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Thursday, 20 February 2014


I didn't think I had very many family  photographs of hat wearers, but in fact discovered quite a number of them, although not really in groups of the same style, so here they are.

The blurry photograph above is believed to be of Joseph Featherston, 1864-1914. It's the only one we have of him, and was received by email from a distant cousin some years ago. It looks to have been cut from a larger photograph, but sadly I don't have that, and know very little about Joseph. He and wife Margaret, nee Neilson, of whom we have no photographs, lived at 65 Eureka St Ballarat. Joseph's occupation was recorded as groom on the last electoral roll before his death, and as carter in previous rolls.

Here are Joseph's eldest son Joseph Henry and his grandson Robert, who was born 3 years after his grandfather died. Joseph Henry Featherston was a fireman who worked with the Victorian Railways, and whose health was much affected by his occupation, looks small next to his son the returned airman. Joe died in 1951 aged 59. I imagine he was justly proud of his son Bob, who served in the RAAF and RAF and survived 3 years as a prisoner of war in Poland. For more about Bob, see Swimmers with arms folded.

Here are Joseph Henry Featherston with wife Grace and daughter Dawn a little later, about to attend son Robert's wedding in 1947. It looks like Joe could well be wearing the same favourite hat as in the previous photograph, although here he is naturally more formally dressed to suit the occasion.

To my side of the family now, and here is my grandfather Oliver Cruickshank, sporting a smart hat and looking quite rakish on his wedding day in Wellington NZ, together with with his new wife Myrtle.
Oliver and Myrtle Cruickshank, Wedding Day, 7 April 1921

Oliver with son Ian, circa 1925
 This photo has featured before, but then the focus was on the braces worn by both father and son.

Here's Myrtle with son Ian - are she and Oliver sharing the same hat? The photos don't seem to  have been taken at the same time, as I think young Ian may be wearing different clothes, but I'm not sure, maybe they were.

Myrtle, Ian and Oliver Cruickshank, at son Ian's graduation from the University of Canterbury, NZ in 1947. Both Oliver and Myrtle are once again proudly wearing their best hats.  It's unfortunate that there's something behind Myrtle, perhaps part of a gate, that looks as if it's attached to her hat, but of course it is not.

Myrtle and Ian are looking very smart here. Ian with his hat and briefcase may have been on a break from work, but Myrtle appears to be out shopping, wearing her fur coat again, with another elegant hat. This photograph was probably taken in Christchurch, as the family lived in the nearby town of Rangiora. It's similar in style to one I posted of  my mother an her aunt last week (Busy, busy, busy..) and I think it must have been common for photographers to set up their cameras in the city streets and take pictures of passers-by, and perhaps for people to dress up specially and seek out such a photograph. The  picture below from Jean's album is labelled 'Street Photo 1949'. Keeping the picture on theme,  a couple of hatted gentlemen can coincidentally  be observed in the background.

Here are Ian and Jean out for the day at some popular event, with some friends. Ian is wearing that hat again, at a similar jaunty angle.

Jean and Ian were always a well-dressed couple, but here they are, off to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, dressed up in sartorially elegant style. Meanwhile yours truly was off to be babysat - boo hoo!

Strahan, a great grandson of both Joseph Henry Featherston and Oliver Desmond Cruickshank,
 is a regular hat wearer, and shows that pork pie hats are back in style.

I'll close with this classic folk  rock anthem from the 60s:

On that note, put on your hat and coat, if you feel so inclined, and check out more hats etc  at Sepia Saturday 216