Tuesday, December 25, 2012

'Tis the season for Genealogy

Family history volunteers are taking a well earned break over Christmas. They will be back on board, mid January. In the mean time if you are still keen to do your family history, you can always come in and access the free databases, Ancestry and Find My Past in the Library. All our other resources are available as well.

The City of Playford Heritage services wishes you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas
(Genealogy Style)

On the ... day of Christmas

My true love gave to me
Twelve BDM records

Eleven newspaper references
Ten census entries
Nine causes of death
Eight passenger lists
Seven cemetery records
Six family contacts
Five family photographs
Four brick wall breakdowns
Three land records
Two Pedigree charts
And a branch in my family tree

TROVE Tuesday

From our own Correspondent

Virginia January 3.

Christmas and New Year's Day were observed here as general holidays. Although it was very hot and blowing clouds of dust, a great number betook themselves to Port Gawler and St. Kilda.

Various sports were carried on, such as cricket and horse-racing. A number of accidents happened at the last named sport, owing to the course not being kept cleared. Many of our farmers have finished reaping. The weather, although very hot, is all that can be wished for. There are some splendid crops in this district. Some are getting from 20 to 30 bushels per acre: but I think it will average about 16 bushels per acre. A great quantity of wheat is being carted in; but I believe principally for storage. 
SA Register 4 January 1867 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

No longer tree-less plain

In the early stages of the City, Henry Smith in humorous manner pointed out to me six small pine trees he had planted an in reply to my query suggested we would need many to eradicate the name of “tree-less plain”. This was put to management and it was agreed a section should be formed. The Trust was most fortunate to obtain the services of John Dwight, who was second in charge at the Botanical Gardens. He formed a most successful section, which included a nursery for trees and shrubs. Local nurseries could not provide the number of plants needed. The nursery propagated approx. 20 to 30 thousand trees or shrubs per year. He wrote a book giving all details of the plants and these were given to all people occupying Trust houses, they made their choice and 6 plants were delivered to each house. As to be expected, trees were also provided for streets, reserves etc. The first nursery was at Elizabeth then at Marden as the demand increased to other Trust areas.
Ted Bowden Oral history interview 1996

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

TROVE Tuesday

From our own Correspondent

Peachey Belt, December 28.

Yesterday, being Christmas Day, there was a general cessation of harvest operations. From early morn till late in the evening vehicles of all kinds were passing to and from St. Kilda being the favourite rendezvous of the pleasure seekers from Salisbury, Virginia, Penfield, and the sur rounding neighbourhood. The vast concourse of people that located themselves on the beach during the day fully showed that St Kilda, as a watering place, is not a whit behind other places of the kind in the colony. Convenient and well shaded bathing-places for both sexes a comfort able distance on either side of the promenade, ample room for cricket, dancing, racing &c, on the beach, afforded abundant opportunity for all to enjoy themselves according to their several tastes.
SA Register 29 December 1863

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Charley's War

I have been trying to expand my normal reading range and have recently picked up a few graphic novels.  Not really considering them as 'real books', I hadn't paid much attention to them.  Until now that is. 

I picked up the book "Charley's war", a  British comic war story. The script was written by Pat Mills with artwork by Joe Colquhoun. It started in early 1979 and revolved around the exploits of Charley Bourne; a 16-year-old idealistic kid who lies about his age and joins the army as it swelled with volunteers, ready for the “Big Push” of summer 1916 (the debacle better known as the Battle of the Somme).

I contains such detail, both graphically and literally that I think I have learnt more about what war may have been like through this book. The book shows the mud, the fear of the soldiers, their anger and disappointment and the realism of the cost of war.  You can imagine them speaking with their British and German accents using there colloquial words.   

I have since discovered that Charley's war is not a one off novel but there are nine books, that take you into WWII.  I will be putting them all on hold now.  Maybe graphic novels are a great way to bring history to life for some people.
You can learn more about the series here http://charleyswar.sevenpennynightmare.co.uk/

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TROVE Tuesday

ANGLE VALE, January 3
After a few fine days rain set in again on Thuraday, and continued at intervals till last night. A great deal of damage will be done to the hay, especially to the unfinished stacks, and farmers who were getting their reapers to work again after the Christmas holidays will be again delayed for some time.
SA Register 8 January 1895

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

History transforms itself into art

Michelle Mitolo, from Playford Council, with one of the posters at
Davoren Park shops, showing the centre on a busy day half a century ago.

I love when history transforms itself into art on public display.  Earlier this year History SA commissioned artist, Peter Drew to paste up some of their images from the glass negative collection around the streets of Adelaide. People looked at giant historic photographs pasted on the outside of buildings.  People stared at history in the face.

Recently the Playford Council celebrated Peachey Belts 50th year.  Part of this celebration is a Photographic Paste Up Art Exhibition.  A selection of photographs depicting life in the Peachey Belt in the 1950’s and 60’s are being displayed around Davoren Park as part of the Peachey Belt 50th Birthday celebrations.

To view some of the images, click on the Facebook link.


TROVE Tuesday

September 6-Last Thursday a birthday presentation was made to Mr. B. J. Leach by the leading tradespeople of Virginia. Mr. Leach has resided here as a business- man for 25 years, and he was handed an address, accompanied by a few other articles of a useful character.  Mr. Leach was taken by surprise.
The Advertiser 9 September 1902

Monday, December 3, 2012

The lost diggers

You probably have heard of the Lost Diggers photograph collection recently made public after nearly a century stored in an attic. The photographs made by the Thuillier family in a small village of Vignacourt during WWI have been published on the internet and more recently a book has been released.  While there are many books and photographs on WWI, what makes these unique is that they were taken in the midst of war, close to the battle ground.  We often see the studio portraits taken of soldiers before they leave home, but these images show the mud on their boots, the sheepskin waistcoats worn to ward of the cold and less formal posses with cigarettes in the mouth or cheeky smiles. 

Many of the photographs of the soldiers haven't been identified.  The Australian War Memorial where they are now stored are doing tremendous work to identify the men.  The AWM has also created an exhibition entitled 'Remember Me".

Its a great story in regards to the men, and the way the photographs have been made public.  Borrow the book today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Party at the beach

[From our own Correspondent]

Peachey Belt, December 28.

Yesterday being Christmas Day, there was a general cessation of harvest operations. From early morn till late in the evening vehicles of all kinds were passing to and from St. Kilda. being the favourite rendezvous of the pleasure seekers from Salisbury, Virginia, Penfield, and the surrounding neighbourhood. The vast concourse of people that located themselves on the beach during the day fully showed that St Kilda, as a watering-place, is not a whit behind other places of this kind in the colony.  Convenient and well shaded bathing places for both sexes a comfortable distance on either side of the promenade, ample room for cricket, dancing, racing. &c, on the beach, afforded abundant opportunity for all to enjoy themselves according to their several tastes.
SA Register 29 December 1863

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Preparations for the opening of Elizabeth

This took place on the morning of November 16th 1955 on open space adjacent to where the first houses were constructed towards the south. At the time, tracks only were provided for transport  in fact two only were used. Gluepot Road from Salisbury and the other referred to as Judd’s Road (off Main North Road). Bus transport was provided for invited guests from Adelaide. These left from in front of Parliament House. The ABC was to provide the radio broadcast, and this required a telephone line to do so. Two lines only were available in the whole area. The Trust was given permission to use one in a house owned by Mr Nitschke and was to be used by the interstate journalists covering the event. The other, at Judd’s house was for the ABC.

A crew arrived a few days before and arranged the cable on poles, quickly erected on the few trees that were growing. On the morning of the 16th a test was carried out and found to be faulty. An investigation revealed the cable had been eaten by birds and hasty repairs were carried out. Another problem was the public address system operator. He lost his way to the site and was late arriving. The Premier, The Hon. T. Playford continued the secrecy of the name of the new city. In fact, most present were of the opinion it would be Edinburgh and when he announced Elizabeth there was a short pause before it was applauded. A luncheon for the guest followed and in the afternoon drinks were provided for all the workers, estimated at approx. 300.

From Ted Bowden Oral History interview, 1996

Social Clubs

I have been researching the Marching Girl Clubs of ELizabeth, a topic I will post on later.  Trolling through the Messenger Newspapers, I have been surprised at the number of Clubs, groups and organisasitons that existed or still exist in the City of PLayford.  There are the familiar clubs, scouts, guides, sports, Red Cross, CWA, but I have come across a few that were new to me.

Twenteen Social Club
Formed 1967.  A club for young people aged between 18 and 23, who met for leisure acitivities.  OVer 100 youth were involved with this club which had planned montly entertainment.  Activities such as dances were held every month., beach parties, BBQ, observer trials, bowling, ice skating, and caberets.  The most popular events were record evenings and debates.

Elizabeth Darby & Joan Club
This was around in 1971, as yet I haven't found further details and even had to look up what Darby & Joan Clubs were.

In England, clubs for senior citizens are often called Darby and Joan Clubs, a usage thought to originate from a club in Streatham founded in 1942.
Elizabeth branch Civilian Widows
The Association of Civilian Widows of Australia originated in Western Australia in 1953 at a meeting convened by the Women's Service Guild. Its formation was largely due to the efforts of Mrs Invy Kent. Over the following two years Apex helped to establish a National Executive and over 200 branches of the Association across Australia. The Association is non-party political and non-sectarian and its objects are to promote the interests of the widow and her child wherever possible. It also engages in welfare work for its members and holds fund raising and social meetings. It's motto is 'Friendship and Service."
If you have further information on these clubs, or any others from the area, I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Picnic time

PENFIELD. January 6

On Monday at this little township people gathered from all directions, preparatory to starting for St. Kilda Beach, where the employees of Messrs. Hastwell & Son held their annual picnic. The company in an hour and a half arrived at the shore, and while some enjoyed cricket, croquet, quoits, and dancing, others bathed or caught crabs, of which there was a fine supply. The whole arrangements were excellent and enjoyable. The provisions were ample, and cordiality prevailed. The farmers are busy reaping, and some will soon be finished. Some settlers have reaped from 15 to 25 bushels per acre. The rough weather has done very little harm to the crops, except in some places where the grain has been shaken a little.
The Register 17 January 1876

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Max Fatchen poem on the new town

There was alot of anticipation over the naming of the new township we know as Elizabeth.  The name wasn't known until it was opened.  Max Fatchen wrote of that suspence.

Well, congratulations to the new town……………..

Down by the wheatfields, and out on the plain,
Close by the main road, and handy to train,
Buildings are gleaming in ordered array.
The name of the new town – will we know today?

Rumour is running, excitement’s intense,
Goodbye to guessing, and farewell suspense.
Crystal balls shatter and doubts slip away –
The name of the new town – will we know today?

Bulldozers grumble, cement mixers whirr,
(Some have referred to it simply as “er”.)
Nameless no longer, for fame will befall it,
The town has a title ( but what will they call it? )

Oft have I wriggled perplexed on my bed,
Titles for New Town a – buzz in my head.
No sheep I counted. When sleep made its claims –
I’d wearily muttered a few hundred names.

Names they’ve suggested right up to the last –
“Para” or “Gouger” (but NOT “Rising Fast”)
Fast though it’s rising out thee on the plain
(Who’ll make a hazard? Who’ll guess again?)

Over the wheatfields and over the corn,
Rises the shape of a city new – born.
Thunder your “viva”, your “bravo”, “hurray”,
The name of the new town .. we’ll know it …TODAY!
The Advertiser November 16th 1955. p.2

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Bill Fatchen 85

Out and About

Bill Fatchen, 85

BILL Fatchen, of Angle Vale, celebrated his 85th birthday recently. His brothers, Fred, Ern and Ray, came down from Manoora to wish him the best. They saluted him with some awful cheek.  One said he was a tough old rag. Another said he was going mouldy, and another said he reckoned he had white ants in the top storey. Bill took the language well, and after examining his presents, which consisted of useful articles and cash, he hurled back some cheek by saying, "Well, I don't mind if you give me another birthday next week." Many reminiscences cropped up.  

Grandfather Fatchen was noted for his strength. He once made a wager with a man for £1 that he would carry a 200 lb. bag of flour around a field measuring one mile. He did so easily, and, before removing the bag from his back, he challenged the man for another £1. but the man shook his head horizontally. Fred said Bill looked so fit that he would be afraid to make a similar wager with him.

Bill was saying he drove a team of harrows at 11 years of age. and suffered with the leg ache at night. Fred said it must have been a streak of laziness, because he has
known Bill during his age between 70 and 80 years to walk six times that distance after hares, and not once complain.

A happy day was spent, and his brothers decided to forgive him for his cheek to them with the bright thought of his kind attention to their late dear mother with his frequent visits home to see her.

The Advertiser 23 August 1946

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Anzac Centenary - We will remember

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since our involvement in the First World War.

The Anzac Centenary provides us with an opportunity to remember those who have fought and served in all wars, conflicts and peace operations in the past hundred years and especially remember the more than 100,000 who have given their lives in service.

No place was unaffected by war, the City of Playford was no exception.  War memorials at Smithfield and One Tree Hill list names of men from the district who served, and for some gave the supreme sacrifice.  The names on the memorials do not cover all those who were in active service, so far 109 names of men have been found that either resided or were born within the area that today constitutes the City of Playford.

The story of war encompasses more than those who fought, it includes those who remained behind, the women who husbands enlisted, the mothers and fathers who wondered at their sons fate, the children who missed out of several years of having their father, uncle or cousin around.   
The City of Playford Library Service will endeavour to research the lives of the men from this district and what was happening in the district during the four years of war.  Local history volunteers have already begun research, which we will make available to everyone.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Kicked by a horse

ANGLE VALE, October 17— On Monday Mr. Len Fatchen, of Penfield, was standing on the shafts of a trolly, when a horse kicked him in a leg. He was taken to the Gawler Hospital, where it was ascertained he had a compound fracture just above the ankle.
The Register 18th October 1922

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Etchings of life on the Gawler Plains

Beautiful detailed etchings from the book "The history of South Australia" by William Harcus, 1876.  These scanned pages depict the Gawler Plains, and the property of John Riggs.
The book was published by authority of the Government of South Australia, with, like several similar books of this period, the hope that it would inform people "back home" in England of the prosperity of the colony and thus encourage them to migrate. 
For more information on William see his entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/harcus-william-3711

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Butterfly Fete

Butterfly Fete

The Mayoress of Gawler Mrs. E. C. Goodger opened the Butterfly fete conducted by the Angle Vale ladies guild, and was thanked by Mrs. Fatchen and presented with a box of sweets and posy by Joan Dawkins and Ruby Brus.  Prizes for decorated umbrellas went to Valerie Rowland (original); Ruby Brus (prettiest), Allen Brus and Kelvin Stevens. A snap shot contest was won by Mrs. C. Fatchen and Vennetta Brus.

The Advertiser Wednesday 17 December 1952

Friday, October 26, 2012

Significant trees

Native apricot or peach tree,
one of the last in the Peachey Belt area
from which it gets its name.
Often an out of place tree in a new residential area is a reminder of what was there beforehand.  Old fruit trees in odd places, large palm trees or gum trees may be all that remains of an old homestead.  The National Trust have been working on significant tree list and have identified trees, indigenous and non from around the state.  Here is the list for the Playford area.

Location details
Botanical name
Common name
Individual stand row
Angle Vale & Taylors Rd Angle Vale
330 m S from intersection of Angle Vale & Taylors rd, Angle Vale
Pittosporum phylliraeoides
Native apricot, weeing pittosporum
One of the few survivors of the original Peachey Belt dated 200-400 years old
One Tree Hill
Extends 1km E of Para Wirra Rd on southern side of Kersbrook rd, OTH
Eucalyptus camaldulensis & E. leucoxylon
River red gum & SA Blue gum
Row of trees
Seavington Rd, Elizabeth
Seavington rd, Jubillee Park, Elizabeth Park
Platanus hybrid
London plane
Individual tree
Boundary park Elizabeth Vale
In the creek bed of Boundary park of Coppleridge Drive, Elizabeth Vale
Eucalyptus camaldulensis
River red gum
Elizabeth Park
Jubilee Park
Jubilee Park, Seavington st, approx. 300m south of Seavington & Seaborough rds T-junction
Eucalyptus camaldulensis
River Red gum
Stand/ row of trees
Elizabeth Park
Olive Grove, Midway rd & Yorktown rd
Olive grove reserve
Olea europaea
Stand/ row
John Rive Ave
Elizabeth Vales
South side of John Rice Ave, 50m E from the roundabout intersection from Phillip Highway
Eucalyptus camaldulensis
River Red gum
Stand/ row
Indee Cres, Munno Para
On steep slope 150m SE Indee Cres, Craigmore
Allocasuarina verticillata
Drooping sheoak
Individual tree
Elizabeth Vale
Harry Bowie reserve, Salisbury Park
Eucalyptis camaldulensis
River Red Gum
Individual tree
Angle Vale
Heaslip rd
Lauriston winery grounds, Heaslip rd 1.4km south of Angle Vale rd, Heaslip road intersection
Eucalyptus porose E camaldulensis
River red gum, Golden wattle
Original Collins family Collinsville stud in mid north of SA. Later owned by Sir Ellerton Becker – Smithfield Pastoral comp
Angle Vale
Heaslip rd
Western side of Heslip rd, 1.4km south of Angle Vale Heaslip rd interection
Pyrus communis
Believed to be planted by the Collins family. Original home stood in present day Lauriston winery
Smithfield Augusta Square
Augusta Square
Anne & Kirk st
Eucalyptus camaldulensis
River Red Gum
Original site of Smithfield Presbyterian church