Category Archives: Shirley Collins

In Their Own Words: House Building At 21 Berowra Waters Road

Shirleys House

Every concrete block in the garage (finished 1946) and in the house (finished 1948) was made by my parents Bert & Thelma Hobday.

Cement was scarce (the war had just finished). So hence the slow build.

The blocks were made with sand, cement and ashes. The latter were got by the trailer-load from the ‘San’ hospital – the residue in their coke or coal fired (?) burners (for the heating of water for the laundry etc). Dad shovelled in the ingredients while Mum turned the concrete mixer by hand. When mixed, the ingredients were pressed into greased moulds for ‘curing’.

Photo (circa 1954) and words courtesy of Shirley Collins (nee Hobday)

The flowering Double Ornamental Peach tree in the foreground is a reminder that Spring 2014 cannot be too far away. Many blossoms & buds are already appearing in gardens around our local area of Berowra.



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Travelling To Where? Shirley Collins Interview

Today, people travelling to Berowra are secure in the knowledge that it is a flourishing community with a well known railway station. Indeed, as many trains begin their journey or terminate in Berowra, it is quite an important railway station. Ask for a train ticket to Berowra and you can guarantee that the computerised system will know where you’re talking about, and the staff probably will too.  In the past though, this was not the case. There was no computerised ticketing system and Berowra was a small community in ‘the country’, a location which many people had never heard of, including railway staff.

Traveling to Berowra first for fishing trips and later as her parent’s built the family home, Shirley Collins remembers a very different experience to today.


Photo courtesy of Shirley Collins

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