Category Archives: Domestic

How It Was Done . . . 43 Years Ago

iBerowra Shopping001  May 73  B erowra & District news

The above, from May 1973, was only part of a regular advertisement segment placed by The Berowra Village Shopping Centre in the Berowra & District Times, a Newspaper published by the Berowra Progress Association for a time during the 1970’s.

The basic black and white images and text really indicate how advertising has progressed when compared with what we are exposed to today. It is also interesting to see just a sample of the variety of goods that were available, in our first local shopping centre.


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Sixty-Six Years Young

After World War Two finished in 1945 and ex-servicemen returned to civilian life, many couples married and began buying their own quarter acre blocks (around 1,000 square metres) in Berowra.

One such couple was Jack and Kath Molyneaux who bought 47a Woodcourt Road in 1949 and six years later purchased number 47.

Building materials were in very short supply so instead of building a large garage in which to live, as many couples did, Jack and Kath built the left hand end of their future home. This took nearly two years and by then their eldest child, Chris, had arrived.

Roof titles were available only after being on the waiting list for about six months so a temporary “roof” of “Malthoid”, (two ply felt impregnated with bitumen) was used instead. (pictures 1 and 2) It was held down by battens, but one day huge hailstones punched holes in the “Malthoid”! Imagine the mess!

Finally, by 1953, the rest of their home was completed. (picture 3) If you look at 47a today, you’ll still see the chimney but because the house has been extended over the years the chimney is now in the centre of the dwelling!

Picture 4 shows Chris, in the corner, cooling off in Molyneaux’s concrete wading pool, with some young neighbours. The pool converted to a sand pit in winter. Note the old 44 gallon drum, with lid and brick, used as an incinerator.

Shirley Collins

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Providing News


2015-12-30 11.45.56 Berowra News Paper banner  Jan 1972  2

The above newspaper was first published in August 1971 by the Berowra Progress Association. It was a free 8 to 10 page (44 x 31cm) monthly publication and, as you can see, distributed to all local suburbs.

This paper carried local news, also adverts for local businesses, details of community activities, usually with a selection of related black & white photographs.     

One regular column was ROUNDABOUT – with Mary which reported on some of the activities of local residents. The following is from the p4 January 1972 column.

‘..Christmas parties are all behind us -the giant Christmas tree at the Crossroads and a visit from ‘Skippy’ to the Village Shopping Centre -a busy time and now many local families are enjoying their annual holidays. Most of the holiday makers headed for favourite haunts on the North Coast -South West Rocks, Lake Cathie etc..’

Who can recall the giant Christmas tree at the Crossroads? Do you have a photo to share please?

The ‘Skippy’ visit to Berowra features in the blog of January 16th 2015.

Do you know how long this Newspaper was published?

These days Berowra is quieter for the next few weeks while families go away for holidays.

berowralivinghistory acknowledges the donation of a number of copies of Berowra and District News  papers from Mary Budd.




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Memories Of Ecumenical Christmas Eve Services


This week, with Christmas approaching, and the holiday season getting underway, it seemed the perfect time to share, and perhaps seek out, a special Christmas memory. When I was little, growing up in Berowra 20 to 30 years ago, I remember going every year to a Christmas Eve service. It was an ecumenical service, which, to the best of my memory, all of the local Churches participated in. I think perhaps the Baptist Church were ‘in charge’ so to speak, but the whole community was involved. In fact, I seem to remember that in hot weather, or rain, the service was held at the Community Centre, in the big auditorium. Of course, in Australia, that meant most years!

There were carols, and the Christmas story, and plenty of community spirit. I also seem to remember that at the end of the night, the children were reminded to go home and straight to bed – Santa would be coming. I for one tended to do just that! I’m sure this was a gift in itself to Berowra’s parents, who were no doubt by this time thinking of all the last minute preparations they needed to make, preferably without children underfoot.

Does anybody else remember these services, and are there any photos out there which we could share with the community?


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Remembering IGA

As it was

This week, we are revisiting a photo which we featured once before, but from a different perspective. The image above was shared by Kylie Snell (nee Ellem), along with several others which focus on the so called ‘horse paddock’ and the horses who once resided there. Yet this photo is also our only image of IGA, as it once was, and indeed during the time when it was run by the Hourigan’s.
I recall going shopping with my Mum 25 to 30 years ago, as a little girl. I would always be on my very best behaviour, not because Mum was watching, but because Mrs Hourigan was. If I behaved for Mum, Mrs Hourigan would appear with a small packet of chips as a reward. Sometimes I even got a lollipop if my behaviour was absolutely exemplary.
With the fire which recently caused so much damage to the building, it is wonderful to see images of the building during its prime. Indeed, it is at times like these that we realise just how important images can be in recording our stories.
We encourage you to share any images or memories you have with the Berowra Living History community.
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Good Advice To Have

The following is taken from Molly Dye’s   IDEAS  Book  (pictured below) and given to by local resident Shirley Collins. Did your family have and use this book?

Pink Molly Dye's ideas book Apr '015

This booklet is full of various knitting and crochet patterns,sewing projects,advertisements for cost saving and an ABC of helpful hints for the housewife and family.

I tried two of the suggestions under SLICK TRICK with appropriate success
*WHEN a cake splits, place a damp cloth on top as soon as it is taken out of the oven. Leave the cloth on for a few seconds and cake will come together.
*CLEAN CORK mats by rubbing them well with pumice, using plenty of hot, soapy water. Rinse in clear water. When dry, the mats will be like new!

The following two adverts were a real reminder for me. I used the Beutron kits when I was young and dressmaking and the Dunlop products extended the life of family footwear.


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Sustainability In Berowra

Waste paper collection

In a time when recycle, reuse and respect is something of a catch phrase, many tend to think of sustainability as a new phenomenon. Yet as this excerpt from the local newspaper The Advocate, from April 10, 1940 shows, recycling is nothing new! During the Second World War, there were a variety of charitable drives to collect waste to use in supporting the war effort. Everything from paper to old rags was asked for, and according to newspapers of the time, Berowra residents enthusiastically took part.

Do you have memories of these drives? If so, we would love to hear from you!

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A Mysterious Calendar

Advocate photograph

This week, with the beginning of the New Year well underway, and school returning I recently found myself hanging up a new calendar for 2015. This brought to mind an image shared with Berowra Living History, showing Berowra and appearing on a locally produced calendar in 1930. The Advocate, a popular local newspaper which is still printed today, once printed this stunning calendar, and presumably distributed it to the local residents in their delivery area.

Little is known about the calendar, and sadly, only a one or two pages of the original 12 have been sighted. Do you know anything about this calendar, or perhaps do you have a complete copy tucked away in a cupboard? Do you happen to know if any others were ever produced? Was the calendar free? If you know the answer to any of these questions, we would love to hear from you!

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Happy New Year

Ada Foster and Band 2

We wish you a Happy New Year with this beautiful image from the collection of Von Jones and Family!

This vintage professional photograph shows the late Max Jones’s grandmother, Ada. She is the tall young woman standing third from the right. Ada was an accomplished musician and an enterprising business woman. Forebear of a number of our pioneer Berowra families, Ada can be called the matriarch of Berowra.

Visit our Museum of Berowra : The Mother, The Father and The Matriarch to see more of the story of Ada and early Berowra.


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November Mystery Solved

Shirley's images 07d

Our thanks to Pat McCready (nee Ewings) and Shirley Collins for the image above. It shows Pat Ewings aged 6 and her sister Jill aged 4 standing on the path to the Ferrykeeper’s Cottage at Berowra Waters in c. 1943. The girls’ father, Bill Ewings was a long serving Ferry Master.

And yes, they were the very welcome babies celebrated by our stork flag in our blog of 21 November. The flag was made by Nell Vivian and flown on the community flag pole near the then Vivian’s Boatshed.

There had not been a baby born to the Berowra Waters Community for 18 years till Pat was announced. Her celebration was to be followed by the flag with two stripes being raised for her younger sister, Jill’s arrival!


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