V for Violet Vimpany

Violet Emma Alomes was born 15 April 1886 to Walter Alomes and Emma Jane Parker at Forcett. She had 7 other siblings.

According to her daughter in 1975, her mother collected tin foil and used stamps as a child so she could help others through the Dr Barnardo’s homes in London. During the wars her mother knitted scarves and donated food parcels.

At age 23, Violet married Amos Vimpany at St David’s Cathedral.

Vimpany Alomes marriage

In the late 1920’s, Violet attended Hobart Technical College where she studied art under the wing of Lucien Dechaineaux. In the late 1930’s she studied under Max Meldrum in Melbourne.

In 1934, one of Violet’s paintings Auriculas was shown at the Women Painters exhibition in Sydney. She used oils and watercolours as well as etching in her career. Violet exhibited in New York in 1939 at the International Women: Painter, Sculptors, Gravers exhibition.

Violet was on the council for the Art Society of Tasmania and would often present their report at the National Council of Women of Tasmania annual meetings.

In 1938, Violet was involved in a contempt of court case with the Lord Mayor (J Soundy) and Mrs Olive Calvert.

Violet shared a studio with Florence Rodway, Mildred Lovatt and Edith Holmes who were also exhibitors as many Art Society events.

In 1940, Mrs A Vimpany was honoured at the National Council of Women meeting. She was a definite champion of women’s rights and a philanthropist and was a member of many societies in Tasmania.

In The Mercury in Margot’s Notebook section, there is a great description of clothing worn by Violet.


In 1944, at the Art Society’s 60th anniversary, Violet exhibited a portrait.

Her husband Amos, a well known stonemason, passed in 1945 leaving many memorials incomplete. Violet decided she would need to learn the skills and techniques so she could finish his work.

At the 1947 Art Society exhibition, held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art gallery, there were few portraits hung, but Violet had one she had painted of “Jenny”, the librarian of the Art Society.

To find out more about Violet’s life, read this article written by her daughter Gwen which was published in The Australian Women’s Weekly magazine in 1975.

Violet passed on 2 March 1979 and is buried in the cemetery at Forcett.


P for Photography

Albert Archer Rollings was born on 24 March 1865 to parents James and Martha Rollings (nee Wiggins).

In 1888, he was elected as secretary of the Lower Sorell road trust.

On 4 June 1890 he married Sophia Dodge, youngest daughter of Ralph Dodge, in Hobart.

In 1894, Arch was selling off a lot of goods at Rosy Vanyan, Forcett, the property owned by his parents who had both passed.

By 1895, Arch was the manager of the Forcett Milk Company operating from 78 Murray Street, Hobart.  In 1898, he was now manager of the Country Milk Supply Company and he was sent to Sydney to scope out how milk was supplied to customers there. Arch was present in 1917 when the Primary Producers Union was formed.

He was appointed post-master and savings bank agent at Forcett in 1896 after his sister Kate resigned.

In the late 1890’s, Arch had a photography business in Harrington Street, Hobart with his partner Harry Dart. In the early 1900’s he sold his part of the business and moved to Sorell where he set up his own shop. He also had a partnership with H E Howard until 1906.

Arch was a member of the Sorell cricket club and often mentioned in reports. In 1914, he donated pendants as trophies for cricket. In 1916, he was secretary of the re-organized Sorell Rifle Club and by 1921 Arch was captain of the Sorell Rifle Club  also donating a trophy that year.

When a public meeting was held in August 1915, Arch used his skills to throw the anthems of the Allies onto a screen so everyone could join with the choir in singing.

In November 1922, Arch was selling his drapery business in Sorell. Sophia Rollings died on 28 September 1928. Arch remarried to Julia Adelaide Rapp. He died on 2 March 1947.

As Rollings and his wives had no children, the business was up for auction in the late 1950’s when the second Mrs Rollings died.

Robert Tanner, a former Sorell history teacher and a resident of Sorell, was attending the viewing for the auction of the Rollings business in Sorell. He noticed an old dunny (outhouse) in the backyard, looked inside and found it had been used as a dark room. It contained lots of boxes filled with glass plate negatives. He thought these could be used as part of his grade 7 local history studies at school. There was no lot number, so the auctioneer added a number. On the day of the auction, Robert was teaching, so a friend bid for him and it cost 10 shillings and 6 pence. A lot in the late 1950’s.

Robert and some of the older residents of Sorell could name people in the photos, so they were then sent to the Tasmanian Archives where they are now held. To listen to the ABC interview of Robert, follow this link. Also find out more about the discovery by reading Robert’s article in Pitt Water Chronicles Vol 2 (p39-42).

Below is a selection of the first 100 images of Arch Rollings negatives now digitized by the Tasmanian Archives.

NS1553-1-1 Forcett football team
NS1553-1-45 Eileen (Blossom) and George Ward wearing their grandfather’s shoes Joseph Green
NS1553-1-52 Forcett shop and Post Office owned by Mrs Bailey
NS1553-1-57 Sorell Council Chambers, Court and Gaol demolished 1910
NS1553-1-61 Ferry “Cartela” at Lewisham jetty
NS1553-1-68 Mrs Hacks wedding – Nugent church
NS1553-1-73 House, Gordon St, Sorell formerly owned by G and L Phillips, later Strides Drapery
NS1553-1-74 Mrs/Miss Howard and students at Wattle Hill School
NS1553-1-91 Sorell Council dinner
NS1553-1-98 Madsens property, The Ferns, Wattle Hill

B for Bluebell Inn

Thanks to David Gard for writing this post for the A-Z challenge.

Blue links will take you to the digitized images from Libraries Tasmania website.

THE BLUEBELL INN :- record of events and Gard association


  • Original Inn was built from timber by William Currie
  • William Curry forced to mortgage it to a David Hoy for 250 Pounds
  • William Patterson took over the lease from David Hoy

1836-1839 William Curry again took over the lease


  • William Curry advertises it again for lease
  • William Curry charged with murder but gets off with manslaughter

1842-1844 Leased to a Jonathon Watson


  • William Curry again assumed control
  • William Curry transfers the mortgage from David Hoy to Thomas Featherstone and Rev. John Robertson

1844-1852 Thomas Featherstone leased it

1853 William Gard purchases it from Featherstone and Robertson

1856 William Gard leases it to John Smith for 12 months

1857-1863 William Gard operates it again.


  • Fire destroys the inn William Gard loses everything
  • William Gard raises a mortgage of 2000 pounds from a William Lindsay
  • William Gard rebuilds the Inn from brick and stone
  • William unable to overcome his financial difficulties so property is passed back to Lindsay


  • William Lindsay dies and his trustees put the property up for sale
  • Edward Gard (William Gard’s son) purchases the property for 300 pounds
  • Edward Gard like his predecessors also fell on hard times and was forced to raise a mortgage from a Elizabeth Eady for the sum of 180 pounds

1867 William Gard died


  • Edward Gard defaulted on the mortgage and it was transferred to William James
  • William James died leaving the estate to his 1 year and 9 month old infant son, Arthur Edwin James

1872 Supreme court orders that the property pass to John Henry James, who was the administrator for the infant


  • Edward Gard again raises the money from John Henry Peacock Oldmeadow to redeem Bluebell
  • Edward Gard again forced to mortgage it to Richard James Lucas

1907 Richard Lucas sells it to John Frances Dore

1913 Edward Gard died

1936 The Inn was sold to Mrs. Sadie O’Brien (nee Long) and with her sister Mrs. Eileen Myra Ingram, the Inn was transformed into a maternity hospital. Mrs. Ingram was the the wife of the local doctor

1940’s Hospital is closed, ground floor is leased to Mr. & Mrs. Claude Hean and the other part by the Cornelius family

1945-1985 The property is purchased by Mr. Ephrain Alan Newitt from Mrs. O’Brien. The Newitts used it as their family residence

1985 The property was sold to Alla & Michael Ward and becomes listed by the National Trust

1992-1997 The Bluebell Inn became an Inn again – operated by Heather & Peter Boulot

1997-1998 Operated by Jill & Les Schulze

1998- Operated as an Inn by Marlene & Barry Gooding.- unknown when it closed

2012 I (David) visited Sorell and noticed that it was again a private residence and was told that it was owned by someone on the mainland and rented out. I was also told that it was again for sale at $700K.