Thursday December 13, 2012

Lost picnickers found?

Recently we had a lovely surprise when a local resident dropped in to tell us about a photograph she saw in the December issue of the local magazine HarbourView.

The photograph is one of my favourites, with six happy people picnicking at Balmoral. It came to the Local Studies Collection with very little information.

A few years ago we put it on display in our regular Lost Mosman exhibition in the hope that someone would recognised the picnickers – but no luck and it went back into the drawer to be discovered by the astute editors of HarbourView.

Our observant resident thinks the photograph shows members of the Carver family who at one time lived in Belmont Road, Mosman. She noted the similarity between the men and the photographs, now on the web, of brothers Sterling, Bernard and Dudley Carver.

What do you think?

See the photograph in more detail on Flickr.

— Posted by Donna Braye in  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Friday September 7, 2012

Stepping out in style

Clothes say a lot about who we are and what we do and since the introduction of photography in the 19th century we have closely observed and copied what others are wearing.

‘Mosman Dresses Up’, one of the many events associated with History Week, is a wonderful glimpse into how locals dressed for work, rest and play.

Featured are families dressed for the traditional portrait shot; the first Mosman Football team in stylish jerseys in 1890; Mosman Primary girls in demure Edwardian dresses; a 1930s Mosman Musical Society ballet troupe in satin and silk costumes; a group of five elegantly dressed women at the opening of the Mosman Library in 1952.

These and more can be seen alongside fabulous studio portraits of Archibald Mosman, his wife Harriet and children dating from 1860.

— Posted by Donna Braye in ,  |  Permalink  |  Comment [1]

Wednesday August 8, 2012

Local Public Libraries are doing it for themselves!

Taronga Zoo pottery souvenir of a koala on a trunk made by Grace Seccombe

For many years state and national libraries have been considered the appropriate repository for historical materials.

This is no longer so!

A stroll around any suburban public libraries shows a pride and awareness of the social and historical significance of the local community.

Local libraries are active in finding, collecting and storing information about the community’s history. Collections include newspapers, photographs, diaries, personal memories, architectural plans, ephemera, recorded interviews, clothing, pottery and artwork about or created by residents – past and present.

Collecting doesn’t only focus on the local area as many residents have achieved notoriety and success outside their community.

Local libraries now collect materials of state and national importance.

By thinking globally and acting locally the librarian’s chatelaine no longer has a key and cabinets are unlocked. Using the latest technology and social media collections are being rediscovered by those who walk into the library or live on the other side of the world.

Nothing is hidden and nothing is lost – we can now see so much more of the valuable resources that can be found in the local library.

— Posted by Donna Braye in  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Wednesday August 8, 2012

Exhibition for the Centenary of Public Education?

View photos on Flickr

These photos are part of the record of photos Mosman Council took in 1947 but could even be the year later – 1948 – as this was the Centenary of Public Education.

We are thinking it is the Anzac Memorial hall as there is an “Exit to Mandolong rd” on one of the doors but we should probably check the architecture of the hall a little closer.

One of the schools exhibiting is the Mosman Boys Intermediate High School which was around in 1921-27 and also 1938-1960. We think it is during the latter period. Perhaps it was an exhibition of the primary, intermediate and home science buildings which would later become in 1961 Mosman primary school and co-educational high school.

Anyway someone out there might remember and shed some light (literally) on this exhibition!

— Posted by Mary Lou in  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Tuesday July 24, 2012

Diving champion Clive Barass and his troupe at Clifton Gardens

Tim just came across this great film of Australian diving champion Clive Barass and his troupe diving from a tower at the Clifton Gardens Baths in 1926. Watch Clive Barass and his troupe at Australian Screen.

There are some fine images of Clifton Gardens from about this time in our Flickr photo stream courtesy of Local Studies.

— Posted by Mosman Library in  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Friday June 8, 2012

Read all about it!

The (Mosman) Daily, 1923

In 1912 there were complaints about speeding cars along Spit Road and so it was declared that cars should travel no more than 4 miles per hour.

In 1929 Mosman Council banned beach disrobing when a mixed group of 30 people ‘brazenly’ disrobed on Balmoral Beach.

These are just two of the newspaper clippings that were discovered in a box donated to Mosman’s Local Studies Collection.


— Posted by Donna B in  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Friday May 25, 2012

Digitise and you will discover.

Mr. W.H. Bassett

Take a wander through our local history room, and scattered amongst the albums of photographs, collections of books and networks of computers, are lives from our past, waiting for their aspirations and endeavours to be discovered, again.

One of these past lives is a cricketer from early last century by the name of Mr. W.H. Bassett, a first grade leg spin bowler who pulled on the creams for both Mosman and North Sydney.

Far from a household name, not even to cricket enthusiasts, Bill headed the NSWCA records for most wickets on four occasions: 1926-27, 1927-28, 1929-1930, 1930-31. There were calls in the press for Bill to be elevated to the state squad. A plea which fell on the deaf ears of selectors. Bill’s figures certainly suggest he was good enough, upstaging those of incumbent Australian spinner, Arthur Mailey.

Bill maintained a scrapbook which resides in our local history room, thanks to a donation from his family. A scrapbook “lost” for many years, “rediscovered” through our digitisation program.

Bill Bassett’s scrapbook, along with other treasures from the local history collection, will be available for the world to view online later this year.

— Posted by Ken D in ,  |  Permalink  |  Comment [1]

Monday May 7, 2012

Home gardeners' history on view

View photos on Flickr

During the Second World War the NSW government asked residents throughout the state to consider growing their own vegetables. Mosman Council supported this notion and sponsored a working group under the direction of its own head gardener to teach locals how to grow vegetables in their gardens.

Calling themselves The Mosman Agricultural Society, this group established the Mosman Home Gardeners’ Association after the war and went through several names changes over the decades finally becoming The Mosman Home Gardeners’ Society Inc.

The Society fosters an interest in gardens, with regular outings and meetings where members share their knowledge and until recently the Society’s Annual Spring Show was a popular event on the local social calendar.

Recognising its historical significance the Society has recently donated its archives to the Mosman Local Studies Collection. These archives include minute books, the Society’s newsletter, posters, photographs, show ribbons and medals.

Currently on view in the Library’s Mosman Room is a selection of beautifully designed medals presented to the Society and its members over the years.

— Posted by Donna Braye in  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Tuesday March 27, 2012

Upcoming Centenary of the Mosman-Neutral Bay Rifle Club

Club Members between the Wars some still wearing vestiges of their WW1 uniforms

On March 27th 1915, the Inaugural General Meeting of the Mosman-Neutral Bay Rifle Club was held and the “Rifle and Training Corps” called for by the citizens of Mosman and Neutral Bay was born.

In the fervour of the early days of WW1, over 700 Mosman and Neutral Bay men joined the Rifle Club, and from those members who received their initial military training with the Club, more than 240 enlisted in the armed forces with 16 of those losing their lives in the conflict.

In the years following the war, the Club was able to continue with many members who had found comradeship within the Club and through their training finding that target shooting was a highly competitive sport they enjoyed. In a few short years the Club’s successes began to mount and today the Mosman-Neutral Bay Rifle Club enjoys a formidable reputation throughout Australia and the Commonwealth with many members having represented both their State and Australia in Competition.

In March of 2015, the Club will celebrate its 100th Anniversary.

The Club are calling on past members and descendants of members who would be interested in joining in celebration, to forward their contact details for a mailing list from which they can keep people advised of 100th Anniversary events.

Leaflet: Upcoming Centenary Of Mosman-Neutral Bay Rifle Club (PDF)

If you were a member in the past or know someone in your family or a friend who was a member please contact Gary Somerville by email or phone 0419 142 653.

Visit the Mosman-Neutral Bay Rifle Club webpage at

Mosman Library holds a number of the Club’s documents including a written history of the Club that may be viewed in the Local Studies Area.

— Posted by Mosman Library in  |  Permalink  |  Comment

Monday March 26, 2012

Mosman Faces is back...

You may remember in May last year our newest website in Local Studies – Mosman Faces – was launched.

In the first series of Mosman Faces ten people told their stories, stories that have shaped the Mosman community.

These stories were presented as filmed interviews on the web and complemented by images from the Local Studies collection.

We aim to build on these interviews and images, not only through your responses, but also through further interviews and this is what we did last Tuesday.

Once again we used the film making skills of Damon from Filmview, Donna Braye, the Local Studies Librarian for images and prompting and me to ask the curly questions to Kenneth Dryland and Diane Wachman.

For those of you who don’t know these names, Kenneth Dryland, besides being the late Dame Joan Sutherland’s hairdresser for over 50 years and Mosman’s 1982 Citizen of the Year, was the director of the inaugural Festival of Mosman in 1981 and continued to direct this major event until 1997.

Diane Wachman, born and bred in Mosman, was also an active and integral member of the Festival of Mosman committee until 1997 and then her skills were snapped up by the newly formed Mosman Art Gallery.

Kenneth Dryland believes Mosman was the first municipality in a major Australian city to hold such an event, it brought the Mosman community together and put Mosman on the map for arts and entertainment.

Kenneth and Diane relived the activities both before and during the seven festivals they worked on together, the Grand Parade, the Opera Concerts, the Twilight Venetian festival and more…

Stay tuned for these lively additions to Mosman Faces but we need YOUR help too.

To add to the entertainment of the ‘Faces’ we need your home movies from this festival era of 1981-1996 and the footage can be in any format, DVD, VHS, USB and film reel.

If you can help please contact Mary Lou Byrne on 9978 4097 or


View photos on Flickr

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