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Friday, 23 September 2016

Men, children and a dog, at work and at play

My third post on the Sepia Saturday theme for September of Work and Play.

The staff at Robinson's timber mill, Rai Valley, 1904, on the site of the Rai Tavern. Photo supplied by Ross Higgins
Standing, left to right: Paul Clifford, Harry Mortimer, Jim MacLaine ( recently returned from Boer War), Vera Hewetson, Les Hewetson, A.J. Hewetson, Bill Turner, Mabel Hewetson, Dave Wilson, Daniel Morrison, Archie Hubberd ( Stock Inspector. Nelson).
Seated, left to right: Ben Wilson, Billy Morrison, Bill Andrews, Alec Alquest, Alec Maule.

Manager Arthur Hewetson is accompanied by his three children in this photograph, but there are another couple of family members present here, namely my great grandfather Daniel Morrison and his eldest son, Daniel William, known as Billy or Will. Billy's son Denny kindly shared a copy of the photograph with me. My grandfather John aka Jack Morrison was Billy's younger brother by twelve years.  Their father Daniel Morrison and wife Mary Bridget had fourteen children in total, and Daniel appears to have been an enterprising man who was able to turn his hand to many different jobs during his working life. In an earlier blog posted here, there is a photograph of him at his desk in his last position, as secretary of a local dairy factory. In addition to the various jobs referred to in the obituary also included in that earlier post, Daniel was described as a letter carrier on his marriage certificate and as an accountant on the birth certificate of his first child.

I was very interested to find this second photograph on the web site of the Marlborough Museum, as it is believed to show a group of men relaxing outside the single men's quarters at the same mill. You can read more about the photograph here on the Museum site and can enlarge it on that site for more detail, but I think at least two of the men appear in both photographs, namely Jim MacLaine, standing with his hands on a stick or tool handle, and Bill Andrews, crouching in the doorway with what looks like a squeezebox. It might even be Billy Morrison on the far right, holding either a rifle or some instrument. I'm not sure if it is him, but if it is, I'd like to think it was the latter he was holding rather than the former. He was certainly still a single man in 1904, before he married in 1913 and had ten children with his wife Violet.

An exhibit from Photographs of Marlborough 1859-1909, on Marlborough Museum web site,  photographer James (Jim) Irvin, Junior

For more blogs on Work and Play, click and go to Sepia Saturday #343 

Friday, 9 September 2016

Great Aunty Flo was a tailoress

My grandmother Mona Forbes had two older sisters, Flora and Bessie, more commonly known to the family as Aunties Bess and Flo. Flora Euphemia Forbes born in 1888 was the elder of the pair by just a year, and she was nine years older than my grandmother, with two other Forbes children being born between Bess and Mona. Flora was a tailoress, and the photograph below shows her at her place of work, second from left in the middle row.  It looks like the gentleman on the right could be in charge. The boy next to Flo looks quite young, and perhaps he was wishing he could be outside rather than working, but on the other hand he would probably have been pleased to earn a wage. Most of the  staff look reasonably happy to be there and hopefully they enjoyed the work they did. It seems likely that the photograph was taken some time between 1910 and 1920.

Unfortunately I don't know the name of the tailoring firm that Flo worked for but it was in the business centre of Christchurch New Zealand. I've just discovered what looks like a very interesting collection of almost 2000 photographs of the Christchurch region inthe period 1880-1920 taken by a photographer called Steffano Webb here at and this photograph below of the premises of this Christchurch ladies' and gents' tailor James Olds is part of that collection. Perhaps this was where Flo worked, perhaps not. I may never know.

In subsequent years the aunts spent much of their leisure time helping their younger sister Mona care for her six children. They lived in the same street just a few doors away so they would have done plenty of child-minding and they often accompanied the family on outings. Bess had her own business as a dressmaker and she and Flo made clothes for the Morrison family as well as for themselves. The little snap below was very faded, but I think it shows the aunts with three of their charges, including my mother in front, who looks like she was not wanting to be photographed that day in the early 1930s. 

Here are Aunty Bess and Flo in their sixties, celebrating the christening of their great niece in 1953. They would no doubt have been happy to help my mother with her family too, had she not left New Zealand not long afterwards, firstly for a year in the UK and then to live in Australia permanently. Neither Bess nor Flo ever travelled to Australia and sadly I don't think that my mother was able to return for a visit until after Flo died in 1959. I was too young to know my great aunts but I heard lots about them from my mother, who no doubt missed their help when she had to cope in a new country while Dad spent long hours at work. His work took Jean away from family, but both he and she remained staunch New Zealanders at heart.

For more Sepian contributions on the theme of work and play this month, click and go to Sepia Saturday #343

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Dad at Work and at Play

The Sepia Saturday theme for this month is Work and Play.  Yesterday September 4 was Father's Day here in Australia, so it seems appropriate to post a brief photographic addition to the birthday tribute that I recently wrote for my Dad which you can read here.

Work takes many forms, and here is Ian Cruickshank, plant pathologist, busy doing an experiment at the lab. There's a window behind the glasshouse, but I'm sure that unlike the little girl in our prompt photograph, Dad would have been highly engrossed in what he was doing and not wishing that he could be outside or heading for home, although perhaps my mother Jean might have been wishing that he was.

Mum and Dad had three children and when he wasn't away at the lab, Dad made time to help at home.  Amongst other things, he was pretty good at ironing and even enjoyed it, I believe! This photograph of him relaxing with his first child dates from the same time period, before we moved from Christchurch New Zealand to Canberra, capital city of Australia in 1956. 

Twins would have been hard work, but no, this is Dad nursing his daughter on his left and his niece on his right, who is a few weeks older.

A generation later and as a granddad Ian certainly enjoyed playing with his grandchildren, just as we currently do with this baby's baby.

                           Fathers Day is for grandfathers too. A photo taken yesterday in the park.

For more Sepian blogs on the topic of Work and Play, click here for Sepia Saturday #343

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

An Amazing Gift List for the Neighbours, and a Family Wedding for Arthur and Elsie

 While looking into local history and past residents of our street, I came across the following very detailed report of the wedding on 9 February 1909 of Arthur John Long and Ethel Maude Stewart, who were the original occupants of the house next door to us here in Turner St. It includes a long list of who gave what to the couple but unfortunately there was no accompanying photograph of the wedding party, so you'll have to imagine it from this quite elaborate word-picture created by the reporter. Similar reports appeared in several other local publications.

  The gift list included such items as salad sets and servers, jardinieres, jardiniere stands and pot plants, numerous dishes and trays, a dinner gong, vases, silverware, photo frames, marmalade jars and pickle jars. There seem to have been quite a few duplicate items.  The house they moved into in 1916 has effectively been in the hands of the same family for 100 years. I wonder whether any of those wedding presents given to Arthur and Ethel might have been passed on with the house and indeed could still be there. Perhaps the bridegroom's gift of a grand piano is still inside and some of the jardinieres still adorn the back verandah. 

Here is a transcription of  the Long-Stewart wedding report published in the Malvern Standard, Saturday 13 February 1909, from the Trove web site:

The Presbyterian Church, Malvern, was well filled on Tuesday afternoon, February 9th, when the marriage was. celebrated between Mr Arthur John Long, second youngest son of Cr John Long, J.P., Caulfield, and Miss Ethel Maude Stewart, eldest daughter of Mr J. F, Stewart, of "Tooronga," Malvern, and granddaughter of the late Dr. Cornelius Stewart, J.P., Richmond. The Church was prettily decorated by girl friends of the bride, a large wedding bell being - suspended from the ceiling. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore an Empire gown of luecene silk over white glace, rucked chiffon sleeves, upper part of the bodice white embroidered silk net, and handsome pearl trimmings, long sash of white chiffon finished with silver tassels; a panel of white embroidered silk net finished the skirt. The veil was surmounted by a wreath of orange blossom. The first bridesmaid was Miss Dorothea Helen Stewart, sister of the bride; and the second bridesmaid Miss Elsie Campbell; they were dressed alike in pink silk glacie, sleeves and yoke pink rucked chiffon and bertha of white embroidered silk net, finished with silk tassels. Sashes of pink chiffon, pink veils, surmounted by pink heath. The bride carried a white shower bouquet tied with white streamers, and the bridesmaids pink-shower bouquets tied with pink streamers. The train bearers were Master V. Robb and Miss Elsie Gardener. Miss Gardener wore white glacie silk trimmed with silk net insertion and finished with a bonnet of silk net and white chiffon strings, and carried a floral crook. Master V. Robb white glacie silk suit finished with Limerick lace, and three-cornered hat with Ostrich plumes, and carried a stick finished with white streamers. The gift of the bridegroom to bride was a hand some diamond and emerald brooch, and .the two first bridesmaids spray brooches of pearls and turquoises, and to Miss Elsie Gardener wish-bone brooch with spray of pearls, to Master V. Robb sleeve links. The bouquets were supplied by Cheeseman. Mr T. Henry acted as best man, and Mr Alf. Harston as grooms man. The bridegroom also presented the bride with an upright grand piano. The bride presented to the bridegroom a Crocodile leather travelling bag.

Amongst the presents were the following - Father of bride, cheque ; mother of bride, household and table linen ; father of bridegroom, cheque ; Messrs Aronson and Co., Prop. Ltd., cheque, and employees very massive marble clock suitably inscribed. The Rev. Mr Foster was the officiating minister. The wedding march was played by the church organist.
A reception was held at the Malvern Town Hall, the stage being prettily decorated with pot plants and palms. Di Gilio's Band supplied the music. The catering was in the hands of Mr W. J. Holder, of Glenferrie. The toast of the bride and bridegroom was ably proposed by the Rev. Mr Foster. The bridegroom suitably replied, and the health of the bride's parents was pro posed by Mr John Timmins. Mr Stewart replied. The toast of the bridegroom's parents was proposed by Mr Jowett, town clerk of Caulfield. Mr Long, in a few well chosen words, suitably replied.
The brides travelling dress was pink Sicilian coat and skirt, large lace hat trimmed with white Ostrich feathers, and wore a feather boa. The honeymoon is being spent in Tasmania.

The following is a list of some of the presents received:
Dr. and Mrs Paton, very handsome tea set ; Mr and Miss Harston and Mr Gemmell, unique silver strawberry and cream stand ; Mr A. Harston, silver sauce boat ; Mr T. Henry, highly embossed silver entree dish ; Mr and Mrs V. Yardley, afternoon tea set ; Miss Yardley, oak tray ; Mr C McBean, silver flower stand ; Dr. and Mrs Lambert, very handsome hand-painted fruit service ; Mr F. Cook, silver dinner gong ; Mr and Mrs J. Timmins, silver tea pot ; Mr E. Timmins, marmalade jar; Mr and Mrs Balmires, unique metal jardinere stand; Mr Mann and Miss Balmires, salad and servers ; Mr and Mrs Martin, pair handsome vases ; Miss D. H. Stewart (sister of bride) very handsome feather boa ; Mr and Mrs Hobbs, fruit service : Capt. and Mrs Douton, very handsome hand-painted jardinere ; Mr and Mrs Garnham, metal jardinere stand ; Mr and Mrs H. Tope, silver and ruby sugar basin ; Mrs Kavanagh, case of handsome cake forks ; Mr and Miss Clark, fruit service ; Mr and Mrs Shepherd, choice vase ; Mr and Mrs Jowett, novel flower boat; Mr S. Jowett, silver glass salver ; Mr and Mrs Barbour, superb hand painted vase ; Miss Broderick, marmalade jar ; Mr F. Belôt, case of salt cellars ; Mr and Mrs W. Holder,very handsome épergne; Mr and Mrs Tooher, handsome hand painted vase ; Mr G. and Miss Dulfer, case of cake forks, etc; Mr and Mrs K. H Clark, silver cake stand and fork ; Mr and Mrs Broderick, pair of vases ; Mrs Thomp son, bed cover ; Miss Jean Campbell, tray cloth ; Mrs Gardner, very handsome hand made supper cloth ; Miss E. Gardner, fruit dish ; Master V. Robb, silver jam spoon; Mrs Robb and Miss Schmidt, lovely hand made point lace scarf, Mr N. Barry, silver bread platter ; Mr and Mrs W. Matthews silver hot water jug ; Mr Hodgkins, pair of pretty vases ; Mr, Mrs and Miss Collins , coal scuttle ; Miss Rowe, vase ; Mrs and Miss Butcher, silver sugar scuttle ; Mr and Mrs Cook, silver candle stick ; Mr and Mr Beckley, hand-painted jardinere ; Mr and Mrs D Long, large steel engraving in frame Mr G. Long, silver cruet; Mr and Mr Tipton, silver hot water jug ; Misses Inch, silver bread platter; Miss Cowl, silver bread fork ; Misses Smith, very handsome pair hand-painted vases ; Mr and Mrs A Ginn, sugar and cream stand ; Mr and Mrs Freedman, pickle jar ; Mr and Mrs A. Jones: knife machine; Mr and Miss Lawrence silver bread fork ; Miss M. Leech, portrait and mirror frame ; Mr and Mrs E. Long (W.A.) cheque ; Mr and Mrs Harwood, Gibson picture ; Mr and Mrs Peers, picture Mr and Mrs Child, jardinere ; Mr and Mrs French, collection of choice pot plants Miss J. Plowman, metal portrait frame; Misses Charnley, afternoon tea set; Mrs Long, silver fruit spoons; Mr and Mrs F. Long, collection of fancy work; Miss N. Murray, afternoon tea set; Mr and Mrs A. Mitchell, fruit dish ; Mr, Mrs and Miss Larkins, pair silver vases; Miss Scott and Miss Hopkins, jardinere; Miss Mortensen and Mr Asker, sweet dish; Misses Skilton. cheese dish; Misses Sparrow, bread fork ; Mrs Stewart and Sons, pair of handsome vases ; Mr and Mrs C. Bennie, hand-made tray cloth ; Mr and Mrs A. Telford, hand-made silk photo; frame; Mr and Mrs Sherlow, travelling rug; Mrs Whelan, pickle jar; Miss E Campbell, tea set; Miss Murray, book; Mr and Mrs A. Sinclair. jardinere ; Misses Marriott, lettuce dish ; Mr and Mrs Gairn set of japanned canisters ; and numerous other presents.
A week previous to the above wedding Miss E. Campbell gave a " Kitchen Tea " at Armadale.

Arthur John Long [photograph found on Cheshire-Frey Family Tree, per]

Arthur here might have been attending another wedding, perhaps for one of his children. I like to think that the Longs' daughter Dorothea, born in 1910, might have played with the little girl next door, Constance Thura Price, born 1911, daughter of Arthur Jennings Price and his wife Constance, who were the first occupants of our house, having moved in not long after it was built in 1910. Arthur Price died in 1922 and Constance remarried and moved elsewhere in 1925, dying in 1945, but Arthur and Ethel Long remained in Turner St until after Ethel's death in 1946. Their home was then occupied by other Long family members. In 1964 those Longs bought the house next door, and we bought it from them in 2008.

                                          The house next door to us ( photo from Google maps)

                                                           Presbyterian Church Malvern

Stonnington Town Hall

The Presbyterian Church in Malvern built in 1906 is still a functioning church and the Malvern Town Hall is still the Town Hall for Stonnington, our local council, as you can see from these photographs taken this morning.  Google+ stylized the second photograph. Of course back in 1909 the overhead tram wiring, the traffic and traffic lights would not have been in the picture.  Construction of the tram line began later that year and by 1910 tram lines ran past the Town Hall in both directions, making the area a much more popular place to live, due to its increased accessibility from the city centre.

I'll end my last post on the theme for August of Love and Marriage with this photograph of yet another Arthur, namely my husband's great uncle Arthur Percy Reginald Olds and his bride Elsie Lilian Rider, who were married on 17 September 1932 at St Matthew Moorfields in St George, Bristol, Gloucestershire.

The older couple behind Arthur are his parents Mary Ann and Albert E Olds. I think my husband's grandparents Doris and Frank Olds (wearing glasses) are directly behind Arthur and that the other three younger people are brothers of Arthur and Frank and one of their wives, but I can't be certain.  Alternatively the lady in the cloche style hat could be Elsie's sister Florence, and it seems probable that the older couple to Elsie's right are her parents. A description like the one for the Longs might help identify the family members, but unfortunately I haven't been able to find anything like that.  You can read a little more about Arthur in my post To Cap it Off on the subject of flat caps, and perhaps identify the Olds brothers from other photographs included there.  By the way, I've since added a postscript to include an amusing flat cap photograph that I subsequently received.

 It seems likely that this wedding photograph was taken in the rather overgrown garden of the church of St Matthew, Moorfields. You can see a photograph of the church building here on the web site of the Barton Hill History Group,  but the last services at St Matthew were held there in 1998 and it has now been converted to offices and flats. I don't know where or if any wedding breakfast was held.

The marriage of Arthur and Elsie lasted for 70 years, until Elsie's death in 2002. 

For more Sepian posts on this Month's theme, check out  Sepia Saturday #342

Friday, 19 August 2016

Another pretty wedding

Last week I posted a photograph of a 1909 marriage from my mother's father's side of the family. Here is another photograph from the same time period, this time from my mother's mother's side. The bride was Elsie Pearl Young, a daughter of my great grandmother's brother Charles James Young, and her sister Nellie McKellar Young was her bridesmaid. Incidentally 17 year old Nellie is the cousin who forty years later was to pen a lovely letter to my grandmother describing my parents' wedding day, which I've blogged about previously and referred to in my first post for this month. I've included last week's photograph below, so you can compare the two. To me the styles of both fashion and wedding photography seem very similar in both pictures, with the parties either standing or sitting bolt upright and looking very solemn. Bridesmaids Nellie and Margaret are each wearing similarly large floral hats.

Sadly this marriage did not last very long, because poor Elsie died less than 12 months later, just a few days after giving birth, on 2 July 1911, aged just 24.  Her baby daughter Elsie Ellen Cameron survived however and was raised for the first 3 years of her life by her grandmother Mary Ann Young and her aunt Nellie in Church Bush until her father remarried.

Wedding of Elsie Pearl Young and John Cameron on 18 August 1910 at St Paul's Presbyerian Church Kaiapoi NZ (marriage notice published in the Star, 20 September 1910, per Paperspast) 
Unfortunately there does not seem to be a description of this wedding in the social pages.

John Cameron remarried in 1913, his second wife being Louisa Forrest. I obtained this photocopied and annotated photograph of his first marriage from a fellow genealogist in Christchurch called Robert James Forrest, a descendant of Louisa's brother. We were not actually related, but Legacy helpfully spells out how we are doubly connected, namely that Bob was (1) my 1st cousin twice removed Elsie Young's husband's second wife's great-great nephew, through Louisa, and (2) my 2nd great-grandmother Jane Paterson's niece's husband's 2nd great-grandson, through a second marriage of Louisa's father to that niece, Annie Jeffrey. It sounds complicated, but it meant that Bob had done a great deal of work on our various interconnected  families. He very kindly shared with me many records and other information that he had gathered about the Young and Paterson families and others. 

Thank you Robert James Forrest,1952-2010. RIP.

Wedding of Frances Morrison and Raymond Horn, 29 December 1909 in Wellington NZ:  see A pretty wedding

For more blogs on the subject of love and marriage or not as the case may be, click here to be transported to Sepia Saturday #342.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

A pretty wedding

Weddings are the flavour of the month for Sepia Saturday, so this week I thought I'd feature the following photograph. The description that accompanies it was originally clipped from the New Zealand Times, 30 December 1909.

The wedding photograph of Frances Morrison and Raymond Horn, 29 December 1909. 
Photo and clipping courtesy of Shona Michie, granddaughter of Frances and Ray, and my 2nd cousin.


Frances Morrison was my great aunt. Her brother John who gave her away was my grandfather. He is the young man seated on the right, and was a civil servant working in Wanganui at the time, north of Wellington, so he would have been available to give his sister away in place of his father. John would only have been 20 in 1909, with Frances being  27, her groom Raymond being 25 and her sister Margaret 24.  The best man and my great aunt Margaret both look rather solemn and no one is really smiling, but the two little nieces are very sweet. The reporter did a good job of describing all the details of the dresses worn by the bridal party and others. I found several other reports of the wedding on the invaluable New Zealand National Library web site Paperspast, although two of them were rather inaccurate, as they referred to the bride being attended by four child bridesmaids, and had the wrong first name for the groom. 

 One report says that there were between 50 and 60 guests attending the wedding, but the bride's parents (my maternal great grandparents Daniel and Mary Bridget Morrison) were not amongst them. They lived in Canvastown in the Marlborough district of the South Island and perhaps the cost of the journey across Cook Strait between Picton at the top of the South Island and Wellington at the bottom end of the North Island was prohibitive, in view of the fact that five of Daniel and Mary Bridget's fourteen children would still have been living at home. Eileen their youngest would only have been aged 8 in 1909 and perhaps wished she could also have been a bridesmaid for her big sister.

The Morrisons' decision not to attend their daughter's wedding might also have been influenced by the fact that earlier that year (1909) there had been a major shipping disaster in the Cook Strait, when the SS Penguin was wrecked with the loss of at least 72 lives. You can read about the disaster here at Cook Strait is not very wide but can be an extremely rough stretch of water in bad weather. One of the passengers, a pregnant lady called Ada Hannam, was coincidentally related to me on my father's side. While Ada and her unborn baby survived, she very tragically lost her husband and four children in the disaster. I can imagine that people would have been wary of making the crossing for some time afterwards.

Frances and Ray had a happy marriage which produced three children, although sadly their first son James died in infancy.  Ray passed away in 1943 and Frances in 1959. 

For more thoughts on love and marriage, the Sepia Saturday topic for August, go to

Saturday, 13 August 2016

NFHM Challenge: Charles Forbes, Wagonner

This week's NFHM blogging challenge suggests that we honour our working ancestors and the challenges they faced in their occupations. I've chosen to feature my great grandfather Charles Forbes, waggoner.  Here is his published obituary.

Obituary published in the Press (Christchurch), 4 September 1929, snipped from the Paperspast web site

As the obituary records, Charles was originally from Ballater in Aberdeenshire. His father had died before he was born and his mother had re-married and emigrated to New Zealand in 1860 with her new husband and their five children. In the 1861 Census Charles was living with the household of  the local minister and was described as a cattleman, despite being only aged 14 at the time.  I had a copy of his obituary before it was available to be read on the Paperspast web site and I've since found a number of newspaper references to the partnership of Murray and Forbes which substantiate some of the facts provided. The carting work they undertook with their wagons would often have been challenging.  Here are two articles describing accidents that befell Mr J Murray on one occasion and Thomas Powell, an employee of Murray and Forbes on another:

Star, 7 June 1881, snipped from Paperspast

♦- AN EXTRAORDINARY OCCURRENCE. A most extraordinary escape from what might have been a frightful death happened to a man named Thomas Powell, a carter in the employ of Messrs Murray and Forbes,waggoners, at Waikari. The firm have this year contracted to carry the wool from a station in the Awatere district, in Nelson, a distance of over 160 miles from Waikari, across same of the roughest country it is possible to get a waggon over. On New Year's Day Thomas Diamond, a driver who has been in Messrs Murray and Forbes' employ for a great number of years, and T. Powell started from their camping ground in the Yara creek, not far from the station, and were proceeding down the Yarra sideling into the Acheron river with two waggons carrying 20 bales each. The road along this creek is cut out of the side of the hill, and at the widest place does not exceed nine feet in width, which at some of the short turns that exist on the line of road makes it very dangerous for the traffic. Diamond took his waggon load safely over the worst point near the creek, but he had considerable difficulty in so doing, as the rubble had formed a mound on the track which lifted the wheels from the road. Powell, however, in attempting the same had the misfortune to find that the edge of the roadway gave way under his waggon wheels ; and the waggon began to turn over. Powell at once saw that he could do nothing to save the waggon, so he made a leap and landed amongst some big stones. Just as he fell, the waggon came on him ; but he being between two large pieces of rock, was only confined in a space large enough to hold him. His right arm was struok by a part of the waggon as it went over. Diamond, when he saw the upset, at once stopped his team and went to his mate's assistance, under the impression that he was killed. He was surprised to find him in the enclosure, and by degrees he managed to remove the waggon (in pieces) as well as the wool bales. When Powell was uncovered, the only injuries he was found to have sustained was a flesh wound on the right arm. Diamond and Powell at once set to work to get the waggon righted again, and, the horses not being injured, the matter was soon arrarged und tho teams started. Powell drove his team to Waikari, excepting over the difficult parts of the road ; and on arrival ot Waikari last night he went to visit Dr Brandon to have his wound thoroughly attended to. The distance from where the accident occurred to Waikari was fully 75 miles, and yet Powell, with one arm, drove the team of six horses, only obtaining the assistance of his mate at any of the most critical points on the road. The horses, strange to say, received no injury whatever ; but the waggon was greatly knocked about. '
Star, 6 January 1883, transcription from Paperspast web site
           Despite the heading describing what occurred in the second incident as an extraordinary occurrence, I can imagine that accidents to the wagons were not uncommon, given the hazardous nature of the work and the state of the country roads in those days.  I found several references to letters written by Murray and Forbes to the local road board, complaining of unsafe roads and river crossings, to which the board sometimes responded that the work would be done,sometimes not.

Out of interest, here is a report of a reader's response to the accident involving Messrs Powell and Diamond:

Auckland Star 13 February 1883, snipped from Paperspast

When the railway first came to the area, Murray and Forbes were initially able to compete, as reported here:


New Zealand Herald 23 April 1881, snipped from Paperspast

 However by 1886, the firm realized that they could no longer compete successfully with the 'iron horse', as the train was then known. The photograph below was taken by the firm of Edmund Wheeler and Son, and shows 6 sets of horses and wagons assembled in Cathedral Square Christchurch NZ in April 1886.  It comes from the  extensive collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington NZ, and the wagons belonged to Murray and Forbes. Prior to dissolving their partnership they arranged for this photograph to be taken, as you can read in the article taken from the Star newspaper of 28 April 1886. Unfortunately there's no identification of the men in the photograph, and as I have so far only been able to identify photographs of Charles from a much later date, I can't be sure whether he is one of the drivers, or one of the two men standing just left of the centre of the picture.  You can zoom in and see some good detail of the men, their horses and wagons, or alternatively you can click on the link below to do the same with the photo in its original library location.

Report in The Star, 28 Apr 1886, snipped from Paperspast.

Here are transcriptions of a couple of reports of the sale of horses and stock that followed.

From Timaru Herald, 5 May 1886, snipped from Paperspast:

MESSRS H. MATSON & CO. have received instructions from Messrs Murray and Forbes, who are relinquishing the carrying business, to OFFER FOR SALE AT TATTERSALL'S, on THURSDAY, MAY 6th, The whole of their HORSES AND PLANT, Comprising 42 VERY SUPERIOR DRAUGHT MARES and GELDINGS; grand sorts, capital workers, and on the whole, perhaps one of the Best Lines of Horses to be found in Canterbury. Also, 6 CAPITAL TILTED WAGONS, each with patent axles, and in good repair. 42 SETS OF HARNESS. Covers for each Horse. The attention of Farmers, Shippers, Contractors, and all who may require first-class Draught Stock, is directed to the above Sale. The season for Autumn Ploughing is now at hand, and gives a good prospect of a remunerative return for the labour, and farmers, as well as other buyers, would do well to attend this auction. The Horses have all been carefully selected, are of the best stamp,in the pink of condition, and there is not a bad worker among the lot. As Messrs Murray and Forbes are giving up the business in which they have recently been engaged, the various lots will be for bona fide sale. DATE—   THURSDAY, MAY 6th, At 12 o'clock. Place of Sale Tattersall's, Christchurch. H. MATSON & CO., Auctioneers.

From the Press, 7 May 1886, snipped from Paperspast:

Live Stock Market
Special Sale of Carrier's Plant -  Yesterday at Tattersall's, we conducted a sale of more than ordinary importance. The great northern caravan firm of Messrs Murray and Forbes, who, for so long a period, have done such good service in the transmission of produce and goods for the wool kings of the Amuri, have, in this age of progress, been compelled to yield to the superior facility afforded by the iron horse, and as the mist of the early morning disappears before the sun, so bullock drays were superseded by horse waggons, and these, in due time, by the railway at Culverden. There was a very large assemblage of people to witness this interesting dispersement of the relics of the past, the popularity of the firm, the superior and well known qualities of their teams, and the known bona fides of the sale created an attraction which brought together sentiment and business. Biddings came freely, and prices were good, only a very few of the lots passing the hammer without finding fresh owners. Figures were equal to a rise of 20 per cent upon ordinary values, the majority of the horses going to farmers and not to the trade; £20, £25, £30 to £36 were not infrequent quotations upon the catalogue of the day. A prominent member of the Railway League hardened his heart and dived in with a vengeance, buying a large proportion.

Shortly afterwards it appears that Charles Forbes took a consignment of 14 horses plus two waggons and a harness 'across the ditch', to be auctioned at Kirk'S Bazaar, a big horse auction house of the day in Melbourne. This must have involved quite a hazardous boat journey back then and I don't know what prices he obtained in Melbourne, but hopefully it justified the trip.  Charles appears to have stayed in Australia for around six months before returning to NZ. The following year he married Jane Isabella Young, whose parents Charles Young and Jane Paterson were also from Ballater, and became a farmer. 

This advertisement appeared in the Argus on 20 May 1886, and has been snipped from the Trove web site.

Here is the final notice of dissolution of the Murray and Forbes partnership, which refers to the iron horse as the reason for the dissolution.

                                         Press, 11 September 1886, snipped from the Paperspast web site,

Charles and Jane Isabella Forbes and family, c. 1914

Charles Forbes with his baby granddaughter Jean (my late mother), c. 1928

Postscript: As mentioned in his obituary, Charles enjoyed pole vaulting in his younger days, and I've found a number of references to his participation in annual sporting games, but that is for another post.