THE FAMED MELBOURNE BRINDLE OF DROMANA, VIC., AUST., AND AMERICA.
Information about this Dromana-bred artist can be found readily on the internet but for those without computers, the first paragraph of his biography is included here.
Ewart Melbourne Brindle was born in 1904 in the city in Australia from which he took his name. His father was a well-known painter and his son soon showed the family talent. When he was a boy, his family emigrated to the West Coast of the United States where young Brindle continued his education. He began his career as an illustrator for a local department store and later with an advertising agency. His work on the Hawaiian tourism account brought him attention and two New York Art Directors Gold Medals.ETC.
In his memoirs below, Ewart mentions his natural total visual recall. As well as commercial art, Melbourne produced a map of sunken treasure on the American coast. Another map that perfectly illustrates his total visual recall was done in his studio in Connecticut, U.S.A. in 1947, 29 years after leaving Dromana. This shows such details as the house of Miss Noble,a good golfer,the house of Bob Dyson who married Elizabeth Talent (Rankine's assistant),the house on the Dromana Hub site of Mrs Jute, whose husband was a prisoner in Germany (W.W.1) and who extracted a promise from Ewart, that he would continue his art career,just before the family left for America.The Brindle house was near the present Sayvon Court. Unlaminated, this fascinating map is available from the Dromana Historical Society for a trifle. Ewart's dad made some signs painted on
skins to be placed at The Rocks (Anthony's Nose) where the danger of fast-moving oncoming traffic on the narrow road was often brought to council's attention.(Trove.) The signs said:DANGER GO DEAD SLOW.
The 1910 rates describe Arthur Brindle as a decorator and he was assessed on "land and buildings,part allotment 5,section 3, 30 acres." This land was on Gracefield of 249 acres, established by William Grace, whose grant was bounded on the west by Caldwell Rd and extended east to the gravel reserve, now part of Arthurs Seat Park. Gracefield Ave recalls the name of the original 249 acre farm. Scott St is on the eastern part of Gracefield and the southern third became a sanctuary for native "game" and, strangely,later, the Seahaze estate of Sir Thomas Travers,a renowned Melbourne surgeon who bought the Chapman family's Seawinds and installed the Ricketts carvings. Rankine and pupils would have done their birdwatching in the short-lived sanctuary.
Vera mentions Grammar School. I believe this refers to grades 7 and 8 at Dromana State School. Most children aimed to obtain their merit certificate at the end of grade 8 and only a handful went to Frankston High. Eventually, not all schools had grades 7 and 8, but Central Schools were set up at places like Princes Hill, Moonee Ponds and Kensington and grades 7 and 8 were renamed forms 1 and 2.
I believe jacks involved a jack placed on the back of the hand being propelled into the air, twisting the wrist so that the palm faced up, and catching it, with the aim being to do it with multiple jacks.
These memories were written on five sheets of unlined paper and it seems that Ewart and Vera were frightened of running out of paper. The liberty has been taken of leaving spaces between paragraphs to make the following easier to read. The building described, of which two pictures appear in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, served from 1-5-1877 until it burnt down on 25-2-1950. A.L.Brindle was the correspondent of the first school committee which obtained a cloakroom in 1912.The schoolday ended at 3:30,not 4:30. Brindle might have been confused because of his own children's hours in America. Other indications that most of his life had been spent in America are the use of "through" in paragraph 3 and the spelling of centre in paragraph 5.He also calls the
Mechanics' Institute the Town Hall. But he still had a lot of Aussie in him!
NOVEMBER 1981, DROMANA STATE SCHOOL No.184-AS WE KNEW IT, 1910-1919
EWART MELBOURNE BRINDLE -VERA GRACE VICTORIA BRINDLE.
Ewart Brindle was born in Melbourne in 1904.Vera Brindle was born in Melbourne in 1909. Our father, Arthur Llewellyn and our mother, Grace Ellen, came to Australia in the 1870's, father from Wales, mother from England. The Brindle family came to Dromana in 1904,the year I was born. Seven children were born between 1899 and 1914.
Our home "Sunnyside" was in the centre of a large parcel of land fronting on Boundary Road. The present Scott Street is on our driveway. We children all went barefoot all year round.We walked to school about a mile away across several paddocks. Wewalked home again for lunch as no provision for lunches was possible at the school at that time.I think that school hours were from 9 to 4:30. 184 was a one room schoolhouse made of large blocks of granite.It was covered with ivy. It had diamond mullioned windows leaded in a diamond pattern.
The grades were kindergarten through the 8th grade. W.M.Rankine was our headmaster who had a girl assistant, Elizabeth Talent, who taught the two lower grades. Strict discipline had to be observed in those days. Rankine insisted on complete silence whilst studying. Of course other grades may be discussing something, in which case we had to mentally screen out the noise. That was the way it was in those days.Any whispering or talking, however quietly, was rewarded with two knuckled fingers applied generously, with vigour to the victim's temple. Any further offences were punished with the cane whizzed down with lightning speed on the pupil's outstretched hand.
The fourth paragraph of Melbourne's memoirs will replace the first shortly.
Melbourne's map, copies of the handwritten memoirs and my typed copy of Ewart and and Vera's memoirs(with background and explanatory notes) can be purchased at a trifling price from the Dromana Historical Society.
Note: Handwritten copies are also available for purchase. Spelling errors have not been corrected.
MELBOURNE BRINDLE'S MAP.
The aim here is not to show you the map but to let you know what is on it, itemise the pioneers mentioned,the location of whose properties is indicated precisely on the map in most cases, to give you background information about some of the items mentioned and for those who need specs, to reproduce Brindle's exact text to help you in case you can't make out some of the words.
The map is drawn as if Brindle is standing on the end of the pier so the top of the map is south east, not north. Palmerston Avenue, Pier St and Jetty Rd meet almost in the middle of the map. (The Freeway follows the course of Palmerston Ave, just as it follows Cape Schanck Road through Rosebud.) Brindle shows a bend in Palmerston Ave west from the Jetty Rd corner to Boundary Rd and as these three roads were probably un-named tracks and there was a large waterhole in the Palmerston Ave/Boundary Rd/McCulloch St angle, the dogleg shown may be evidence of Brindle's incredible total visual recall, rather than the mistake I first thought it was.
Because Brindle has only shown Boundary Rd to about Mary St (which did not exist when Brindle left), this left most of the top left quarter of the map blank, and he has used this to write the following in a box.
THIS MAP PRESENTED TO "ERNIE" RUDDOCK.. MY ONE TIME "EMPLOYER"...(FILLING BOTTLES WITH WATER GLASS...HELPING MR GILL IN BAKERY...AND SWIPING SULTANAS ON THE SLY!) TO BE SHARED WITH THE PEOPLE OF DROMANA...PARTICULARLY THOSE WITH WHOM I WENT TO SCHOOL WHEREVER THEY MAY BE.
TO NAME A FEW...HARRY "CROOK" PARRELL, SAM McLEAR, TED WHITE, TOM "SINGLEY" SINGLETON (SQUEAKER), BOB "SPOOP" DYSON, BUNNEY DYSON, "CRAP" HAZIE, ALEC CLYDIE, STAN EVANS, ALLAN CHAPMAN,ERNIE SHAW, MAURIE SHAW, (BARNIE O'CONNOR, LEO O'CONNOR- SUMMER ONLY, OLD TOWN HALL), ROGER JONES, HECTOR KENT, ROYAL RICKETTS, CLARENON RICKETTS, ROODY RICKETTS, WALLACE RANKINE, ALEC PATTERSON (AT MS WARRENS), BILL DYSON, ARCHIE SHAW, BILL CLYDESDALE ETC. (See notes on these later.)
I FEEL THIS MAP IS PRETTY WELL PROPORTIONED AS FAR WEST AS HEALE (HEEL) STREET. FROM THERE ON WEST I HAD TO COMPRESS IT (IN ORDER TO GET MY UNCLE INTO THE PICTURE!) IF I WERE DOING IT OVER I'D MAKE THE THREE BLOCKS
FROM SCHEEANS TO KIDGELLS ALL THE SAME WIDTH WHICH I'M SURE THEY ARE. MEMORY GETS A BIT "FUZZY"ON CERTAIN POINTS AFTER 40 YEARS.
BUT THIS I DO REMEMBER...H6 WAS A GOOD DRIVE PROBABLY 225 YARDS. AS SHOWN HERE IT LOOKS THE SHORTEST OF ALL HOLES...ACTUALLY H's 3 & 7 WERE THE SHORTEST.
MELBOURNE'S SCHOOLMATES AND THEIR FAMILIES.
(Many details come from Colin McLear's A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.
Ewart had total visual recall but that only works when you see something. He had probably never seen the name Rudduck in writing. Rudduck, Ruddock and Karadoc (the 103 acre farm now containing Karadoc St and extending to Ponderosa Pl.) all come from the same stem meaning "red breast". The same (re spelling) applies to the surname, Sheehan.
Ernie was the son of 1871 pioneer, Nelson Rudduck, and became a shopkeeper like his father, also building a shop at Rosebud which was run by others. Father and son were very prominent Methodists and Rechabites.
PARRELL should be Farrell. Harry was probably the son of A.W.Farrell, Shire Secretary of the Shire of Flinders, and brother of Eddie Farrell, a member of Dromana premiership footy team of 1931.
The McLears were Survey residents from about 1851 and Mary Ann, a widow bought Maryfield in about 1860. Her 49 year old son,George, married 25 year old Emmaline Newstead in 1890 and Sam, their seventh child,was born on 25-10-1904; he died on 22-12-1980.
Tom Singleton was probably the grandson of John Singleton, a Dromana resident by 1864 and the sixth child of James and June Singleton who lived in Verdon St, as did Tom who worked in Wilson's Rosebud butcher shop (which is why he played in early Rosebud footy teams.)
Charlie Dyson was also a Dromana resident by 1864. His son George(the founder of Dyson's Buslines) seems to have been the father of Bob, (who drove for him), and Jack,another of Charlie's sons who worked for Wilsons, was the father of "Bunny" (John), and "Squeaker" (Bill.) It seems that Ewart has called the wrong person Squeaker; it did seem strange that Tom had two nicknames.Bob Dyson and "Crap" Hazeldine probably had accidents early in their scholastic careers because they were too scared to ask permission to go to the toilet; Bob's nickname was probably the answer to: "What's in ya pants, Bob?"
Crap Hazey was probably the son of the man whose obituary follows.
OBITUARY MR. J. W. HAZELDINE. The death occurred on Friday of Mr. Joseph William Hazeldine, aged 82 years, at his residence, Dromana. Mr. Hazeldine settled in the Dromana district 48 years ago and was a State school teacher at Rosebud for nine years. He was a teacher in the service of the Education Department for 28 years. Until his death he was registrar of births and deaths at Dromana. The funeral took place on Saturday. Requiem mass was celebrated by the Rev. Father O'Sullivan, who also read the burial service. Burial took place in the Dromana cemetery. The casket was carried by his six sons. The pall-bearers were Cr Wilson, Messrs. A. W. Farrell, L. Carrigg, J. Matthews, A. Cooper, B. Wilson, J. Moraes, and G. Brown. The funeral was conducted by Mr Hector Gamble, of Frankston. Mr. Hazeldine leaves six sons and four daughters.
(P.1, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 30-8-1935.) Hazeldine probably knew John Lima Moraes from Rosebud as Moraes occupied William Hobley's land there.
Alec Clydie and Bill Clydesdale were grandsons of James Clydesdale, a Survey tenant by 1860. Bill, son of James Jnr and Charlie Dyson's daughter,was killed at Gallipoli. As Colin McLear did not list Alec among the children of James Jnr and Alec (b.1874)who married a Cleine girl had no children, Alec (born about 1904 I assume)must have been a son of Harry Clydesdale.
MORE ABOUT HIS MATES.
STAN EVANS. On page 46 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA Colin tells of an occasion when Henry McLear and Stan Evans were making sausages at Wilson's butcher shop in McCulloch St ( on the west side 3/4 of the way between the Esplanade and Hodgkinson St where Melbourne shows a house labelled Ben Wilson, which is Beauvoir,with the shop adjoining it on the inland side.)On page45, Colin said that Godfrey Wilson built the house and shopin the late 1800's and on page 46, where there is a photo of the shop,that Ben and Sam Wilson relocated the shop to the Esplanade in 1934. Young Ralph Wilson and Bill Evans Jnr tired of supervising the horse that was driving the mincer and an amusing incident occurred. This incident happened prior to 1934 so the following shows that Stan worked for the Wilsons for some time.
DROMANA Mr. Stan Evans, an employee of B. and S Wilson, had a nasty accident during the past week. In course of his duties as a butcher his skinning knife slipped, and he received a nasty laceration in his forearm. Twenty-three stitches were inserted in the wound.(P.4,Standard,21-8-1947.)Stan would not have been able to continue his fine record of service with the Dromana (fire) brigade (recognised at the Brigade's smoke night) for a while.(P.4, Standard, 17-7-1947.)
HERE'S A SCOOP! This happened shortly after Melbourne Brindle's family settled in Dromana. Stan Evans must have been one or two years older than Melbourne, who was born in 1904.H.W.Wilson would have been Henry William Burdett Coutts Wilson, grandson of the original bullocky-turned-butcher Henry William Wilson and Thamer (nee Burdett), and son of Godfrey and Maria (nee Stenniken.) The slaughteryard referred to would have to be the one Melbourne drew on his map. Henry Wilson swapped occupation with George McLear prior to 1867; Henry became a butcher, slaughtering on the McLears' Maryfield and George became a bullocky, supplying timber to Peter Pidot(a/o)near Sheepwash Creek.Henry later established a slaughteryard and holding paddock on the 45 acres
bounded by Pier St, the freeway (Palmerston Ave), Arthur St and Gibson St. The Wilsons later had slaughter yards on the area including the Blairgowrie shops, where several streets bear names written earlier in this paragraph, and on the north west of the highway at Melway 160 H5. Thus the new slaghteryard was the third of 5 and under construction at the time of Melbourne's arrival and would be the one shown on Melbourne's map.
As the 1910 and 1919 rates are completely unhelpful.I must trust Melbourne's power of observation as to where the near-drowning occurred. He shows an old brick kiln almost due north of "Shaws" and about 3/4 of the way to Palmerston Ave.Wilson's slaughter yard is halfway between the Esplanade and Palmerston Ave in a sou-sou-easterly direction from Shaw's Kangerong. In 1910, Archibald Vine Shaw was assessed on 37 acres but in 1919, he only paid rates on 18 acres of crown allotment 6, section 1 Kangerong,the eastern 19 acres seemingly not having been assessed unless listed elsewhere as a subdivision. Crown allotment 7 was granted to William Grace of Gracefield and became the Seacombe Estate. I believe the third slaughteryard, drawn by Melbourne and the site of the near drowning, was on this Seacombe Estate. In 1900, H.W.Wilson was assessed on 1 lot and building, Dromana and 5 acres leased from Thompson. By 1910,W.E.Thompson of Brighton was assessed on 6 acres,probably the same land,and Henry Wilson of Sorrentohad 100 acres, Kangerong. The third slaughteryard was no longer of any use to Henry if he was at Sorrento. This was probably why the Blairgowrie slaughteryard was established.
Holding Melbourne's map with east at the top it looks like an arched window, which didn't make any sense to me until I realised that Palmerston Avenue did not extend east to Pt. Nepean Rd (as the freeway does) but, instead, fed into Ponderosa Place, the boundary between Karadoc and Glenholme. The Slaughteryard in the following tale involving little Stanley Evans would be near the corner of Seacombe and Charles St.John Townsend, a carpenter according to the rate book, was most likely building the slaughter house or associated fencing.He was certainly a pioneer of MOUTH TO MOUTH.
Harold Wilson, eldest son of Mr and Mrs H. W. Wilson. of M'Culloch street, Dromana, had a very narrow escape from drowning last Saturday week. It appears the little fellow, in company with a small lad named Stanley Evans, was playing on the banks of a waterhole close to where Mr. Wilson is erecting his new slaughter house, and in some way he slipped into the hole, which had at least 5 feet of water in it. The other boy being un- able to render his unfortunate play mate any assistance, had the presence of mind to run down to where Mr Townsend and the Messrs Wilsons were at work, and informed them what had happened. They immediately hurried to the hole. Seeing no trace of the child, the father plunged in, and succeeded in bringing to the surface what he considered was the lifeless body of his son. However, Mr Townsend,who acted with judgment,was quickly at work, vigorously blowing his warm breath into the little fellow's lungs, until he slowly began to regain consciousness. Mr.G.M'Lear, who lives close to where the accident happened, was sent for, and rendered valuable assistance, but had it not been for the artificial respiration resorted to by Mr Townsend, it is doubtful whether the boy would have recovered.(P.5, Mornington Standard,10-12-1904.)
MORE ABOUT THE MAP.
BRINDLE ON TROVE.
As Ewart said that he'd compressed his map west of Heales St to fit in his uncle, and Harold Legge was that uncle, I expected to find this.
BRINDLELEGGE. On the 20th April, at the Congregational Church, Kew, by the Rev. R. A.Betts, Arthur Llewellyn, youngest son of William Brindle, Glenferrie, to Grace Ellen ("Gracie"), youngest daughter of Nathan Legge, of Kew.(P.5, Argus, 13-5-1899.)
Melbourne says the Brindles moved to Dromana in 1904, but they were spending time there by 1902, possibly staying at the house of Harold Legge, a Hawthorn dentist,who was most likely Grace's brother.
DROMANA. A most successful concert took place in the Mechanics' Institute on Saturday night last, in aid of the prize fund of the local State School. The hall was packed and several were unable to gain admission. The first item on the programme was the " Soldiers in the Park," from the " Runaway Girl," by the Federated Entertaining Company. Mrs Brindle, of Kew, sang "Never more," which was well received.
(P.3, Mornington Standard, 22-3-1902.)
Grace's sister seems to have performed in 1903.
DROMANA, - Dromana was crowded with visitors during Christmas week. All the cottages, hotel, and boarding houses were full, and a large number were unable to obtain accommodation. A very successful entertainment in aid of the Mallee Relief Fund was given in the Mechanics'Institute on Boxing night, by the " White Hat Clique." The first portion of the programme was devoted to songs, which were contributed by Mrs Brindle, Miss L. T. Legge , Messrs Morris, Lilley, Walker and Brindle. The last portion was taken up by a minstrel entertainment, in which Messrs Morris, Slack, S. Reid, L. Reid, Muimmse, Legge, Walker and Lilley took part. (P.4, Mornington Standard, 10-1-1903.)
According to the ratebook and Melbourne's map, the Brindle land was located on Gracefield, but they may have resided in Harold Legge's holiday house for a while.
FLINDERS&KANGERONG SHIRE COUNCIL.. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29. Present :-Crs Clark (President), Marsden, Nowlan, Cain, Oswin, Buck ley, Shand, Davies, and Shaw. CORRESPONDENCE.(14TH LETTER)From Arthur L. Brindle, Melbourne, requesting permission to clear half a chain along the reserve side of his block, part of the Gracefield Estate, for a distance of 25 chains. - Permission granted.(P6, Mornington Standard, 5-11-1904.)
Dromana, with its unsurpassed beach and beautiful fern gullies, is becoming more popular every year as a healthful holiday resort for visitors, a number of city doctors have spent their holidays here this season, and they commend it as being one of the healthiest watering places along the bay. A good inquiry has set in for township allotments, and some prominent city gentlemen have secured blocks. Brindle Bros., decorators, have purchased some of the Gracefield estate, and have commenced to build a residence.
(P.5, Mornington Standard, 18-2-1905.)
BRINDLE. On the 14th May, at Mrs. Graham's private hospital, 492 Lygon-street, Carlton, to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur L. Brindle, "Sunnyside," Dromana a daughter.(P.13, Argus, 6-6-1908.)
James McKeown bought Gracefield when he sold his grants in Red Hill to Sheehan and moved to Dromana circa 1890.He died at Gracefield soon afer the Brindles left for America.
McKEOWN.-On the 10th March, at Gracefield, Dromana, James McKeown, aged 89 years.(P.11, Argus, 13-3-1920.)
The Brindles were heavily involved in community activities, Arthur being secretary of the school committee, making DANGER GO SLOW signs for The Rocks, and helping to build the road to Arthurs Seat and the tower (that the proceeds of the Grand Ball of 1928 and Spencer Jackson's efforts may have only improved in 1929.)
While mentioning Dromana's great promoter, it is interesting that Spencer Jackson was not Dromana's first visionary, Arthur Llwellyn Brindle was. On page 4 of the Mornington Standard of 26-8-1911, is a report of a speech given by Arthur at a meeting at the Mechanics' Hall with ideas to advance Dromana. Practically every word in the digitised version needs correction so I'll leave you to read the article. Two ideas to make Dromana more attractive to tourists arriving on steamers were conveyances on tracks along the jetty to
carry them the quarter mile to shore and an open tram to carry them along the Esplanade. Uncluttering the pier, providing playground equipment,and improving neatness, the lending library and the road to the tower were other ways to advance Dromana.
on 2013-01-22 01:18:04
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.