Depicted in front of the Post Office building is a passenger carrying coach or drag marked in signwriting on the righthand (off-side) of the driver's seat with the words: 'E. SHORTHOUSE / PROPRIETORESS / UPPER BEACONSFIELD'.

Mr Alf Shorthouse was granted a stage coach licence to run between Beaconsfield Railway Station and Upper Beaconsfield in January 1900. Alfred George Shorthouse had been operating coach services in the Beaconsfield district since at least 1887. "E. Shorthouse" appears to have been his wife Emma Shorthouse (neé Hosken), who died on 2nd July 1918 at the family residence in Upper Beaconsfield. Four of their children Alfred George (1875), Arthur William (1880), Charles Edgar (1882), and Robert Alexander (1887) were born at Berwick, while Emmeline Mary (1877) and John Charles (1879) where born at Richmond, and the youngest, Flor Amy (1894), at North Beaconfield. Emma was survived by her husband and six of the children - Alfred, Emily (Mrs Winter), Arthur, Charles, Robert and Florence. On advertisement in The Age 18 December 1918, annunced: "UPPER BEACONSFIELD. EXECUTOR'S SALE Of OLD-ESTABLISHED CARRYING BUSINESS, Mail, Passenger, and Goods, Together with 10 Acres of Land, House and Extensive Stabling, &c., In the Estate of Emma Shorthouse, Deceased. Also FIVE RESIDENTIAL ALLOTMENTS,The Best Available Sites of This Popular District, Delightfully and Conveniently Situated." At least one of her sons 'Boff' Shorthouse was still operating a coaching business in the district in the 1930s.

Description of Content

Postcard view showing a group of people gathered with several horsedrawn passenger vehicles of various styles standing on the roadway in front of the Post Office and General Store at Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria, around 1910. The group includes men, women and children of various ages, who appear to be wearing their best clothing, suggesting that they are perhaps gathered for a community outing or excursion. The horsedrawn vehicles include a buggy, delivery van packed with large parcels and a passenger drag or charabanc excursion coach, with longitudinal bench seats in the back and open sides with rolled canvas blinds. The Post Office building is built of weatherboard with a corrugated iron roof and verandah across the front. Advertising signage above the verandah reads: 'POST OFFICE / STORE / GROCERY / DARPERY / J. SH???? (undecipherable) / IRONMONGERY / HORSE FEED' and 'THE ARGUS POPULAR DAILY'. On the facia board below the verandah guttering is painted 'FAMILIES WAITED ON FOR ORDERS'. Other advertising signs are mounted on the shopfront under the verandah, including one for 'MOUNT LYELL' fertilisers. At the left-hand end of the verandah two shop keepers are standing - one a man wearing a boater hat, buttoned jacket and stripped butcher's apron, and the other a man dressed in waistcoat, tie and collar wearing a white full length grocer's apron. Near the right-hand end of the verandah is a young man with a peak cap carrying a mail bag and a rolled paper. Behind the vehicles on the left is a wooden telegraph pole with a kerosene street lamp attached to it. Overhead wires from the telegraph pole cross the street to a small weatherboard room at the left-hand end of the verandah, which has a sign above the door that reads 'POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE'.

Physical Description

Black & white 35mm copy negative of an original photographic postcard print.

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