17th March 2022

Uniform buttons

Union Steam Ship Co







Trading for over 125 years, not surprisingly this company has had buttons supplied by various firms with varying backmarks. These include ; Firmin London, Firmin & Sons London, Stokes & Sons, Stokes & Sons Melbourne, and an un-named wreath and crown. This one is marked for Kersley & Crawford, Sydney. Mr Kersley (both on his own and with partner Mr Crawford) was an outfitter who supplied uniforms for various steamship companies. He presumably had connections with the merchant navy community.


South Maitland Railways

Backmark: Stokes

The South Mailands Railways P/L is a privately owned railway company. It was established in 1891 by the East Greta Company to service the coal fields in the region, and link them to the Great Northern Railway. The initial gravitation and horse drawn trains were replaced by steam locomotion from 1895. As the region developed over the next couple of decades the network grew to service up to 26 mines. In 1918 two private mining railways merged to form the South Maitland railways. It is now owned by H&M Holdings P/L.

The Age (Melbourne), 6th September 1918 page 7.

From Wikipedia: East Greta No1 Tunnel Colliery, near Maitland, New South Wales, Australia c.1910

From Wikipedia: Engine SMR10 at the East Greta Junction. 2010.

Wikipedia reports the “mothballing” of the last line (to the Pelton Colliery) as of March 2020, but the company’s webpage seems to indicate it is still operating for maintenance, training, repair and tourism.


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