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Friday, 23 September 2016

Men, children and dogs, at work and at play





My third post on the Sepia Saturday theme for September of Work and Play.

The staff at Robinson's timber mill, Rai Valley, 1904, on the site of the Rai Tavern. Photo supplied by Ross Higgins
Standing, left to right: Paul Clifford, Harry Mortimer, Jim MacLaine ( recently returned from Boer War), Vera Hewetson, Les Hewetson, A.J. Hewetson, Bill Turner, Mabel Hewetson, Dave Wilson, Daniel Morrison, Archie Hubberd ( Stock Inspector. Nelson).
Seated, left to right: Ben Wilson, Billy Morrison, Bill Andrews, Alec Alquest, Alec Maule.


Manager Arthur Hewetson is accompanied by his three children in this photograph, and they might behoping  their father will have time to play with them and the dogs once his working day is over, but there are another couple of family members present here, namely my great grandfather Daniel Morrison and his eldest son, Daniel William, known as Billy or Will. Billy's son Denny kindly shared a copy of the photograph with me. My grandfather John aka Jack Morrison was Billy's younger brother by twelve years.  Their father Daniel Morrison and wife Mary Bridget had fourteen children in total, and Daniel appears to have been an enterprising man who was able to turn his hand to many different jobs during his working life. In an earlier blog posted here, there is a photograph of him at his desk in his last position, as secretary of a local dairy factory. In addition to the various jobs referred to in the obituary also included in that earlier post, Daniel was described as a letter carrier on his marriage certificate and as an accountant on the birth certificate of his first child.

I was very interested to find this second photograph on the web site of the Marlborough Museum, as it is believed to show a group of men relaxing outside the single men's quarters at the same mill. You can read more about the photograph here on the Museum site and can enlarge it on that site for more detail, but I think at least two of the men appear in both photographs, namely Jim MacLaine, standing with his hands on a stick or tool handle, and Bill Andrews, crouching in the doorway with what looks like a squeezebox. It might even be Billy Morrison on the far right, holding either a rifle or some instrument. I'm not sure if it is him, but if it is, I'd like to think it was the latter he was holding rather than the former. He was certainly still a single man in 1904, before he married in 1913 and had ten children with his wife Violet.

An exhibit from Photographs of Marlborough 1859-1909, on Marlborough Museum web site,  photographer James (Jim) Irvin, Junior

For more blogs on Work and Play, click and go to Sepia Saturday #343 


3 comments:

  1. Boy - those single men's quarters don't look too spacious. Not the best accommodations, I would guess. Little wonder they prefer to be outside. Is that one fellow doing his laundry?

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  2. There is so much character in the men's faces. How many men lived in that small shed you call "men's quarters"- which suggests more than one?

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    1. I don't know, but their quarters would have been very basic. Daniel and Mary Bridget and their large family lived in a small wooden cottage, the walls of which were lined with newspaper.

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