Home' The Hamilton Spectator : HS-20131203 Contents 8 HAMILTON SPECTATOR Tuesday December 3 2013
Where are they now
Neville’s all about framing
PICTURE frames can make or break
a painting or photograph.
The frame is a decorative edge for a
painting or photograph and is designed
to enhance it, make it easier to display
or protect it.
The frame also complements the
artwork and if done well, will ensure
the painting or photograph stays in
good condition for a long time.
Picture frames have traditionally
been made of wood, which is still the
most common material, although other
materials are used including silver,
bronze, aluminum, and plastics such as
A picture frame may be of any colour
or texture, but gilding is common,
especially on older wooden frames.
While some picture framers get
involved through a family business,
many drift into the industry from other
fields, just like former Hamilton man
Neville grew up on the family sheep
property called Karabeal at Moutajup
and his early education was at the
Dunkeld State School, as primary
schools were known in those days,
and then did his secondary education
at Hamilton College and Ballarat
“I moved around a bit,” he said.
“The property was along Warburton’s
Lane and in winter time the roads
were pretty much impassable. There
was a storage shed up there about six
kilometres from home and my father
used to camp up there during the week
and then when everything was over, he
would hook everything up behind the
tractor and tow it all home.
“He would have umpteen pieces of
equipment and machinery hooked onto
the tractor, including the Bedford Ute.
I can remember hearing it come from
a mile off, because the roads were all
gravel and everything had steel wheels,
so the noise was deafening.
Looking at careers
After finishing school, Neville had
to decide what career he was going to
“I didn’t really have any idea of what
I wanted to do when I left school. I
did my Matriculation (VCE) in the
mid-60s, when only about 10-12 per
cent of kids actually did Year 12.
“Things are a bit different now,” he
“I did a career thing at Ballarat where
you put square pegs in round holes and
all the rest of it and they said I should
have been a lawyer. I thought that was
the last thing I ever thought of being.
“When I left school I would have liked
to have done an academic fine arts
degree, but I didn’t. In those days you
actually had to have studied another
language to do a degree and I didn’t
have one, so I spent 12 months trying
to pick one up.
application to do teaching and got it. In
those days they virtually took anyone,
including me,” he laughed.
Neville completed his Trained
Secondary Teachers’ Certificate at
Melbourne University and he can
remember a funny incident while
doing a teaching round at Coburg High
School during his training.
“I was in the art room and all hell was
breaking loose; kids were climbing
desks and yelling at each other and
I noticed two boys playing with
something in the slots on their desks
where you used to put pencils and
“They were sort of playing billiards
with two pencils and I walked over to
see what they were doing and I noticed
they were playing with a bloody
detonator. I grabbed it and told the
teacher, who had no idea what it was.
“Being a farm kid I knew what
detonators were. It was obvious it had
been stolen, but the teacher was at all
He finished his course in 1968 and
his appointment was to Moonee Ponds
Central School where he taught for
By then he had married Elwyn and
they set up a gallery and handcraft
business in Templestowe in 1970 and
got into picture framing by accident
when someone asked him if he knew
anyone who could become a picture
“I said that that seems easy enough,
so I became a picture framer,” Neville
“We bought a house in Eltham for
$8950. I sold real estate for 12 months
and then went back teaching part-time
for a number of years and gradually
became a full-time picture framer.”
“I started as a picture framer in
Templestowe in 1970 and moved to our
present location in Northcote about five
The business has grown to include
restoration and display of war medals
and Neville has been rewarded for
his work with a first prize at the
National Framing Show this year for
his commemorative frame of Alberta
Jacka, a winner of the Victoria Cross
during the First World War.
With the 100th anniversary of the
Gallipoli landing due in 1915, Neville
has been kept busy creating hand-made
World War I Centenary Frames of
Honour for each of the 66 WWI
Victoria Cross winners.
Neville and Elwyn probably didn’t
realise the challenges they faced
when they moved into the Northcote
premises in 2008, but life is never dull
for them and every day provides a new
challenge for them.
NEVILLE Crawford with a picture of a tractor his father used to use after
harvesting. He used to tow the harvester, mower, etc, and the Bedford ute
The Spectator’s popular “Where Are They Now” column which each week
follows up former Hamilton and region people who have been gone for a few
years and lead an interesting life, is now in its 10th year.
If you know of someone who fits the bill, we’d love to hear from you.
All we need is names, a tip on subject matter and where to find them.
Phone The Spec newsroom
on 5572 1011
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