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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Sir, I like your style!

What tie is that?  The ties in this photograph stood out for me, so that I really couldn't go past them. This ubiquitous fashion accessory of questionable symbolism  has provided style, colour and emphasis when worn with the otherwise drab or plain attire generally favoured by men, and has taken many forms over the centuries. Here's an assortment of various tie styles and their wearers that I've found among my family history photo collection.. I've only found one showing braces, sorry to say, but no doubt they were keeping their trousers up, just hidden under their jackets. A few fob chains can be spotted there too.

 These photos are believed to be of two young American gentlemen, Dan McGrew Calwell b.1830 and his brother Davis Calwell b. 1832, who emigrated from Pennsylvania to Melbourne Victoria in 1853 aboard the City of Norfolk, hoping to make their fortunes there in the Victorian goldfields around Ballarat, together with so many thousands of others who had been drawn by the prospect of great riches to be found there. In these formal photographs, possibly taken before the Calwell brothers left their home and family, never to return, they look to be wearing a type of the hand-tied bow tie style- essentially a ribbon tied into a bow. Davis Calwell married a Welsh girl in Melbourne and they produced twelve children, from one of whom my husband is descended, making him a 2x great grandson of Davis. Dan subsequently moved to New Zealand, where he remained a bachelor, despite his sartorial taste in ties (and hats).

My own paternal 2x great grandfather Adam Cruickshank was born in 1830, so was of the same vintage as Dan and Davis, but from a different corner of the world. The head shot below is extracted from a family group photograph taken on the occasion of his 50th wedding anniversary in 1906, and his bold wide tie looks to me to be tied Windsor style. He and his wife Charlotte emigrated from Turriff Aberdeenshire in 1863 to NZ and settled in the Gore district.  The seven Cruickshank sons aren't following their father's lead, but instead are sporting a variety of tie styles, although the details are hard to see here as all but one appear white or pale in colour. My great grandfather Charles is standing second from left. In his own family portrait taken around the same time, he's wearing a different formal style, tied loose and low and possibly with a wing collar, but he still looks stylish, to me at least.


To compete the family album, below is a portrait of another great grandfather of mine, Thomas Alfred Byles with his family. My grandmother Myrtle, front left here, would later marry Oliver, who's standing next to his father Charles in the previous photograph. They were both aged around eleven at the date of the photographs, and young Oliver wasn't wearing a tie. Thomas's tie is not too clear but looks to be a patterned Windsor style.

Keen gardeners Oliver Cruickshank and little son Ian, both in braces, and Ian's maternal grandfather Thomas Byles, still wearing something colourful, possibly a cravat, as far as can be seen from this side view.
In later life Ian often wore cravats, but in such a subtle, understated style that I had to search hard to find a picture of him wearing one.
Now here's a selection of mostly unidentified gentlemen,  young and old, wearing an assortment of natty neckwear, extracted  from my old family album of the 1880s.

fancy knotting
Is this chap in his continental cross style tie about to go deer-stalking?

A pair of stylish gents         

but I think this very thin style looks rather incongruous on this lady's husband

                   Generous Windsor knots, like that worn by
                            Adam Cruickshank, above

                                        A stylish  young Scotsman
Western style

and more continental cross style tie wearers

William's four sons, in a variety of collar and tie combinations.
The eldest was only 13 when their father died of TB.
William Forbes, 1838-1877, in Ascot style cravat


Doug Lind and his great grandfather Charles Young in smart bows, plus an unknown youngster from the Young family album, dressed up in his Sunday best.

Lastly, by way of dessert, here's a birthday creation that suits the topic, more or less: a carrot cake with cream cheese icing made by yours truly in 1989, back when they were all the rage :-)

That's it from me. Now go to Sepia Saturday and check out other people's interpretations on this week's topic.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Sepia Saturday 191: Three of a Kind

Three brothers, three sisters, three generations, parent with children, child with her aunts ...
I found a few of these groupings of three in my collection, but there are several unidentified photographs in an old family album of cartes de visite inherited from my aunt that I can't immediately fit into the family tree of the album owners, so the identity of their subjects is a matter for speculation.

Photographer Charles Lawrence, Christchurch
Photographer E Dossetter, Christchurch

Photographer Grand and Dunlop, Christchurch

It seems likely that these smartly dressed young men were brothers, or perhaps they could have been cousins, but are they the same three in each photograph, with the last photograph  having been taken some years after the other two? The first photograph looks to have been taken at a beach, despite the formality of their outfits, while the second and third are clearly posing in a studio. They were all taken by different professional photographers who were in business in Christchurch New Zealand from around 1870 onwards, but if only I knew more!

Photograph by W H Neal, Cambridge NZ
Photographer unknown

Here are another couple of threesomes from the same album. One is of a solemn group that surely comprises two sisters and a brother, who look like they would rather be off making mischief, and the other happier photograph is of a fond father and his two young children. Such  a shame that although these families went to the trouble having these formal photographs taken, the album compiler did not feel it necessary to record any details in the index as to 'who was who' which would have enabled them to be identified by future generations. The album itself was received by a 3x great uncle of mine, Frederick William Young, as a school prize in 1881, when he would have been aged 16. He was one of ten children born to his parents Charles Young and Jane Paterson, who had emigrated to New Zealand  from Glenmuick Aberdeenshire in 1851 and had settled in Kaiapoi. In later life Frederick became well-known as a Canon of the Anglican Church and lived to the venerable age of ninety-seven. 

Mona and her sisters in their floral outfits

Jean with her aunties

Bess and Flo in more florals, with their great niece, 1953
Above are three more recent family groups of three. The first is of my grandmother Mona Mary Morrison with her sisters Bessie Irene and Flora Euphemia Forbes, two of whom feature as much younger women in my first post, Boating on the Avon. The sisters were about 10 years older than my grandmother, and were dressmakers by profession, so no doubt they made all their own clothes. I wonder what shades these floral dresses would have been 'in real life'? They certainly look to have been made to very much the same design, and the expression 'peas in a pod' comes to mind!  The second snap is of my mother Jean with her doting maiden aunties, always known as Bess 'n Flo, who lived together all their lives. This picture would have been taken around 1935. Some fifteen years later they lovingly and painstakingly created my mother's wedding gown, incorporating a length of beautiful Swiss lace sent from Geneva by my aunt as a wedding gift to her sister, and they also made her baby's christening gown..

Finally, just a few three generation family photographs, of the same family but from different times:

 Grandfather Charles Cruickshank, father Oliver 
and baby son Ian, circa 1924

                                              By 1953, Charles is no longer around, but Ian is now a new father and Oliver a grandfather

Granddad Oliver showing son and grandson  that he can still chop wood? 1982

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Turner Street, Then and Now

The history of the street where we live here in Melbourne dates back to around 1890, which is when the land was subdivided and the first houses were built, in the Victorian style of that period. There was a lull in building due to the 1890s depression however, and the Melbourne Golf Club was able to take advantage of the financial crash to purchase two single level Victorian villas for use as clubhouses and to establish an extensive golf course in the surrounding area. The land on which our home was subsequently built was part of the golf course until the Melbourne club and its successor the Caulfield Golf Club moved further afield in  1907. The photographs below are held at the  Stonnington History Centre web site: . They show the gentlemen club members lounging on the verandah of their club house, with the lady golfers in a similar pose at their separate club house across the road, although the ladies do look a little more formally dressed than their male counterparts!
MP 183 Associates at Royal Melbourne Golf Club at Caulfield [East Malvern], about 1892

MP 168 The Clubhouse at Caulfield [East Malvern], about 1891

Today the clubhouses are private residences owned by our neighbours, both next door and directly across the street from us. The plaque at the gate of the  house next door records its history as the original club house of the Melbourne Golf Club. President Clinton was shown around the home when on a visit to Australia.

Our house was originally named Wirreandah, which is an Aboriginal word meaning  'place of big trees where rock wallabies hide'. It was built in 1910, some twenty years later than its next door neighbour.  In this first decade of the early twentieth century, the Edwardian or federation style of architecture was in fashion. Timber fretwork replaced iron lace decoration, but internal architectural features such as decorative plaster cornices, elaborate ceiling roses, and picture rails were still popular, together with colourful stained glass windows at the front depicting flowers, animals or birds. I've included an estate agent's advertising photograph here rather than one of my own, because it shows the stained glass windows well.

An inviting shot of our modest villa, taken by Real Estate Agent Marshall White, 2008
You may recognize this photo from my blog header

           The first owner of the property was a Mr Thomas Gill, agent, who purchased it together with two neighbouring lots in June 1908. By 1910 three houses were built on these lots and a Mr Arthur Jennings Price, solicitor,  had become the occupier, while Mr Gill remained the owner. This Arthur Price had been married previously, but his first wife had committed suicide by cutting her throat at home in her bed in 1896 in another part of Melbourne. It appears from the inquest that she had confessed to an affair for which Arthur had told her he could not forgive her, and  he had left the home a few days earlier. Her body was discovered by her small son, who must have only been about three years old at the time.  Very sad!  I must say I'm rather relieved that this tragedy didn't happen in Turner St. Arthur and his second wife Constance Faerie Clarke were married in 1908 and had one daughter, Constance Thura Price, who was born here in 1910/11. Arthur Price died in 1922, aged 55, and his widow advertised for someone to share the house with her, perhaps for financial reasons. She purchased the property in 1923, but when she remarried in 1925 she appears to have let it out to a Mr and Mrs Leslie Gray, to whom she eventually sold the house in 1941. The Grays sold in 1964 to a gentleman who resided next door (on the opposite side to the former club house), and it was held in his family until we bought it five years ago, so it has been, as they say, 'tightly held'.

Hobnobbing with the gentry?
There are several impressive and well-preserved two storey Victorian homes in the next street in particular, and I've included photographs of two of them here. It's likely that they would have been built around the same time as the gold course was established, and perhaps some of those ladies and gentlemen of the Melbourne Golf Club resided in these rather grand residences.

And where to shop locally? Just at the end of the street a solid block of shops was constructed and subsequently extended, as shown in these two further pictures from the Stonnington History Centre collection.
MP5036 Shops in Waverley Rd, c 1900

MP12068 Waverley Rd, c 1922

This commercial building complete with its lookout tower still survives today, and is occupied by several business people, although some of the premises are currently empty and it's no longer the thriving hub of activity that it looks to have been in its heyday.