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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 


Friday, 9 September 2016

Great Aunty Flo was a tailoress





My grandmother Mona Forbes had two older sisters, Flora and Bessie, more commonly known to the family as Aunties Bess and Flo. Flora Euphemia Forbes born in 1888 was the elder of the pair by just a year, and she was nine years older than my grandmother, with two other Forbes children being born between Bess and Mona. Flora was a tailoress, and the photograph below shows her at her place of work, second from left in the middle row.  It looks like the gentleman on the right could be in charge. The boy next to Flo looks quite young, and perhaps he was wishing he could be outside rather than working, but on the other hand he would probably have been pleased to earn a wage. Most of the  staff look reasonably happy to be there and hopefully they enjoyed the work they did. It seems likely that the photograph was taken some time between 1910 and 1920.


Unfortunately I don't know the name of the tailoring firm that Flo worked for but it was in the business centre of Christchurch New Zealand. I've just discovered what looks like a very interesting collection of almost 2000 photographs of the Christchurch region inthe period 1880-1920 taken by a photographer called Steffano Webb here at http://natlib.govt.nz/items/22740240 and this photograph below of the premises of this Christchurch ladies' and gents' tailor James Olds is part of that collection. Perhaps this was where Flo worked, perhaps not. I may never know.


In subsequent years the aunts spent much of their leisure time helping their younger sister Mona care for her six children. They lived in the same street just a few doors away so they would have done plenty of child-minding and they often accompanied the family on outings. Bess had her own business as a dressmaker and she and Flo made clothes for the Morrison family as well as for themselves. The little snap below was very faded, but I think it shows the aunts with three of their charges, including my mother in front, who looks like she was not wanting to be photographed that day in the early 1930s. 


Here are Aunty Bess and Flo in their sixties, celebrating the christening of their great niece in 1953. They would no doubt have been happy to help my mother with her family too, had she not left New Zealand not long afterwards, firstly for a year in the UK and then to live in Australia permanently. Neither Bess nor Flo ever travelled to Australia and sadly I don't think that my mother was able to return for a visit until after Flo died in 1959. I was too young to know my great aunts but I heard lots about them from my mother, who no doubt missed their help when she had to cope in a new country while Dad spent long hours at work. His work took Jean away from family, but both he and she remained staunch New Zealanders at heart.


For more Sepian contributions on the theme of work and play this month, click and go to Sepia Saturday #343

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Dad at Work and at Play




The Sepia Saturday theme for this month is Work and Play.  Yesterday September 4 was Father's Day here in Australia, so it seems appropriate to post a brief photographic addition to the birthday tribute that I recently wrote for my Dad which you can read here.

Work takes many forms, and here is Ian Cruickshank, plant pathologist, busy doing an experiment at the lab. There's a window behind the glasshouse, but I'm sure that unlike the little girl in our prompt photograph, Dad would have been highly engrossed in what he was doing and not wishing that he could be outside or heading for home, although perhaps my mother Jean might have been wishing that he was.




Mum and Dad had three children and when he wasn't away at the lab, Dad made time to help at home.  Amongst other things, he was pretty good at ironing and even enjoyed it, I believe! This photograph of him relaxing with his first child dates from the same time period, before we moved from Christchurch New Zealand to Canberra, capital city of Australia in 1956. 




Twins would have been hard work, but no, this is Dad nursing his daughter on his left and his niece on his right, who is a few weeks older.


A generation later and as a granddad Ian certainly enjoyed playing with his grandchildren, just as we currently do with this baby's baby.

                           Fathers Day is for grandfathers too. A photo taken yesterday in the park.

For more Sepian blogs on the topic of Work and Play, click here for Sepia Saturday #343