For me the back yard is safe place, a haven, where children might play without fear, where photographs are taken of special moments with the family and friends, of special outfits or maybe just an event which made up the fabric of daily life, so my photos for this week reflect this. I’ve restricted myself to these occasions which occurred over 50 years ago, and in most you will get a glimpse of a fence too, in others the shrubbery obscures the fence.
The photo of this family would have been taken in 1908 – the family were preparing for Christmas contact with families and it is in the form of a post card which could be mailed. These were very popular and I assume the professional photographers visited the small communities, took the photos and then prepared the cards.
Phil and Ann Craine with their daughter Florence in Minyip, VictoriaContinuing with the theme of special occasion is this other photo of Phil Craine all dressed up for a concert or parade. Phil wrote amusing verse which he delivered at these occasions – always about the local identities.
This young lady probably in the 1930’s liked to go to the Balls – she had bought this gold satin dress by mail order from Myers for about 3 pounds. she told me she didn’t like the clinging skirt – she preferred to dance in a full skirt. But here she has spread the rug so she can be photographed yet keep the dress clean. I think this photo was taken in Chillingollah, near Swan Hill in Victoria
Going to church dressed in hat and gloves also was part of the weekly ritual and also in the 193o’s Florence from the first photo has now grown into a young lady and here she was photographed with her future husband Roy Penny.
Ten years or so later she was to attend her sister’s wedding and she and Roy were photographed in the back yard of her brother in Melbourne.
Children growing up in the forties had the simplest of toys – balls, dolls and teddies, tricycles and wooden carts – the next few photos show some of these. The first four were taken in Castlemaine, Victoria, the next three in Minyip, Victoria.
As well children often improvised and used everyday objects to play with or bang.
The back yard was the place the family pets were kept. Kelvin and McNab must have thought they could dig to China!
In country towns in Australia in those years each back yard would have a clothesline, the water tanks, an out door toilet (or dunny) and in many there would have been a wood heap too – it was always said the wood heap was strategically placed between the back door and the toilet so that those returning from a trip to the toilet could always bring back a piece or two of wood with them.
but this was not being thought of when the Tew family posed for a multi generation photo beside the wood heap in their back yard.and finally I wonder what my Grandmother would think if she knew her ‘smalls’ hanging on the Hills Hoist were going to decorate the pages of a blog 56 years after this photo was taken in Pascoe Vale South, Victoria