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Published: 14 February 2015

By Andy Ross

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Delighting in nostalgia

We all love a bit of nostalgia, in my case, quite a lot. Those decades-old black and white photographs, a scent drifting in the air, a sideways glimpse out of the corner of your eye at something which reminds you of long-gone days...

This week we have been going down memory lane. Listening to 80's music, wearing clothes from the decade and generally having a marvellous time mis-remembering what life used to be like. So it was with great delight that I received an email from a Southern Hemisphere friend who told me about a little red cowgirl dress...

The state library in New South Wales has recently acquired the archive of the Australian toy maker, Lindsay’s Leichhardt. The company has been making toys since the 1930's and only stopped production for five months during the 2nd World War when non-essential industry was halted. Luckily a dispensation was granted because the company felt it was supporting the war effort by entertaining children while their parents were involved in the fighting, and Lindsay's continues to this day. 

One of the artefacts in the exhibition is a little red cowgirl dress, pictured and courtesy of the NSW Library, which came from  this page. And it was this that prompted our friend to write. You see, when she was a little girl, a red cowgirl dress, just like the one in the exhibition was her dream and, years later, seeing it in the case at the library, our Antipodean writer has fallen in love with it all over again. 

It is a lovely dress. Very of-its-time, evocative and makes me think of faded photographs with the bright colours pastelled, green grass and an achingly blue sky while children run and play under a blazing sun...

Thank you for writing, D. It has been a pleasure!