|Read about Sepia Saturday blogs here|
I have lots to write this week. I had never heard of Mosman Bay before this prompt photo made me investigate. What a beautiful bay, and what a shame someone cracked the glass slide. I have never been to Sydney, or Australia for that matter, but I should know more. My youngest daughter Fiona has been there since last October on a gap year before University in Nottingham next year, and is living in a back-packer's hostel a stone's throw from Mosman Bay.
If you sail south for one mile, to the right in this photo, and then turn west again for a further mile, you will come to Sydney Harbour Bridge, probably one of the best known landmarks of Australia.
A cracking good time
I want to share with you a letter written to my late first cousin once removed Victor Sydney (no connection) Smith when he was at school at Abbotsholme, a severe boys' boarding school on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border. It was from his aunts Mabel and Edith Smith of Derby, and they were cruising around Australia and were witnesses to, and enjoyed the party of the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge on March 19, 1932.
|Orient Line SS Orford about to pass under the bridge. (Courtesy Flickr.)|
Crack open the whisky!
Next I wondered what my Sydney friend "MS" could tell me about Mosman Bay, by way of anecdotes. I know he has always had yachts when he has lived in Sydney, and pined for sea-water when he lived in Derbyshire. Yes...he writes......... he knew it well from his days at Sydney Amateur Sailing Club just to the right of the prompt image on this side. I then got a totally unrepeatable story of bad behaviour when he took some work colleagues out on his boat, which commenced with .........."and after the race we cracked open a bottle of whisky. Needless to say the skipper fell asleep and the work colleagues chose to depart on the tender leaving me asleep.......on the mooring...no way of getting home......"
My poor ancestors
Here are some of my cracked but precious ancestor images:
|Granny Aspdin circa 1895, yes, you have seen her before too many times, Evelyn, one of the skating Slater sisters.|
|I feel sure someone is going to date the kiln image for me now I can show you the box the slides are kept in.|
|Cracking the whip!! For those who remember the Skating Slater Sisters of prior weeks, here is Beatrice Slater on horseback in the Derby yard of WH&J Slater, my home, with some of the pipes from the kiln. Circa 1906.|
5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters
Among the papers of my late father Lt Col Geoffrey Aspdin, relating to the capture of the 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in Singapore in 1942, and time as POW slave labour on the Burma Siam railway, I found this cracked glass negative.
Crack-Heads of Derby, Vandals, and Criminals
In Friar Gate, Derby, just round the corner from my home, is some beautiful street art, ceramic heads representing alleged prisoners from the old Derby Gaol, which was originally in Friar Gate. They were made about 14 years ago by artist Tim Clapcott at a time when pavement renovation works were being carried out. Sadly Derby has its fair share of vandals, and it was inevitable that eventually someone would damage them, as indeed they did in 2010. The good people of the city were outraged at the loss of these much loved icons of our past.
|Some cracked heads in 2010. I am too ashamed to show the worst damage.|
I carefully stored the cracked and broken bits wondering what the outcome would be. This weekend Tim Clapcott arrived with a new set of heads and has been working all hours for 3 days to get them installed. It is very exciting to have our prisoners back looking so good.
|Artist Tim Clapcott installing his new heads In Friar Gate, March 3, 2013.|
I was able to show Tim an interesting news-sheet purchased by my ancestors April 1847 and carefully put away. More ancestors having a cracking good time, with free entertainment.
|The ghoulish news sheet sold to spectators of public hangings at Derby Gaol.|