James and Amelia Jetter Riches (nee Sims) were married in1853 and living in the small town of Winchester,Victoria when they started theirfamily. Daughter Elizabeth Ameliaarrived in 1855, followed by Edmund Ambrose in 1867, twins Amelia Lydia andLaura Amanda in 1868, Seaman Sydney in 1971 and Laura Lydia in 1875. At least two of their sons moved to Melbourneand settled in Northcote.
Edmund Ambrose purchased property on the rise in Bayview Streetwhich became known as “The Alpines” and was eventually sold to the Church ofEngland to build the Church of the Epiphany in the mid-1920s. Ambrose then moved down to Brighton on theother side of Port Phillip Bay.
Sydneymarried Alice Mary Weeding in 1900. Hewas a clerk and they lived in a number of houses around Northcote and Preston. In 1903they were in Mansefield Street,Northcote. At the start of WWI they hadmoved to 72 Tyler Street,Preston to an Italianate double-bay villacalled “Lochnorries”. By the end of the warthey were in High Street, Northcote at number 158 and 8 Merri Creek Street in 1924. During the Depression years of the early1930s they were at 62 James Street,Northcote. By that stage their familywas largely grown up. All of the Richeschildren were born and raised in Northcote.
Grace Alexandra was born in 1902 followed by Seaman Roy in1904, Keith Rayment in 1906 and Sydney James in 1909. Seaman Roy was known as Roy. He became the driving force behind the Epiphany Choir and EntertainersSociety at the church built on his uncle’s former land. Although Roy was the artist in the family andthe one, keen to lead and star in the comedies and dramas performed by thecompany, he was successful in recruiting his two brothers to help with stageconstruction and lighting. It was herethat their respective trades of carpenter and radio engineer were put to bestuse although Keith also performed on stage with the company.
In June 1927 Roywas farewelled from the Epiphany Entertainers, presented with a travelling rug,a pen and a prayer book by the Reverend Thomas Cole of the Church of theEpiphany. His work on behalf of variouschurch agencies was recognised at the close of the second performance of“Charlie’s Wife” at Panton Hill. Roy had been a vestryman,a chorister, a lay reader and a Sunday school teacher for the church.