Kit Johnston – Memories

Kit Johnston (c1978)

I came to Concord 63 years ago and have seen many changes.

Our road, Alexandra Street, was not made and we had no kerb and guttering and no concrete footpaths. As a matter of fact, the road was so bad, I was coming home from Burwood and the pram with my young son in it got stuck in the mud in the middle of the road and I had to ask some builders, who were building the house next door, to come and rescue him.

A lady in Gipps Street used to let her fowls out of a gate in the fence into the paddock next to me.

At first we could see right up to Parramatta Road. There were no houses. The land opposite was supposed to be for a bowling green, but somehow it was sold to a Mr. Hook and he built many houses.

My husband did the first electoral roll, on a bike, and we borrowed a typewriter from Mr. Furness, the Town Clerk, and we both did the work.

Those days we used to go to town on Stewart’s buses – very uncomfortable – and the bus stop was at the top of Melbourne Street, where a Blacksmith’s shop was on the corner, forever shoeing horses.

Also, Strathfield Picture House was open air and we sat on deck chairs. Along Parramatta Road was another picture house named “Thais”, which now is a bedding factory.

Strathfield Station entrance was high on a bridge over the train lines and if you were late it was a hassle getting up the hill. Also, there were hansom cabs at the station.

Along Parramatta Road was a large house, called Daly House, which extended to Alexandra Street with stables for horses and a beautiful garden and drive in front, which is now Daly Avenue.

We had deliveries of groceries, meat, milk and bread in those days.

Trams used to run to Cabarita and Mortlake and I can remember when I first came here, I jumped off the tram at Murray’s and the conductor yelled at me. I didn’t know it wasn’t the custom here as it was in England.

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