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Kew Historical Society Inc Kew, Victoria

Founded in 1958, the Kew Historical Society is one of the oldest suburban historical societies in Melbourne. The Society was formed to assist in the preparations for Kew’s 100th Anniversary in 1960. Today, the Society continues to work with local government and other organisations within Kew to stimulate interest in our history and heritage. It publishes, in print and online, information and resources about Kew’s history, as well as organising events relevant to our heritage. The Society cooperates with other historical societies and groups across the City of Boroondara through the Boroondara Historical Societies Association.

Links

Contact Information

location
PO Box 175 Kew Victoria 3101

Contact

Opening Hours

Fridays & Saturdays 11.00am to 1.00pm. Closed in January.

Entry Fee

Free entry

Location

Level 1, Kew Court House 188 High Street Kew Victoria

The Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958, and the collection predates and postdates that year. The collection has sometimes grown gradually, or significantly, the latter through key donations (eg The Rogers Collection), or due to events such as the amalgamation of the former City of Kew into the new City of Boroondara in 1994. Many ‘civic’ items were donated before, during or after the amalgamation. 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', History@Work, 2018

Cameron Auty 26 April 2016 9:48 AM

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

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2715 items

Collection - Photographs, Documents and Artefacts owned by Leonard James Baker

Key words

ww1 (1914-1918)
second world war (1939-1945)
first world war (1914-1918)
ww2 (1939-1945)
wwii (1939-1945)
wwi (1914-1918)
len baker
city of kew

A collection of items owned by Leonard James Baker who enlisted in the British Army in WWI then migrated to Australia and enlisted in the Australian Army in WWII. The period covered by the collection is 1918-1971. It includes: 1. Photograph of Len Baker in WWI British Army uniform 2. Certificate of Transfer to Reserve 1918 3. Photograph of Len and Edie Baker's wedding in 1932 4. Letter from St Paul's Church of England, East Kew vicarage 1940 5. Letter from City of Kew 1941 6. Wallet from City of Kew given in WWII 7. 2nd Australian Imperial Force Certificate of Discharge, dated 7 May 1941 8. Australian Military Forces Volunteer Defence Corps Certificate of Discharge dated 15/3/42 - 9/10/45 9. British Passport issued 20 April 1971 from British High Commission Canberra The items were donated by the great-niece of Len Baker. Each item can be viewed in the image carousel above.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph

Key words

alma figuerola album
arists - kew (vic)
artists - meldrum school
occupants - 7 barry street - kew (vic)

Undated and unidentified photograph of two young women, who were probably two of the Figuerola sisters. The photograph is the Alma Figuerola photo album.

Historical information

The Melbourne artist Alma Agnes Marion Figuerola, was the daughter of Juan Pedro Narciso Figuerola (1869-1919) and Alice Lucinda Walker Hanson (1889-1969). Each of their three daughters grew up to be involved in the arts: Alma as a painter; Carmen Irene (1906-1993) as a short story writer, poet and teacher of dancing; and Sylvia (also Silvia) Lyla Alice (1911-1992) as a composer and cellist. The first art lessons Alma Figuerola received were with Oscar Binder. Later she attended the art school established by the Melbourne 'tonalist' [Duncan] Max Meldrum (1875-1955). She graduated from his school in 1920, participating in her first group exhibition in the same year. Solo exhibitions of her work were to be held in 1933 at the Meldrum Gallery in Elizabeth Street, in 1937 and 1945 at the Athenaeum Gallery at 188 Collins Street, and in 1951 at Georges Gallery in Collins Street. Throughout her extensive career she participated in group exhibitions, usually with artists of the Meldrum School, and as a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters, of which she was invited to become an associate in 1935. In 1953, her portrait of Professor ES Hills was entered in the Archibald Prize Competition of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A resident of Kew from the 1930s - 51 Studley Park Road, often with her mother, her sister Carmen, or both - from c.1942 until her death she lived at 'D’Estaville', 7 Barry Street. From the late 1930s she is recorded as actively contributing to the arts at a local level. In 1939 and 1940 she participated in art exhibitions at the Hawthorn Municipal Library organised by Jessie Carbines. From 1944 to 1951 she co-organised successive Kew Arts Festivals, initially in the Presbyterian Church Hall in Highbury Grove and later at the Recreation Hall in Wellington Street. A foundation member of the Kew Historical Society in 1958, Alma Figuerola remained an active member of the Society until her death on 8 December 1970. She predeceased her two sisters who both died in the 1990s and who are buried at Andersons' Creek Cemetery in Warrandyte.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Souvenir - Lapel Pin, Melbourne 150, 1985

Key words

melbourne 1834-1984
melbourne - 150th anniversary
souvenirs - lapel pins

A lapel pin in the shape of the coat of arms of the City of Melbourne with Melbourne 150 below

Historical information

Melbourne 150

Inscriptions & Markings

Melbourne 150 (front) Pinstop 869 9390 (reverse)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Subdivision Plan - Field Place, Kew

Key words

subdivision plans - kew
tara avenue,
tara hall

An unnamed subdivision in Studley Park including five lots for sale in Studley Park Road, Highfield Grove and Tara Avenue. Unidentified on the plan, but clearly existing, are the Henty family mansion of Field Place and Tara Hall in Studley Park Road. The first attempted subdivision of Tara Hall was advertised in 1927 in which Lots 5, 6 and 7 in this plan were also advertised. Unusually, Lot 2 in Studley Park Road was created from the northern part of the Henty mansion, rather than Tara Hall. In the subdivision, lots were advertised at varying prices, with the highest price for land being Lot 2 in Studley Park Road. The plan notes that only one villa is to be allowed on each allotment.

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

The Kew Historical Society collection includes almost 100 subdivision plans pertaining to suburbs of the City of Melbourne. Most of these are of Kew, Kew East or Studley Park, although a smaller number are plans of Camberwell, Deepdene, Balwyn and Hawthorn. It is believed that the majority of the plans were gifted to the Society by persons connected with the real estate firm - J. R. Mathers and McMillan, 136 Cotham Road, Kew. The Plans in the collection are rarely in pristine form, being working plans on which the agent would write notes and record lots sold and the prices of these. The subdivision plans are historically significant examples of the growth of urban Melbourne from the beginning of the 20th Century up until the 1980s. A number of the plans are double-sided and often include a photograph on the reverse. A number of the latter are by noted photographers such as J.E. Barnes.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Programme - Martha / by Flotow

Key words

"q" theatre guild, kew light opera company, theatre - australia, theatre - kew, theatre - ephemera, kew recreation hall, kew civic hall, martha, flotow
arthur dear collection

Theatrical programme. "Q" Theatre Guild presents Martha by Flotow. Produced by Beatrice Oakley, Kew City Hall, Cotham Road, Kew Commencing Wed., May 8 [1963] for 4 nights. 16pp. Includes title page, cast list, some profiles, and advertisements.

Historical information

The "Q" Theatre Guild grew out of and amalgamated the Kew Light Opera Company in 1957. Productions were initially held in the Kew Recreation Hall and subsequently in the Kew Civic Hall. The Company would appear to have run until the mid-1960s.

Significance

The Arthur Dear Collection is a comprehensive collection of theatrical ephemera relating to performances by theatrical and musical organisations from within and outside the former City of Kew who performed at venues in Kew during the 1950s and 1960s.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Hat

Key words

hats, women's clothing

Imitation wool woman’s hat made of 'polyacryl' and 'thermoplastisch' in shades of blue and yellow. While the hat is based on the shape of a fedora the design is softened by the varying shades of colour in the weave.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: 70% Polyacryl 30% Thermoplastisch, Made in Italy

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Digital Photographs [Series] - Exhibition ~ Josiah Earl Barnes: The Embarkation Photographer, Kew Court House, 2015

Key words

photographers - kew (vic) - josiah earl barnes
j.e. barnes - the embarkation photographer
australian photography - world war 1 - 1914-1918

Born digital series of photographs of an exhibition focusing on the World War I work of the Kew photographer, Josiah Earl Barnes, also known as 'the embarkation photographer'. All the images in the exhibition were lent by three of his descendants. The exhibition formed the Kew Historical Society's major contribution to the Gallipoli and Beyond Commemorations.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

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

Key words

bicentennial project (kew)
joy stewart

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"

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Object - [Mantel Hanging, Velvet, Silk Thread & Cord, circa 1890]

Key words

mantel pelmet
peel street, kew
nettie cornish
mary plumridge

Velvet mantel hanging embroidered with chenille thread. The scalloped edge of the pelmet is bordered by multicoloured silk cording. This example was owned by Netty Cornish of 15 Peel Street, Kew, and donated by her daughter, Mrs F Plumridge in 1980. The machine embroidered flowers in this example include narcissi and roses.

Historical information

Variably described as mantel hangings, pelmets or valances, these became a common form of Victorian interior decoration in the second half of the 19th century. The hanging uses arrasene embroidery which was introduced for artistic embroidery c.1883. Arrasene embroidery was a variation of chenille embroidery and was mainly used for curtain borders, mantel hangings and screens. When used to embroider flowers on velvet or plush, it was sewn upon the surface without being ‘drawn through’. Madonna lilies, irises, daffodils and narcissi were commonly used in designs of mantel hangings.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

no image

Archive File - Kew Chronicles

Key words

kew historical society - archives
kew - history
kew chronicles
publications - kew (vic)

Archive file containing three copies of a periodical produced and distributed in Kew entitled ‘Kew Chronicles’ (1#2006, 3#2007). The file also erroneously contains a timeline of Kew’s history called ‘Kew Chronicle’.

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.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph - Barry Street (Kew), 1955

Key words

barry street (kew)

Trees in Barry Street, Kew. Barry Street, Kew, looking south to the intersection of Stawell Street.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription [pencil] B1955. Stamped: "Please quote No. Gx2320 when ordering. Laurie Richards JW 1528"

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Subdivision Plan - Willsmere Park Estate

Key words

subdivision plans - east kew
willsmere park estate

In 1910, the Willsmere Park Estate Dairy was lauded in the Box Hill Reporter as ‘an object lesson in dairying’. Ten years later, in 1923, it was to be sold. The first subdivision of the Estate included 77 grand allotments with frontages to Belford and Kilby Roads, Elm and Willow Groves, and Acacia Avenue. Every lot was claimed to be ‘high and dry’, and with panoramic views of Kew and East Kew. The balance of the Estate, and the largest proportion of allotments was to be subdivided and sold from 1940. This second sale included 109 lots fronting Kilby Road and Elm and Willow Groves. Annotations on the plan indicate that the more expensive lots faced Belford Road opposite the Kew Golf Links. Two of these sold for £310. Lots further to the west in Willow Grove were sold for £60 less. Many of the houses to be built on these 109 allotments after the War faced Government restrictions on building materials and the dimensions of each house due to postwar shortages.

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

The Kew Historical Society collection includes almost 100 subdivision plans pertaining to suburbs of the City of Melbourne. Most of these are of Kew, Kew East or Studley Park, although a smaller number are plans of Camberwell, Deepdene, Balwyn and Hawthorn. It is believed that the majority of the plans were gifted to the Society by persons connected with the real estate firm - J. R. Mathers and McMillan, 136 Cotham Road, Kew. The Plans in the collection are rarely in pristine form, being working plans on which the agent would write notes and record lots sold and the prices of these. The subdivision plans are historically significant examples of the growth of urban Melbourne from the beginning of the 20th Century up until the 1980s. A number of the plans are double-sided and often include a photograph on the reverse. A number of the latter are by noted photographers such as J.E. Barnes.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Textile - Japanese embroidered panel

Key words

textiles - japanese
textiles - embroideries
vaughan-smith collection

Multi-coloured silk embroidery on a deep pink silk backing fabric of vines, flowers and leaves, featuring a central embroidered medallion of pheasants amongst wisteria blossoms. The pink silk base fabric has condition problems including damage due to exposure and folding. There may be some evidence of shattered silk.

Historical information

The textile is part of a large and significant collection of items donated by Rosemary Vaughan-Smith, past member and office-bearer of the Kew Historical Society. between 2005-12. The collection includes costumes, scrapbooks, autograph books, artworks and objects.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

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

Key words

glendonald - marshall avenue - kew (vic)
education - deaf children - victoria

Front entrance, Glendonald, Marshall Avenue (Kew).

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.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Manuscript - Numerical Register [Surgical Unit, Kew Mental Hospital], 1969-1983

Key words

kew lunatic asylum
kew mental hospital
willsmere
kew hospital for the insane
dr fred stamp
the fred stamp collection

Leather bound register listing the numbers of male and female resident staff, male and female patients in the Surgical Unit between December 1969 and June 1983. The manuscript forms part of the Dr. Fred Stamp Collection.

Historical information

The new Kew Lunatic Asylum was completed in 1871 and opened in 1872. The year 1972 marked it's centenary. Over the years, members of staff at the asylum collected records, photographs, publications and plans of the asylum, later hospital. The Society has a number of important collections relating to the asylum and the Children's Cottages. These include the Dr Cliff Judge, the Irena Higgins and the Dr Fred Stamp Collections. This Numerical Register was one of a number of items donated by the family of the late Dr. Fred Stamp who was the last medical superintendent of the Hospital. Dr Frederick Stamp graduated from Bristol Medical School (UK) in 1968. He and his family emigrated to Australia in 1977 to Goulburn (NSW), moving to Melbourne in 1980. He became Superintendent at Willsmere in 1981 until its closure in 1988.

Significance

Following their closure, the medical records of the Kew Mental Hospital and the Children's Cottages Kew were relocated to the archives of Victorian Government departments and ultimately to the Public Records Office of Victoria. Other collections, such as the Fred Stamp Collection, were assembled by staff who worked at the hospital. The years leading up to the closure of Kew must have been fraught, and many of the items in the hospital were probably destined for hard waste disposal. Dr. Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent, kept aside or rescued a number of these items, of which this is one. Following his death, his family donated these to the Kew Historical Society. The Society recognises these items to be of lasting historical significance, essentially due to their provenance and to their rarity. Together they (and the Judge and Higgins Collections) are an invaluable aid for researchers of the institutions' histories.

Inscriptions & Markings

Embossed on spine "Numerical Register / Kew"

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

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

Key words

pluckings
cookery book

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.

Significance

This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers, that was donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son John Rogers in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian in the 1960s and 1970s. Together it forms the largest privately-donated collection within the archives of the Kew Historical Society.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Handbag - Silver Chain Mesh, 19th century

Key words

fashion and textiles collection
purses
bags - handbags
fashion accessories
clothing accessories

Hand-linked silver rings, with silver frame and clasp.

Historical information

Silver metalwork chain purses were made in tiny coils and formed into patterns in the early nineteenth century. This example is made of fine silver mesh.

Significance

This item formed part of a large collection of items collected by Dorothy Rogers, a notable local historian and founding member of the Kew Historical Society.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph - High Street (Kew), circa 1900

Key words

high street - kew (vic)
bulleen road - kew (vic)

Small inscribed (later) copy of High Street from Kew Junction

Inscriptions & Markings

"High Street Looking Up From Kew Junction"

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph - Robin Vanser, Wentworth Hotel, Sydney, 1965

Key words

performing arts - australia - 1960s
robin vanser
musical performances - wentworth hotel - sydney - 1960s

Black and white photograph of Robin Vanser in performance in a routine involving audience members.

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.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Book - Weldon's Practical Needlework / Weldon & Co., London, circa 1891

Key words

edith mary weir (nee betteridge), 84 princess street - kew, needlework, patterns

Bound copy of Weldon's Practical Needlework, retailed by W.C. Wright and Co., Booksellers & c., Broken Hill, New South Wales. The book includes advice for women on Knitting, Crochet, Drawn Thread Work, Netting, Knitted Edgings or Shawls, Mountmellick Embroidery with full working descriptions.

Historical information

An item forming part of a collection of costumes, photographs and documents relating to the Weir family who lived in the mansion originally named Illapa, 84 Princess Street, Kew, from c.1917 to 1950. This historically significant collection includes items relating to both George Weir (1866-1937) and his wife Edith Mary Weir (1867-1948). George Weir attained national prominence in the mining industry, becoming General Manager of the North Broken Hill Silver Mining Company in 1903 (later renamed North Broken Hill Mining Company 1905-12, and North Broken Hill Ltd 1912-1988), and subsequently President of the Mine Owners Association. He was to remain General Manager of North Broken Hill Ltd until his retirement in 1926.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed top right of title page: "E.M. Betteridge, Broken Hill, July 2nd 1891 / E. Weir".

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Hat - Conical Blue Felt & Feather

Conical woman’s hat made of deep blue felt. The hat is decorated with a single feather.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Plan - Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works : Borough of Kew : Detail Plan No.1591

Key words

melbourne and metropolitan board of works, detail plans
survey plans - borough of kew
mmbw 1591

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). That area of Kew bordered by Cotham Road, Park Hill Road, Ermington Lane (now Ermington Place), and Belmont Avenue contained some of the significant homes owned by Kew pioneers. Chief among these was ‘Park Hill’ on an enormous lot facing Park Hill Road. The Jubilee History of 1910 noted, six years after this plan was drawn, that: ‘Park Hill Road, forming the southern boundary of the cemetery, takes its name from Park Hill, the residence of Mr. Thomas Judd, who has resided there since December, 1852.’ Other named houses on the plan include ‘Ferndale’ facing Cotham Road; ‘Ermington’ adjacent to Judd’s Park Hill, facing Park Hill Road; and ‘Gilden’ and ‘Mont Belmont’ facing Belmont Avenue. Mont Belmont was designed by the architectural firm of Reed, Henderson and Smart for William George Lilley in 1887 and was completed in 1888. Lilley was Mayor of Kew in 1887-88, a Justice of the Peace and a member of the first Board of Guardians of Kew’s St. Hilary’s Church of England.

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.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph - Giant fern trees: Splitters' Track, Black Spur / by Nicholas Caire, circa 1876

Albumen silver photograph mounted on board

Historical information

Nicholas Caire was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1837. He arrived in Adelaide with his parents in about 1860. In 1867, following photographic journeys in Gippsland, he opened a studio in Adelaide. From 1870 to 1876 he lived and worked in Talbot in Central Victoria. In 1876 he purchased T. F. Chuck's studios in the Royal Arcade Melbourne. In 1885, following the introduction of dry plate photography, he began a series of landscape series, which were commercially successful. As a photographer, he travelled extensively through Victoria, photographing places few of his contemporaries had previously seen. He died in 1918. Reference: Jack Cato, 'Caire, Nicholas John (1837–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Significance

An original, rare photograph from the series 'Views of Victoria: General Series' by the photographer, Nicholas Caire (1837-1918). The series of 60 photographs that comprise the series was issued c. 1876 and reinforced a neo-Romantic view of the Australian landscape to which a growing nationalist movement would respond. Nicholas Caire was active as a photographer in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1918. His vision of the Australian bush and pioneer life had a counterpart in the works of Henry Lawson and other nationalist poets, authors and painters.

Inscriptions & Markings

printed in ink on support l.c.: GIANT FERN TREES: SPLITTERS' TRACK, BLACK SPUR. / COPYRIGHT REGISTERED. printed in ink (vertically) on support reverse u.c.l.: J.W. FORBES, Agent, printed in ink (vertically) on support reverse c.l.: ANGLO-AUSTRALASIAN PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY, MELBOURNE. printed in ink (vertically) on support reverse c.: VIEWS OF VICTORIA. / (GENERAL SERIES.) / No. 8. / GIANT FERN TREES: SPLITTERS' TRACK, BLACK SPUR. / The scene which this illustration represents is situated on Morley's Creek, at the foot of the Black Spur, and is / about a mile and a half from the Township of Fernshawe. The Fern Trees in this locality are of gigantic growth, / measuring 50 feet in height, the fronds of which are from 12 to 15 feet long. This excessive growth is attributable / to the great number of springs flowing into the creek, thereby causing the surrounding soil to be in a continual / state of moisture. printed in ink (vertically) on support reverse l.c.l.: 10 Temple Court, Collins Street West.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph - Robin Vanser, with Fellow Artists, circa 1965

Key words

performing arts - australia - 1960s
robin vanser
jay justin

Black and white photograph of Robin Vanser with fellow artists, including Jay Justin, 1960s

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.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Sound Recording - Songs I Love To Sing / by Robin Kelly

Key words

robin kelly
performing arts - victoria - australia

Audio recording of performances of classics by Robin Kelly including tracks recorded at the Melbourne Town Hall.

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.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Fashion Plate - The Newest French Fashions, Young Englishwoman, 1864

Key words

fashion illustration
young englishwoman

Framed fashion plate - 'The Newest French Fashions': modelled for the Young Englishwoman.

Historical information

The first issue of The Young Englishwoman was published in December of 1864 and was directed toward a young, female, middle-class audience and treated mostly household matters such as needlework, recipes, house-hold management tips and fashion. The Young Englishwoman started out as a weekly magazine but, as editors and publishers changed over time, it became a monthly periodical.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Tool - Marking Gauge, Wood & Metal, Stanley

Key words

marking guage
marking gauge

Marking gauge. Manufactured by Stanley. A marking gauge, also known as a scratch gauge, is used in woodworking and metalworking to mark out lines for cutting or other operations. The purpose of the gauge is to scribe a line parallel to a reference edge or surface. The gauge consists of a beam, a headstock, and a scribing or marking implement, typically a pin, knife, pen or wheel. The headstock slides along the beam, and is locked in place by various means: a locking screw, cam lever, or a wedge.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Laundry Equipment - Wash Board, Corrugated Glass & Wood

Key words

laundry equipment
wash board

A domestic glass and wood wash board designed for use with a wash tub.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

no image

Archive File - Elm Lodge, Wellington Street (Kew)

Key words

kew (vic) - history
elm lodge - wellington street (kew)
madford - wellington street (kew)
st paul's home for babies - wellington street (kew)
william siddeley (1827-1905)

William Siddeley was the original owner of Elm Lodge, later renamed Madford in Wellington Street, Kew. The file has a single page of biographical information written by Roslyn M Elliot nee Siddeley. (Madford later became the St Paul’s Home for Babies.

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.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Women's Clothing - Red Lace Evening Dress, & Matching Red Velvet Jacket, 1930s

Key words

evening dresses
australian fashion - 1930s
women's clothing
fashion and textiles collection - kew historical society
evening wear
evening ensembles

Long burgundy machine-made lace evening dress with a separate red underslip. The dress is currently paired with a red velvet jacket and belt which it is believed was part of the original donation by Teresa Mayer.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew