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In Lavinia Shaw‘s album are a number of commercial landscape photographs, the postcards of the time. Most are of scenes from around Tasmania so maybe Lavinia travelled there in the 1880s or early 1890s, or maybe she was given them as a set.

Two of these “postcards” are not of Tasmania but seem to have been included in the album for their connection to Alfred Shaw’s second wife Margaret Wilson.

003_004La

“Ballantrae Ayrshire”

Ballantrae is on the Ayrshire coast about 50 miles south of Glasgow. If we travel down the road in the foreground, cross the river and immediately turn right along the minor road on the other bank we will reach Colmonell after 2 or 3 miles. This was where Margaret was born and where during her childhood her father was a farmer and the local GP.

Looking out across the water we can see a conical island with the much larger Isle of Arran behind. To the left in the far distance is the Kintyre peninsular. The conical island is Ailsa Craig and this is almost certainly the origin of Margaret’s third child’s name, Ailsa Wilson Shaw (if a boy would he have been named Craig?). Interestingly, (for me anyway) in 2002 before I knew anything much about Margaret or Ailsa I spent a week or so in a cottage on the south of Arran and looked out daily at the changing light on Kintyre and Ailsa Craig.

Looking closely at the white writing along the bottom of the photo we can see what looks like “0233 Ballantrae from S.W. Poulton’s Series”. A quick search turned up this from the Glasgow University site:

Poulton or ‘Poulton’s Series’ are probably linked to the photographer, publisher and printer Samuel E Poulton (1819-1898), who was based in London and south-east England. His son, Alfred Walford Poulton, was also involved in the business, which may well have published prints taken by local photographers around the country. It has also been suggested that the Edinburgh-based photographer Thomas Polson Lugton was behind the Poulton series. He certainly may have been responsible for some of the scenes taken in Scotland.

003_004Ma

“Donald”

Donald is a bit under 300k north-west of Melbourne in the wheat fields of Victoria’s Wimmera region. I believe this photo was taken in the main street, Wood Street, in the 1880s and based on a conversation some years ago with a Donald local history group it seems to be a quite well known “postcard”.

At 8 Wood Street at about the same time was the store of Robert Campbell Hannah, Margaret Wilson’s brother-in-law (I have a bit on the store here). Although eventually broken off, Margaret’s niece, Williamina, was engaged for a while to the son of William John Waddell, owner of the store pictured.

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