Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Memories of a Queenstown Holiday Oct 1913


Travelling in a 'birdcage' carriage compartment on the original
'Kingston Flyer' from Lumsden to Kingston. Taken October 1913

My impending holiday, which includes the popular mountain holiday resort of Queenstown New Zealand, reminded me of an historic old photo album of 24 images belonging to my Grandmother which captured her own holiday to "The Cold Lakes" in October 1913. These unpublished photos give a good idea of how much Queenstown has changed over the last 99 years!

The album carries the simple inscription "Photos by 'Boss', With good wishes from Charles Loveday, Oct 1913". Mr Loveday's photographs clearly show him to be an accomplished photographer. I cannot ascertain if this gentleman is also the husband of the unknown lady pictured above however all do appear to have travelled as one group.

Set among the mountains on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the tinted photos used in this blog at least give an indication of the beauty of Queenstown and surrounding lake and mountains however the historic sepia photos hardly do justice to this idyllic although now rather busier tourist resort.


The 'Kingston Flyer' and crew at Kingston Railway Station.  The locomotive
 is one of the famed "K" class American Rodgers locomotives allotted to
 this run, being renowned for their good turn of speed. The half
"birdcage" carriage is just behind the engine tender.
[Photo credit : NZ Railways Publicity]

The journey started by pony and trap to Winton Railway Station thence by train to Lumsden to catch the famed "Kingston Flyer" for Kingston at the south end of the lake. A 1920's tourist version of the "Kingston Flyer" still travels between Fairlight and Kingston. Interestingly, the scene above was re-created in the year 2000 with K92, one of the original 1878 Kingston Flyer locomotives. Even more surprising is that no less than three of the flashy 'Yankee' [American Rodgers] K class locomotives of 1877-78 vintage survive, two being in working order. From Kingston the journey continued by Government lake steamer to Queenstown, a sailing time of just under two hours.


The Paddle Steamer "Mountaineer" at Queenstown Wharf.

Three New Zealand Government owned passengers steamers serviced the lake passenger trade, being the "Ben Lomond" at 82.8 feet length (formerly the "Jane Williams") launched in 1872, The Paddle Steamer "Mountaineer" (pictured above) at 125 feet launched in 1879, and the "TSS Earnslaw" at 165.58 feet launched in 1912. The "TSS Earnslaw" still steams on Lake Wakatipu, putting in 14 hour days 7 days a week, not bad for a centenarian! This can be attributed to the very pure lake water which has helped to preserve her platework and (original) boilers plus the love and care lavished on her generally. The "Mountaineer" was dismantled for mine sweeper parts in the Second World War and the small and rather unpopular "Ben Lomond" ["The Ben"] was stripped of serviceable parts and her hull sunk in 600 feet of water in Kingston Bay in 1952.


My Grandmother and her companion reading in "Queenstown Park with the
new twin screw steamer "TSS Earnslaw" launched in 1912 visible at rear.
Taken October 1913.

The main attractions of Queenstown were not just the lake but also the Remarkable Mountains and the "Queenstown Park" [Government Gardens] which appear, judging by the photo above, to have still been in development.


"The Remarkables", as viewed across the small lake in "Queenstown Park".
Snow had fallen on the mountains the day before.
Taken October 1913  

A tinted view of "The Remarkables" from a period postcard produced
by the New Zealand Tourist Department

Queenstown Bay as viewed from the Park. Queenstown Hill is at right while
the valley in the centre leads through to Arthur's Point and Skippers with
Coronet Peak in the far background. Taken pre 1909.

Queenstown Bay as viewed from the Park. Ben Lomond peak towers behind
the township with the original steamer wharf at left. Taken pre 1913

My Grandmother (at left) and her companion standing on Queentown Hill
overlooking the township and lake. Walter Peak is the large mountain to
right of centre and Cecil Peak at left. "Queenstown Park" [Government
Gardens] is the wooded peninsula reaching out into the lake at left.
Taken October 1913.

A view of the township at the foot of Queenstown Hill. The Remarkables
are at right in the background. Rossford House which provided private
accommodation is at far right surrounded by a white picket fence.
Taken October 1913.

Rossford House, Queenstown. Private Bed and Breakfast is certainly
nothing new. Taken October 1913.

The paddle steamer "Mountaineer" leaving Queenstown Bay, the wharf
and small but attractive ticket office are at right. Pre 1912


The walking track at the end of "Queenstown Park". In December 1913 two
marble plaques on the large rock at right were unveiled in memory of the ill-
fated Antarctic explorer, Sir Robert Falcon Scott.  Walter Peak appears
to right of centre across the lake in the background. Taken October 1913


A small waterfall below the Queenstown Waterworks.
Taken October 1913


A rabbiters hut on the outskirts of Queenstown made of canvas and old tin.
Taken October 1913.


A pony and trap on the Frankton Road heading towards Queenstown.
Cecil Peak  towers in the background. Taken October 1913.


The outlet of Lake Wakatipu into the Kawarau River at Frankton, looking
south west. In 1926 the Kawarau Falls Dam was built across here in an
effort to stop the outflow of water to enable alluvial gold to be mined.
Backflow from the Shotover River downstream made this plan an expensive
failure. My Father purchased a one pound share in this fiasco, I still hold
the certificate. The dam, which carries a single lane bridge, remains in use
today but a new bridge is planned downstream. Taken October 1913.


The historic suspension bridge spanning the Kawarau River, opened 1880.
This bridge remained in use until 1963 and now hosts a popular bungy
jumping operation. Taken pre 1912


Mr Loveday has described this as "The Queenstown - Glenorchy Track".
Taken October 1913


Our final view is of Mount Crighton, about 10 kilometres from Queenstown


Bibliography :

- All images (except the "Kingston Flyer" at Kingston) are from my own collection and may not be used for any commercial purpose without my express permission. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

An Edwardian Visit to the Seaside


An Edwardian Seaside Scene (1)

An impending Summer holiday (currently being the Southern Hemisphere Summer) reminded me of my delightful china beaker, one side of which is pictured above. Unfortunately the artist and maker are unknown but I have always enjoyed this carefree although admittedly idealised and romanticised view of seaside summer fun. The whole scene reminds one of those carefree summer holidays with family and friends that we all enjoyed as children when it never ever seemed to rain and summer really did seem to go on forever.


An Edwardian Seaside Scene (2)

The children's clothing is a delight, the bright colours adding greatly to the enjoyment of the scene.


 An Edwardian Seaside Scene (3)

The final view in this seaside "triptych" scene, showing how the scene extends almost all the way around the beaker. If anyone can provide further information on the manufacturer of this type of china I would be delighted to hear from you. I have simply never seen anything like it.


Ayr Beach, Scotland, as viewed on or prior to 1908

What Edwardian visit to the seaside, in this case Ayr Beach in Scotland, would be complete without a sandcastle complete with a little flag? Even in a real life photograph there were obviously certain standards of dress that had to be maintained.  How times - and standards - have changed.


A painting of Ayr Beach, Scotland, Pre 1914 ?

This "oilette" style painting of a somewhat busier Ayr Beach, while undated, appears to have been posted before the First World War. The above scene includes small row boats which are obviously available for hire but more intriguingly a tripod on the beach which could very well be a camera with its cloth dark cloth light cover. And what could possibly be contained in the two wooden trunks at left?

Very well served by the Glasgow and South Western Railway as well as by a regular coastal paddle steamer service, Ayr proved early on to be a popular holiday destination, especially for Glaswegians. This was mainly on account of its fresh coastal air, fine sandy beach, and proximity to the small attractive town of Alloway with its connection to the poet Robert Burns. From 1901 Ayr sported an electric tramway service connecting with Alloway and even gas lighting which had been installed as early as 1826.


Portobello Beach, Edinburgh, circa 1900

A crowded Portobello Beach, being Edinburgh's own popular "Seaside Resort". Unlike a similar view now everyone is completely clothed save for the raised trousers of a few children paddling in the sea. There was certainly nothing déshabillé about these beach goers. The Promenade appears also to be a popular place for a stroll, almost certainly on a Sunny Sunday afternoon or public holiday.
On my first visit to Edinburgh it was not until having a pleasant walk in the early summer evening sunshine that I discovered I was staying no more than one block from what turned out to be a beautiful sandy beach, not what I had expected to find in Edinburgh!


Portobello Pier, circa 1900

Portobello Pier (1,250 feet) had been sanctioned by Parliament in 1869 and designed by Sir Thomas Bouch (who was later responsible for the ill-fated Tay Railway Bridge which collapsed in a storm), being opened on the 23rd May 1871. It had been felt that a pier was required to add to the variety of attractions available to visitors and "to develop Portobello as a place of pleasure and enjoyment to its inhabitants and to the many visitors from Edinburgh and afar." A nominal toll fee was charged which few begrudged for the chance to enjoy a bracing walk. Other attrractions on the pier included a tea rooms and restaurant, a concert hall, and a camera obscura. Frequent structural repairs due to corrosion necessitated the demolition of this rather spindly looking structure in 1917.


Millport Bay, Great Cumbrae, pre 1905

Children "messing about in boats" in Millport Bay, a small seaside resort on the Island of Great Cumbrae off the Ayshire Coast. Millport, along with Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, was famous with generations of day trippers from Glasgow as one of the seaside resorts visited on paddle steamer trips "doon the watter" from Glasgow. A ferry also served the town from Largs and Wemyss Bay, both having good railway connections via the Glasgow and South Western Railway and the Caledonian Railway respectively.  
From Millport can be seen the mountains of Arran, the Island of Little Cumbrae, the Eileans, Ailsa Craig, and the hills of Ayrshire.


The South Beach, Freemantle, Western Australia, pre 1910

With not a surfer in view, fully dressed Edwardian beach goers enjoy South Beach, Freemantle in Western Australia. A marquee white canvas tent at left appears to hold an attraction for children. A lady in the foreground holds a sun umbrella however there is no evidence of sea bathing. Otherwise a walk along the beach in company with others appears to be the main activity.


St Clair Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand c.1910

The "Favourite Seaside Resort" of St Clair beach, Dunedin, New Zealand appears to again be restricted to nothing more than fully clothed adults watching children paddling in the sea. Were it not for the straw hats and sea paddling one would have imagined it to be a cold winter's day although there does appear to be a breeze blowing.

This is now a popular beach for surfers, dog walkers, sun worshippers, a bracing annual mid-winter swim, and even, in these rather more enlightened times, the occasional nude rugby game! The "promenade" now includes popular eateries, an upmarket hotel, and not forgetting the oft photographed shark bell to warn surfers and swimmers of any unwanted "guests". 

Bibliography :

- All images are from my own personal collections.
   

Friday, 13 January 2012

"In Defense of Scotland's National Rights and Honour"


"In Defense of Scotland'sNational Rights and Honour",
Scottish Coronation Medal 1902.

The current discussion on a vote for Scottish Independence from Westminster reminded me of an earlier example of barely concealed Scottish National Pride and Independence. In my possession is an aluminium coronation medal  minted in 1902 when King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra ascended the throne. On one side reads "In Defense of Scotland's National Rights and Honour, 1902

"King Edward First - Not Seventh - of Britain
and the British Empire - Queen Alexandra",
Scottish Coronation Medal, 1902.

But look carefully on the reverse and you will see that the inscription reads "King Edward First - Not Seventh - of Britain and the British Empire - Queen Alexandra". This was always a source of bemusement to my Scottish relatives who acquired it. But nonetheless their fierce loyalty to Scotland, despite their emigration to New Zealand in 1912, remained for the rest of their lives.

"Hurrah For Scotland Bonnie"

This Edwardian Scottish postcard aptly but also somewhat romantically illustrates the sense of national pride felt by those of Scottish descent :

"Hurrah for Scotland bonnie,
The land where hearts are leal [loyal],
Whose wandering sons can ne'er forget
The pride of race they feel."   


"The Honours of Scotland" - The Scottish Crown Jewels
 [Source : Internet]

The "Honours of Scotland" [the Scottish Crown Jewels] possibly represent the penultimate of Scottish Nationhood. Last used for the coronation of King Charles II at Scone in 1651 they would never again be used due to the 1707 Act of Union between Scotland and England. From this point onwards the post-Commonwealth English Regalia has always been used. 

The silver-gilt sceptre is believed to have been a gift from Pope Alexander VI to James IV of Scotland in 1494. The Sword of State was presented by Pope Julius II to James IV in 1507. The Crown of Scotland was made in its present form for King James V of Scotland in 1540, being refashioned from a damaged and lighter crown by the Edinburgh goldsmith, John Mosman. King James wore it to his consort's coronation in the same year at the Abbey Church of Holyrood. 

The Honours of Scotland narrowly escaped Oliver Cromwell, his avowed intention being their destruction, just as he had wilfully disposed of the historic English regalia. The Honours were carefully smuggled away and hidden for the duration of the "Commonwealth", being recovered upon the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. They were however never again used for an actual coronation, being locked away in a chest in Edinburgh Castle and forgotten until their much publicised rediscovery by Sir Walter Scott in 1818. They still reside in Edinburgh Castle. As to their possible future use one will obviously have to wait and see.    

The Scottish Saltire
[Source : Internet]

The Saltire, being the National flag of Scottish, remains the most visible representation of Scotland, being the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both their loyalty and Scottish nationality. It is also flown from many Scottish Government buildings. Its use dates from the late 14th century.

 The Royal Standard of Scotland [Lion rampant] Flag
 [Source : Internet]

The Royal Standard of Scotland [or Lion Rampant of Scotland] flag dates from 1222, its correct use being restricted by an 1672 Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only those who officially represent the Sovereign. 

This flag appears to have also come to represent Scottish National Pride and been used in defiance of the 1672 Act. A linen Lion Rampant flag was in the possession of my Scottish born Grandfather who, much to the embarrassment of my Mother, flew it on a pole outside their house in Invercargill New Zealand on VE Day in May 1945 to celebrate the end of the War in Europe.    

It remains to be seen which way Scotland will go in regards to a future referendum, either to stay in the Union or to follow the path of independence. The leader of the Scottish National party (SNP) has however openly declared that an independent Scotland would retain HM Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. 

Bibliography :

- Wikipedia
- General Internet resources   
- Unless otherwise stated all other items are from my own personal collections 

Monday, 2 January 2012

"In Memoriam" - Victorian and Early 20th Century In Memoriam Cards


Mary Duncan (née Peat) of Whitehill
by  Stonehouse, Scotland.
Died 21st Dec 1874, aged 59 years.

Queen Victoria obsessively plunged herself and her country into mourning after the death of her beloved Prince Albert in 1861. From this point the etiquette and conventions of mourning increased exponentially, being adhered to with strict social formality. In Memoriam cards very aptly illustrate one aspect of the Victorian 'cult' of mourning.


Alex Fleming of Knowetop, Hamilton, Scotland.
Died 13th Nov 1875.

In Memoriam cards were used to advise of the death of a loved one or to acknowledge the expressions of sympathy of relatives and friends while at the same creating a tangible and lasting reminder of the deceased. Such cards, as can be seen here, were usually sombre and illustrated with symbolism expressing death along with relevant uplifting biblical verses or sentimental verses of loving remembrance. "Mourning" black is a predominant colour although often, by the turn of the century, attractively lined with gold and / or delicate filigree edging. Otherwise black or silver borders and black bordered envelopes were the normal custom. Earlier cards, as illustrated here, include images such as tombstones covered in drapery or angels, all skilfully printed in embossed relief.


Nelly Baxter, of Blackwood Saw Mills [Hallhill], Lesmahagow, Scotland,
Died 19th September 1876. 

Cards and notices of death could obviously be printed with some considerable speed - apparently even the same day - as they were also used to advise the recipient of the date and place of the funeral or request their attendance at the place of internment. One would have had to be careful to not forget a name and thus cause great offence. This could equally apply to a recipient who did not attend an interment without good reason.


Gavin Watson of Burnhead Farm,
 Dalserf, Scotland.
Died 14th Feb 1879, aged 66 years.

The use of In Memoriam cards seems to be a social custom that has now more or less fallen out of favour. The primary reason is probably the now excessive cost of having cards custom printed and the ease, where desired, to easily and inexpensively print letters of acknowledgement using home computers and printers.


Robert Mossen Frame of Charlestone,
 Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Died 24th Feb 1879 aged 3 months & 11 days

This page includes illustrative examples from my personal collection which range in date order from 1874 to 1918 during "The Great War". Included are verses or references printed inside the cards or from another source relevant to the deceased, each quote taken from or referring to the card above it. A later gallery will look at further examples illustrating the conventions of Victorian to early 20th century era mourning.


Thomas Watson, of Muirhead Farm, Dalserf, Scotland.
Died 16th Oct 1881 aged 70 years.

A printed letter inviting the recipient to attend the
internment of Thomas Watson in Dalserf Churchyard
 on the 19th October 1881 at 12 noon. 

Allan Struthers of Broomfield, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Died 8th Dec 1884, in his 62nd year. 

"Not lost, but gone before;
The Pilgrim is at rest,
His warfare now is o'er -
He sits a welcome guest,
Where prophets and apostles sing
The triumphs of their saviour King.

Not lost, but gone before;
The Wanderer is home;
He dwells upon that shore
Where sorrow cannot come,
Yet still remembers kindred dear,
And loved ones who are lingering here."


Margaret Lohoar (née Thomson) of Lochhead, Dalserf, Scotland.
Died 21st Aug 1892, aged 69 years.

"We see no more her beauteous face,
Her smile so sweet and dear;
An angel's missing from the place
Since she's no longer here.

We called her ours, and thought her so,
Till, from beyond the sky,
The Master beckoned her to go
To join the choir on high." 


Marion Craig of East Watston, Stonehouse, Scotland.
Died 8th March 1893, aged 62 years

"A Few more years shall roll,
A few more seasons come,
And we shall be with those at rest.
Asleep within the tomb."


Janet Templeton of Dalpatrick, Dalserf, Scotland.
Died 18th May 1896

"Sir, 

The favour of your company here on Saturday, 23rd May, at One o-clock., to attend the Funeral of my Sister, Janet Templeton, to the place of Internment in Dalserf Churchyard, will much oblige.

Your obedient servant,

Daniel Templeton"

Thomas Watson of Meadow Bank, Heddon Bush, Southland, New Zealand.
Died 27th Feb 1899, aged 47 years.


"Tis hard to break the tender cord
When love has bound the heart;
'Tis hard, so hard to speak the words;
We for a time must part.

Dearest loved one, we have laid thee
In the peaceful grave's embrace,
But thy memory will be cherished,
Till we see thy heavenly face."


Janet Hamilton, née Jack of Crumhaugh, Stonehouse, Scotland.
Died 30th October 1900, aged 86 years.

Janet Hamilton, née Jack of Crumhaugh, Stonehouse, Scotland.
Died 30th October 1900, aged 86 years.


"My flesh and my heart faileth :
but God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion for ever." 
Psalm 1xxiii, 26


Christina Ballantine (née Wiseman) late of Greenburn, Stonehouse, Scotland.
Died 13th April 1902, aged 92 years.

"Her last words were - 


'Lord do Thou take me to Thyself that I may be with Thee and behold Thy Glory.' "




Mary Fleming (née Lambie) of Wellburn, Lesmahagow, Scotland.
Died 13th June 1902, in her 60th year.

"Bitter the cup, the stroke severe,
To part with her we loved so dear;
Through great our loss, we'll murmur not,
But breath the prayer divinely taught -
'Thy will be done' "



Catherine Wilson, née Thomson, of Bank House, Stonehouse, Scotland.
Died 16th June 1902, aged 55 years.

"O, for a closer walk with God !
A calm and heavenly frame ;
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb !"


Thomas Dougall of Victoria Australia.
Died 28th May 1907, aged 84 years.

"A precious one from us is gone,
A voice we loved is stilled -
A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled.

God in His wisdom has recalled
The boon His love had given,
And though the body slumbers here,
The soul is safe in Heaven."


James Cook of Westlinbank, Strathaven, Scotland.
Died 26th Jan 1910, aged 27 years

"...His father was wired for, on the Monday and given a bed beside Jamie’s in the infirmary and he stayed day and night with him till he died on Wed. Jamie was quite conscious all the time until about 2 hours before he died, but knew all along that there was no hope of his recovery. He had very sore trouble but passed away peacefully at the end...... Monday 31st Jan. was the funeral day and though he had few relatives it was the biggest funeral of the kind ever our folks had seen...."


Margaret Frame of Watchknowe, Crossford, Scotland.
Died 4th January 1913, aged 68 years.

"We loved what God has taken,
We loved, but could not keep;
We strove but death was stronger,
So we must cease to weep." 


Rifleman Edwin Shaw, 23rd New Zealand Reinforcements.
Died of wounds in France, 12th October 1917, aged 42 years.

Name:SHAW, EDWIN
Initials:E
Nationality:New Zealand
Rank:Private
Regiment/Service:Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F.
Unit Text:1st Bn.
Date of Death:12/10/1917
Service No:41114
Additional information:Son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Shaw, of Pomana St., Gore, New Zealand.
Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference:VII. D. 5.
Cemetery:Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Belgium


Private James Clark, 18th New Zealand Reinforcements.
Died in action at Meteren, 16th April 1918, aged 23 years

Name:CLARK, JAMES
Initials:J
Nationality:New Zealand
Rank:Private
Regiment/Service:Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F.
Unit Text:8th Coy. 3rd Bn.
Age:23
Date of Death:16/04/1918
Service No:29746
Additional information:Son of David Fraser Clark and Sophia Clark, of Invercargill, New Zealand.
Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference:II. M. 321.
Cemetery:Meteren Military Cemetery, France



Black bordered envelope used to post In Memoriam cards for
deceased New Zealand military personnel during World War One.



All images are from my own collection of In Memoriam cards.

I am currently preparing another blog of pre 1900 In Memorian Cards (May 2012)

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