Sunday 4 November 2018

How to use Google sites for Family History

Family site

Create a family site in the free Google sites

Have you been adding family stories to your blog? A blog is a great platform for sharing those stories and making cousin connections. 

A blog displays posts in reverse date sequential order so that the latest post appears first. One needs perform a search or use the tags or categories provided to find all the stories about one person or one family. The stories found will still be displayed in the reverse date order of their publication. 

Perhaps you have established separate pages for each family and published links to the blog posts about that family there. Have you found new photos and documents about a family and updated an older post? Even when updated the original publication date of the post remains so the new information may be lost in your archive of posts unless you republish that post.

Enter new Google Sites

This free platform gives you control over the order and display of your information. 
Some ideas why you might want a free Google site or several free Google sites.
  • Aggregate all the information about one family
  • Sites can be public or privately shared
  • Easily add and share information housed in your Google Drive
  • Upload pictures and easily move, reorder the layout on any page
  • Share datasheets for viewing or editing by family members
  • Add forms to gather data
  • Embed streams from your social media
  • ***Free and simple to create***
There are many other reasons you may want a website of your own. 
Here's one I made to help you get started. Family Site: How to create one in free Google Sites.

Do take a look and let me know what you think.

This post first appeared on

Sunday 21 October 2018

Fresh start rename

Time passes and interests change.

When I started blogging here in 2009 I was working as a teacher librarian in a large school library so my focus was on library related matters and assisting students and teachers in their learning endeavours. Library Currants - Small, not always current, but fruity observations judiciously mixed with learning was an appropriate focus for the time.

In retirement my focus has shifted to assisting seniors adapt to technology along with more personal interests in family history and sharing new experiences. So Library Currants has morphed into Carmel's Corner, with a new address to accompany the name change. I was spurred on to this change by a post from Dick Eastman: Get a facelift: why you want your own domain name

A visit to NameCheap, a payment of less than $10, a few tweaks following their excellent instructions for using the domain name with Blogger  and within about 30 minutes the change was made.

Welcome to my refreshed, renamed corner on the web. 

This post first appeared on

Friday 12 October 2018

Is it mobile friendly?

Have you checked your blog?

In response to Jill Ball's post A  Blog Reader’s Plea here are two, less than 30 second videos, demonstrating how to check whether your blog is mobile friendly.

These videos were made with Quik, a free, very easy to use video editor available for ipad, iphone and Android. Add videos, photos or screenshots to make a video. Choose from the music which comes with the app. Titles and captions can be added where needed. Save and share to a variety of platforms.



Have you tried an easy video editor to share family photos?

This post first appeared on

Sunday 30 September 2018

Untangle those Blogger knots

Untangle those Blogger Knots
Knots - Mary Cairncross Park, Maleny, QLD.
The simplicity of the Blogger platform enables many to get started publishing their family history stories. As time goes on familiarity with the platform may not progress beyond the basics of choosing a theme, adding posts and labels.

10 tips to help along the way

Top toolbar

1. If you use Blogger to write posts, use the toolbar.  The fonts it suggests will look best for the theme you have chosen. Do your readers a favour and save fancy fonts for titles and emphasis.

2. If you paste text in from another application, either right click to Paste as plain text or highlight the pasted text and use the Tโ‚“ symbol to remove formatting. This will solve many a blogger's woes in getting a consistent layout and avoid unnecessary spacing between blocks of text. Headings and subheadings can then be added using the drop down options under Normal.

3. Left justify text. The majority of works published in English use left justified or fully justified text.
Centring text is best used only for emphasis in very short passages.

4. If using a quote, choose the quote symbol located to the left of the Tโ‚“ button.
The quote will be indented and set apart from the rest of the text. Sometimes I like to italicise a quote.
5. Lists and bullet points help the reader with long passages of text. A numbered list is particularly useful when providing a list of children from a marriage.

6. Investigate the Insert Special Characters Tool ๐Ÿ˜ƒon the top toolbar. Here you will find symbols,  ⇉ @ ©, superscript and subscript, numbers ½, ¾‏, and emojis. There are several choices within each drop down menu.

7. Picture placement appears to puzzle many. 
  • The options bar under the inserted pictures provide prompts for size and position. 
  • The Properties option prompts for title of the picture and Alt text for screen readers. 
  • If any further size adjustments are needed head to the HTML and find the size of the image inside the img tags. For the image below it read :
border="0" data-original-height="32" data-original-width="561" height="36"
I changed the border width, a very simple edit by inserting 4 instead of the 0. This provides a little extra space between your picture and text. So too can width and height be altered but be careful to keep the numbers proportional to avoid distorted pictures.

Picture toolbar
Picture toolbar

8. Preview, preview, preview.
Does it look clear, no extra spaces, not too long? Use the ABC button on the toolbar to check spelling.

9.  Add labels and a Search Description in the sidebar. This helps search engines find your blog and provides the snippet for Facebook that will be seen under your link.
10. Publish and post to social media using the link to your post title to take readers to the exact post. Enjoy and respond to comments by readers.

Sunday 12 August 2018

Once upon a shelf

"Whither does your library wander?"

How do you keep track of the books you have purchased, both ebooks and paper versions?

Where do you house your ebook collection?

What solution works for you?

Where does your local genealogy, family history society list its collection?

Is it available for all to easily search or browse online? 

I’ve been pondering these questions this week as I review my own practice and that of a variety of small genealogy libraries. Since 2006 I’ve had a LibraryThing account and was delighted when they offered an easy interface for searching one’s own collection. Recently I’ve joined a local historical and genealogical society which has a varied collection of about 5 000 items and I’ve been investigating various ways of enhancing the existing catalogue.

Personal Libraries 

I list books I have read and those I own both in paper or digital form in LibraryThing. You can view or search through TinyCat - my collection is here . This centralised listing lets me quickly search to check for any previously read or purchased title. Titles can be listed in collections, either one collection or a multiple of collections, and they can have multiple tags attached to any one item to make for easy retrieval.

There are a myriad of possibilities for storing your ebooks to make them available across all your devices. Evernote, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Google Play Books or any other cloud service that you use.

I always download purchased copies of ebooks to my computer first rather than to a device. Then I relocate it in a cloud service depending on the format and its DRM status. I use Evernote to house the many of my digital books due to its powerful search features and use the tag in Librarything ‘ebook in evernote.’ Within Evernote itself the book may also have a variety of tags. Other tags for ebooks I have in LibraryThing are Kindle and Calibre. I use Calibre for books that are not DRM limited in order to convert them to other formats.

 Another solution is provided by Lisa Louise Cooke. She has written a comprehensive guide on how to upload your e-books to your own Google Play books library. Be aware that Google can not search within the ebooks you upload here. If you were to take this path then books could be labelled with an appropriate tag in LibraryThing.

Genealogy and Historical Societies 

Integrated library management systems are a high cost item for small societies who depend on volunteers to do all the fundraising, library acquisitions and management as well as providing ongoing education for their members.

While investigating a range of small societies across Australia it is evident that few can afford an integrated library management package. The exceptions are generally located in the capital cities where there may be more members and perhaps access to better funding exists.

A few societies such as Hornsby are fully integrated with the local council’s public library system providing their users with online access and extended hours. Some small societies in South Australia such as Clare also have their collections catalogued within the town’s library collections. I found publicly accessible links to searchable catalogues in larger collections in SydneyBrisbane, Canberra, and a beta trial on Caloundra's website.

Of the dozens of other family history and genealogical society pages I visited, I noted that PDF listings of catalogue collections were the most common way of trying to make collections visible. Some societies have their library collections behind a membership paywall so it was impossible to value what they may have had to offer the wider community.

Small societies may like to investigate the feasibility of using TinyCat for their collection. Collections up to 20 000 items can be made visible to the wider population interested in family history at a very low cost. At this stage I have found a few small societies using TinyCat.

I am in no way connected to LibraryThing or TinyCat  other than as a satisfied long term user. I am also a former teacher librarian who can see that this is good value for money. Titles can be imported into the system from a range of file types. Collections can be tailored to suit each individual group's needs.

Some Genealogy TinyCat libraries 

The Pioneers Association of South Australia has around 850 items
vahistorical society - more than 6 600 items and
Oklahoma Genealogical Society with at least 2 500 items currently catalogued under a wide range of collections

Imagine - one tap access to your library collection!

Once the collection has been added it is possible to add that cute little cat to the home screen of a phone or tablet for one tap access. No more forgetting titles that are already in the collection!

You may now like to revisit my library to view how collections or any relevant search can be added as a link on this simple interface.
Other information can be added below the search box where I've placed links to this blog and my family history blog at Earlier Years.

The robust circulation module allows books to be loaned just by title, no need for barcodes unless you select to use them. My collection has the circulation module disabled as this catalogue is just for my use.

Need some suggestions on what to acquire or read next? Geniaus (Jill) and Shauna both have a wide range of genealogy related titles listed in their libraries.

Where is your library online? Is it easily searchable or a dense 280 page PDF with limited information about titles?

If you are a member of an Australian genealogical, heritage or historical society and would like to publicise your available catalogue, please add it in the comments below.

Would TinyCat work for you or for your society, club or organisation? Do you have any other cost effective systems to recommend for cash-poor volunteer organisations?

This post first appeared on

Monday 6 August 2018

Show and share it

Each August is designated as National Family History Month in Australia. A wide range of activities takes place across the various States as seen on this events calendar from the NFHM home page.

Various social media platforms provide an excellent place to find and connect with other family historians and researchers. These slides explore how people are using four of these platforms to connect with genealogists, have their questions answered, find relations and share family stories.

The presentation was given at the Heritage Centre at Cooroy on August 6th in conjunction with the Cooroy-Noosa Genealogical & Historical Research Group Inc and Noosa Libraries.

 This post first appeared on

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Shortcuts for hashtags

Do you have some regularly used hashtags across a variety of platforms? If you want to improve your efficiency rather than typing them over and over again, consider using a text replacement tool.

Whether it is labelled text replacement, text expander or a personal dictionary, the function remains the same. A word, hashtag or phrase can be quickly added by using two or three letter substitutes that the owner chooses and when this substitute combination is typed, the word, phrase or hashtag will automatically appear.

Here are several ways to add shortcuts for those hashtags to cut down on repetitive typing.

iPads and iPhones 

  • Settings < General < Keyboard
  • Turn Shortcuts on
  • Select Text replacement
  • Add phrase or a hashtag and choose a shortcut
  • Save

The next time you need that hashtag just type your shortcut and the hashtag will automatically expand.

Some shortcuts in my Text Replacement
ggy becomes #genealogy, fh becomes #familyhistory and tt expands to #TroveTuesday

I also have shortcuts for my email address, mobile phone number and some regularly used phrases.


On Android tablets and phones use the Personal dictionary to add favoured words and hashtags.
The Personal dictionary is found under Settings > Languages and Input.
If you have more than one language loaded choose All languages then Add
Fill in the word or hashtag, type the shortcut

Chrome web browser

Add the extension Auto Text Expander to Chrome. Review the shortcuts already embedded then edit to add your favourites. Up to 500 shortcuts can be added via this extension. Here's a screenshot of a couple I've added.
All these options facilitate shortcut typing for hashtags in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media platforms.

This post first appeared on

Sunday 3 June 2018

How to declutter your screen

Clear reading

Are you using this simple solution to clear your screen of additional clutter?

You’ve arrived at the article you want to read but the website is full of clutter, advertisements, sidebars with links to other articles and menus for navigating the site. Perhaps you want just the single article and a clear view of it.

Look for Reader View. A good reader view will clear the page of extraneous material, enable text resizing,  and some will provide the facility to change the background screen colour. Not all websites provide the option for a reader view but it is well worth using it when available.

Safari for iPad 

In the address bar look for the 4 line symbol in on the far left. A single tap will enable the simplified view or by a long press you can select to use on all websites.

Chrome - Windows 

For years I have been using the web extension Clearly by Evernote on my Windows PC but it has been discontinued. If you have Clearly installed it is likely it will continue to work but no further development is being undertaken.
Try Mercury Reader available from the Chrome web store if you do not have Clearly still working. 

Chrome - Android
The latest version now offers as simplified view. To access it,
  • Open the Chrome browser (version 65) on your phone or tablet
  • Go to Settings > Accessibility
  • Tap on Simplified View
This will force Chrome to offer to show articles in a simplified view when that is supported. If your phone or tablet has not automatically downloaded the latest version of the browser, head to the Play store to update it.

Microsoft Edge

Edge has a reading mode built into the browser which can be activated by clicking on the book symbol in the address bar. The disadvantage with this method is that the pages are then reordered left to right rather than the normal method of scrolling down a page. Some may like that arrangement as it mimics a book layout.


Firefox displays a single page icon in the address bar when the website can provide a simplified view. 

What web browsers provide you with the best reading options on your devices?

Friday 2 March 2018

Interactive charts for family history bloggers

Producing a visual interactive chart for your Blogger blog

While most genealogy programs will produce a csv or spreadsheet chart of some sort, they are usually not friendly for Blogger blogs. For those not using TNG site building software or Webtrees there are some other options. Two of the simplest options are outlined below.

An organisational chart using Google Slides

  1. On a blank slide choose Insert - Diagram
  2. Select from the range of organisational styles available
  3. Choose how many levels to display, the options are 3,4 or 5. On my slide I chose three. 
  4. Choose a colour then add the chart to the blank slide. 
  5. Modify the text and add the links to your blog posts. The text in the slide above is Roboto font, size 18, white, bold and each name is linked to an individual post on my Earlier Years blog.
  6. Select the whole chart and drag to enlarge to fit the widescreen slide
  7. Under the file menu choose publish to the web. Any changes you subsequently make, will be automatically updated.
  8. Choose embed - this one is the small size, copy and paste the embed code into the HTML editor of your blog.
*Alternate strategy when a diagram does not meet your needs
Start with a blank slide, insert a basic shape, fill with colour, double click in it to add generic text and format the font and size. Now duplicate as many of that shape as needed, arrange on slide then use elbow joiners to link the shapes. Add the names and links to the shapes. Proceed as detailed above.
Make a copy of your slide in Google Drive and rename to Template - blog family tree so that you can use the same slide for a different family without affecting your embedded publication.

Using a Google spreadsheet

A pedigree view can be simulated in a few different methods in spreadsheets. This is a simple one.  Here's a link to a diagrammatic spreadsheet of  Hannah's ancestors created in Google sheets.

  • I've used three columns and enough rows to allow for the descendancy to show. 
  • The cells have added colour and links added to individual posts.
  • Under the file menu choose publish to the web. Any changes you subsequently make, will be automatically updated.
  • Choose embed - copy and paste the embed code into the HTML editor of your blog.
  • The same spreadsheet is shown below published to the web and embedded here. 
  • The embed code does not have any details for height and width so only shows this small scrollable box.

This one has some added HTML in the code to improve the size of the display.

Warning: if you copy from here do paste into a plain text editor such as notepad, check and compare it before adding to your embed code.
Paste in the embed HTML then add in the code in red after the word  iframe and before src=

frameborder="0" headers="false" height="300" mozallowfullscreen="true" 

Then after widget=true copy and insert webkitallowfullscreen="true" width="640"

Once again, save a copy of your spreadsheet renaming it as a template so that it can be reused for the next family.

If you are more adventurous visit Tony Proctor's blog Parallax View to investigate how to embed an SVG family tree.

 This post was written by Carmel Galvin and first appeared on

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Talking of Tarlee - Sheaf tossing

This article appeared in 1947 with the reporter and John McInerney reminiscing about the Tarlee picnics of days gone by. Like so many Trove articles it opens up more lines of enquiry so Tarlee sheaf tossing led me to the history of a mill in Gawler and an Italian musician who composed “The Cat’s Polka” and “The Canary Waltz.”

But first the sheaf tossing.  In the picture above you see sheafs of wheat being tossed by pitchfork from cart up to the man responsible for building the haystack. (1)

Tarlee Sheaf Tossing

OUR esteemed old Riverton friend John Mclnerney confirms what Mr. Herb. Gray suggested about the origin of sheaf-tossing. 'Yes, it was my late brother Jim who first suggested a prize for sheaf-tossing at the Tarlee picnic more than 50 years ago. The method was to place a bar about as high as a load of hay, and competitors had to pitch the sheaf over this; the distance it went after was the deciding factor, As Mr. Gray stated, the sheaves were just as they came off the binder, and didn't stand very many throws. However, a plentiful supply was on hand and fresh ones were used. About 22 entries were received for the initial contest.
Reaper-binder-harvester with sheaf carrier
Museums Victoria -

'Bowling at a single stump was also on the bill for the first time; and this is a popular event at picnic sports today. Another novelty was a polo race. Competitors lined up on hacks armed with a polo mallet, and had to thump a ball about 15 chains or so to the winning post. Swimming contests, too, were decided in a large pool close by in the Gilbert. 'For two or three years Phil Roberts ran here as a boy, but the committee insisted that he should in future run in the men's class.  Mr. Joe Denton, of Farrells Plat, was another good sport, and Mr. Bevan. 'A splendid luncheon was provided by the ladies— turkey and ham in plenty—with a help-yourself supply of pickles. I believe that the luncheon for 1/ was an attraction in itself. Setaro's Canary String Band supplied the music for the day and night, Really, in those days, the Tarlee picnic was spoken of as the Onkaparinga of the North.
'The railway was opened to Tarlee on July 1, 1869. Before this wheat was carted with bullock teams to Duffield's mill at Gawler. Fancy strolling beside a team of bullocks for such a distance. (2)
This article led me on more explorations. What was Setaro’s Canary String band and what was Duffield’s mill in Gawler?

Setaro’s Canary String Band

setaropicFrom May of 1889 advertisements for Signor Francesco Setaro’s band started to appear in newspapers. Hundreds of events from then on, referred to this popular band which provided music of a great variety from opera to popular tunes.

Yearly socials of literary societies, church groups of various denominations, fetes, picnics, banquets and sports occasions were all enhanced with music provided by this band. Sometimes it was intermittent music between other recitals or dance music provided at the end of an evening function. 

The band name with canary added in came about as recognition of  one of several popular pieces he composed - The Canary Waltz.

The background story is revealed in his obituary published in 1926. He had arrived in Adelaide at age 20 to play in a jubilee concert. He was already an accomplished musician who had been performing since he was 12. Slightly different details are provided in the various obituaries published by the newspapers, but at age 59 his illustrious career had come to and end. He was recognised as a generous citizen willing to contribute his talent and teaching skills to the citizens of South Australia. (3)

Duffield’s Gawler Mill

duffield mill
This photo shows the mill in 1882.
I then explored references to  the Gawler Mill and found through Trove that as early as 1862 additions to the mill were being made to cater for the quantity of wheat being delivered there.
The addition to Mr. Duffield's mill is fast progressing, and already overlooks the old building. When completed I should think it will be one of the largest mills in the colony, if not the largest of any. An immense amount of new wheat is being brought into the town, most of which at present finds its way to Duffield's mill; the mill and premises are literally crowded with wheat. (4)
Fire was always a hazard for the mill. Disaster struck not just once, but at least three times. In June of 1867 the newspapers reported the complete destruction of the mill wherein the shafts and mill wheels were damaged beyond repair by the intensity of the heat.(5)

In September of 1867 the new foundation stone was laid and building of the new mill was expected to be completed by the end of 1868. (6) Work proceeded apace with the new mill officially opened in July of 1868. (7)

The new mill however was short-lived and in December of 1868 the residents of Gawler were awoken to cries of “Fire, fire” once more. Yet again Duffield’s mill was destroyed and out of action. An inquest was quickly established to determine whether there had been foul play. (8) By August of 1869 the rebuilding of the mill was almost complete. In 1876 another conflagration consumed the mill and all it contained. (9)

Once again the mill was rebuilt and reopened in February of 1877. It continued to trade under a variety of guises including producing compressed fodder during the Boer War. In April 1927 after years of standing idle the old mill was once again consumed by fire. (10)

IN 1928 the death knell was sounded for the Victoria Mill as it was known. It was demolished to make way for railway yards. Its chequered history was recalled in the 1928 article 1928 'THE LAST OF THE OLD VICTORIA MILL.'

Walter Duffield the owner of the Gawler and several other mills is profiled here in The Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Trove a true treasure of stories of the past.

1. ‘Building a stack of cereal hay’ photoID 306946

2. 1947 'Out Among The People', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 9 October, p. 43. , viewed 11 February  2018,

3. 1926 'OBITUARY.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 18 January, p. 11. , viewed 20 Feb 2018,

4.1862 'GAWLER.', The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), 31 January, p. 3. , viewed 11 Feb 2018,

5. 1867 'GREAT FIRE AT GAWLER.—DESTRUCTION OF MR. DUFFIELD'S MILL.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 28 June, p. 7. , viewed 11 Feb 2018,

6. 1867 'THE NEW VICTORIA FLOUR MILLS, GAWLER.', The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), 21 September, p. 3. (LATE EDITION.), viewed 11 Feb 2018,

7. 1868 'THE VICTORIA MILLS GAWLER.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 18 July, p. 9. , viewed 11 Feb 2018,

8. 1868 'DESTRUCTIVE FIRE AT GAWLER.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 19 December, p. 6. , viewed 11 Feb 2018,

9. 1876 'LOCAL TELEGRAMS.', The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), 28 January, p. 5. , viewed 11 Feb 2018,

10. 1927 'GENERAL NEWS.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 26 April, p. 10. , viewed 11 Feb 2018,

11. 1928 'THE LAST OF THE OLD VICTORIA MILL.', Bunyip (Gawler, SA : 1863 - 1954), 6 April, p. 11. , viewed 11 Feb 2018,

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Talking of Tarlee - The Institute

Tarlee Institute dated 1888

The power of a book club.

Three men wanted more books to read, others followed their lead.

In 1888 in Tarlee, in the mid-north of South Australia, an institute was established and subscribers paid for the privilege of reading. Money was raised to erect a building to house books, provide reading and other public space. The Public Library Board offered affiliation and supplied books to local institutes as well as purchases being made by the local community.

The Institute was used as a polling booth, a room was let to a bank, and a multitude of community functions were held. Each year the exhibits for the local show were housed in the building.
In 1905 the Tarlee institute incurred the displeasure of the Public Library Board by their disposal of 44 dilapidated volumes.(1)  After this incident, regulations were changed to allow for more local decision making.

Fundraising efforts towards completion of the building continued as exemplified by this short article where participants enjoyed several competitions. These included nail-driving and potato lifting for the women and potato peeling and bun-eating for the men.
Tarlee annual festival fund raising for Institute
1905 fund raising function

By 1906 further money had been raised to complete the building as originally planned. This account of the 1906 reopening appeared in the local paper, The Kapunda Herald. (2)

Thirty-five years ago three men - Messrs. P Hogan, Prescott, and G. Walker started a book-club in Tarlee. Others asked to be allowed to join, so an institute was formed. In 1888 portion of the commodious hall depicted in our illustration was built with the support of the Wooroora Agricultural Society, who gave a free grant of land. This year the building was completed, and a re-opening ceremony was performed by the Hon. J. J. Duncan. Great praise is due to the president (Mr. J. F. Godfrey). the vice-president (Mr. J. Mclnerney), the secretary (Mr. K. Noack), the treasurer (Mr. J, O. Taylor), and the committee (Messrs. J. Bond. I Jacobs, W. Pickering, M. McCarthv. E. Willis, R, H. Clarke, and F. Fleming) for the determined effort which was made first to reduce the debt on the old building, and then to raise money for the completion of the original design. The trustees are Messrs. McInerney (chairman), R. H. Clark,. J.G. Kelly, J. Bond, and J. F. Godfrey. The Institute Hall is used every year for the local show.
Two years later the same paper published an article on the Institutes of the Lower North in which they compared the buildings and services offered by the institutes in six towns of the region.
Tarlee Institute as completed in 1906
The text below the picture reads:
This Institute grew out of a book-club started some 38 years ago. The building was completed to its present state in 1906. The agricultural show grounds adjoin the Institute land, and the building itself is used for the display of goods. (3)
Throughout the years this humble building became the centre of a wide variety of activities for its community. In more recent years extra rooms and facilities have been added to the side of the  building.

A 1954 article in Trove captures the opening of  the supper room built on to the side of the Institute.
Tarlee Celebrates
IT WAS a great event for the little hamlet of Tarlee, always busy with to-and-fro traffic; on Saturday when district residents congregated in numbers to see Mr. Quirke, MP, open the new supper room attached to the institute, and the Minister for Defence (Sir Philip McBride) unveil a World War II. honor roll. Mr. Melrose, MLC, came across from Kadlunga, Mintaro. They were Introduced by Mr. A. L. Molineux, chairman of the war memorial committee since its formation in 1946, and Councillor (now chairman) of Riverton District Council for 29 years and opposed only once. Mr Molineux explained that £1.000 had been raised promptly toward the extension. District people subscribed £300 for a bio-box for cinema shows. The CWA (Mrs. Clayton Dunn is president now) raised £437 toward the hall. (4)
Meetings for local committees, fetes, dances, farewell socials, concerts, debates,  family celebrations, CWA meetings, election campaigns, polling booth: these are just a few of the types of functions held in  the Institute which sprung from the humble beginnings of a book club.

1. 1905 'PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 19 August, p. 4. , viewed 03 Feb 2018,

2. 1906 'TARLEE INSTITUTE.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 2 November, p. 1. (Kapunda Herald Illustrated Supplement), viewed 03 Feb 2018,

3. 1908 'Institutes of the Lower North.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 13 November, p. 3. (Kapunda Herald Illustrated Supplement), viewed 03 Feb 2018,

4.  1954 'Out among the People', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 20 May, p. 51. , viewed 03 Feb 2018,

Tuesday 30 January 2018

Talking of Tarlee - Beach Picnic photos

Remember that seaside picnic, the one in 1918 of course. Here it is - Talking Tarlee - Beach Picnic

Further searching in Trove revealed this wonderful collage of photos from that day.(1) The very faint text underneath the picture reads:

Last week special seaside trains were run from Midland towns to the seaside, carrying a large number of excursionists to Glenelg and the Semaphore, from Hamley Bridge, Stockport, Tarlee, Riverton, Saddleworth. Burra, and Freeling.
The six top pictures show groups of the excursionists at Glenelg, and the seven bottom ones scenes at the Semaphore.   Krischock, photos

Even though the grainy nature of the picture makes it difficult to distinguish individuals it does provide clues about life in 1918 and the day out. On Thursday February 21st the day of the trip the forecast was for cool and cloudy (2), and the temperature in the shade only reached 72.9 degrees Fahrenheit, 22.7 Celsius. (3). It was quite a cool day for a trip to the beach.

  • The women are in long dresses with younger ones in light coloured dresses with dark stockings. 
  • Men are sporting coats and ties and almost everyone has a hat on. 
  • Wooden and canvas deck chairs are scattered across the sand. 
  • In the top right hand corner there is a horse and cart in the background, perhaps supplying refreshments or rides.
  • I can see at least one person reading a book.
  • The jetty on the far left, second photo down looks as if it was a popular spot for promenading and viewing the sights. 
  • In the centre and to the right there is a large tent, perhaps providing some entertainment on the day. 
  • A few lucky children are barefoot and digging in the sand. 
  • A picnic rug is spread out on the ground and I see a gent apparently cutting up some food.
There does not appear to be any rain or strong wind to spoil the day and given the low temperature all would have been comfortable enough in the clothes of the day. Lucky it was not a scorching hot day. I wonder if the gents would then have removed their coats.

1. 1918 'A SUMMER OUTING.', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 2 March, p. 26. , viewed 24 Jan 2018,

2. 1918 'THE WEATHER MAP', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 21 February, p. 7. , viewed 24 Jan 2018,

3. 1918 'THE WEATHER MAP', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 22 February, p. 10. , viewed 24 Jan 2018,

This post first appeared on

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Talking Tarlee - Beach picnic

The weather was hot.

Harvest was over.

Time for some fun.

A visit to the beach.

In 1918 motorised transport was still a luxury, but train travel was available through the mid-north region of South Australia. The Midland District Committee met in Tarlee to plan such an outing for their local communities.
A meeting of the committee of the Midlands Beach Picnic was held at Tarlee —that town being geographically the nearest for all concerned. Representatives from Hamley Bridge, Stockport, Linwood, Giles Corner, Tarlee, Riverton, Rhynie, Marrabel, Saddleworth, Auburn, Steelton, and Waterloo were present. Dr. Glynn occupied the chair. The hon. secretary of the picnic committee (Mr. J. Oswald Tayler, Tarlee,) submitted information relating to the last outing, and said the feeling regarding a continuance of the picnics was unanimous and enthusiastic. In view of the fact that 1,200 persons availed themselves of the opportunity to have a trip to the seaside last March, it was felt that no risk would be run in arranging a similar day this year. It was decided to carry on the fixture, and the date chosen was Thursday, February 21, the rendezvous to be Glenelg. A movement has begun to proclaim that date a close holiday for banks, stores, and all business places possible throughout the towns and communities participating in the picnic, and it is hoped no obstacle will occur to prevent this being accomplished. (1)

Much excitement ensued as tickets were purchased for the day out and food and drinks prepared. A large crowd was expected and tickets on the trains sold out quickly.

Glenelg Guardian (2)

The Midland beach picnic at Glenelg to-day promises to be a great success. About 2,000 tickets have been sold. At Riverton every available ticket was sold, .and the railway-stationmaster has had to apply for more. Clare, Auburn, and Watervale are also booking for these excursion trains. A launch has been chartered for sea trips. On Saturday a similar excursion train is to be run from Burra. (3)
Reports of the train journey and number of passengers appeared in several papers. It was a long day out for those with small children, a 6.45 am departure from the train station meant a very early start by horse and buggy to reach the town. By the time the trains arrived home at about 11 pm that night, weary beach goers then faced the long trip back home.

Blyth Agriculturist (4)
Our trips to the beach are easy and uncomplicated compared to the effort required by our ancestors. We hope they enjoyed the train trip with their friends and neighbours.

  1. 1918 'RIVERTON.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 25 January, p. 3. , viewed 23 Jan 2018, 
  2. 1918 'Advertising', Glenelg Guardian (SA : 1914 - 1936), 7 February, p. 1. , viewed 23 Jan 2018,
  3. 1918 'GENERAL NEWS.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 21 February, p. 4. , viewed 23 Jan 2018,
  4. 1918 'Advertising', Blyth Agriculturist (SA : 1908 - 1954), 1 March, p. 3. , viewed 23 Jan 2018,

Enjoyed this post? Want to see more?