Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

It's time for another blast from the past with my Tuesday Treasures.
This time it is my Dad's treasures though, which I now own.
Firstly is Dad's piano. He loved to play the piano and I loved to listen. He loved the instrument too, as musicians do. This piano was his pride and joy.
Dad's little corner in my house.
 Music Lessons:
When I was a child Dad bought a new piano for my sister and I to learn to play on.
We had lessons once a week with a lady who lived in the next street. Her name was Miss Pinches. My goodness she was a gruff old thing, and she probably wasn't all that old really but just seemed that way to an 8 year old.
The one thing that I remember about her was the way she would beat out the time to the music I was playing, by poking me with her boney old finger in the shoulder. Ouch. I dare not say a word but gee I wanted to give her a few good pointy pokes in the shoulder. She did, at least teach me to play the piano, to a certain extent, although reading music was never my thing. I would learn a piece of music agonizingly, by reading the music, then I would play it by ear as I have done pretty well ever since.
Interestingly the other thing I remember about those lessons was her dining table on which I had to sit to do my 'theory'. It was a beautifully carved oval oak table. It had a centre pedestal base with three (or four?) feet. The pedestal and feet had ornate and beautiful carving of vines, grapes, flowers and acanthus leaves, from my young memory. Ha, what a mixture. The edge of the table was also carved; I think it was Jacobean although not sure on that. I clearly spent far too much time admiring her beautiful table and not paying attention to my crochets and quavers!
'Bro. Smithwick' or 'Bro' as this clock is now affectionately known in my family
A Stately Old Clock:
On top of the piano is my beautiful old Ansonian Clock.
On the back of the clock it reads:
Prize Medal: Paris Exposition 1878 - Eight day MONARCH strike - Ansonia Clock Company - Salesroom 11-19 Cliff Street, New York.
The Plaque on the front reads:
Presented - as a token of esteem - to PA Bro. W Smithwick by the Yarraberg Lodge *UAOD 1898
*This was the United Ancient Order of the Druids which was in its infancy in Australia in 1898.

When my mother married my father in 1949 she moved into his family  home and went from being the matron of a country Victorian hospital to being a 'housewife' as was the custom back then. She was bored rigid, needless to say. She cleaned the house to within an inch of its life and discovered this old clock in the process. It was tucked away in the back of a cupboard, wrapped in a sheet. She liberated the poor old boy. He had been painted black! Oh Horror!! so she went to work sanding and sanding until every trace of the ghastly black was gone. Then she, oh so carefully, re-varnished him. Every bit of him is still original, including the beautifully etched glass insert in the door.

Every since I was a little girl this clock was very special to me. I would watch Dad lovingly wind it each week. First he would wind the clock, then he would wind the chime. We lived in a small house but our sleep was never disturbed by the chiming of the clock through the night. He had promised me quite some time before he died that the clock was mine after he passed away. He would tease me every now and then, when I went to visit, and say that he had sold the clock or given it away. My shocked reaction was always welcomed with a laugh. It was a game we played out many times and still warms my heart to remember it.
Apart from needing it's pendulum rebalanced the dear old fellow is still in perfect working order.

Dad went bald very early in life, in fact he returned from active service in New Guinea without his hair! A shock to his mother I'm sure. Hats were part of his everyday life. He wore a hat in the yard, down the street, to the cricket and football, to school (he was a teacher after the war) and to church.
The hallstand had one of his hats on every hook. When he died I took two of his hats, his cricket hat, which has since deteriorated and his best hat which still rests on his precious piano with his clock.
One of Dad's hats and Dad and Edward.
And a Dog:
This picture shows my Dad with his old friend Edward. They were best buddies and special treasures to each other.

Please join Melody at The House on the Side of the Hill for more Tuesday Treasures


  1. Just Beautiful Bronwyn. Looks like there is a silver lining in every cloud....miss Pinches gorgeous table. Isn't it funny how sometimes names reflect the character of people. Your Dad's clock is so beautiful as are the memories you keep regarding it. I too love a chiming clock( my hubby bought me one as a gift but it is a modern one)I love your Dad's photo with his best mate and his hat. Thanks for sharing something so special.
    Thank you for your lovely commentson my blog I don't seem to be able to reply to you again.

    1. Thanks Michelle, I love the modern chimers too. They have such pretty tunes and tones.

  2. What beautiful things Bronwyn and again you have written so evocatively about them. You really are a master of beautiful prose.

    1. Ah Mel, you are too kind. But I am glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. What lovely treasures and stories with them....

    1. Thanks Fiona. I'm so glad you enjoyed that very LONG post. My daughter complained today that she rarely read my posts as they are too long. Tough - haha

  4. I enjoyed your treasures and your stories. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Janet. I'm glad you enjoyed my post

  5. You are such a good story teller. The clock has such a great history. Wonderful treasures.

    1. Thanks Val. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed my stories and special treasures this week.

  6. I agree Nicole. He is Very spunky!