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Ma and Pa Beedham

Updated: May 3

Harold Sleight “Jack” Beedham was born in January 1881 in Hull, Yorkshire, England.

(Father was George Beedham (1850-1900) Mother was Lucy Dickson (1849-1914)
They lived in the Caboolture area after migration from Kingston-Upon-Hull, Yorkshire, and Jack worked in the oyster beds in the Bribie Passage alongside Kanaka workers.
Jack moved to Redcliffe and married Eleanor Corscadden in 1903.

Eleanor Elizabeth Corscadden was born on the 29th April 1885 in Brisbane.
(Father was George Corscadden (1854-1938 and Mother was Catherine (Kate) Browne 1862-1926- both from Ireland)

They married on 21st July 1903 in Brisbane.
They had 2 children:
Lucy Catherine (1904-1999) and
George William (1909-1976) R.A.A.F. 24856 Leading Aircraftsman, Military Insignia

They set up a taxi business in Redcliffe and ran the "Waratah" Board and residence.

Photo below: Agnes Stapleton, Redcliffe, ca.1907 Agnes worked for Mrs Elizabeth Beedham in the Waratah Boarding House, Redcliffe, from 1904 till 1912

Waratah house was situated in Sutton Street Redcliffe. It was the home of the Gentner family in the 1920/30ss.:

Jack Beedham and his band at the Moreton Bay Hotel c. 1909 (aged 28yrs)

Humpybong State School 1913 class photo. Miss Cahill's Class:

On Stairs: Annie Pieper, Eva Jenkins, Lily Pikett, Lena Sparkes, Kate McFarlane.

Front row: Liz Foster, Elsie Payne, Phyl Garton, Hazel Price, Gladys Shields, Edna Towell, Jean Rankin.

2nd row: Theresa Martin, Nell Garton, Grace Cutts, Ruby Jenkins, Jean McDermott, Isobel Jacques, Muriel Cutts, Jean Bird.

3rd row: Ruby Hawkins, Christina McFarlane, Lucy Beedham( 9 yrs), Rita Maltman, Lou Pieper, Jane Hay, Marg Leighton.

4th row: Lily Towell, Hilda Brown, Ivy Towell, Maisie Cutts, Maud Kremzow, Enid Nicholls.

In 1921 the owners of the Redcliffe Picture Palace put their theatre up for auction. The Brisbane Courier newspaper advertised the theatre as the Redcliffe Picture Pavilion.

Harold Slight (Jack) Beedham and Eleanor Elizabeth Beedham (nee Corscadden) were the successful bidders. They became local identities know as Ma and Pa Beedham.

The photo below shows Jack Beedham and Percy Manley (local hairdresser) outside the theatre:

The original open air theatre was roofed in 1921-22 and the photo below is of the C of E Girls Friendly Society Gym Class taken inside the theatre in 1926:

Names include: Phyllis, Lil and Mamie Jeffrey, Lucy Beedham (22 yrs) , Beryl Manley,Nancy Strathearn, Dorothy and Ruth King, Martha Gentner, Connie Wilmott, Captain Campbell Brown instructor, Reverend and Mrs King.

Humpybong Cricket Team 1926:

Front row left: James Houghton. Middle row centre: Halley Kirkwood. Front row right: George Beedham (17 yrs) .. From the Moreton Bay Library - RLPC-001\001351

In 1928 , Ma and Pa Beedham built a new Picture Pavilion two allotments away from the original theatre and a Mr A Robson directed the works. It was located next to the Moreton Vista Guest House. On 3rd November 1928, a week after closing down the first Picture Palace , the new Pier Theatre opened without any formalities. See our page on the history of the Pier Theatre 1928-69

Everyones Magazine Vol.15 No.330 (15 April 1936)

Showmen's Corner. Reporting the Exhibitors’ Round in Queensland.

By Harry Scales.

"There are quite a number of women exhibitors in Queensland, and the keeness displayed by each is most marked in every show I have yet visited.

Mrs. Beedham, of the Pier Theatre, has been associated with pictures for over 16 years, starting first at a little show at Redcliffe and eventually building a fine theatre, which is now the pride of this popular seaside resort and the many people who regularly support it.

Mrs. Beedham is assisted in the business by her son and other members of the family, and an excellent show is presented.

Redcliffe is the holiday resort of the business men during the season, and one can see many a fat, bald-headed gentlemen clad in loud bathers bobbing up and down in the briny".

Mrs. Beedham was appointed Hon. Secretary of the Country Womens Association, when it was first formed September 30th, 1936.

Mrs Beedham and family.

From left to right: George Beedham, James Houghton, Stan Beedham, with Liz (Eleanor) Beedham in front. From the Moreton Bay Library - RLPC-001\001362:

Lucy Stuart (nee Beedham) and Ida Abercrombie on Beedham's boat:

From the Moreton Bay Library collection - RLPC-001\001355

Harold (Jack) Beedham and friends on Jack's boat c, 1950:

From the Moreton Bay Library collection - RLPC-001\001356

George W. Beedham's Taxi business:

Eleanor passed away on the 17th September 1954 aged 69 years and is buried in the Redcliffe Cemetery

Harold passed away on the 1st August 1970 aged 89 years and is buried in the Redcliffe Cemetery

Beedham St in Clontarf is named after the family and was named when the road was built in 1955.

Maps and aerial photos from the Pictorial History Of Redcliffe 1950-80's book:


Early Picture Shows Of Humpybong ebook

75 page downloadable pdf book, detailing biographies of the earliest Picture Pavilions and shows in Humpybong (Redcliffe) With original movie posters and movie details from advertisements and historical newspaper articles, including :
Lorneleigh Pictures Woody point 1915 -1931
Redcliffe Picture Palace 1918 -1928
Woody Point Memorial School of Arts Pictures 1928 -1937
Scarborough Picture Pavilion 1928 -1935
Pier Picture Theatre Redcliffe 1928 -1969
Margate Renown Theatre 1940 - 1962
The Bay Theatre Scarborough 1954 -1976 and the history of Bob Morgan.
ebooks available at the following link:
Hardcopy examples of this book are available to view instore at shop 12a in the Cominos Arcade 133 Redcliffe Parade.


Ma and Pa Beedham are listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:

A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.

For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post:


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