Production date
Circa 1903
A lawn petticoat worn by Ethel Standish to play tennis in as a young woman in New Plymouth. The petticoat is shaped more like a sleeveless dress, which would have had a skirt and blouse over the top. It has lace work along the bottom edges of the skirt with remnants of a cream ribbon threaded through some sections. The rest of the garment is made of fine cotton, with further lace work along the sleeves and around the collar. The whole garment is ivory white in colour.
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Object detail

Production date
Circa 1903
Subject person
Credit line
Ethel Standish lived a busy an interesting life. Born in 1881, she was the daughter of Arthur Standish, New Plymouth's first mayor. Ethel was a keen sportswoman in the early 1900s, and although she was most keen on golf, this petticoat was part of the outfit she wore to play tennis. She was also a 'useful' pianist, a skill that would have come in good use given her family were fond of entertaining.

As a young woman, Ethel travelled to England with her godparents, and refused to leave - perhaps the big city lights after quiet New Plymouth were just to compelling! She trained as a masseuse at St. Thomas' Hospital and served on a New Zealand hospital ship during World War One. It was during this period that Ethel married Colin Gilray, at the age of 36. After the war ended they returned to New Zealand, where Colin worked as a high school principal. They eventually shifted to Melbourne, but Ethel kept her tennis cloths, which were passed down to her daughter Ruth and then to her granddaughters Jennifer and Barbara, who have returned them to their original hometown of New Plymouth.
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