Tag Archives: australia

An Australian Souvenir Handkerchief

6 Oct

This interesting item was another souvenir sent from Australia by the BATEMANs to family back ‘home’ in England. Unfortunately there is nothing to indicate when it was sent or to which member of the family it was sent.

An Australian Souvenir Handkerchief

It consists of an embroidered handkerchief (at least I think that it is embroidered) pinned inside a piece of folded card, so that the embroidery is visible through the circular whole cut out of the front of the card. Unfortunately some of the colour has run, so both the card and handkerchief have a slight red tinge to them. The embroidery is apparently of the bloom of the waratah.

Handkerchief

Souvenir of Bendigo

30 Sep

As a follow-on from my Postcards from Australia series of posts, this is another treasure that was sent from Australia by the BATEMANs back to England.

The envelope above probably (I can’t be 100% certain) contained the three photographs below, which are views from the town of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

From left to right they are:

  • Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, Bendigo.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bendigo.
  • The Boathouse, Lake Weerona, Bendigo.

I know this because someone has helpfully written the locations on the back. The handwriting looks the same as that on the envelope so I guess it was either Annie or William BATEMAN.

These were sent quite a bit later than the postcards I have previously featured, the postmark on the envelope looks like 25 FEB 29, and I believe the monarch on the stamp is George V, so this would fit in with a date of 1929.

The other difference is the recipient, these were sent to my grandmother Dorothy Annie TROWER who would have been 16 years old at the time. Dorothy Annie was the daughter of Henry John and Dorothy May TROWER, making her William Joseph Henry BATEMAN’s neice.

Three seems an odd number of photos to include, so I wonder if there were originally more. If anyone knows then please get in touch.

Postcards from Australia: Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum

22 Sep

This is the last of my “Postcards from Australia” posts for a while, although there are a couple of other souvenirs I will be featuring in the coming weeks. This card was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN (of Port Melbourne, Victoria) to his sister (Dorothy) May BATEMAN in Sussex, England.

Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum

The picture is not particularly appealing to me, but it is a good example of cramming in almost every Australian stereotype you can imagine into one image, and it has the added novelty of a metal kangaroo attached to the front (if you look at the back you can see where the fastenings are).

The gold print didn’t scan very well, so you can’t read the writing on the leaf in the top-left corner, but it says:

“Good Cheer!” It comes from the Sunny South,
And is wafted far over the sea;
And it tells you that, under the Southern Cross,
Someone is thinking of thee.

As with some of the previous “Postcards from Australia” the message on the back is probably more interesting than the picture on front.

Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum (back)

The message is dated the 7th May, but no year is given. The message is a little hard to read, and is short on punctuation, but it is basically wishing May a happy birthday and hoping everyone is well.

Just a few lines hoping you are quite well as I am pleased to say we are all pretty well over here at present and to Wish you many happy returns of the day. I am sorry we are a bit late but better late than never I hope you are still getting on nicely at your place. I suppose it will not have you much longer I hope Mum & Dad are both doing well and are in the best of health Annie myself and Children are all pretty well and are still jogging along I suppose you are having some nice weather now. I also hope the intended is in the best of health I suppose mother received Annies letter last week, so Good Bye, Love to all at home “Will”

There are a couple of dating clues in the message, if you know where to look. “Will” supposes her place “will not have you much longer” and enquires about the health of her intended. I assume this means that the message was written not long before May was due to be married, and would probably be leaving her place (where she worked) and moving in with her husband.

(Dorothy) May BATEMAN (my great-grandmother) married Henry John TROWER (my great-grandfather) on the 5th August 1911 at Christ Church, Sayers Common, Sussex, so that probably means that this card was sent earlier that year.

Postcards from Australia: At The Shaft

15 Sep

This postcard in another postcard that was sent “home” to England by the BATEMAN family of Australia, this one was sent by the wife of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN to her sister-in-law (Dorothy) May BATEMAN. The picture is another of the Australian Series by the artist J. Hutchings, and the card itself is a little worn around the edges.

At The Shaft

The card was sent on the 7th January 1908 (although it may have been the 1st) and serves as a thank you letter for Christmas cards and gifts. Postcards like this are great because they prove that there was still a connection with the family back home, I often wonder when people leave home, especially when they leave the country, whether they actually remained in touch.

At The Shaft (back)

What is particularly nice about this message is the reference to Siddie (Sidney Ambrose BULL), Annie’s son from her first marriage. I wonder what those books were that he was so proud of? It is pleasing to see that despite not being William’s son he was accepted as part of the family. Sidney would have been around eight or nine years old at the time.

Postcards from Australia: Luck At Last

2 Sep

Here is another of the postcards sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family from Australia back to his parents in England. This one was written to William’s mother Dorothy Isabella BATEMAN on the 26th September 1907 by his wife Annie.

Luck at Last

Once again I know nothing about the publisher or the artist, but like the other ones I have written about, I do like the image. I also love the way that so much information was crammed onto the back of the card, not even space for a stamp on this one.

Luck at Last (reverse)

These messages give a wonderful insight into their life in Australia, and an insight into Annie’s personality, she has a wonderful style of writing and a subtle sense of humour (and a dislike of punctuation).

The main message reads “Just a line to let you know we are all in the best of health and that we have moved again you will think it must be cheaper to shift than pay rent but we have a much better house and 1/6 a week cheaper and there was only a fence between us and the land-lady and she was a fair old tander but only one street away from where we were our address now is :- Esplanade Place Port Melb’e no number but but [sic] there are only five houses in the street. hope all are well Will has gone back to work”

The two shorter messages are just as interesting, “I am going over to Geelong tomorrow for three days I have to go down to draw the interest on Siddies’ money. I am taking the two children with me”. This is referring to Annie’s son from her first marriage, Sidney Ambrose BULL, presumably there was some sort of legacy left by his late father that interest was being paid on.

The second even shorter message, “baby is not walking yet I think he feels safer on the the floor.” is referring to William Thomas Henry BATEMAN, Annie and William’s first child who would have been a few days away from his first birthday when this card was sent.

There is one word that puzzles me, tander, I presume this is an Australian slang word, but have been unable to find a definition for it. From the context of the message I have taken it to mean someone who is an interfering busy-body, but perhaps someone more knowledgeable would like to provide me with a more accurate definition.

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