I Remember …

  • Starched circular petticoats which stood up by themselves after being ironed
  • Listening to the “Argonauts” and “Yes What” on the wireless
  • Taking the billy can out to meet the milkman in the morning. It was filled from the huge milk cans on the back of a horse-drawn cart.
  • Catching the tram to school. The fare was 1 penny (1 cent)
  • Wearing hats and gloves when going to the city shopping, or to church
  • Wearing a rope petticoat under a full circular skirt
  • Seeing people sitting on chairs on the footpath outside the local electrical shop to watch television when it first came to Australia.
  • Taking a saucepan to the local Chinese restaurant to bring home our dinner.
  • Buying fish and chips on Friday night – all wrapped in newspaper
  • Visiting our local corner shop, where everything came in big containers, and having the owner weigh out the orders into paper bags while we sat on the chair at the counter. If it was a bit order the grocer would deliver it later in the day.
  • Buying a huge bag of “broken” biscuits from the grocery shop for sixpence.
  • Visiting the 2GB auditorium in the city to watch the Jack Davey Show being broadcast
  • Chasing the iceman as he made his deliveries from a horse-drawn cart – ready to grab the chips of ice to cool us down. Homes had an “ice-chest” for keeping food cold and the iceman would call every few days with a new block of ice for it.
  • Visiting the Markets at Haymarket on a Friday. Mum would give me two shillings (20 cents) to buy what ever I wanted. I’d always come home with lots of “goodies” for the money.
  • Going to the local picture show on a Saturday afternoon with a shilling (10 cents) – sixpence to go in and sixpence to spend at interval. For our money we got two movies,a serial and a newsreel.
  • Standing up for “God Save the King/Queen” before the pictures started.
  • Saving the drink bottles to take to the corner store to get the refund for pocket money
  • Being given a “trey piece” (three pence) by my grandfather for “buy an ice cream”.
  • Learniing to add, subtract, multiply and divide £ s d (pounds, shillings and pence), remembering that there were 12 pennies to a shilling and 20 shillings to a pound.
  • Being class monitor, mixing the powdered ink with water then filling the desk ink wells using an old teapot so there were not too many spills.
  • Learning long lists of tables – e.g. 12″ (inches) = 1′ (foot; 3′ (feet) = 1 yd (yard); 22 yards = 1 chn (chain); 80 chns or 1760 yards = 1 mile; 16 oz (ounces) = 1 lb (pound); 14 lb = 1 st (stone); 2 st = 1 qtr (quarter); 112 lbs or 4 qtrs = 1 cwt (hundredweight); 2240 lb or 20 cwt = 1 ton.
  • Standing for hours in Queen Elizabeth Park, with thousands of other schoolchildren, to catch a glimpse of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as they changed cars during their 1954 visit
  • Paying the bus fare with $ & c (dollars and cents) for the first time on 14th February, 1966.

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER?

add your memories in the comments below.

(Thanks to the Lane Cove Historical Society, from whose newsletter we stole this!)

3 thoughts on I Remember …

  • I can remember almost all the shops on Concord Road starting with Cincotta’s greengrocers on the corner of Myall Street. Next was the cake-shop where one of my school-friend’s father was the pastry-cook. Then the grocer (Mr Hudson?)whose name escapes me, but I remember the high-backed stool with the Arnott’s logo and tins of Arnott’s biscuits. The grocer always wore a long white apron. Next was Mr Smyth, the butcher. The front of his shop had a certain glamour with its green tiles, chrome trim and Art Deco sweep, and sawdust on the floor. I used to go in to buy a pound of chuck steak for our cat, Felix and it cost 3/6. Moving on down was the produce store with its sacks of food for the chooks everyone kept in their back yards. Then there was the newsagency, or as we called it, the papershop. There I used to get the copies of my English magazines, School Friend and Girls’ Crystal, that arrived 6 weeks after publication from an address that was mysteriously: “Fleet Street, London EC4”. On the corner was the wonderful Concord West Odeon where I saw Errol Flynn as Robin Hood. In 1959 the Odeon was reinvented as Warman’s, a fore-runner to the supermarket. Opposite was Gostellow’s pharmacy where Mr Gostellow prepared a wonderful potion for my painful sunburn in the days before recognition of its damage and the invention of sun-block. My favourite shop was next door: the haberdashery under the watchful gaze of Miss Tack! What a wonderful example of nominal determinism. Further on was Masonic Hall where men held secret meetings, Lodge, and to which women were allowed on some occasions when they wore long white dresses. The Masonic Hall was transformed into a ballet school on Saturday mornings when June London tried to transform many little Concord West budding ballerinas from cygnets into swans with, I suspect, limited success. I’m sure I have omitted many important contributors to the life of Concord West shops and would welcome any inclusions.

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