Tag Archives: port melbourne

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.

Postcards from Australia: Dead Beat

25 Aug

Here is another postcard sent back home from Australia by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN. I know nothing about the artist or publisher of this card (although I do like the picture), and the message on the back is more important than the picture on the front.

Dead Beat

As you can see from the date this one was written at the same time as the one I showed you a couple of weeks ago. Presumably sent in the same envelope to save postage. This one was sent to William’s sister May (or Dorothy May) BATEMAN.

Dead Beat (reverse)

Dorothy May BATEMAN was my great-grandmother and would have been about 18 years old at the time. It is interesting to note that she is not at the same address as her parents, presumably she was in domestic service in Brighton, Sussex at the time. It would be interesting to find out who else was also living at 45 Preston Grove in 1907.

The mention of “one of little Willie photo’s” is referring to William Joseph Henry’s first son William Thomas Henry BATEMAN who would have been almost eight months old when this card was written. I wonder what the reason was for Annie (his wife) being “not up to much”?

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