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Brighton Historical Society Brighton, Victoria

Brighton Historical Society was founded in March, 1963 for the purposes of forming a historical society in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. Today the Society has about 200 members.

Contact Information

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

Contact

Opening Hours

The rooms are open to visitors & researchers on Thursdays, from 12 noon to 5:00 pm

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

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The Bayside community is fortunate to have an extensive collection of costume, representing social life and fashions in our local area from early settlement through to the modern day. Our costume collection is of State significance and is the most comprehensive collection of costume in any historical society or small museum in Victoria. 

The collection includes children’s wear, evening gowns, dresses, hats, gloves, shawls, nightgowns, underwear, menswear, fans, shoes, swimwear and handbags. 

The Brighton Historical Society will loan costume to recognised organisations that use current conservation techniques. We have previously loaned items to the Bayside Council for an exhibition at the Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre and to the National Trust for exhibitions at Rippon Lea and Como House. 

We welcome donations to our costume collection. Items are assessed and accepted on the basis of their relevance to the ongoing history of the area, their connection to Brighton or their rarity.

History
Costume has been donated since the Society began in 1963. Some was even purchased in the days when Victorian items were still to be found on sale in local op shops. The origins and size of the collection are attributable to the foresight of the founder of the BHS, Mrs Rosalind Landells OAM. 

In the early days little was known of conservation techniques but as time progressed and we became aware of the treasures held, methods were implemented by volunteers to care for the costumes in the best way possible using available funds. 

Four conservation friendly wardrobes were purchased from the Performing Arts Museum to house the collection and later a Bayside Council Grant enabled us to have six more wardrobes built. Volunteers triple washed unbleached calico in pure Lux soap flakes before sewing covers for costumes and for coat hangers. Some acid free boxes were purchased from Zetta Florence to store our most important items. 

Thanks to a 2017 Local History Grant from the Public Record Office Victoria, we have been able to further improve our collection storage and records, and share more of our fascinating costume with the public. Items are continually being added to Victorian Collections, and a community workshop is being planned.

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131 items

131 items

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Blue silk parasol with cream silk printed with floral design in beige, brown, turquoise and terracotta. Metal spokes tipped with horn coloured bakelite. Wooden handle with traces of iredescent paint. Dark brown twisted cotton cord hanging from handle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Cast in metal spokes: THE ARMSTRONG REGD BRITISH MAKE

Jacket - Bolero

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Red velvet bolero decrated with gold stitching and braid. Lined with red satin. Stand collar which fastens with two metal hooks and eyes.

Historical information

This bolero is part of a Greek national costume from the Peloponnese. Long-time Brighton resident Olga Black wore it to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games to represent her Greek heritage. She remembers the stands at the MCG being full of migrants wearing their traditional national costumes. 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.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Salmon pink silk chiffon evening dress. Short puffed sleeves with embroidered flowers; cross-over draped front bodice; shirred wasit line; full-length skirt with floral embroidered hem. Centre back opening fastened with a row of pink satin covered buttons and rouleaux loops.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Ivory satin dress with train overlaid with machine made lace. High, gathered neckline, leg-of-mutton sleeves, In-built padded hip rolls. Front of dress is decorated with wax flowers.

Historical information

Worn by Edna Emily Seehusen when she married William Alexander McQuilten. Married September 1947 at Brighton Congregational Chruch, Black Street, Brighton.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven pink on cream silk, centre back neck: A / Dorothy Draper / Original / EXCLUSIVE TO / BALL & WELCH LTD. / MELBOURNE

Jodhpurs - Jodphurs

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A pair of black wool twill women's jodhpurs from late 1800s to early 1900s. The jodhpurs feature a flat flap-front that buttons on either hip with four buttons on either side. The cut of the leg is full tapering through shaped panels to a slim fit over the calf. At the centre front of the leg at the shin, the pant leg is laced closed and finished with brown binding. From the back, the pant hangs loose and full over the bottom, tapering to a slim fit over the calf. Note: These jodhpurs are not a matching piece of the riding habit T0002.1. However, it appears that the same person wore them together as an outfit.

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 one of the house's later owners, Mrs B. Brandt.

Dress - Afternoon dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A salmon (pale orange pink) corded silk afternoon dress with orange beaded embellishments, consisting of a bodice and skirt from c.1890. The bodice features a high standing collar with triple pleated bone silk chiffon trim along the top line, under the chin. This same chiffon is also secured in two pieces gathered and secured under the collar and and at the waist adding volume over the bust line and partially obscuring the jacket closing. The chiffon is secured at the side into the main fabric of the bodice by the beaded embellishment. The pink seed beads are sewn in lines of five beads one after the other creating a diagonal design that tapers from the shoulder to the waist. The bodice is boned around the front and back and secured down the centre font by nineteen hook and eyes and additional cotton tapes. Further beading details the bottom centre front and base line of the bodice. The shoulders have been repaired with replacement fabric to match, from our records it appears that the repair work was performed in circa 1974 but no record exists of the original shoulder design and if the repair was an exact copy of the original. The repaired shoulders feature a small frill around the shoulder yoke and top of the arm. The sleeve is fitted and three quarter finishing just below the elbow. The base of the sleeve is also trimmed with the pink bead design and bone three pleat chiffon trim. The back of the bodice features shaped panels contouring the jacket neatly in at the waist and then splitting and splaying out over the fullness of the skirt. The skirt appears to have been floor or ankle length held at the waist by a wide waistband. The skirt openings have been altered from the original currently featuring two openings secured by press studs. The skirt is gathered to the waistband at front and back creating fullness. The lower part of the skirt features the same pink bead embellishment and additional beaded flowers and diagonal point edge detail.

Historical information

This afternoon dress belonged to Clara Johnstone Miller (nee Bell, 1866-1910). Clara was the only daughter of Mr James Bell, a councillor of the Shire of Leigh (today a part of Golden Plains Shire) and owner of Woolbrook Homestead in Teesdale, near Geelong. In 1888, Clara married prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastoralist Septimus Miller (1854-1925). Septimus was the sixth of seven children born to Henry 'Money' Miller and Eliza Miller (nee Mattinson). 'Money' Miller was a well known financier and politician and reputedly one of Australia's wealthiest people in his time. In 1889, Clara and Septimus moved into the house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Road, Caulfield. They had one child, Gwendoline Stewart Miller, who died in 1902 at the age of thirteen of diabetes - a largely untreatable condition at the time (insulin would not be discovered until 1921). Clara died in 1910, aged only 44. Septimus subsequently married Helen (nee Henderson), with whom he had a son, Ronald (1915-1990). The Millers were buried in the Brighton General Cemetery in a large Gothic-style vault. Upon Clara's death, Septimus sent much of her clothing and Gwendoline's to her mother Mary Bell. Some of these items were passed down to two of Clara's nieces, Miss Mary Bell and Mrs Lois Lillies, who donated them to BHS around 1973.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Three quarter length chamois dress circa 1974. Machine stitched with a v-neck and full length sleeves and an uneven raw hem, the dress is decorated with narrow thongs of chamois embellished with red beads and blue feathers. The open-fronted bodice is laced with red ribbon and the skirt is decorated with a large blue wool cross stitch and a combination of blue wool and purple ribbon cross stitch. Made in the style of an Indian 'Wild West Dress'.

Historical information

This dress was worn by Brighton's first female mayor, Councillor Di Lopez, to a Mayoral Ball held at Brighton Technical School in 1976. Diane Margaret Lewis completed a law degree at the University of Melbourne, later marrying one of her classmates, criminal lawyer Ramon (Ray) Lopez. A strong believer in open local government, when she decided to run for the Brighton City Council in 1975 she rallied friends and supporters in an extensive door-knocking campaign, ultimately succeeding in unseating former mayor Keith Davenport. She went on to serve two terms on council, between 1975 and 1981, and was elected mayor by her fellow councillors in 1976. The first woman in Brighton's history to hold the title of mayor, Di championed women's representation in local government, declaring that "all council issues affect women - except a men's toilet". She was a member of the Women's Electoral Lobby and encouraged both Sally Allmand and Kate Harman to run for council (both were successfully elected). As a councillor and as mayor, Di initiated many local projects, including the creation of a bike path along Nepean Highway and the first Brighton Festival, while balancing family life and a demanding 'day job' as personal assistant to Victorian Minister for Youth, Sport and Recreation Brian Dixon. Di was known as a colourful, flamboyant figure who was unafraid to address issues head-on. This is exemplified by this unconventional choice of dress for the a Mayoral Ball, which typically had a formal dress code. By eschewing a traditional ball gown in favour of this wild, feathered chamois, she was not only making a fashion statement, but a political one - declaring an intention to lead a progressive council, embracing the new and refusing to be hemmed in by dated traditions.

Significance

This dress has local historical significance for its association with Brighton's first female mayor, Councillor Di Lopez, who wore it to a Mayoral Ball in 1976. The dress exemplifies her flamboyant reputation, modern outlook and willingness to break norms. At the time, the dress was a radical choice for a Mayoral Ball, where women typically wore formal evening gowns. With her choice of dress, Cr Lopez was making a public statement, breaking away from dated traditions and announcing her intention to bring the Mayor's office into the 1970s. In this way, the dress also points to the wider social and political changes taking place both in Brighton and across Australia during the mid-1970s.

Romper suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two piece boy's romper suit. Short-sleeved beige shirt with smocking on front is buttoned to mid-brown short pants with large mother-of-pearl buttons. Cream coloured contrast top stitching.

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Unlined taupe silk cloak with two wide horizontal bands of black satin and lozenge-shaped black cord detailing. Black satin tie collar with black tassels at ends.

Sash

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Woven dark red sash with tassel.

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 one of the house's later owners, Mrs B. Brandt.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Barone" a modern inscription, appears to be in ball point pen.

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven blue on cream, centre back bodice: George & George Ltd / Federal Emporium / Melbourne

Hat - Mourning bonnet

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Navy silk velvet mourning bonnet with black silk train, circa 1915. The bonnet’s shape is created by a horseshoe shaped rib that sits across the crown of the head and shapes in to cover and conceal the back of the head. Across the crown, the bonnet features a navy silk velvet bow. The veil is constructed from a very fine black corded silk and hangs to approximately just below the wearer’s bottom.

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 one of the house's later owners, Mrs B. Brandt. Brighton Historical Society records indicate this bonnet was worn at the death of Archibald's widow, Isabella Black, in 1912. Other records held place Isabella Black's death in 1915.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two piece ivory satin evening dress. Bodice is decorated with central panel of finely pleated chiffon and embellished with ready-made strips of beading and artificial pearls. Short puffed sleeves. Russet coloured velvet band applied to waist of bodice and finished with a metal rosette. Plain gored satin skirt with cream velvet binding around hem.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed grey on cream cotton, centre back bodice waist: Bussell, Robson & Bussell / MELBOURNE.

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.

Bonnet

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn ivory cotton, embroidery anglaise child’s bonnet from the late 1800s. The bonnet fabric design combines features a combination of narrow pin tucking and embroidered flowers on a vine. The bonnet edge is finished with a double-layered delicate gathered lace ruffle around all the edges. The bonnet secures under the chin with a delicate tie made of a similar but plain fabric.

Historical information

A cotton bonnet belonging to 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.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Purple silk full length dress with cream neckline and arm hole band trim and white decorative beading over waist. The bodice joins front and back at the shoulder with a decorative purple ring. The lining is made of magenta coloured silk.

Historical information

Gifted to Di by a previous manager of the Bayside Gallery, who herself wore this dress to a fancy-dress event after finding the dress in a local opportunity shop. This dress was subsequently worn by Di Reidie to a party with friends at the Windsor Hotel, Melbourne to celebrate and watch the televised royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018

Significance

Di Reidie was a volunteer and president of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 - 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family have lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years and been active community members. During her time at BHS, Di has contributed significantly to the establishment, preservation and promotion of the Costume collection as well as the Brighton Historical society as a whole. Di was also a vintage clothing dealer and amassed her own significant costume and ephemera collection. The 2018 wedding of British royal Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex to American actress Meghan Markle was a significant historic and popular event, as is common for royal marriages. The Windsor Hotel in Spring Street Melbourne established in 1883 and originally called The Grand Hotel is the last grand standing hotel of its kind in Australia and is the work of famed architect of the era Charles Webb. It once had many peers now demolished. The hotel was renamed The Windsor in 1923 in honour of the visit of His Royal Highness, the Prince of wales. The hotel has hosted Royalty, distinguished guests and celebrities.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Exclusively Yours Hartnell REGD Melbourne", "Exclusive Finest Imported Fabric"

Smock

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Agricultural worker's hand-loomed linen smock, dyed brown. Fully hand-stictched with smocking details on front and back and sleeves. Opening at front and back neck area fastened with now missing buttons.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream coloured raw silk dress. Lower part of skirt hand-embroidered with floral design. Black and white striped silk collar and placket at front opening with 17 black decorative buttons. Two rows of thick cording insetred into casings around waist area which control the gathering in the skirt.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn cream, pale blue, orange and gold embroidered satin formal dress, the bodice dates from circa 1840. This dress shares a skirt with T0004.2, which dates from a different period (circa 1890). The bodice features a wide shallow neckline finished with a beige coloured cord in two decorative lines. The sleeve is set on the true shoulder and is a short fitted sleeve with decorative gathering and two lines of corded detail. The bodice is shaped to the body with 2 sets of six fine knife pleats diagonally positioned narrower over the waist and spreading out over the bust. These pleats are secured with six double lines of stitching. The bodice finishes high on the waistline at either side and points down to a point over the centre front. The base of the bodice is finished with a piped edge and beige decorative cording. The bodice encloses the body at the centre back where it has holes that presumably would have held lacing. The back features four diagonal knife pleats finishing at the centre back and splaying out over the shoulders. The waistline at the back features only a very gentle point.

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 T0004.1 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 this dress 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. 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.

Hat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Woven turquoise silk taffeta turban style ladies hat with half bow, circa 1960s. White mesh interior with teal grosgrain binding, thin black elastic band.

Historical information

This hat belonged to Mrs Mayra Rasmussen, who lived at 389 St Kilda Street, Brighton for over 50 years with her husband Rae Rasmussen, a bank manager with the State Bank of Victoria. The Mooney sisters, Nell and Ida, were situated beside the Regent Theatre in Collins Street, Melbourne and were well respected milliners and dressmakers. The hat's style is typical of the 1960s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white: MISSES MOONEY / OF MELBOURNE

Bag and coin purse

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Woven cane oval bag with small spherical metal feet and leather handles. Hinges open at top. Inside there is a separate small brown leather coin purse with metal clasp.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sleeveless black cotton voile dress printed with large cream and apricot coloured roses. Dropped waist; bias-cut triangular draping applied to front neck; two horizontal bands of black voile inserted into skirt.

Historical information

Worn by Dame Marie Breen DBE OBE, Federal Senator for Victoria and Brighton resident. Marie Freda Breen (nee Chamberlin) was born on 3 November 1902, died 17 June 1993. Marie became the first female senator for Victoria in 1962. In 1959 she was appointed an Officer of the British Empire for her work in the role of State President of the National Council of Women (Victoria) and in 1979 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Bag

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand painted and hand embroidered cream silk bag. Date and use unknown. This cushion features a delicate hand painted floral design, enhanced with highlight embroidery. It also features a silk rope binding around its edges and a cream silk bow. It appears to have enclosed something as it has a button and loop to secure it in half.

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 one of the house's later owners, Mrs B. Brandt.

Suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pink taffeta suit comprising jacket, skirt and belt. Fitted jacket with peplum. Machine-quilted shawl collar and separate belt. Calf-length pencil skirt with V-shaped pleated insert centre back. .1 - jacket .2 - skirt .3 - belt

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven silver on cream acetate, centre back jacket and skirt: Prue Acton

Jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black polyester leather look jacket with black polyester lining. The jacket features a centre front opening secured by six black press studs, two bust height flap pockets with press studs, and collar. Full length sleeves with band and black press stud closure. The jacket features diamanté decorative finish along the collar and shoulder placket.

Historical information

Olivia Newton John black faux-leather jacket – purchased by Di’s husband at a charity fundraiser for the Austin Health Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre Appeal in 2004 for approximately $1000. Donated by Olivia Newton John from her wardrobe and since worn by both Di and her daughter Kathryn. The nature of this jacket being made of faux leather and post manufacture addition of glued on diamanté's would indicate this jacket was part of a stage costume rather than personal wardrobe of Olivia Newton John.

Significance

Di Reidie was a volunteer and president of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 - 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family have lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years and been active community members. During her time at BHS, Di has contributed significantly to the establishment, preservation and promotion of the Costume collection as well as the Brighton Historical society as a whole. Di was also a vintage clothing dealer and amassed her own significant costume and ephemera collection. Olivia Newton John is a well known English born, Australian actress, singer, business woman and philanthropist. Newton John has had a long and esteemed career however remains best known for her starring role in the 1978 classic film GREASE opposite John Travolta. She also enjoyed considerable commercial music success with the 1981 pop song "Physical" a cult classic. Newton John opened store "Koala Blue" which sold Australian goods in the USA. Newton John has endured significant cancer related health issues and has engaged in significant public awareness and philanthropic support of cancer prevention and treatment in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

"IMMAGINE, Made in Italy" "40" "Made in Italy, Fabrique en Italie, 100% Polyiestere, Polyestere, Polyester, Polyester" Personal signature of Olivia Newton John in fine silver pen, "Love Olivia Newton John, 04".

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn, brown silk, evening dress, circa 1860, consisting of a bodice and skirt. The bodice features an off the shoulder neckline edged with cream lace. A chevron design of black velvet trim, passes from the shoulders to the centre front waist, then hangs loosely to the hip line. The black velvet trim on the sleeves and the skirt is edged with a black fringe. The bodice base is finished in a v-shaped front at the natural waistline. There are short puffed sleeves also feature the black velvet fringed trim and lace at the edge along with three epaulette style strips, which pass from the shoulder seam to the edge of the sleeve. Each strip finishes with a decorative bobble. The bodice lining is cream glazed silk with steel boning, cotton tabs sewn into both sides have four eyelets for lacing. The dress has a full, floor length unlined skirt which is slightly longer at the back creating a modest train. The skirt has horizontal bands of the velvet trim and finishes with a box pleated trim of the dress fabric. The dress is fastened at the back using two connecting rows of black velvet covered buttons.

Historical information

A dress belonging to the family of George Ward Cole in the late 1800s; possibly his wife Thomas Anne Ward Cole or one of his daughters, Margaret or Agnes. 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.

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'

Garters - Wedding garters

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A pale blue wedding garter featuring a pale pink bow and cream lace edging. Date unknown.

Historical information

From the wedding trosseau of Cora Doris Halkyard, nee Wrigley, who married Arthur John Stanley Halkyard in 1912. The couple lived at Barone, 9 Moule Avenue, from around 1951 until 1970. 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.

Doll - Bead doll

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Handmade painted wooden bead doll representing a sailor. Cream coloured body and limbs and pink head. The body is made from one long oval bead and the limbs from small round beads.

Historical information

Made by the cousin of Brighton local Olga Black. The cousin gave her the doll in 1937, when Olga was around seven years old. 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.

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A black silk, wood and ivory handled parasol from circa 1900. The black silk of the parasol body has been treated with a decorative hemstitch towards the lower edge. The handle and frame are made of wood, metal and either ivory or an early plastic designed to mimic ivory. The ivory section is carved with a design reminiscent of a palm tree trunk and finished with a ball. The handle also features a leather looped strap that the hand would pass through to aid holding the parasol.

Historical information

This parasol belonged to Clara Johnstone Miller (nee Bell, 1866-1910). Clara was the only daughter of Mr James Bell, a councillor of the Shire of Leigh (today a part of Golden Plains Shire) and owner of Woolbrook Homestead in Teesdale, near Geelong. In 1888, Clara married prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastoralist Septimus Miller (1854-1925). Septimus was the sixth of seven children born to Henry 'Money' Miller and Eliza Miller (nee Mattinson). 'Money' Miller was a well known financier and politician and reputedly one of Australia's wealthiest people in his time. In 1889, Clara and Septimus moved into the house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Road, Caulfield. They had one child, Gwendoline Stewart Miller, who died in 1902 at the age of thirteen of diabetes - a largely untreatable condition at the time (insulin would not be discovered until 1921). Clara died in 1910, aged only 44. Septimus subsequently married Helen (nee Henderson), with whom he had a son, Ronald (1915-1990). The Millers were buried in the Brighton General Cemetery in a large Gothic-style vault. Upon Clara's death, Septimus sent much of her clothing and Gwendoline's to her mother Mary Bell. Some of these items were passed down to two of Clara's nieces, Miss Mary Bell and Mrs Lois Lillies, who donated them to BHS around 1973.

Inscriptions & Markings

The handle bears an engraved inscription that appears to be 'VML' in a highly florid script. The frame bears the name 'Hartnells'.