Shire childhood, adolescence and early adulthood 3: 1959 – 1961

Recap of my family’s wandering thus far:

1. 1943-1952 Auburn Street SUTHERLAND
2. 1952-1955 Vermont Street SUTHERLAND (first time)
3. 1956-1958 Avery Avenue KIRRAWEE
4. 1959 Box Road, JANNALI
5. 1960-1961 Oyster Bay Road, COMO


Quite a lot more bush occupied much of that space back in 1959-1961, and my father was in some small measure one of those responsible for its going, being a real estate agent in Jannali and then Sutherland for much of that time, while my mother had for a while a dress shop in Jannali. Long story; I won’t go there.

riley_rm_2.5 At 17 I did my first practice teaching session at Jannali West Primary, over the line and up the hill from Jannali shops. In Jannali we lived above the shops in a flat that at least gave a good view of closely watched trains; in 60-61 we rented a house in Oyster Bay Road, and very leafy it was too. Dad had a Riley in those days though ours was black. He could use his carpentry skills on it too… The cat, which came with the house, had a habit of curling up inside; one day when Dad set off for Jannali in the morning, the cat, disturbed, went in panic for the highest point, the top of my father’s head, and sat there with its claws dug in. Fortunately Dad did not crash into anything and disburdened himself rather quickly. I think after that he made sure the car windows were closed when the car was in the car port.

Last November Sally, whose photoblog I have referred to before, posted a really great entry on Como. The following two images come from that.


Sally also quotes D H Lawrence from Kangaroo (1923):

“Como”, said the station sign. And they ran on bridges over two arms of water from the sea, and they saw what looked like a long lake with wooded shores and bungalows: a bit like Lake Como, but oh, so unlike. That curious sombreness of Australia, the sense of oldness, with the forms all worn down low and blunt, squat. The squat–seeming earth.

Bridges? There was only one, both in 1923 and 1961, and that was the old railway bridge, an odd affair that had what’s called a “gauntlet track”. That meant two lines went on to the bridge, but partly merged. It also meant that only one train at a time could cross. Later that bottleneck was corrected, the railway station moved closer to Jannali, and the old bridge made a walk-way.

Como 1885

Como in 1885; it was a fashionable excursion destination then.

One result of Como’s 19th century fashionability is its quite amazing pub — site linked to the picture: