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Thursday, 5 September 2019

"Roughie" Peat at the Royal Hotel

Tom Peat, far right, at the bar of the Royal Hotel, Essendon, circa 1935.   Courtesy of Robert Hildebrandt.
Robert Hildebrandt shares with us the life of his grandfather, Thomas "Roughie" Peat, who in his younger days worked in timber camps as an axeman, and in later years as the strong arm of an SP bookie who operated in the lane behind the Royal Hotel. Robert's vivid collection of photos includes Tom Peat at work in timber camps, WW2 army camps, and of course the Royal Hotel. This kind of detail of the life of a labourer is not all that easy to find so we thank Robert for his lovely collection of photos.   See the Time Travellers website for more great photos, and the story of his grandfather Tom Peat.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Essendon Rail Bridge

Shirley Peat, circa 1948, courtesy of Robert Hildebrandt. 
This photo shows Shirley Peat standing next to Mt Alexander Rd, Essendon, outside her workplace.  The Essendon rail bridge is off to the right.  Click on the link to see a photo essay on the rail bridge and surrounds.  

Sunday, 1 September 2019

For Wattle Day - A Spray of Wattle Blossom

Sisters Elsie and May Watkin operated a small school for girls called "Tweedside" in Robb St, Essendon from 1894 until 1905.   The address was variously given as No 7, 2 and 3, which probably does mean that they moved from house to house in Robb St.  The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works shows that No 7 is now No 9, and 3 is now No 5.  

The sisters were part of a large Methodist family which produced several missionaries.  May wrote stories for the Methodist newspaper Spectator, winning a prize one Christmas. In 1908 May published a book called A Spray of Wattle Blossom, which was described as being four stories of Melbourne, Sydney and the Riverina.  

A search through Trove from 1901 will find a handful of stories written by May Watkin.  

The first suggestion for a Wattle Day occurred, co-incidentally to the publishing of May's book, in 1908.  In the early days of Federation there was a nation-wide search for a meaning for the nation, and for national symbols, and as the wattle occurred right round Australia, it was thought to be appropriate for a national flower.  

I believe it would make an appropriate date for Australia Day, without any political overtones but the first day of spring. 

Happy Wattle Day, everyone!

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Essendon State School class photos, 1939 to 1943

Time Travellers can see a lovely new group of Essendon State School class photos from Grade 4 in 1939 to Grades 7 and 8 in 1943, courtesy of Robert Hildebrandt.  Go to the Time Travellers webpage for Essendon State School.   Please do let me know if you are able to identify any of the pupils in these, or any other photos on the website.

Monday, 22 July 2019

Bibliography update

I have just taken a few moments to trawl through the catalogues of the State Library of Victoria and the Sam Merrifield Library, looking for any recent publications which I hadn't yet included in my bibliography of Local and Family History Resources for Essendon,  Flemington and Keilor.  

I last updated the bibliography in 2017.  Among the books of local interest I saw the above Remarkable: the Good Guys Story, and also "Whose Little Cottage is This?" 33 Vida St, Essendon: a history, 1945-2014 by Grant and Steven Barlow.   

Some of the books I added have been recently published, others are a little older.  The additions are all highlighted in red.

The Good Guys story started in 1952, when Ian Muir withdraw all his savings to open a small shop in Essendon. Ian Muir had a vision of the future in the electrical appliances industry, and he showed that he could make his vision good.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Andersons of Horseshoe Bend Farm, Keilor

Aerial photo showing Horseshoe Bend Farm in 1951.  Author's collection.

The recent posting of the Montasell photos of Keilor prompted Christine Laskowski to pull out an article she wrote in 2006, based on an interview with Peter and Beryl Anderson of Horseshoe Bend Farm.  The Montasells and the Andersons were probably on Horseshoe Bend Farm at the same time during the 1940s.

The aerial image above is taken looking west.  The circle of trees to the east of  Horseshoe Bend is the Keilor Cemetery.

Peter had many cheerful stories to tell about growing up in Keilor, including a problem he had on Egg Day.  For those of you not familiar with the Egg Appeal, this little item from Trove will explain it all:

Egg Appeal
More than 250,000 eggs are consumed
at the Royal Melbourne Hospital every
year, and it requires thirty dozen eggs
to provide just one meal. As eggs form
a most important part of the invalid's
diet, an egg appeal is held each year.
This year's appeal will be held on October
10, and donations, however small, will be
gratefully received. They may be left
at the hospital, but if desired, a driver
will call, or freight will be paid on eggs
sent from the country or outer suburban
Egg Appeal (1939, October 5). The Age
(Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 3.

For the full interview, go to the Time Travellers website

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Photos of Montasell's farm, Keilor, 1940s

Photo by J Montasell, courtesy of Viv McComb.
I have just added a page of terrific photos of the Montasell farm in Keilor, and surrounds, taken in the 1940s. Antonio Montasell was a Catalan (Spanish) farmer, who leased a farm at Keilor for 10 years before moving to Deer Park and buying his own place.  The photo above, not actually on the farm, is of the Keilor Lagoon.