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Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Essendon Garden Army, 1942-1943

Labour shortages during WW2 led to all sorts of difficulties on the the home front, including shortages while doing the weekly veg shopping.  Britain was already Digging for Victory, and by 1942 Australia needed to dig in as well, and formed the Garden Army.   The Essendon Garden Army created the earliest community gardens.  There were large garden plots dotted about the City of Essendon, the largest being at Fairbairn Park, as in the photo above.  Marilyn Kenny looks in detail at the Essendon Garden Army production, right down to the last bunch of carrots, and the personalities involved in making it work.  You can read the story of The Essendon Garden Army, 1942-1943 by clicking on the link.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Edith Peard: the making of a New Woman

The brass plaque Edith attached to the gate of the family home in Essendon.
Edith Fleetwood Peard was born in the northeast of Victoria in 1869. She began performing on piano for the public as a young girl at Glenrowan and later at Essendon when her family moved closer to 'Marvellous Melbourne' in 1890.  A decade of financial struggle to make a family living in the Depression of the 1890s followed, the family being largely sustained by the mother Charlotte Peard's poultry farm enterprise. 

Discussions on the New Woman were common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Women were setting aside notions of dependence on family and husband and seeking alternatives to marriage and children.  Edith obtained a scholarship 1902 to attend the Melbourne Conservatorium to qualify as a music teacher and forge her own path to personal economic independence.  By the end of the Great War two of her siblings had joined her in the family home at Essendon which was then used to sustain three businesses - Edith's music tuition, her brother Richard's carpentry business, and her sister Kate's dressmaking business.  You can read the full story of this hardworking and independent-minded family on my website, and share in the stories of the Glenrowan Tiger, the Kelly family, Plymouth Rocks and Leghorns, and get some of the flavour of the social set of Essendon in the early 20th century.  Click here to enjoy the full story.

Edith's brass plaque can be seen on the gate of the family home in Robb St, Essendon, circa 1906.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Ascot Vale West State School Basket Ball Team, Premiers 1928

This basket ball team from Ascot Vale West State School won the  Fitzgerald Cup, donated by Essendon Councillor Fitzgerald for a competition of the northern district State Schools, 1928,  Alice Lane is in the front row on the left.  If anyone knows the names of any of the other players, please get in touch.  You can see this photo and one for 1929 on the Time Travellers website.

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Dover Studios, Moonee Ponds

This portrait of Arthur Henry Anderson, born 1918, was taken circa 1924 at the Dover Studios, Moonee Ponds.  The Dover Studios by this time was being operated by Frank Rider after the death of the original proprietor, Frank Vallance.  The studio backdrop, however, is different from photos dating from 1924, and it may be that Rider was still in Vallance's old premises in Puckle Street. It seems, however, that the long woollen rug often used in the later Rider photos appears to be in the background of this photo.  You can compare the studio backdrops and the woolly rug at the Time Travellers website.

This photo and others of Anderson family weddings are courtesy of Julie Knight.  The wedding portraits provide useful evidence of the hat styles for bridesmades in the late 1920s.

St Monica's Catholic and Pascoe Vale Schools photos

Courtesy of Julie Knight we have some new school photos for Time Travellers to peruse on the website - the one above from St Monica's, Essendon, in 1922, and two from Pascoe Vale State School in 1925.  If any of you are able to recognise yourselves (or other family members) in these photos, please get in touch. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Wombat Club, Flemington

The Wombat Club was an apparently short-lived social club with rooms in Railway Place East, Flemington (now Pinoak Crescent) around 1892 to 1894.  So who were the members, and what did they get up to?  You can find out at the Time Travellers website.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Fairy Lamps Promised at the Grand Moonlight Concert, 1897

The Moonee Valley Library Service has this leaflet advertising a Grand Moonlight Concert in the Recreation Reserve in Racecourse Road.  The concert, in support of the local library, would feature the Victorian Railways Military Band, the Flemington and Kensington Liedertafel AND beautiful fairy lamp illuminations.  Courtesy of the Community Heritage Collection, Sam Merrifield Library.  

The leaflet has been added to the Time Travellers website to further illustrate the fortunes of the Flemington and Kensington Free Public Library and Mechanics Institute.