Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Lasting Impact of Waverley Riding School: The amazing Irving Sisters Marjorie, Kay & Pippa by Ann L. Robertson.

The Lasting Impact of Waverley Riding School: The amazing Irving Sisters Marjorie, Kay & Pippa by Ann L. Robertson.  Hardcover book published by Ann L. Robertson 1994, 421 pages with black and white photographs as well as a few colour photographs and a few black and white illustrations.

“The Lasting Impact of Waverley Riding School’ tells the fascinating story of the Irving sisters Marjorie, Kay and Pippa. This saga initially covers episodes of their early life on a mallee property with enlightened parents who arranged they were well-educated (in the 1920’s). Such foresight enabled the sisters to extract the family from financial disaster. Thus it was, in 1933, the sisters started the Waverley Riding School in Melbourne with six horses and a weatherboard house on 20 acres purchased with borrowed money. A riding school which grew to become Australia’s premier establishment.  The hundreds of people, young to elderly, who rode at Waverley were a privileged group. It was joy, fun and adventure.”

Talk about obscure.  This book still shocks me every time I look at it.  It’s not that I find the subject matter distasteful or anything like that, it’s the obscurity of the subject matter that shocks me and the fact that I actually have a copy of this book here on my shelves….  There is of course reasoning as to why this book is sitting on the Huc & Gabet shelves which has something to do with being so obscure that it therefore must be of interest… to someone.  There are lots of obscure books out there that aren’t of interest, but this one, well, it’s got everything going for it.  There’s the horse thing and the history thing combined with the horse thing, leading to a perfect nostalgia hit for anyone ever involved in horse riding at the Waverley Riding School.

It could be my conservative and sheltered taste in books (?) that leads me to this conclusion and wonderment at the obscurity… or it could be that I am completely wrong about the whole thing and Marjorie, Kay and Pippa are still household names around the aged members of the Melbourne horse riding community.  To be honest, I have no idea what the story is behind this book, except that the story is beyond my non riding school knowledge of the history of Melbourne. 

Anyone wishing to comment or to enlighten us all as to the wonders and "Lasting Impact", your comments would be welcomed.

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