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A Vintage Christmas at Bankfoot House 

Built in 1868, Bankfoot House is a state heritage-listed property and the oldest surviving residence in the Glass House Mountains. Bankfoot House also had its own general store, butcher shop, blacksmith and was the post office. Occupied for over 130 years by three generations of the same family, the house is furnished with original domestic items providing a unique glimpse into early life on the Sunshine Coast.

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The Bankfoot House collection is made up of over 6500 objects that belonged to the Grigor, Burgess and Ferris families.
The collection contains objects large and small; from the timber bullock wagon down to pieces as small as a thimble. Each of these objects were used and loved by the family and tell the tale of life here at Bankfoot House.
Like all family homes, Bankfoot House was the setting for many celebrations and family gatherings, and no time was quite as special at Bankfoot as Christmas.

Click on image to watch ‘Stories from the Red Couch’ as Ann Podobnik shares tales of festive cheer from Bankfoot House.

Christmas at Bankfoot House Exhibition.

Friday 4.12.2020 to Sunday 31.1.2021


The three generations of Bankfoot House were all very musical. The Grigor family owned a piano as documented in photographs contained in our collection.  Clementina Burgess (nee Grigor) was well known as a fine pianist so too were her daughters Mary and Ellie, who were often called on to play at local dances and town events.


The Bankfoot House team has carefully selected objects from our stored collection to exhibit over the festive season including some Christmas sheet music that belonged to Mary and Ellie.
View the exhibition in the Mary Grigor Centre every Friday, Saturday and/ or Sunday 10am-3pm.

Bankfoot House is located on1998 Old Gympie Rd, Glass House Mountains QLD 4518

Experiencing an old time radio show - with a twist

On December 5th and 6th The Drama Merchant performed The Radioplay Hour - Pinocchio, live at Bankfoot House, with a little pantomime visual, taking audiences back to a time when the family would have sat around the radio as a form of entertainment!

 

A recording of this show will be available soon STAY TUNED.

Images from show.

The Drama Merchant and the cast of Pinocchio
The cast of Pinocchio
The cast of Pinocchio

Photo by Winart visuals

The Drama Merchant and the Elf creating the sound of Pinocchio walking
The Drama Merchant and the Elf creating the sound of Pinocchio walking

Photo by Winart Visuals

The sound effect table
The sound effect table

Photo by Winart Visuals

The cast of Pinocchio
The cast of Pinocchio

Photo by Winart visuals

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•    Christmas day 1902 was a day of extra special joy and celebration with the birth of Mary Burgess; First born daughter of Clementina and William Smith Burgess. Mary was born at Bankfoot House whilst her Grandfather William Grigor was still alive and living at Bankfoot. Can you imagine the joy of a baby girl being born in the house on such an auspicious day!


•    The three generations of Bankfoot House were all very musical. The Grigor family owned a piano as documented in photographs contained in our collection.  Clementina Burgess (nee Grigor) was well known as a fine pianist so too were her daughters Mary and Ellie, who were often called on to play at local dances and town events.


The team at Bankfoot House have carefully selected objects from the stored collection to exhibit over the festive season including some Christmas sheet music that belonged to Mary and Ellie.

•    In an interview conducted in 1987, Jack Ferris shared his memories of Christmas at Bankfoot House recalling how his favourite food, Ham was a Christmas treat, “we used to think it was marvellous when we had a bit of ham. We used to only get it at Christmas time.”
Families would prepare for Christmas during the year brewing and bottling ginger beer, “Mother would make a great big boiler full of ginger beer or a boiler full of hop beer. You couldn’t buy the stuff in those days, when we were little kids.”
Jack was asked if they had Santa Claus when he was a child, he fondly commented, “He used to find his way occasionally”.

•    Music was a popular form of entertainment for young and old alike. And the pianola provided a whole new way to enjoy the good ol’ sing-a-long. Clementina Burgess was always interested in new technologies, so it comes as no surprise that in 1928 she traded in the old family piano to purchase the latest invention the Pianola. Clementina was a fan of the Pianola as it allowed everyone to play music even if you couldn’t. 
The instrument was restored to working order in 2010 thanks to the generous donation by Mrs Heather Gowen.

 

Heather was a Glass House Mountains local who fondly recalled coming to Bankfoot House and hearing the Pianola both as a child and an adult. She was passionate about others enjoying the same experience.  
 

Some additional Christmas themed ‘storytelling’ from Bankfoot House:

Bankfoot House is located on1998 Old Gympie Rd, Glass House Mountains QLD 4518