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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Minnie Dean and her nemesis Tom Long the Hangman


It was an interesting exercise and and interesting night. We had our work Christmas function last night. Of course, it only took a couple of days to decide who I would be when I found out the theme was Heroes, Villains and Wannabees. Even on facebook, just dropping a super subtle hint my contacts all yelled out Minnie Dean. Of course I had to bluff that "of course it isn't" LOL as some of my workmates are on there. So yes...it was Minnie Dean and my partner Mike - we had thought we would make him the policeman that arrested me but eventually decided it had to be the hangman Tom Long, the Governmental hangman who was a drunkard and I'm pleased we did because the noose was a lovely accessory :)




Minnie was a natural for me. I love social history and she's been someone I've always seemed to have known about especially as I have an even keener interest in the darker side of New Zealand early history.



Minnie won me 1st prize as best dressed female! For that I got a very handsome cup and Jet boat ride for 2! Thanks so much Auckland War Memorial Museum!

During the course of the evening, I chatted to our director Roy Clare and did inform him that nothing from our collections was used in the process of gathering together my outfit LOL! I do now have a superfluous hatbox though. It's rather cool and i bought off trademe from an antique store. It still has remnants of very old label on it, hardly discernable, stating Lyttelton and Wellington, so it's had an interesting life. It may soon house a dried flower arrangement I think.

The outfit:
I hired the jacket, blouse, skirt and wig from Desiree - $65

The hat box I bought off Trademe for a tidy sum and cost
             me $22 for postage from Christchurch.  

I bought the doll from The Warehouse - $16.99 and clothed
            it via the Salvation Army. Actually the gown I bought for the
            doll [$2] is rather old also. It has the name of the former
            owner embroidered onto the neck, I would say 1950's/60's. 
            The shawl and booties - $3.

The hat cost $8 [a bargain...was originally $20] brand new
             from The Warehouse. I squished it down and sewed in place
             to give it the appearance of a day travelling hat and sewed
             on artificial lavender. I also bought off Trademe for $8
             a beaut very old hat pin to hold it in place on my wig.



As an aside...take a look at my work colleague Craig's Silverfish costume! He made it himself and it won him the Best Dressed Male!  Every museum's villain [along with a few others]!



It was a fantastic night. Here are some photographs.


Further reading:

Minnie Dean-only woman to be hung in NZ

Another page on Minnie Dean


Baby in hatbox miniatures sold at her trial. I've been wanting one of these for YEARS!

A page about 'babyfarming'

Tom Long was a drunk who was charged often with this as an offence, he was the governmental hangman. He was killed 15 December 1908 while felling trees at Kauangaroa east of Wanganui.
Here's an actual photograph of him
www.teara.govt.nz/en/violent-crime/2/6



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