My friend and I visited the Old Treasury Building in Spring Street, once home to the Treasury Department of the Government of Victoria and now a museum of Melbourne history.
On display is "Christmas at the Old Treasury".
In the 1920's, John Maynard and his wife Emma lived in 5 rooms with their 8 eight children. Officialdom upstairs, family life downstairs. John was superintendent of the Old Treasury building, in charge of security maintenance and the cleaning staff.
Downstairs the narrow corridors were dank and dark, despite the solid and thick walls, it would have been very cold in winter.
Mrs Maynard spent many hours beside the dining room's warm fire making and mending clothes for the family on the treadle machine. From here she could look out into the courtyard towards the stables, bungalows and wash-house where her children would play.
The Maynard Quilt with the names of the eight children.
Several lady friends would visit on occasions in the evenings, the piano would be played and they would sing Mrs Maynard's favourite song "Mighty Like A Rose".
By the 1920's quite sophisticated Christmas decorations were for sale in shops, but most people could not afford them. Homemade paper decorations adorned the homes instead. Newspapers of the time printed designs and patterns which could be made at home using readily available materials.
Beautifully bound books adorn the bookshelves.
An interesting exhibition of a time gone by.