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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.