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Thursday, 19 January 2017

WW2 brothel in Essendon

Which early and well-known Essendon property was used as a brothel for American servicemen in WW2?    Find out at the Time Travellers website.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Flemington Lacrosse Club, 1896

Flemington Lacrosse Club, courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.
This sharply dressed team of lacrosse players from Flemington won the B Division Championship in 1896, the first year in which they played in the Victorian Lacrosse Association competition.  The short-cropped ties and the dinky little peak caps set off their spiffy attire.  Their home ground was in Royal Park.  If anyone can identify the buildings in the background of this photo, please get in touch.  Does anyone know who the players were?

You can see a further photo of the club from 1897 on the Time Travellers website.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Circulating libraries in Kensington and Moonee Ponds

I have added two photos of shops with circulating libraries, one in Macaulay Road to the Flemington and Kensington list, and the other in Pascoe Vale Road to the Moonee Ponds list.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Agnes Thomson, photographer

'Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild', &c. (Agnes Thomson, Ascot Vale).
THE VICTORIAN AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHIC ASSOCIATION'S EXHIBITION. (1905, February 18). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918), p. 35. 

Agnes Scott Thomson's father was a commercial traveller called Murray Thomson.  Murray was born in Edinburghshire in 1843, and was an older man of 37 when he wed Susannie Jones, 27, in Lancashire in 1880. They had two daughters, Susannie Manley and Agnes Scott before emigrating to Victoria.   

The date of their arrival in Victoria is not certain, but they were here in time for the whole family to be included in the 1903 Electoral Roll.  Agnes Thompson (sic) was an “artist”, and her sister Susannie  was  recorded as a “milliner”.   

Agnes' particular interest lay in photography, and her name appears in many newspaper accounts of photographic exhibitions and competitions.  She was often a prize-winner of competitions and can be regarded as a leading amateur photographer in the early part of the nineteenth century. 

Agnes first began being noticed as a prize winner in photographic competitions was in 1903, competing in interstate competitions as well as in Victoria.  Her particular genre included still lifes of fruit and flowers, animals and children, and landscapes and seascapes.

By about 1907 Agnes had begun to operate as a commercial photographer, from a studio at her parents home in Milton Street, and later North Street, Ascot Vale.  In 1910 she was the President of the Victorian Ladies' Photographic Association.

To see  a fuller account of Agnes's photographic business, go to Agnes Thomson, Photographer.

Photo by Agnes Thomson, Ascot Vale,  Punch (Melbourne,1909, April 15 ), p. 27.

Photo by Agnes Thomson. Ascot Vale. BRIDAL GROUP AT THE MARRIAGE OF MR. V. H. COOPER TO MISS F. R. TROTMAN. Celebrated at St. Thomas's Church, Moonee Ponds, on 2nd November, and afterwards at "Shelton,", Moonee Ponds, the residence of Mr. John Beale.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Seventy-seven in one class at Essendon State School!

Ah, the good old days, when there were seventy-seven children in one class!   Essendon State School, Grade 6, circa 1915-16.   From the Moonee Valley Library Service Heritage Collection, HER-00182.  The venerable old peppercorns in this photo have lately come tumbling down to accommodate building works.    You can see this and other monster class sizes on the Time Travellers website.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Nothing but Fun at the Moonee Ponds Meths!

Moonee Ponds Methodist Church, circa 1916.  Courtesy of the McDonald family.
This photo shows the vista along Pratt Street of the Moonee Ponds Methodist Church which the Victoria Heritage Register considered so significant it made up part of the statement of significance for the church.    The Moonee Valley Council, which doesn't pay any attention to heritage significance, has reduced this vista to a shadow of its former self.  Let's remember that when we vote in the next Council election.

This church was the centre of a busy social scene in the early 20th Century which is amply illustrated by the McDonald family photo collection which we are now privileged to see.  The photos cover the Moonee Ponds Methodist Debating Society,  the Moonee Ponds Methodist Cricket Club,  the Wattle Club for boys, and various Sunday School picnics and tennis parties. If you go to the Time Travellers Church webpage, you will find a list of pages associated with the church.  Many of the group photos have unknown faces in them, so if your relatives attended this church between 1916 and 1925 you might help us with identifying them.  

The McDonald brothers Bert and Harold attended Essendon State School so there are now additional class photos, from 1902 to 1908, to the one mentioned in the post  last Wednesday.  The brothers played cricket for the Moonee Ponds Methodist church, but in the 1920s played in a premiership team for the North Essendon Methodist Church Cricket Club.

The elder brother Bert McDonald joined the AIF in 1917, but was discharged for medical reasons before embarkation.   Several of his friends from the Wattle Club joined up, and the McDonald photo collection contains a handful of snaps of those young men, in particular Arthur Hutchison who played in the North Essendon Methodist Cricket Club; and Alec Hosking and Bill Heathershaw.  Other friends who joined up are included in the photo of the the Moonee Ponds Methodist premiership cricket  team of 1912-1913. Some of these have been identified, but others not.

The junior Wattle Club, circa 1916.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Essendon State School, Grade 5, 1902

In the history of Essendon State School, Follow the Gleam by Adrian Jones, teacher David "Fatty" Williams was noted as being rather quick to give boys the cuts, but when you see the size of his class - 73 Grade 5 boys - you can see why.   You can see this and other photos of Essendon State School on the Time Travellers website, along with a new photo of 61 Hoddle St, Essendon from 1918.