Call for Show happy snaps
Photo taken at 1964 sheepdog trials at Showground in Canberra by W. Pedersen. Photo: National Archives of Australia
Even though it will upset the lifestyles of the spiders, silverfish and mites in your seldom-visited sheds and attics, we do have to ask readers to do some shed-fossicking and attic-rummaging for the Centenary's sake. Let's do it for Robyn!
The admirable Friends of the Hall Museum are readying to do several things for the Centenary, but have come across one area of curious impoverishment.
Even though the famous, bucolic Hall Showground was the venue for a forerunner of of the Canberra Show right up until 1964 (when this extravaganza moved to Canberra and to the present site, now called EPIC) there are few known photographs of madding throngs at Hall's Canberra Show days.
Do you know anything about this photograph? A Siamese cat makes an unusual appearance at the 1964 sheepdog trials at Canberra showgrounds. Picture taken by W. Pedersen. Photo: National Archives of Australia
Hall identity Bob Richardson tells us that the showground is presently getting ''a huge makeover'', albeit a makeover that preserves its heritage qualities and charms.
The museum dearly wants to celebrate that essential-to-Canberra era of the showground but needs images with which to do it, and simply hasn't been able to unearth many.
Yes, it has trawled the great institutions, but with little luck.
It is time for all of us to trawl that great, diffuse institution: the nation's mouldering photo albums.
It's unimaginable, isn't it, that families didn't take their Box Brownies with them on the special buses that used to truck Canberrans out to Hall for the show?
And what of the proud farmers of the region who, basking in the success of their beribboned champion sheep, pig and cow, posed their families with the winning beasts so as to bask in the reflected glory?
Richardson believes it ''boggles the mind'' to imagine that there are no pictures out there somewhere.
Richardson says that Hall history-gatherers do have an abundance of images of sheepdog trial pictures, and so no more thank you.
But, when, with a view to helping this cause, this columnist went fossicking through the show-related collections of the National Archives of Australia some sheepdog trial pics of great charm and mystery showed up. This column loves mystery pics (the photo of unidentified Queanbeyan men and their unidentified Queanbeyan bulldog intrigued a legion of readers), and especially when there are dogs in them.
So here is another.
The people pictured, with their seal-point Siamese and their ute load of Border Collies, are at the National Sheepdog Trials at the new and bleak-looking Canberra Show Grounds in 1964.
Who are they? Why have they brought their (gorgeous) cat? The only clue we have is that the photographer may have been a W. Pedersen.
Meanwhile, when you discover long-lost images of ancient shows at Hall, please contact Bob Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org