Sunday, December 14, 2014

The House that Granddad built!

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt encourages us to take a closer look at the backgrounds in our photos.  The details in the background can often tell us a lot more about when or where the photo was taken.

The photo below was labelled "Wallace Mottram 1944".

Wallace Mottram - 1944
Cousin to my Grandfather
You are probably thinking "What is so special about the background?"

Well it was a very special place to me in my childhood!  The first time I saw this photo, I immediately recognised this path and front doorstep as my grandparents home in Moe, Victoria. 

Let me take you on a tour of the house from my early memories;

As you enter the front door, there is a small hallway.  Directly ahead is an antique crystal cabinet against the wall in the corner, which I now know belonged to my Great Grandmother, Mary Walker (nee Mottram).  There was a photo in a frame on the top of it.  Behind this photo,  Nanna would hide lollies for us kids.  I was just tall enough to stretch and reach to find a bag of jelly beans to share with my sister.  I remember being scared and upset as Mum yelled at me for "stealing" the lollies but then Nanna knelt down to my level and gave me a big cuddle, telling Mum that it was OK as they were for us anyway.  I was only little but I could tell that Mum was angry at Nanna but she said nothing more and I wasn't in trouble anymore!  I thought Nanna was wonderful!

I am forever grateful to my cousin (pictured below) for giving me the crystal cabinet, which is the first thing that you will see when you enter our front door. 

My cousin at Nanna and Granddad's front door
circa 1956

Standing with my back against the inside of the front door, my grandparent's bedroom is on the right and the lounge room through the large sliding door on the left.  When Grandad went off to work, my sister and I would sneak into Nanna and Granddad's bed.  Nanna, wearing her maroon chenille dressing gown (which I still own), would give us pencils and colouring books and she would make us a Milo to drink (very carefully) in her bed.   Something that our parents would never have allowed us to do at home!

My cousin, Cindy,  sister, Deanne, and I in the lounge room in 1969
The door behind us is Nanna and Granddads bedroom.
The crystal cabinet is through the sliding door, around the corner to the left.

There is a bedroom door to the right of the crystal cabinet,  My sister and I sleep in the two single beds on either side of the room.  This room was my fathers for a time when he was little and my cousin tells me that walls were covered in Football flags and awards.  There is a window, which opens on to an enclosed verandah.

The hallway goes around the corner to the right.  Next to the bedroom that we sleep in is another bedroom, which my parents sleep in when we visit.

At the end of the hallway is a bathroom.  A strange memory to have but I remember that there is a toilet in the bathroom (which was unusual to me) and there is a pretty doll sitting on the cistern, with a crocheted dress, the spare toilet roll is under the dress.
I think that the bath was pink and the tiles green but cannot be sure.  Maybe a cousin who reads this could help me out?  (My cousin later confirmed via Facebook that I was correct)

89 Lloyd Street, Moe, Victoria
 Built 1935.  The land cost  "2 quid"
The Walker family lived at Becks Bridge until the floods of December 1934.
After the floods my Grandparents lived in a bark hut and the children were billeted out
separately until the new house was built.  Much of the timber was from the old house.

Back down the hallway and around the the left through the sliding door to the lounge room.  As a child it seemed huge but that was probably because I was so small!  There was a copper picture of a boat on the wall, granddads bar (a huge old globe of the world that opened to reveal glasses and bottles) and a domed green clock with moving parts at the bottom (sorry I cannot remember it properly or explain it).  We were not allowed to touch the bar or the clock!  The dancing ballerina in the bottle is the most vivid memory in the lounge room, as Nanna would wind it up over and over again for me.

The lounge room led directly into the kitchen area, which I also thought was large.  It must have been a decent size as I remember Christmas Dinner and a long table with pew like benches on either side, with our family, all the Aunts, Uncles and cousins making a lot of noise.  Nanna made an excellent Christmas Pudding full of threepence and sixpence.  I would eat so much that I felt that I would pop!

89 Lloyd Street, Moe, Victoria
Granddad is on the verandah and someone is sitting on the steps.

The back door to the right led out to an enclosed verandah.  On the other side of the verandah was a sleep out.  My Great Grandfather, Ambrose Walker, died in this room from a heart attack.  My uncle says that he could feel his grandfathers presence in the room when it was his bedroom.  My father later slept there too.  I seem to remember sleeping in here once but we were usually inside.

Out the back door, there was an outside toilet down the path to the right.  The cistern was up high (well it seemed high when we were kids) and there was a chain that needed to be pulled to flush the toilet (very noisily) but I couldn't reach it.

My grandparents, Gordon Walker and Rita Walker (nee Jones)

Now I cannot be certain but I think that the path directly ahead of the back door had shedding on the right and one of the rooms was the outside laundry.

There was a lemon tree in the back yard that was watered frequently by the men!

I have some wonderful memories of the visits to my grandparents house in Moe, which still looks good today (below is an image from Google Maps).

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Winiam State School Roll of Honour

Can you imagine how it must feel to have sons fighting in a war on the other side of the world?  Or the feeling of relief  and happiness when the war finished and your son would be returning home soon?  Or how about the feeling of sadness that your son would not be coming home, but feeling proud of his courage?

I cannot even begin to imagine.

About a week after the official end of World War 1, the following appeared in the Nhill Free Press on 19th November 1918;

"In accordance with the declaration by His Excellency the Governor (Sir Arthur Stanley) Sunday was observed in the local Methodist Church as a day of thanksgiving for the victory that has [crowned] Allied arms in the war, and a day of remembrance of those who gave their lives in the great cause of righteousness, justice, truth and freedom.

Mr W Barber officiated at the morning service, and Rev. W.M. Cannam in the evening.  The sacred edifice was crowded in the evening, and a large assemblage of country members and adherents was in evidence.  The honor roll, on which are the names of our gallant heroes, was entwined with the Union Jack, and there was an excellent display of red, white, and blue in the front portion of the church.  Thanks was offered to God for His Majesty the King and his statesmen, together with Kings and Presidents of Allied nations; for our gallant dead; for our doctors, nurses, chaplains, and other workers; prayers for the enemy.

Source: www.
Nhill Free Press (Vic.:1914-1918)
Friday 3rd May - page 3
The names of our fallen heroes which appear on the Methodist honor roll in this circuit were then read, and are as follows:- Privates A.R. and L. Anderson*, C Day, A.H. Dean,
H. Hales, H. Muller, T Stevens, F Argall, C.C. Collins, L Parker, E Taylor, - Baker, T. Dickinson, A. Munro, A.G. Warner*, G.J. Blythman, J.W Gniel*, A.J. and F.W. Weir*, Lance-Corporal F.E. Clark, and Sargeant L.J.G. Clark, after which the Dead March was played, the congregation standing with bowed heads.  Miss Davis officiated at the organ."1

Many of the above boys (marked *) also attended Winiam State School, who remembered the valiant efforts of their prior students by unveiling a Roll of Honour on Anzac Day (25th April) 1918.

Several of the young men listed are related to me.  All of them would have been well known to family members in the small farming community of Winiam.

I have previously paid tribute to the following relatives listed on the Honour Roll;

As we commemorate 100 years since Australia's involvement in World War 1 , please join me in the following weeks and months when I shall remember each of those listed on the Winiam State School Roll of Honour.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them"

Lest We Forget

1 Trove - Nhill Free Press, Tuesday 19 November 1918, page 3

Side note: This post was written in advance and scheduled for automatic uploading @ 11am on Remembrance Day, 11th November 2014.  We will be on a cruise (refer prior post) and will be in Turkey on Remembrance Day but will still stop for a minute of silence to remember those who lost their lives and fought for their country.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Six Generations of Cruisers

Have you been on a cruise?  Where did you cruise to?  Or would you prefer to stay on Terra Firma?

Until now, I hadn't really thought about it but I have today counted six generations of cruise passengers in the family!

Firstly, John Walker and Sarah Walker, who together with their children Alexander (my Great Great Grandfather), John and Elizabeth sailed (cruised?) aboard the American ship James Brown from Liverpool, England in September 1852 to arrive at Port Henry, Geelong,  Australia in January 1853.

I haven't been able to locate a picture of the ship but it was not a happy journey as poor little John Walker died from diarrhea only 6 weeks into the journey.  The ship  was placed in quarantine when it arrived in Australia as there was whooping cough on board.

I am uncertain if Alexander's son, Ambrose Walker, went on a cruise but his son, my grandfather Gordon Walker, definitely went on a cruise with my grandmother. My Uncle provided me with the following photos from their cruise.  I am uncertain of the date but it was prior to September 1973, when my grandmother died.

My Grandmother, Rita Walker, is pictured fourth in in the queue.  She hasn't put much on her plate!

Nanna and Granddad relaxing.  My Grandfather has the raised glass and is wearing glasses.

My grandparents, Rita and Gordon Walker.
Nanna didn't drink much but I remember her having a small shandy, as I remember trying it.

My grandmother, Rita Walker.
I would love to know what is happening as no one else appears to be dressed up .   Nanna looks very happy.
Mum and Dad's first cruise was in 1984.  I was in Year 12 and asked a few friends over while they were away, which turned into most the teenagers in town.  I sure was in trouble when they came home!

Mum and Dad in 1984
Cruised to the Pacific Islands
Mum and Dad
In 1997 my husband, kids and I went on the Fair Princess to the Pacific Islands

The kids and I about to leave Sydney.  They hated the horn!

In Vanuatu
In 2013, my cousin and I went on a Genealogy Cruise, which was terrific.  The first of many I hope!

In less than a week, my husband and I leave to go on another cruise.   The first holiday without kids in 22 years!  So you wont see any posts from me for a few weeks!

This post was prompted by Sepia Saturday
Please click for more posts

Friday, October 17, 2014

A farmer and barber

My grandmother wrote about her cousin "Roy was the barber at Winiam.  He cut everyone’s hair – male and female.  He only shaved when he went anywhere.  The rest of the time he ran the clippers over his face".

I assume that it was Roy who cut my grandmothers plaits off, which I wrote about here previously.

My grandmother's cousins: Roy Pilgrim and Ray Muller
October 1929

Ararat Chronicle
Friday 14 January 1916 - page 2

Roy, like most of the men in his family, was a very successful farmer.

Roy's son told me proudly that his father was a life member of Davey's barber shop and never had to pay for a hair cut.

Friday was the day that everyone from Winiam went in town - Nhill - and when Mr Davey's son Max was away as a RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) pilot in the war, Roy helped out by cutting hair, which enabled Mr Davey to keep the business going until Max returned.  Roy's reward was the life membership and free haircuts.

Mr Davey's Barbers must have been  a long term institution in Nhill.  I found a newspaper article  that shows that the Barbers shop was destroyed by a large fire in 1916.  

However the Barbers shop must have been rebuilt as I found on the National Archives of Australia website that son Max was a fighter pilot in World War II from 1943 - 1946.  However the enlistment papers show his occupation as a Bank Clerk rather than Barber.

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Grace Pilgrim dies in "Sensational Buggy Accident"

Grace Edith Pilgrim
27 Nov 1882 - 4 Jun 1914





A painful sensation was caused at Winiam on Thursday last when the news was circulated that Grace Edith Pilgrim, wife of Mr Albert James Pilgrim, a well-known and popular farmer, had been thrown out of a buggy and killed as a result of the horses bolting and the vehicle colliding with a stump.  About 1pm Mr Pilgrim, accompanied by his wife and little child, left home in a buggy and were driving one horse which was quiet and another that was a spirited animal and known to have bolted on a previous occasion.  After driving for half a mile the horses for some reason bolted and got completely out of control.  After galloping a good distance they got off the road and, before negotiating a deep rut, Mr Pilgrim made a desperate attempt to turn the animals, when he was violently participated over the side of the buggy on to the road, but beyond a sprained ankle and some minor abrasions did not sustain serious injury.
The little boy, aged 4, was thrown out a couple of chains (a chain = about 20 metres) further on and fortunately sustained no serious injury, thus leaving Mrs Pilgrim the sole occupant of the vehicle.  The terrified horses were now galloping at a great pace and, swerving off the road, the vehicle was dashed against a stump and Mrs Pilgrim, who was crouching in the buggy, was in an instant thrown over the splash board on to the pole and appeared to become entangled in the turntable and after being dragged for a chain, fell to the ground.  The bolting horses, with the buggy, of which one wheel was smashed, still kept on and did not come to a standstill until they reached the paddock gate.
Mr Pilgrim by this time had picked up the child, ran up to where his wife lay, and found her unconscious and bleeding from the ears and mouth.  After taking the little boy to his sister's place he informed Mr Charles J Wholers of the occurrence, and the latter dispatched his son post haste to Nhill for Dr Shanasy.
Mr Wholers quickly drove to the scene of the accident and found Mrs Pilgrim still breathing.  She was lifted into the buggy, driven to her home, and put to bed.  Mrs Pilgrim never spoke after being thrown out of the vehicle.
Dr Shanasy rapidly motored out and, upon making an examinations, found no sign of life.  The doctor ascertained that the bones in the neck were fractured and dislocated and there were also wounds on the scalp.
It is surmised that the fracture and dislocation of the bones in the neck, which caused death, was caused through the head coming in contact with the spokes of the wheel.
A Coroner's inquiry was held before Mr John Young, JP, deputy coroner, on Friday, when a verdict was returned that the death of Grace Edith Pilgrim was caused by horses bolting in a buggy and throwing the deceased out on to the road.
The late Mrs Pilgrim was the second daughter of Mr and Mrs F.W. Day, of Nhill, and was born at Dow Well in 1883.  Her kind, lovable disposition made her a general favorite with all.  Deceased was greatly attached to her children and husband, and was in every way a model wife.  Deceased leaves four children, namely;-
Linda Florence 10, Roy Frederick 9, Myrtle Grace 7 and Albert Clarence, 4.  The greatest sympathy is felt right through the district for the motherless children and bereaved husband.
The remains were interred in the Winiam cemetery on Saturday afternoon when the funeral was very largely attended.  The Rev L Walton, of the Methodist Church, conducted an impressive service at the graveside.  Messrs John Allen and Son and had charge of the mortuary arrangements.

Grace Pilgrim: My Grandmother left me detailed notes on the back of her cards and photos

Winiam Cemetery

This post was prompted by Sepia Saturday.  Please click for more posts