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A Christmas Day Accident – 1911

Willie Hall, aged 4 years and 9 months, son of Mr. Walter Hall, of Hill End, met with a serious accident at his parents’ residence on Christmas Day. He dropped a bottle of lemonade which he was carrying, with the result that the bottle burst, and a piece of glass flew up and penetrated his right eye. The little boy was brought to Bathurst, where it was found that the eye was so injured that it had to be removed.

The team at Twisted History would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!! 

We will be closed at all locations on Christmas night to spend time with our nearest and dearest but will be back on Boxing Day to share the darker side of Victoria’s history into 2016.

On this day …….. 25th of December 1916

An aggressive tiger snake which attacked Private Frederick Thoroughgood, a soldier who had been invalided home deaf and dumb from Gallipoli, was the means of his regaining both his speech and hearing. Private Thoroughgood, who since his return has been an inmate of the Camberwell Convalescent Home, Mont Albert-road, attended a picnic at Warrandyte on Christmas day. While walking through the bush he almost trod on the snake, which immediately showed fight, and Thoroughgood, after a short encounter, despatched the reptile with a stick. The affray excited Thoroughgood somewhat, and a little later his companions were surprised to hear him commence whistling. Shortly afterwards he asked in a normal voice, “Well, what’s the next item on the programme ?” Speech and hearing came to him, simultaneously, being doubtless the best Christmas box that he could have desired.

 

Kentucky Fried Christmas – Japan

No kidding – just like how Christmas turkey is a must on Christmas, for the Japanese it’s the Colonel’s Chicken. Since the beginning of this marketing campaign four decades ago, KFC has been associated with Christmas in the minds of the Japanese for generations, a tradition passed on from parent to child in spite of its commercialized beginnings. More than 240,000 barrels of chicken will be sold during Christmas, five to ten times its normal monthly sales. “In Japan, Christmas equals KFC.”

On this day …….. 24th of December 1938

Australia hosts the first ever Carols by Candlelight on this day in 1938.

Carols by Candlelight is a popular Australian Christmas tradition. Communities gather together in parks or churchyards to sing carols and Christmas songs on any given evening in the lead-up to Christmas. There is often extra entertainment during these events, with skits, plays and other performers, and participants may hold candles or other electric lights to enhance the festive atmosphere. The concept of Carols by Candlelight was born in 1937 when radio veteran Norman Banks was on his way home after a late evening shift. Walking along St Kilda Road, Melbourne, he saw a woman through the window of her home, her face reflecting the soft glow of candlelight, singing to Away in a Manger as it played on the radio. The sight inspired Banks to create an event which could be enjoyed by many, and which would reflect both the reverence and the joy of Christmas. With the support of his employers and the Melbourne City Council, particularly Lord Mayor AW Coles, Banks organised a programme for the following year. The first Carols by Candlelight took place in Melbourne, Australia on Christmas Eve, 24th of December 1938. Approximately ten thousand people came together at midnight in Alexandra Gardens to sing carols, backed by a choir, two soloists and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Band. A larger production was organised the following year, and the tradition grew, continuing even through World War II. Since that time, Carols by Candlelight events have spread, continuing to be organised throughout the nation, with some sponsored by major organisations, and others quieter affairs in churches and community centres.

 

Father Christmas Opens Gaol – 1930

The gates of Alabama’s prisons in Vancouver, were opened for more than 3OO convicts, who went home for Christmas. Parole for 15 days was given to men, most of whom were convicted for murder or manslaughter, who have already served 25 years and who so conduct is meritorious. This is the third year that long term convicts have been rewarded, and only five have failed to return. No check will be kept on their movements until January 5.

Tours will be running every night apart from Christmas night over the holiday period.  So if you are looking for something to do over the holidays, why not join the team from Twisted History for a ghost tour or an investigation tour of the most intact 19th century prison in Victoria ….. do you have what it takes to enter the gates of the Geelong Gaol.  For bookings and information, please call 1300865800.

GAOL SANTA CLAUS – PENTRIDGE ARREST

A young man has been charged with breaking into Pentridge gaol. The man was discovered about midday on the 26th of December 1951, in a building in the reformatory section of the gaol. He told warders he was familiar with the layout of the building, because he had recently served a long term there. Early this morning he had climbed over a 20 foot wall surrounding the gaol, and spent the morning distributing Christmas gifts of tobacco and cigarettes to his friends.

 

RECORD CAKE – 1849

During the Christmas season of 1849, enterprising confectioner John Yewers of Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, baked an enormous Christmas Cake.  It weighed 90 kilograms, was 1.2 meters high and 4.8 meters in circumference.  Because no single customer would buy it, Yewers raffled the cake and managed to get it off his hands for a profit.

 

12388260_223077841356685_1145841239_nDuring the Christmas season of 1849, enterprising confectioner John Yewers of Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, baked an enormous Christmas cake. It weighed 90kg, was 1.2m high and 4.8m in circumference. Because no single customer would buy it, Yewers raffled the cake and managed to get it off his hands for a profit

femaleFactoryIllustrationOn the 27th of December 1832, Charlotte Welsh, a convict woman working as a servant in a Sydney house, was sent to the female workhouse for six weeks for being insolent to her mistress. She had complained that her Christmas pudding had no brandy in it.

With 10 days until Christmas 2015, the Twisted History team thought we would try and find some weird and wonderful stories of Christmas to share with you!

She toddled after Santa – December 1955 Read more