Aug 032012
 
Continuing with Alona’s Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge it is time for L which is for Leisure.
After the work is done our ancestors also enjoyed their leisure time. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have photos or ephemera showing us how they spent their time.

Attending the Brisbane Exhibition
Football Grand Final

David Smith walking his dog about 1953

Violet Busby aged 9 in 1949 on her yearly visit to Lone Pine Sanctuary. Each year Violet would be taken by her Aunt Gladys Trost nee Weeks.Sometimes they took the ferry up the river to Lone Pine to be met at the dock by a German Shepherd with a koala on his back.

 
Sometimes we do not have any pictures but maybe we have some letters: From Myrtle Busby in a notebook where she noted what she wanted to write in her letters to her husband William away at war in 1943:
“I went to Church on Sunday night and it was a real good service, May Brown and Allan Campbell was the speakers after Church we had a half hour singing all the favourite hymns”
“On Wednesday I went to His Majesty’s to see the play “My Sister Eileen”. It was real good. I am sending you the programme in the envelope to read. They are having another one on the week of my birthday called “Arsenic and Old Lace”. I think it will be very comical. Pansy took Violet down to see my Grandfather on Thursday.
“Last Friday I went to Redcliffe for the day. We had a good day but it was hot, we gathered shells, Violet and I we made sandcastles. We went for a walk and I went paddling with the her. At half past twelve a pie man came around so I bought hot pies for dinner. Pansy bought ice-creams and Katy got malted milks.” 
Maybe you don’t have any letters or postcards either, don’t discount the newspapers to find out how your ancestors spent their free time
These were found in Trove the free digistised Australian newspapers site in just a few moments search.
                                                                                                          
Remember Trove is not just newspapers, it is also pictures from a variety of sources, such as this one from the John Oxley Library Queensland of William Rollason with his bicycle.
Even if you do not find your ancestor listed by name you are able to determine what leisure pursuits were in style at that time.  Was there a theatre? What was playing? Was it an open air film show that came to town on a circuit? Did the circus come to town? Were there activities at the school while your ancestors were either children or parents of children at the school?
How did your ancestors enjoy their leisure time?

  9 Responses to “L is for Leisure”

  1. I enjoyed your L post Helen. We often forget to look at the leisure activities of our ancestors but it was a big part of the whole story so thanks for the reminder. I have a photo of myself at Lone Pine holding a Koala. I'm going to have a look to see what I can find about my own ancestors' leisure activities!

  2. This is an inspiring post, Helen, with great examples and illustrations. I need to write something like this for my own family. Leisure activities that spring to mind for my parents and grandparents include reading, fishing, cricket, tennis and cycling.

  3. A great way to bring your ancestors to life, Helen… thank you.

  4. Yes Lone Pine was a favourite destination! I keep thinking I should revisit and make a day of it by going upriver on the boat. I'll give the snakes a miss though as I am more into the fluffy creatures than the slitherers!

  5. Thank you, Judy. It was fun to write and there was so much more i could have written. Hmm I feel another post coming on.

  6. Thank you. It is so important to think of our ancestors as real and how they went about their lives. It is interesting how the leisure pursuits go down families, Lone Pine, picnics at Redcliffe and going to the Exhibition.

  7. So often we think about our ancestors lives – where they lived, what they did for work etc, without considering what they did for leisure. So thank you for this thought provoking post.

  8. A great "L" post that I enjoyed with lots of bits and pieces of interest.

  9. Lone Pine, the Ekka and a trip to Redcliffe (or Shorncliffe in my case): quintessential Brisbane leisure and childhood experiences. You're capturing so many great memories with this series and L is no exception.

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