Thursday, 30 October 2014

Weddings, parties, anything ...

This week's prompt shows a number of men wearing name tags, busily serving themselves from a generous spread of food. It was a 50th anniversary dinner, which made me think immediately of the following photograph taken on the occasion of my great great grandparents Adam and Charlotte Cruickshank's golden anniversary on 19 January 1906. They celebrated the momentous achievement with a large gathering of family and friends at their property known as Oakdale, near the town of Gore on the South Island of New Zealand. You can see a painting of Oakdale by Adam and Charlotte's granddaughter Charlotte Petrie here.

Unfortunately for me, no one at the celebration was wearing name tags. No doubt they all knew each other.

Adam and Charlotte with their immediate family members. My great grandfather Charles Murray Cruickshank is second from right, with his wife Elin seated in front of him. Their son and my grandfather Oliver is lying down on the right, with his two sisters next to him. His two brothers are nearby in the second row.

I don't have any photographs of the tables that must have been groaning with food, but I do have copies of an invitation to the celebration, and of the banquet menu, which included roast goose, roast duck, roast fowl and roast beef, pickled ham and ox tongue, together with potatoes and vegetable salads. The desserts included cream kisses. The guests at their golden wedding celebration were treated to a sumptuous banquet laid out in the barn and 'catered for by Mr McFarlane in his characteristic complete style'.

Invitees Mr and Mrs Gavin Dickson were the parents of Helen Warner Dickson, wife of Adam and Charlotte's son James Alfred Cruickshank. James and Helen had been married 3 years earlier.

Thiis scan of the menu is  cropped slightly, but is still legible.

 According to a detailed report that appeared in the Mataura Ensign the following day, the guests numbered over 100 and included shipmates of the Cruickshanks from when they arrived in Invercargill NZ in 1863, aboard the New Great Britain. They had been married in Monquhitter Aberdeenshire  on 19 January 1856 by the Rev. James Adam, with Mrs Cruickshank, whose maiden name was Charlotte Joss, having to ride 35 miles by stagecoach to be present on the morning of the ceremony.

  Naturally the numerous speeches were highly complimentary to the host couple. The chairman said he thought it was 'a peculiarly auspicious  occasion, and all their friends would rejoice to see, after fifty years of happily wedded life, Mr and Mrs Cruickshank looking so well and hearty. One could scarcely realise that they were more than fifty years of age.' He trusted they would all be spared to return in ten years' time for the celebration of their hosts' diamond wedding day. One reason he thought 'they looked so well and were so strong was that they had employed their youthful days wisely. A wasteful youth led to premature old age, but there was no evidence of weakness in either Mr or Mrs Cruickshank.' He trusted they would long preserve that activity. All wished them every happiness and days to come full of blessings from the Lord, and that 'in the end God would bless them with His grace and would finally take them into His peace for ever more'.

Another speaker remarked that while he had 'heard it said that "Happy the bride that the sun shines on", happier still was the bride upon whom fifty summers had shone and who had brought up such a family as Mrs Cruickshank had'. Yet another said that in his bachelor days he invariably made for Mrs Cruickshank's hospitable homestead on a Sunday, being sure of a good meal  The couple had raised one daughter, seven 'stalwart' sons, and 'a great array' of 30 grandchildren. After the speeches, the guests adjourned to the garden where photographs were taken, and then guests repaired again to the banqueting hall.

During the afternoon songs were given by several guests, and 'at a later hour young people to the number of over one hundred were entertained at the Cruickshank residence to join in further celebration of the notable event, The evening was devoted to dancing and singing ... Miss Dickson danced a  highland fling and Mr H. Milne a hornpipe.' Excellent music was provided by various guests on the piano, violin and bagpipes, and proceedings lasted until daylight. The Cruickshanks may have been dour Presbyterians, but they certainly knew how to celebrate!

Despite all those fervent good wishes for continued good health, Charlotte passed away two years later in 1908 and Adam followed on 11 October 1914, just over 100 hundred years ago now. He actually married again in 1911, but when he died he was residing at the home of his daughter Jessie Petrie and it is not known whether or not his second wife Janet was living there with him. Just a few days after Adam's death, his grandson Oliver embarked from Wellington with the NZ Machine Gun Corps, bound for Egypt.

The next photograph is of the 25th wedding anniversary celebration of  Doris and Frank Olds in Hull, England in 1949. Doris in particular has featured in  previous blogs, for example here on her 100th birthday, and also here. Frank and Doris's eldest daughter Mary left England for Australia as a war bride in late 1946, but she made and posted that cake back to England as an anniversary present for her parents, who are seated at the far end of the table. Ingredients would have been easier to come by in post-war Australia than in England with the rationing system still in force.

Another golden wedding anniversary -  Mona and Jack Morrison, parents of Jean Cruickshank nee Morrison, celebrated sedately in Christchurch NZ on 2 April 1969

Here are a couple of informal photos of another anniversary celebration from more recent times, namely my in-laws' fortieth wedding anniversary, which they celebrated near Canberra in January 1987.  The trolley table on which the cake stands was a gift from their children and has seen good service in back garden gatherings at the family home ever since.  It's very likely that Mary made that cake too, and perhaps Doris gave her a hand.

Some happy family members at the lunch, including the bride's mother Doris Olds from England, (standing behind one of the twins in their high chairs), who had not been able to attend her daughter Mary's wedding back in Geelong in 1947. Jean and Ian Cruickshank are standing on the far left and 3rd from left respectively. I am in blue, holding our then 3 year old. I can think of at least three others who must have been there but missed being in the photo.

Neither my father-in-law Bob Featherston nor my own father Ian Cruickshank made it to their respective fiftieth wedding anniversaries. Bob died in 1992, and Ian in February 2000. Like her parents pictured 2 photos previously, Jean had been greatly looking forward to celebrating that landmark on 22 April 2000 but sadly it was not to be.

Now here are a couple of name tag photographs. Surprisingly the photos themselves aren't labelled in my mother's album, but were taken in the late 1960s and show my father Ian Cruickshank attending some sort of scientific conference or gathering, In the first photograph everyone is looking intently at the experiment on display in a lab, while in the second shot they are relaxing and enjoying social drinks in a marquee afterwards. Ian in his checkered blazer typically has his camera slung over one shoulder, although clearly these are not his own photos. If only I could read the name tags I might have more clues as to what the event was.

And finally, a small but colourful 'smorgasbord' selection of party tables from the eighties and nineties, at events that included a first, a fourth and a seventieth birthday, plus a couple of children's Christmas functions. Not a lot of healthy food to be seen here!

When Adam's four year old 3x great granddaughter (seen in pink in the previous collage) celebrated her 22nd birthday in Sydney in 2002, we lashed out on a home caterer for once, because it meant that  we were able to relax and enjoy the party ourselves, at least after the house had been cleaned, set up cafe style and decorated appropriately. I think everyone enjoyed the night. It was effectively a very belated 21st, because Claire had been studying overseas at the relevant date the previous year.

If this whets your appetite and you want to see what other Sepians have laid out for us this week, just click here, and don't forget your name tag.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Arresting ancestors

This week's Sepia Saturday photo prompt features three Tasmanian policemen in Hobart in 1900. The title of the photograph is the name of the chemist whose shop is seen in the background, but it is hardly the main subject of the photograph. I have Scottish relatives whose family have run a chemist shop in Turriff Aberdeenshire for several generations, have shown their shop previously. Just click here to see three photographs of it at the end of my blog about doorsteps. 

Instead I offer this newspaper photograph of five brothers, three of whom were serving policemen, one a former policeman and one who had never been in the Force. They are not actually direct ancestors, but I thought the title was a good one all the same! 

 In October 1938 Senior Sergeant Davis Lewis Calwell (1885-1956) visited Australia on holiday from New Zealand and while in Melbourne he took the opportunity to catch up briefly with four of his Australian brothers, whom he had not seen fo rmany years. The other brothers in the photograph are Constable Allen George Calwell (1891-1959), Charles Percival Calwell (1887-1947), Henry Edward Calwell (1890-1956) and Senior Constable Archibald Frank Calwell (1898-1963).
Davis would no doubt also have caught up with various other members of his large family, including his sisters Grace Eleanor Featherston (1896-1975) and Edith Mary O'Connor (1900-1973), known to the family as Aunty Dulce. A third sister, Florence Alice Everleigh, had died in 1933.

As the article says, Charles Calwell, aka Charl, had previously been a policeman but had subsequently become a warder in a mental asylum, and Henry, aka Harry, was an osteopath. Uncle Harry gave my mother-in-law away on her marriage to his nephew Robert Featherston, because she was a war bride with none of her own family able to be present at the wedding. 

As is often the case with newspaper reports, there were a few inaccuracies in the articles. For example, only four of the brothers in the photograph had ever been in the force, but there was a fifth policeman in the family who was not present at the reunion, namely the eldest brother, William Arthur Calwell (1883-1972), who also lived in New Zealand. 

 The seventh and second youngest brother, Robert Oliver Calwell (1894-1917) was killed in World War 1, in which his brothers William, Charles and Harry had also served. 

The two uncles who were also on the Force, as mentioned in the first article, were their father Dan Hogue Calwell's brother George Lewis Calwell (1861-1955) and their mother Annie's brother Robert Corrie (1868-1922).

Photo above and article below, published in The Sun Pictorial, October 19, 1938

Article from the Argus, 18 November 1938

Davis Lewis Calwell, second son of Dan Hogue Calwell and Annie Corrie, was named for his grandfather Davis Calwell and grandmother Elizabeth Lewis. They were American and Welsh immigrants who had both arrived in Australia in 1853 and had met and married in Melbourne in 1856 at St John's church in La Trobe St, which was only a block or two away from where their grandsons held their reunion some eighty years later. Their son Dan Hogue Calwell died in 1903 aged 44 of rheumatic heart disease, leaving his widow Annie to bring up her large brood of 10, the youngest of whom was only 3 at the time.

Davis Lewis followed his brother Will to NZ in the early 1900s, where he married and brought up a family of three children. He joined the police force and before he retired after 42 years' service he became Superintendent in Charge of the police district of Dunedin.  Here is a photograph taken from his obituary.

Davis Lewis Calwell

William Arthur Calwell 
 Unfortunately I don't have any identified photographs of William in police uniform. Together with his wife and their children Dan and Roa, William had in fact visited the wider Australian Calwell family just a little earlier than Will, in January 1938, travelling to both Melbourne and Sydney, and he wrote afterwards that he had met 80 relatives on the trip. His son Dan turned 100 last year.

The Calwell siblings, photographed in the Botannical Gardens when William and family came to visit. Will is on the left, Grace is 3rd from left. All present apart from Davis in NZ , and Robert and Florence (both deceased), so there would be three serving policemen in this photo too. The other four men are a bit hard to identify from this photocopy, but it is all I have, and I think the men on either side of Grace are Charl and Harry. Clearly the other two are minus their helmets and are enjoying a family day off. 

The following two shots snipped from Google Street View show the corner on which the Calwell brothers met. In 1938 numerous other older buildings would have stood between the Town Hall on the left and St Paul's Cathedral on the right, but sadly a lot of demolition occurred in the 1960s and 1970s and they have since been replaced by a city square and a Westin Hotel. In the second shot you can even see a chemist opposite the Town Hall, which is hidden behind a passing tram.

For more police matters, chemist shops or anything else that fellow Sepians may be prompted to discuss, just button up your jacket, smarten up and plod on over to Sepia Saturday #251 - but  please, no J-walking, because you know, they can book you for that!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Waggon wheels

This week's prompt features wagon wheels, and I have several photographs to share with you on this subject. The first photograph below shows 6 sets of horses and wagons assembled in Cathedral Square Christchurch NZ in April 1886.  The photograph comes from the  extensive collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington NZ, and the description given there doesn't identify whose wagons they were, but in fact they belonged to a partnership styled Murray & Forbes, who had operated in business as carriers for some years previously, but had realised that with the advent of the 'iron horse', as the train was then known, they could no longer compete successfully. Prior to dissolving their partnership they arranged for this photograph to be taken, as you can read in the article taken from the Star newspaper of 28 April 1886. Charles Forbes my great grandfather was one of the two partners, so I was very excited to discover this photograph on the Alexander Turnbull Library web site a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately there's no identification of the men in the photograph, and as I have so far only been able to identify photographs of Charles from a much later date, I can't be sure whether he is one of the drivers, or one of the two men standing just left of the centre of the picture, but never mind.  You can zoom in and see some good detail of the men, their horses and wagons, or alternatively you can click on the link below to do the same with the photo in its original library location.

Report in The Star, 28 Apr 1886, snipped from Paperspast web site.

Here are transcriptions of a couple of reports of the sale of horses and stock that followed.

From Timaru Herald, 5 May 1886:

MESSRS H. MATSON & CO. have received instructions from Messrs Murray and Forbes, who are relinquishing the carrying business, to OFFER FOR SALE AT TATTERSALL'S, on THURSDAY, MAY 6th, The whole of their HORSES AND PLANT, Comprising 42 VERY SUPERIOR DRAUGHT MARES and GELDINGS; grand sorts, capital workers, and on the whole, perhaps one of the Best Lines of Horses to be found in Canterbury. Also, 6 CAPITAL TILTED WAGONS, each with patent axles, and in good repair. 42 SETS OF HARNESS. Covers for each Horse. The attention of Farmers, Shippers, Contractors, and all who may require first-class Draught Stock, is directed to the above Sale. The season for Autumn Ploughing is now at hand, and gives a good prospect of a remunerative return for the labour, and farmers, as well as other buyers, would do well to attend this auction. The Horses have all been carefully selected, are of the best stamp,in the pink of condition, and there is not a bad worker among the lot. As Messrs Murray and Forbes are giving up the business in which they have recently been engaged, the various lots will be for bona fide sale. DATE—   THURSDAY, MAY 6th, At 12 o'clock. Place of Sale Tattersall's, Christchurch. H. MATSON & CO., Auctioneers.

From the Press, 7 May 1886:

Live Stock Market
Special Sale of Carrier's Plant -  Yesterday at Tattersall's, we conducted a sale of more than ordinary importance. The great northern caravan firm of Messrs Murray and Forbes, who, for so long a period, have done such good service in the transmission of produce and goods for the wool kings of the Amuri, have, in this age of progress, been compelled to yield to the superior facility afforded by the iron horse, and as the mist of the early morning disappears before the sun, so bullock drays were superseded by horse waggons, and these, in due time, by the railway at Culverden. There was a very large assemblage of people to witness this interesting dispersement of the relics of the past, the popularity of the firm, the superior and well known qualities of their teams, and the known bona fides of the sale created an attraction which brought together sentiment and business. Biddings came freely, and prices were good, only a very few of the lots passing the hammer without finding fresh owners. Figures were equal to a rise of 20 per cent upon ordinary values, the majority of the horses going to farmers and not to the trade; £20, £25, £30 to £36 were not infrequent quotations upon the catalogue of the day. A prominent member of the Railway League hardened his heart and dived in with a vengeance, buying a large proportion.

Shortly afterwards it appears that Charles Forbes took a consignment of 14 horses plus two waggons and a harness 'across the ditch', to be auctioned at Kirk'Bazaar, a big horse auction house of the day  in Melbourne Victoria. It must have involved quite a hazardous boat journey back then. I don't know what prices he obtained in Melbourne, but hopefully it justified the trip.  Charles seems to have stayed in Australia for around six months before returning to NZ, where he married the following year and became a farmer. He had orginally emigrated to NZ from Ballater Aberdeenshire in 1867, where in the 1861 Census he was described as a cattleman, despite being only aged 14 at the time. He was also a keen pole vaulter in his spare time, but I don't have any photographs of that. I hope he did not pole vault in his kilt! 

This advertisement appeared in the Argus on 20 May 1886, and has been snipped from the Trove web site.

Here from the Press, 11 September 1886, snipped from the Paperspast web site, is the final notice of dissolution of the Murray and Forbes partnership, which refers to the iron horse as the reason for the dissolution.

Charles and Jane Isabella Forbes and family, c. 1914

Charles Forbes with his baby granddaughter Jean (my late mother), c. 1928

This next item is only a photocopy of a photograph held in the Canterbury Museum, but it's also of family interest because the driver of the Riccarton dray is William Joseph Forbes, a nephew of Charles Forbes  above. Riccarton is a suburb of Christchurch.  Billy,1868-1933, was one of the four sons of Charles' older brother William, and used to drive the between Coach Corner and Christchurch.  I imagine that must be Billy holding onto the reins.


The sons of William Forbes, showing William Joseph standing on the right. The others are George Henry (left rear) and John and Francis Charles, seated. Photo courtesy of  Relda, a descendant of Francis.  Their father William died when Francis was only four.

The last photo here comes from my mother Jean's album and is described as 'A week at Coutts Island, May 1940'.  Coutts Island is no longer an island, but is a farming locality on the south bank of the Waimakariri River, south of Kaiapoi.  It looks like this was a fun outing for a party of  friends, and I think that must be Jean standing up on top in the dark coat. I'm not sure what she could be holding on to, but maybe they are all just posing, as I don't think the cart could be going anywhere with one girl perching on the wheel like she is.

So that's enough from me this week, and I'll just finish with a link to this amusing little advertisement for a popular biscuit that I remember from about twenty years ago, which is sort of relevant to the topic. (Actually I've referred to the edible kind of wagon wheels before, just click here for an image).

For more blogs on the topic, just keep rolling along to Sepia Saturday #249

Postscript, 12.10.14:
Wikipedia photo of what was originally known as the Government Building, photographed from the clock tower side. See the relevant comment and reply below.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

My Ration Book, 1953-1954

Having just got back home from London this morning, I wasn't planning to post this week, but a read of  Lorraine's post this week prompted me to check out my mother Jean's scrapbooks of our year in England in 1953 - 1954, and here are a few photographs of the ration book that I needed as a temporary resident of 21 Eltisley Ave, Cambridge, where we lived while my father Ian was studying on a research fellowship. My parents' ration books were saved too. It appears that rationing for the items listed inside, namely meats, eggs, fats, cheese, bacon, sugar and milk, remained in force in the UK up until July 1954, although tea was no longer rationed after 1952.

Orange juice was also rationed, with just a couple of remaining coupons in the book.

 The following notice was in an envelope addressed to me, labelled by Jean: 'Important letter all about milk and orange juice'.

And of course, adjacent to the ration book Jean also included an appropriate photograph of a certain small person, enjoying her rations. 

Now to read other blogs for this week, just go to Sepia Saturday #248