Sepia Saturday – Arches and Ceilings and the most significant building in my childhood

I wasn’t sure how to approach this post – the travel photo albums contain a plethora of photos of beautiful old buildings with arches and decorated ceilings – so I’ve tried to be bit more off beat.

So my first photo which I nearly used last week as it is taken in a back yard, is of a decorated wedding arch for the marriage of Elizabeth Jane Boyd to James Cowan in 1911. I am not sure of the symbolism of the arch with bell, but it was used by several members of the family in this generation

A brother, two cousins, a sister of the bride and 2 nieces in this photo taken at the property of the bride’s parents ‘Ardnamurchan’ near Minyip Victoria

Adults – L to R William Boyd, Emily Dowler, James Cowan, Elizabeth Jane Boyd, John Boyd, Selina Boyd.
Flower girls – (Vivienne) Amy Boyd (b 1906) and Florence Craine (b1907)

Photographer J. L. Discaciati Warracknabeal

Boyd Cowan wedding 1911

And now a very small grab bag of some from our Travel Albums.

Another garden arch – this one in the grounds of Highclere Castle aka Downton AbbeyIMG_0029

This arch provides the outline for the stage at the Rex in Berkhamsted, UK – this theatre designed art in deco style by David Evelyn Nye in 1936 is now a popular place for cinema goers.The Rex

Ceiling light in prince Edward Theatre, London

prince edward theatre london 2

prince edward theatre london

Ceiling Light in the Wyndham theatre, LondonWyndham theatre London

The arches that support the structure of the Laxey Wheel on the Isle of Man- the largest working waterwheel in the world. It was used to pump 250 gallons of water a minute from the Laxey mines some 200 yards away and 1500ft below ground. laxey 1 laxey 2

A granddaughter skipping through the arched pathways in Monells, SpainSpain

The absolute peace and serenity in the Heiligenkreuz Abbey in AustriaHeiligenkreuz Abbey, Austria

And last but by no means least –  to my significant building. My father Charles Fricke taught in the Castlemaine Boys Reformatory (which was originally the Castlemaine Gaol) and for most of my childhood we lived in the  residence supplied there for the teacher. This is how the front of the Gaol looked during the time we lived there, the first little porch in the foreground is where we entered our house. The large door in the centre of the building is where deliveries were made, including the boys who were to become residents. they would arrive every second week in a Black Maria from Pentridge in Melbourne. There is a similar small door at the far end of the building which was the entrance to the residence of the Quartermaster, Mr Albert Austin Spallgaol 1

There was a large vegetable garden at the back of the building, the gent in this photo was visiting the familygaol 2

My husband had never seen my home, so when during a period in the nineties the building became a Conference and Residential Centre we went there to stay for a night – and yes we slept in a former cell.The photo below was one I took at that time of one of the wings of the building. the small doors on the right are the former cells.gaol interiorI understand the area is once again in the hands of the developers with plans to build town houses around the original  building which will return to being a conference centre

and more contributions to Sepia Saturday – Arches, Domes, Ceilings, Significant BuildingsSS Mar 15

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22 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday – Arches and Ceilings and the most significant building in my childhood

  1. What an interesting collection of arches. I’d love to see how the gardeners prune that arch at Highclere — must require a number of ladders! I also find it fascinating that you lived at the reformatory school. Were you kept separate from the residents?

    • Yes we were kept separate – they were housed in the main Gaol area, but trusted boys came in to the house to help my mother, and she taught them to cook and they did other household chores. Other groups worked outside under supervision of a Warder, I would mingle with them there – be given rides in the wheelbarrow. Once a fortnight, in the school room my father screened a Motion Picture, if it were deemed appropriate the families would join everyone there, there were also concerts given by local residents and we would attend them too.

  2. The ceiling of the Wyndham theatre in London is beautiful. Theatres, even movie theatres, were so grand years ago before modern, fairly unadorned stadium-seating complex theatres took their place. Not that I’m complaining about the stadium seating part which provides excellent viewing (usually). But I do miss the grandeur of the old theatres with all the gold paint and mosaics and glitter.

  3. Ooh I think this is a new blog for me. Hello! I love that wedding photo. It is so very clear. It sounds like you had the same problems as me. Where to begin ? What’s the focus? But you’ve done very well. Those arched pathways in Spain look so much fun. I’d skip there too given half a chance.

  4. It must have been interesting to live in what had formerly been the Castlemaine Gaol. Any ghost visits from past inmates?

  5. No ghosts that I heard of. It was probably due to our parents very down to earth attitude to our life there that I never felt frightened at all.. The only time I ever felt threatened was one night when we were at the movies the roof space in the wing leading to the school room caught fire and we had to walk out with some glow showing through the pin prick holes in the ceiling.

  6. Your wedding photo is fabulous! The small version doesn’t do it justice. I clicked through to enlarge and get a closer look. The bride is beautiful and I love the flower baskets the bride’s maids were holding. They are positively charming. I have no wedding photos of my grandparents’ marriage but they were married in 1911, too, so I can use this to imagine what my grandmother’s dress may have looked like. It’s hard to imagine living in a home that once was a goal. It looks beautiful now but I doubt the people who were incarcerated there saw much of its beauty. Thanks for sharing all of your arches.

    • From the on-line plans, which I really haven’t studied all that closely, I think the town houses are to go around the Gaol building, with the Gaol itself serving as the conference rooms.

    • Yes Highclere Castle is where Downton Abbey is filmed. There is not much mention of the series in the Castle itself – it has quite a fascinating history of its own.

  7. That cottage attached to the corner of the gaol was where my father, Bert, and his father, Albert Austin Spall (my grandfather) lived while my grandfather was in charge of Castlemaine Gaol in the 1950s. As children, my father and his brother used to ride their bikes down the steep hill the gaol sits atop.

    • Ade I’d love to make contact to hear a little more of your father and his family after the fifties when the Reformatory closed down. I sent an email to your listed email address but have not had a reply.

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