Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trove Tuesday: Maddingly Park

I've mentioned Phil's Great-uncle James Alford before, and probably will again, but in this post I'm discussing an aspect of his life I discovered in the National Library's digitised newspapers on Trove.

In the 30 years since his arrival in Australia James had moved from South Australia to Brighton, Victoria then to a farm at Parwan near Bacchus Marsh for a few years. In about 1880 he moved with his family to Maddingly, across the river from Bacchus Marsh, and they ran a store and hotel there for about ten years.

He quickly established himself as a useful member of the community as evidenced in a newspaper report published when the faamily left for Ballan in 1890.

Bacchus Marsh Express 1 Nov 1890
There's more to James' story but for now I just want to note two newspaper reports of James and Elizabeth's gifts to the town. Across the road from the Alford's store and hotel there was, and still is, a park called Maddingly Park. In the 1880s the council decided to landscape the park and plant the gardens. James Alford donated the iron fence around the fountain and his wife, Elizabeth, donated a substantial sundial. As far as I know both installations no longer exist. I wonder if they're in storage somewhere.

Bacchus Marsh Express 10 Nov 1888
Bacchus Marsh Express 10 Apr 1889
Maddingly Park c1936
Booklet - Bacchus Marsh Centenary Celebrations, Federation University
 Australia Historical Collection

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