WELL mannered madams who looked like they stepped out of the 19th century enriched bushranger history for many Beechworth visitors on Sunday.
The ladies had flouncing bustles on regal dresses and were travelling back to the years where the Kellys caused controversy.
The women are part of a group called Margaret’s Memory Lane and they are known to dress in period costumes to attend different events.
This was their first appearance at the Ned Kelly Weekend.
“It’s great fun and you feel very feminine,” Margaret Thornhill said.
She makes the dresses, hats, gloves and reticules.
Mrs Thornhill, wrapped in a fitted bodice, said the dresses were based off a Polonaise pattern.
“I try to make it as close as possible to the real thing,” she said.
Kylie Hayman, from Yerong Creek, said she believed they should “go big or go home”.
“I feel like I was born in the wrong era,” she said.
“It’s my passion so it’s great I can dress up and live the dream.”
Mrs Hayman was escorted around Beechworth by her husband Jason.
He also looked the part, with a puff tie secured around his neck and donning a top hat, vest and cane.
Mrs Hayman said they all found the bushranger era an interesting part of history and believed that it was something that held wide appeal.
“No matter how modernised the world is, this is something that draws us back,” she said.
“History is a seed in everyone that blossoms when they see historic things – like us in costume.”
Mrs Hayman said historic Beechworth was the perfect and fitting location to compliment their outfits.
“In Beechworth you don’t need props to take you back in time,” she said.
“It’s already so historic.”
The Ned Kelly Weekend pays homage to the anniversary of the committal hearing of Ned Kelly at the Beechworth Courthouse in August 1880.
This year was the 135 anniversary since the committal hearing and 35 years since a mini-series about the outlaw was filmed.
Re-enactments in the police paddocks and courthouse were again a favourite at this year’s 12th Ned Kelly Weekend.
People participated in walking tours of the town and heard stories about the bushranger.
Many of the visitors to the town also took the opportunity to inspect the Ned Kelly Vault.