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This photograph, from the Tom Lennon photographic archive collection, shows the wedding day of Ivy Springett and Henry Hillier of Woolwich, Sydney. The Springetts chose to be married during Palmer’s Mystery Hike No. 4, which took place on Sunday, August 7 in 1932 at Stanwell Park on the south coast of New South Wales. In this photograph the couple are being showered with confetti by fellow hikers. The bride wore a white blouse and a white divided skirt.
Such an unorthodox ceremony was bound to attract attention. To the left of the frame is a Cinesound newsreel cameraman at work recording the Springett’s wedding. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a crowd of 10,000 witnessed the ceremony, the largest gathering ever recored at Stanwell Park. Although performed in the open air and on the back of a lorry, it was claimed that the service lost none of its religious significance or sacredness. It was reported in the Townsville Daily Bulletin that there was some opposition to the idea from the Congregational Union. The Revereand Goss of Croydon, who performed the ceremony, said that he did not think he’d ever been to a service where greater reverence had been shown.
In 1932 there were four mystery hikes held around Sydney. The hikes were organised by city department store F. J. Palmer and Sons in associated with The Railways and National Parks. Hikers purchased a two-shilling train ticket and joined a train from Central Station to an unknown destination. The hikes, held on Sundays, were enormously popular. So popular, in fact, that they were held in many other parts of the country. In Melbourne, however, the Victorian Hiking Club’s plan to emulate the success of Sydney’s mystery hike wedding with one of their own the following weekend was abandoned. According to a report in Rockhampton’s The Morning Bulletin , Mr Clapp, the Victorian Commissioner for railways, declared that no trains would leave the station if such a ‘stunt’ were to be part of the Melbourne club’s first mystery hike.
Tom T. Lennon was a commercial photographer whose studio was at 64 Victoria Road, Drummoyne. The 1796 negatives in the Powerhouse Museum Tom Lennon archive include images of balls and dinners held in Sydney, weddings, funerals, work events, parties, portraits, pets, fashion, horse races, musicians, dance bands and various places and events 1927-1949. Many images from the Tom Lennon archive have been posted previously on Photo of the Day.
Post by Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian
Photography by Tom Lennon
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