Tag Archives: environment

Somewhere In the Australian Bush

2015-12-02 12.06.18  B WTRS aerial snap from Tony Sneddon Geography project 1974

Looking at this snap, which was part of Tony Sneddon’s 1974 Geography Project we can see why the above phrase describes the location of our lovely area of Berowra and why it was used on the popular bumper sticker. 

It was suggested that the photo may have been taken from the roof of the then Sneddon’s home out along Turner Road at no 145.Certainly the Berowra Waters Ferry in the middle of the image looks to be very much in the distance.
Out Alo
ng Turner Road‘ was a blog subject on March 27 2015

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Christmas Bush Around Berowra

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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.

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Breaktime At The Riverview

Riverview Berowra Waters Hawkesbury RIver

The photo above is a beautiful snapshot of a day out and about on the ‘river’ in Berowra, stopping for lunch at the famous Riverview Restaurant, equally famous today as the Berowra Waters Inn. Riverview, built in the 1920s, became a favourite place for boats to call in and enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch. With water access only, it provided a unique experience, and often was a part of a tour of the beautiful Berowra Creek. In the image above you can see not only one of the boats which provided such an experience, but if you look closely, also the people who are enjoying lunch in the beautiful building.

If you recognise any of the people captured in the photograph (including the man perched on the boat), or indeed know which boat this image features, please leave a comment for us!

Berowra Living History wishes to thank The Past Present for permission to use this beautiful image.

Elissa

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In Their Own Words – Growing Up In Berowra

The team at Berowra Living History is fortunate to have the opportunity to hear about (and often also read) people’s memories of living, working and growing up in Berowra. Our community, not just those living here now, but those who have moved on to other homes and communities, have wonderful memories which we love to share. The account below comes from Cheryl Jepson, who lived in Berowra in the 1950s and 1960s.

Class 2A, 1964, featuring Janita Hilda, Cheryl Sinclair, Sheryl Starling, Annette Wells, Peter Shackleton. The teacher this year was Miss Tucker

Class 2A, 1964, featuring Janita Hilda, Cheryl Sinclair, Sheryl Starling, Annette Wells, Peter Shackleton. The teacher this year was Miss Tucker

I lived in 10 Rawson Rd, which was a dirt road at that time, with my parents, sister Lynne and baby brother Stewart. Dad built a shack down the end of the road in the bush in the 1950’s. Mum did the washing in the caves where there were beautiful rock pools and waterfalls, all of which emptied into Bakers Pond. At that stage we didn’t have electricity.

My best friend Ann Richards, my sister and I were always playing in the gully all day and would return home filthy, bare-footed and scratched. Wild blackberries were abundant and we certainly helped ourselves to these fruits. There were old trams down the track which we played in – there would have been snakes everywhere. Mum didn’t know where we were half the time.

We were always carving our names in some of the trees. Down the track we found suitcases with clothes and shoes within. I think people used that area for a dumping ground. We of course used the old clothes in our cubby house.

In Rawson Rd there was a very small fibro shack on the right-hand side. (Next to the old chook farm buildings, which later burned down). There were pots of paint within the shack which we used to splash everywhere.

The bamboo grew to gigantic heights and we used these to play in, also in Rawson Rd. We had a great life and memories growing up as children in Berowra in the bush.

In 1961 I was in kindergarten and the teachers name I remember was Miss Smith. The children had to have a sleep after lunch. She used to have a tray of ‘Smiths’ chips to share with the students.

1962 was transition for 1st Class. I remember we had a social and my mother made me an outfit, created from white crepe paper. We were made up to look like cats and danced to the music of the ‘Pink Panther’.

In 1963 my teacher was Miss Douglas and I was 7 years old. (I don’t have a photo of that year). At assembly we had to sing “God Save The Queen”.

We were forced to drink 1/3 pint bottles of milk in glass bottles with the silver tops. The milk was in crates, placed in the assembly area which unfortunately was also in the sun; therefore the milk was hot and I didn’t like to drink it.

The tree behind the school photos was a great climbing tree and all the children used it for that purpose. My sister Lynne and I always walked to school, regardless of the weather. I can’t remember how far but was quite a distance for a youngster.

Class 3B of 1965. The same people are featured

Class 3B of 1965. The same people are featured

Do you have memories you would like to share? We would love to hear from you, and include your recollections and images in our archives and upcoming exhibitions.

Elissa

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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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Christmas Bells Are Ringing In Berowra

Blandfordia  grandiflora (Christmas Bell)

Blandfordia grandiflora (Christmas Bell)

Christmas is fast approaching and it brings with it much joy, expectation and happiness.

There is always a special excitement about finding these quaint red and yellow-orange bell shaped flowers in the wild. The bells hang down in clusters of 3-10 pivoting on top of a tall straight stem, as they gently nod in the breeze. Their brilliant colours contrast with the surrounding green foliage.

Yes Christmas Bells can still be sighted in the bush around Berowra. They prefer damp, protected positions. They were once a common sight along the roadside between the Central Coast and the Kuring-gai  Chase area. Unfortunately numbers have been reduced by indiscriminate picking. The Berowra area was well known for its magnificent variety of wildflowers including the delightful Christmas Bells. Margaret Preston had a great love for the local Berowra wildflowers as depicted in her art work.

My Grandfather and family lived right on the edge of Kuring-gai Chase up until 1912. I recall he used to tell us how they would collect bunches of Christmas Bells and Christmas Bush from the local bushland

(Kuring-gai Chase) at Christmas time and take them to the City Markets to sell. How times have changed!

Now days, Christmas Bells are a protected native species.  Many native wildflowers, namely Christmas Bells, are grown commercially and exported or sold locally. Today we have National Parks and other areas set aside for the preservation of native fauna and flora eg. Muogamarra Nature Reserve.

Christmas Bells belong to the Family : Liliaceae   The species that can be found locally are –

Blandfordia grandiflora  and  Blandfordia nobilis. With grandiflora the flowers are larger and spread into a bell shape whereas with nobilis flowers are smaller and more cylindrical. Both have 3 petals and 3 sepals.

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PHOTOS are taken in the bushland around Berowra and Berowra Heights. Most plants are off the beaten track and in a well-protected position eg. in a rock crevice or next to a sandstone wall.

LOOK but don’t touch!

Rosyln Mort

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Visit Beautiful Berowra

Intro poster

This week Berowra Living History would like to take the opportunity to point our readers to our newest exhibition. Today, although on a sunny weekend, Berowra Waters can seem flooded with visitors enjoying our stunning views and glorious environment, Berowra is now but a small stop on a tourist drive compared with the tourist heyday of this ‘premier pleasant place’. In its heyday Berowra was a major tourist destination, attracting huge numbers of tourists who came to stay, play and explore. Our newest exhibition Visit Beautiful Berowra tells the history of Berowra as a tourist hub. So make sure you VISIT BEAUTIFUL BEROWRA.

Do you have any memories of Berowra in its tourist heyday? Why not share them with our readers!

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Growing Up In Berowra In The ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties

Andrew and Brett with their catch!

Andrew and Brett with their catch!

Brett Schumacker and myself with a catch of yabbies caught with homemade spears. The yabbies were then boiled in a big pot ready to be eaten.

Growing up in Berowra meant regular trips to the end of my street (Woodcourt Road) and down to the creek there which flowed into Berowra Waters. Brett & I were introduced at an early age to going down & catching yabbies & eels & lizards by Brett’s older brother Scott & his mates. The Schumackers lived right on the bush at the end of the street.

Growing up in Berowra fostered an active lifestyle involving playing outdoor sport & riding around on BMX bikes. It was a great way to grow up.

Going into the bush, I think, gets into your blood because I still like to get out in the bush today for mountain biking and bushwalking as well as doing other activities like spearfishing, surfing and snowboarding. Whether this would have happened if I had grown up in the city, I’m not sure.

By Andrew Fetz who now lives on the NSW South Coast

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The 2002 Fires

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Looking again at these photos from Friday December 6th 2002 reminds me of the drama of those few days.
The smoke laden air preceded the slow fire advancing  from the West.
The fire neared the Turner Rd-Coreen Close corner of Berowra Heights by that afternoon.
People who met there to discuss the situation included our Mayor at the time John Muirhead & the Commissioner of NSW Rural Fire Service at the time Phil Koperberg.
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Well managed action by our fire services ensured full evacuation was not required but, unfortunately, fire damage to houses was sustained elsewhere in our suburb and a quiet, black landscape was on view at the corner.

Robyn

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Photographic Treasures

Image courtesy of P. Huett

Image courtesy of P. Huett

Berowra Living History is incredibly fortunate to have an extensive collection of digitized photographs, dating from the early 1900s and before right through to more recent times. Some of these photos are images which have featured heavily in past publications, but others are entirely new to the community, and we are always proud to be able to share these photos.

The photos which excite me most are often images which I have caught glimpses of in the past. The image featured here is one of them. A cropped version of this photo has featured in several publications, but the full image is far more evocative. It focuses on the Berowra side of Berowra Waters, with what appear to be tourist buses lined up along the road approaching the ferry. People, perhaps tourists out for a day in the country, mill about and the famous waters provide a stunning backdrop.

Photos like this add significantly to not only our archive, but also to our understanding of Berowra’s social and cultural history. If you have any you can share with us, we would love to hear from you!

Elissa

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