Friday, August 30, 2013

Sepia Saturday: A brace of photos

The theme photo for Sepia Saturday this week includes three men, braces, newspaper, jazz musician and striped trousers. I've chosen some family photos of people wearing braces (suspenders).

Uncle Jack, standing left in the photo below, was a crack shot. But in Australia there really wasn't much to shoot at in the 1930s apart from kangaroos and rabbits. Rabbits were in absolutely plague proportions and a complete menace to the environment and the farming community but in the depression years they were an important source of food. But somehow I think this photo is just for fun. The caption reads 'The Big Game Hunters' and Jack and his mates, Malcolm and Mick, appear to have shot only two or three rabbits. All lived and farmed in Kooloonong in Victoria's Mallee. I saw Malcolm several months ago at Jack's wife, Lena's, 90th birthday and he had quite a few yarns to tell. He probably left out the best ones.
The Big Game Hunters (with two rabbits), Jack Larkin (left), Malcolm Macfarlane & Mick Murphy
 at Kooloonong, Victoria
And this is Jack's father-in-law Ralph Alford. Everyone loved Ralph. He was a farmer at Mologa and in this photo he's wearing his work clothes. Maybe he was just home for a cuppa and one of his daughters said 'Stand there for a minute dad.'
Ralph Alford, Mologa
Another of Ralph's daughters, Shirley, married the kid in the centre of the photo below. Neil Phelan turned 90 a month ago so we had another party! And there's Neil's uncle Gib with him, wearing braces and a tie so I think they've probably been to church.
Gibson Phelan, Neil Phelan (b. 1923) and Ina Phelan at Mitiamo, Victoria
And here are Neil's brothers, Doug and Keith. This time Doug gets to wear the braces but he probably didn't have a choice. Mum would have told him what to wear.
Doug Phelan and Keith Phelan, Mitiamo
And lastly, this is me about 1950. My mum used to draft the patterns and sew most of our clothes, and there are a few photos of us kids wearing shoulder straps of various kinds. These straps would have been buttoned on to the skirt. It looks grubby and so do my knees so I hope I hadn't just got back from church!
Yours truly
You can read more jazzy blogs on the theme over at Sepia Saturday's webpage.

25 comments:

  1. Oh yes those litle skirts with buttoned on straps; I think I had one, but sadly no photos. I hope you scribbled down as many of those yarns from the 90th birthday parties as you could.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great pictures. We watched the movie "The Rabbit Fence" a few years ago & although it didn't really have much to do with rabbits, but mostly the fence itself, it did educate us to the problem folks down there faced - something we'd been unaware of till we saw the movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have the longest fences in the worl. The rabbit fences in Western Australia really did exist and is an amazing story. The Wikipedia entry has a good explanation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit-proof_fence
      And you can also check the entry for the dingo fences, and equally amazing story.

      Delete
  3. Love the Mighty Hunters! Such a crew. And you in that little skirt -- I think we all had those; they were the rage!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha ha! This was fun! I only recall once having a skirt with suspenders, and I made it myself. It was red corduroy, and I was quite proud of it.

    You were a real cutie-pie!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great to see people wearing their working outfits as well as Sunday best. I'm sure I had grubby knees when I wore my suspended skirts. I forgot those! OK, I'll send this along with "word verification" this time, because I already wrote it...but I hate those things!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh Boobook - that first photo is priceless. Well done. Very bracing :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. One of the first things I sewed in Home Ec class was a skirt with a bib and straps.

    ReplyDelete
  8. An interesting post. The rabbit shooting culture was very strong. Food for you, food for the dogs, and sale of the skins to help you through Uni.Now the following story is about a very careful shooter from a very careful family but one weekend sixty plus years ago he had arrived home from shooting and was sitting on the couch in the living room preparatory to cleaning his rifle when he lined up on a fly on the wall. The next thing you know the upright piano in the next room has a round hole in it. Pingggggggggg....... You should have heard his father! The hole is still there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. You'll have to write a blog post about that one day B.

      Delete
  9. Lorraine, you haven't changed, I can easily recognise you in that last photo:-) Great braces photos, I could only find one in my collection.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank goodness for shoulders because without them how on earth would we keep our trousers up! Wonderful old photos, a delight to view. Thank you for sharing them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great set of photos. During the Depression two of my uncles kept themselves and their family alive by going on the road and shooting rabbits. Very common back then. And how well I remember the skirt and bib and the pinafore dress as well. Same vintage as you obviously.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am enjoying seeing other people's vintage photos. what a cutie you were!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's certainly a family with healthy genes, in their 90is and still telling yarns. Fantastic photos, just how it was on the land, very hard yakka and no frills. My mother has made all our dresses, we were three girls, or most of them. You have been a very cute girl.

    ReplyDelete
  14. There wouldn't happen to be a Reg Alford in the family?

    Reg Alford boarded with my grandparents for a while and is pictured in many of the photos with my Grand Aunt Nellie Walker.

    http://www.shazlex.blogspot.com.au/search?q=Alford

    What are the chances? But I hope so :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Sharon, I have most of the Alford tree worked out and there isn't a Reg.

      Delete
    2. It would have been great but unfortunately not!

      Delete
  15. I can remember wearing little skirts with shoulder straps like yours which my mother made, too. I think it's amazing to see how popular braces were years ago. Not many men wear them these days (except for my husband!).

    ReplyDelete
  16. I suspect, in that last picture, that you had been exploring the neighborhood.
    Cute!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've done a couple of posts about rabbits - a big feature in Australian country life I think. We are fighting a rabbit plague in North Shore Sydney now - they've baited the foxes, so nothing left to eat them! Now they're talking about hunters in the national parks to help control them - vicious cycle I think.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I used to have shoulder straps too as a kid, in the fifty's.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Some of the photos I inherited have similar captions that seem to have been an attempt at humor.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great photos. My great grandfather, Joseph Henry Alford was Ralph Alfords brother. I treasure these photos. Cheers Karen Alford--Thomason Pyramid Hill Victoria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Karen. It would be good to catch up some time and talk family history when I'm next passing through PH. We enjoyed lunch at the Bank Cafe a year or so ago.

      Delete

I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.

Lorraine