A large proportion of the old
photographs are from the collection of photo restorer Fay Widdicombe of Fremantle, Western
Australia. She is the grand-daughter of John Edward (Ted) Dance born at Redbrook,
Forest of Dean in 1864 who migrated to the Ballarat goldfields in the 1880s, and
later moved on to the Kalgoorlie
of Western Australia. He was the son of
Scowles, Coleford stone mason John Dance (1838) who joined his son in Australia
I inherited 3 large wooden
blanket boxes. My grandfatherís with UK
(Monmouthshire) photographs. My grandmotherís
with Dunedin NZ photographs, the third had books and framed photographs.
Edward Dance 1807-1882 -
with one of his sons.
mother Catherine Dance 1773 - 1864
who spent much of her life at St Wulstan's Farm, Welsh Newton.
The Newland grave of John's first
wife Zipporah and his parents Edward & Mary Ann from Redbrook.
headstone picture was taken at least 82 years ago. I have been unable to
find this stone today. TB
Edward's son John Dance the stone
mason from Scowles, Coleford 1838 - 1922
taken at Abertillery around 1901
John Edward (Ted) Dance (1864) from
Redbrook, son of John the stone-mason. He sailed to Melbourne, Australia in
Ted sailing to the UK in 1926
With sister Florence in South Wales
on his 1926 UK holiday
came back to South Wales and the Forest of Dean for a 7 month holiday in April 1926. On the passenger
list he gave his destination as his sister's home at Maindee, Newport. MikeKohnstamm of Harriett Dance's family, recalls "my
mother remembered a time when she lived with her parents at one end of
Risca, and her grandparents John Roberts and Eleanor (nee Powell) ran a
pub at the other end of the town.
Apparently there was a very great commotion one day, and the
reason was that a Ted Dance had come visiting from
One of Edward's daughters,
Harriet Dance (1840) married Redbrook tinplate worker James
Rogers in 1859. They had two children, Mary Ann Rogers
(1859) and Thomas (1861) at Redbrook. After the death
of James Rogers Harriett married again at Bristol in 1869. He was
Charles Watkins (1848) a miller who after their marriage changed
his name to Powell. After a couple of years in Skenfrith,
Monmouthshire the couple settled at Redbrook, Harriett's birthplace.
They had seven children Harriet Powell (1870), Edward (1871),
Eleanor(1873), Frank (1874), Jane (1876), John (1878) and Philip
On the 1901 census
Harriet's brother John Dance was staying at Eleanor Roberts's home
The photo shows four generations. Harriet Powell
(nee Dance) seated, with daughter Eleanor Roberts (nee Powell) on her
left and grand-daughter Kathleen Roberts (1897) holding her daughter.
kindly supplied by Mike Kohnstamm whose mother is the baby of this
Florence Griffiths (nee Dance) on the right.
Daughter of John Dance and sister to Ted.
Born 1865 at Redbrook. When as a teenager she was employed as a
servant she stayed for some time with her father's sister, Mary Hodges
at Bristol where this photograph was taken. Widowed in 1901 she
remarried in 1905. Now Mrs Florence Preedy she died at Newport, Monmouthshire
The Hodges Family of Bristol
and Hampton, Victoria.
The house at Bath Street, Abbotsford
Their daughter Amy (Mrs S E
Frederick) lived at Hampton Street, Hampton and was still living here in 1932. Hampton is one of Melbourne's popular bay-side
suburbs. Edwin and Mary moved from their Abbotsford home around 1910 and at the
time of Edwin's death in 1918 were living near their daughter at
"Questa" Hampton Street. Their builder son Frederick William and his
wife Mary Marie, were also close by at Orlando Street, Hampton.
Mary Ann Hodges nee Dance 1849-1920
- Daughter of Edward Dance
Hodges (nee Dance) daughter of Edward Dance, she was born at Scowles, Coleford in
married joiner Edwin Hodges from Bristol in 1868 and moved there. They
had 3 sons at Bristol, Edward 1870, Frederick 1871, and Frank 1873. Their Bristol
home seems to have been very popular with the Dance family as both census shows one or
two of them staying.
on an unassisted passage to Hampton, Victoria, Australia on the Orient
Line "Garonne" arriving in March 1882. Amy Hodges was born there in 1888. She married S.E Frederick
Edwin and Mary Ann Hodges
Edwin Hodges 1845-1918
Mary Ann Hodges (nee Dance)
members of the Australian Hodges family and the headstone of her son
Edward (1870-91) and husband Edwin (1845-1918)
We thought that this was
the Western Australian
family of Mary Ann's son Frank Hodges was who born at Bristol in 1873.
We know that his wife was Annie Bolton.
of the lady with the boys had "to Annie Xmas 1922" written on the
Hodges family member Lisa
Brown has pointed out though, that the photo cannot be of Frank's
family. Frank and Annie only had two surviving children.
Mary Ann's Hampton funeral
notice says "grandma of Myrtle, Andrew, Ruby, Frank, June,
and Pattie (Western Australia)".
The photo shows one of Ted Dance's camel teams
"In the early days, Dances had a
spring cart and delivered the mail out to Yarri and the surrounding
places. Eventually Mr. Dance bought a small red car and I remember when
he'd lose control on rough ground he always grabbed for the cart hand
brake and called out orders to his horses."
Tom Lowe from Mt Remarkable station
in 'Niagara - Kookynie - How it was' a book by Margaret
Three generations at Yarri,
Western Australia. John (1838), his son Ted Dance (1864), with wife Jane McKenzie,
Welsh grandson John (Jack) Griffiths and at the back Ted's children
Annie, Jean and Norman.
Ted Dance's coach from
Kookynie to Yerilla, Yarri and Edjudina. Early 1900s.
Ted Dance's Yarri store
Moving from Yarri
When Ted returned from his UK
holiday in late 1926 the Kookynie area was in decline. He decided to
pull down the Yarri store and move to Kalamunda in the suburbs of Perth
where he opened a store next to the post office.
John Dance (1838) with
children. Florence on the left, Ted on the right and young George (1878)
next to his father. Probably taken at The Scowles, Coleford around 1881.
"This is John Dance with his family, I'd
say just before Ted left to come to Australia and Florence went to
Bristol to work. She was 15 in the 1881 census in Bristol. Ted was 18
and visiting relatives in the same census." Ted's
grand-daughter Fay Widdicombe.
George Hamilton Dance
born Scowles in 1878 with his
father John. Taken after John
returned to Coleford from Brazil.
"We were told he went to America and
married Margaret Hamilton who later had a son George." Fay
show John Dance (1838) with a mate at Yarri, Western Australia and
a reference written for
Ted Dance in 1890 after working as a plasterer at Yarra Flats, Victoria for
John was called Poddy Dance in
Yarri. "A man called Stepini worked for Ted Dance at his goldmine. When
the gold went too deep Ted walked away from it." .. Stepini could be
the big man in the photo with John under the gum tree...
Fay from her Aunt's
asked Fay whether old John worked after arriving at Yarri from England
around 1911 when he would have been 73 years old. She believes he may
have made a modest living from Ted's worked-out gold mine.
Dance died at Kookynie in 1921. He was 84 years old.
John Edward (Ted) Dance in the
Ballarat goldfields area 1880s
Ted in Victoria with workmates in
This was taken
outside the Watch works. Ted is the
one in the white shirt behind and to right of the dog. Fay
Jane Anderson McKenzie
(1863-1932) from Dunedin, New Zealand.
Ted & Jane 1920s
John Edward (Ted)
Dance (1864) in Melbourne 1890s
This is Jane Anderson McKenzie who married
inherited the brooch she is wearing at her throat. (photo on left) The catch was broken but I
kept it for years without knowing where it came from. It wasn't until I did
these photos that I realised whose it was. I had the catch fixed and I wear it
with a safety chain. It is silver marked souvenir and very nicely engraved. Fay
This is the shop at
Yarri. Ted is holding Norman's
hand and Jane is on the other side of Norman. My Mum Annie Frances is in the
middle of the 3 children and her sister Jean Florence is next to her. Lardi is
the man on right in front with dark pants and white shirt. I have never ever heard
him mentioned before but he could have been a silent partner. You will notice the stone wall to the left of the
shop. In 1991 when my sister and I and our husband's went to Kalgoorlie. we
hired a car and went to Yarri. The wall was only 4' high so I took two rocks
off the top and bought the next one home 90 years after Ted had put it there.
It was an eerie feeling. There isn't much left these days. The State Battery
was up a hill away and still working but mainly for the part time prospectors. We
went to the Kookynie Hotel and had a beer. My brother in law was fascinated.
The road to Yarri was gravel and as straight and as flat as the eye could
see. We let him drive and he still talks about it. We saw kangaroos in
the bush and even a mother emu with 6 little chicks walking in a row behind.
They loved it. Fay.
Ted and Jane with
their two youngest children
This is Jane holding Jean Florence and Ted holding
Annie Frances outside the door to the house. The stone wall is to the right of
The Police Constable up there Mr Dodd, (Yarri)
used to take
photos so I think they took this opportunity because their first born John
Andrew died at a very early age.
Ted's son Norman 1904-1964
Norman and his sisters. Annie
1901-1986,( Fay's mother), and Jean 1902
As teenagers my mother and her brother
and sister attended Coolgardie Convent. (25 miles
south of Kelgoorlie) There was
a railway line going from
then a line to Kanowna (25 miles west of Yarri.)"Fay
The photograph shows a
class around that time at Coolgardie Convent School.
(Jenny) Dance applied for and was granted a boarding house license at
Yarri in 1907. A boarder in later years who was to become a family
friend was local Yarri school teacher John Trezise Tonkin. Born
at Boulder City in 1902, Yarri was his first teaching assignment after
attending Claremont Teachers College. A
staunch Labor supporter he set up a branch of the Australian Labor Party
at Forest Grove in 1923 and was one of the youngest delegates elected to
the ALP's State Executive.
had two unsuccessful attempts at entering Parliament before winning the
seat of North-East Fremantle in 1933. During his time in Parliament he
served as Minister for Education, Social Services, Agriculture and
Works, and Water Supplies.
John Tonkin at Yarri.
He became Deputy
Premier in 1955 under Bert Hawke. In 1967, he was elected leader of the
Opposition and became the first person from a metropolitan electorate to
hold that position since Dagleish's year in office.
was the only Labor Premier born in WA up until 1981 and was popularly
known as "Honest John". After his first wife and daughter died
of cancer, John Tonkin crusaded for many years for radio-wave therapy
treatments for cancer sufferers and set up a treatment clinic run by
cancer surgeon Dr John Holt in the Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital.
At the time he married his second wife in the early 1970s, he was
already renowned for his tireless support of the Tronado anti-cancer
On the right is a reference written by John Tonkin for
Norman Dance when John was the ME for North East Fremantle in 1938.
A soldier from the Dance family
(possibly George 1878?) From Fay's West Australian collection.
Frank Dance MBE,
baptised at Bishopswood in 1884. Son of Edward's son George Dance. Mentioned in dispatches World War
I. Managing Director of Curacho at Lydbrook in 1920s. Padre at RAF Locking, Weston
Super Mare in World War 2. Vicar at Hereford 1960s.
Ann's grandmother and Frank's
Ridgers (nee Dance) born Welsh Bicknor 1882. Daughter of George and sister to Frank.
Ernest Ridgers from Windlesham, Surrey and spent the remainder of her life there.
She died in the early 1930s.
30th January 1936
4th May 1927
4th March 1939
Ted's sister Florence's Newport family at the
time of her daughter Florence Elizabeth Griffiths's wedding to Ben
Sefton in 1918. Florence (born 1865) is seated and the married couple
are in the centre.
William Dance from
Cheltenham (left). Born Welsh Bicknor 1880, son of George Dance.
His sister Maria born 1873 at Redbrook.
Frankish nee Dance and her husband Anderson on the right.Will
Dance and his housekeeper. (She (Maria) looks so much like my mother's
sister in later life it's not funny) From Fay Widdicombe
Newland Village today.
On the right is a view of the Jones Almshouses where Edward died in
1882, taken from Newland churchyard.
Thomas & Catherine's grave at
The Newland Oak in 1900
Redbrook Tinplate Works
Welsh Bicknor looking towards the
Lydbrook Junction bridge