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(aka Bee and Pinkie)

Notes sourced from TROVE by "KEVING" *

Miss Beatrice Hilda Follett (1897 - 1978 ) and her younger sister Miss Evelyn Mary Follett (1902 - 1977) were the two younger children of Mr. & Mrs. William Follett, of Hurlstone Park. There was another sister Clara (Clara Delphine Tanner (Follett) (March 24, 1884 - August 21, 1973) the eldest child and a brother Frank William Follett (1892-1950).

Their father William Follett was a warehouseman from Devonshire in England. His wife was Ada née Dodridge. Ada died on July 28, 1926, at 'Ramornie', 136 Floss Street, Hurlstone Park.

Beatrice Hilda Follett, born 1897, Marrickville, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died 22/5/1978, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Resided Castlecrag, Sydney, NSW, Australia. She did not marry.

Evelyn Mary Follett, born 1902, Marrickville, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died 15/8/1977, Castlecrag, Sydney, NSW, Australia. She did not marry.

In fact the address was 111 Edinburgh Road. Castlecrag. They fired their pots in Bim Hilder’s kiln at Castlecrag - 177 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag. That was a ten minute walk up the road.

From what I can make out it was not just Beatrice who had the ceramics training. Beatrice went to East Sydney Technical college in 1945 where she studied Ceramics and Sculpture. In 1946 Beatrice H. Follett did Art Modelling Stage I & Ceramics Stage II. In 1947 Beatrice was studying Art Modelling II and both she and her sister Evelyn were doing Ceramics Stage III that year. In 1949 Follett, B. H did Modelling Stage III as a Day Course. Beatrice became an associate member of the Society of Arts & Crafts of N.S.W. in 1944. Her sister Evelyn joined in 1947. By this stage they were both in their 40s and were successful businesswomen. They were part owners of an airline company founded by their brother Capt. Frank W. Follett called Adastra Airways.

Evelyn has her own place in Australian aviation history : "Miss E. M. Follett OFFICIAL information embodied in an article in this paper last week referred to Miss E. M. Follett as having secured her 'A' licence for solo flying on July 11, 1929. The actual date was two years earlier. Miss Follett received her certificate from the Aero Club in 1927." She was the third woman in Australia to receive this certificate : "Miss Evelyn Follett (Castlecrag), licence No. 109, dated August 29, 1927".

Evelyn Follett also served in the WAAAF (Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force) as a Section-Officer during WWII. She was the RTO (Rail Transport Officer) at Central Railway Station. But there was also mention that "Sectlon-Officer Follett was engaged in 'hush-hush' work for the R.A.A.F." This article from the SMH of April 1943 tells of her service: "W.A.A.A.F. officers are now attached to the staffs of R.A.A.F. railway transport officers in most of the capital cities, and the new venture has already proved very successful.

In Sydney, although two airwomen have been on the R.T.O.'s staff for about 12 months, Section-officer Evelyn Follett has just been appointed W.A.A.A.F. welfare officer attached to the staff of the R.T.O., Flight-Lieutenant R. D. Clark. Section-Officer Follett's first responsibility is to W.A.A.A.F.s on leave or in transit. She directs them to accommodation, advises on transport to local units, directs them to their destination, if it is in Sydney, or should they have to spend a day in Sydney she tells them where to find Servlcewomen's clubs and where they can get a meal, a shower, and a rest. All the bulk transport movements of W.A.A.A.F. personnel are dealt with by the R.T.O., but Section-Officer Follett frequently arranges transport for late postings among W.A.A.A.F.s. Section-Officer Follett was the first woman to enrol and the second woman in Australia to gain her pilot's licence. She trained with the New South Wales Aero Club at Mascot. For many years she and her sister managed their own travel agency and technical library. Many young air enthusiasts who used this library are now in the R.A.A.F., and some of them are ferrying aircraft across the Atlantic. Before she was appointed to her present position Sectlon-Officer Follett was engaged in "hush-hush" work for the R.A.A.F.. Members of the A.W.A.S. are attached to the Army R.T.O. office in Sydney. They are engaged in office duties and as telephonists, and one of them checks soldiers' leave passes."

Her brother Frank William Follett (1892-1950) joined the Light Horse in 1915, then became an original member of the Australian Flying Corps, establishing a brilliant record. After the war he joined the Australian Civil Aviation Department as a test pilot. "Frank William Follett, born 27/3/1892, Marrickville, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died 25/10/1950, Vaucluse, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

"Frank William Follett, aviator and aerial surveyor, was born on 27 March 1892 at Marrickville, Sydney, son of English parents William Follett, warehouseman from Devonshire and his wife Ada née Dodridge. Educated at Sydney Boys' High School, he joined the firm of Simpson Bros, engineers, in Sydney, and in May 1910 then joined the engineering department of the Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage as a cadet draftsman and by 1916 was a compiling draftsman. Enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in January 1916, Follett saw active service in France with the Australian Field Engineers and was later promoted sergeant and assistant technical warrant officer. After training with No. 29 Training Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, at Fern Hill, England, he was commissioned second lieutenant in the A.I.F. on 18 November 1917 and lieutenant in the Australian Flying Corps on 18 February 1918. In July 1918 in France with No. 2 Scouting Squadron operating out of Reclinghem (south-west of Aire) with S.E.5s, Follett saw much action harassing the enemy over the Lys in poor flying conditions. During the August Somme offensive his squadron helped reinforce British scouts in the Fourth Army and took part in the air-raids on Lille. In September he went back to No. 6 Training Squadron in England. Returning to Australia in June 1919, he resumed his pre-war job. On 24 April 1920 at St Paul's Catholic Church, Dulwich Hill, he married Helen Gertrude Molloy. On 2 February Follett was appointed superintendent of aircraft in the civil aviation branch of the Department of Defence under H.C. Brinsmead with headquarters in Melbourne; his work included the inspection of aircraft all over Australia and flight-testing new models. At Richmond, New South Wales, in December 1924, during Australia's first flying week for testing locally built low-powered aircraft, Follett flew departmental aeroplanes; he gained the highest number of points in the trials in a D.H.53 (but failed to beat Bert Hinkler's mileage record), and won the aerial Derby in a D.H.37. He resigned from the Defence Department in June 1929 and from July 1929 to August 1930 was manager and chief instructor of the (Royal) Aero Club of New South Wales at Mascot. In 1930 Follett founded Adastra Airways Pty Ltd which specialised in aerial surveying. In 1939, aware of the enormous potential in Australia and the lag in Australia's aerial mapping programme, he studied the latest techniques in England, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, arriving home just before the outbreak of World War II. After the war the firm expanded. By 1949 it had the most sophisticated stereo-plotting equipment in Australia and received large government contracts including an 8000-square mile (21,000 square km) survey of the entire Darling River. Quiet, retiring and somewhat dour, Follett played a leading part in the development of aerial surveying and photogrammetry. His outside interests included tennis, boating, growing orchids and Legacy. He was a member of the Imperial Service Club of New South Wales and of the Royal Society of Arts, London. In 1935 he received the silver medal of the Royal Humane and Shipwreck Society. Follett died of heart disease at the wheel of his car outside his Vaucluse home on 25 October 1950 and was cremated with Presbyterian forms. He was survived by his wife; and a daughter who had predeceased him." Married Helen Gertrude Molloy, 24/4/1920, St Paul, Dulwich Hill, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Helen died 6/2/1968, NSW, Australia. Children: (1) Frances Follett. Died 1931, Woollahra, Sydney, NSW, Australia."

In August 1930 the Follett Family began an aviation company in Sydney: "Adastra Airways, Ltd. Nominal capital £3000, in £1 shares. To establish, maintain, and work lines of aerial conveyances, a school of aviation, and deal generally in all kinds of vehicles under motive or mechanical power, Subscribers: F. W. Follett, H. T. Hammond, Evelyn M. Follett, Madge Hammond, Sadie A. Youngson, Helen Follett, Beatrice H. Follett. Registered office, Sydney."

"Adastra Airways, which began in 1930 as a flying school at Mascot Aerodrome, now the site of Sydney (Kingsford Smith) International Airport. During the thirties, the company operated a regular airline service between Sydney and Bega on the New South Wales South Coast. Also during the thirties, Adastra pioneered civilian aerial photographic survey and this became their principal activity with the discontinuation of the airline service in 1940. That Adastra managed to survive the depression years is a tribute to the tenacity of its founder, Frank Follett. In the ensuing years, Adastra became the foremost aerial survey operator in Australia. Adastra mapped much of the nation's post-war development, including the enormous Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme. As we approach the centenary of powered flight, where airline crews have come to expect five star accommodation, it is important to reflect that Adastra crews routinely stayed at remote locations for months on end where the only accommodation was the tent they brought with them. Similarly, there were no limousines for ground transportation either, crews usually travelled by motorcycle and these became a regular accoutrement of Adastra Hudsons as they roamed the country.

In April 1935 the sisters set up a business in the centre of Sydney at 14 Martin Place called the 'AIR CENTRE': "The Air Centre of Sydney is an original conception, and there is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world. There are bureaus of travel and libraries of information which include an aeronautical section, but nothing which specialises so comprehensively as does the air centre. Situated in the most central position possible, the centre comprises one large room, which, despite its technical utility, expresses in furnishing a very definite feminine character. Australia, with its air routes distinctly market on the map. To counteract the extremely concentrated and hard work of obtaining from local and overseas sources all the information required, Miss Follett and her sister indulged their pleasure and furnished their office on the most modern and attractlve lines. They were fortunate enough to have a parquet floor in the office they selected on which to build their scheme. All the furniture is made of walnut, and, apart from the decoration acquired by rounded edges, straight lines, and simple curves, it has no ornamentation at all. A huge desk which accommodates both workers occupies the greater part of one end of the room. It Is long and counter-like, and one end of it curves round, making a cosy recess, where Miss Beatrice Follett does all the secretarial work. Bookshelves, built in the modern way, with uneven- length shelves, occupy opposite walls, and hold deep blue covered library books and green-covered magazines. One corner of the room is made very cosy with a simply-designed, little writing desk with a knee-hole and deep filing drawers, one of the demure little office chairs of solid walnut upholstered in air force blue burlap to match curtains, and huge lounge chairs. In these very attractive surroundings information about all types of aircraft used throughout the world can be obtained. Information of all the latest developments of wireless, air mails, the air services of each country of the world, with special attention given to Australian services, is given. Bookings for oversea flights are being arranged, so that people intending to fly during their travels abroad will have the convenience of being able to make all their arrangements before leaving Australia."

"Nearer home— in Martin Place, centre of Sydney's tourist traffic— an aerial travel bureau is conducted by Misses Evelyn, and Beatrice Follett, sisters of the war pilot and commercial air transport operator, Mr Frank Follett, of Adastra Airways.

Miss Evelyn Follett was one of 'the first women pilots trained by the Aero Club to receive an "A" pilot's licence at Mascot, almost 10 years - ago, and, with Mrs Terry and Miss P Arnott, she was selected to form an aerial guard to welcome Miss Amy Johnson when the English girl flew to Sydney from Brisbane after her England-Australia flight. Not only do the Follett girls book flights on any of the world's airways, but they also conduct an extensive second-hand aeroplane market, and most of the second-hand plane transactions at Mascot, Melbourne, and Brisbane lately have been negotiated through them."

In 1936 and 1937 the sisters went overseas :"Miss Beatrice Follett and her sister, Miss Evelyn Follett, who returned in the Aorangi after eight months abroad, during which they visited many airports. The Aorangi was a liner that sailed on the Vancouver, Victoria, Honolulu, Suva, Auckland, Sydney run.

Beatrice H. Follett was a student at East Sydney Technical college in 1945 where she had studied Ceramics and Sculpture. Beatrice had become an associate member of the Society of Arts & Crafts of N.S.W. in 1944. Her sister Evelyn joined in 1947. By this stage the sisters would have been in their 40s and had had a successful business career and it seems Evelyn had worked with the RAAF.

Potter and aviator, worked with her sister, Miss B. H. Follett , both were associate members of the Society of Arts & Crafts of NSW. They fired their pots in Bim Hilder’s kiln at Castlecrag -177 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag. In the 1950s the Society donated the Folletts’ bowl with Aboriginal decoration to the Armidale Teachers College (now apparently located in the New England Regional Art Museum). The Follett sisters were also said to be aviators.



* This item was sourced from TROVE.

It was created on 20 September 2016 by TROVE user KEVING.

KEVING is invited to contact the Webmaster so that an appropriate attribution can be added.

Further information on the Follett sisters can be found on TROVE at this link:



Issue Date Remarks
1 18OCT19
Original issue