This wonderfully evocative image has captured the majestic beauty of Berowra Waters. The weather is clear and the passengers look relaxed and enraptured by the view of the river from that vantage point. The picture was taken in 1964 by an unknown photographer, and what also dates this period are the cars stationary on the punt – one looks like a fairly new FC Holden Ute and the other could be a Chrysler.
This is one of the many old punts that has ferried passengers back and forth over many decades. On an average the punts have been replaced about every ten years, but someone may be able to enlighten us on this matter. The punt is heading west towards the Dusthole Bay side of the Water. It’s getting ready to dock as we can see in this image the landing gear is down, so the vehicles and passengers can safely disembark and continue their journey up towards Arcadia or perhaps they could have been planning a swim and a picnic on that side of Berowra Waters, which was far less commercialised in that period.
From local accounts, as the ferry left from one side, kids in the vicinity would grab hold of the back and hang off until the time was right to get on top of the passenger cubicle and make the big dive off into the Waters. Sweet memories of a long hot summer on Berowra Waters.
With the Easter Holidays just beginning, Berowra Living History thought it was the perfect time to look back at holidaying around Easter, and particularly at Berowra. Although many now head further afield for their Easter break, Berowra and the scenic Berowra Waters were once popular holiday destinations. Berowra was mentioned in many publications as a wonderful place to spend a day, or longer over the Easter break. The article above is just one example, appearing on March 12, 1936 in The Farmer And Settler. This was one month before Easter Sunday fell (which in 1936 was April 12), and gave prospective tourists plenty of time to plan their trips!
The image above is an idyllic view of Berowra, a place of fun, leisure and relaxation. In the foreground, a man enjoys a day on the water, casting his line and waiting to see what bites. Fishing has long been a popular pastime at Berowra though, and drew crowds from the city on a regular basis to try their luck. In fact, so popular were Berowra and Cowan Creeks that they were regularly mentioned in fishing reports in newspapers, including papers like the Sydney Morning Herald!
Do you have memories of fishing at Berowra or Cowan Creek – or perhaps a story about the one that got away? We would love to hear your memories!
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!
As the year comes to an end and the weather becomes warm the bush around Berowra comes alive with colour. Berowra has long been known for its amazing floral displays and at this time of the year, with Christmas approaching there are a number of plants which were once harvested by residents and visitors alike to festoon their festive tables and of course decorate their homes.
In the past, Berowra Living History has focussed on the beautiful Christmas Bells which flower among the rocks in the local bush, but this is not the only flower associated with Christmas to attract early flora hunters to Berowra. Christmas Bush, which flowers abundantly with bright red, star shaped flowers is another. The flowers, which begin as white blooms and darken to red as they reach maturity were perfect for Australians who wanted to bring a touch of nature inside as they might once have done with Holly and Evergreen. As a result there was a booming trade in collecting Christmas Bush for sale in the Sydney markets, often in arrangements with bracken fern. Both bracken and Christmas Bush were available in abundance in the Berowra area and many visitors departed with armfuls to take back to their homes.
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!
Our family photo above shows the tidal baths and people enjoying the water at Berowra Creek now Berowra Waters. In the foreground is our son, Mark aged three making the year of the photo, 1958.
My wife, Merle and I remember the day being very hot, so off we went for a dip!
The tide looks about half, with a few rocks showing. If you look very closely, you will see in the background, the Rex Jones Commemorative Monument. In the flagstone apron sloping down towards the water, there were two small garden plots probably about 18 inches (or 45.75cm) square on either side. If I remember correctly rosemary bushes were planted in these plots.
When we were young teenagers this was a popular spot to sun bake.
This interesting photograph from the 1920’s features W E (Billy) Wall great/grandson of Mary Wall with visitors at Berowra Waters. In the background is the Kiosk of his mother-in-law, Ada Foster Jones.
The following extract is from An Entertaining Life -Memories of ‘Mr Don’ by Don Wall son of W E Wall.
‘..During my early childhood I can vividly recall watching my dad convert his tabletop truck from an ordinary vehicle into a bus.He would back the truck into a special stand,release the U bolts and by the use of jacks lift the tabletop off the truck’s chassis and secure it .He would then drive the truck out,minus the tabletop and reverse it into a nearby stand,where the bus top was in position,then lower it onto the truck’s chassis and secure it with U bolts.It was fascinating to watch the transformation. On completion of the exercise he would drive the bus to Berowra and transport weekend holiday-makers,mainly fishermen and people enjoying a day on the river,to and from Berowra Waters. The roads were not sealed and with solid rubber tyres,the bus trip was not as comfortable as we enjoy today.
Everybody was in a holiday mood and after travelling to Berowra by train,boarded the bus,which carried about 30 people.The journey generated a lot of fun.On the Monday, following the weekend’s activities,he would reverse the process and use the truck for his transport business. .’..