Category Archives: Industry

In Their Own Words – Super Shopping

Weller Photo 1

Once, in a time before it was common for all of your shopping needs to be available online, waiting to be delivered to your home, an enterprising Berowra family provided a much needed service to the community. Karla Weller recalls:

In 1959 Hans and Karla Weller of Turner Road (since 1957 and still there) started Super Shopping Service – who remembers ????

It was then a novel idea: collecting orders every Tuesday and delivering them to customers in Berowra and Mt. Kuringai (and later Cowan, Mt. Colah and Asquith) later in the week.

The goods delivered comprised groceries, meat, fruit and veges, delicatessen, bulk store goods (then in vogue), dry cleaning and much more.

It was a welcome service in an area with few shops and little transport and for people without their own transport. Especially the elderly were happy to have their orders delivered. In those days it was even possible to leave the door open so that goods could be put in the kitchen and the meat in the fridge! So the customer did not have to stay home to take delivery.

weller photo 2

As the business grew a shop (later demolished) was opened at the Cross roads and later they bought Max Taylor’s(?) fruit shop next-door (also gone – now Homebiz).

The idea was ahead of its time: it would have been simpler to run with a computer and mobile phones – then non-existent.

It was a period in which the banks were tight-fisted and so a point was reached where necessary extension was not possible and of course new competition from supermarkets made business less profitable, despite the hard work that went into it.

So after Christmas 1965 the fruit shop was sold and the delivery service closed.

The type of business was ahead of its time and would now be a bonus for working mothers and seniors in the community in this era.

We wonder who remembers the service or has it been completely forgotten?

Karla Weller

Images courtesy of Karla Weller

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Heralding The New Virtual Museum Exhibition Berowra: Going Postal

Now on view at:

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This exhibition retraces the history of postal services in our suburb of Berowra being initially part of the duties of the railway attendant at Berowra station to a thriving venture. These services expanded to meet the demands of our community and step-by-step the post office developed into a successful business. This exhibition is only the first stage so continue to watch this space and enjoy the virtual journey of Berowra: Going Postal.

Robyn and Rhonda

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More On The Mysteries

 

Ferry

We have had some interesting conversations about this early image of Berowra Waters Ferry!

The partially obscured man is in fact the ferry master, Bill Ewings, father of Pat and Jill who donated the picture.

We thank long time Berowra resident, Peter Huett for the following information. Peter’s family had the contract for running the ferry in the late thirties. The engine seen at the side of the ferry is a Chapman Pup. If the engine ever broke down the ferry master could bring the ferry to the shore manually. On Sundays, Peter, aged as young as 10, had the job of opening the ferry gates.

The car was identified by Peter as perhaps a Rugby or an Essex.

A lot of you would have seen the shadow of the photographer in the foreground in the typical pose for using a camera like a Brownie. Had the photographer been the driver of the car?

We are still hoping to hear more about the elegant lady posing for the photo.

Ann

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Several Mysteries

Ferry

This little photo inscribed on the back simply “BEROWRA WATERS FERRY” was given to us by sisters, Jill Brancourt and Pat McCready via Shirley Collins after conversations about local history. Thank you to each of them for their contribution.

CAN YOU HELP US FIND OUT MORE?

What kind of car is it? Is its number plate TB 531?

Who is the lady with her hand on the car?

Who is the partially obscured man standing nearby?

Who has been caught in the foreground shadow?

What date would you give to the photo?

Looking forward to your comments!

Ann

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Horse Power

Bill On Dolly

Bill On Dolly

Today Berowra like most parts of Sydney is buzzing with cars. Our shopping centre and railway car parks are full to capacity a lot of the time.

It is hard to imagine Berowra in the period shown in this picture from the 192Os. The photo is from the collection of the late Bill Foster who is shown as a child on the back of a much loved working horse, “Dolly”. Bill’s parents have taken a moment from the hard work of running their general store near Berowra railway station, to pose for the photo.

By the time Bill was in grades 5 and 6 at the original Berowra Public School, his father would drive the horse and cart up to the school at 3:30pm. Bill would then begin the afternoon grocery run, collect orders for the next day and twice a week take produce, mainly eggs, from the various local poultry farms to the railway station for dispatch to the markets in town. Along his route it was not unusual for young Bill to be offered a cup of milk from people, like the artist, Margaret Preston’s maid, Myra.

At the end of the rounds Bill unhitched the cart and fed “Dolly”. Bill remembered his father always being most concerned about “Dolly” being adequately fed even in difficult times.

Today, 1st August is the official birthday of all thoroughbred horses in the Southern Hemisphere while their cousins in the Northern hemisphere count 1st January as their birthday.

We salute the working horses of Berowra and worldwide.

Ann

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In Their Own Words – Dr Rich

Dr Beryl Rich

Dr Beryl Rich

The following account comes from Dr Rich, who was the first doctor (that we know of) to work in Berowra. She worked here from 1951 to 1958.

My name is Beryl Rich and as far as I know, I was the first resident medico in Berowra. This was quite unplanned. I graduated from Sydney University in March, 1944. I worked in hospitals for several years and planned to specialise in Obstetrics. However, I got married and started a family which was the end of my specialist plans.

As older people will recall, housing was very scarce in the post war years and like many young couples, we were forced to live with my parents. This proved to be most unsatisfactory and when my husband heard through a colleague of a partly built house for sale in Berowra, we jumped at the opportunity. I had continued working part time in a hospital but had no clear plans for my future.

We moved to Berowra about September, 1950. It was only a small, rather scattered village at that time. The house we bought was in Alan Rd, but the post office general store, run by Ernie and Joe Foster was on the highway.

Dr Eric Giblin, whom I had known at University, had started a general practice, based in Asquith which extended to Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury. When he found out I was living in Berowra, he suggested I start a practice there and cover from Berowra to Brooklyn, so in 1951 that is what I did. We added a small surgery and waiting room to our little house.

At the beginning of 1953, a fully built house on the highway came on the market and we bought that as the highway appeared to be the centre of activity. The Crossroads had only a small general store and it was not realized then that it would become the busy centre it is to-day. The house was on a double block so there was plenty of room to add a surgery and waiting room.

Thank-you to Susan Lynd for the kind donation of Dr Rich’s memories of Berowra. If you have any stories to share, please leave us a comment or send an email to the team!

Robyn.

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A Postcard Paints A Thousand Words

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Recently, I was away for the weekend, pottering through the wonderful antique shops of the Kangaroo Valley when I stumbled across a range of postcards relating to our beautiful area. One of these postcards, shown above, focussed on the popular Windybanks business, showing the houseboats on Cowan Creek which Windybanks was so famous for. Others focussed on areas slightly further afield, such as Ku-ring-gai Chase, areas which visitors to and residents of Berowra alike would no doubt have made good use of.

Postcards provide a fantastic glimpse into the historic past of areas, particularly those which appealed to tourists. We know that many of the businesses in the area even sold postcards during the tourist heyday. If you have any such postcards, please let us know!

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Pumping Petrol In Berowra

Petrol_pump

Recently, I was chatting with a friend of mine about the petrol situation in Berowra. As she pointed out to me, four petrol stations could be seen as slightly excessive for a community like ours ‘if it weren’t for the express way – I suppose people come to Berowra on their way north to get petrol’.

The conversation put me in mind of this photo, showing Berowra’s first petrol station, outside Fosters Store on the Old Pacific Highway. There was a certain charm to the little petrol pump – Berowra’s modern petrol stations aren’t quite the same are they!

Elissa

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Dolls In The Tavern

David Lever 1

If you look closely at David Lever’s painting of what was the old Tavern on the Pacific Highway, Berowra, you may be able to see the reason for our blog title!

While the Tavern of yesteryear was the hub of many activities like dances and school concerts it apparently also attracted attention for another reason.

Long time Berowra resident, Pam Gartung has fond memories of Mollie Dwyer and her great skills at knitting and sewing. Mollie features in the following extract from Worth Reporting on p.38 of The Australian Women’s Weekly of 26th November, 1949. At the time this popular magazine cost sixpence!

Knits Dolls’ Woollies on Hatpins

MOLLIE DWYER, of Berowra, N.S.W. has turned her childhood hobby of dressing dolls into a business. She makes baby clothes and exquisite dolls’ frocks, which are shown in a window of the Berowra Tavern where tourist buses stop each day. Hungry tourists have even been known to miss afternoon tea through spending too long gazing at Miss Dwyer’s handicraft.

Mollie Dwyer believes in making dolls’ clothes that are pretty but which can be taken off and washed by the young owner. One of the most beautiful dolls we saw wore vest, pants, petticoat, dress, shoes and socks and bonnet. For the doll’s one-and-a-half-inch feet, Mollie Dwyer had made quilted satin shoes, inventing the pattern and sewing away until midnight

Dresses are of the finest organdie or marquisette, appliqucd with hand-made medallions or sometimes with lace. Frocks and underclothes unfasten and can he laid out for ironing.

But not all the dolls wear summer dresses. Many are dressed in finely knitted wool. “I do the knitting on hatpins,” said talented Molly Dwyer.

This article is accessible through TROVE.

Ann

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Anembo Research Farm

Article from 'The Farmer And Settler', August 27, 1942

Article from ‘The Farmer And Settler’
August 27, 1942.
Article retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117181759

Today, Berowra is full of businesses and homes, but once it the area was home to a farming community, raising a variety of crops and animals from poultry to flowers. One particular farm had a particularly important role in the farming community, not just of Berowra, but of the wider Australian community. Anembo Research Farm, which operated in the early 1940s was run by Mr James and not only did he focus his research on ‘drug plants’ but also on poultry and eggs.

If you have further information on Anembo Research Farm or on other businesses which once operated in Berowra, please contact us!

Elissa

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