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Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Batavia Insurance Coy Ltd

Painted on the side of the building "E J Norris Estate Agent, Local Agent, Batavia Insurance Coy Ltd.  W Collins Moonee Ponds."  Photo Lenore Frost 2017.
Building in Russell St, Essendon, looking south.  Photo Lenore Frost 2017.
A recent demolition in Russell St, Essendon, opposite Essendon Station, has revealed a long-hidden sign advertising the service of E J Norris, real estate agent and local agent for the Batavia Insurance Company.

Edward James Norris lived in several local addresses around the station, including Robb St and Flower St.  His business premises, and possibly residence as well, was at 19 Russell St.   He died in 1923, as did the signwriter, William Gilbert Collins of Clarinda Rd, Moonee Ponds.  That puts the latest the sign could have been painted as 1923.

The earliest date for the sign may have been 1919.  In that year Edward James Norris was listed in the Electoral Roll at Devonport, Tasmania.

The name Batavia caught my eye, being a place-name no longer in use.  It was the capital city of the Dutch East Indies until 1943 when it fell to the Japanese.  In 1945 it was renamed Jakarta by Indonesian Nationalists, and accepted by the international community in 1949.  

See more about the Batavia Insurance Co on the Time Travellers website.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Ascot Vale CYMS Football Club, 1919

The Ascot Vale branch of the Catholic Young Men's Society football team which played in the CYMS competition in 1919.  Courtesy of Kathleen Baker.

Their home ground may have been on the Ascot Racecourse, though this is by no means established.  This team portrait was taken at the Leighton Studios in Moonee Ponds in 1919.  Some of the surnames associated with the club were:  Baker, Culquhoun, Scully, Lynch, Maroney, Dunbar, Smith, Riordan, and Reilly.    Identifications of the players is welcome.  See the Time Travellers website for further information.

Monday, 23 October 2017

South Kensington Football Club, 1922

Sylvester Baker, author of "A History of Kensington, 1905-1919" played for the South Kensington Football Club, and is sitting in the front row 5th from the left.  Sylvester was born in 1901, and appears to be one of the oldest in the team, which probably makes this one of the first football teams from the area with no ex-servicemen.  The club played on a ground "behind the South Kensington Railway Station".  The names of most of the players can be seen on the Time Travellers website here.
Photo courtesy of Kathleen Baker.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

6th Melbourne Scout Troop, Kensington, 1919

6th Melbourne Boy Scout senior scouts taken at the Dover Studios, Moonee Ponds in 1917.  Centre front is Scoutmaster William Arthur Robins, and centre back is Sylvester James Baker, both of Kensington. Courtesy of Kathleen Baker.

In 1917 the 6th Melbourne Scout troop was referred to in the newspapers of the day as the Irish Scouts or Catholic Boy Scouts, associated with Holy Rosary Church, Kensington.  Or was this merely a reporter's error.  One article refers to the troop colours as red and green, but the current troop uses a different coloured scarf.

Can anyone identify the other scouts in the photo?    

In 1917 the troop was meeting in Gower St, Kensington, but is now located at the 6th Melbourne Scout Hall in McCracken St, Kensington.  That hall has lately undergone renovations.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

History of Kensington, 1905 to 1930

Macaulay Road, Kensington, looking south.  Courtesy of Flemington Heritage Facebook
In 1976 Sylvester James Baker was asked to write down his recollections of Kensington and South Kensington as he remembered from  his youth.  Sylvester at age 4 years had moved to South Kensington with his family in 1905 where they lived in Ratcliffe Street, Brown’s Hill until 1910,   Bruce Street from 1910 until 1918, and Wolseley Parade from 1918 until his marriage at Holy Rosary Church in 1928.  After his marriage he moved to Yarraville, but maintained his connection with Kensington as the Secretary of the  Kensington Hibernian Society for 52 years.

Kathleen Baker, Sylvester's daughter, has kindly given permission to publish Sylvester's story on the Time Travellers of Essendon and Flemington website.

Monday, 4 September 2017

School is cool at Ascot Vale West

Boys from the Ascot West State School, No.4025, on a coach trip to Tecoma, 1925. Courtesy of Museums Victoria Collections

It was way back in February the last time I drew attention to local school photos added to the Time Travellers website, but I find I have added quite a few since then.   You can check it out on the School photos page.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Georgina Bingham - an 'Energetic Worker'

Georgina Bingham is second from the right in the front row.
Georgina Bingham lived in Bank St, Ascot Vale, on and off, from 1887 until 1920, with periods elsewhere.  Georgina interested herself in a broad range of womens' welfare issues, and Marilyn Kenny has done an excellent job of sleuthing out the various organisations where she became an 'Energetic Worker'.  These included the Essendon Ladies' Benevolent Society, for which she was the Ascot Vale Ward representative, the Victorian Neglected Children's Aid Society, stood for election to the Essendon Board of Advice, though not elected.  She became an Honorary Probation Officer (and much later an Honorary Magistrate) and worked with those who were interested in establishing a Children't Court and Probation system.  There were other societies a well. 

Just to demonstrate that her aim was true, Mrs Bingham was also a member of the Commonwealth Ladies' Rifle Club, established at the Essendon Town Hall in 1900, and proved to be a successful markswoman. 

You can read more about Georgina Bingham in Marilyn Kenny's story  here.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sapper Galbraith at Leighton Studios, Moonee Ponds

Sapper A G F Galbraith, 1915.  Museums Victoria Collections
I have just noticed that Museums Victoria have now made out-of-copyright photos in their collection Public Domain.  The last time I looked, admittedly some while ago, permission was withheld for the use of their online images, despite being out of copyright.

Having a look through the collection last night I noticed the change.  The above portrait is interesting to me because firstly it is a portrait of one of the local men who volunteered for the Great War.  This portrait now appears on the webpage of Sapper A G F Galbraith of Essendon, who did not return to Australia.

The description of the photo reveals that it was taken at the Leighton Studios, which was in Margaret St, Moonee Ponds.  This photo gives the first view of a studio backdrop which appears in other photos, but is not revealed in other portraits, and this is useful for a study of backdrops of local studios which you can see on the Time Travellers of Essendon, Flemington, &c website.

Friday, 11 August 2017

The Foundling Archive

Catalogue description "women; group; lost and found; 1940".  I wonder if there is a studio name on the back?
While browsing through Victorian Collections, I came across this never-previously-encountered collection called "The Foundling Archive".  Contrary to expectations, the archive does not record lost children, but lost photos and ephemera.  The collection is described as follows:

"The foundling archive was established in 2013, as an experiment. We wanted to see if we could track Australia's social history through the old, personal photographs, films and small objects that no longer seemed relevant to their owners. These are the objects that find themselves being sold on ebay and in second-hand shops throughout Australia.

By looking at the bits and pieces we create, keep and eventually throw away, the foundling archive documents evidence of everyday life -of personalities, family dynamics, technological change and social development".

There are photos from places besides Victoria, though they are located in Brunswick, Victoria. A large group was taken in West Sydney.  Unfortunately, when they were cataloguing, other than occasionally including a placename in the title,  they didn't seem to think of recording the photographer's studio and place in the subject headings, so I saw, for instance, two photographs taken in a Perth Studio which you wouldn't know unless you enlarged the photo.

But they are interesting and worth a browse.   Victorian Collections can be searched by place or name, and many of you may find some items of interest there.  I just found a 1941 letter of condolence from the RSL to a woman who used to live in the house I lived in in the 1970s.   Amazing!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Which James Watson at The Springs?

The coloured section shows James Watson's farm at The Springs, which now forms part of the Tullamarine Industrial Estate.

There were two James Watsons in the vicinity of Keilor in the 1840s.  The first was James Watson of Hunter and Watson, a pastoral partnrship which is well-known to Keilor historians.  The other was another Scot who made some transactions under the name James Watson, but possibly because of confusion with his namesake, began using  his full name of James Butler Watson.    It was James Butler Watson who leased a 50 acre farm from JFLV Foster in 1842.  In her new article "James Butler Watson: early resident of The Springs", Christine Laskowski gives the process by which she revealed the identity of this other James Watson.  

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Steele Creek and the Lady of the Lake

  Steele Creek and the Lady of the Lake was first published in 2013, and has been out of print since 2014.  Owing to popular demand, Christine Laskowski has agreed to get a limited reprint, with revisions.  If you want to have a copy of the book, you will need to reserve one to ensure you don't miss out.

You can download a copy of the form from the Time Travellers website.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Ruth Hollick, Moonee Ponds photographer

Photo: Ruth Hollick, Moonee Ponds

This portrait of a woman and child was taken in Ruth Hollick's home studio in Moonee Ponds in 1918. The Hollick home was on the south side of Park Street. Ruth took a number of photos in the local area, and these are referred to in an article about her on the Time Travellers website.  At the end of 1918 she took over the studio of Mina Moore in Collins Street, Melbourne, and went on to develop a reputation for child portraiture, particularly using natural light.     

The subjects of the above photo are not currently known.  This photo is one of a pair.  The other photo is inscribed on the back "With love to Auntie Lola March 1918."   If you can identify this pair, we would love to hear from you.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Dover Studio backdrops

Taken at the Dover Studio to celebrate the marriage of Edward Charles Oram and Violet Barnes.  "To Mother from  your loving son and daughter, Ted & Vi, xx, Aug 2nd 1919". It further refines the early studio background used by Frank Rider after taking over from the late Frank Vallance. Two new photos of the studio from 1919 can be seen at the above link on the Time Travellers website. The dado line showing in the gap between the couple possibly appeared in some photos taken by the previous photographer,  Frank Vallance.  Photo courtesy of Mrs Judy Provan (Paynesville, Vic) and Dayle Mills (Bundoora, Vic).

Friday, 2 June 2017

Possible Essendon Cricket team, circa 1886 - or not....

Photo courtesy of Kerryn Taylor, AncestorChasing. .

The above photo has kindly been shared by Kerryn Taylor, whose relatives were the Morgans who ran the Cross Keys Hotel in Essendon for some years.

The player second from the left in the back row is Alexander Morgan, Alexander Morgan left Essendon in 1886, aged 24, for Wellington, New Zealand, where he spent the rest of his life.  The photo could therefore have been taken in Essendon or Wellington, New Zealand, we aren't too sure.  If anyone can identify the team or any other players, that would be very helpful indeed.   A larger view of this photo can be seen on the Time Travellers website.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Another view of "Belmiers"

Another view of "Belmiers" on the corner of Lorraine and Buckley Streets has turned up.    It has been added to the Time Travellers website.  Courtesy of Walter J R Barber.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Essendon Baseball Club before the war

The pre-war Essendon Baseball Club, circa 1914.  In the front row are, second and third from the left Alick Swift and William Kennedy Park.  Alick enlisted in 1914 and fell at Gallipoli in 1915, never to return to his club.  If you can identify any other players, please let me know.  Some of the other men who played with this club are mentioned in a news article on the Time Travellers' webpage for the Essendon Baseball Club.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

"Belmiers" and Violet Street, Essendon

This lovely snap shows the view from the front door of "Belmiers" looking north along Violet Street.  "Belmiers" was at 91 Buckley St, Essendon.  The house is still standing, but renumbered 155 Buckley Street.    Due to the generosity of Walter J R Barber of Warrnambool, we now have a number of photos of "Belmiers" and the two young men who left from this address to serve in the great war - Harold Snape and his brother Robert Snape.    We also have an addition to photos from the Essendon State School, this time from about 1901.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

More on Edith Peard's education

We are fortunate in that the Peard/Williams family were careful preservers of family documents, and here we have some further evidence of Edith's education. These images have now been added to Edith's Peard's story on the Time Travellers website.

Herbert Williamson may also have inspired Edith's interest in geography and and flora. It could explain why Edith owned an Introductory Text-book Physical Geography, by David Page, published by William Blackwood and Sons, eleventh edition, 1883. Edith signed the preface page "Edith F. Peard Greta 8-7-84".

Blackwoods Class Books in Natural Science with the price of two shillings and sixpence embossed on the cover.
Edith seems to have acquired her copy for two shillings and fourpence.

Edith signed at dated her book at Greta on 8 July 1884.

In later years Edith may have been following the teaching of her botanically inclined teacher when she wrote out instructions for transplanting Erica, giving the Latin botanical name.

From the Williams Family collection.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Edith Peard update

Edith Peard, a violin and piano teacher of Robb Street, Essendon, grew up in the north-east of Victoria. In search of the means by which Edith developed her musical abilities, I was able access recently a book called A History of Greta by Samuel Edward Ellis, whose family farm and post office were not far away from the Peard general store in Greta.  The following details have been extracted from Ellis's book, and the webpage about Edith's career has been duly updated.  You can see it on the Time Travellers website.

Part of the Parish Plan of Greta, included in A History of Greta, by S E Ellis, North Eastern Historical Society,
Kilmore. 1972. The Township of Hanson, the small dark area at the bottom of the plan later became the main Greta township.  The surveyed Township of Greta on the top left of the plan became known as Greta West.  The Kellys lived at Greta West, while the Peards lived at the new Greta.

A detail of the Greta Parish Plan above showing the original Township of Hanson in Section XIV. 
Samuel Edward Ellis, who wrote A History of Greta, was born in 1873 at Greta where his parents Thomas and Annie Ellis farmed and conducted the first Post Office.  Their farm can be seen on the first plan of Greta above,  to the south east of the township, just below Section IX. 

The first post office was at Mr Ellis' farm, about a mile and a half east of the township.  The mails were at first carried by horsemen to and from Oxley.  When the NE railway was completed in 1873 the mails were then taken to Glenrowan (Rowan's Gap).  In 1888 the post office was moved to the part of Greta called Hanson  Wm Peard had set up a store at this site on the Greta-Wangaratta road about ten years previously.  He sold his business to W Carmichael, who took over the post office. (Ellis, page 17)
 The centre of the parish of Greta kept shifting according to the activity in the parish and four areas were variously known as Greta.  The original surveyed township of Greta became Greta West, while the Township of Hanson became Greta.  There was also Hanson South and Greta South in the vicinity.   

The first school in the district was a board school at Hanson, which began in 1870.  A government school was established there in 1877.   When the Greta Post Office moved to Hanson to a site near the Hanson School in 1888, to avoid confusion the school was renamed Greta School, and the Greta School established in 1883 in the Greta Township, was named Greta West.

In 1882 a new Head Teacher arrived at the Greta School. Herbert Bennett Williamson had been born in Chiltern in 1860, so was 22 on taking up his post at Greta.   He had taken up his first post as a teacher in 1876 at the age of 16,  passing his matriculation examinations at the end of that year.  Samuel Ellis says of him:    
"Mr R C B McDonald was succeeded in 1882 by Mr H B Williamson - a fine teacher and an enthusiastic photographer  There were no short cuts in those days, no hand cameras or prepared reels of film.  The amateur had to expose his negative plates and develop them in a dark room as well as print and fix his photographs.  He was the first cyclist in the district and rode the iron tyred "boneshaker" as well as the tall "kangaroo" or "penny-farthing".  He was also a keen botanist, and at the time of his death was recognised throughout Australia as one of the leading botanists". (Ellis, p 18).

Greta School about 1880.  Samuel Ellis is arrowed at front left. The Peard children are probably all in this photo.
(Ellis, facing page 3).

It seems probable that it was Herbert Williamson who introduced Edith to the violin.  Edith was 13 when Williamson arrived at Greta.  "Mr Williamson, a lover of music as well of cycling and photography, was a teacher of the violin during his residence at Greta". (Ellis p 19.) 

In later years their daughter Kate Dawson, nee Peard, used to say that they knew the Kelly family in Greta, but had no time for them.  Kate Peard and Grace Kelly, a younger sister of Ned, were born in the same year, in 1866.  Peards arrived in Greta in about 1878, at which time the two  girls were aged about 12.  Did they cross paths at the Greta School?  There was no school at Greta West until 1883, so if the Kelly children did attend school, they would have had to walk or ride the four and a half miles to the Hanson/Greta township. Or did the Peards engage a governess to teach the children at home?

Monday, 20 February 2017

Moonee Ponds (West) State School added to the list

Moonee Ponds State School (now Moonee Ponds West) Prep 2 Grade 1918 has now been added to the list of school photos at the Time Travellers website.   If you can recognise anyone, don't forget to say!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Pandora - Australia's Web Archive

I am pleased to report that the Time Travellers in Essendon Flemington and the Keilor Plains website and blog has been selected by the National Library of Australia for perpetual preservation in their web archive.  This title is scheduled to be re-archived regularly. The archived website can be seen here.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Keilor Iron or Basket Bridge

Browsing through the photographs at the State Library of Victoria taken by Ruth Hollick, this photo came up as an unidentified country bridge.  It is, however, the Keilor Iron Basket Bridge, taken circa 1930.  See more of the history of the bridge on the Time Travellers website.

Friday, 3 February 2017

1st Ascot Vale Brownies

1st Ascot Vale Brownie Pack Certificate was awarded to Gayle Green in 1964.  Courtesy of Gayle Murray.

The official Guider magazine Matilda recorded the registration of the 1st Ascot Vale Brownie Pack in the 1 August 1933 issue.

But where did they meet?  Who started the Pack? What did they do?  Lend us a hand to find out more about the 1st Ascot Vale Brownies.   There is one little Brownie from this pack making her salute on the Time Travellers website.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Tennis? My serve.

Here is a nice photo of the St John's Tennis Club.  Otto Reiher is the man on the far left. Photo courtesy of Ian Reiher.    If you go to the website you will see another photo of the club, both featuring the bluestone walls of the original St John's Prebyterian Church, Essendon.

I have created a page of links for the sports clubs, and plan to be adding more club photos in the next week, so keep an eye out.    If your relatives lived in the vicinity of Essendon and Flemington, and were sporty types you may be able to find them in a club photo.  Please let me know if you do.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Did your aunty play for Kensington Meths?

Kensington Methodist Basket Ball Team, circa 1930s, courtesy of the Kelvin Edwards Collection, State Library of Victoria Collection.

The Kensington Methodist Basket Ball Club fielded two teams in the Methodist Basketball League from the early 1930s.   Two further photos of the teams can be found on the Time Travellers website, one of which includes the initials and surnames of the Premiership Team of  1935.  The surnames included Cox (3), Smith, Hocking, Thomson, Williamson and Cameron. The sport is now more familiarly known as netball.

If you can't find your relatives in the Kensington Methodist teams, you might try the Ascot Vale West Basket Ball Club of 1928 and 1928, or  the Flemington Basket Ball Team of 1937.

Any identifications welcome. Please get in touch.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

WW2 brothel in Essendon

Which early and well-known Essendon property was used as a brothel for American servicemen in WW2?    Find out at the Time Travellers website.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Flemington Lacrosse Club, 1896

Flemington Lacrosse Club, courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.
This sharply dressed team of lacrosse players from Flemington won the B Division Championship in 1896, the first year in which they played in the Victorian Lacrosse Association competition.  The short-cropped ties and the dinky little peak caps set off their spiffy attire.  Their home ground was in Royal Park.  If anyone can identify the buildings in the background of this photo, please get in touch.  Does anyone know who the players were?

You can see a further photo of the club from 1897 on the Time Travellers website.