Ardoch's English milliners, 1952 and 1959

Edna Mann and Gladys Garside


Edna Mann and Gladys Garside were two English milliners who lived together at Ardoch between 1952 and 1959. The women met while training together in Yorkshire and had saved up for a long holiday in Australia. They thought Melbourne was ‘a friendly, pleasant city, and the climate reminded them of home.’

There isn’t a lot of information about the women in the historical record but an article about Edna and Gladys appeared in The Herald in August 1949 unusually entitled, ‘They Like Melbourne and Our Butchers’. It gives us a glimpse into the lives of two working women and the difference between Post-War life in the UK and Australia. When the article was published, the women were thinking about staying in Melbourne permanently and establishing a business. They were pleased with the quality of materials they were able to obtain for their hats, but the shops that excited them the most were butchers shops. ‘You’ve no idea how exciting it is to an Englishwoman to see butchers’ shop windows dressed with all that beautiful meat on a Monday morning … In England the butchers’ shops are never open on a  Monday, and when they do open, they don’t ever dress the windows. They’re too busy serving out the meat.’[1]

[1] ‘They Like Melbourne And Our Butchers’, The Herald, 31 August 1949, p. 21