Fred and Florence Lill of Grange

[Fred and Florence Lill c. 1904]

Jillian Crider has lived for many years at Grange.

In the story below Jillian shares memories of her grandfather and grandmother who were prominent residents and respected citizens of Grange.

I lived much of my life in the house at 620 Seaview Road, Grange (now 536). When born, it was the home of my grandfather (Frederick William Russon Lill) and grandmother (Florence Dulcie Lill), and where my parents lived. So the first 24 years of my life was spent living there – with my grandparents until their deaths, and later, with my mother (Joyce Constance Capon), at various times.

Grandpa, who was born 29th Dec. 1878 and died 22nd Jan 1962 was a prominent builder and contractor in Grange, and owned much land there. Prior to living at Seaview Road. he lived in 31 Jetty Street (now 29) and in several other houses around Grange. He built both these houses and it’s likely that he built more in the local area – my mother told me. He left Grange at the end of 1927 to go to Pt. Lincoln. He worked on many public buildings there (school and town hall) and built houses. Major buildings I know he built were the railway station at Tailem Bend and the Strathalbyn Post Office in 1913.  I have also confirmed a few dates – he was President of the Grange Bowling Club in 1924 and Vice-president in 1925, and was their first Life Member. In 1927 he was recognised as one of the oldest members of the Henley & Grange Football Club. He was councillor for Grange Ward – 1937 being one of those years. I’m quite sure he was active in other years, and other community activities.

 [F.W.R Lill – Business Card]
[Note: This may be a misprint as Swan St was not in Kirkcaldy]

Grandpa always smoked a pipe. I was very close to him and he, patient with me as I followed him around our yard and back sheds. He taught me a lot of interesting things, but mostly I remember him as being very quiet. He was the one that would cut the string on the presents tied to the Christmas tree and read out the names. He also was the carver at meals if we had a meat that had to be carved. He would make a great display of sharpening the knife before cutting. Quite a ceremony.

Grandfather and me [1949]

I remember that he and Nan (my grandmother) went to a retreat to Mt Barker, but while there he had a stroke. They came home, but he wasn’t well and was taken by ambulance to hospital and died within days. I was 14. Nan died 11 years later.

He married my grandmother, Florence Dulcie Lill (nee Nation) 30th March 1904, in Perth, W.A. (They had 3 daughters – Gladys, Dulcie and Joyce – Joyce was my mother.) His mother was Elizabeth, who was the original occupant of the Seaview Rd house, possibly in 1913 – and lived there as a widow for the next 32 years, dying in 1945. It also became the final home for my grandfather from when he returned from Pt Lincoln with his family (1937).

Nan cooked very well. I mostly remember her cream lilies. Yum! She also had some wonderful old clothes that I used to play dress up in. I remember her as being gentle and quiet. She wore a full apron but took it off to sit on the front verandah. I was naughty as I liked to play tricks on her like undoing her apron strings and tying her to the chair behind. She took it in good humor, but my parents would tell me off. She started having strokes from about the time I was 10 or so. She would go to hospital for a few days then come home and be OK but eventually she was put in the nursing home diagonally opposite Del Monte, on Seaview Rd., Henley Beach.  She died in 1973 at Northfield/Greenacres.

[Nan and my mother (Joyce) behind her at the Grange Bowling Club c. 1920s]

Many of our family traditions came from her. There was always a tray with teapot and cosy, cups, sugar and cream, a jug with milk and tea strainer at her end of the table and she would be the one to pour teas for the adults after a meal. She wore corsets on a daily basis. Mainly as these were worn before a bra – a ‘camisole‘ was worn instead. It was a ‘whalebone‘ corset and one of my chores was to lace her up into it. I still remember putting my foot up into it so I could hold a lace in each hand.

I consider myself very ‘lucky’ to have lived with people who were born in late 1870s as so many memories and things have already been lost in time. And fortunate enough to have been shown, told and experienced these treasured moments.

 

Sources:
Jillian Crider https://bornin1948.blogspot.com
Original images: Courtesy of Jillian Crider (nee Capon)
(Images colourised and enhanced by R. Edmonds, H&GHS)

Do you have a connection with Grange? Could you have lived in one of the houses built by F.W.R. Lill? What family traditions have been passed down the generations from your grandparents?

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