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Kew Historical Society Inc Kew, Victoria

Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958.

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PO Box 175 Kew Victoria 3101

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Opening Hours

1. KHS Office & Archive - 1 Civic Drive, Kew VIC 3101. Wednesdays 10.00am - 4.00pm / 2. Exhibitions & Public enquiries - 188 High Street, Kew VIC 3101. Fridays & Saturdays 11am - 1 pm.

Entry Fee

Free entry

Location

1 Civic Drive Kew Victoria

The Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958. Its extensive collection of audiovisual resources, costumes, textiles, books, documents, maps and artefacts have been donated by individuals, families, groups and institutions (including local government) over a sixty-year period. The Society was declared a Class-B Place of Deposit for Government Records in August 2019. The collection includes items of local, statewide and national significance (Russell E, Significance Assessment, 2018) and in 2019/20 received a further grant for a Preservation Needs Assessment from the National Library of Australia. These records are digitised by the Kew Historical Society on Victorian Collections for the purposes of education and preservation. If you believe that we have infringed your copyright please contact us and we will remove the material from the site.

Significance

The collection as a whole fulfills the criteria for very strong historical, aesthetic and research significance at a local level. It also has many outstanding associations with state themes, figures and events and quite a few that resonate at a national level. The costume and textiles, map and picture collections each have very strong historical, research and aesthetic significance of their own accord. The degree of their significance is greatly enhanced by all of the comparative criteria: interpretive value, provenance, condition, integrity, rarity and representativeness.

The costume collection has a very high degree of aesthetic significance for its beauty, quality and workmanship. There are some items that are associated with nationally significant designers, or with Kew donors who have made an impact on society at a local and a state level (ie Prue Acton, Jinoel of Melbourne, Oggi Fashion House). The strong degree of provenance and high quality of the design and dressmaking that went into the production of these clothes strengthens the research significance of this sub-collection for those interested in fashion, textiles and dressmaking. This costume collection includes items that date back to the 1850s (patchwork Denbigh quilt) through to the 1980s, and that reflect changing styles, technologies, textiles and production methods.

The picture collection has some items that have high local significance such as the Josiah Barnes photograph ‘Kew proclaimed a city’, which was taken on that day – 10 March 1921, and the ‘Unveiling of the Kew War Memorial’ on August 30 1925 in front of an audience of over 5,000 people and presided over by the Kew Mayor and the Governor of Victoria. Both of these important images also have significance to state and national processes of municipal development and memorializing war. The mayoral portraits (part of the picture collection) have a very high degree of historical and research significance for their associations, enhanced by strong provenance and technical qualities. Eminent photographers took many of the portraits and the subjects are people who have made a significant contribution to the welfare and development of Kew and, in the case of some of the Mayors in this collection, of the state or even the nation. This includes people such as Stanley Argyle (Premier of Victoria 1932-35) and William Kerr (influential businessman and federal government advisor in the early decades of the 20th century). The significance threshold of this sub-collection is therefore likely to be of state significance at the least.

The maps and plans number some 300 or more and include some fascinating and important maps beyond the MMBW sub-collection that, itself, holds some unique items and has been discussed at length in this report. Other much earlier and hand drawn maps such as ‘Back to Kew’ (c.1875) and ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ (undated) are historically fascinating. In the case of ‘Back to Kew’ it is the detail of the built, natural and social landscape of Kew, which was also annotated and added to several times in subsequent decades to show the development of the area. In the case of ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ it is the careful recording of the garden layout and the nature of domesticity in these early days of European settlement that is both fascinating and rare to find in any local history collection. While not all the items are original the map and plan collection has a very high degree of historical and research significance.

Provenance for much of the collection is strong, and therefore supportive of its historical, research and interpretive value. Certainly the interpretive capacity for understanding a detailed and nuanced history of Kew on many levels, as well as touching or reflecting on wider stories on a state or national stage is very high.

Russell, Emma, 'Kew Historical Society Significance Assessment | Collection', [email protected], 2018

Cameron Auty 26 April 2016 9:48 AM

Amazing hat collection, these are a great addition to the site - Site admin.

Leave a comment

3415 items

Photograph - Centenary Celebrations, Willsmere [Kew] Mental Hospital, 1972

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

One of a series of photographs of the centenary celebrations at the Willsmere Mental Hospital in 1972.

Historical information

This photograph is part of a series taken at the Willsmere (Kew) Mental Hospital. The photographs were gifted to the Kew Historical Society in 2018 by Rosemary Barnes. The photos had been in the possession of her former husband, Dr Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent of the hospital. In 2019, the photographs were transferred to the State Archives as Permanent Government Records, as the Society is only entitled as a Class-B Place of Deposit to hold Temporary Government Records. The Society was permitted to keep and publish a digital copy of each photograph. Many of the photographs include information on the reverse about individuals or locations. Where this is the case, these have been published here as images that can be viewed in the picture carousel. Permission for third parties to reproduce this record must be granted by the Public Record Office Victoria.

Bed Warmers - Two Brass Hot Water Bottles / by Whittingslowe

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Two brass cylindrical hot water bottles, manufactured by Whittingslowe. The label of the manufacturer and distributor is on the from of each bottle on a red and gold label

Inscriptions & Markings

"HOT-GLOW' WATER BOTTLES / WHITTINGSLOWE MANUFACTURER / ? WOOD PTY LTD MELBOURNE AND SYDNEY / AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTORS

Plan - Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works : Borough of Kew : Detail Plan No.1574

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Original survey plan, issued by the MMBW to a contractor with responsibility for constructing sewers in the area identified on the plan within the Borough of Kew. The plan was at some stage hand-coloured, possibly by the contractor, but more likely by officers working in the Engineering Department of the Borough and later Town, then City of Kew. The hand-coloured sections of buildings on the plan were used to denote masonry or brick constructions (pink), weatherboard constructions (yellow), and public buildings (grey). This plan shows several very large houses, particularly along Glenferrie Road, and the area now occupied by Ruyton Girls’ School. ‘Tarring’ (incorrectly spelled here as ‘Karring’) was built for Henry Henty in 1872, on part of his original allotment of 20 acres, and ‘Mount View’, which retains its original building and the fountain in the front garden, is part of Ruyton’s Junior School. The most significant change to Tarring and its grounds since 1903, involve the removal of a number of the outbuildings, including a Burmese temple, bought by Henty from the Burmese Exhibit at the Great Exhibition of 1880. It is shown on the plan as a summerhouse. The two-storey mansion, on the corner of Glenferrie Road and Wellington Street, was built in 1891 by leading architect Alfred White as his own home. Having an initial N.A.V. of £160, the house was purchased by a warehouseman Henry Lister, by 1900, when the N.A.V. was recorded at £111. By the turn of the century the house was known as ‘Comaques’. By contrast, much smaller houses are shown in Scott and Byron Streets, including a tiny Mission Hall in Byron Street, which belonged to the Anglican Church from at least 1903 to 1917.

Historical information

The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) plans were produced from the 1890s to the 1950s. They were crucial to the design and development of Melbourne's sewerage and drainage system. The plans, at a scale of 40 feet to 1 inch (1:480), provide a detailed historical record of Melbourne streetscapes and environmental features. Each plan covers one or two street blocks (roughly six streets), showing details of buildings, including garden layouts and ownership boundaries, and features such as laneways, drains, bridges, parks, municipal boundaries and other prominent landmarks as they existed at the time each plan was produced. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

Significance

This plan forms part of a large group of MMBW plans and maps that was donated to the Society by the Mr Poulter, City Engineer of the City of Kew in 1989. Within this collection, thirty-five hand-coloured plans, backed with linen, are of statewide significance as they include annotations that provide details of construction materials used in buildings in the first decade of the 20th century as well as additional information about land ownership and usage. The copies in the Public Record Office Victoria and the State Library of Victoria are monochrome versions which do not denote building materials so that the maps in this collection are invaluable and unique tools for researchers and heritage consultants. A number of the plans are not held in the collection of the State Library of Victoria so they have the additional attribute of rarity.

Photograph - The Moorings, Chipperfield's Boathouse [North Kew], 1934

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The Moorings, North Kew, 1934. The Moorings was the house section of Chipperfield's Boat House.

Photograph - Glendonald School for the Deaf, Marshall Avenue (Kew)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Portico - entrance - of Glendonald taken from Marshall Avenue.

Historical information

Glendonald School for Deaf Children was run by the Victorian Education Department. It provided education and some residential services for deaf children. The school was situated in Marshall Avenue, Kew and operated from 1951–91. Deaf children whose families lived too far to travel daily were housed in a grand Victorian mansion in Belmont Avenue, Kew, the John Cannon Hostel. The school and hostel also accommodated a small number of wards of the state. Source: Glendonald School for Deaf Children (1951–91); https://www.findingrecords.dhhs.vic.gov.au/collectionresultspage/GlendonaldSchoolforDeafChildren; Accessed 05/09/2018.

Significance

Glendonald was a significant mansion in Kew (now demolished) built for the industrialist and manufacturer Donald Leslie in 1886. The school was purchased by the Victorian Department of Education on 29 November 1950 for the sum of 16,500 pounds.

Inscriptions & Markings

The old school for the deaf at 17 Marshall Ave for children from the age of six years to ten years old, then they would go to 25 Marshall Ave to finish their schooling leaving age 16 years old.

Postcard - Queen's Bridge, Melbourne

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Queen's Bridge, Melbourne. Coloured postcard. Weir collection.

Historical information

Collection of thirty-nine postcards donated by Jillian Rigby which had been owned by her grandparents, George and Edith Weir, who from c.1917 lived at 84 Princess Street, Kew. The mostly 'mint' postcards were purchased in Victoria and while travelling overseas. The sole dated postcard is dated from 1929. The postcards are numbered sequentially from 2017.0058.01-39. The remainder of the collection donated by Jill Rigby which was once owned by the Weirs of Broken Hill and Kew consist of costumes, costume accessories, photographs, and documents.

Significance

The postcards in the Weir collection, especially those purchased on a trip or trips to the mother country, i.e. United Kingdom, represent a representative sample of sites that were considered significant to those Australians undertaking a reverse grand tour by member of the erstwhile colonies. Those postcards which are early views of Melbourne must have been produced commercially for some decades from the early part of the 20th century.

Theatre Programme - Whiteoaks / performed by the Kew Light Opera Company, 1956

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Souvenir programme isued by the Kew Light Opera Company for a performance of 'Whiteoaks: a 3-Act Comedy-Drama' by Mazo de la Roche. Performances were held in the Kew Recreation Hall on 21 and 22 March 1956. The programme forms part of a scrapbook that includes programmes, photographs and theatre reviews for the Kew Light Opera Company and later "Q" Theatre Guild.

Reference File - Foster Parents Plan (Kew)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Single item archive file, with a newspaper article/clipping stating that the organisation Foster Parents Plan of Australia (PLAN) was located on the corner of Cotham and Highbury Grove. The organisation was located in what had been the Kew Presbyterian Church.

Historical information

Since its foundation in 1958, members of the Kew Historical Society have been compiling and storing information about subjects relating to the history of Kew and its environs, of which this file is an example. Typically files will contain primary and secondary sources.

Subdivision Plan - Studley Heights Estate, Kew, 1936

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The ‘Studley Heights Estate’ on the South Side of Studley Park Road was launched in 1936. The seventeen allotments in the subdivision fronted Hyton Crescent and Studley Park Road.

Historical information

Pru Sanderson, in her groundbreaking ‘City of Kew Urban Conservation Study : Volume 2 - Development History’ (1988), summarised the periods of urban development and subdivisions of land in Kew. The periods that she identified included 1845-1880, 1880-1893, 1893-1921, 1921-1933, 1933-1943, and Post-War Development. These periods were selected as they represented periods of rapid growth or decline in urban development. An obvious starting point for Sanderson’s groupings involved population growth and the associated economic cycles. These cycles also highlighted urban expansion onto land that was predominantly rural, although in other cases it represented the decline and breakup of large estates. A number of the plans in the Kew Historical Society’s collection can also be found in other collections, such as those of the State Library of Victoria and the Boroondara Library Service. A number are however unique to the collection.

Significance

Subdivision plans are historically important documents used as evidence of the growth of suburbs in Australia. They frequently provide information about when the land was sold on which a built structure was subsequently constructed as well as evidence relating to surveyors and real estate and financial agents. The numerous subdivision plans in the Kew Historical Society's collection represent working documents, ranging from the initial sketches made in planning a subdivision to printed plans on which auctioneers or agents listed the prices for which individual lots were sold. In a number of cases, the reverse of a subdivision plan in the collection includes a photograph of a house that was also for sale by the agent. These photographs provide significant heritage information relating house design and decoration, fencing and household gardens.

Photograph - Kew Bowling Club / Winners of VBA “C” Pennant Season 1924-26

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed and glazed original photograph of the Winners of the VBA “C” Pennant Season 1924-26. [The item is part of the historic Kew Bowling Club collection (1880-1988) gifted to the Kew Historical Society in 2020].

Historical information

Sports Clubs in Kew in the final decades of the 19th century and in the early 20th century were often umbrella organisations with facilities for a number of sports. Typically in Kew, this included teams in lawn bowls, tennis and croquet. The Kew Bowling Club was formed in 1880 while the privately owned Auburn Heights Recreation Club was opened in 1904. By 1998, the two Clubs decided to amalgamate at the Auburn Heights site in Barkers Road, forming the Kew Heights Sports Club. The combined club was itself taken over by the Melbourne Cricket Club in 2012 becoming MCC Kew Sports Club. In 2017 MCC Kew closed and its landholding was subsequently sold to Carey Baptist Grammar School. Both the Kew and Auburn Heights Clubs assembled important collections. These historically significant and large collections were donated to the Society in 2020. The collections include manuscripts, pictures, trophies, plans, honour boards etc. References Barnard FGA 1910, 'Sports and Pastimes' in Jubilee History of Kew Victoria: Its origin & progress 1803-1910. Nixon NV 1980, The History of the Kew Bowling Club 1880-1980. Reeve S 2012, City of Boroondara: Thematic Environmental History, p.216.

Significance

The combined collections of the four sporting clubs making up the collection number hundreds of items that are historically significant locally. They are also significant to the sporting history of the greater Melbourne area and to the sports of lawn bowls and tennis in Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection illuminates two of the Victorian historic themes - 'Building community life' through forming community organisations and 'Shaping cultural and creative life' by participating in sport and recreation.

Map - Back to Kew 1875 / Jesse Dannock

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Hand-coloured map on heavy paper, depicting from Kew in 1875 from memory by Jesse Dannock. The map includes the names of local institutions and old residents. These, and many of the street names are very faded and have been overwritten with biro at a later date.

Significance

The most important and earliest original map in the collection, showing places of interest in early Kew.

Book - Castlemaine : from camp to city 1835-1900, a pictorial history of Forest Creek & the Mount Alexander goldfields

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

230 p. : ill. (some col.), facsims, maps, ports. ; 22 x 25 cm.

Historical information

Kew Historical Society, founded in 1958, has an extensive reference library, of which this book is a part. Volumes in the library are used by members for research into aspects of local history and/or to support the Society's collections of pictures, maps, fashion and artefacts. Reference books have entered the collection through donation, presentation, collection and purchase.

Photograph - Robin Vanser, The Colonnades, Sydney, 1966

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of the singer Robin Vanser in performance with fellow artists and dancers at 'The Colonnades. Sydney, 1966

Historical information

Robin Kelly was born Robin Vandersluys in Mary Street, Kew. As a child, she sang in backyard concerts run with her brother, Leslie. The family moved to Deepdene in 1949 and Robin joined church and school choirs. Later she was to study classical singing with Stella Power, modern singing with Jack White, TV Presentation with Natalie Raine of Crawford Productions and acting/singing with Jessie Matthews. Following her victory in a talent quest at the Orama Ballroom, she was invited to join the Orama Big Band with singers Harry Cox and Arlene Forrest. She also sang with the Kerm Jones Jazz Band at Power House and with Frank Johnson's Jazz Band at Jazz Junction. Robin became resident band vocalist at the historic Federal Hotel in Collins Street with the Rudi Laquer Trio. She also sang at The Savoy Plaza with the George Cadman Trio. A year later she became resident vocalist at the Ress Oriental Hotel with the Lennie Holmes Trio. Later, Robin married pianist Peter Jones, singing under the name 'Robin Vanser' in clubs in Sydney and regional New South Wales. She was booked for a Vietnam War tour and also sang in Tahiti. Returning to Melbourne, her agent booked her to appear in shows in Tasmania including West Point Casino and Melbourne country venues. Another agent, John Bishop, booked her to do floor shows in Melbourne, including Xmas Seasons at the Hampton Hotel where she entertained audiences with her comedy and audience participation routines. In 1971, Robin Kelly retired to run her Robin Hood Antiques business in Canterbury, during which time she was married to tenor Glenn Kelly. Later she joined Sing Australia Camberwell Choir, performing as a soloist at their Melbourne Town Hall Concert.

Significance

The Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of photographs, costumes and musical performance memorabilia was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Robin Denise Kelly in 2018. The collection is an important record of stage and recorded performances in Australia in the second half of the 20th century. This new nationally-focused and artistically significant collection augments and contextualises the local performing arts materials in our collection.

Reference File - Kew Association

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Information file on ‘The Kew Association’ formed in 1974 as a separate group to the Kew Historical Society. Its constitution, which is filed, is general in nature. One part of the Association’s interests was the formation of a Historical Working Group to ‘examine historic buildings and other aspects of Kew’s history’. A founding member of the Society, Joy Stewart, was its convenor. By June 1974 it had 133 members. It differed from the Society in that it specifically aimed to improve Council services. One of its achievements was to begin a ‘historical home survey’ by street. The survey documents in the file list street name, number of house, side of street, size of house and general observations. Other information in the archive file includes correspondence, agendas, minutes etc. of the Association. As these only cover the years 1974-5, this may have been the period in which the group operated.

Historical information

Since its foundation in 1958, members of the Kew Historical Society have been compiling and storing information about subjects relating to the history of Kew and its environs, of which this file is an example. Typically files will contain primary and secondary sources.

Photograph - Robin Vanser, Jack O'Leary & Others, 1960s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of Robin Vanser with Jack O'Leary and other performers

Historical information

Robin Kelly was born Robin Vandersluys in Mary Street, Kew. As a child, she sang in backyard concerts run with her brother, Leslie. The family moved to Deepdene in 1949 and Robin joined church and school choirs. Later she was to study classical singing with Stella Power, modern singing with Jack White, TV Presentation with Natalie Raine of Crawford Productions and acting/singing with Jessie Matthews. Following her victory in a talent quest at the Orama Ballroom, she was invited to join the Orama Big Band with singers Harry Cox and Arlene Forrest. She also sang with the Kerm Jones Jazz Band at Power House and with Frank Johnson's Jazz Band at Jazz Junction. Robin became resident band vocalist at the historic Federal Hotel in Collins Street with the Rudi Laquer Trio. She also sang at The Savoy Plaza with the George Cadman Trio. A year later she became resident vocalist at the Ress Oriental Hotel with the Lennie Holmes Trio. Later, Robin married pianist Peter Jones, singing under the name 'Robin Vanser' in clubs in Sydney and regional New South Wales. She was booked for a Vietnam War tour and also sang in Tahiti. Returning to Melbourne, her agent booked her to appear in shows in Tasmania including West Point Casino and Melbourne country venues. Another agent, John Bishop, booked her to do floor shows in Melbourne, including Xmas Seasons at the Hampton Hotel where she entertained audiences with her comedy and audience participation routines. In 1971, Robin Kelly retired to run her Robin Hood Antiques business in Canterbury, during which time she was married to tenor Glenn Kelly. Later she joined Sing Australia Camberwell Choir, performing as a soloist at their Melbourne Town Hall Concert.

Significance

The Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of photographs, costumes and musical performance memorabilia was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Robin Denise Kelly in 2018. The collection is an important record of stage and recorded performances in Australia in the second half of the 20th century. This new nationally-focused and artistically significant collection augments and contextualises the local performing arts materials in our collection.

Document - Testimonial to the first Chairman of the Melbourne Tramways Trust, 5 February 1886

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

An illustrated testimonial presented to the first Chairman of the Melbourne Tramways Trust in 1886. The testimonial reads: ‘At the meeting of the Melbourne Tramways Trust held on the Fifth Day of February 1886, the following resolution was unanimously carried. That the thanks of the Melbourne Tramways Trust are due and are hereby accorded to Alderman Thomas O’Grady Hon. JP, the first Chairman of the Trust for the ability, courtesy and impartiality with which he has discharged his duties during the past two years, and the Trust heartily congratulates him on the successful opening during his term of office of the Richmond Tramway (the first Cable line constructed in Australia) and tenders him its earnest wishes for his future prosperity and welfare.’ The Testimonial is encased in an ebonized frame of the period. It includes the coat-of-arms of 12 cities, corporations, boroughs and towns, including that of Kew. At the head of the testimonial the engines used to drive the cable systems are illustrated. At the foot of the testimonial there is a picture of two cable trams.

Historical information

The recipient of the testimonial, Thomas O’Grady (1824-90) had migrated to Melbourne in 1854, practising the trades of building and contracting. The Australian Dictionary of Biography records that he became a Councillor of the City of Melbourne in 1868. It lists one of his major achievements as the construction ‘with Leggett & Noonan [of] the fifty-six-mile (90 km) railway from Essendon to Seymour’. He was chairman of the Tramways Trust from its formation in 1884. His obituary in the Melbourne Herald (29 Apr 1890) reported: "DEATH OF ALDERMAN THOMAS O'GRADY. Today we have the sad duty of recording the death of two old colonists, who for many years, havo occupied very, prominent positions in building, commercial and municipal circles. The first of these is Alderman Thomas O'Grady, who died last night at his residence in Carlton. Mr O'Grady has been ill for some time, and at one period his death was expected any moment. Then he rallied, and strong hopes of his recovery were entertained; but he had a relapse, and expired as stated. The deceased gentleman was one of the oldest members of the City Council, in which he has held the various positions of Councillor, Alderman and Mayor. At the time of his death he sat as alderman for Victoria Ward. Mr O'Grady also at one time represented the City Council on the Harbor Trust, and was chairman of that body. He has been the council's representative on the Tramway Trust and was chairman of that body for some considerable time." As late as 1951, the Advocate (11 Oct 1951) stated that: "To Alderman Thomas O'Grady, Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 1872-3, is due the credit of the successful inauguration of Hospital Sunday. Alderman O'Grady was the first Catholic Lord Mayor of the city. He was elected a councillor for Smith Ward in 1868, and an alderman in 1869. In private life he was an extensive contractor, being a member of the firm of O'Grady, Leggett and Noonan, the contractors for the first section of the Northeastern Railways (between Melbourne and Seymour)."

Significance

This is a unique civic document, illustrating the life and contribution of Thomas O’Grady (1824-90), Melbourne City Councillor and first Chairman of the Melbourne Tramways Trust. It is historically significant in its recording of the development of Melbourne's public transport system. The design of the certificate and particularly the ebonised frame are artistically and aesthetically significant.

Reference Files - Victoria Park : Concept Management Plan, Research Papers, 2004

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Red cardboard wallet containing historical research by Graeme Butler, heritage architect, into the history of Victoria Park, Kew. The file also includes a draft Victoria Park Concept Master Plan, 2004. The research includes memoranda, maps, photocopies of plans, forms, notes, aerial photos, and sundry references.

Historical information

The Kew Urban Conservation Study was commissioned by the City of Kew, and submitted by Pru Sanderson Design Pty Ltd in 1988. The Study was in a number of volumes and made recommendations about the 'significance' of built structures and places in Kew. Chapter 6 of Sanderson's report was a Survey and Assessment of Landscapes. Included was a brief survey of Victoria Park in Kew, which is bordered by High Street and Adeney Avenue. Following this initial survey and evaluation of landscapes by the City of Kew (1860-1993), the City of Boroondara (1994- ) commissioned a number of master plans to guide future planning and development. The 2004 Victoria Park Master Plan to which Graeme Butler's heritage research was a contributing factor was to be followed by further master plans of the Park.

Significance

While final heritage reports or master plans are frequently made available by the authorities, institutions or organisations that commission them, these reports, developed by heritage consultants, include information based on extensive research that may or may not be footnoted in the research. The Butler papers provide an important, and increasingly significant body of heritage research relating to Kew.

Artwork - 5. Kew Railway Station (1887-1958), Framed Embroidery, 1988

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

5. Kew Railway Station (1887-1958). A framed embroidery created by adults and children of the City of Kew as a Bicentennial project, based on a design by the artist Joy Stewart. Other completed embroideries created in the project are/were displayed in the Kew Library.

Historical information

The eight panels of which six were completed depict the history of Kew. This was a 1988 Australian Bi-Centennial Project carried out under the auspices of City of Kew Council and the Kew Historical Society Incorporated. Nearly 600 citizens including many children participated in the production by adding a few or more stitches. A book records their names and the panels upon which they worked. Artist: Joy Stewart Co-ordinator: Dorothy Benyei

Significance

Joy Stewart was born in Melbourne 1925. She studied at Swinburne Technical College Art School from 1941-1945, then the National Gallery Art School 1946-1948. Her career included employment positions as a display artist, designer/painter, gallery assistant, and art teacher. Joy relocated to Cairns in 1981. Solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Cairns, including 'Done By Me' at Cairns Regional Gallery in 1999. Group exhibitions at Cairns Regional Gallery, 'The Fish John West Regrets, 1993' and 'Facets of Life' 1994.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription: "KEW RAILWAY STATION (1887-1958). Established to transport passengers and produce too and from the city ... Kew developed as a residential suburb which included cottages and large homes such as Villa Alba". Embroidered signature of the artist "(c) JStewart, 1988"

Dress - Blue Silk Jacket & Skirt, circa 1868-72

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Blue silk, floor length day dress comprised of a tightly fitted, long, waisted jacket joined by hooks and eyes at centre front. The bodice features large ornamental buttons from neck to waist, covered in a figured silk fabric of the same colour as the dress. The gown has extensive pin tucking on the sleeves, on the flounce of the skirt, and on the long train. The line of the outfit is emphasised by the flattened front, which is typical of the period. Its cut and lack of adornment emphasises the tailored effect.

Historical information

Joseph Butterworth COOMBS (1842-1901), was an accountant who founded a successful mercantile trading company. At the time of his marriage to Caroline Mary MICHEL in 1869, Coombs had already purchased ten acres of Studley Park. The acreage included land on the west of Fenwick Street that extended along lower Stawell Street to the corner of Yarra Street, all of it connected directly to the Yarra environs. A right of way to Studley Park Road was on the title, though Coombs went on to purchase more land, some of which faced Studley Park Road. In addition to owning the Studley Park acreage, Coombs later acquired 1,201 acres of land abutting the Acheron River. While retaining the Kew property he became a Taggerty Councillor and was Shire President for a time. J.B. Coombs died at Acheron Station in 1901 (aged 59 years). A few months after, tenders were called to repair the Kew dwelling, the Fenwick Street property now appearing in records with the name ‘Hope Mansell’. Caroline Coombs remained at Hope Mansell until she died in 1924, survived by three sons and five daughters. Not long after her death, advertisements appeared for the sale of the Studley Park land. The sale seems to have been a mechanism for distribution of the Estate, as the following year the original ten acre holding was transferred to members of the family. The eldest daughter Mabel married William Younger who, with his brother Alexander, developed Younger and Mackie Courts, both south of Studley Park Road. [Research: Kerry Fairbank]

Significance

In 1961, the granddaughter of Joseph and Caroline Coombs, Mabel Isola (Younger) Grattan, donated ten 19th century dresses and parasols to the Kew Historical Society. The costumes, now known as the 'Coombs Collection', are the earliest recorded items of clothing to enter the Society's collection. Each of the items in the Coombs Collection, of which this item forms a part, is historically, aesthetically and socially significant. As a collection, the costumes includes outstanding examples of morning wear, day dresses, wedding dresses, and clothing accessories, providing evidence of outstanding dressmaker skills in Victoria during the mid to late Victorian period.

Book - Breeches & bustles: an illustrated history of clothes worn in Australia, 1788-1914

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

190 p. : ill. ; 26 x 30 cm.

Historical information

Kew Historical Society, founded in 1958, has an extensive reference library, of which this book is a part. Volumes in the library are used by members for research into aspects of local history and/or to support the Society's collections of pictures, maps, fashion and artefacts. Reference books have entered the collection through donation, presentation, collection and purchase.

Dress - Blue Silk Day Dress, 1860s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

One-piece, floor length blue silk day dress with a bell skirt that is slightly longer at the back. The dress is joined, centre-front with hooks and eyes. It is probable that the 19th century cream-coloured lace on the bodice and cuffs is a later addition. The lace extends in a long loop at the font of the skirt. The bodice has a high round neck, later modified to a V-shape. The dress must at one stage have been reconfigured or strengthened at the join of the bodice and skirt, as there is evidence of the use of new machine stitching. The dress is fully lined with a stiffened cotton lining fabric. Apart from minor staining, the dress is in excellent condition. The dress is the earliest complete costume in the collection. Measurements - 145.0 cm (centre back) 25.0 cm (waist, flat)

Historical information

Joseph Butterworth COOMBS (1842-1901), was an accountant who founded a successful mercantile trading company. At the time of his marriage to Caroline Mary MICHEL in 1869, Coombs had already purchased ten acres of Studley Park. The acreage included land on the west of Fenwick Street that extended along lower Stawell Street to the corner of Yarra Street, all of it connected directly to the Yarra environs. A right of way to Studley Park Road was on the title, though Coombs went on to purchase more land, some of which faced Studley Park Road. In addition to owning the Studley Park acreage, Coombs later acquired 1,201 acres of land abutting the Acheron River. While retaining the Kew property he became a Taggerty Councillor and was Shire President for a time. J.B. Coombs died at Acheron Station in 1901 (aged 59 years). A few months after, tenders were called to repair the Kew dwelling, the Fenwick Street property now appearing in records with the name ‘Hope Mansell’. Caroline Coombs remained at Hope Mansell until she died in 1924, survived by three sons and five daughters. Not long after her death, advertisements appeared for the sale of the Studley Park land. The sale seems to have been a mechanism for distribution of the Estate, as the following year the original ten acre holding was transferred to members of the family. The eldest daughter Mabel married William Younger who, with his brother Alexander, developed Younger and Mackie Courts, both south of Studley Park Road. [Research: Kerry Fairbank]

Significance

In 1961, the granddaughter of Joseph and Caroline Coombs, Mabel Isola (Younger) Grattan, donated ten 19th century dresses and parasols to the Kew Historical Society. The costumes, now known as the 'Coombs Collection', are the earliest recorded items of clothing to enter the Society's collection. Each of the items in the Coombs Collection, of which this item forms a part, is historically, aesthetically and socially significant. As a collection, the costumes includes outstanding examples of morning wear, day dresses, wedding dresses, and clothing accessories, providing evidence of outstanding dressmaker skills in Victoria during the mid to late Victorian period.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Dress - Pink Thai Silk Coat Dress / by Dominex

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Three quarter length hot pink Thai silk coat dress. The pattern of the fabric includes and abstract floral design encased in borders of flowers

Historical information

The Fashion & Design collection of Kew Historical Society includes examples of women’s, men’s, children’s and infants' clothing from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. While the collection includes some examples of international fashion, most items were handmade or purchased in Melbourne. Significant and extensive donations to this collection were made by Mabel Isola Grattan (Coombs Collection), Netta Fuller, Jillian Rigby (Weir Collection) and Dione McIntyre (McIntyre Collection). This coat dress is one of a number of items donated to the Fashion Collection by Dione McIntyre.

Significance

The McIntyre Collection forms one of the largest single donations to the Kew Historical Society's Fashion & Design collection. Items include clothing and clothing accessories worn by four women in the Cohen and McIntyre families. Most were owned and worn by the Melbourne architect, and Kew resident, Dione McIntyre. These date from the 1960s and 1970s, and include evening wear, day wear, hats and shoes. The collection also includes items worn by woman in the family of an earlier generation: by Lilian Cohen, Dione McIntyre's mother, and by her mother-in-law, the wife of the architect Robert McIntyre. At the other end of the chronological spectrum a number of outfits belonged to her daughter, Annie McIntyre. These include outfits created by notable late 20th century Australian and international fashion designers, including Fiona Scanlan, Martin Grant and Vivienne Westwood. The collection includes examples of design that demonstrate changing tastes in fashion over an 80-year period.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Dominex

Sound Recording - Egyptian Follies, Cairo Club Orchestra, Melbourne Jazz Club, 1999

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Audio recording of performances Egyptian Follies at the Melbourne Jazz Club, including the singer Robin Kellyl.

Historical information

Robin Kelly was born Robin Vandersluys in Mary Street, Kew. As a child, she sang in backyard concerts run with her brother, Leslie. The family moved to Deepdene in 1949 and Robin joined church and school choirs. Later she was to study classical singing with Stella Power, modern singing with Jack White, TV Presentation with Natalie Raine of Crawford Productions and acting/singing with Jessie Matthews. Following her victory in a talent quest at the Orama Ballroom, she was invited to join the Orama Big Band with singers Harry Cox and Arlene Forrest. She also sang with the Kerm Jones Jazz Band at Power House and with Frank Johnson's Jazz Band at Jazz Junction. Robin became resident band vocalist at the historic Federal Hotel in Collins Street with the Rudi Laquer Trio. She also sang at The Savoy Plaza with the George Cadman Trio. A year later she became resident vocalist at the Ress Oriental Hotel with the Lennie Holmes Trio. Later, Robin married pianist Peter Jones, singing under the name 'Robin Vanser' in clubs in Sydney and regional New South Wales. She was booked for a Vietnam War tour and also sang in Tahiti. Returning to Melbourne, her agent booked her to appear in shows in Tasmania including West Point Casino and Melbourne country venues. Another agent, John Bishop, booked her to do floor shows in Melbourne, including Xmas Seasons at the Hampton Hotel where she entertained audiences with her comedy and audience participation routines. In 1971, Robin Kelly retired to run her Robin Hood Antiques business in Canterbury, during which time she was married to tenor Glenn Kelly. Later she joined Sing Australia Camberwell Choir, performing as a soloist at their Melbourne Town Hall Concert.

Significance

The Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of photographs, costumes and musical performance memorabilia was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Robin Denise Kelly in 2018. The collection is an important record of stage and recorded performances in Australia in the second half of the 20th century. This new nationally-focused and artistically significant collection augments and contextualises the local performing arts materials in our collection.

Theatre Supplies - Boxed Greasepaint Sticks : Rockingham Red Cross Centre, Kew

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A box of greasepaint from the Rockingham Red Cross Centre, Kew. Square wooden box, containing sticks of greasepaint used for theatrical makeup. The used sticks of greasepaint are wrapped in foiled paper, printed with information about the colour and the maker/retailer: L. Leichner (London) Ltd. Leichner House, 30/32 Acre Lane, / London, S.W.2.

Historical information

The Rockingham Red Cross Centre in Kew provided convalescence and rehabilitation for war veterans suffering nervous conditions resulting from the Second World War. The building had been given to the Australian Red Cross by the owner of the house, Mrs Syme in 1940. In the early days of the centre, patients performed plays for fellow patients and staff members. This small box of theatrical makeup, or greasepaint, would have been used at the Centre on one or more of these occasions. The donor, Rosemary Lade, worked at the Centre as an occupational therapist, 1971-2 and 1974-7. During these years, play readings were held, but performances were not staged. The Rockingham Red Cross Centre closed in 1977, and following its closure, the donor retrieved the box of greasepaints from the Occupational Therapy Department.

Reference File - CAMERON, Donald

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Archive file containing a newspaper article/clipping on an exhibition by the Kew artist Donald Cameron. Cameron’s address is given as Grandview Terrace, Kew. The file also contains postcards promoting the exhibition.

Historical information

Since its foundation in 1958, members of the Kew Historical Society have been compiling and storing information about subjects relating to the history of Kew and its environs, of which this file is an example. Typically files will contain primary and secondary sources.

Book - Pluckings from medical and other works and handy book of reference for the preservation of health and management of children, 1890-99

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A booklet produced for families advising about simple remedies and useful hints referring to the Sick Room, also Horses, Dogs, Birds etc. Included in the book is the Melbourne Economic Cookery Book. Amongst cures is advice on the treatment of Diphtheria which is to drink olive oil freely.

Historical information

Kew Historical Society, founded in 1958, has an extensive reference library, of which this book is a part. Volumes in the library are used by members for research into aspects of local history and/or to support the Society's collections of pictures, maps, fashion and artefacts. Reference books have entered the collection through donation, presentation, collection and purchase.

Photograph Album - Kew Heights Sports Club / Photographs 2010-2011

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photographic album of events and personnel of the Kew Heights Sports Club in the seasons 2010-11.

Historical information

Sports Clubs in Kew in the final decades of the 19th century and in the early 20th century were often umbrella organisations with facilities for a number of sports. Typically in Kew, this included teams in lawn bowls, tennis and croquet. The Kew Bowling Club was formed in 1880 while the privately owned Auburn Heights Recreation Club was opened in 1904. By 1998, the two Clubs decided to amalgamate at the Auburn Heights site in Barkers Road, forming the Kew Heights Sports Club. The combined club was itself taken over by the Melbourne Cricket Club in 2012 becoming MCC Kew Sports Club. In 2017 MCC Kew closed and its landholding was subsequently sold to Carey Baptist Grammar School. Both the Kew and Auburn Heights Clubs assembled important collections. These historically significant and large collections were donated to the Society in 2020. The collections include manuscripts, pictures, trophies, plans, honour boards etc.

Significance

The combined collections of the four sporting clubs making up the collection number hundreds of items that are historically significant locally. They are also significant to the sporting history of the greater Melbourne area and to the sports of lawn bowls and tennis in Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection illuminates two of the Victorian historic themes - 'Building community life' through forming community organisations and 'Shaping cultural and creative life' by participating in sport and recreation.

Inscriptions & Markings

PHOTOGRAPHS 2010 - 2011

Programme - Kisses For A Quid & Hansel and Gretel / performed by "Q" Theatre Guild, 1961

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Souvenir programme issued by the "Q" Theatre Guild for a performances of Kisses For A Quid, a one act opera opera, performed in a double bill with Humerdink's Hansel and Gretel, at the Kew City Theatre in 1961

Fundraising Button - Hospital Day for Charity

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

This patriotic fundraising button was produced in 1916 and released on 20 October on behalf of hospitals. The organisers intended to release a quarter of a million buttons at a cost of 1/ each. The badge has a red outer rim with the name of the appeal in white. The image at the centre of the button includes a nurse bending over a patient in a sick bed.

Historical information

Most of the civic and sporting ephemera assembled by Francis Rigg were patriotic buttons. The use of these buttons as a means of raising revenue through patriotic sentiment occurred soon after Australia pledged allegiance to Empire. Buttons reflected ‘public sentiment, courage, patriotism, generosity and several [un- named] virtues’ such as the martyred mother of a ‘fallen’ hero. Attention was paid to attractiveness of design, encoded symbolism and high quality of production. Expressing ‘loyalty’, they were tokens to be kept for perpetuity. Female labour was used to operate the die that compressed the tin backing, photographic print and celluloid cover together. The pin was applied by hand. Women, of all ages, entered into the spirit of voluntary sales. Often they were sold at the entry and exit points of major pedestrian thoroughfares. The women of Kew set up a kiosk in front of the Post Office and the Railway Station to solicit their round, oval and square shaped wares. Pride in salesmanship was affected by publishing the name of the woman and her fiscal achievement in the major newspapers of the day.

Significance

The buttons form part of a collection of ephemera assembled by Francis Horace Rigg (19/10/1882-05/03/1946) of 50 Belford Road, Kew (Vic.). Frances Rigg was a local business identity in Kew, ultimately managing the local branch of the English, Scottish and Australian (ES&A) Bank at 175 High Street, Kew from c. 1920 until the 1940s. After Francis Rigg’s death, the collection of buttons and medallions was inherited by his son, Ken Rigg (14/11/1922-19/01/2014). The collection was subsequently donated to the Kew Historical Society in 2015 by his grandson Adrian Rigg at the time of the Gallipoli & Beyond Commemoration. The collection covers a period of almost 40 years. The majority of the buttons are patriotic buttons, issued and sold during and immediately after the First World World War (1914-1918) to raise funds for national and overseas causes. The collection also includes a number of locally significant sporting event buttons and sporting club medallions, issued in the 1920s and 1930s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Hospital Day for Charity

Reference File - Kew, City of - Amalgamation, 1994

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The City of Kew was amalgamated into the City of Boroondara in 1994. The new city comprised the former Cities of Hawthorn, Kew and Camberwell. This archive file contains primary sources and publications relating to the amalgamation. The earliest item in the file is a newspaper article/clipping from the Eastern Standard (1986) recording a request from Hawthorn Council to Kew Council to consider amalgamating. The file also includes other newspaper articles/cuttings (some undated) reporting on opposition to the amalgamation. An interesting item in the file is a photocopy of a coloured digital photograph of the members of the last Kew Council. [The original still has to be discovered]. The file also contains a commemorative edition of Kewriosity [magazine] (1994), which lists all the chairmen and mayors of Kew (1861-1994) and three copies of the City of Kew Final Commemorative Council Meetingb14 June 1994.

Historical information

Since its foundation in 1958, members of the Kew Historical Society have been compiling and storing information about subjects relating to the history of Kew and its environs, of which this file is an example. Typically files will contain primary and secondary sources.