Tag Archives: jim hatfield

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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Protecting Our Community

Ex-Army Ambulance, the Brigade's first vehicle seen on the Pacific Highway, Berowra.

Ex-Army Ambulance, the Brigade’s first vehicle seen on the Pacific Highway, Berowra.

Summer in Berowra can bring family gatherings for celebrations and for responding to bushfires!

Back in 1940 a request was made for a fire hydrant, reel and hose with a view to forming a Berowra volunteer Fire Brigade. 1943 saw the first officers elected and the birth of our Bush Fire Brigade.

During the war years petrol was rationed and the volunteers used their own vehicles.

In September,’46 the equipment list included:

8 Shovels, 15 Rakes, 6 Knapsacks, 8 Axes, 2 Canvas waterbags, 6 Hurricane lights (kerosene), 8 Brush hooks & 2 Garden hoses.

Hatfield boys with Betsy an ex-Military Fire Tanker used from 1949-1972.Top speed down hill about 40mph.

Hatfield boys with Betsy an ex-Military Fire Tanker used from 1949-1972.
Top speed down hill about 40mph.

Over the years equipment has certainly improved and increased!

We want to say thank to the men and women of what is now the Berowra Rural Fire Service and the Berowra Waters Rural Fire Service for their commitment to our community and beyond.

Thank you for 70 years of service!


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Mystery Object – February

Any ideas on what this mystery object might be?

The Mystery Object this month appears in the very front of this appealing circa 1928 photograph from the collection of Jim Hatfield,  longtime resident of Berowra.

Featured prominently is Ambrose Hatfield (father of Jim & his 6 siblings) kneeling with 3 dogs. On the ground, in front of Ambrose, there is some sort of mysterious item – do you know what it is?

The rented Hatfield family home at the time is behind the group & it was here that Jim was born in 1928.

This Berowra property became a caravan park in approximately the 1950’s and had the name Mirabooka. Later it became La Mancha and has now been developed as a full residential site called “Eloura”

Could the Mystery object be animal or mineral or maybe something quite unexpected ?!


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One Of Jim’s Childhood Homes

Home of Jim Hatfield, near todays Clinton Close

This image, circa 1938-39, comes from the collection of a long time Berowra resident, Jim Hatfield. It shows Jim as a young boy, second from the right with some members of his family and a friend, on the far right. While the young woman and the girls and boys line up at the back of their house, the pet dog claims a spot in front of its kennel.

The house which was rented from a Mr Warne, was located near present day Clinton Close. Two chimneys are shown, the one at the rear of the house was for the kitchen, the other was in a more central position on the side of the house and provided warmth for the main body of the building. Internal walls were made of corn sacks white washed with lime. You will be able to make out a couple of other houses in the vicinity. Such a different scene today!

Self- sufficiency and improvisation were very important in those challenging times.  The whole family, like most in Berowra, had plenty to do.  The house was set in at least five acres of land. In the centre of this land was a gully which carried water after rain. Jim remembers an orchard of mainly stone fruit trees with a couple of citrus trees. Vegetables were grown and poultry were cared for, plus a few pigs, cows and calves to supply for the needs of the family. Meat was first eaten fresh and the remainder corned. It was stored along with dairy foods in a cool area under a water tank.

Imagine growing up in Berowra in the thirties and forties. Imagine the hard work and the carefree adventures of the five and their dog shown in this fine picture. We will have further stories to share. Maybe you have some of your own!


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