Warrnambool and District Historical Society Inc., Warrnambool
This is an exercise book with brown binding and a blue front cover with an image of St George, blue printing and a handwritten name and some other handwritten material which is not decipherable. The back cover has blue printing. Pasted on to the pages are handwritten letters and cards, mostly four to a page. Most of the letters are aerogrammes and some have stamps. Some pages contain addresses of families in England. There are some loose sheets.
This exercise book contains letters, mostly aerogrammes, sent by people in England during the years 1947 to 1950. They are letters of thanks for the food parcels sent to these people by the staff of George Swinton and Sons of Timor Street Warrnambool. The letters give details of the contents of the parcels, the situation with the families receiving the parcels and the effects of the food rationing and shortages in England immediately after World War Two. The name ‘H.C.Thomson’ on the front of the book refers to Helen Thomson, a staff member of George Swinton & Sons in charge of the food parcel distribution. William and Ann Swinton came to the Warrnambool area in 1854 and William opened a groceries, hardware, china and glassware store in Timor Street in 1865. After William Swinton’s death his son Robert became the first managing director of Swintons Pty Ltd. In 1934 the business split with Swintons Pty Ltd selling seeds, produce and hardware and George Swinton and Sons selling furnishings, clothing and glassware. Today the Swinton family still operates a furniture and bedding store in Timor Street, making it one of the oldest family businesses in Australia.
This exercise book containing letters sent from England in response to the receipt of food parcels from the staff of George Swinton & Sons of Warrnambool is of considerable significance. The letters form a splendid social history of the situation in England after World War Two, especially for the elderly and the unemployed. They also are a reminder of the charity work undertaken by the staff of George Swinton & Sons 70 years ago. This was a prominent family business in Warrnambool (and continues in another form to this day).
Inscriptions & Markings
St. George Exercise Book
Swinton & Sons
Timor St. W’bool Victoria