Five Ways to Remember: Frederick Castledine

Wep’s father, Frederick Castledine Pidgeon,c.1912. Fred was a stained glass artisan and glazier and an accomplished landscape painter.

When you’re a small child and all you ever see in the house is knees and a tablecloth, and the big key which locks a door, what do you remember? What do the chokos growing wild around the lanes; the new fangled Studebaker depot down past the old horse drawn McCaffery’s? Motorcars spoiling our pitch on Glenmore Rd.

You know I dreamt up that these “Studies” had even killed our dog Sandy. But this was not so. It is just that so many cars are about now, I project a hatred.

Once, I remember my father coming down the steps, right down to the bottom of the house. I suppose he had finished work and was coming home to the area where the dining room and kitchen hung out. Perhaps to where under the steps leading to the salon de resistance was a grimy little poke hole in which one put brooms and mops and a hand clipper for cutting the meagre grass of our back lawn – or to tidy up the always overgrown wilderness of 6’ x 3” which covered father in lot 702A at Bronte and looked so wildy and beautifully, as the winds from the sea and the extra salty south.

Of course I have no memory of Frederick Castledine’s internment. A box in a house with a father in it.

Twenty seven years later at or on, the same site I learnt to hate funerals and all the bullshit and beatification which comes with the mothballs and glossy white gloves.

Fred Pidgeon, c.1912
Notes:

Wep’s father, Frederick Castledine Pidgeon, passed away June 12th,  1913 when Wep was only four years old. Wep retained the memory of seeing his father in his coffin, laid out in the front room of the family home at 290 Glenmore Road and suffered from claustrophobia for the rest of his life as a consequence. Bill hated funerals, subconsciously perhaps from the trauma of his father’s death at a young age but reinforced  as he says, approximately twenty seven years later at the time of his mother’s funeral in August 1941.

 

“Wep Goes Over the Top”

Wep Goes Over the Top - The Sun 27 Aug 1933 p28
The Sunday Sun and Guardian, Sunday 27 August 1933, page 28

Wep Goes Over the Top

Wep is married. To the un-initiated let it be said that Wep is one of Sy d n e y’ s brilliant young artists of the most modern school, and on Thursday he took unto himself a Mrs. William Edwin Pidgeon, for that is Wep’s real name. The bride, was Miss Jessie Graham, only child of Mr. and Mrs. Ceorge O. [sic – A.] Graham, of Brighton, while Wep is the youngest son of Mrs. Thirza Pidgeon and the late Frederick Pidgeon. The ceremony was performed quietly at St. Stephen’s Church, by the Rev. R. McCowan, the bride wearing a dainty frock of pink angel’s skin, and she added a white hat. Her father gave her away. A reception lunch was held at Farmer’s, after which Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Pidgeon left by car for Kosciusko for a fortnight’s honeymoon.

1933 ‘Wep Goes Over the Top’, The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954), 27 August, p. 28. , viewed 20 Aug 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article231434950

 

St. Stephen's Church, Phillip Street, Sydney. The church was demolished just after Wep's wedding to make way for the Martin Place extension and a new church built in Macquarie St. [Photo - Sydney Architecture Images- "Gone but not forgotten", St Stephen's Church, http://sydneyarchitecture.com/GON/GON126.htm, viewed 20 Aug 2016]
St. Stephen’s Church, Phillip Street, Sydney. The church was demolished just after Wep’s wedding to make way for the Martin Place extension and a new church built in Macquarie St. [Photo – Sydney Architecture Images- “Gone but not forgotten”, St Stephen’s Church, http://sydneyarchitecture.com/GON/GON126.htm, viewed 20 Aug 2016]
Each motor-vehicle for which a registration certificate is taken out in New South Wales from the beginning of December will be required to carry a visible registration label on the windscreen, or, if a windscreen is not fitted, in an approved container. The label will indicate the date to which the vehicle has been registered, so that after the first 12 months of the plan any vehicle not registered will be readily detected. The plan is similar to that already in operation in Victoria. 1932 'Motors and Motoring.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), 22 November, p. 11, viewed 21 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4510135 Registration could be paid quarterly with new labels issued explaining why the Chrysler had differing registration months 1932 'Motor Registration Fees.', Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954) , 30 November, p. 2, viewed 21 August, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83438816
Bill and Jess set off for a fortnight’s honeymoon at Mt. Kosciusko in Wep’s Chrysler Roadster; 24 Aug 1933
Jessie Pidgeon with Best Man, Geoff Turton (aka Petrov) and his wife Mollie seeing Bill and Jess off on their honeymoon at Kosciusko, 24 Aug 1933.
Jessie Pidgeon with Best Man, Geoff Turton (aka Petrov) and his wife Mollie seeing Bill and Jess off on their honeymoon at Kosciusko, 24 Aug 1933.