About this blog

This blog is about the history of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and neighbouring areas, such as Pakenham, Cranbourne and Garfield, and any other historical subjects I feel like writing about. It's my own original research and writing and if you live in the area you may have read some of the stories before in the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society newsletter or the Koo-Wee-Rup township newsletter, The Blackfish, or the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator.
Heather Arnold.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

100 years ago this week - Miss Bell, confectioner, fruiterer and caterer.

Feeling peckish? Then call in at Miss Bell's shop in Main Street in Bunyip and you can purchase "hot pies, tea, coffee and cocoa at all hours". You could have done this 100 years ago, as well as buying confectionery, postage stamps and many brands of cigarettes and tobacco. Miss Bell would also hire out crockery, glassware, cutlery and  a marquee for your party.

Bunyip Free Press November 5, 1914

We have met Miss Bell before, In January 1913, she applied to the Shire of Berwick for a permission to manufacture ice cream on her premises. We know from the Electoral Roll on Ancestry database that her name was Margaret. There is a report  of her wedding in the Bunyip Free Press of July 30, 1914 when she married Charles Marsden of Bunyip. Her father is listed as Hugh Bell, a farmer of Bunyip. The wedding took place on July 22 at St Thomas' Church of England in Bunyip and the reception was at the Cafe Cecil 'of which the happy couple are the proprietors' according to the article. I don't know if this was a different premises from her own business, because she was still paying for advertisements in the paper months after she was married, or the same business.

Bunyip Free Press July 30, 1914

What else do we know about Margaret Bell, confectioner? Cafe Cecil was still going in December 1915 as it was supplying the catering for Sports Day. 

Bunyip Free Press December 9, 1915

In the same paper there was also an account of another wedding, that of Arthur Weatherhead to Inez Coombs and they had their wedding reception or 'sumptious wedding tea' at Cafe Cecil after their wedding on November 11, 1915. This was of interest to me as Arthur, the fourth child of Horatio and Eleanor Weatherhead, was my grandmas's brother.  Grandma is Eva Rouse (nee Weatherhead) 

Bunyip Free Press December 9, 1915

Margaret is listed in the 1919 Electoral Roll as Margaret Marsden, Confectioner of Bunyip. Charles is listed as a carpenter. In  the 1924 and 1936 Electorial Rolls  Charles is listed as a farmer and Margaret as Home Duties, living at Tynong, so it seems that by then her confectionery days were behind her.

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