Entertaining ourselves in the 1950s and early 1960s (2)

March 30, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Posted in 1950s, Australia, Family, History, Memoir | 2 Comments
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One of the things we did a lot of as children was making things. Our parents had little money to spare, and if we wanted toys, we often had to create them ourselves. I’ve already mentioned making bows and arrows and guns.

We also made dolls from the appropriately named dolly pegs, with varying levels of skill (Mum had a job keeping enough pegs for hanging the clothes on the line!). A wooden cotton reel, a few small nails and some wool made us a loom for French knitting.

French knitting   Dolly peg doll

Here are some of the other things we used to make for ourselves (or that Dad made for us).

Things Made From Paper

i) Aeroplanes: There were a couple of tried and true ways to make paper aeroplanes. One of them I have never seen anyone else other than my family use.

ii) Party hats and sailing ships: the party or pirate hat is an easily folded bit of newspaper, and most people know it. The sailing ship was a development on that, and I cannot remember now how it went.

iii) Kites: made from a cross of two sticks and brown paper. The tail consisted of string with paper strips tied to it at intervals. Often they were too heavy, or not strong enough, or not big enough to fly, but we kept trying. Occasionally, one would fly quite well.

Simple kite

iv) Dolls’ dresses: Another thing that we sometimes got on cereal packets was two-dimensional cardboard figures. You could cut them out and make paper clothes for them. You could also get a book of paper dolls with fancy clothes that fitted on the figure using flaps of paper that extended from the costume itself. They came in all kinds of period costume, so you could make up stories from the past. I only saw those once.

v) Christmas decorations: Crepe paper and newspaper made chains and twists to hang on the walls and on the tree we’d get from the bush. Silver paper from inside cigarette packets would cover a cardboard star (cut from a cereal box) to put at the top of the tree.

Things Made from Wood

i) Scooters. Dad worked with wood in his shed. When we were little we didn’t have any spare money. One Christmas Dad made wooden scooters for me and my younger sister. The whole thing was made from wood except for the wheels. We thought they were great! (Ten years later, Dad made my little brother a scooter in steel, using the footrest of an old motorbike for the base)

ii) Cars and boats: I used the off-cuts from Dad’s shed to make myself cars and boats. I was always fascinated by the circles of plywood that resulted when Dad drilled a big hole in plywood and I used to use them for wheels on my wooden block cars and trucks.

wooden wheel

Dad made a canoe for Peter when he was about 13-14. It was made from plywood and had outriggers for safety. Peter used to paddle around on the lake, exploring all the bays and creeks. I was so jealous that I couldn’t have one – indeed, I wasn’t even allowed to set foot in that one.

Things Made from Shells

One of the things we loved to do was go to the beach. We didn’t go to swim – none of us could! We went to play in the sand and at the water’s edge, and to see the sea creatures in the rock pools along from the beach. And we went to collect shells. Mum loved shells and did so all her life. Kids love shells too of course, and Shellharbour, where we went, still had a multitude of them along the beach and the rocks. There are only little ones now, and none of the larger ones we used to get.

Mum used shells to decorate around picture frames and mirrors. When I was about twelve, I made two wall plaques. They were a map of England and one of Australia, in-filled with small shells on plywood backings that Dad cut out for me. I lacquered them when they were done. The one of Australia has disappeared, but when I was looking for something for Dad in his cupboard, not long before he died, I found the one I made of England.

Shell map England re-sized

Reading, Writing and Drawing

My brother and I especially loved reading, and we belonged to the local public library from an early age; I also used to get books from school. Primary schools received the School Magazine from the NSW Education Department. There were separate ones for different grades, issued each month during the school year (ten per year). I loved these too. If I were lucky, I would get a book for Christmas or for my birthday. I remember one Christmas – 1958 I think – I got the first books of my own. I spent a lot of time as a child and a teenager with my head in a book. I loved adventure, and read as much as I could about it, I also wanted to write my own stories. I began many but didn’t get far with them as I just didn’t know how to do it.

Like most kids, we drew pictures and coloured them. Mostly what we used in the early days was the creamy white paper that meat from the butcher came wrapped in. We occasionally had drawing or colouring books too. On rainy days, when I wasn’t reading or doing jobs, I’d settle down with paper, coloured pencils and (usually) Peter’s set of compasses. These circle flower designs were one of the things I loved making. I made other designs as well as this one, but I loved the symmetry of this one and it was my favourite. These two colours, blue and yellow, were also my favourites then and I loved using them together.

Circle flower design

(c) Linda Visman

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Share Your World – 2015 Week #12

March 27, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Gratitude | 6 Comments
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Again it is time for sharing my world, answering Cee’s questions for week 12.

 

When was the last time you sat on a park or garden bench for more than ten minutes? Describe the occasion.

I often sit at them. The latest was this morning, when I met with a friend. We sat on a bench looking across the lake and caught up with what’s been happening. People walked by exercising themselves and their dogs, and a man I’d spoken with before stopped to chat. It was a pleasant hour.

Would you ever be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle? 

No way! The thought of cutting live flesh gives me the horrors! The needles are fine if I am having them; I don’t worry about them at all.

Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

We usually take them for a walk along the lake. Otherwise, it depends on whether there are children and how old they are. The Hunter Valley wine area is a popular place for adults, as are the forests of the nearby Watagan Mountains.

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

A place that sells motor vehicles. I have never owned a new vehicle, and hubby only once. It would be great to get a decent car for towing the boat trailer, and a new version of our camper van.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last weekend, instead of going sailing, we drove to the Watagans and found a lovely bush camping spot. We had a lovely quiet time with no phone or internet reception, and just relaxed, chatted, walked and read. We weren’t too happy with the gang of trail-bike riders who kept us awake until after 4am though!

Tonight we are going to a party to celebrate our friend’s daughter’s 21st birthday. Nikky is a lovely girl who we have watch grow from a delightful child to a mature, beautiful and hard-working young woman. We are looking forward to it.

(c) Linda Visman

Entertaining ourselves in the 1950s and early 1960s (1)

March 23, 2015 at 11:22 am | Posted in 1950s, Australia, Culture, History, Leisure activities, Memoir | 16 Comments
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Apart from the little ride-on horse I have mentioned before, and my older brother and sister’s trike, I cannot remember any play activities in England. However we did often go for walks in the countryside, over the local moors.

My sisters played with dolls, but I was never interested in them like they were. Dad had made gollywogs for my younger sister and me from fabric blanks he got when he worked in the weaving mill in Oswaldtwistle. Mine came with me to Australia, and I have a photo of me holding it, taken at the caravan at Reed Park, Dapto.

Me with my gollywog on the caravan step; my elder sister with her doll.

Me with my gollywog on the caravan step; my elder sister with her doll.

Making My Own Wild West

I was a real tomboy and wanted to be an explorer, a cowboy or an Indian. Inside certain cereal packets were small plastic toys to collect. For me, the best of these were the cowboys and Indians and horses for them to ride. The packets also had cut-out wild west buildings on the back that fit together. You could collect these and make your own town. It was mostly me who played with them.

CowboyAndIndianFigures

I often made bows out of the shrubs and thin branches that grew around the place, and string. My arrows I made from a green weed that grew long straight stalks and dried off in summer after seeding. Though light, they made fairly reasonable (straight at least) arrows. I made my quivers for the arrows out of newspaper.

Here I am with my sisters, posing with my home-made bow and arrow.

Here I am with my sisters, posing with my home-made bow and arrow.

I loved the poem “Hiawatha”, which I’d read in an issue of our NSW Education Department school magazine when I was about nine. The poem mentioned the type of wood, ash, that Hiawatha used to make his wonderful bow with, and I decided to make a bow for myself just like Hiawatha had. I asked my brother Peter if there were ash trees around. He laughed and said, “You’ve been reading ‘Hiawatha’, haven’t you?” I was embarrassed and denied it. He said “Anyway that’s America. We don’t have those trees here”. I was very disappointed.

It was rare for us to have ‘real’ toy guns. We would make a pretend gun from a dolly peg, a matchbox and an elastic band. Mum used dolly pegs for hanging the clothes on the line (no spring pegs then). Sometimes if the clothing was too thick, the peg would split; leaving the top part and one ‘leg’. We would use this broken peg and, with a doubled rubber band, fix a matchbox, sitting upward and end-on to it. The head of the peg became the handle of the gun, and the matchbox was the barrel. If you fitted a half-match with the rubber band stretched around it, between the box and the peg and then depressed the matchbox with your finger as if firing a gun, the match stick would fly off like a (slow) bullet. Mum would find that more of her pegs than she thought had suddenly lost one leg!

Gun& Holster set 1950s

A gun and holster set from the 1950s

As many kids did, we made rifles from odd bits of wood that had the right approximate shape. One Christmas, when I was about eight, I received a cowboy set – chaps, vest and a gun-belt with a toy pistol. It was just what I wanted, and I thought it was great – except that my skirt would get in the way of the chaps, as we girls weren’t allowed to wear pants then. My younger sister got a cowgirl outfit, so we played together sometimes, but I thought she was too girly most of the time.

(c) Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2015 Week #11

March 19, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Australia, Family History, Gratitude, Share Your World | 8 Comments
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Here are my responses to Cee’s Share Your World questions for Week 11. Thanks again Cee.

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

  1. The hot weather has been tapering off and the humidity isn’t so high now that we are into autumn. That is such a relief!
  2. I am getting a new (albeit basic) kitchen this week. The sink and counters I have had to work on for the past 10+ years were above height, and I am not very tall. It has been difficult at times to prepare food and wash up at the high sink. In a couple of days, I will have counters that will be comfortable for me to work at, and not so painful!

Do you prefer ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise?  

I don’t often use condiments, pastes or sauces. When I do, it is Australian tomato sauce on sausages. Otherwise I don’t use any really.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

There would be red for the blood of Catholic martyrs and for my short temper; blue for the Virgin Mary and the beautiful Australian skies; green for the trees and the Australian bush; yellow for the heat of the Australian sun and sand; and black for my depression and feelings of isolation and lack of friends.

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

Definitely a shower. When we came to Australia from England in 1954, we lived in a caravan for 2 years and didn’t have access to either shower or bath – or even a decent toilet. Once we had our tiny cottage, Dad eventually set up a shower in a lean-to attached to the back of it that later became the laundry. That was my first experience of a shower.

We never did have a bath in the house at all, so I grew up with showers. We have a bath now that I have never used in the ten years I’ve been in this house. I get cold in a bath and anyway, I always feel much cleaner after a nice fresh shower.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am very grateful that the huge branches that came down in our back yard in the short sharp and violent storm we had on the weekend didn’t do any more damage than destroying half our rotary clothesline.

This weekend coming up, we are going camping in the bush, away from the world and its problems. I so want to just relax, away from people, and just BE! This is my chance to do that.

Linda Visman

Running the Joists

March 16, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Posted in 1950s, Australia, Health, Memoir | 6 Comments
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When Dad had finished the framework for the two extra bedrooms, we would walk out of the kitchen door – the only external door at the time – and across the floor joists. Dad had laid boards across the top of the joists, to the side of the house next to the garage where our uncle’s family lived. If we wanted to go out the back to the pan toilet, we could go that way. Or we could go the shorter way, which involved stepping from joist to joist, to the back of the frame, then jumping down to the ground. You can guess which way we kids preferred to go. Before long, we were racing across them as if they were a solid floor.

Wooden floor joists

Wooden floor joists

One day, having been cooped up for hours by incessant rain, I was eager to get outside to play. The joists were still wet, but that didn’t stop me from skipping across them at top speed on my way to the back yard. I was almost there when my foot slipped off the second-last joist. I couldn’t save myself and my legs crashed between the joists. But my momentum carried me forward, and my upper body landed fair on top of the two-inch wide hardwood timber frame. The air rushed out of my lungs and I was left gasping. I flopped across the joist, staring down at the bits of rubble, scraps of wood and dark wet earth, scared and disoriented, the pain in my chest making it almost impossible to breathe.

I must have groaned or called out, or Dad heard me when I fell, because suddenly he was there. He asked if I could speak and I dazedly shook my head. He carefully picked me up and carried me inside. By the time he’d placed me on the bed I was breathing again, but my chest hurt. After a quick conference with Mum, Dad took me out to his work truck and we were on our way to the doctor’s surgery. Dr Needham didn’t think any of my ribs were broken, just badly bruised, but he said I should be strapped up, just in case. I wondered what kind of strap would go around my chest. Was it like a big leather belt? Would I be able to move?

The strapping turned out to be a wide strip of sticking plaster, just like Mum or Dad used to cut from a roll to keep the lint in place when we’d cut or grazed ourselves (there were no Band Aids then). However this plaster was much wider. Dad helped Dr Needham stick it in place right around my skinny chest. It covered me from my armpits almost to my waist and was very uncomfortable, pulling on my skin whenever I moved – which I tried not to do anyway, because it hurt my ribs.

Strapped ribs

Strapped ribs

I had to keep the plaster on for several weeks, and it soon became very grubby. Underneath, my skin became irritated and itched like crazy. I wanted to scratch but couldn’t. The edges of the plaster frayed and bits of fabric tickled me as well. How I hated it! My ribs soon felt fine, and I kept asking Dad when it could come off. Finally the day came when Dad could remove that hated plaster. Slowly, inch by inch, he peeled it off. My skin was red and tender, and felt strangely cold without its covering. But at last it was gone and I was very thankful.

While I’d been strapped up, Dad worked hard to get the room finished. He got the corrugated iron roof on and the floorboards laid in quick time. Now nobody could slip on those joists again. And when the building was all done, we had two more bedrooms.

(c) Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2015 Week #10

March 13, 2015 at 11:47 am | Posted in Australia, Gratitude, Health | 6 Comments
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Here are Cee’s questions and my answers for Share Your World Week 10.

 

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?

I always light candles. I love having the power off. I love the quiet and the darkness of the night outside. With candles I may not be able to read, but I can write, and I do. One year, we were without power for a few days after a particularly violent period of stormy winter weather. I wrote a lot on those nights.

Hubby loves torches, and he has lots of them in different sizes. But he also loves to have candles burning, especialy when we lose power.

You are given $5,000 and the chance to exchange it for one of two envelopes. One envelope contains $50,000 and one contains $500. Do you make the trade? Why or why not?

When I am out and people aske me to buy raffle tickets for a fund-raiser, I may do so. However when I do, I always regard it as a donation. I never expect to win anything. So far, I have been right. Going on those odds, I would hang on to the $5,000 and enjoy having it, rather than get an empty envelope in return.

What’s your first memory?

My first memory is being in a cot in a hospital where my parents weren’t allowed to come and touch me. I was in a room in an isolation ward at Blackburn Hospital, recovering from glandular fever. I was about 3 or 4 years old.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something?

This happens to me almost every night. I may be tired when I go to bed, but as soon as my head hits the pillow, I wake up. At first I try to relax, but this doesn’t usually work. After a while, I get restless legs or my sciatica plays up and I find myself tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable. I used to get up and read until I was sleepy again, but when I’d return to bed, it would still take me ages to drop off to sleep. Now I just wait it out.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I was really happy to catch up with all of my siblings over the last five days. It used to be years between the five of us all getting together because two of us live at some distance from the other three. Now as we are moving through our sixties and almost into our seventies, we make a big effort to see each other more often. We usually manage to all come together at least a couple of times a year.

Although we have several activities and appointments over the next week, I am looking forward to also having some quiet time by myself.

(c) Linda Visman

Building Rooms as the Family Grows

March 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Posted in 1950s, Australia, Culture, Family, Family History, Gratitude, History, Memoir, Migration | 3 Comments
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I have been away, and set this post to be published on Monday the 9th March. It didn’t work for some reason. Now I am back home, here it is.

 

 

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By the end of 1957, we’d been out of our four-berth caravan for about a year, and were living in the tiny three-roomed cottage Dad had bought and set up on our block of land. He had also built an extra room onto the back of it during that time, a bedroom for us four kids. At last Mum and Dad could have their own bedroom. But it was to be for only for a short time.

Mum’s brother and family had come from England to Adelaide in South Australia . My uncle visited us from there about 1957, and decided there was plenty of work for him in the Illawarra region of New South Wales and that he would leave his job in Adelaide and bring his family there. They would move in with us until they had a place of their own.

So Dad again had to get busy building a small two-roomed ‘garage’ next to our little cottage. Its front room served as a very basic kitchen, the back one as a bedroom, into which Aunty and Uncle moved with their young daughter. Their older son joined us four kids in the new bedroom. By that time, our total household amounted to ten people – and Mum was pregnant with twins.

This sharing of limited resources with extended family was not an unusual situation for the times. In the late 1940s and especially in the 1950s, Australia’s population grew very quickly, due to both post-war immigration and the baby boom. A great many migrants began their lives (once they had left the migrant camps to which many had come) with the purchase of a block of land and very little else. From there, they would build their own ‘garage’ that would house their family until they earned enough to build their own house.

When I say ‘build their own garage/house’, I mean that literally – many, if not most, did indeed build with their own hands. They couldn’t afford the cost of having it built by someone else. The 1950s was a time of great energy and enthusiasm, a reaction to the horrors of six years of war, a grasping of the freedom European migrants were offered in a new land. It was a time of economic growth, when most people were willing to put up with hard work, long hours and difficult living conditions in order to make a better life for themselves and their family than they would have had in post-war Europe.

Post war migrants arriving in Australia

Post war migrants arriving in Australia

In mid-1958, after a difficult birth where Mum came close to losing her life, our baby brother joined the family. His twin sister had, unfortunately, died at birth. It was about then, with their only two children in Australia, that Mum’s parents decided they would come too. When Grandma and Granddad arrived in late 1958, Mum and Dad moved out of their newly regained bedroom so her parents could have it, and went back to the night-and-day in the lounge room.

Dad was busy building rooms again. The kitchen, which in 2014 still had its original small cupboards, would be extended to a new outer door, and the little L-shaped cottage would become a rectangle, with two more bedrooms filling in the space. 1958 was a year of high rainfall in New South Wales and Dad was often rained off the building projects he worked on as builder’s labourer and concreter. During those down times, Dad worked on our house. He says he did more work on our house in those days than he did on his regular work, even in the rain.

Late 1958. The last two bedrooms are still under construction. My lovely grandmother stands at the doorway. On the grass are me (second from right) and my two sisters and our baby brother, with our two cousins. My older brother isn’t in the photo.

Late 1958. The last two bedrooms are still under construction. My lovely grandmother stands at the doorway. On the grass are me (second from right) and my two sisters and our baby brother, with our two cousins. My older brother isn’t in the photo.

Granddad had never helped my parents with a penny the whole time they were with us. Grandma slipped a few pounds to Mum from time to time when she could. She also gave us grandkids a shilling a week pocket money. We thought it a fortune, as we’d never had our own money before. In 1959 I think it was, my uncle bought a block of land close to the railway station with finance from Granddad. Granddad also helped to finance the building of a house there. Once it was completed, my uncle, aunt and cousins, and my grandparents too, moved in. At last, our family of seven had our home to ourselves.

For us kids, life was pretty good back then. We didn’t have much in the way of toys and possessions, but we had fresh air, plenty of room to play, lots of interesting places to investigate, and few worries, apart from our schooling and household chores. However, when I see the burdens my parents carried, I realise how difficult it must have been for them. I also believe it made us all stronger, both individually and as a family. Our parents gave us five kids a good start in many ways and we had much to be grateful for.

(c) Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2015 Week #9

March 5, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Posted in feeling your age, Gratitude, handedness, names | 5 Comments

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Here are my answers to Cee’s Share Your World questions for week 9.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

Old enough to know better; young enough to do it anyway.

My body tells me I am well into my sixties, but my head tells me I am half that age.

Are you left or right handed? 

I am right-handed, though I do a few things with my left hand.

If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?

I have already changed my surname twice – both times by marriage. There aren’t many girl’s names that I really like, so it is a good thing I had five boys and not five girls! I am happy with my first name. However if I HAD to change it, I would possibly make it Alex, short for Alexandra.

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

There isn’t any junk to hide, unless you call the piles of books waiting to be read ‘junk’. Hubby and I both read, and we love books as well as our kindles, so there are always more than a few in the living room. However they stay together and are not scattered about. When people come over, I will move my bits and pieces from the dining table if we are going to use it, but mostly, what you see is what is normally there.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Once again I am grateful for my husband’s support in my depression. I am also thankful that it is lifting, and that I have been better for the last few days.

On Saturday we are visiting family again – mostly siblings this time. It is always good to catch up with them.

Linda Visman

A House to Live in

March 2, 2015 at 12:09 am | Posted in 1950s, Australia, Family History, History, Memoir | 8 Comments
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Sheelagh, Linda and Pauline, collecting wood to burn our rubbish. About 1956

Sheelagh, Linda and Pauline, collecting wood to burn our rubbish. About 1956

In 1956 Dad managed to buy a tiny three-room cottage from Dick Brooks, the builder he was working for. Mr Brooks had built the cottage in 1948 when he had arrived in Australia from England. He was now becoming more prosperous and had built himself a larger house to replace the cottage. [Years later, I saw the second house he’d built and was surprised at how small and basic it was.]

Dad had to cut down the big tree in the middle of the block to make room for the little cottage. He used only an axe and ropes. I am sure I have seen a photo of him standing on the big fallen trunk, cutting off a branch, but either the photo is lost, or it is just in my imagination. He did have some help from a couple of men when he needed it, but did most of the work himself. Once the tree was removed, Dad leveled the ground, dug foundations and put up brick pillars for the house to sit on. Again, he used only hand tools.

The cottage came on the back of a truck. We kids thought that moving a whole house was an amazing thing to do. I don’t remember it actually being put in place – we were probably at school on the day. Dad connected the water to the kitchen sink and when it was all set up we moved in.

After living for so long – about two years – in the caravan, we thought the cottage was huge. All it had were one bedroom, a lounge room, kitchen and front verandah. All of them were really tiny. You can still see the outline of the old place in the original ceiling beams today, and I wonder now how we could ever have thought the place was big. But to us then it was our castle.

We four kids slept in the bedroom, all together in a double bed. My brother and sisters slept side by side at the top and I slept across the bottom. Mum and Dad bought a folding divan for the lounge room, and every night had to make it up into a bed for themselves. Of course, it had to be stripped and the bedding packed away again every morning, but they were used to doing that in the caravan.

There were two little shops on the Princes Highway (a narrow strip of tarred road that melted in summer) less than half a mile (one km) away. One was owned by the Moanes and the other by the Packhams (I think Packham’s was also the Post Office). Mr Packham was also an electrician and Dad arranged for him to connect power to the house. At that time nobody ever locked their houses. One day, while Mum was out doing the shopping, Mr Packham came and wired up the cottage. Before Mum came home, Mrs Reid from the house across the street came over and turned all the lights on so that Mum would have a lovely surprise when she returned and found the power connected.

On the Highway at Albion Park Rail. 1951: the Post Office and Moane's shop (From Illawarra Images)

On the Highway at Albion Park Rail. 1951: the Post Office and Moane’s shop (From Illawarra Images)

I can imagine how wonderful it would have been for Mum to have a house at last, no matter how small; to have power and water and an electric stove (a ‘cooker’ as she called it). She no longer had to fight with that horrid and scary little pump-up burner every time she had to cook. Now she had an electric jug to heat water for a cup of tea, for washing up and for ablutions. There were electric lights instead of the kerosene lamp. We all had a solid roof to sleep under. What heaven!

One day, not long after we’d moved into the house, there was a fire farther down the street from our house. Along the lake shore to the south of us blackberry bushes grew in profusion, and the fire took a fierce hold. The breeze drove it towards our new cottage. The only person with a telephone was Mr Rogan, who lived across the street next to Mrs Reid. Someone went to ask him to ring for the fire engine. He refused – the fire wasn’t threatening him!

Someone then had to race round to Moane’s shop and call from there. The fire was getting closer and closer and we were very worried. The fire engine soon arrived, but their water tank was empty and they couldn’t find a hydrant. Luckily, Dad knew there was one across the street, and the fire was eventually put out just before it reached us. Those blackberries never grew back; I think people made sure of that after that fire. It was a pity though, because we kids loved to collect those fresh juicy berries. We had to go farther afield to find any after that.

Out the front of 73 Koona St. About 1957. Left to right: Aunty Mary with Jean; Dad and Mum behind us children: Linda, Sheelagh, Pauline and Peter. Cousin Christine is in front. Dad is very brown from working outdoors. Behind us is the Reids’ house, across the street. Mum made the summer dresses we three girls are wearing.

Out the front of 73 Koona St. About 1957. Left to right: Aunty Mary with cousin Jean; Dad and Mum behind us children: Linda, Sheelagh, Pauline and Peter. Cousin Christine is in front. Dad is very brown from working outdoors. Behind us is the Reids’ house, across the street. Mum made the summer dresses we three girls are wearing.

(c) Linda Visman

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sketchings

Thel's Sketchings: Art, Photography, Musings & Short Stories

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

backstorypress.com

A blog about writing and reading

roughwighting

Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Curry Apple Orchard

A blog designed to remember the past and celebrate the present.

barsetshirediaries

A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Leigh Warren :: Country Music Outlaw

The ramblings of Leigh Warren about himself, country music and maybe... well who knows

Diane Tibert

~ writer -

Looking Back

With Mick Roberts. Est. Online 2000