Sepia Saturday August 30th 2014 – Escaping

Ira Gelling Craine (known Paddy) escaped a few times in his life, sometimes when he was in the army during WW1 and there were several occasions when he went AWOL. He was of course punished for these excursions. This is just one example from his war records – on this occasion he was detained for 11 days, forfeited 11 days pay – which brought his total loss of pay to 22 daysPaddy AWOL

But later in life he escaped again, he escaped from the constraints of society and built himself a humpy* in the bush. The only punishment on this occasion was self imposed as he deprived himself of the comforts of living in a house.Paddy's houseHere he was able to indulge his hobby of mining. Paddy's mine

As well as having sunk this shaft he sometimes would pan for gold as well.Paddy panningHe was not always alone – it would seem that friends occasionally dropped in to visit – but don’t seem to have been offered a seat. Paddy with visitorSadly Paddy had another way of escaping – he liked a drink or three, and when under the weather he would cause some embarrassment to his family.  While on leave  during his war service years (or maybe AWOL) he arrived unannounced at a cousin’s house in the home country of his parents, the Isle of Man, and soon found he could walk to many of the local hostelries. In Australia he worked on the railways, and when near Minyip the home town of his brother Phillip, he would drop in to stay. His grand daughter Florence recalled these occasions as causing some grief to her mother, but “we kids always thought he was wonderful.” He certainly looks very contented in these photographs.

War Service Record courtesy of National Archives of Australia

Photos courtesy of the Linton Historical Society, Victoria

*Humpy – originally a word to describe a temporary dwelling built by the aborigines, but now in common use for a make do, temporary home.

There are other tales of escaping or running away to be found  at Sepia SaturdayRunning away

Sepia Saturday August 23rd 2014 National Dress

Of all our ancestors it seems the Scottish traditions have lasted the longest. Even today in Australia there are Highland Gatherings all around the country where events such as caber tossing and tug of war still take place, as well as traditional dance competitions, and of course lots of bagpipe music.

Allan Boyd, the first Chieftain of the Caledonian society in Minyip was born in Scotland in 1851, but emigrated so young he would have no memory of it. Here he is photographed with his sons John Alexander and WilliamAllna Boyd & sons

Another son Malcolm was photographed separately
Boyd Malcolm son of Alan

Allan’s sons  had a reputation as fine pipers and were often called on to play at weddings.

They all were members of the Minyip Pipe Band

Minyip Pipe Band 1

 and look as though they are having a very jolly time in this photo IMG_0014The first Highland Gathering was held in Minyip in 1906. This photo is of the gathering the next year.Minyip Highland Gathering 1907

Allan’s daughter’s Elizabeth Jane and Selina also donned traditional dress for festive occasions.Eliz Jane Boyd 1908 Selina BoydIn the other branch of the family the next generation of children were also being dressed in kilts and all the trimmings. Brothers George Roy & Henry Murdoch Penny abt 1912George Roy & Henry Murdoch Penny

and their cousin Barbara Cowan in 1907Barbara Cowan

And Allan Boyd’s great grand daughter was still carrying on the tradition into the 1950’s, over 100 years after he emigrated from Scotland.Shelley

I may have gone out on limb here with my photos of National Dress you will probably find more intriguing Fan Tales on the Sepia Saturday site at SS Aug 23

Sepia Saturday August 16th 2014 Letter Writing

In 1934 Greeba Craine was holidaying out of town with her mother, we think probably in Ballarat with the reference to Uncle Mac, and her father wrote her this letter. Although I have several other pages of his writings for this letter there seems to be a page missing. Although not born on the Isle of Man he was very proud of his Manx heritage, and his writings are sprinkled with the language – so ‘Greeba Veg Veen’ is ‘dear little Greeba’

Craine letter1


Craine letter3


and now I’m looking forward to see what treasures other Sepians have to share on this theme of Letter Writing. check it out hereSS letterwriting

Sepia Saturday Aug 9th 2014 – Photo with a chalk on slate label

The best I have to offer this week is a photo with a label handwritten in chalk on a slate. I have many such as this school photo but I will just include this one. Minyip State School 19231923In the 3rd back  row stands Florence Craine – the older girl in a braid trimmed blazer, there seem to be 2 others wearing a similar blazer (including her brother Ira reclining in front on the left) but we don’t know what they are. Florence would have been 16 when this photo was taken so we are surprised to see her still wearing a school uniform – wish I had asked her about it when she was still alive.

Born in Minyip, Vic – she attended this school as a student until she gained her Intermediate Certificate. She then took on another role as Student Teacher, and as she completed her training she went on to be a teacher in the school until marriage in 1932 determined her retirement. She was out of the work force for the next 13 years, when after WW2 a shortage of teachers in rural areas, saw the Head Master of the day Mr Charlie Campbell lure her back to the classroom in 1945. Her older child by then was a pupil at the school and a Grandma was called upon to mind the younger one. Florence rode her bike to school and the toddler travelled as far as Nanna’s on a home made wooden bike seat on the back. For a married woman with children to return to work was certainly rare in the 1940’s, especially in a small country town. She taught at the school until her retirement in 1972.

The other children in the photo would have been a mix of children of local farmers and from the families who had businesses or worked in the town. There were several rural schools around the district which provided education for many of the farmers’ sons and daughters.

I wonder if they knew the photo would be taken on that day – some of the girls have enormous bows in their hair, and the boys are nearly all in jackets. This was a year in the height of the depression, not long after the First World War and clothing items would still have been scarce, I imagine many of the children are wearing hand made items, or hand-me-downs, but they all certainly look very smart and contented.

Anyone viewing this post who wishes to know the names of other students – they are listed on this Flickr site

The Sepia Saturday theme for this week was much broader than I have here so you will find some very interesting tales at Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday July 26 2014 Shopfronts and men with hands in pockets

Several of the Ancestors were connected with stores in one way or another. William Craine who emigrated from the Isle of Man in 1862 was a watchmaker. They had a small shopfront in the main street of Linton Victoria where from the front daughter Lottie Isabel sold sweets and soft drinks. In this photo it is the un named store in the foreground. (photo courtesy of the Linton Historical Society)Craine Shop LintonEastwood’s store in Minyip has no family connections. It is the earliest photo I have of a business in that township, and as the photographer left the area in 1898 it would be around that time  or earlier this photo was taken. Mr Eastwood sold this business to Andrew Phillips in 1907. The building was destroyed by fire in 1947.

EastwoodWilliam  Craine’s son  Phillip spent his working life in general stores – this photo has him, 2nd from left, and other staff outside Melbourne Cash Stores in Collingwood, probably in the early 1900’s. One is probably the owner J. Brake. Cash in those days meant that no accounts would be held, and stores like this were common throughout the country.Melbourne Cash Stores

From Melbourne Phillip Craine moved to Minyip, the home town of his wife Ann Boyd. Here he was employed by Mr Andrew Phillips and managed the Grocery department. There are three photos I have of the Phillips store. The earliest shows a modest building covering the basics of life – groceries, drapery and iron goods. I love that the photographer captures a dog too in this photo. I wonder if it belonged to the store. Phillips-1In the next photo you can see how Andrew Phillips prospered with considerable extension to the building. He was known to have made several trips overseas (perhaps combining business with pleasure), and it was on his return from one of these voyages in 1916 that he fell off a train south of Sydney and was killed.Phillips_2Phillip Craine’s son in law Roy Penny also worked in retail outlets. His first job as a teenager was in Drapery department in the Don stores in Minyip. Even as an old man he always had a discerning eye for fabric and colour in clothing.Don Drapers

Eventually he and his older brother Hal went into business together in the town establishing a Newsagent, Grocery and Fancy Goods Store.  Later they we joined by a younger brother Alex, and the business continued in several different buildings until the early eighties.  After being burnt out in 1938 I believe for a time they ran their business from Andrew Phillips store, the three brothers are pictured outside.Phillips_3And this  building was where their business flourished for many years. Today it houses the Pharmacy in a town which has diminished in size considerably.H & R Penny

It replaced this building which sadly burnt down in 1938. Federal Arcade

Many of the photos in the little brown suitcase bear the stamp of a photographer J.L Discaciati (pron diskachatty) of Warracknabeal, or Discaciati & Co.J L DiscaciatiDiscaciati & CoOn a recent visit to Warracknabeal we went in search of his building as many of the school and sporting team photos of the fifties were also taken in the Discaciati studio. This is all we could find.Discaciati building

and I hope the eagle eyed of my readers have found the men with their hands in their pockets.

other interpretations of the theme will be found at Sepia SaturdaySS Signs

Sepia Saturday – July 12th 2014 – Strange Headgear

Although I have sat under a hair dryer often, there are no photographs to record this  or curling rags or butterfly clips so I’m settling for the last alternative in this week’s theme – strange headgear. Malcolm Boyd (1878-1947) was a farmer at Kellalac near Warracknabeal in Victoria. When he retired from the farm, after living in Warracknabeal and Surrey Hills in Melbourne for a short time, he eventually settled in Geelong – living at 3 Nantes St in Newtown. This photograph, taken by a street photographer, catches him walking down a shopping street, all dressed up in suit, collar and tie, but he has chosen to wear what I think would be called a pith helmet on his head.Malcolm Boyd I have always asked 2 questions of this photo – where was it taken? – is it in Warracknabeal before he left the area? maybe in Pakington Street, Geelong West; or maybe in Melbourne. I have never found any reference to the Piccadilly Cafe in my researching. And why did he choose this headgear? – I don’t believe it would have been common in suburbia in the late thirties, early forties.

We can leave this puzzle now and take a peek at the other offerings that may be closer to the theme at SS July 12

Handshakes, Pipes and Fence Sitting

Politicians are very thin on the ground in our family snaps, and I can’t manage pipes, hand shakes and fence sitting all in one photograph.

So taken separately for handshakes best I have to offer is the children receiving swimming trophies from the Eastern Beach Swimming Club in Geelong in the Seventies. They both continued on with swimming so the 5.30 am starts were worth it in the long term. She became a competent Triathlete and competed in several Iron man contests, he continues to swim for fitness and relaxation, the next challenge is the Cala Montgo Swim Festival in Spain in September.

Stephen swimming trophy 1976Susan Swimming Trophy 1976

Pipe smoking seemed to have been prepared for when quite young. This is Kelvin about 1940 in Minyip VicKelvin

and by the seventies he graduated to a real one in adult life, at Cumberland River, Vic Cumberland river 1973

This little chap also photographed in Minyip in 1963 never graduated past make believe which no doubt made him a better swimmer.Stephen with pipe

and finally some fence sitting in Castlemaine, Vic about 1946 – Bertie’s family were our only neighbours and although we went to different schools we spent a lot of our play time together. I’m obviously all dressed up ready to go out somewhere – the bow in the hair, the cream pleated skirt (which would have been on a bodice), as I’m covered by a pinny with some very decorative frills over the shoulders!Bertie and Marcia

Other contributions on this theme may be viewed at Sepia Saturday Pollies, Pipes & Handshakes

Reflections – seen (scene – pardon the pun) and hidden. and a little paddling too.

So the pretty pictures first – a selection of reflections on water taken on our travels around Oz.

In the fifties the Warracknabeal High School held their swimming sports at this spot on the Yarriambiac Creek Relays were swum across the creek.

Swimming hole on Yarriambiac Creek

Junee, NSW 2014

Happy hour at Junee

Nelligen River, NSW March 2013IMG_2953



Grandsons at Bateman’s Bay NSW

Boys Bateman's Bay

Murrumbidgee River at Balranald, NSW


This one sent to us by family – grandsons and friends at a mountain lake in the Snowy Mountains, NSW. They had ridden the bikes up the mountainboys & friendsThis one of an earlier generation – it was 1962 and we were having a camping holiday in the Grampians in Victoria – a borrowed tent and camping equipment – he slept on 2 directors chairs pushed together with cushions from our lounge suite as a mattress, I was heavily pregnant and slept in the Simca with the seat laid back. I do remember the possums at night on the roof. This was his first ever venture into a large pool of water (Lake Lonsdale)  – a few tentative steps. (These both my first attempt of scanning slides) Stephen 1962And then dad came in too.Kelvin & Stephen 1962-1

Seven years later we were at Port Fairy in Victoria and with a sister and friends to play with and Grandma and Grandpa watching on, he was more adventurous. No visible reflections here but maybe some of the adults are reflecting on when they were young and enjoyed paddlingPort Fairy 1969-1

Port Fairy 1969-2

While we were at Port Fairy that year the Fishing Tackle shop burnt down and although we were all non fishers we took advantage of their Fire Sale to buy a fishing rod. He was putting it to good use at Cumberland River west of Lorne  on the south coast of Victoria in 1972. The reflection here maybe ‘Hope I catch something today’Cumberland River 1973

Even without a fishing line there is something soothing about watching the ocean and letting the thoughts meander, (and maybe enjoy an Icy Pole or Crisps). These snaps are of his grandparents shortly before he was born as they enjoyed their annual retreat in Portland, Western Victoria.

Portland 1962-1

Portland 1962-2

The grandchildren were doing the same at Cumberland River some years later.

August 1972

and finally a different type of paddling for the newest generation as these Nippers (Lifesavers in Training) prepare to tackle the waves at Tathra, NSW in March 2014IMG_0863

So now time to take a look at other Reflections in SS June 28

Weddings in Australia-1895-1993

From the Little Brown Suitcase this week comes firstly four generations of Penny men and their brides – I’m letting the photos do the talking this week so leave it to you to notice the difference in styles. If I write too much I won’t have room for further images from my collection. Clicking on the image will display a large version.

George (1905)  his three sons Hal (1932), Roy (1932) and Alex (1945), Roy’s’ son Kelvin (1960), Kelvin’s son Stephen in England  (1993)

GeorgeHalRoy AlexKelvinStephen

The earliest wedding photos I have are from the 1890’s

James Penny and Betsy McSwain in 1895


Anne Penny and Jack McQuinn in 1896Penny-McQuinn

Moving on now to the early 1900’s 3 of the 4 Boyd sisters  I featured in my sisters and hats post were married at this time, and you will see some more large hats here too.

Ann Boyd & Phil Craine 1906, Bella Boyd & Alex Dowler 1908, Jane Boyd & James Cowan 1911 all married at the property of their parents ‘Ardnamurchan’ near Minyip, Victoria

Boyd AnnBella


The guests at Jane and James Wedding – interesting striped hat on the lady sitting front right.

Jane guests

The bride chose to wear a large hat for her wedding day – Emily Dowler and James Marshall 1912


Moving in to the 1920’s I love this wedding group photo of Amy Boyd and Alf Woodward on their wedding day. I wonder if the attendants got the chance to kick up their heels on the dance floor.


And I’ll finish with a non traditional bride of the 1950’s as I think she looks so stylish and seems to have a most unusual flower spray on her lapel. Sadie  Harrington and Henry Penny in Bendigo in 1952.

1952 Henry Penny & Sadie Harrington

I do realize that looking at the photos of brides from other family albums is not everyone’s cup of tea or glass of Fizz so for the devotees I’ve also posted more from my collection at Flickr if you open one then you can scroll through the others.

I’m sure there will be some more interesting slants on the wedding day to view atSS Weddings

Sepia Saturday June 7th – 100 years of Ladies in Hats

In earlier times ladies wore a hat all the time – a simple cap indoors, and something more elaborate to go out. Customs changed and ladies only put on a hat to go out, then even later only wore a hat for special occasions – going to church or a wedding or a funeral. Living in a country town in Victoria in the fifties I would always have worn a hat to go to church, but once I moved to Melbourne no hat was considered necessary, and I still remember   the hunt around the cupboards to find me a hat to wear to church, in the late fifties when I visited the home of my husband to be for the first time, as in that small town it was still the custom. I think the customs must have persevered much longer in England as  ladies were most definitely expected to wear hats to our son’s wedding in 1993. Today of course, so conscious of the damage done by the sun, we plonk hats on or heads to go outdoors for an entirely different reason. There is a wide variety of styles in the hats worn by the ladies in the family albums. I have included some of them here in roughly chronological order as many of them have no date.

Jane (Teague) Purcell (1794-1867)


Martha (Sellek) Radford (1800-1867)



Eliza (Radford) Latham (1828- 1892)

Eliza (Radford) Latham

Caroline (Penny) Nicholls  (1838-1894) added this hat to her outfit from the selection

Jane (Penny) Radford

Moving now perhaps to the early 20th Century

Selina (Barnes) Boyd) (1851-1925)

Getting much more extravagant in style.I’m aware that a lot of these hats were not their own, but available in the studio for the photographic session


Selina’s daughter Isabel Dowler (1883-1970) also chose a large style for this photo. To me it looks like she has a wedding cake perched on the top of her head!


   In New Zealand this is what Donald Boyd’s wife chose to wear. The family in Australia did not know her name, she may have been Fanny Jane Cowley.


More large hats – Lottie Craine (1881-1961) and her niece Mrs Adeline (McIntyre) Teese  (1890-1961) perhaps at a funeral? although one gent is wearing a flower in his lapel so perhaps it was a wedding.


Mary Ann (Sandford) Blackley (1859-1939)

Mary Ann (Sandford) Blackley

Moving in to the first half of the 20th Century the hats develop smaller brims

I think this photo of Greeba and Florence Craine would have been taken in the 1920’s Greeba & Florence

but shortly after her own wedding in the 1930’s Florence had gone for something larger to attend a wedding

Florence Penny1

Others were wearing their hats tilted forward as shown by Susie (Penny) Wright and her sister Carrie (Penny) Hobbs

Susan Wright and Carrie Hobbs

or perched on the back of the head and carry some floral decoration. Looks as though they were going to a very important family wedding.

Grace Cowan, Marjorie Crow, Jess Trudinger and Laura Lloyd daughters of Isabella McLean and Jack Cowan


or a jaunty boater as worn by Lucy May (Penny) McKenzie (1890-1969)

Lucy May (Penny) McKenzie

  or on the slant Vera Fricke going to the local agricultural show in 1940

Vera Fricke 1940

 Mother and daughter 1948 (and the dress was made of Viyella)

Vera and Marcia 1948

Moving to the 1960‘s the hats are getting smaller

These styles seen at a wedding in 1960

Florence Penny 2 Edna CraineGrandma Fricke

Jessie TrudingerMargaret RickeyVera 1960

And as I said 100 years now to round out the theme our daughter chose this jaunty number in red on her Wedding Day in 1992, leaving the Reception.

Susan 1992

This was a free choice of subject week and I’m very keen  to see what others have written and I hope you are too. You can check them out in the link below.

Sepia Sat 7 June Open Theme