Queensland Figaro, Thursday 17th August 1905
An Afternoon Tea.
Miss Vera Baynes, daughter of Mr and Mrs. E. Baynes, Highgate Hill, entertained a number of girl friends at a strawberry tea last Friday afternoon. The little hostess, who received her guests in the drawing room, which was decorated with narcissi and roses, wore a dainty frock of cream canvas voile, with sash of apple green silk, knotted at the back.
She presented each girl with a card with the word strawberry written on it, and out of strawberry as many other words as possible were to be made. Miss Mete McKenny proved the most successful word maker, and gained a silver mounted smelling salts bottle.Miss Enid Macalister came next, and a dainty little silver sweet dish fell to her lot. Miss Greta Baynes carried off the much desired Booby Prize. Of course, strawberries and cream, and hosts of other dainties were served.
Vera was the daughter of Ernest Baynes, one of three brothers who at one stage had around 30 butcher shops in Brisbane as well as other business interests including a factory in South Brisbane producing barrels, saddles and vehicles. At this time, the family were living in “Tarong” at the Hampstead Road end of Blakeney Street, although at this time it’s frontage was on Westbourne Street.
Some photos of the original fence can be seen in another post in this blog, Westbourne St. 1930s Architecture. Baynes Street, further up Hampstead Road, takes its name from the family.
A paddock used by the family for cattle holding was sold in 1887 to form part of the suburb of Greenslopes. Until 1920 Ernest was ringmaster of the annual Brisbane exhibition and a grandstand was named for him in 1923. A biography of the Baynes brothers can be found here.
Being a flood plain, the West End/ Hill End area had soil that was very fertile, and many farms and orchards were established along the river bank. Farms in the area offered a fixed price entry for people to go and pick strawberries.
Smelling salts have been around since Roman times. They became very popular in the Victorian era. This was perhaps due to the fashion of wearing very tightly laced corsets which could bring on a “the vapours” or mild anoxia. Poor nutrition and the stench from the primitive drainage of the period could also have contributed to the popularity of smelling salts.