Amendments to Part One: Aided by the amazing local knowledge provided by Neil Davis and backed by research undertaken by David Lever we have now established that Reginald Coulter was actually a long time Berowra resident. Previously we believed that he had arrived in Berowra sometime in the 1950s, but we can now say that Coulter came to Berowra in 1943. This adjustment certainly changes the way we view his cartoons of that period, particularly post Second World War. Additionally, we have confirmed his date of death to be 24 January 1976, which had not been notated in the public record.
This extremely detailed and finely drawn illustration by Reginald Coulter was produced specifically as an invitation to staff to attend the Bulletin’s annual picnic day. Using the idea of a Corroboree to promote the Bulletin’s picnic day from today’s perspective is ironic. After all, the Bulletin incited a radical nationalist viewpoint at the exclusion of Indigenous people and migrants; they were seen as not part of the ‘Australian story’. It championed the idea that Australia was for the ‘White Man’, sexist, racist and xenophobic, the Bulletin also became affectionately known in certain circles as the ‘Bushman’s bible’, everything and anything Australian was acceptable and highly celebrated, but at the exclusion of any world relations, issues or politics. By 1925, at the time when Coulter had illustrated this invitation, the founding editor of the Bulletin, John Archibald had left the magazine; he had built a solid readership and supported the careers of great writers and poets such as AB Paterson, Henry Lawson and Miles Franklin. On Archibald’s departure the magazine dipped not only in readership but also became a lot more conservative until Sir Frank Packer took control in 1961. With all that said, what is striking is the way the black-and-white artist Reginald Coulter has utilized the idea of a Corroboree to promote the annual picnic day creating a stylized depiction of dancers that appropriates Indigenous features with Western modes of dance – essentially a communion of people coming together in celebration.
Coulter’s wry commentary including a Who’s Who list on the invite is pertinent as the Bulletin supported a whole new generation of Australian writers and black-and-white artists like no other magazine of its period which rolled out as a who’s who list. In the foreground of the image, the Bulletin is represented as the strong and resilient bulldog against its more subdued competitors of a slinking slim cat and fluffy small dog Wildcat Monthly and the Australian Woman’s Mirror racing against time not to miss the departure of the boat is yet another clever twist of words and images that work in unison under the magical hand of the extraordinary black-and-white artist Reginald Coulter.
This week, with the holidays well underway, Berowra Living History thought it was a perfect time to share this wonderful image of Bobbin Head. In years gone by, many holiday makers made their way to Berowra and spent a few days, perhaps even a week, enjoying the beautiful surrounds. Many visitors would have spent a day enjoying Bobbin Head. As can be seen in the image above, once there was an extensive children’s playground, adjacent to the picnic tables and perfect for entertaining the children while parents sat back and relaxed.
Do you remember this wonderful playground?
However by February 1972,an advertisement by the Centre including – ‘Now Open Thursday Night’ carried details from Sally’s Gifts and Toys, The Village FRUIT BAR, Colorsound’s Village Music Centre, Joy’s Drapery, Luca’s Milk Bar, McKENNA CHEMIST, ROBERTA COIFFURES, SYDNEY THOMAS, and The Village Delicatessen and Cake Shop with Pleasant Surroundings -Ample Parking
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.
This advertisement comes from the March, 1955 edition of the periodical Outdoors and Fishing
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.
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.
This is the story of 6 or 7 Berowra teenagers who in about 1956 discovered the dismembered parts of an old 1931 Ford. They lay scattered around in an empty block – 57 Woodcourt Road, Berowra. Photos 1 and 2 show the parts being surveyed. A decision was made to reassemble it so the work began.
The boys ranged in age from 14 – 16 years. When the task was finally successfully completed, Photos 3 and 4, they drove it up to Roy Corrigan’s Ampol garage – corner Berowra Waters Road and Eastern Road. The Registration was never granted! Note also Corrigans Busses and the old pine trees on the block next door, which is now number 109 Berowra Waters Road.
What became of the “car” is not known, but registered or not I think they got much pleasure from all their hard work.
(Names withheld – but available)