Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Family Affair

Rummaging through bits and pieces while finishing off another room in the house - that would be the study, I found some old photos that my father asked me to keep safe. They are of his father, my grandfather and Pa's two brothers.

My grandfather was the caretaker of Studley Park, Kew and lived in the Caretaker's house within the vast parklands overlooking Melbourne city. It was not more than 5 miles away and situated at an elevated part of the inner suburbs.

His brothers, Ernie and Leslie were I guess what you would call Bovver Boys back then. Ernie was a boxer, and not a bad one if old newspaper clippings lead you to believe. He fought under the name of Bullant Sims. Obviously not a big bloke.

As for Leslie, he had other talents with around thirteen offspring, can't really be sure as he had two wives. Not sure if that was at different, or the same time - skeletons in the closet, I'm sure.
Leslie Roy was a nice old chap from memory, bit of a bantam rooster I'm told.

Dapper young lads - Les, John and Ernie.

Jack, my father with Beryl and Les, his siblings.
My Granny, Tilly with yours truly.

As for my grandfather John, he was a really nice old bloke and I spent many weekends at the parklands with him and my grandmother Tilly (Matilda). They were very caring but totally opposite. John was a smoker and a drinker and Tilly was neither. I still remember the smell of nicotine on his clothes. I was only about 12 years old when they passed away, Tilly first and John not long after. I can remember being at my grandfather's funeral and seeing my father shed tears for his father - I'm sure I will be the same if my father Jack (92) doesn't outlive me. He's a stayer!!!

I'm told that as a child, they called me young Winston - where's my cigar.


  1. Terrific photo of Les, John and Ernie.... very dapper young lads :) Can you date it firmly?

    1. I think it was around the time of John Wren. The boys grew up in Fitzroy/Collingwood.

  2. How nice to have the family photos. I have lost touch with our old photos since Mum died earlier this year, so only have the memories to remember. It would be nice to have a look at my family though, just to keep in touch with my lineage. You look a lovely bonny boy!

    1. Vera - These days with digital cameras we take lots of pictures but they don't have that same charm as an old photo album. do they?

    2. Vera

      Without family photos we lose our history. Specially after losing mum.

      Ask the siblings and cousins for a couple of their photos and make copies for yourself. Frame them. Love them.

  3. How great to find the old photos and also to know who everyone is. Great memories. Have a good week you two. D & N

    1. Diane - The photos came in a small envelope that my father has trusted me with along with Marriage Certificates of his and his parents.

  4. Oh yes, I can see "young Winston" in that photo! LOL
    It will be four years this month since my father died, and it's been more than six since Mother died, and one of my brothers had custody of all the old photos. But when Dad died, the pictures were suddenly turned over to me. I don't know why, because I'm the eldest, and they'll just go back to British Columbia if I get hit by a bus.
    Meanwhile, you're right, digital photos are easy to take, but don't have the charm of the old black & whites.

  5. Kay,
    As you know, we are giving the house a bit of a spruce-up. Amazing the things you find in drawers and behind furniture. All very much nice memories. Hope you have many of your parents.


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