Prime Minister of Australia and Local
Member Lord S M Bruce, opening the soldier's
Memorial Hall in Thompson Street, 1926
( Photo courtesy Frankston Library Local History
There were the McClellands who came in 1912 and then there was William McGuiness who won eight Archibald Prizes and lived down in "Gwendy Cottage". They built there near Nan and
Harry McClelland and John Farmer and his wife, she was known as Polly Hurry, but it was John and Polly Farmer who were very well known. All of these artists were from the Meldrum School which include the names like Daryl Lindsay, Paul Montford and John Bowles and later on Ray Ewers in the sculpture line. But the McClellands used to have open house and a lot of these artists came down from Melbourne.
They were all younger members of the famous Heidelberg School as were Harry McClelland and William McGuiness. As you can imagine when all these interesting people got together they had some magnificent parties and nights down at the McClellands' at the Studio.
All these lovely people used to all come down there and then the younger ones started emerging like Sir William Dargie, and I can remember Clifton Pugh as a student coming down to give us a talk. I think it was his first, I'm not sure but anyway they were all there, but they were only boys. The boys used to visit the McClellands and the older members of the Boyd family that have now passed on. The older ones like Bobby Helpman, now Sir Robert Helpman... were all visitors and lots of those people that are well known to us today all went there.
They would have magnificent nights reading famous poems. They would have a literary night, and then they would have a night discussing some of the famous artists of the day... It was the imagination and the food and everything that made it absolutely