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Friday, 16 October 2015

Suburban Bicycle Club

While working on a little project on the photographers who operated in Essendon, Moonee Ponds, Flemington, etc, I came upon this one, taken in the studio of H C Edwards, Kensington. It is from the collection of the State Library of Victoria, item number H2005.34/1181.   They seemed to me to be attired as cyclists, so I went back to the SLV catalogue to see if I could find some other cycling clubs, and located another one identified as the Suburban Bicycle Club, 1892, item number H6265. 

This photo had a number of the faces in the crowd named, though the number of names doesn't match the number of faces, so it is a little unclear what names belong where.  But I did notice a number of names associated with Flemington.  There were three Councillors named, for instance, all of whom served on the Flemington and Kensington Borough Council.  W K Barmby was licensee at the Flemington Hotel for a period in the 1890s.  A race sponsored by Barmby commenced at the Newmarket Railway Bridge, to Keilor and return.

The cap badges in the top photo seem to match some of those in the bottom photo, and I think I can recognise three of the men in the top photo in the second photo.  The three have cloth badges on their sleeves indicating - Secretary, Captain and Sub-Captain.  The man standing behind the back wheel of the right-hand bicycle has a badge on his sleeve, which I think is Captain, and thus is presumably F J Speakman.  (You can download a high resolution image from the State Library to have a closer look).

See the Time Travellers website for the list of names.  If anyone can help with identification of any of the men in the two photos, please get in touch. 

Friday, 9 October 2015

Update to the Essendon & District Local History Book Index

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

There is a minor addition to the Essendon & District Local History Book Index, which is Janet McCalman's book  A hundred years at Bank Street: Ascot Vale State School, 1885-1985.

The index now includes 17 titles. A list of the titles is included with the index.

The Moonee Ponds Post Office

The new Moonee Ponds Post Office a few years after construction in 1906.  Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. H89.105/158

In the 1916 Sands & McDougall Directory, Mrs Ethel May  Knowles ran the Confectionary and Tea Room next to the Post Office, and George Oswald Leighton Marrison was the chemist further west. These two business persons were residing in Puckle St next to the post office as early as 1909 in the Electoral Roll.

Marilyn Kenny has tracked down the incredible machinations behind the effort to get a suitable  post office for the district (ie, one that could accommodate more than two people at a time buying stamps).  Despite the will of the people to have the post office in Mount Alexander Road, which was then the main business thoroughfare, other business interests dragged out the proceedings.

Marilyn says

The matter of selecting a site for a Moonee Ponds Post and Telegraph office was in 1890 already an Ancient question having been on the agenda since 1882. However the issue still had another remarkable sixteen years to run, consuming the energy, interest and passion of the community. 
Read the whole story on the Time Travellers website.