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Brighton Historical Society Brighton, Victoria

Since our founding in 1963, the Brighton Historical Society has been working to collect, preserve and share items and information connected to the history and heritage of Brighton, Victoria. We have an extensive and diverse collection, including photos, documents, maps, art, artefacts and a large costume collection of State significance.

Contact Information

location
PO Box 266 Brighton Victoria 3186 (map)
phone
+61 03 9553 8650

Contact

Opening Hours

Our rooms are open to visitors and researchers on Thursdays from 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and at other times by appointment

Entry Fee

Entry is free. We undertake email and written research requests for a fee of $20 per hour which includes photocopying and postage

Location

First Floor Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

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The Brighton Historical Society has a large and diverse collection of material relating to the history of Brighton and the Bayside area, including documents, books, photos, artwork, artefacts and costume.

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211 items

211 items

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Long-sleeved ivory-coloured silk chiffon and gold metallic fabric dress decorated with silk and metallic thread emroidery and (gelatine?) beading.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two-piece evening dress comprising separate bodice and skirt made of gold-coloured silk damask woven with large curvilinear design in cream. Cream tulle trim around neck embellished with beads and artificial pearls. Similar trim down centre front and around lower edge of bodice. Short puffed sleeves Neckline trimed with wide gold satin riboon and bows. Bodice is boned and fastens centre back with hooks and eyes. Gored skirt pleated into waist. .1 - bodice . 2 - skirt

Historical information

In 1880 Melbourne hosted its first major international exhibition the "Melbourne International Exhibition". In 1888 Melbourne hosted its second major international exhibition the "Melbourne International Centennial Exhibition".

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven blue on cream, centre back bodice: QUOD FACIMUS VALDE FACIMUS, George & George Ltd / Federal Emporium / Melbourne, International Exhibition Melbourne, Costumes and Mantles

Outfit - Evening outfit - dress and jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A two piece ensemble consisting of long evening dress and matching jacket, cropped jacket of black acetate. The jacket features a tie front and long buttoned sleeve. The full length dress is slim fitting with centre back zip, shoestring straps and shaped bust with ruched centre front.

Historical information

This item is part of the Di Reidie collection. Diane Reidie was a much loved volunteer and President of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 until 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years. A vibrant and energetic person with a zest for life and a gift for bringing people together, Di was a friend to many in the Bayside community and active in local community organisations. Her tireless work as President of BHS saw her named Bayside Citizen of the Year in 2008. As a seller and collector of vintage clothing, she was passionate about fashion history; one of her many enduring contributions to BHS was her extensive work in preserving, developing and promoting the Society's costume collection. In 2018-19, Di donated more than one hundred items from her personal vintage clothing collection to the Society. The collection, which includes clothing, hats, handbags and shoes from local and international designers, is representative of Di's wide-ranging interests, colourful personality, creativity, humour and love of fashion and travel. Di purchased this two piece ensemble from the influential fashion boutique "The House of Merivale and Mr John" to wear to a performance of "The Sleeping Beauty" by London Festival Ballet, featuring Rudolph Nureyev at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda in May 1975.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Mandamatilda", "Dry Clean Only, SSW

Hat - Top hat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black plush silk top hat with cream silk lining and leather and padded cloth interior bands. Black wool band.

Historical information

Established in London in 1773 by Miller Christy, Christys' continues to manufacture hats today. Their hats have been worn by members of the British royal family, Winston Churchill and Marlon Brando in the film 'The Godfather'.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed in blue on crown silk lining: ENGLISH MANUFACTURE / CHRISTYS' LONDON'

Cover - Cushion cover

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black velvet cushion cover featuring the embroidered image of a white and yellow dove bearing a draped French flag, alongside a spray of red and pink flowers. Embroidered in pale yellow are the words "Souvenir de Salonigue / 1916".

Historical information

Items such as this cushion covers were purchased by Australian men and women serving during the First World War as souvenirs of their travels and gifts for their loved ones at home. The allies established a base at Thessaloniki in 1915. BHS records indicate that this cushion cover was among a collection of items received from the Harkaway studio of Brighton-born artist Jessie Traill following her death in 1967. During the First World War, Jessie served for three and a half years in hospitals in England and France with the Voluntary Aid Detachment. As she did not serve in Thessaloniki, where this item was made, it is unlikely she purchased it herself, but may have received it as a gift.

Bed jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream crocheted wool bed jacket. Loose around bust with wide sleeves and open sides. Fastens at collar with thin braided ties, and at waist with two pearlescent plastic buttons.

Historical information

This bed jacket was crocheted for Carmela Materia (1931-2018) by her mother, Giuseppa Auditore, around the time they emigrated from Italy to Melbourne. Both women were longtime Brighton locals, residing in the area from the 1950s until their deaths. Carmela Auditore was the first woman from her home village of Scaletta, Italy to emigrate to Australia. Setting sail alone in 1950 at the age of 19, she joined her brother John and uncle Frank in McCallum St, Brighton. Frank had arrived some years earlier and had spent the duration of the First World War in an internment camp. John worked at the Brighton Case Company, a box manufacturer on Nepean Highway, and paid for her passage. Carmela found a job sewing children's clothing at Drummonds, a small factory in Church St. Working eight hours a day, five days per week, netted her a weekly wage of three pounds. To earn a little extra, she washed dishes at a St Kilda Road restaurant for ten shillings a shift. Her parents, Salvatore and Giuseppa Auditore, joined her in Brighton in 1952. They rented a house behind an antique shop in Bay Street. Salvatore had been a fisherman in Scaletta, but quickly adapted to the job he found helping around the Garage at Brighton Motors in Male Street. On 14 February 1953, Carmela married her sweetheart, Salvatore Materia, at St James Catholic Church in Gardenvale. Salvatore had been living with his aunt in Well Street and worked on the wharves. Both Carmela and Salvatore were hard workers. They owned a fruit shop in Church Street where Woolworths now stands, and years later Carmela recalled the familiar 6am tap on her window each morning when her husband returned from the market. On dark winter mornings, she felt as if her hands would freeze as she helped Salvatore unload cold cabbages and cauliflowers from his truck. They later owned a shop in Ludstone Street in Hampton. After Salvatore died suddenly at the age of 48, Carmela returned to sewing, working at the Willow Fashions knitting mill in Gardenvale. She later went into partnership with her sister and brother-in-law, this time in the delicatessen business. Her parents, Giuseppa and Salvatore, spent the rest of their days with Brighton. Carmela recalled her father cheerfully walking the streets, greeting people by name. He knew everybody. He loved being in Australia and enjoyed life to the last, insisting on having bread and wine on the table at every meal.

Riding habit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

An English-made “Busvine” black wool herringbone twill riding habit comprising jacket and safety skirt, (jodhpurs missing) from late 1800’s to early 1900’s. The jacket features a black short pile silk velvet inset notched lapel collar secured with a single button at the apex of the waist and a single button near the collar for use in inclement weather. The sleeves join the bodice high on the shoulder with a full cut head to the sleeve and a tapered curved shape to the hand. The sleeve secures at the wrist with four black buttons. From the waist the jacket flares over the hip through princess line shaping and finishes with a curved front on either side. The seams of the shaping panels intersect single functional flapped besom pockets on either front panel. The back of the jacket features a centre back seam and two princess-line shaping seams that finish in a double vent on either side of the centre back. The jacket length would have finished approximately just below the bottom of the wearer. The apron fronted safety skirt secures from the waist at the front of the left thigh with five buttons. Over the wearers, right leg the skirt shapes to accommodate the rider’s right knee whilst sitting sidesaddle with her legs on the horses left flank. The base of the skirt has an elastic strap, which hooks around the rider’s leg to reduce the danger of the rider’s skirt become tangled, should the rider become un-seated. When the riders is not mounted the skirt can be secured with a button around the body to provide additional modesty as well as assist walking without the skirt dragging on the ground.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. "Barone" (also known as "Seaview") was a stately Brighton home built at 9 Moule Avenue prior to 1855 and demolished in 1986. The house's residents included Edward Elgin Browne (during 1859-72), a Melbourne tea merchant, and the family and descendants of retired Scottish Army captain Archibald Black (during the period 1880-1970). Its neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward- Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family. The items in the "Barone" collection were largely donated by two of the house's later owners, Mrs Doris Halkyard and Mrs Brian Brandt.

Inscriptions & Markings

Jacket: Manufacturer's label “Busvine, By serial appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, 4 Brook Street W.” Owner label “Doreen Wright” this label appears far more modern than the manufacturers label. Skirt: Manufacture's label: “J. Busvine and Co, 4 Brook Street, London W." In handwriting “Miss Wingfield” Manufacturers label: Busvines Patent Safety Skirt, protected by two separate patents. 4 Brooks St London West.

Bag - Bookmaker's bag

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

White painted leather bag with metal fastening mechanism. A short painted leather handle is joined to the bag by metal fastening clips. A long painted leather strap is joined to the bag by metal fastening clips.

Historical information

Bags such as this one were used by bookmakers to collect and securely hold punters' bets at racing events. This bag belonged to Charlie Cox, a second-generation Australian bookmaker. His father, George Gordon Cox, ran bookmaking operations primarily during the 1920s and 1930s. After serving in the Air Force during the Second World War, Charlie entered the business during the 1940s, initially fielding at greyhound, trots and gallop meetings. In the early 1960s he moved to Melbourne, where he got his first big financial break when he was offered an interstate license to operate on the rails at all city tracks. He was a leading Melbourne bookmaker on the interstate rails racing circuit from the 1960s to the 1990s, from which period this bag originated.

Inscriptions & Markings

Painted on one side of the bag in black letters: "C.C. COX / INTERSTATE RAILS". "C.C. COX" is also painted in black at either end of the shoulder strap.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sheer black silk chiffon dress with black beaded front detail and pin tucked front skirt. Long pointed beaded collar. Long sleeves with nine rows of horizontal pin tucking on lower edge.

Suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two-piece women's suit made of maroon corded silk; comprising fitted jacket and straight skirt. Jacket fastens with one large black faceted glass button. Jacket lined with pink satin; skirt unlined.

Historical information

This suit was tailor-made for Latvian dancer, choreographer and dance teacher Vija Vetra, who lived at the Old Hall, 93-95 Bay Street, Brighton and ran a dance academy at 97 Bay Street during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Born in Riga, Latvia in 1923, at the age of sixteen Vija ran away from home in order to study classical, character and modern dance at the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts. She spent several years performing on European stages. When Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1944, more than 100,000 Latvians fled, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Vija's sister, mother and aunt were among them, managing to join her in Vienna. The following year, all four had to flee again when the Soviets moved into Austria. Escaping to Bavaria, they spent three years in displaced person camps before emigrating to Sydney as refugees in 1948. Vija found success as a dancer in Sydney. She toured Australia and New Zealand with the Bodenwieser Ballet, formed a Latvian folk dancing group and established a dancing school. By the mid-1950s she had gained recognition as a recitalist in her own right. She developed a passion for Indian classical dance. In the late 1950s she moved to Victoria. She opened a dance school in Bay Street, Brighton, while continuing to perform on stage in productions such as the musical 'Kismet' and the ballet 'Corroboree'. In 1959 she starred in the four-part live ABC television program 'Music and Dance'. She left Australia in 1964 for a tour of the United States and Canada, ultimately settling in New York City. Interviewed in the 'ABC Weekly' in 1957, Vetra described her taste in clothing as minimalist, saying she preferred to own as few clothes as possible to save the trouble of deciding what to wear: "And no bows or extravagances, but always a simple line."

Apron

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream linen embroidered half apron. White lace along hem, along with white embroidered initials, "T.P." Coloured floral and abstract embroidery along sides in red, black, blue and green.

Historical information

Three generations of women are represented in this apron. The linen used was woven by Olga's great-grandmother Efstathia in the late nineteenth century with flax grown on the island of Ithaca. Olga's mother Toula Raftopoulos added the whitework around 1908 at age 16 - the first piece of lacework she made on her own - and embroidered her initials on the front. Olga embellished the apron with coloured embroidery around 1950 at age 20. Olga Maria Black was born in Melbourne in 1930, the daughter of Ithacan migrants Constantine and Toula Mavrokefalos. Constantine first emigrated to Australia in 1902, returning to Greece circa 1912-13 to serve his home country in the Balkan Wars. Toula's family had left Ithaca for Romania when she was only six months old, but she happened to be visiting the island at the very time that Constantine arrived, fresh from the war. Within three weeks they were married, and when Constantine returned to Melbourne in 1914 his new bride came with him. Constantine had trained as an accountant, but his qualifications were not recognised in Australia. Changing his surname to the Anglicised "Black", he started off working in his older brother Dionysios's cafés before going into business on his own. In 1917 he opened the Paris Residential Café at 54-56 Swanston Street, which offered both dining and accommodation. The business saw some years of success, but did not survive the Great Depression. Constantine died in 1944. Olga's mother Toula learned to sew as a child, while growing up in the Romanian village of Brila. She developed her skills making lace and embroidering items for her trousseau. Some of the linen she embroidered had been woven from flax on Ithaca by her own grandmother, Efstathia. During the Depression, when money was scarce, Toula embroidered at home, doing work for a factory in Flinders Lane. Using a cotton reel, a threepence and a sixpence she created and embroidered designs on hundreds of blouses. Olga spent her preschool days sitting at the table where her mother worked. Toula would involve Olga by allowing her to help choose the colour combinations. Toula lived with Olga in Brighton until her death in 1976. Olga inherited her mother's sewing skills. She re-invented some of Toula’s trousseau nightdresses and skilfully altered other clothing, making dresses which she wore around Brighton for many years.

Blouse

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream silk short-sleeved blouse. Hand embroidered around inside of stand collar, centre front panel and sleeve edge in red, blue, black and green floral and geometric design.

Historical information

Silk blouse made by Toula Mavrokefalos, the mother of long-time Brighton resident Olga Black. Olga Maria Black was born in Melbourne in 1930, the daughter of Ithacan migrants Constantine and Toula Mavrokefalos. Constantine first emigrated to Australia in 1902, returning to Greece circa 1912-13 to serve his home country in the Balkan Wars. Toula's family had left Ithaca for Romania when she was only six months old, but she happened to be visiting the island at the very time that Constantine arrived, fresh from the war. Within three weeks they were married, and when Constantine returned to Melbourne in 1914 his new bride came with him. Constantine had trained as an accountant, but his qualifications were not recognised in Australia. Changing his surname to the Anglicised "Black", he started off working in his older brother Dionysios's cafés before going into business on his own. In 1917 he opened the Paris Residential Café at 54-56 Swanston Street, which offered both dining and accommodation. The business saw some years of success, but did not survive the Great Depression. Constantine died in 1944. Olga's mother Toula learned to sew as a child, while growing up in the Romanian village of Brila. She developed her skills making lace and embroidering items for her trousseau. Some of the linen she embroidered had been woven from flax on Ithaca by her own grandmother, Efstathia. During the Depression, when money was scarce, Toula embroidered at home, doing work for a factory in Flinders Lane. Using a cotton reel, a threepence and a sixpence she created and embroidered designs on hundreds of blouses. Olga spent her preschool days sitting at the table where her mother worked. Toula would involve Olga by allowing her to help choose the colour combinations. Toula lived with Olga in Brighton until her death in 1976. Olga inherited her mother's sewing skills. She re-invented some of Toula’s trousseau nightdresses and skilfully altered other clothing, making dresses which she wore around Brighton for many years.

Skirt

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Blue cotton circular skirt with white cord design of men and women dancing around the hem. Fastens with a metal sip in left proper side seam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed red on cream cotton, centre back: Milton Harding / MELBOURNE / GUARANTEED TAILORED / & HAND FINISHED (image of skirt)

Shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pair of black kid leather shoes with low block heel, decorated with pink silk, cut-away applique and embroidery. Pink bow with metal clasp on one shoe; missing from the other. Edged with pink silk ribbon binding, largely deteriorated.

Historical information

These shoes were worn by Emily Cock (nee Smith), the daughter of wealthy early settler John Matthew Smith. From 1856 until 1931 the Smiths lived at 'Castlefield', a mansion on a vast estate that at one time stretched along South Road from Bluff Road to Hampton Street. The land was gradually subdivided, and the house is now a part of Haileybury College. Julien Mayer was a French ladies shoemaker and prolific exporter who advertised his successes on the shoes themselves by stamping the soles with details of the prizes he had won.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sole embossed with "MAYER / Julien / à Paris", in addition to tamped with three small medallions proclaiming the awards the shoemaker won in London in 1862, Porto in 1865 and Paris in 1867. Handwritten in interior sole of T0124.2 in pencil: "Emily Smith / Castlefield"

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A cream, green, brown and red striped cotton evening cloak with a brown silk velvet collar from the 1880s. The cloak features a double tiered velvet capelet with high standing collar that meets in the centre front, fastening with three hook and eye closures and finishing just below the shoulder line. At the centre front throat is an additional piece of lined cloak fabric which may have attached across the throat, purpose unknown. The lining of the throat and collar of the capelet appears to be a replacement with a darker red silk. The original red silk lining features through out the remainder of the garment. Inside the front left breast, the lining features two pockets; inside the right breast, the lining features a single pocket. The lining also features a waist tie to secure the cloak to the body. The cloak is approximately mid calf to ankle length.

Historical information

A cloak believed to have been worn by Captain George Ward Cole. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor the Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently sub divided and later demolished.

Coat - Dustcoat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Unlined dustcoat of beige cotton. Fastens centre front with three brown plastic buttons. Two large patch pockets. Separate cloth belt with metal buckle. Signs of wear and mending. .1 - coat .2 -belt

Historical information

Dust coat worn by Mr Frederick Alister Jennings when he managed a family grocery store circa 1948 at 510 Point Nepean Road, East Brighton. Frederick was born at Nagambie, Victoria in 1909 and died in Brighton in 1979. He was the son of Hugh Edwin Jennings and Alice Constance Warren. He married Margaret Jean Hughes in 1934 and served in the Second World War. He lived at 1 Valda Grove Brighton. Frederick was a commercial traveller as well as his time spent managing the store in Point Nepean Road. It is believed this coat dates from his time at the store c1948 - 1955. The store was owned for many years by his father-in-law W. G. Hughes and was one of a group of shops near the corner of Centre Road. In 1944-45 the group of shops included Fletcher’s fuel merchants, a haberdasher, butcher, fruiterer, grocer, Brighton East post office, a ladies’ hairdresser and Hughes’ grocer. In 1950 Hughes’ grocery store was between a service station and the Commercial Bank on what had been renamed Nepean Highway. The business was sold to G. S. Maynard, grocer, sometime before 1960.

Inscriptions & Markings

Garment label reads: APEX (RLG.) Dust Coat DEPT. MYER STORE for MEN. MELBOURNE & ADELAIDE

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress made from silver metallic thread crepe. Fastens down front with small self-covered buttons and loops. Long fitted sleeves fastened with 10 covered buttons and loops. Full bias cut skirt with train.

Historical information

Louris Holly Larsen-Disney married Percy James White at Melbourne Grammar Chapel on 17 June 1948. In later years the dress was given to an opportunity shop and purchased by Mrs Landells of the Brighton Historical Society. Louris subsequently visited the Society and recognised her dress, and was able to provide BHS with information on it. Also in the Society's collection is a 1950s pink strapless silk chiffon dress worn by Louris, and a wedding photo of Louris taken at her mother and stepfather's home at 53 South Road, Brighton. The couple moved into a house just a few doors down, at 49 South Road.

Swimsuit ensemble

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two-piece swimsuit with navy blue and white horizontal stripes. Cropped top (.1) has inbuilt underwire bra and metal fastening at back. Shorts (.2) are high-waisted with longer legs. Matching top (.3) has diagonal navy and white stripes and an asymmetrical hem. Sleeveless with round neck. Velcro fastening on shoulder and side seam of shorter side. No label.

Historical information

Polish-born designer David Waters first began producing swimwear in 1952. His mother Halina had recently opened a stall at Melbourne Queen Victoria Markets and was looking for swimsuits to sell; unable to find any she liked, she asked David to design something. He began making swimming costumes using his mother's sewing machine, in between his shifts working at a knitting factory. He had soon set up a small business in his parents' home, cutting patterns in one room while a machinist sewed them together in the next. His company, which he named Watersun, would become an iconic Australian swimwear label. During the early 1960s, Watersun developed its "Unquestionable Bra", an inbuilt moulded bra which was marketed as giving wearers a more natural bustline than other labels. The company was also known for its matching swimwear and beachwear, producing dresses, kaftans, tops and skirts in identical colours and prints to those used for many of its swimsuits. By 1967, the company was reportedly one of Australia's two biggest swimwear manufacturers, with over one hundred employees. Watersun was sold to Ada Productions in 1984 and was later acquired by Trackerjack Australasia. This swimsuit is believed to be one of a large quantity of samples, seconds and unsold Ada Productions stock donated to Brighton Historical Society in late 1990 by Brian Samuel, who worked at the company between 1979 and 1990.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Long-sleeved silk chiffon evening dress with yellow/gold floral print and brown, red and black border at hem. Ruffled neckline and cuffs. Snap fastenings at cuffs and zip at back. Matching silk chiffon sash.

Historical information

This item is part of the Di Reidie collection. Diane Reidie was a much loved volunteer and President of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 until 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years. A vibrant and energetic person with a zest for life and a gift for bringing people together, Di was a friend to many in the Bayside community and active in local community organisations. Her tireless work as President of BHS saw her named Bayside Citizen of the Year in 2008. As a seller and collector of vintage clothing, she was passionate about fashion history; one of her many enduring contributions to BHS was her extensive work in preserving, developing and promoting the Society's costume collection. In 2018-19, Di donated more than one hundred items from her personal vintage clothing collection to the Society. The collection, which includes clothing, hats, handbags and shoes from local and international designers, is representative of Di's wide-ranging interests, colourful personality, creativity, humour and love of fashion and travel. Di purchased this dress as a vintage item. Elvie Hill (1917-2018) was a Melbourne fashion designer and a longtime Brighton resident. She established her eponymous label and became well-known for her elegant and feminine designs. She dressed some of Australia's best known women, including Lady Sonia McMahon and Dame Pattie Menzies, and was also known for her boutiques in Melbourne (the last store closed in 1991). She retired in 1999, aged 80.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, inside collar, black on white: "ELVIE HILL / OF MELBOURNE" Label inside seam: "SIZE 10 / TO FIT / Bust 80cm"

Top and pants ensemble - Halter top and palazzo pants ensemble

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cropped halter top and palazzo pants with a Pucci-style print of abstract patterns in red, pink, purple, orange and white. Top has a deep v-neck and secures with a fabric tie at the back.

Historical information

This cropped halter top and palazzo pants outfit belonged to Meredith Lenné, a lifelong Brighton resident. Produced by Melbourne designer Leon Haskin in 1972, the design was also sold in colour combinations of gold-and-brown and white-and-blue. Meredith remembers being drawn to the outfit because she liked the colours, though she only wore it a couple of times to dinner parties.

Shawl

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Large blue silk shawl with reversible woven metallic thread floral pattern and deep fringing.

Historical information

Worn by Rose Caplan who was the donor, Ida Gouttman's mother. Immigration records show that Morris and Rose (Rosa) Caplan emigrated to Australia from England in 1910 on the Orsova. Rose died from a sudden illness in 1928 while she and her husband were travelling in Europe and had just visited her father in Latvia. Rose was buried in Berlin. Rose and Morris' daughter Ida, who had kept the shawl, married Leon Gouttman in Sydney in 1938. Ida was an active member of the Brighton Historical Society when she moved back to Melbourne later in life.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dusty pink crepe full length bias-cut dress. Long fitted sleeves. Peplum attached to waist. Opens centre front and fastened with 20 clear plastic toggle buttons and rouleaux loops. Double cape feature attached to neck and seamed into sleeves. Self belt attached to side back. Full-length bias cut skirt.

Cape

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black silk satin cape with corded design. Black fur trim on collar, centrefront openings and hem. Lined with quilted black silk. Watch pocket on left proper interior. Wool interlining.

Jacket - Bridge jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream silk jacket block-printed with art deco style pattern in red, blue, black and mustard colours. Lined with soft apricot-coloured satin. Wide stand collar. Front fastens low on hip with four silk covered buttons.

Historical information

This jacket was bought in England for Elsie Law (nee Russell) by her husband James Lindsay Gordon "Lin" Law in 1930. Elsie used it as a bridge jacket. Lin was born in Ballarat 1881, the eighth child of Scottish migrants James Nicol Law and Margaret Law (nee Bartholomew). BHS holds an evening dress belonging to Margaret Law in its collection (see T0006.1). After leaving school at the age of 11, Lin began working as a salesman. In 1906, he and business partner James Kerr Pearson (also a Brighton local, who lived at 12 Moule Avenue) established the shirt manufacturing company Pelaco. In 1922 the company established its factory at 23 Goodwood Street on the top of Richmond Hill; the 4.3 metre high neon 'Pelaco' sign, erected in 1939, is today heritage listed. The company was known for its innovative approach to efficiency and labour relations, discontinuing Saturday morning work in 1908 and appointing an industrial relations officer in 1928. Lin married Elsie Russell on 12 January 1915 at St Mary's Catholic Cathedral in Sydney and they lived most of their life in Brighton. In 1920 they moved into 'Blairgowrie', 306 St Kilda Street, The eldest their four children, Pauline Margaret Law (born 15 December 1915) ultimately purchased the house with her husband Hugh McLean in 1956 and lived there until 1965 when the house was demolished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on cream silk, centre back: Eileen / Mulholland / Ltd. / 43, Wigmore St., / LONDON. W1.

Outfit - Three-piece woman's outfit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Three-piece woman's outfit comprising double-breasted cape, cropped sleeveless top and skirt; cream wool woven with silver lurex. Top is decorated with a centre front fabric bow and is decoarated with fake pearls. All items lined with cream polyester. .1 - cape .2 - top .3 - skirt

Historical information

This outfit belonged to Bernice Overend, a longtime Brighton resident. Bernice Adelaide Emily Lawn was born in Ballarat in 1911. In 1938 she married Acheson Best Overend (1909-1977), an early modernist architect in Melbourne whose notable designs include the heritage-listed Cairo Flats apartment building in Fitzroy. Bernice and Best made a home together in Brighton, raising their family at 80 Were Street. Their son Darren followed in Best's footsteps, becoming an architect, and in 1979 he and his wife Jenny bought a property just down the road from his childhood home - the heritage-listed 1881 Victorian mansion 'Chevy Chase' at 203 Were Street. Bernice lived in the house with with Darren, Jenny and their three children.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label printed black on white acetate, centre back cape, top and skirt: DESIGNED AND HANDWOVEN / BY / Robert Maltus

Shoe - Child's shoe

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Brown leather child's shoe with an ankle strap, fastening with a mother-of-pearl button. Heavily deteriorated.

Historical information

This child's shoe was found underneath the floorboards of the historic Brighton house St Ninian's, 10 Miller Street, during its demolition in September 1974. One of Brighton's earliest buildings, St Ninian's was built around 1841 for merchant, politician and former British naval officer George Ward Cole (1783-1879) and his family. Ward Cole was a prominent member of Victorian society in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. He served in the Victorian Parliament from 1853-55 and 1859-79. His seaside home in Brighton was a fashionable rendezvous for many important identities who shaped Melbourne’s history. Victoria’s first royal visitor, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was a guest there in 1867. It is possible the shoe belonged to one of the Ward Cole children. During the demolition of St Ninian's in September 1974 the Brighton Historical Society's then-secretary, Rosalind Landells, snuck onto the work site in the hope of saving some part of the building and its history. She found this shoe under the partially-demolished floor of the house.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten in pencil on the sole of the shoe: "Found under floor at St Ninians 1974 Sept during demolition".

Hat - Headdress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn cream lace cap from late 1800s. A silk satin ribbon that encircles the back of the crown of the head, creates the structure of this cap. Towards the front it also has a net and wire-reinforced peak. Over the top of this support is a central diamond shaped lace piece of seven and a half centimeters diameter to which is attached a fine lace net that is gathered and stitched around the edge of the central lace. Two decorative bows of the same silk satin fabric are positioned on the support over the top of the lace at either temple of the wearer.

Historical information

A lace head dress belonging to the women of the family of George Ward Cole’s in the late 1800s. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor the Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Inscriptions & Markings

"W-COLE" hand stitched on inside of band. It is unknown when and by whom this inscription was made.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn white purple, pink, green, blue and yellow floral silk chiffon dress from circa 1870. The dress consists of two pieces worn together as a dress. This dress has received a great deal of mending and alteration and so it is difficult to be sure of what constitutes its original state. The following description is of its current state. The bodice has a high neck with a simple shallow band collar, an olive braid and a press stud closure. The bodice fastens down the centre front with ten hook and eyes closures and two sets of ribbon ties . The bodice has three darts providing shaping into the waistline. The bodice finishes at the waist and gently tapers towards the front creating a 'V' line. Down the centre front from the neck to the waist concealing the bodice opening is a pressed pleated ruffle of the dress fabric and a line of olive braid. The dress features pagoda sleeves finished at the hem with pressed pleated ruffle of the dress fabric, a line of olive braid and a silk fringe of 4 cm pale pink and white. The skirt part of the bodice section attaches to the front of the dress with two hooks and eyes on the left hand side of the waist. The fabric drops down to approximately the knees at the front, curving up and splitting on either side over the hip. The edge of this piece is also trimmed with a pressed pleated ruffle of the dress fabric and a line of olive braid. Just below the hip on either side is a large bow of pink, cream, purple and green taffeta. The bodice at the back is shaped with four panels into the waistline. Where it joins the bodice skirt the skirt is pleated, creating fullness. The skirt of the dress ensemble secures at the waist on the left hand side. At the front it has two pleats (that may have been repositioned during repair), and is fully gathered at the back. At the front the dress falls to the floor whilst at the back it is longer to accommodate the bustle and possibly a small train.

Historical information

The donor and family of this gown were long-term Brighton residents, and the gowns were held by them as family heirlooms prior to donation to Brighton Historical Society. Originally owned by Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecilia Elizabeth Adams, it is believed that the dress was brought to Australia by either a half brother, James Smith Adams, or a younger sister, Sophia Charlotte Louisa Adams (later known as Mother Rose Columba Adams). Elizabeth and Cecilia were the daughters of James Smith Adams (a squire, 1780-1860) and Elizabeth Emma McTaggart (1793-1843) of Tower House, Woodchester in Gloucester, a property which Elizabeth later inherited. Originally a monastery, Tower House had been converted into a stately home after the Reformation. According to information originally provided by the donor, both this dress and the dress T0004.3 were made for Elizabeth and Cecilia, to be worn at the young Queen Victoria’s first 'drawing room ball' following the end of court mourning in 1838 for her uncle William IV who died in 1837. In 1838 Cecilia would have been twelve years old and Elizabeth would have been ten years old. It is possible that the dress T0004.3 was worn by one of the girls to this event as it is of appropriate dimensions for a child of that age, although its design is very formal and adult. However, it is unlikely that either of the girls wore this dress at the ball due to the size and styling of the dress. It is likely that the dress belonged to one of the girls, but was worn at a later date. Elizabeth was born on 30 June 1828 at Tower House and died on 1 May 1909. She created a scandal when she eloped with her first husband, Thomas Charles Gardiner at the age of 18. The validity of the marriage was later formally investigate and, while it was confirmed as valid, a second church wedding was subsequently held. Thomas died in 1878. Elizabeth subsequently remarried Reverend R. E. Blackwell, but was widowed again by 1889. Cecilia was born on 17 December 1826 and died in 1902 a spinster recluse in England. At the inquest into Cecelia's death in 1904 it was revealed that she had clearly come from a family of means as her home was filled to the brim with highly valuable goods, many in boxes. She was buried in the family vault at Woodchester. Elizabeth and Cecilia's sister Sophia converted to Roman Catholicism in 1851 and became a nun, taking the religious name 'Rose Columba'. In 1883 Mother Rose Columba led a group of eight to Australia, answering a call for Dominican sisters to nurse the sick in Adelaide. Upon arrival, she founded St. Dominic's Priory and the Church of Perpetual Adoration in North Adelaide, using her inheritance to build the chapel. Elizabeth's second son, George Henry Somerset, who inherited the Adams family estate dropped the 'i' in Gardiner and added the maiden name of his grandmother. Therefore, the family name has now become Gardner McTaggart. These Adams family entries have been updated with information provided by Dr Herbert Gardner McTaggart, great-grandson of George Henry Somerset in April 2016. Mr McTaggart contacted the society after finding our entries online.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

White cotton high-waisted maxi dress printed with black spots and trimmed with red rickrack. Elbow length sleeves. Fastens with centre back zip.

Historical information

This dress belonged to Bernice Overend, a longtime Brighton resident. Bernice Adelaide Emily Lawn was born in Ballarat in 1911. In 1938 she married Acheson Best Overend (1909-1977), an early modernist architect in Melbourne whose notable designs include the heritage-listed Cairo Flats apartment building in Fitzroy. Bernice and Best made a home together in Brighton, raising their family at 80 Were Street. Their son Darren followed in Best's footsteps, becoming an architect, and in 1979 he and his wife Jenny bought a property just down the road from his childhood home - the heritage-listed 1881 Victorian mansion 'Chevy Chase' at 203 Were Street. Bernice lived in the house with with Darren, Jenny and their three children.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed black on white acetate, centre back: JILLIAN / OF / MELBOURNE

Jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dior-inspired suit jacket. Unlined. Six cloth buttons with bound button holes. Inside hip pads.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on cream acetate, centre back neck: "Ponce De Leon". Handwritten on label in black pen: "43 LANDELS".