Turfkruijer Part 5

Continued from Part 4

26.  ISABELLA (BELLA)6 HANDRICKS (JOZEF LEVI5, LEVIE JOSEPH JOZALE4 HANGJAS, JOSEPH JOZALE ABRAHAM HANGJAS3 TURFKRUIJER, LEVY JOEL HANGJAS2, JOEL JOSEPH HANGJAS1) was born 1871 in Belfast, Vic, and died 1934 in New Zealand.  She married (1) WILLIAM JOHN PAYNE 14 Sep 1895 in Metropolitan Wesleyan Church, Cape Town, South Africa, son of WILLIAM PAYNE and ELIZABETH WILLIAMS.  He was born 1868 in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, and died 05 Aug 1901 in On board H.M.S. China, near Perth.  She married (2) WILLIAM HARVEY ERNST CROME 1901 in Kiama, NSW, Australia, son of WILLIAM CROME and LYDIA WILSON.  He was born 07 Jun 1867 in Sydney, Australia, and died 09 Nov 1928 in Wellington, New Zealand.

The Steele-Payne Family and the Lynch Family were the two longest running and most successful of the early Australian handbell groups. Both toured overseas as well as all round Australia. The Lynch family started in Geelong in 1867. Just up the road, in Ballarat, the Payne family made its debut nearly  20 years later.

Mr Payne senior came to live in Ballarat as a young boy with his parents in 1853. The original company consisted of father William Payne senior, son William J. Payne (who married Isabella) and three daughters Lizzie, the eldest, Nellie and Maud, the youngest. They were renowned first and foremost for their singing, and had    won many prizes at the eisteddfods.  The father was a tenor, his son a baritone, Lizzie and Nellie were sopranos and Maud a contralto.  Lizzie and   Maud played the violin and all three girls played the piano.  The company gave its first professional concerts in Ballarat on 26th  and 28th December 1886. At this stage they did not have handbells. The company was assisted by Miss (Isa)Bella Handricks (pianist).

Bella later married William Ernst Crome, latterly manager of the Payne Family Bellringers. Ernst joined the ensemble and they changed thier name from the Payne Family to the Belle-Crome bellringers. On the death of William John Payne (died and buried at sea aboard HMS China), Bella married Ernst.

Their later years were spent ? in Oriental Parade, Wellington, NZ running a confectionary shop and variousl teaching music and giving performances. They were both still alive in 1927.




The Steele-Payne Family and the Lynch Family were the two longest running and most successful of the early Australian handbell groups. Both toured overseas as well as all round Australia. The Lynch family started in Geelong in 1867. Just up the road, in Ballarat, the Payne family made its debut nearly 20 years later.

 Mr Payne senior came to live in Ballarat as a young boy with his parents in 1853. The original company consisted of father William Payne senior, son William J. Payne and three daughters Lizzie, the eldest, Nellie and Maud, the youngest. They were renowned first and foremost for their singing, and had won many prizes at the eisteddfods.  The father was a tenor, his son a baritone, Lizzie and Nellie were sopranos and Maud a contralto.  Lizzie and Maud played the violin and all three girls played the piano.  The company gave its first professional concerts in Ballarat on 26th  and 28th December 1886. At this stage they did not have handbells. The ads for these first two concerts were  a total rave!

Here is part of the review of the opening concert  which appeared in the Ballarat Star of 28th December, 1886:

The Payne family of vocalists and instrumentalists attracted a full house last evening at the Mechanics’ Hall…..The part singing of this talented family well deserves the praise it has received not only from the public and the press, but also from competent judges who have from time to time been compelled to award them gold medals against all comers. Miss Maud Payne, the youngest of the family is a very clever little lady; she possesses a good contralto voice, is a  good  pianiste, and for one of her tender years is an excellent violinist. Miss Lizzie Payne promises to become a clever vocalist as well as a good violinist; the piano is perhaps her weakest point. Miss Nellie Payne sings and plays well, and Mr W. Payne sings exceedingly well, and plays the flute fairly. Mr Payne, sen., was well received in his rendering of “Twinkling Star”.  The concerts by the Payne Family have a positive educational value. They are calculated to promote among the people a taste for a wholesome class of music, and to encourage many, both young and old, to renewed and better efforts to achieve results hitherto supposed to be unattainable. What the Paynes have done, others may at least hope to do; and persons in the ordinary walks of life who are studying music would do well to hear the Payne Family, and learn from them how much they may accomplish by well directed efforts pursued with diligence and perseverance. Judging by the reception accorded to the family last evening, there should be a crowded house again to-night.

The family then left Ballarat to tour the colonies, Tasmania and New Zealand. They were away for three years. On their return to Ballarat they gave four concerts starting on Good Friday,  4th April 1890.  A new member of the company was Mr Ralph Steele. This time handbells were included in the performance but only as a small part of the total programme. (A concert review from Hobart in March 1891 mentions that they had been playing the handbells for about 9 months.  This means they must have started using handbells in the early part of 1890.) The arrangements for the handbells and other instruments were the work of Lizzie Payne.

Ballarat Star,  7th April 1890:

The Payne family made their re-appearance in Ballarat on Good Friday evening after an absence of three years. They were accorded an enthusiastic welcome, and though their entertainment was confined within the limits of a sacred programme, their efforts were heartily applauded, and encores were frequently demanded.  The hall was filled to overflowing and large numbers of people were unable to gain admittance. On Saturday night another large audience assembled to hear the family in a secular programme, in which they displayed their abilities to greater advantage.  As is well known, the Payne family excel in part singing, and they now make a special and a successful feature of the humorous element in music. In both these departments of their concert programmes they displayed much proficiency, and receive valuable aid from Mr Ralph Steele, a vocalist of considerable merit and ability. The most successful numbers on Saturday night’s programme were the part songs; Mr W.J.Payne’s excellently rendered song “Bonnie Scotland”; the hand-bells selection; the “Three little maids from school”, from the “Mikado”,  by Misses Lizzie, Nellie and Maud; and the solos by Mr Ralph Steele. Miss Lizzie’s solos were omitted, as she was suffering from a severe attack of influenza, but she lent effective aid in the part songs and instrumental selections, and her influence was noticeable throughout the programme.  All the instrumnental quartettes, trios and duets and the hand-bell selections have been specially arranged and written by this clever young lady.  This evening Saturday night’s programme will be repeated, and it may be safely predicted that there will be a large audience.

From January to March 1891 the Payne Family toured Tasmania for the second time. They performed in Launceston on 22nd and 23rd January and in Hobart on 9th and 10th March. A new member of the troupe was Miss Alice Saunders.


There was no mistaking the welcome accorded the Payne Family at the Town Hall last evening. Every part of the building was crowded, and nearly all the 2s. seats had been secured at Miller’s before the doors opened. This in itself speaks well for the popularity of the singers, and was sufficient to reassure them before they came out to sing the first number.  Since they were last here they have not in any way deteriorated; on the contrary, we noticed improvements in some of the instrumental items, and there were also some additions. The hand bells which last evening formed such a prominent feature of the entertainment have been studied, and the way they were handled showed that diligence has been the companion of skill ever since they were obtained.  It is some time since bellringers have been heard here, but the Payne Family gave a capital demonstration of the music that can be got out of them, and pleased their hearers very much indeed.  First of all the company sang Hart’s part song, “The Bells”, in excellent imitation of distant reverberations of the sounds that float on gentle zephyrs from many a stately tower. Mr Ralph Steele followed with “Bonnie Scotland”, and apart from his success in this song one could not help but apply to him the all-meaning words, age cannot wither nor custom stale his infinite variety.  He is in reality the life and soul of the company, and never seems to be wrongly placed.  Besides taking a hand in the campanological selections he produced some sweet music from a number of glasses , and had to respond to a vociferous encore for it. Some say the company are better instrumentalists than vocalists, whilst others would give an entirely opposite opinion, but as soloists we prefer the violins.  Their part singing, whether sad or lively, sentimental or humorous, is excellent, everything being harmonious, tuneful, correct, and well modulated.  Miss Maud Payne is a very good contralto, and Miss Alice Saunders a capital soprano.  We liked Miss Lizzie Payne’s “Old folks at home” better on her last visit than this.  Miss Maud’s song, “Fair fa the gloamin’ ”, was the best item of the evening from the ladies, and her response, a violin solo, “The mocking bird”, also carried the verdict.  The first violin solo, “Yankee Doodle”, gave her an opportunity of displaying a complete mastery of the bow, and when recalled she played “We won’t go home till morning” in a variety of styles which fairly brought down the house.  The first encore was for the hand-bell selections, “Kentucky Home” and “Carnival de Venice”, which were both excellently performed, especially when it is known that the company have only been playing bells about nine months.  “Home sweet home” was their response, and after Mr Steele had played “The harp that once thro’ Tara’s halls” and the “Last rose of summer” on the glasses, he gave “Annie Laurie” equally well.  The company appear again to-night.

By April 1891 they were back in Ballarat.

Ballarat Star, Tuesday April 7, 1891:

The talented Payne Family gave an entertainment last evening at the Neil street Wesleyan schoolroom. The building was crowded to its fullest capacity, and the audience showed themselves most appreciative.  The programme included part songs by the company, solos, &c., by the Misses Lizzie and Maud Payne, Miss Alice Saunders, and Mr R. Steele, instrumental pieces by the Misses Lizzie and Maud Payne, selections (musical glasses) by Mr R. Steele, and selections on the hand bells by the company.  The various items on the programme were received with the most enthusiastic applause.  The whole of the receipts were donated by Mr Payne and family to the new church building fund, which will benefit  considerably.  At the conclusion, a very hearty vote of thanks was passed to the Payne Family for their generous donation.

Later that month they commenced a tour of South Australia beginning in Adelaide on 23rd and 24th April. Just over a week later tragedy struck when Nellie Payne died at Moonta:

By telegram we learn that Miss Nellie Payne died at Moonta (South Australia) yesterday morning.  Both of her parents were present.  Mr Payne has arranged to have the corpse brought to Ballarat by the express train, reaching the city tomorrow morning. The remains will then be taken to the Old Cemetery for burial.

Despite this the company continued with the tour, giving another performance in Adelaide on 8th June, only four days after Nellie died, and playing in suburban venues up until 19th June. The death notice did not appear in the Ballarat Star until 27th June 1891:

According to a later report, Nellie died of consumption.

Continuing a busy year the company performed in Ararat on 13th July and in Bendigo on 13th and 14th August 1891.

1892 started with a happy family event. On 4th January Lizzie Payne and Ralph Steele-Warehan were married at Trinity Wesleyan Church, Dunedin, New Zealand. The marriage notice appeared in the Ballarat Star on 6th February 1892. Ralph Steele was described as the youngest son of the late James Warehan, Lancashire, England.  Lizzie retained her maiden name after the marriage and was still referred to as Miss Lizzie Payne – very confusing !!

The company reappeared in Ballarat on 5th and 6th May 1892.  One month later a second tragedy occurred with the sudden death of Mr Payne senior. He was only 45.

Ballarat Star, 20th June 1892:

We regret to have to record the death of Mr William Payne, senior, of the well-known Payne family of musicians, which took place on Saturday morning, at his residence, in Brougham street, Soldier’s Hill.  Mr Payne did not complain of ill health until a little over a week since, when he was in Geelong.  Feeling unwell, he decided to return to Ballarat with Mrs Payne. Medical assistance was at once called in, but he gradually became worse, and inflammation and brain fever following on an affection of the throat resulted in his death on Saturday morning at about half-past 8 o’clock.  The family had been sent for from Seymour when Mr Payne’s condition became serious, but they did not arrive in Ballarat until after he had expired. The   arrived in Ballarat with his parents in 1853, being then a lad of four years of age. He showed an early talent for music, and during his early years, until his voice broke, he took the alto part in church singing. By trade he was a coach painter, and among the work executed by him was some heraldic painting for the Marquis of Normanby, the King of Siam, and also for H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh during the latter’s visit to Australia. Mr Payne’s family were all blessed with a taste for music, and they carried off the prizes at the Welsh Eisteddfod in 1884, 1885 and 1886. Subsequently the family began to give public concerts, and have since met with a phenomenal success in their tours through the various colonies. Some time ago, during a tour in South Australia, his daughter, Miss Nellie Payne, died of consumption. The   leaves his widow and family, a son and two daughters, well provided for.  The funeral will take place this afternoon, at 3 o’clock.

The Ballarat Courier,  20th June 1892:

  General regret was expressed in Ballarat on Saturday morning at the announcement posted in front of The Courier office that Mr Payne senior, of the well-known Payne family of musicians had died somewhat suddenly. The   was comparatively a young man and a few years back he followed his trade, that of a coach-painter, at a leading establishment in the city. Mr Payne and his three daughters and son were very successful in winning prizes at the Eisteddfod and other competitions, and they met with great success in the entertainments given by them in this and the other Australian colonies and also in New Zealand and Tasmania. It was whilst touring in South Australia a short time back that Miss Nellie Payne the second daughter succumbed to an attack of consumption. Last week the family were performing in Geelong when Mr Payne became indisposed and he returned to his home in Ballarat in company with his wife for rest. He was treated for an abscess in the throat, and inflammation setting in this resulted in his death. The   gentleman leaves a widow and grown up family comfortably provided for. He was largely interested in the Mercantile Bank which recently closed its doors, and the failure depressed him very much. The funeral takes place this afternoon.

But the show must go on and exactly a month after Mr Payne's untimely death the company gave two concerts in Ballarat prior to departing on a tour of Victoria and Tasmania. A new member of the group was the pianist Miss Bella Handrick.

Ballarat Star, Thursday August 18, 1892:

 The entertainment given by the talented Payne family of musicians and bellringers at the Benevolent Asylum last night was very largely attended by the public in addition to the inmates of the institution, the funds of which will be considerably augmented. The following programme was carried out in an unusually entertaining manner, much to the delight of those present, who greeted each item with raptuous applause, and in many instances demanded a repetition:

Part song, “Come Dorothy, come”, company;
Song, “Home boys, home”, Mr W.J.Payne;
Violin solo, “The harp that once”, Miss Maude;
Hand bells, “Signal march”, company;
Part song (humorous), “The merry little fat grey man”, company;
Song (with violin obligato), “The cuckoo”, Miss Alice;
Selections, musical glasses, Mr R. Steele;
Quartette (vocal and instrumental), “Little Sailors”, company;
Hand bells, “Sweet Chiming Bells”, company;
Trio (humorous), “The Fortune Tellers”, Misses Alice, Bella and Maude;
Quartette (instrumental), “Flambeaux”, company;
Trio (hand bells), “Blue Bells of Scotland”, company;
Song, “Tired Mother”, Miss Maude;
Trio (humorous), serenade, “Maiden Fair”, company;
Violin duet, (A) “Flowers o‘ the Forest”,  (B) “Comin’ thro’ the Rye”, Misses Bella and Maude;
Song (humorous), “The Shop Walker”, Mr R. Steele;
Hand bells, “Schottische”, company;
Part song (humorous), “Three Doughty Men”, company.

  The company was assisted by Miss Bella Handrick (pianist). At the conclusion of the performance Mr Roache, on behalf of the inmates, and Mr Lessells, on behalf of the committee, thanked the company for their kindness in providing such a rare treat.  Mr Steele, in acknowledging the compliment, said that the efforts to amuse and assist the inmates were in pursuance of an expressed wish by the late Mr W. Payne, who had taken a deep interest in the local charitable institutions.  The programme will be repeated at the Orphan Asylum on Friday night. Next week the company leave Ballarat on a tour through Victoria and Tasmania.  

Christmas 1892 found them in Launceston where they performed from 26th December to 2nd January 1893.On the 9th and 10th February they played in the Hobart town hall.

Hobart Mercury, February 10, 1893:

After an absence of nearly two years the Payne Family renewed their acquaintance with Hobart last night, giving one of their clever entertainments at the Town Hall.  The boisterous weather had no apparent effect on the attendance, for scarcely a vacant seat was visible.  Large and appreciative audiences, by the way, are what the Paynes  are accustomed to face from one end of the Australian colonies to the other.  Since their previous visit the family has been reduced in numbers by the death of Mr Payne and Miss Nelly, but though the loss of the services of these members was of course a severe blow, the powers of the company  as entertainers do not appear to have suffered appreciably.  Indeed, their performance last night was quite equal to any previous effort.  The programme was lengthy and varied enough to satisfy the most fastidious, even in these days when the popular taste demands so much in the way of light amusement.  There is no attempt to wander into the higher flights of classical music on the part of the Paynes; they hold hard and fast to the popular, and their ability to touch the sentiments of large audiences by charmingly rendering the most simple airs was demonstrated last night, when many found themselves involuntarily accompanying the performers.  From the opening chorus, performers and listeners were on good terms with each other, and the bright, vivacious entertainment sparkled merrily along to the end. It was the music of the bells that captivated, however.  In the manipulation of a hundred or more bells the company are very clever. Each selection was encored vociferously, though four appeared in the programme.  The best item in campanology was the “Signal March”, the ringing of which with a muffled refrain, producing the effect of chimes in the distance, for graduation of tone and other qualities was excellent.  Mr Ralph Steele, who now manages, is a host in himself. He was in splendid voice, and whether amusing the audience with humorous tenor songs, or skilfully engaging in the more serious business of drawing music from glasses, was extremely popular. Miss Maude won golden opinions for her contralto songs and violin solo.  The audience were delighted with Miss Alice Saunders’ soprano song and pianoforte playing.  Miss Bella Handricks was not less favourably rewarded for her violin solo, while Mr W.J.Payne’s powerful baritone voice has rarely been heard to greater advantage.  A humorous trio by the Misses Alice, Bella and Maude to the air of the irrepressible “Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay” greatly tickled the fancy of the audience, who were equally pleased with a quartette of a similar character given by the company.  Among the noticeable individual performances were a song (with violin obbligato), by Miss Alice, “Little birds, they chip, chip”, and another by Miss Maude, “I couldn’t, could I?”  An extravaganza, heard before, but never more appreciated, was “Johnny Schmoker”, and this made a capital concluding number to a really delightful entertainment.

The Payne Family give another entertainment at the Town Hall to-night.

In May 1894 the company advertised for a new member.

The successful applicant was presumably Miss Kate Maher because her name appeared in the programmes of 7 concerts given in Ballarat during September and October 1894. I   presume that Kate was a replacement for Maud Payne whose name was missing from the list of performers. On 14th October 1894 the company gave a Farewell Sacred Concert in the Ballarat Academy of Music prior to departing for Western Australia.       

Kate Maher was still with them when they returned to Ballarat in1898  after a four year(!!) tour through Europe and South Africa. This is when they started re-naming their group the Steele-Payne Family as we can see from this advertisement in the Ballarat Star of 21st March 1898:

By then Lizzie was the only Payne family member left in the group.  Additional instruments had been introduced into the performance: banjo, mandolin and two sets of sleigh bells. It was Lizzie who played the sleigh bells and she and Kate Maher played a mandolin/banjo duet.

On Good Friday night (8th April 1898) the company gave a Grand Sacred Concert in the Mechanics' Hall, Ballarat. The final item on the programme was "The Old Hundredth" on the handbells.  Secular concerts were given on Easter Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The following bereavement notice was in the Ballarat Star:
On 5th August 1900 died suddenly on board H.M.S. China and buried at sea, William John Payne, the dearly beloved husband of Bella Payne, aged 32 years.

The officiating minister was Rev. Charles Pittman and the bridesmaids were Miss Kitty Maher and Miss Maude Palmer. The Best Man was Mr Fred Dawson and the Bride was given away be Mr R Steele. The honeymoon was held in England.

The Argus (Melbourne) Tuesday 15th October 1895  Page 1 Marriages =
PAYNE-HANDRICKS  Bella youngest daughter of the late Joseph Handricks of Port Fairy, married 14th Sept., 1895 at Metropolitan Wesleyan Church, Cape Town, South Africa by Rev. Charles Pittman, to W.J. Payne (Payne Family Musicians)

Wellington Evening Post of 17 Nov 1928:

CROME - On 9th November 1928 William Ernst Crome (Wurlitzer organist 'Cosy de Luxe' Theatre, Masterton), dearly beloved husband of Belle Crome and devoted father of Madeline (NZ and Australian papers please copy).

    i.    MADELAINE BELLE7 CROME, b. 1902, Lismore, NSW; d. 1976, Rotorua; m. (1) ROY JAMES ANDERSON BROWN, 1924, New Zealand; d. Aft. 1949; m. (2) THOMAS MAHON DERMODY, 1956, New Zealand.

1928: as Mrs Roy James Anderson Brown she lived at 15 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch South
1954: death of Roy J.A. Brown, aged 51 (from the Registry of bdm)
1957: Madeline and her second husband Thomas Dermody lived at Waipa State Mill (possibly the name of the road). Both were clerks.
1963: They lived at 38a Roxburgh Street, Wellington Central. Madeline was a clerk and Thomas a warehouse 'man' (could be short for manager).
1969: They lived at 183A Sutherland Street, Miramar, Wellington. Madeline was 'married' (she had probably retired) and Thomas was a manager.
1972: They lived at 75 Yule Street, Miramar, Wellington. Thomas was a clerk, Madeline presumably retired.
1976: death of Madeline Belle Dermody, probably on 3 September (narrowing down the date range on the Registry's online search)

It looks likely therefore that Wellington was Madeline's last place of residence before she died. I couldn't find the death of Thomas Dermody so don't know if he died before or after Madeline. There are no Wellington newspapers for 1976 available here so I can't look up her death or funeral notice.


Continued in Part 6