Tag Archives: in their own words

Out Along Turner Road

THEN

In 1974, long time Berowra resident Tony Sneddon wrote an excellent, detailed geography assignment on Berowra. He has generously shared this document with berowralivinghistory.com.The following 2 photos and quote come from that assignment. (Tony and his parents and siblings originally lived at 145 Turner Road Berowra Heights)

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Turner Road looking North – arrows from the top indicate the Sneddon home location, the section of unsealed road and Gooraway Place & Blue Ridge Crescent.

a map of the Turner Road area showing the proposed and existing development by the '70's including the position of the Sneddon family home.

Map of the Turner Road area showing the proposed and existing development by the ’70’s including the position of the Sneddon family home.

“…When my father came to Berowra he bought five and a half acres of land in Turner road about one mile from the crossroads where the shopping centre now stands. The land was portion 365. Most of the surrounding land was sold off in five acre blocks….from Gooraway Place to my father’s subdivision is crown land covered by bush with no seal on the road.”

NOW-

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Turner Road, looking north again, seems to show little change. The road is fully sealed now and curbed but heavy bush is prevalent.

215 Google map Turner Rd Croped

The Google map clearly shows the ongoing development of and around Turner Road Berowra Heights.

Quite clearly further land division occurred which allowed for more houses such as we see today in this area.

Robyn

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Berowra Netball Club Part 1 – The Beginning, 1960

Badge

“Our club began when the men on the committee of Berowra Soccer Club asked Mrs Joan Olson to ‘do something for the girls’.

Up to this time the boys had both cricket and soccer. There was only social tennis played on private courts. If you wanted to join the Brownies you travelled to Hornsby.

Mrs Olson had played Women’s Basketball at school in Invercargill, New Zealand, so Women’s Basketball it was.

The Soccer Club provided the back bone of the ‘club’ for quite a few years. Mrs Olson attended meetings and finances were the Soccer Club’s.”

Thank you to Mrs Jenny Bentley nee Olson for access to records, photos, memorabilia and display items from Berowra Netball Club. Thank you also to members of the first two Berowra Netball teams for their memories drawn from their club’s 50th anniversary display items and shared above.

Ann

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My Job As An Apprentice Baker

Jim in his baking uniform

Jim in his baking uniform

I worked for A R Kerslake of Berowra between January 1944 and June 1950. His business was located at the beginning of Berowra Waters Road near the Pacific Highway.

My wage was f1.10.0 per week and was 2/6 above the award. (A tradesman’s wage in 1948 was f7.11.0 & in 1950 f9.13.0)

I assisted in making the dough between 7&8 pm. Mr Kerslake then prepared the dough about 2am. He then set the alarm for me to get up as I slept in a room on the adjacent house verandah. I would then prepare the dough and remove some from the trough ready for weighing and dividing for the tins.

I would then wake the boss about 3am.

We had a dough mixer and later a machine for dividing the dough when weighed and ready for placing into the tins for the oven.

Once the bread was baked in a wood fired oven and stacked on a racked trolly we would have breakfast.
The boss would load the van for deliveries and I would clean and grease the tins, and put a bag of flour in the mixer ready for that night. I would clean the firebox and cart wood in for the next morning’s baking.
We produced about 300 loaves of white and 50 of brown bread.

When I started work at the bakery we worked for 5 1/2 days. Later this was reduced to 5days. Bread was 5 pence a loaf in 1943 and 51/2 pence about 1944.

Jim Hatfield

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A Remarkable Find: George Collingridge Paintings

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Recently I had the good fortune to have the opportunity to purchase three paintings by former resident of Berowra Creek, George Collingridge.

I noticed the paintings in an online catalogue for a local art auction. The watercolours were framed as a triptych. It was obvious that the value of the paintings was not fully appreciated, as the reserve price was $100 to $150. Although I must say that it is difficult to know their true value as so few come onto the market. However, to me, possessing an interest in local history, they are rare and valuable.

I nervously attended the auction, intent on being the successful bidder. To add to the tension I noticed others in the room singling out the Collingridge paintings and carefully examining them. Another bidder ( on-line) obviously had the same desire of acquisition and bid up to $750 in nerve wracking increments of $50. The paintings were mine at $800.

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I have had an interest in art as well as local Berowra history for over 40 years. During that time I have never seen a Collingridge for sale. Although I have since found that a small number, maybe 8 or 9 have been offered for sale at high prices during that period.

From the style of the works and the signatures on each work I believe that they were painted circa 1885/1886. At that time the artist was living either at Collingridge Point, Berowra Creek or at a later place of residence in a home he built in what is now in the grounds of Hornsby Hospital.

Collingridge settled on Berowra Creek during the early 1880’s and lived there for five years. Both of these homes still exist.

photo 1

I am not aware of the locations he has depicted in any of the three paintings. As he travelled extensively around Sydney, the Central Coast, the south coast and the Blue Mountains, they so far present a mystery yet to be solved. I see Singletons Mill and Dusthole Bay as possible contenders.

Enquiries with the auctioneers revealed that the woman who sold them, bought the works at a garage sale at a small cottage in Birchgrove about twenty years ago. From memory she thought that the owner may have been related to the artist or had been a neighbour or friend. It seem there was a connection with the artist.

On examination of the back of the paintings I found the artists instructions to the framer indicating the order in which he wanted the works to be displayed.

There is a considerable documentation on George Collingridge and his many achievements which I won’t attempt to summarise here. However I was curious as to what his personality might have been like. It is easy to be misled be the few formal portraits.

In the records of the Mitchell Library I was pleased to find two newspaper interviews conducted by reporters from the Sydney Morning Herald on the occasion of Collingridges 72nd birthday and his 80th birthday.

Both reporters described him as welcoming, enthusiastic and full of life. He was only too willing to stop what he was working on and talk extensively about his life and his plans for a further trip around the world in his eighties. One of the reporters stated that his studio and work area were just the opposite of what one might imagine that an artists studio might look like. Collingridges work area was immaculate and well ordered.

David Lever

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In Their Own Words – Off For A Dip

Image courtesy of N. Davis

Image courtesy of N. Davis

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.

Neil Davis

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Mystery Solved October – Mount Colah Grammar School

This building was once part of the Grammar School

This building was once part of the Grammar School

Like today, in years gone by many children in Berowra and the surrounding area left the immediate suburb to attend school. In the mid 20th century, one school available to local families was the Mount Colah Grammar School which was once located near Mount Colah Station. The Grammar School was originally located in Berowra itself, but moved to Mt Colah where it shared the land with St George Church Of England. You can read a little about the Grammar School during it’s Berowra years here.

Beverley Gibbons attended the school at Mount Colah from the age of ten and recalls:

The Mount Colah Grammar School was a Church of England School run by Mr and Mrs Sidwell. Some people called it Sidwell’s School. All of the buildings were made of fibro, including the little Church which we went to every morning. I remember lining up outside the Church for my first funeral.

It wasn’t a big school. The house which is left is where the Sidwell’s lived and also where Mrs Sidwell taught kindergarten. She had a little Pekinese dog which she used to carry around with her – it yapped and yapped, but she loved it. Mr Sidwell taught the older children in another big building which was nearby – it might have had two rooms. He took classes from 3rd or 4th I think, right through to high school (which was three years then).

We had a school uniform and I remember for the girls it was a brown serge tunic with box pleats and a belt. We wore a white shirt underneath and also a green tie. In later years, for Summer, there was a bone frock with green buttons. We wore felt hats in Winter and in Summer we had straw panama hats.

There was quite a lot of land, and it sloped down at the back into the gully. We had a playing field down there, but there were also a lot of caves, which were very deep.

The school ran for at least 20 years I think, and closed down perhaps in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I think it closed when one of the Sidwells died.

Does anybody remember attending this school, or know of local children who attended? Leave us a comment!

Elissa

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Day Trippers To The Waters

Image courtesy of the Hornsby Library Collection, courtesy of Hedley & Del Somerville.

Image courtesy of the Hornsby Library Collection, courtesy of Hedley & Del Somerville.

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. .’..

Robyn

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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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In Their Own Words – The Box Brownie

Neil Davis with his Brownie Box Camera from the fifties      Photo: Merle Davis

Neil Davis with his Brownie Box Camera from the fifties Photo: Merle Davis

Long term Berowra resident, Neil Davis has some first-hand experience to add to our two most recent blogs:

In the photo showing an early Berowra Waters Ferry, operated by Hornsby Council and driven by local man Mr. Bill Ewings I noticed that our attention is drawn to the shadow of the photographer on the shoreline, which is showing a typical stance used when photographing with a Brownie Box Camera. I happen to have one of these in my possession. It is equipped with a flash light, which can be easily attached when needed. I suppose, rather than describing the workings of this camera, it would be easier for one to look up . . . The Brownie Camera @ 100: A Celebration. This is a very informative site. But I must say that these old cameras . . . apart from being almost indestructible, were very easy to use, and being cheap, were very popular.

Neil Davis with his Brownie Box Camera and Flash     Photo: Merle Davis

Neil Davis with his Brownie Box Camera and Flash Photo: Merle Davis

These quaint old “Punts” as we called the Ferries then, did a sterling job over the years while only travelling at a slow, steady pace. I recall, about 1948, not long after the war, a few of us young blokes swam across the creek from the Rex Jones boatshed to the western side punt ramp. We would then wait for the punt to start back across the river, dive into the water and grab the rear loading ramp of the punt to get a tow back to the eastern side. When Bill Ewings found us clinging on, he quite rightly gave us a severe dressing down about the dangers we had ignored. Probably, this would shock some people today but these sorts of things were part of growing up in Berowra and The Waters. Just like Peter Huett, working on the punt gates, when he was only 10 years old.

Neil Davis

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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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