Tag Archives: objects

Good Advice To Have

The following is taken from Molly Dye’s   IDEAS  Book  (pictured below) and given to berowralivinghistory.com by local resident Shirley Collins. Did your family have and use this book?

Pink Molly Dye's ideas book Apr '015

This booklet is full of various knitting and crochet patterns,sewing projects,advertisements for cost saving and an ABC of helpful hints for the housewife and family.

I tried two of the suggestions under SLICK TRICK with appropriate success
*WHEN a cake splits, place a damp cloth on top as soon as it is taken out of the oven. Leave the cloth on for a few seconds and cake will come together.
*CLEAN CORK mats by rubbing them well with pumice, using plenty of hot, soapy water. Rinse in clear water. When dry, the mats will be like new!

The following two adverts were a real reminder for me. I used the Beutron kits when I was young and dressmaking and the Dunlop products extended the life of family footwear.


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November Mystery 2014

Acknowledgement to come next week - we wouldn't want to spoil the mystery!

Acknowledgement to come next week – we wouldn’t want to spoil the mystery!

Yes, this flag or banner announces a birth!

It was flown on the community flag pole at Berowra Waters some decades ago.

Can you tell us more?

Whose birth is being announced? What is the special significance?

Why the two stripes in the top left hand section?

Have you seen or used similar banners in Australia or overseas? When travelling I saw a great one in Switzerland.


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October Mystery

photo 1

This week, Berowra Living History is sharing a mystery object of a slightly different kind. The image above shows a school badge which was kindly shared with us by B. Gibbons. The school in question was Mt Colah Grammar School.

Now, to the mystery. Do you know where this school was? Do you remember it? Did you perhaps attend (we are assured by the owner of the item that people from Berowra, Cowan and even Brooklyn attended!)

We’d love to hear your memories!


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September Mystery Solved

Yes, you are correct if you think that our September Mystery Object is a child’s school LUNCH BOX.

In the 1940s Berowra resident Joan Milne was given this little black lunch box when she started kindergarten. As you can see it was well looked after and sturdy enough to still be in good shape today.

It has a little brown leather strap handle and a metal clasp which still functions. Manufactured in wartime the little lunch box is practical, undecorated and made to last.

If you would like to find out more about this lunch box and others visit:


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September Mystery

september mystery 2

Do you know what this object is?

Do make an educated guess!

Thank you to Berowra resident, Joan Milne for donating her long treasured object to Berowra Living History and to Gabe Lomas for the images.

September mystery 1


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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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Living And Learning Together

Berowra Public School Upper Division 1950

Berowra Public School Upper Division 1950

We thank sisters, Pat McCready and Jill Brancourt for sharing this photo from their collection. Young Jill (Ewings) is the eight child from the left in the middle row. The teacher-in-charge standing behind his young scholars is the much admired Mr Leslie Garside.

Two sisters, Betty in the middle row and Joan in the front row are members of the Hamilton family. All seven siblings went to Berowra Public School. This Aboriginal family came down from Groote Eylandt Mission where the parents had been taken when they were children. The family was very highly regarded in the Berowra community.

Currently we are in NAIDOC Week which is celebrated around Australia in early July each year. Interestingly the acronym which stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee has become the name of the week itself rather than just a committee.

Do contact us if you can help us name some of the Upper Division of 1950!


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Mystery Object – July 2014

P1150371 copy

This week, our mystery object is a little different to the norm. As I am sure you can all see, this is a vintage photo, probably from the Edwardian period, but the mystery has nothing to do with what the item is, but who the item features. This photo, and another three framed similarly were donated to the Lions Club Shop in Berowra, who contacted us and offered the photos to the Berowra Living History team. We do not know who the photos feature, or even whether they are connected to Berowra, and appeal to our community to solve our little mystery.

Regardless of whether these photos are connected to Berowra on a more intimate level, they reveal what people would have been wearing and how posed photographs would have been taken, and they are a wonderful donation to our collection.

If you know anything about this photo (others will be showcased in later posts), or even if they bring back memories of similar photos in your own story, please leave us a comment with your thoughts!


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In Their Own Words – An Old Vintage Car Comes To Light

Old Car 1

In one of my local rambles (or should I say “bush bashes”) off the Fire Trail at the end of Turner Rd, I made a surprising discovery. I stumbled across a rusted out, very old, possibly vintage car belonging to the 1930s period. Only the shell remained, the wheels and motor had long since parted company. This “rust bucket” was firmly wedged in amongst sandstone outcrops. A number of tall trees and shrubs were blocking the car in its final resting place, ensuring it was going nowhere! Indications are that it had been there for some considerable time possibly well over 30 years.

Old rusted car

All sorts of questions flooded my mind:

  • Did a local Berowra resident once own this car? If so who was it?
  • How long had it been lying there in state….20, 30, 40 years?
  • What make of car is it? (it has been suggested that it could be a Hillman Minx 1938.)

Are there any local “old timers” or expert “rev heads” who might recognise this car from the photos?

Ros Mort

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Mystery Solved

Congratulations to David Lever and Neil Davis and all of you who correctly identified our May mystery object!

It formed part of an insulator on a 33 volt power line on a pole in Crowley Rd, Berowra.

During a fierce electrical storm in approximately 2009 our object was struck by a bolt of lightning and shattered to pieces.

Alan Milne



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