirrie (3); "The Hat Brigade", by the boys of East Christchurch School; ... and the "Flowers of Edinburgh" by the juvenile dancers. The children were given light refreshments and each received the customary bag of sweets."

It seems quite amazing that that boxes of heather had been sent all the way to New Zealand. They must have taken quite a while to arrive so it was certainly lucky that they arrived just in time for Hallowe'en,

Here is an announcement from the Star for the same event the following year:  
Star, 1 November 1913

I didn't find a report of the 1913 Halloween event after it took place, but here is another report just two weeks later, again from the Star newspaper, including a particular mention of Miss Mona Forbes' performance of  the Highland Fling in the last paragraph. The Scottish Society certainly seems to have been an active group!

Star, 14 November 1913

                            One more, this time  from the Star in 1918:

None of these old articles mention any dressing up or trick or treating, which seems to be the main feature of Halloween these days but it was clearly a fun event all the same, with the children receiving treats at the end of the evening. 

Here are a couple of photos of Mona's Australian great grandchildren dressed up for a school Halloween celebration in the early 1990s, followed by a very recent one of Mona's great great granddaughter Lucy all ready for her childcare party. 

Lucy, daughter of Wonderwoman above, looks a little bewildered about exactly why she is wearing this cat costume!

Another great great granddaughter, Eloise who lives in Canda, was a very cute turtle.

Finally just for fun, here is a photo of some very cute dolls all lined up and ready to welcome young  Halloween visitors. Their owner Rosie Saw is a very clever lady who makes and sells handmade dolls clothes and patterns. Anyone interested can check out her pattern web site here

Now for more blogs on Halloween fun, check out Sepia Saturday 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Left, right, left, right, left ...

This week our Sepia Saturday prompt shows a group of marching girls taking part in some parade. In reply I have a couple of photos that were taken by the father of one of the girls in the band, who has kindly consented to my posting them here. The date was Saturday 9 March 1963, the event was the annual Canberra Day Parade and the band was the Lyneham Prinary School Recorder and Drum Band. The girls played recorder and the boys played drums. I was a member of the band, so I must have been in there somewhere.  I didn't have much musical talent but could play the marching tunes we had to learn by rote, for example Men of Harlech, Yellow Rose of Texas, When Jonny Comes Marching Home, to name a few that I still remember. Of course we were supposed to march in step as well, which was a bit tricky. Our band never won any prizes but we enjoyed marching! I'm a little surprised that my Dad does not seem to have taken any photos himself, but he may have been away at the time.

The Canberra Day Parade was an annual event celebrating the naming of the City of Canberra in 1913, and this particular parade was of special note because 1963 was Canberra's Jubilee, marking 50 years since its beginning. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh came to join in the celebrations, although it appears they did not witness the parade itself. 

Here are some articles published in the Canberra Times and found on the National Library's invaluable Trove web site, reporting on the event.
10 January 1963:

23 February 1963:

11 March 1963:

I was one  of those thousands of school children who lined the city streets in the following week to catch a fleeting glimpse of the Queen back then, in a cavalcade of a different kind. Our then Prime Minister Robert Menzies was famous for saying at one point during the 1963 Royal Tour that
 " I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her til I die".

Below is a photo of our band in 1963, with me in the top row, far right, aged about 10. I was also a band member the following year, before going on to high school.

It's 54 years later, and Canberra has celebrated its centenary.  Canberra Day is commemorated with lots of events but I'm not sure whether or not they still have a parade. According to the  school web site,  Lyneham Primary School is still going strong and boasts at least two concert bands, who practise hard and regularly perform at various community events. They are full brass bands, no longer just girls playing recorders and boys on drums. I was a student there from the day it opened its doors in 1959.

 Now, get yourselves over to Sepia Saturday #391 to see more marching girls, brass bands and no doubt much more. Quick march!