Friday, February 5, 2016

Smile for the camera

Eva Pilgrim  with her Box Brownie
Easter 1928 - Age 18
Stawell Gift
My grandmother, Eva Scott (nee Pilgrim), loved her "snaps".  She was proud that she had saved for her Kodak Box Brownie, which I now own.

There are albums and albums full of Gran's photos.  The old albums and photos taken with the Box Brownie in the earlier years are my favourite.  She was naturally a great photographer!  Anyone who reads my blog regularly will have admired many of her photos, which provide an insight into a different time.  

Gran received several awards at the Nhill Agricultural Show for her photos.  She also had many photos published in the Weekly Times.  I am looking forward to further issues of the Weekly Times being digitised, so that I can view them on the National Library of Australia archive Trove.

Many of the earlier, so called colour, photos in her albums have turned pink or orange. In later years she purchased postcards on her travels, rather than taking photos.

I would love to be able to talk to my grandmother now!  We have more in common than I ever realised!  Maybe my love of travel, photography and family history is genetic?   Did she recognise that we have a lot of similarities?  I will never know!

Eva Pilgrim, with her Box Brownie, at her Grandmother's home in Baille Street West, Horsham
June 1930
Is that steam coming from a laundry?

Pilgrim Family Gathering - Winiam 1934
Eva Pilgrim with her Kodak Box Brownie

My first camera looked like this (a Kodak also)
Gran's first camera - Kodak Box Brownie - remains
in excellent condition (with a use manual)

Me on a theme park ride in 2013

My Grandmother, Eva Scott, in 1990 (age 80)

The camera is never far away!

I was  snapped snapping in 2015
My daughter took this and said (A typical Mum pose)

This prompt was inspired by Sepia Saturday.  Click for more posts.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Great Grandma Scott's Biscuits

Great Grandma Scott's recipes for Cinnamon and Coconut Biscuits 
I have previously written about my Great Grandmother Agnes Scott and the unfortunate event, which led to her opening a tea house.  You can read more here.

Great Grandma's Cinnamon Biscuits
I have tried many of the recipes in her "Cookery Book" and have enjoyed them all!

Agnes Scott's Coco-nut biscuits

1956 - Waterfall Gully Road
Sisters:  Agnes Scott and May Telfer
Note the aprons

This post is prompted by Sepia Saturday.  Click for more posts.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Some of the many uses of Bi-Carb Soda

Bi-Carb Soda for Tooth Ache
Source:  Trove: The Bendigonian (Bendigo, Vic: 1914-1918)
Thursday 1 February 1917, page 5
Mum always had Bi-Carb Soda in the did her mother before her...........and so do I now!

From the time I was young,  I always liked how things "fizzed" when you added Bi-Carb soda.  It intrigued me.  I always wanted the job of adding the liquid to the Bi-Carb Soda when it came to cooking!

I can remember being distracted watching TV and I forgot to turn the stove hot-plate down for Mum, while she was busy doing something.  The result being a burnt pot.  Mum was not happy!  In the warm pot, she added a little water, bi-carb and vinegar and boiled it for while to clean, before scrubbing the pot clean.

Currant Soda Cake?
Sounds Good! I think I will try this one!
Source: Trove
Wedderburn Express and Korongshire Advertiser
Friday 20 March 1914, page 4
In addition to being used in many of the family recipes, passed down through the generations, Bi-Carb Soda was also used for many other tasks around the home;

  • In the fridge to reduce odours
  • As a cleaning agent:  usually as a paste (and often used with vinegar)
  • In hot water and used on a cotton ball as an eye soak to reduce styes.
  • To aid indigestion
  • To whiten teeth
  • In the laundry with the clothes 
  • As a soak for smelly kitchen cloths

My Grandmother, Eva Scott (nee Pilgrim) wrote in her journal "Dad died of a heart attack [1950].  We knew he'd had several, but he thought he had indigestion and used to take bi-carb soda."

There is always a box in the pantry
(and the fridge)
I recently received a book detailing over 500 uses for Baking Soda (in Australia, we normally call it Bi-Carb Soda).  I am astounded at the number of potential uses!

I don't mean to promote a brand but McKenzie's is the product that my Grandmother and Mother used and is the brand in our pantry today.  According to the packet,  the company was established in 1852 (the year after Victoria became a separate Australian colony).

The earliest record in Australia that I found about Bi-Carb soda was in 1836, when a jar (of unknown size) cost six shillings 1.  There were regular mentions of its import over the years.  In 1918, during World War 1, the maximum price of Bi-Carb Soda was fixed under the War Precautions (Price Regulation) Act 1916 at 4 pence per pound, for retail over the counter sales. The profit margin that importers and wholesales could derive was also restricted.2

In 1899, the following appeared in a newspaper:3
   Apart from the use of bi-carbonate of
soda as a relief for indigestion, both this 
form and the crude washing soda are
useful to the cook and the housekeeper.
   A burn caused by a hot iron will cease
to pain almost immediately if a piece of
soda, moistened with the tongue is put
on.  A scald or burn, if the skin is not
broken, can be cured by placing the burnt
part in strong soda water.
   Boil greasy tins in soda water once a
week, and use hot soda water for a greasy
   Put a piece of soda the size of a walnut
to a tablespoon of salt into a basin, and
pour on boiling water.  Allow dirty
sponges to stand in this for a short time,
when they will be quite clean and free
from grease.  Rinse in cold water.
Dissolve a cupful of soda in a gallon of
water, and leave a jar near the kitchen
sink.  Into this throw all pieces of soap
and remains of dry soap.  Dip
into the jar, and add to the water used
for washing and scrubbing very dirty
pans, earthenware, tinware, woodwork
(but not paint), and for washing kitchen
cloths and dusters.
   Common washing soda, dissolved in
water until the liquid will take up no
more, is said to be an excellent cure for
warts.  Moisten the warts with it, and let
them dry without wiping.
   A pinch of carbonate of soda put into
the teapot will increase the strength of
the tea.  This applies particularly to
places where the water is hard".

Do you have any unusual hints for Bi-Carb Soda?

1 The Sydney Herald, Monday 11 January 1836, page 3
2 The Daily News, Perth, Saturday 6th April 1918, page 8
3 The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic) Thursday 3 August 1899, page 1 of supplement

This post was prompted by Sepia Saturday.  Click for more posts.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Forty-Seven Ginger-Headed Sailors

"An old maid down in Devon, said my idea of heaven, is forty-seven ginger-headed sailors!"

"Another Concert Item - October 1930 - Forty Seven Ginger Headed Sailors"
"Back:  Wilfred Pilgrim, Howard Wohlers and Lin[dsay] Wohlers, Gordon Pilgrim, Jim Pilgrim, Fred Pilgrim
Kneeling Front:  Mavis Pilgrim, Edna Pilgrim, Hazel Pilgrim, Dorrie Pilgrim, Mary Moulden,
Standing Front:  Rita Moulden"
Photo from the album of Eva Scott (nee Pilgrim)

These sailors, who are all related to me, are definitely not all ginger headed and they probably had no idea what they were actually singing about! But I am sure that they had fun anyway!  The mothers have done a wonderful job of making the costumes!

School concerts and Sunday School concerts were a regular feature in the Winiam Hall.  I have featured a number of different school concert photos from my grandmother's album in the past, and have more to come.

You can listen to the tune here (3 minutes and 14 seconds with words starting after 48 seconds of music).  If you would like to sing along, the words are:

Now there's a good ship
H.M.S. Cock-Robin
On her home trip
Up and down she's bobbin'
So the crew's pretty tough
The weather's so rough
They're all fed up and say
That they've had more than enough

I've got a brother
He's an able seaman
And they call him Redhead Tom

I wire to say I'll meet you
And with your pals I'll treat you
So who do you think I've had a message from?

Forty-seven ginger-headed sailors
Coming home across the briney sea
When the anchor's weighed
And the journey's made
Then they'll start the party
With a heave-ho, me hearty

When there's Forty-seven ginger-headed sailors
You can bet you're going to hear them when they hail us
As they step ashore
There'll be one mighty roar
For forty-seven ginger-headed sailors!


An old maid down in Devon
Said my idea of heaven
Is forty-seven ginger-headed sailors!

This post was prompted by Sepia Saturday.Please click to see how others have interpreted the above photo.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Too Much Death!

Evelyn  Edna Blythman
She is extremely young, but she looks so thoughtful, sad and knowing.  I wonder what she is thinking.  Does she know that she has been born into a family that has suffered bad luck, which will continue?
As I went through my grandmothers photo albums, looking for a photo to prompt this week's research and blog, the photo of little "Evelyn Blythman Herriman distant relative" caught my eye.  It was surrounded by other photos of young children, who are smiling and playful as children should be, which makes the soulful gaze of young Evelyn so noticeable.

Card from Blythman family to my Great Grandparents,
Jim & Mabel Pilgrim (circa 1913).
My Grandmother has also added notes.
Jim is a son of James Pilgrim so would
 have grown up with Carrie.

George Warner married Sophia Catherine Boeck in Winiam, Victoria, Australia on the 30th September 1886.  They soon had five children:
Maria Augusta Warner, born 16 July 1887
Caroline Sarah "Carrie" Warner born 13th December 1888
Jane Elizabeth Warner born 1890
Albert George "Bertie" Warner born 23rd January 1892
Robert James Warner born 2nd September 1893

On 18th December 1893, Sophia Warner died from "acute mania and exhaustion", which she had suffered for 10 days.  Was this Post Natal Depression?  Or Typhoid Fever, which was in the area at the time? Or something else?  We will never know.

An extract from the Nhill Free Press dated 22 December 1893;
"In our last issue we announced that Mrs Sophia Warner, wife of Mr. George Warner of Winiam, who had been suffering from acute mania, had been sent into the Nhill Hospital by Dr. Ryan, with a view of watching the case until events should indicate what further steps to take in the matter.  A day or two solved the difficulty in an unexpected manner.  The unfortunate woman died on Tuesday evening, the proximate cause being exhaustion resulting in a violent attack of acute mania". 

Three year old Jane died soon after on the 1st January 1894.  An inquest was conducted into her death as summarised in the Nhill Free Press  on 5 January 1894;

"A magisterial inquiry was held on Tuesday by Mr. J. Walker J.P., into the circumstances attending the death of a child named Jane Elizabeth Warner, aged three years, who was found dead in her bed at Winiam at 5a.m. on 1st January.  The evidence showed the child to have been suffering from measles.  She recovered but the disease left behind it a bad cough and inflammation of the lungs.  Dr. Mackenzie made a post mortem examination and subsequently stated that the cause of death had been broncho-pneumonia, followed by pericarditis, causing exhaustion and the magisterial verdict at the inquiry was in accordance with the medical testimony".

"To Jim and Mabel,
Wishing you a merry Christmas
and Happy New Year
From Maria and Carrie"
Within a fortnight (12 January 1894), the youngest child, 4 month old Robert James Warner, was also dead from "Bronchitis and Exhaustion", which he had been suffering for 10 days.

George was unable to care for his remaining children; 
Maria (6), Carrie (5) and Bertie (2), who soon went to live with George's sister, Mary Ann and her husband James Pilgrim (my Great Great Grandparents).   George died 22nd April 1902. His sister Mary Ann died soon after on 1st May 1902.

Carrie continued to live with the Pilgrim family  until her marriage to 24 year old farmer, Gilbert John Blythman, at the home of James Pilgrim, on Monday 30th September 1912.  I have previously written about a photo, which could be their wedding.

Physical Description of Gilbert Blythman
from 1916 enlistment papers

Evelyn Edna Blythman was born soon after on the 28th December 1912 in Nhill, Victoria, Australia followed by her sister, Irene Sarah Blythman, who was born 26 April 1915.

Gil was an accurate shot and member of the local rifle club and he likely felt that it was his duty to sign up for the Australian Military Forces, although his children were very young.  Ev was nearly four and Rene was only one when their father embarked on overseas duty on 6th December 1916.............never to return.  Gill was "Killed in Action" in France on the 4th October 1917.  There are no details about his death and his body was never recovered.  He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, which I have previously written about.

Ev and Rene Blythman
From my Grandmother; Eva Jean Pilgrim
Nhill Free Press, Friday 4th October 1918, page 2

Carrie's brother, Albert George "Bertie" Warner, was also killed in action shortly after her husband.  I have written more about Bertie here.

So much misfortune!  Carrie had lost both of her parents, her husband, three of her siblings and her brother.  And then her youngest daughter!  Irene Sarah "Rene" Blythman died 27th March 1921 at 6 years of age from Diphtheria and Heart Failure.

I am very grateful that Ev Blythman kept in contact with my Grandmother, Eva Pilgrim (they were 2nd cousins) as there are a number of photos in my grandmother's album, which she has marked "from Ev Herriman May 1972".  Ev Herriman (nee Blythman) died 23rd August 1980.  She was 67 years old and lived longer than many of her family members!

This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday.  Please click to see more posts.

Email Memories from Mabel Pilgrim 25/1/2016
"I was too young to know about Auntie Carries life but when she came to visit she was always happy and laughing the same as when we went there to visit.        She was like Myrtle Pilgrim (Bell) and would shake all over when she laughed an that was often.               She had Ev ( her daughter) who lived with her and then Ev married a Herriman and I think they lived with Auntie Carrie".