As I approach the finish line, I find that my days and nights are gradually getting longer as the workload piles on. This isn’t a complaint, merely an observation (and perhaps a hope of some more hours in the day). It is exhilarating to know that so many opportunities are presenting themselves, but a little disappointing to be fully aware that I may not be able to say yes to them all…yet!
Enough on that!
Yesterday I was back at the NSW State Library to look at the Haven Family papers. These included the wills of Lucy, her first husband Thomas Hyndes and her second husband Rev William Purves. It would seem that Lucy did not have any of her own children despite their being a lot of inaccurate information in both legitimate and non-legitimate secondary sources! She did however, become the primary guardian of Hyndes *ah-hem* adopted daughter Amelia Ibbotson whose mother was his housekeeper. Unfortunately, the will did not turn up any information about further music-making activities, but I have been able to track down a probate package for Lucy at the Archives and Records office, which may have a contents list for the house.
In the afternoon, I headed to another museum called Susannah Place Museum. This is a set of four terrace houses built for working0class people in 1844. There were apparently residents still living in these houses until 1990 when it eventually became a museum. You can only visit the houses by joining a tour group and while it was interesting to see each house laid out in the stylings of a different era including 1844, 1901, 1950 and 1970 as well as hearing oral histories about the families who once lived there, I was quite put off by the guide.
I will preface this complaint by saying all the guides are volunteers so they are obviously giving up their spare time to do the tours. However, after making sure to tell us that she had a cold, she kept trying to thrust her disease-ridden ipad in our hands to look at pictures. Surely, if you know you have a cold and are constantly coughing and blowing your nose while touching a device that is supposed to be handed to guests, you would change up your practice to simply show the pictures and not give the ipad and your cold germs to the tour group? *grumble grumble*
A more serious observation was that she wasn’t quite as effective as Jan at Government House at setting the seen for the properties. It was obvious that she was trying to remember the information for each item of discussion and she did run over time by 10 minutes, which is irksome when you have places to be. I would have liked to have known more about the piano in the final room, but the museum was closing, a storm was literally brewing and I had to get back to The Mint to collect my bags. I did film a vlog about my visit, which I will be posting very soon so you can see the location of the museum for yourself!
The museum is also situated on Cumberland Place, which was the street where Lucy and Thomas lived during their marriage. Cheshunt House, Cumberland Place was their residents and was passed to Lucy upon Thomas’s death. Unfortunately, it is no longer standing but I did find this sketch of what the house once looked like. It is a shame not to be able to see it physically, but it was nice to have been able to walk the streets of a person I have come to know quite well over the past few weeks.