Stories Organisations Projects About Login

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

View on Google Maps

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.

There are no comments yet.

Leave a comment

116 items

close
Show All Items Items with Images (114) Items with Audio Items with Video Items with Documents
View As Grid List

116 items

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress made from cream silk purchased in China. The bodice is made of fine silk embroidered tulle with a vest of cream silk that floats over the top. The skirt has been permanently pleated, has has floating side panels of tulle and features a large butterfly-shaped bow at the back.

Historical information

Worn by Elizabeth Goodwin of Liverpool, England, who married Horace Book at St Andrew's Church, Brighton. The fabric was purchased by her father, who was a ship's captain when he was in China. The bride had her dress made in Liverpool and made to a Butterick's pattern. Elizabeth was very active in public life and a well-known member of the Book family.

Crinoline skirt - Crinoline

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A cream paper silk taffeta crinoline skirt c.1862. This skirt features a flat front across the front waistband but a gathered across the back. At the front it is floor length whilst at the back it features a small train. Presumably the skirt was concealed at the sides and back at the front features decorations that do not continue around the back. The front decoration consists of three tiers of pleated pale violet to pale pink silk ribbon with a deep drop of cream lace. The final lace tier is gracing the floor.

Historical information

This skirt belonged to Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole and was worn for her role as bridesmaid for the marriage of Miss Barkly, daughter of Sir Henry Barkly.

Significance

George Ward Cole, father of Miss Margaret Morison 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. Sir Henry Barkly was the second Governor of Victoria.

Dressing gown

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Crazy patchwork dressing gown made from a patchwork beadspread. Made from irregular pieces of silk, satin, velvet and brocades and embellished with embroidered and painted motifs. Fully lined with maroon silk. Neckline trimmed with thick silk cord. Right over left fastening with two large metal press studs. One of the pieces on the back has an inscription dated 11/7/94 (1894).

Historical information

Made by the family, friends, relatives and guests of William and Polly Hodgens, owners of the Adelphi Hotel near Montague Station, South Melbourne. Later demolished by Victorian Railways.

Tile - Ceramic tile from Norwood (house)

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A square Wedgwood ceramic tile which is multi-coloured. The colours are brown, green, pink and orange. The tile is embossed with vines and flowers. The centre square features the head and shoulders image of a man. Norwood, the house where the tile was used was built around 1890.

Historical information

The tile was from the Norwood, the house which stood at 100 The Esplanade,, Brighton. The house was built around 1890 and demolished in 1955. Before the house was demolished many of the items were sold by auction.

Inscriptions & Markings

On back of tile "n 118 / Josiah Wedgwood & Sons / Etruria / Patent / Impressed tile"

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

This c1849 silk blue grey window pane check dress features a high round neck and pleats on either shoulder extending over the natural shoulder line. The dress shows evidence of nine ornamental buttons down the centre front with only four blue silk buttons currently still attached. The dress fastens with thirteen concealed hook and eye closures to the waist. The Pagoda sleeves inset into the bodice in a small high armhole flaring out and finishing just below the elbow. A pale blue silk ribbon with a diagonal drawn stitch design decorates the front of the sleeve in a simple geometric design. The Pagoda sleeve is lined in a matching pale blue silk. The full skirt is pleated into the waistband and finishes just above the floor at the front. At the back the bodice features a squared off design to the princess panels shaping the dress into the body. The skirt is heavily pleated at the centre back into the waistline and finishes slightly longer at the back than the front. The skirt features two very small pockets on either side of the dress, just inside the hips.

Historical information

This dress was made for and belonged to Mrs. Elizabeth McLachlan (nee Duncan), wife of Reverend John Hamilton McLachlan.

Significance

Reverend John Hamilton McLachlan was a Minister of St Cuthberts Presbyterian Church Brighton Elizabeth and John were married at the Free Church of Ayr at Lindsaystonn, Parish of Kirkmickach, Ayrshire, Scotland on 15th October 1849. At this time his occupation was listed as Minister of Presbyterian Church and hers as Governess. They left Australia on the 1st of November 1849 and arrived in Australia 6 months later. Apparently John's hair had turned snow white during the journey due to his seasickness! John McLachlan was born in 1813 at Mayball, Scotland and Elizabeth Duncan was born in 1820. The McLachlan's first went to Geelong upon their arrival in 1850, then to the Western District, Brighton then Talbot - at the height of the gold mining era. The McLachlan's had seven children: John Campbell Duncan McLachlan, Geelong, October 1850 Mary McLachlan, Geelong, November 1851 Agnes McLachlan, Hopkins River near Wickliff, May 1853 Elizabeth and Walter (twins) McLachlan, June 1854 Elizabeth McLachlan, Hesham, June 1855 Margaret McLachlan, Brighton 1857 Elizabeth McLachlan (mother) died in 1904, Mr. McLachlan died approximately five years later and they are both buried in Amherst Cemetery.

Scarf - Victory scarf

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Victory scarf with the flags of France, the United Kingdom, USA and the USSR. 'Victory' printed in yellow in the centre surrounded by names of countries and regions.

Historical information

The scarf belonged to Olga Black who was born in Melbourne in 1930.

Dress - Child's dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

White cotton cutwork child's dress, hand stitched. Back opening with drawstring neck and waist.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Full-length knit dress of blue, green and silver patterned lurex with Georges box and receipts. High neck with metal zip centre back. .1 - dress .2 a-b - Georges box with lid .3 a-c - envelope & 3 layby & alteration receipts stapled together & separate delivery invoice .4 - Receipt for dress alteration & delivery charge

Historical information

Belonged to a Mrs E. Hill of 6 Webb Street, Brighton. The dress is an excellent example of mid-1970s evening wear and comes with its original box and dockets.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: PRINTED BY HAND / Pelilla / MADE IN ITALY Label, printed black on white acetate, centre back: 65% RAYON / 35% POLYESTER / MADE IN ITALY

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Strapless pink organza cocktail-length dress. Finely pleated bodice and skirt laid on to a heavy vilene. Decorated around the waist with pink organza flowers and two bands of pink satin, one around the bodice and the other around the lower part of the skirt.

Historical information

Belonged to Louris White whose wedding dress from 1948 is also in the collection. Louris and her husband lived in Brighton.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: printed black on cream acetate side front bodice: Original / Margeaux / REGD. / of Melbourne / IMPORTED FABRIC

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Orange bouclé wool coat woven with velvet stripes; brown fur collar and deep hem.

Dress - Afternoon dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A c1878 two piece dress consisting of bodice and skirt. The eau de nil (green) corded silk dress features a high round neckline that secures with hook and eye fastenings and decorative buttons through the length of the princess line bodice to the band around the hem. A watch pocket sits just below the waistline on the left hip. The three-quarter sleeves are narrow with kilted pleat trim on the lower edge and decorative buttons. At the back of the dress is asymmetric in its cut. The dress splits along the right hand side and finishes shorter with pleating and has a decorative pocket. A bow sits at the top of the split. The underskirt fastens on the left hip and features kilted pleats along the base of the skirt and train. The train features additional fullness created by a section of gathering in the centre.

Historical information

This dress is believed to have been worn on the Goldfields of Victoria. The discovery of gold in Victoria ranged between 1851-1879.

Significance

This dress is believed to have been worn on the Goldfields of Victoria. The discovery of gold in Victoria ranged between 1851-1879. There are few remaining examples of clothing worn on the Victorian goldfields.

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

Clara Miller nee Bell (1867 - 1910) was the only daughter of Mr James Bell a local shire Councillor and prominent family of Woolbrook, Teesdale, near Geelong. Clara was also the first wife of prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastoralist Septimus Miller (1854 - 1925). Septimus Miller was the sixth child of seven children 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, the family home was Findon . Clara and Septimus married in 1888, and one daughter Gwendoline (1889 - 1902) who died at a young age of Diabetes. In 1889 the family moved to their new house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Rd Caulfield. Clara died in 1910 and Septimus remarried, Helen nee Henderson, and had a son Ronald (1915 - 1990). Upon Clara's death some of her clothes and those of Gwendoline were passed to members of Clara's family.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Evening dress and bag

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black silk satin sleeveless full-length evening dress. The attached bodice floats over the top of the under-dress. Asymmetrical opening on bodice which features five large flat self-covered buttons. The black suede bag has chrome fittings and buttery cream coloured satin interior.

Historical information

The dress was worn by Mrs Dot Paroissien in the 1950s. She remembers wearing it to a ball at the Royal Exhibition Buildings for Wesley College. The black suede bag was bought in London for her by her husband David. Dot wore suede shoes with a medium heel with straps across the instep and long white kid gloves. She wore a baguette chocker and drop earrings.

Inscriptions & Markings

.1 dress - Label, woven black on white acetate centre back: CROYDE / MELBOURNE .2 - bag - Label, printed, black on cream acetate, interior pocket: Susan / HANDBAGS / LONDON; Label, printed, copper on black metal, interior pocket: MADE IN ITALY / FOR SUSAN

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

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

Historical information

Overend collection. The Overend family lived at the heritage listed 'Chevy Chase', 203 Were Street, Brighton, built in 1881.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two piece day dress of mulberry figured silk. The dress comprises a separate bodice and skirt. The bodice fastens centre front with fabric covered shank buttons and has twelve bones encased along the interior seams and darts. Two piece fitted sleeve and high stand collar. Bodice is backed with a caramel coloured printed cotton. The skirt has a slight train and is backed with a caramel coloured twill-woven cotton.

Historical information

Worn by Mrs Lilias Parker (nee Johnston), born 1820, died 1904.

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Beige silk parasol printed with bold zig-zag design in brown, orange, yellow and turquoise. Metal spokes tipped with white bakelite. Wooden handle decorated with pokerwork design painted red. Wooden ball covered in silk thread and twisted cotton cord hanging from handle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Cast in metal spokes: THE ARMSTRONG REGD BRITISH MAKE Woven label, blue on white cotton attached to spoken: Perfection

Cushion cover - Cushion cover (fabric remnant)

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A piece of hand painted cream silk velvet believed to be from a cushion cover. Date unknown

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. “Barone” was a stately Brighton home demolished in 1986. One of the former owners, presumably either Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard or Mrs B Brandt, donated the various goods in the “Barone” collection. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

“Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s 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.

Coat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Maxi coat in cream, yellow and metallic gold ogival patterned brocade. Fastens with five large metallic gold corded domed buttons. Lined with ivory silk taffeta.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back neck: jot / TOORAK

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

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

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

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

Worn by Councillor Di Lopez when she was Mayor of Brighton to the Mayoral Ball held at Brighton Technical School c.1976.

Significance

The dress is significant because it was worn by the Mayor, Di Lopez, to the Brighton Mayoral Ball. In wearing such a radical dress Di Lopez was making a public statement, breaking away from the tradition of wearing stuffy, formal gowns and bringing the Mayor's office into the 1970s.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream doeskin leather shoes with glass and metal bead floral decoration on vamp and decorative bow.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label stamped in gold on sock (inside lining): FROM / R. White / Melbourne

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

Olga's family were Greek immigrants to Australia. Olga was born in Melbourne in 1930. This bolero is part of Greek national costume from the Peloponnese. Olga wore this to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games to represent her Greek heritage. She remembers the stands being full of migrants wearing their traditional national costumes.

Dress - Visiting dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A black and yellow velvet, wool, lace and silk dress from circa 1882. The bodice features a yellow silk, black lace and black velvet collar finishing high on the neck just below the chin finished with a black lace ruffle. The collar has a flap across the front of the throat that attaches at the side with a v shaped baseline that contributes to concealing the fastenings of the bodice. The dress features a gathered central panel of black lace covered lemon silk, which falls from the neckline to the floor. At either side of this panel are matching panels of black velvet. The remainder of the dress and sleeves are made of black wool featuring a self-striped and spotted pattern. The dress fastens down the centre front with concealed black buttons hidden underneath the right velvet panel. The head of the Amadis sleeve sits on the natural shoulder line and finishes tightly at the elbow. The volume of the sleeve is created by ten pleats at the head of the shoulder, sewn to the bodice and is gathered at the elbow. The sleeve is finished with a black velvet ribbon with a bow and a black lace frill. The base of the dress is finished with a ruffle of the black dress wool. The dress features a small train. The dress is boned at the back waist and features an inset panel just below the waist of gathered fabric which forms the train.

Historical information

This gown, one of two similar items in the collection belonged to one of the Ward Cole sisters, Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole or Miss Agnes Bruce Ward Cole, daughters of George Ward Cole.

Significance

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.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Printed cotton maxi dress with long sleeves. Print of red, navy, white and green spots. Shirtmaker front which fastens with three covered buttons.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven maroon on cream acetate, centre back: Imported / from Italy / BY GEORGES / OF COLLINS STREET

Evening outfit - Evening dress and bag

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black full-length crepe evening dress with bronse-coloured sequins on bodice; asymmetric neckline and draping. Matching black reticule with sequins.

Coat - Water rat coat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Three-quarter length brown fur coat made of water-rat pelts. Wide shawl collar and cuffs. Fastens centre front with two large hooks and eyes. Lined with chocolate brown silk satin.

Historical information

Belonged to Audrey Pickett (nee Heriot) who was married to Ted Pickett. Later in life, after Ted died, Audrey married Don North. The coat was exhibited in the window of F. J. Ellemor's store in the Royal Arcade.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on beige silk, centre back neck: created by / F. J. Ellemor / FURRIERS / MELBOURNE

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Coral pink silk parasol with black lace overlay. A lace design is painted in black on the end of the polished wooden handle.

Historical information

The donor, Mrs Verona Cresswell, was given the parasol in 1941 by a friend, Mrs Teppa, who had purchased in many years earlier in Paris. It was part as an outfit worn to the Melbourne Cup in the 1940s.

Calash

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black taffeta calash with ribs made of baleen.