Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We are turning 40

Stratford and District Historical Society

will celebrate its 40th Birthday on
Sunday, 19 October 2008

We would be delighted if you could join us at afternoon tea from 2pm to 4pm

Our new displays of tools in the shed, and textiles, will be unveiled.

Wemyss Struss Marion Stothers
President Secretary

RSVP Please, by 13 Oct for catering,
to 5145 6485
or kapana[at]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Grocer's Records

We were recently delighted to receive a gift of boxes from the Public Record Office - and have immediately put them to use. George and Judy have sorted our large quantity of grocer's records, from the Kelly Grocery in Stratford, into years. They are now boxed for ease of handling.

The records are one of the great sources that we know we have, that we previously couldn't even start to access. But now, as they are in small boxes, and sorted by year, we can start to use them.

They go from about (very roughly) 1884 to 1909, and often include details of exact purchases by families.

For example, this is part of the 1890 page for Michael Moriarty, publican of the Swan and Two Throttles hotel in Stratford.


You can see a larger copy HERE.

We were delighted to find this one, as we have been looking for more on this family, and were not totally sure when they arrived in Stratford.

We hope to have all names from the 1890 register transcribed in the near future - other records may take more time.

There also appear to be records from grocers by the name of M. McIlroy (in 1908), late C. Tueski. They appear to have followed Kelly.

In the meantime, they can be accessed by appointment only, on Tuesdays. Thanks to the PRO for making them more accessible.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Insite features Gippsland

The latest copy of Insite, the magazine of Museums Australia (Victoria), of which we are a member, has an article on Alice Mitchell's sewing machine.


A large portion is dedicated to things Gippsland - Gippsland Heritage Journal, the galleries at Sale and Morwell, the Gippsland Maritime Museum at Port Albert, the Keeping Place at Bairnsdale, and a report on the Significance Forum at Briagolong.

The cover (above) is the hotel at Fish Creek.

So here, just to celebrate, are Wemyss (seated), Pat and Jan with Alice's sewing machine.

Strat Image2a

And the machine itself. A little battered and very well-used. That is what makes it so important.


Friday, August 01, 2008

The things we find

The cataloguing team recently turned its attention to this framed watercolour in the collection.


It is the work of the Rev. Arthur A. Lyons, who was Methodist minister at the Stratford church immediately after WWII.

We do not know enough about the artist - there is an Arthur Ashley Lyons who dies in 1952 in Geelong aged 79, and another Arthur Ashley Lyons who dies at Mitcham in 1967 aged 71. This would make the first man in his late sixties at the time of the painting, and the second man about fifty. So as the artist was apparently known as "Pop" Lyons, we tend to favour the older man. But we are not sure.

The glass was broken on this years ago, and the obviously acidic matt around the picture (plus the highly acidic backing cardboard) were judged to be a threat to the picture.

So we decided to remove the picture, keeping the watercolour and frame, and store them more appropriately until we were able to have it reframed.

So, imagine our surprise when we took off the backing to find this:


Thankfully, the red tape just fell off, leaving little residue. This one is possibly unfinished, but still a beautiful piece of work. When the opportunity arises, we will have them both appropriately framed.

In the meantime, the full-sized photographs are HERE and HERE.