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

Sepia Saturday 17th May 2014 Sand, Surf and Sailor suits

These three photos all probably taken in the forties – different places, different families.

Fred Penny on the left lived in Glenelg, South Australia so why he and a friend were at Beachport, about 200 km to the south east I don’t know, but they obviously thought they should dress well for the occasion with waistcoats and watch chains. They certainly look very relaxed.Fred Penny & friend at Beachport

Whereas this young man at Portland Victoria was much better prepared to tackle the surf – with a hired surfboard probably made from marine plywoodKelvin surfboardMy mum had made this little dress with a sailor suit theme – in navy and white. Taken in front of the Castlemaine Reformatory.Marcia & TeddyMore stories and photos with a seaside theme at Ss May 17

Sepia Saturday 10th May 2014 – Sisters

Four surviving daughters of Alan and Selina (Barnes) Boyd were raised on the property ‘Ardnamurchan’ near the township of Minyip in the Dunmunkle Shire, Victoria Australia. Selina the eldest born in 1876, Elizabeth Jane 1879, Ann 1881, and Isobel 1883. There was a 5th daughter Florence, but she died young. The earliest photo I have is of the three eldest girls, the date unknown, but given that the youngest sister isn’t included I would think about the mid 1890’s. In this photo they have taken great pains to get their hairstyles all alike – I wonder how many hours it took to frizz the hair like that – with maybe only one pair of curling tongs between them which had to be heated on the kitchen wood fired stove.

 Jane, Selina and Ann.Jane, Selina & Ann Boyd

This next photo taken some years later of the four of them – and again they have taken great care with matching their hairstyles.

The three married ladies are all wearing wedding rings so I place this photo at some time soon after 1911. I’m very disappointed at the quality of this scan as the original is so very clear, my skills in this regard require a lot of work.

Selina, Isobel, Ann and Jane

4 Boyd sisters

Another year – another hairstyle – Isobel, Selina, Ann and Jane4 Boyd sisters2

They maintained this elegance in to their old age – Jane and Selina all dressed up hereJane and Selina

And this final photo of Selina (Aunt Lin) and Ann taken in 1960 when they attended a wedding of a family member.Aunt Lyn & Nana 1960

Now spare a thought for the father of the girls below, Walter Wright, as he had 5 daughters to marry off, or the mother who had to supervise the hair brushing every morning. Maybe that’s why they are not looking so happy, they had just been spruced up for the photographer. Born between 1895 and 1901 this photo taken about 1909, and after that there was a 6th daughter born, and yes they all married.Daughters of Susan & Walter Wright

Elizabeth and Lily in the matching dresses, and Carrie, Edie and Grace.

and now for other interpretations of Sisters, Wicker Furniture or Creepers go toSS May 10

Sepia Saturday 3rd May 2014 Funny Poses

We don’t celebrate May Day in Australia so I wasn’t planning to post to this week’s theme but as often happens when I was looking for something else I found this photo of a group of men. I don’t know who they are or where it was taken but it came out of the little brown suitcase so must have had some significance to the previous generation.

What do you think they are planning to do? I imagine  there has been a gathering at the house of one of them and one of them has come up with a bright idea – but what could it be? I don’t think the cat looks dead so they’re not planning to bury the cat – but what will they do to with the spade and the tommy axe or is it a mallet? and what is the young man on the left holding in his hand?Group of men


Now to see what others have posted on MayDay, Folk Tales or Silly poses go toSepia Saturday - Funny Poses

Sepia Saturday 26th April 2014 Music in the Fifties

Music in the fifties – what a lead in to a trip down memory lane – I hope I don’t bore you witless.

It was 26th May 1955, the boys at the Vicky St Hostel in Melbourne, Victoria decided to hold a party, and being fairly new in town didn’t really know any girls to invite so a blanket invitation was sent to the corresponding girl’s hostels. The music was provided by whoever could play an instrument.Vicky St CompilationOver the next three and half years I was to spend a lot of time with these two young musicians – attending concerts and dancing and missing a few Uni lectures long the way!

In 1956 Satchmo came to town and performed at the Palais and we were able to go.Wow! to see this great musician in person was real thrill. Accompanying him was Gary Crosby, son of Bing and the vocalist was Velma Middleton. Whenever student finances allowed we would buy the records, an Australian Music company called Festival Records had begun in 1952 produced a lot of these  45’s, smaller  in size to the older 78’sSatchmo

The next year a different genre altogether when Bill Haley and His Comets played at Festival Hall. Festival Records bought the Australian rights to his hit Rock around the Clock which proved to be a wise business venture.Bill Haley and his Comets1957 also brought Guy Mitchell to town – he also performed at Festival Hall with Kathy Carr, Stan Denton, Lionel Hampton and Joe E. Martin.guy_2

Attending musical productions of Broadway shows also ate in to our pocket money  – the diaries show we went to Paint Your Wagon, Can Can, the Boyfriend, Kismet, the Pyjama Game, Salad Days,Free as Air, Anniversary Waltz, The Bells are Ringing, My Fair Lady and Aunty Mame.  We had all the programs for these shows but when we recently downsized we donated them to the Melbourne Library and Museum, but we still have vinyl versions of many of  the original soundtracks from these shows and the Sheet Music as well.South Pacific
Annie Get your GunI am going to leave my trip down Memory Lane there as the post will become intolerably long. I have not mentioned any of the stars of the Radio and Screen such as Rosemary Clooney or Patti Page, Elvis Presley and Perry Como – and who could forget Pat Boone singing April Love! You Tube now provides us with such a feast of these oldies to enjoy, and I haven’t mentioned any of the great dance bands of the fifties either.

There is a Melbourne Radio Station which streams quite well should you wish to listen to a wide selection of music from 1930 to 1960 Golden Days Radio – find it at

Returning to the first photos I posted of the two young men – time has taken its toll – the bongo player served in an administrative capacity for many years promoting Trad Jazz in Australia, and in later years taught the History of Jazz at the Gordon T.A.F.E. in Geelong, sadly now he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The piano player brought many musical instruments into the house over the years ranging from Kazoo to Piano Accordion, but he too seldom plays – arthritic fingers makes it difficult and more recently impaired hearing  has affected his ability to distinguish a tune. But we are still dancing.

For more musings on this theme go toSS 26 April

Sepia Saturday 19th April 2014 – Gardens

For me gardens and friendship are synonymous

– from a very early age I was going to public gardens with my parents to spend time with friends and family.

These first photos were taken in October 1942  beside the fountain in the Castlemaine (Victoria)  Botanic Gardens. Harry Yench, as he was known to the family, had enlisted in 1940 and perhaps was on leave when these photographs were taken. My mother has very smart buckles on her shoes. The fountain dates back to 1878.

Castlemaine Gardens 1942Castlemaine is in the area known as the Central Goldfields in Victoria, Australia. After the gold rushes of the 1850’s were over these provincial towns were keen to show how they were prospering and establishing a public garden was one way of doing this and generally a Curator who had trained in England was the person responsible for doing the groundwork.

Castlemaine Gardens are still well respected as being of historical significance with the diversity of plants and the age of the trees.

Another town in this area which also established a Botanic Garden at the same time was Ballarat. A much grander garden than Castlemaine it receives many visitors each year for a Begonia Festival. It also has many beautiful statues including the lion (one of a pair) donated in 1893.

We shared time there with friends in 1954

Ballarat Gardens 1954We still use public gardens today as a meeting place to spend time with friends, so I am just going to slip in here now some recent photos – which of course are part of my personal history, which we’ve visited in recent years. Maybe you might like seeing some places you have not yet visited yourself.

The Southern Highlands Region of NSW in Australia is a cool climate area south west of Sydney long used by Sydney residents as a summer holiday spot. Many beautiful homes and gardens were built there which from time to time open their grounds for public viewing. One of these is the Fifth Chapter Estate winery and Gardens near Bowral and we spent time there with friends in October 2012.Fifth Estate Gardens1 IMG_2877 IMG_2880

and last year on the other side of the world we met up with friends from the south coast of England, at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey in Hampshire. These are ‘modern’ gardens – being established in the 1950’s Each year they host an Art in The Gardens display, and although the gardens themselves are spectacular, in this post to add a little variety, I will just feature a few of the sculptures that took my eye.Hillier Gardens 3
Hillier Gardens Hillier Gardens 2 Hillier Gardens 4And on a very personal note this is what we purchased in 2003

For sale

and by 2007Garden Oct  08 001and if you’ve hung in thus far we can both be rewarded as I honour the theme of a man watching a woman work in a garden.Establishing the garden 1but I must give credit where credit is due and he took a turn too – much to my shame as he was visiting from Canada, we had only just met them and would never meet face to face again but it just reinforces my theme

Gardens and friendship go hand in hand.

Home Garden workers 2

I look forward now to seeing what other contributors have posted for SS Gardens