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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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116 items

Bag - Bag

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Oval shaped bag made from armadillo leather with head and feet attached. Leather straps may be a recent addition. Metal clasp. Mirror on inside of lid. Interior lined with blue silk.

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.

Bodice

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn cream silk satin evening bodice from c.1865. This bodice features a very low, wide scooped neckline with a set in sleeve and four small pleats across the head of the shoulder. The elbow length, straight fitted sleeves are trimmed with a pleated ruffle that extends around the arm finishing at the elbow crease at the inside arm and tapering to mid forearm length at the back. The fitted bodice, lined with waxed linen, fastens down the centre front with eight covered buttons of the bodice fabric. The front two panels wrap around the sides of the bodice to meet another series of panels creating a princess line with a delineated central spine. The waist position is just below the natural waist at the sides, tapering to an elongated front covering the belly. From the sides towards the back it curves up to the natural waistline and then down again to a central point. The bodice is decorated with strips of the same fabric, which has been tucked, pleated and padded to create ruching. The ruching edge has a multi coloured thread, suggestive of rosettes, on both sides. In the front of the bodice, a strip runs down the centre front, concealing the buttonholes, and finishing at the elongated point. It then goes up the bodice over the bust line where it meets the neckline. It follows the neckline around the nape of the neck and back down the front over the bust line to the centre front. More strips run around the base of the fitted sleeve near the elbow above the ruffle. The rosette like coloured thread finishes the base of the ruffle.

Historical information

A bodice belonging to the family of George Ward Cole 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.

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.

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.

Bonnet - 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

Brighton Historical Society records indicate this bonnet was worn at the death of Isabella Black in 1912. Other records held place Isabella Black's death to be in 1915. 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.

Calash

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black taffeta calash with ribs made of baleen.

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.

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.

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

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

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A cream, green, brown and red striped cotton evening cloak with a brown silk velvet collar from the 1880's. 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.

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.

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

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

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.

Cushion

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand painted and hand embroidered cream silk cushion. 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” 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.

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.

Doll - Bead doll

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Painted wooden bead doll of a sailor made by Olga's cousin who gave it to her in 1937. Cream coloured body and limbs and pink head. The body is made from one long oval bead and the limbs from small round beads.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream satin princess line wedding dress with dark cream lace trim. Fastens centre front with 17 satin covered buttons. Nine extant bones are placed on the interior seams and darts. Three-quarter length fitted sleeves. Bodice backed with cream cotton. The back trained panels of the skirt have been cut to extend into a pleated swathe of satin that wraps around the hips to the centre front. A square padded bustle pad is attached to the interior back of the skirt. The hem of the skirt is decorated with kilted and swathed satin and lace.

Historical information

The donor's husband's grandmother was Bertha Michaelis who lived at 'Linden', St Kilda. She married David Jacob Baruch (known as Dalbert) in Hamburg on 9 November 1881. Bertha was born in Melbourne. The couple lived in Germany. Bertha returned to Melbourne with their two children, Ernest and May, after Delbert died in 1893. May married Rabbi Jacob Danglow in 1909 and they had one son, Frank, who was the donor's husband.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, interior waist tape, woven silk stamped in dark green: H. L. HEYNEMANN / Hannover / Seilwinderstr. 6a., Bose; In monogrammed ("HLH") circles either side: (Left) BAARZAHLUNGS SYSTEM; (Right) ERSTE PREISE. Stitched in thick cotton thread on interior waist tape: *9097

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Four-piece wedding outfit comprising bodice, belt, skirt and separate train all made of cream figured wool. The bodice has a centre front ruched panel, stand collar and a fitted two-piece sleeve with full gathered head. It is trimmed with cream-coloured beading with pearl drops. The bodice has seven interior bones and is fastened with metal hooks and hand sewn eyelets which are concealed under the front panel. A separate pleated belt fastens centre back. Plain gored skirt with separate train that ties around the waist.

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 these gowns were long term Brighton residents, and the gowns were held by them as family heirlooms prior to donation to Brighton Historical Society. The gowns are believed to have been brought to Australia by a half brother James Smith Adams or a younger sister Sophia, of the understood original owners of these dresses, Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecelia Elizabeth Adams, although they travelled to Australia separately. Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecelia Elizabeth Adams were the daughters of James Smith Adams (a Squire) and Elizabeth Emma McTaggart of Tower House, Woodchester in Gloucester. A property which Elizabeth Emma later inherited. Elizabeth Emma Adams was born on 30th June 1828 at Tower House, Woodchester, Gloucester, England and died on 1st May 1909. Elizabeth created a scandal when she eloped with her first husband, Thomas Charles Gardiner at the age of 18, a marriage thats validity was later formally investigate and confirmed as valid but a second church wedding was also held. Thomas Charles Gardiner died in 1878. She subsequently remarried Rev. R.E. Blackwell but was widowed again by 1889. Cecelia Elizabeth Adams was born on 17th 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. James Smith Adams was christened on 25th December 1780 at Woodchester and died 19 March 1860. His wife Elizabeth Emma McTaggart was born on 21st April 1793 in Calcutta and died on 23/12/1843. Elisabeth Emma'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. Tower House, originally a monastery was converted into a stately home after The Reformation. Sophia Adams became a nun in England in 1851 before migrating to Australia. In 1883 Sophia went to Adelaide and founded a Dominican Priory there (Believed to be St. Dominic's Priory in North Adelaide), using her inheritance to build the Priory's Chapel.

Significance

According to information originally provided by the donor, these two gowns were made for Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecilia Elizabeth Adams, 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 Cecelia would have been 12 years old and Elizabeth Emma would have been 10 years old. It is possible that the dress T0004.2 was worn by one of the girls to this event. The dress is of appropriate dimensions for a child of that age although it’s design is very formal and adult. However, it is unlikely that either of the girls wore dress T0004.1 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. After the death of the girls mother their Uncle James McTaggert gave the girls much of his attention and may have taken one or both of them to such an event. These Adams family entries have been updated by information provided by Dr.Herbert Gardner McTaggart, great-grandson of George Henry Somerset in April 2016. Mr McTaggert contacted the society after finding our entries online. Some further information is held by the society.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand and machine sewn cream, pale blue, orange and gold embroidered satin formal dress, the bodice dates from circa 1890. This dress shares a skirt with T0004.3, which dates from a different period. The bodice features a high scoop neckline with gathers at the base of the scoop and directly below where the bodice finishes creating fullness over the bust. The bodice front encloses the bust with a right panel over the top of a left panel and securing with two hook and eye closures over the left shoulder. The panels are secured together with 15 hook and eye closures. The sleeves are set neatly on the true shoulder and are elongated full puffs to just above the elbow. The fullness is created by nine pleats from the top of the shoulder over the back of the shoulder. At the base of the sleeve the fullness is gathered just above the elbow. At the centre back of the bodice are four inward facing pleats running from the centre neck to the waist. The bodice is secured around the waist with a tape and four hook and eye closures. The bodice is boned around the sides and back of the torso with eight bones. This bodice is finished at the waist with a pleated cummerbund of the dress fabric that is designed to appear to be a sash with two decorative bows. One front left of centre and one back right of centre. The skirt secures at the waist with an opening to the left of centre at the back. The skirt gathers tightly at the centre back with a dart on either side. The skirt has a front central panel and the skirt falls to floor length. At the back, the skirt is also floor length. The back of the skirt may have been modified at some time and may have originally finished in a train. It would be more appropriate to the period of the bodice, and the believed use of the dress with a train.

Historical information

The donor and family of these gowns were long term Brighton residents, and the gowns were held by them as family heirlooms prior to donation to Brighton Historical Society. The gowns are believed to have been brought to Australia by a half brother James Smith Adams or a younger sister Sophia, of the understood original owners of these dresses, Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecelia Elizabeth Adams, although they travelled to Australia separately. Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecelia Elizabeth Adams were the daughters of James Smith Adams (a Squire) and Elizabeth Emma McTaggart of Tower House, Woodchester in Gloucester. A property which Elizabeth Emma later inherited. Elizabeth Emma Adams was born on 30th June 1828 at Tower House, Woodchester, Gloucester, England and died on 1st May 1909. Elizabeth created a scandal when she eloped with her first husband, Thomas Charles Gardiner at the age of 18, a marriage thats validity was later formally investigate and confirmed as valid but a second church wedding was also held. Thomas Charles Gardiner died in 1878. She subsequently remarried Rev. R.E. Blackwell but was widowed again by 1889. Cecelia Elizabeth Adams was born on 17th 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. James Smith Adams was christened on 25th December 1780 at Woodchester and died 19 March 1860. His wife Elizabeth Emma McTaggart was born on 21st April 1793 in Calcutta and died on 23/12/1843. Elisabeth Emma'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. Tower House, originally a monastery was converted into a stately home after The Reformation. Sophia Adams became a nun in England in 1851 before migrating to Australia. In 1883 Sophia went to Adelaide and founded a Dominican Priory there (Believed to be St. Dominic's Priory in North Adelaide), using her inheritance to build the Priory's Chapel.

Significance

According to information originally provided by the donor, these two gowns were made for Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecilia Elizabeth Adams, 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 Cecelia would have been 12 years old and Elizabeth Emma would have been 10 years old. It is possible that the dress T0004.2 was worn by one of the girls to this event. The dress is of appropriate dimensions for a child of that age although it’s design is very formal and adult. However, it is unlikely that either of the girls wore dress T0004.1 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. After the death of the girls mother their Uncle James McTaggert gave the girls much of his attention and may have taken one or both of them to such an event. These Adams family entries have been updated by information provided by Dr.Herbert Gardner McTaggart, great-grandson of George Henry Somerset in April 2016. Mr McTaggert contacted the society after finding our entries online. Some further information is held by the society.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A white, mauve, purple, red, and green paisley / floral printed cotton day dress from circa 1820. The day dress features a wide scooped neckline, with a dropped shoulder line. At the head of the sleeve is has three lines of gathering creating a narrow arm hole around the shoulder, flaring out into a leg of mutton sleeve. The sleeve finishes neatly at the wrist with a cuff that secures with two brass hook and eye closures. The dress bodice is open at the centre front and secures with six hook and eye closures to the empire line waist. Over the breast on either side of the opening are six diagonal pleats, pressed and secured facing towards the neck. This pleated detail is on a facing that extends from shoulder to shoulder and finishes with a bound edge. The remainder of the front bodice is plain and secures to the skirt at the empire waistline. The skirt pleats onto a binding, wrapping around the torso and securing to the bodice with eight hook closures. At approximately knee, height the skirt has an additional gathered flounce with the dress finishing at approximately ankle length. From the back, the bodice is plain and the skirt is gathered and sewn to the bodice at Empire line. Alterations to the garment have been made with the addition of hooks and eyes. The garment is generally in good condition although the skirt at the front shows evidence of damage and subsequent repair.

Historical information

This dress has had three owners documented by letters as it was passed between Reynolds family members as a family heirloom before being donated to the Brighton Historical Society. It was made in England circa 1820 according to one of these letters received with the dress from the donor. However, the dress style appears more indicative of the late 1820’s.

Significance

The donor of this dress donated this dress accompanied by three letters between family members as the dress was passed from generation to generation. These letters paint a picture of the significance of this dress within this family and its journey from England to Australia. In these letters there are also comments of gentle guidance as to how to dress your hair and accessorize appropriately with this dress. The letters are also held at Brighton Historical Society.

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. 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 these gowns were long term Brighton residents, and the gowns were held by them as family heirlooms prior to donation to Brighton Historical Society. The gowns are believed to have been brought to Australia by a half brother James Smith Adams or a younger sister Sophia, of the understood original owners of these dresses, Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecelia Elizabeth Adams, although they travelled to Australia separately. Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecelia Elizabeth Adams were the daughters of James Smith Adams (a Squire) and Elizabeth Emma McTaggart of Tower House, Woodchester in Gloucester. A property which Elizabeth Emma later inherited. Elizabeth Emma Adams was born on 30th June 1828 at Tower House, Woodchester, Gloucester, England and died on 1st May 1909. Elizabeth created a scandal when she eloped with her first husband, Thomas Charles Gardiner at the age of 18, a marriage thats validity was later formally investigate and confirmed as valid but a second church wedding was also held. Thomas Charles Gardiner died in 1878. She subsequently remarried Rev. R.E. Blackwell but was widowed again by 1889. Cecelia Elizabeth Adams was born on 17th 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. James Smith Adams was christened on 25th December 1780 at Woodchester and died 19 March 1860. His wife Elizabeth Emma McTaggart was born on 21st April 1793 in Calcutta and died on 23/12/1843. Elisabeth Emma'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. Tower House, originally a monastery was converted into a stately home after The Reformation. Sophia Adams became a nun in England in 1851 before migrating to Australia. In 1883 Sophia went to Adelaide and founded a Dominican Priory there (Believed to be St. Dominic's Priory in North Adelaide), using her inheritance to build the Priory's Chapel.

Significance

According to information originally provided by the donor, these two gowns were made for Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecilia Elizabeth Adams, 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 Cecelia would have been 12 years old and Elizabeth Emma would have been 10 years old. It is possible that the dress T0004.2 was worn by one of the girls to this event. The dress is of appropriate dimensions for a child of that age although it’s design is very formal and adult. However, it is unlikely that either of the girls wore dress T0004.1 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. After the death of the girls mother their Uncle James McTaggert gave the girls much of his attention and may have taken one or both of them to such an event. These Adams family entries have been updated by information provided by Dr.Herbert Gardner McTaggart, great-grandson of George Henry Somerset in April 2016. Mr McTaggert contacted the society after finding our entries online. Some further information is held by the society.

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

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 pastorialist 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.

Significance

This day suit was owned and worn by Clara Miller nee Bell in Melbourne in circa 1890.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

An orange pink (salmon) with cream spot, very fine silk organza dress from circa 1840. The dress features a wide scooped neckline, almost to the shoulder. The sleeves are set low with a gathered head to the sleeve and finished with a flounce, dropping to just above the elbow. The bodice is shaped and fitted to the body and features a centre front detail of the bodice fabric that is gathered, ruched and tapers in a v to the waist. The waistline of the dress sits on the true waist at the sides and tapers to a v at the centre front and centre back. The full skirt is gathered to the piped waistline and falls to the floor. The skirt features three horizontal pleats in the skirt fabric in between four bands of cream floral self embroidered detail. The dress is open at the back where it is boned and features lacing holes. The lacing is missing from the item. The bodice of the dress is lined with a very fine cotton lawn and boned.

Historical information

Margaret Law (nee Bartholomew) was born on 3rd December 1837 in Stirling, Scotland. She emigrated to Australia with her family aboard the Ticonderoga arriving in Melbourne on 22nd December 1852. 100 passengers died during the journey and approximately a further 70 after arrival of typhus. Two of Margaret's siblings were among the casualties. The Bartholomew family settled in Ballarat. In circa 1861 Margaret married James Nicol Law in Ballarat. They had several children, the youngest of which was James (Lin) Lindsay Gordon Law 21st Jan 1881. James Nicol Law was killed in a train accident in Fingal Tasmania in July 1886. Lin Law married Elsie Russell in January 1915. They had four children. The eldest of these children was Pauline Margaret Law, born 15th December 1915.

Significance

Lin and business partner Jim Pearson established Pelaco, the shirt manufacturing company in 1906. The Law family moved to 'Blairgowrie', 306 St Kilda Street Brighton in 1920. Pauline and her husband Hugh McLean purchased "Blairgowrie" from the Law family in 1956 and lived there until 1965 when the house was demolished.

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.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

This c1872 grey and white silk pin stripe dress features a high round neckline with eleven decorative blue silk buttons and secured by a concealed line of fifteen hook and eyelet closure. The bodice has decorative blue and green braid over the shoulder and bust and across the base of the bodice. The dress features three darts shaping the dress to the body. The sleeve is cut high but relatively full and tapers to the elbow then flares again in Pagoda like style but ends at the wrist or hand. The skirt opens over the left hip and features a pocket over the right hip. The skirt at the front finishes at the ankle or just above the ground. At the back the bodice features panels shaping the dress into the body and pleated and flared from the waist. At the small of the back is a decorative bow with pinked edges and decorative braid. The skirt at the back is uncommon in shape most likely as the result of modification. It appears to have had panels removed reducing its original fullness. It has a tape inside the back of the skirt that would draw the skirt in creating a bustle like shape . It would appear that the dress had been modified in order to create a more fashionable silhouette most probably in circa 1872. There are three separate pieces of fabric. One is made up into a semi-circular over-skirt trimmed with blue braid and fringing. Two pieces are unpicked skirt gores, one still has its cotton lining attached.

Historical information

This dress was donated as having belonged to Annie Elizabeth McLean born in Argyllshire, Scotland in 1853. This dress appears to have been originally made in c1855 and then modified in c1872. This indicates that the dress would most probably have been originally made for someone else and acquired by Annie Elizabeth McLean. In 1855 Annie was 2 whereas in 1870 she was 19 years old.

Significance

Annie Elizabeth McClean arrived in the Colony of Victoria from Argyllshire Scotland with her aunts and cousins in 1867 aged thirteen and a half. She had been educated in Scotland and eventually became a personal maid and then companion to the Renwick girl, daughters of Samuel Renwick of Brighton, Australia. She returned to England, Scotland and again to Victoria in the service of the Renwick family. She left the Renwick family upon the marriage of the youngest Renwick daughter. She then went to the household of Sir William and Lady McCullough until she left to be married in 1878.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A grey green c1878 dress comprising of matching jacket and skirt. The jacket features a standing collar that gathers to a low point at the throat. This point is concealed behind a bow with raw edges which may not be original. The centre front of the jacket has been secured with nineteen concealed metal hook and button holes. The centre front features fifteen sets of single fabric covered glass buttons secured in a diagonal pattern and appearing as double headed buttons. From the shoulder through the body the jacket is shaped with decorative panels with grey silk detail. Beside these panels shaping into the waist and under the arm are a further two pleats. On the left side waist is a small pocket with decorative flap, grey silk trim and button. The base line of the jacket features a decorative horizontal panel that wraps around the jacket. The sleeve head is small and sits on the natural shoulder line with a slim fitting, curved, full length sleeve. At the base of the sleeve, there is a decorative panel reminiscent of a formal cuff, with a decorative turn back and two buttons. Secured underneath this turn back is a bow like decoration. From the back the jacket features a V shaped decoration, an extension of the front two decorative panels. From the shoulders the jacket is shaped by four panels curving tight into the waist and flaring out again to fullness of the bustle. These seams are also finished with decorative binding.This peplum like shape features two decorative flaps and six covered buttons. The skirt is shaped to the waist with pleats and secures on the front left hand side, the original waistband and fastenings have been replaced. The skirt front features a large decorative panel of the same fabric that curves from the front at approximately shin length, upwards towards the back securing underneath the bustle decoration. A second panel, plus a pleated panel finish the hem of the skirt continuing around to the back. At the back the skirt features two deep pleats with a large decorative bow that would sit out over the bustle. The skirt is long featuring a small train at the back. The dress is lined in a brown waxed cotton.

Historical information

Our records indicate that this dress was owned by Marion Jeanne Stokes (1877 - 1936) nee Wooling from Gisborne. Marion was married to Clive Devlin.

Significance

This dress is believed to have been worn on the Bendigo goldfields in c1878. This dress may have been worn as a wedding dress.

Inscriptions & Markings

n/a

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.

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.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A silver and brown striped silk taffeta dress comprising separate bodice and skirt. The dress features a high round neckline fastening down the centre front with concealed hook and eye closures with ten (two missing) decorative brown silk velvet buttons. The front and back feature a briown silk velvet ribbon that forms a v shape from the shoulder to the centre front just below the bust and centre back below the shoulder blades. From the ribbon falls a brown and silver silk fringe approx seven cms deep. The bodice is shaped and boned into the waist and finishes in a deep v over the stomach. At the back the bodice is shaped to the body finishing in a smaller curved v over the small of the back. The sleeve attaches to the bodice at the true shoulder and falls in a pagoda sleeve to the mid forearm. The sleeve is also trimmed with brown silk velvet ribbon near the base of the sleeve. The full skirt is pleated at the waist, falling to the floor, longer at the back to accommodate the crinoline.

Historical information

A dress believed to have belonged to an ancestor of Mrs. Jessie Somerville Singer (nee Watson) 1849 – 1935. Given the dress dates from circa 1850 possibly someone from one generation previous possibly her mother Elizabeth Martin. Jessie Somerville Singer was the second wife of Mr. Edward Singer (1829 – 1904) of ‘Somerville’ New St. Brighton Beach. Mr Singer’s first wife Maria died in 1861 and their son William approximately 12 months later. In the 1861 census of North Bradley England, Mr. Singer was recorded as a carpenter journeyman. After this tragedy Edward, aged 30, left England to start a new life in Australia. He emigrated as an unassisted passenger on the steamship ‘Great Britain’ departing Liverpool and arriving in Melbourne in April 1863. Edward worked as a joiner and overseer for a timber merchant in Franklin Street Melbourne. In December 1869 he bought a property at 1115 Hoddle Street, East Melbourne, between Hotham and George Streets. At some stage he also acquired 1117 Hoddle Street. He also owned another property in Rushall Crescent, North Fitzroy. On July 10th 1873 Edward married Jessie Somerville Watson, the daughter of William Watson and Elizabeth Martin They lived at Hoddle street for some years, until they lived at Rushall Crescent, North Fitzroy then in the 1880’s Edward is recorded as a joiner in the then semi rural suburb of Brighton. The house ‘Somerville’ was built by the Singers in c1880 at 100 (now 78) New Street Brighton. The family moved there when Edward retired early, from North Fitzroy and lived there until 1941. ‘Somerville’ was sold, the house demolished and the land divided in the 1930’s. Edward and Jessie appear to have lived comfortably. Edward died on 30th July 1909. Jessie died on 11th November 1935. Mrs. A. Rodin Cook (donator) is the granddaughter of Walter Francis Newing was Jessie’s grandson. Walter Newing had a small printing business in Bay Street and from 1910 lived at Kinane Street. He was secretary of the Life Saving Club that stood at the end of Kinane st in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Significance

Many members of the Singer family have lived in and around Brighton for many years, with the first recorded domicile in the 1880’s.

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

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream crepe wedding dress with short sleeves and dropped waist. Sweetheart neckline, bodice and sleeves decorated with floral design in bugle beads. Fastens with metal zip in left side seam.

Historical information

Worn by three brides in 1941, 1944 and c.1950. The dress was made for Eva Elizabeth (Bid) Harvey for her marriage to Morris Langlo West on 2 October 1941 at St James Catholic Church, North Road, Gardenvale. They had two children, Julian 1942-2005 and Sr. Elizabeth West born 1942. Bid was born in 1906 to Michael and Kitty Harvey. They lived at 51 Cole Street, Elwood. The bridesmaid was Bid's niece Jocelyn Hickey. The dress was also worn by Jocelyne Dorothy Taylor when she married John Carlisle (Carl) Harvey (Bid's brother) at James Catholic Church, Gardenvale on 30 June 1944. Jocelyne's bridesmaid was Jocelyn Hickey and the best man was Basil Robinson. The reception was held at 'Birdswood', Birdswood Avenue, Brighton. Jocelyne was born in Rangoon, Burma in 1921 and was the eldest daughter of Stanley and Dorothy Taylor. Carl was the only son of Michael and Kitty Harvey. Jocelyne and Carl lived at 15 Harwood Street, Elwood and later at 54 North Road, Brighton. They had five children, Michael, David, Jennifer, Robert and Eric.The third bride to wear the dress was Jocelyn Mary Hickey who was bridesmaid to Bid and Jocelyne. Jocelyn Hickey was born in 1929 to Daniel and Doreen Hickey (Bid's sister and Jocelyne's siter in law). Jocelyn married Gerard Leslie O'Donnell at St James Catholic Church, Gardenvale. The bride's attendants were Adita Smith, Maureen Bow and Jacqueline Connell. The groom's attendants were Jack Fallon and Con O'Donnell.The reception was held at 51 Cole Street, Elwood. Jocelyn and Gerard had three daughters, Maree, Carlene and Janine. They lived in Bunyip, Victoria. (Information provided by the donor). Photocopies of photographs of the three brides are on file at the Brighton Historical Society.

Dress - Fancy dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A dress consisting of bodice and skirt. The bodice is made from beige silk with sprays of red and blue flowers and originally laced down the centre front with pink ribbon. The lower part of the bodice is modelled on a late 18th century polonaise design. The bodice is boned and features waist tapes. The elbow length sleeves are finished with beige hand made Maltese lace featuring Maltese crosses. The mid calf length skirt is made from pale pink silk which has been quilted and lined to create a stiffened form. There is a piece of scrap floral fabric that is the same as the bodice fabric.

Historical information

This dress is a 'Dolly Varden' or 'shepherdess" style costume worn by Ida Burn (1890 - 1976) on a sea voyage to China accompanying her parents in 1911. The BHS has a photo of Ida wearing this dress when she was a guest at a dance for young people given by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne (possibly T.J. Davey). This party may have been held on the ship or it may have been a seperate event. This style dress was a popular choice for fancy dress in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Family information states that the silk for this dress was purchased by Ida and Marjorie's grandfather's sister (great aunt) in England in c1840. The dress was donated by Marjorie Wallace (née Burn) (1901 - 1999), Ida's sister. Marjorie did not accompany the family to China but stayed home with a Governess. Marjorie lived in Brighton between 1923 and c1950 and attended Firbank Church of england Girls grammar School. These records are from a conversation between a B.H.S representative and Marjorie Wallace in Aug 2002.

Significance

This style of costume is named after the character Dolly Varden in Charles Dickens, 'Barnaby Rudge' 1841. In c1872 Dolly Varden inspired costumes and paraphernalia were very popular craze.

Dress - Wedding Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Ice-blue satin dress cut on the bias. The front of the dress features a finely beaded centre front panel which reaches from the neckline to the hem.

Historical information

Worn by Betty Cock when she married Euston Murray Nutchey at St Andrew's Church, Brighton, on 28 April 1938. The bride's great grandmother, Emily, was married in the same church 69 years earlier. The dress featured in the Australian Women's Weekly, 16 June 1965. See photos on file. Emily's dress is also in the collection.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven mauve on beige silk, centre back: Beatrice Cook

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 - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream silk princess line wedding dress with scalloped neck edge, ruched front bodice panel and ruched and gathered panels on skirt. Three-quarter length sleeves with slashed sleeve details. Centre back opening fastened with silk thread covered buttons.

Dress - Visiting dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A black and mint green wool velvet lace and silk dress from circa 1882. The bodice features a wired, standing collar, finishing just under the chin and open at the front of the throat. On either side at the front of the throat it features long black lace ties with black jet bead fringe. The centre front of the dress from the neckline to the base of the skirt features an insert panel of mint green corded silk. The silk is gathered and the neckline and waist and overlaid a panel of gathered lacy net. Inserted into the seam at either side of this panel at the waist are two velvet ties. The dress secures closed with eight black buttons and one hook and eye down the right side of the mint panel to mid thigh. The edges of the collar and black front panels are finished with a looped ribbon trim. The remainder of the dress is made of a black wool fabric woven a checkered pattern of larger and looser threads and smaller and tighter threads creating a seersucker like pattern. The bodice features a natural shoulder line and an Amadis sleeve of full cut gathered to the bodice at the shoulder and finishing at the elbow with a large black lace flounce. The front panels of the dress are flat and shaped neatly to the body from neck to hip line and gently out to create the Victorian silhouette. On the back of each shoulder the dress features a leaf like, small jet beaded embellishment with multiple long loops of jet beads falling down the back to the waist. Underneath this embellishment is a pleated black ribbon that runs from the shoulder to the back of the pelvis. Over the pelvis are another two jet beaded embellishments of a floral design with two tassels. The skirt is full and pleated in under this embellishment and fulls to the floor with a small train. The base of the dress is finished with a ruched band of the main dress fabric.

Historical information

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

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.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

One piece floor length dress of (originally) lavender, watered (moiré) silk taffeta with short sleeves and train that is controlled by interior tapes to create bustle effect. The bodice fastens down the centre front to the waist where the opening below the waist is concealed by side pleats. The bodice appears to have originally featured a piece of lace at the neckline and a textile ruched belt. The dress is backed with a cream cotton.

Historical information

This dress was worn by Julia Benjamin (1850 - 1927) for her marriage to Abraham Smith (of Polish descent) at the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation in Bourke Street, Melbourne on September 5th 1868. Julia was the daughter of Joseph Benjamin and Hannah Soloman. Records suggest it may have been converted into her 'calling' gown for the three month 'bridal' period following her marriage. The gown would have been worn with accompanying accessories of a cape, gloves.

Significance

An early example of a wedding dress of the Melbourne Jewish community.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Red, white and black cotton halter neck dress with rows of pin tucking on the bodice and applied horizontal strips of red and black cotton and black lace to the skirt.

Historical information

Mary Owen OAM (1921-2017) purchased this dress in 1975 in Mexico while attending the first International Women's Conference and wore it to the reception there. A dedicated feminist, unionist and activist, she was a vocal campaigner for the empowerment of women, particularly in the fight for equal pay. Mary's involvement in activism began in 1966 when she joined the staff of the Association of Architects, Engineers & Draughtsmen (AAESDA), where she was responsible for advertising, layout and proofreading editorial for its journal 'Blueprint'. Her contact with the union awoke an interest in women's rights in the workplace, and in 1969 after she joined Dr Bertram Wainer's Progressive Reform Party, which advocated for legalised abortion. She joined the Women's Electoral Lobby in 1972 and remained an active member for over forty-three years, representing the WEL on many government committees. She was a founding co-coordinator of the Working Women's Centre Melbourne from 1975 until 1986, a founding member of EMILY's List Australia, an early member of the Melbourne Press Club and an early supporter of the Australian Women's Archives Project. An annual Mary Owen Dinner was held in her honour for twenty years from 1986 until 2007, which brought together hundreds of women each year. Mary was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and the Order of Australia Medal in 1984. She was added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2001.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: Disenado con carino por / GEORGIA CHARUHAS / HECHO / EN MEXICO Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: Gerorgia's / BOUTIQUE LAS MARIPOSAS / Designer: / Georgia Charuhas / MERIDA YUCATAN, MEXICO

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

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

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

Long sleeveless beaded evening dress with V front and back neckline. Black tulle base embellished with black, grey and purple beads and sequins with a design of a purple sunburst radiating from the right proper hip and mirrored on the back. Bodice sides split to waist and skirt sides split to hip.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Full-length pink satin evening dress with beaded shoulder straps and plaited fabric trim decorating low back. Two fabric bows on front bodice and diamond-shaped centre front panel. Separate wide pink satin cumerband made of plaited fabric with bow at back. .1 - dress .2 cumberband

Dress - Child's dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

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

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Beige taffeta silk dress with fine black woven stripe. Olive coloured bias satin trim and vandyked horizontal panels down front of the dress. The dress has a train.

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 with10 covered buttons and loops. Full bias cut skirt with train.

Historical information

Louris Larson Disney married James Percy 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. Also in the Society's collection is a 1950s pink straples silk chiffon dress worn by Louris. The couple lived in Brighton. Wedding photo of Louris taken at 53 South Road, Brighton is in the collection of the Brighton Historical Society.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress of white lace. V-neckline, long fitted sleeves and train. Large bow at back.

Historical information

Wedding dress worn by May Dunne who was married on 11 April 1942 at the Newtown Methodist Church in Aberdeen Street, Geelong. The lace was purchased with war-time coupons. The couple lived in Brighton and May was a member of the Brighton Historical Society when she donated the dress.