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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Dirigible on wheels?

The Sepia Saturday prompt above is for the Christmas and New Year period, and features Christmas Greetings from Loon Lake Lodge. Where this was I'm not sure, as there seem to be many different Loon Lakes in both Canada and the United States, although the options would seem to be considerably less if restricted to North American resorts that enjoy mild weather over Christmas. That's not particularly important however, it's the greeting from the people in the wheel that counts.

Today I received a Christmas present of sorts. It is a digital copy of a family photograph that includes some wheels, very kindly sent to me from New Zealand by my cousin Elizabeth. It appears to be a souvenir of a family visit to the NZ & South Seas Exhibition, which was held in Dunedin NZ from November 1925 until May 1926. Shown in the picture are my grandmother Mona Morrison, her first two children Ken aged 2 and Pat aged 4, and Mona's sister Ruby, who lived with her husband William Berry and family in Dunedin. 

Pasted on the back of the photograph is a delightful drawing and identifying caption that must have been added by one or more of Ruby's children. Her daughter Ruth would have been about 10 at that time, so perhaps it was she who added the caption to the drawing by either Doug or Jack, her brothers, who would have been 8 and 5 respectively. My second cousin Elizabeth is one of Ruth's daughters and she discovered the photograph amongst her mother's memorabilia. She and I met once when we were children. Mona's daughter Pat was born in Dunedin, but by 1925-26 the Morrison family had moved to Christchurch, so Mona and the children must have gone on a visit back to Dunedin to see Ruby and family. 

I looked on the website of the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington NZ and found the following record of a photograph held in its collection. From the description it sounds very like the photo above, but I had to submit a request for digital access as it was not immediately available online and I couldn't visit the library to view it in person. Hopefully I will receive access to it soon and can check whether or not I am right. I imagine there would have been thousands of similar souvenir photographs taken.

Souvenir photograph from the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, Dunedin 

Ref: PAColl-D-1098
Hand coloured souvenir photograph from the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, Dunedin. The image shows three people in a dirigible-like aircraft flying above the exhibition buildings.
Quantity: 1 b&w original photographic print(s) hand coloured.
Physical Description: Silver gelatin print
Access restrictions: No access restrictions

It looks as if the dirigible 'passengers' might have been required to climb up behind a billboard of the scene and look out through a cut away area with their arms hanging over the side. Quite well done and effective really and young Pat seems to be enjoying herself.

Below is an extract from the nzhistory web site about the Exhibition that the family attended. It was certainly a popular event, with large numbers of people attending over the six month period that it was open, showcasing all that New Zealand, and Dunedin and the surrounding region in the southern part of the South Island in particular, had to offer, and in addition providing lots of family entertainment.


The photograph above appeared on the Paperspast web site in a Supplement to the NZ Herald, 27 March 1926. Perhaps Mona, Ruby and children were among these or similar thronging crowds, and might even have purchased a souvenir handkerchief or two like the one shown below, but most likely they were satisfied with the dirigible photograph as a souvenir of their visit. Thanks so much for sending it, Elizabeth!

New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, Dunedin, 1925-26. Kathleen [Handkerchief]. Ref: Eph-C-EXHIBITION-1925-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23163934

We had our granddaughter Lucy together with her parents, aunty and uncles here last weekend for an early Xmas celebration and tomorrow we are wheeling our way north to our unit at the beach north of Sydney, where we hope to enjoy a relaxing break.  Mona, Ruby, Pat and Ken would no doubt join me in wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and healthy 2018. For Christmas messages from other Sepians, just click here.

Granddaughter and great great granddaughter of Mona Morrison (nee Forbes)

Postscript, 16 January 2018:
I have just received a copy of the corresponding dirigible photograph held by the Alexander Turnbull Library, the details of which are recorded above..As I suspected, it is the same thing, apart from being hand coloured and having a different number, (H 15 instead of F 11), and of course, showing different people. I wonder how many more of these souvenir photographs are out there, hidden away in albums or boxes of family memorabilia?

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