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The Captain

the front of the portrait

the front of the portrait

the back of the portrait

the back of the portrait

photographer's details on portrait of Captain WIlliam Richard Randell

the photographer’s details on portrait of Captain William Richard Randell – taken by Frühling Studios at 62 Rundle Street, Adelaide

enlarged version of the photo of Captain William Richard Randell

enlarged version of the photo of Captain William Richard Randell

DESCRIPTION: this is a framed portrait of William Richard Randell, the paddlesteamer captain
DATE:
undated, approx. 1900-1905
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM:
 Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:
William Richard Randell was the first son of William Beavis Randell who worked for the South Australian Company, and set up home at Gumeracha, founding the town. William R. Randell and his brothers managed stock for his father along the banks of the River Murray near Mannum and it was while minding the cattle, that he ‘became determined to be the first man to put a steamboat on the river’. William Richard was in his late 20s when the goldrush hit Victoria, and it was this that sparked his decision to do it.
Despite having no ship building experience, he did have some experience with steam engines with his father’s steam flour mills and, together with two brothers, local carpenters and a blacksmith made the “Mary Ann” paddlesteamer (named after his mother). This was was completed in 1853, and was the first paddlesteamer to operate on the River Murray. And from that he became a prominent man in the Colony of South Australia. You can read more about William Richard Randell in the Australian Dictionary of National Biography.
As for this particular picture, it was an heirloom that ‘came with the Springvale house’ my parents bought in1981. The framed picture of W.R. Randell was hanging on one side of the bedroom, with Winston Churchill on the other!
The connection to my family is that Captain W.R. Randell was the oldest half-brother to my great grandpa John Beavis Randell, so the photo has been passed down through our family since.

Remnants of a Family Photo

Hannaford siblings

DESCRIPTION: A large (a3 sized) oval portrait photograph affixed to hard cardboard showing the three children of Ralph Gould Hannaford and Dorothy McCullough. L-R: Robert, Patricia and Cecil.
DATE:
 c.1926
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM:
 Anthea Phillips (nee Hannaford)
STORY/ABOUT:
This is a photograph that has been printed (or pasted on to a board), which has then been handcoloured. Sadly I don’t know any real story about this particular photograph, but it is in a bad state (you can tell by the blotches on the image above), it needs preserving.  It is likely to have been owned by my grant grandparents Ralph and Dorothy Hannaford, and at some stage was passed down to son, Cecil.
As there seems to be very few Hannaford heirlooms that our family has, it makes this beautiful photograph even more precious. Not only because it has my grandpa Cecil in it (and I’ve not seen a picture of him that young), but that it also has his brother Robert in it, who was killed in action in WW2 at  Rabaul.

A Gift to Great Great Grandma

Old Bible

old bible that belonged to Phebe Randell (nee Robbins)

inscription in Phebe's bible

old bible

DESCRIPTION: a small (A5 sized) bible, with a leather embossed cover and an inscription on the inside
DATE:
 12 March 1908
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM:
 Anthea Phillips (nee Hannaford)
STORY/ABOUT:
My family has been involved with the Salem Baptist Church at Gumeracha ever since it was built, so when I found this old bible that was presented to my great great grandma Phebe Randell nee Robbins), for her services of teaching Sunday School at the Church, it didn’t surprise me, but it is still a very nice memento to have. The second photo two sort-of shows the embossed P. Randell on the cover, with photo three showing in the inscription.

Helping Out His Brother

Memo from WB Randell to JB Randell 1908

DESCRIPTION: a memo written by William Richard Randell (the paddle-steamer captain) to his younger half-brother John Beavis Randell
DATE:
4 July 1908
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM:
Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:
It’s not that often you get to see your ancestor’s own handwriting so I find this fascinating. Although the note itself doesn’t mention anything astounding … it’s still very cool, and you HAVE to love the Captain W.R. Randell’s signature on the bottom, flourishes and all! As for ‘Succoth Valley’ that would encompass the property later know as “Salem Glen”, the property J.B Randell lived in, which is  just South West of the Gumeracha Hospital today.

Transcription of the Memo:

Memo from W.R. Randell
Gumeracha, July, 4th,1908
To: Mr J.B. Randell
Succoth Valley

My dear John

In reply to your enquiry if you are quite ready & weather favourable Charley can come over & do your drilling on Monday. I presume the ground is not too wet. I have ground ready for Peas but land is boggy, perhaps Tuesday may suit you better if so let us know which day will suit best

yours faitfy
Willm Ricd Randell

 

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