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Oct 03 2016

Manly in the Seventies: The Mall, Freshwater beach, Paddle Pops, Pat Nichol and more….

Tag: Australia,Family Lifewendy @ 1:33 pm

nenaghstreetIt’s wonderful to know that my previous post on this subject brought back so many great memories for a lot of people, many who have even gotten in touch, about growing up in and around Manly on the northern beaches in the seventies. The feedback has been 100% positive and rightly so…we kids of the pre-1980’s grew up in a place that was so very special. And, sadly, much changed today. Of course the sixties and into the eighties was also special but it was by the late-80’s that the region began to see the changes that impacted on the special magic Manly and the northern beaches had for us who were lucky to be kids growing up there before the 1980’s. That was the time when many of the suburbs had a working-class element to them; plain and practical fibro or weatherboard homes, there was brick too but fibro and weatherboard was more common, like the house pictured from Nenagh Street North Manly.

Homes and backyards were uncomplicated compared to the multi-million dollar split-level, mosaic-tiled, stainless-steeled kitchen examples of architecture you see today. In our driveways were cars like VW beetles, Minis, Datsuns, Falcons, Valiants, Kingswoods, Morris 1100’s – most families had only one car and a lot of them had venetian blinds in the back window. If you had older brothers who liked to surf you probably had a kombi van with curtained windows parked out the front too. Our lifestyles and family lives were simple; the family pet was most likely a blue cattle dog, a boxer or a kelpie, a tabby cat and some guinea pigs out the back – you rarely saw a rottweiler; greyhounds were only for racing and your auntie probably had a white maltese terrier. Pets were purely for the family to enjoy back then and not status symbols. Nobody drove 4X4’s either unless they owned an acreage or bought a mini moke when they were in trend.

cornershopnorthmanlyLittle corner shops dotted the suburbs and they were a treasure trove for lollies, icecreams, smokes and comic books. What would our childhood have been like without cobbers, milk bottles, caramel buds, musk sticks, Big Charlie bubblegum, Freddo’s, choo-choo bars that turned your tongue black, freckles, minties, sherbie cones…all crammed into a small white paper bag that filled to the brim would cost 20 cents at the most. If you were really well off and had 30 or 40 cents to spend the lady behind the counter might ask you if your mum said it was okay to spend all that on lollies because she knew your mum and she knew what your mum usually let you have. Milk came in glass bottles with silver foil caps that you peeled back to see the little blob of yellow cream on the top.

Loaves of bread came in greaseproof wrapping instead of plastic and the bread smelled nice and yeasty. If the shop had a deli section there would be a huge lethal looking slicing machine where mum would buy 50 cents worth of sliced devon for sandwiches to take to school or have for lunch on the weekend – 50 cents bought enough devon to last the week. The corner shop sold Peters and Streets ice-creams that today you buy with bank notes instead of coins; Paddle Pops for 3 cents, Golden Gaytimes for 12 cents, Peter’s Drumsticks and Streets Cornettos were the really dear ones at 15 cents, a clown-face ice-cream called a Beppo. There were Whammy’s which came in orange or cola and were on plastic sticks that you could collect and use like meccano pieces, Icy Poles were 3 cents and came in red, lemonade, orange or cola and melted down your arm really fast in the summer. And who didn’t buy a Sunnyboy for 2 cents?

icecreamsThe corner shops that remain vivid in my memory from all those years ago marked an age when buying your groceries was about simplicity and affordability. Those corner shops I remember; the little block of shops above on Corrie and Pittwater Rds North Manly (next to the BP station) across from Walkers Tennis Centre and the general store was run by Mr and Mrs Smith in the 60’s and early 70’s and then was taken over in the mid-70’s by the Croucher family. Beside it was built a garden centre which traded as the North Manly Garden Centre for some years. That little shop there in the image was the hairdressing salon. This site has now been desecrated and apartments are now being built to replace these shops that once served our community so well. Then there was the corner shop in Harbord (Freshwater) on the corner of Surfers Pde and Oliver Street run by two ladies, a mother and daughter, who provided years of loyal service to the community and especially to the children from St John the Baptist school who ordered their lunchtime pies and sausage rolls from them each morning. It was a big old-fashioned store with stone steps, high ceilings and a wooden floor that creaked when you walked on it. There was also the shop run by Mr and Mrs Armstrong in Alexander Street in Manly who were famous for their wonderful service and the huge range of lollies they stocked. We were faithful to the corner shops because the owners were our friends and walking or riding to the shop was a thing in itself when we were kids, because we only got to buy lollies when mum had some change, or when you returned a soda bottle for the deposit.

The corner shop was the family standby, so it was a real treat to go to a shopping centre to do the shopping – especially on Thursday night for ‘late night shopping’ when it was introduced and we all went to The Mall – Warringah Mall – and call me a stick-in-the-mud where progress is concerned but I preferred the Mall when it didn’t take a week to walk around it. When you could park on Condamine St and walk through the fence and across the little paddock where the pony rides were. There was a ski jump at the back of David Jones in the 60’s, a mini golf at the front on Pittwater Rd and the bus shelters were in the centre of the car park outside the front of David Jones. Every summer there would be a circus in the paddock where they eventually built the Hoyts cinema. There was DJ’s, Woolworths, Fletcher Jones and the Mall Music shop that had a poster of Carly Simon in the window for as long as I can remember. Then Grace Bros came along with the extensions in 1973. We’d also go to the Totem shopping centre in Balgowlah which had Franklins and Coles, if you lived near Frenchs Forest you’d go to Arndale shopping centre.

freshwater-frontThere was the Harbord Diggers Youth Club on Oliver Street Harbord (pictured) where you could do gymnastics, physical culture, tap dancing or even modelling. The Girl Guides Hall in the little yellow brick building on a block of land right beside it.  In Manly on the cnr of Pittwater Rd and Alexander Street was a servo with Manly Cabs attached; the servo was a BP (if memory serves) run by the ‘Cop Shop’ actress Joanna Lockwood and her husband ‘Bip’.

The Manly Music Loft was run by Peggy and Enzo Toppano and was considered a classy night out for mum and dad back then.

gasballThe big ‘Gas Ball’ on Balgowlah Rd opposite Manly Golf Club was a landmark just about all of us remember and across the road, on the site where they built the Manly Swimming Leisure Centre, were tennis courts where Frank Herringe taught tennis on Saturdays.

If you went to Freshwater Beach in the 60’s and 70’s you’d see many kids there who’d been taught to swim by the legendary Pat Nichol at her swimming school in Kooloora Ave, just up from the beach. Pat was a no-nonsense teacher and I remember that year-round perma-bronze tan of hers. Teaching the kids to swim was what she did and she did it well, she took no nonsense from parents or the kids – you were there to learn to swim and that’s what you did. You could also learn to swim with Terry Gathercole at Killarney Heights swimming centre or at The Forum at Collaroy.

Swimming clubs were a feature of Saturday afternoons; there were clubs at the ocean pools at Freshwater, Manly, Curl Curl, Dee Why…I swam for Freshwater and then Dee Why club where a young Lisa Forrest was winning every backstroke race she entered. Saturday mornings boys played footy or cricket at District Park in North Manly and the girls played netball on the grass courts over by the river in the afternoon. Seaforth netball team wore a black and white checked tunic – all had box pleats of course – Freshwater wore a maroon tunic and white blouse, Allambie wore an orange tunic with a white blouse..and all tied round the waist with a cord belt with a tassle on the end. Didn’t Curl Curl wear green and yellow…? I always thought the Wakefield team had the nicest colours of pale blue and white.

I hope you have enjoyed this second trip down memory lane – if you have any more suggestions please let me know and I will include them!







Copyright © 2007-2015 Cultured Views. All rights reserved.


Sep 07 2015

Why so much secrecy around missing toddler William Tyrrell?

Tag: Australiawendy @ 1:55 pm

Three year old NSW toddler William Tyrrell disappeared from outside his grandmother’s house in the NSW town of Kendall without trace almost one year ago. No clues as to his whereabouts to date have been found, the child was playing in a quiet street in a quiet town and has seemingly vanished into thin air.

Why then are there legal injunctions in place that effectively gag his foster parents from being identified by name and by appearance? why can they not speak out about William’s full story and why are his biological parents not even mentioned in media reports?

A little child is missing and nobody is allowed to say anything of substance. Who is that legal injunction protecting?

Copyright © 2007-2015 Cultured Views. All rights reserved.


Feb 07 2015

The Sydney Siege and its victims – how much publicity is too much?

Tag: Australia,Newswendy @ 10:13 am

Why is the Australian public losing its initial sympathy with the people who were involved in what was a serious hostage situation? following this tragedy major current affairs programs have broadcast interviews with the survivors, who were paid large sums of money for their stories, but instead of widespread support they have become increasingly subject to criticism. Has society become cynical about these widely broadcast news stories, do we feel less and less sympathy for the people who are caught up in them simply because we keep hearing about every single detail for weeks and months after the event? are we less sorry for people who make large amounts of money out of situations where fellow victims lost their lives?

Compare this tragedy and its victims to that of the Granville train disaster and its victims and I can see why people are being so cynical about ‘The Sydney Siege’ fallout. Its the way in which major events like the siege are presented to the public these days when rolling 24 hour coverage and desire for the most sensational angles and details drives the news networks in feeding the appetite of the masses. People want coverage to be as explicit as possible these days because society has become de-sensitised to death, horror and grief. At Granville the media kept a respectful distance from the rescue workers, at the siege journalists were getting as close as possible to ‘see everything’ even members of the public were going out of their way to take selfies at a serious hostage situation! after Granville the victims and rescue workers quietly got on with the business of moving on, these days such victims get their hair and makeup done and earn vast amounts of money ‘recounting’ every gory detail. The media is so obsessed with feeding the public’s appetite for extreme grief and gore that a potentially serious terror threat was broadcast as though it was a major entertainment spectacle and the survivors are treated as cast members. Do we really need to know what happened to them in such detail and do they need to go public instead of maintaining some dignity and going to a trauma counsellor instead of 60 Minutes? no wonder so many are cynical and lacking sympathy for these people, they are not victims as much as they are ‘The Siege Survivors’…the more exposure and publicity they get the more this tragedy loses its impact.

Copyright © 2007-2015 Cultured Views. All rights reserved.


Jul 15 2014

Heaven-Haven: in memory of Thomas Kelly.

Tag: Australia,Music,Reviewedwendy @ 8:12 pm

Heaven Haven webIt is very often the most everyday of people who leave us with the most profound of legacies and it is through this newly released compilation of music by composer, Phillip Wilcher, that the souls and spirits of some remarkable individuals are celebrated and enriched with remembrance.

Released by Wirripang in 2014, Heaven-Haven is dedicated to the family of eighteen year-old Thomas Kelly  in memory of their beloved son and brother who was fatally injured by a single king-hit punch on a Sydney street on the 7th July, 2012. The following review is of selected tracks from the CD from which the profits of sales will be donated to the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundationthe inspiration behind the music is drawn from the lives of people who the music honours – the reward of such lies as much for them and their memory as for those today who knew and love them.

[1] Heaven-Haven (2012) The Linden String Quartet : Inspired initially by the poem of the same name by Gerard Manley Hopkins, this piece evolved into a dedication to a precious young life stolen forever in an unprovoked moment of pointless violence. Performed by the Linden String Quartet, this is a leader-driven piece which brings forth an impassioned search for reason from Marina Marsden on first violin, close interplay from Emily Long’s 2nd violin and Justine Marsden’s viola with a richly melodic bass from the cello. Deeply moving.

Producer: Dr Houston Dunleavy. Engineer: Simon Todkill.

[4] Ballade (2002) Jeanell Carrigan, piano: Love this piece! this very familiar three-part musical form is controlled with incredible dexterity by the pianist. Unpredictable harmonies in the first section are presented with breathtaking mastery combining demanding cross-rhythms between two hands and impassioned expression before an extraordinary transition into the most delicately lyrical passage. This piece not only demonstrates the pianist’s virtuosity but also how effective the use of a striking range of dynamics can create fluidity and continuity in a very complex piece of music. Amazing!

Engineer: Danielle McWilliam

[6] Forever Beneath the Waves (2003) Jeanell Carrigan, piano: Close your eyes and Jeanell Carrigan takes you to sea in this delightfully upbeat, ‘twinkly’ piece with a light and breezy rhythm. The pianist delivers an effortless cross-rhythm between both hands and yet ensures the ear does not stray from the melodic line. The closing bars bring you gently back to shore as if waking from a pleasant dream.

Engineers: Peter Freeman and Lachlan Lacey

[7] High Tea 1 (2012): The Linden String Quartet: This piece took me back to a time of grace and gentility, one can imagine this piece being played on board the Titanic to the gentle clink of fine china and discreet, refined chatter. I particularly love the interchange between Justine Marsden’s viola and Elizabeth Neville’s cello towards the end of the piece, both played with a richness of tone that is truly satisfying before the first violin takes over one last time and sings the piece to an end of such sweetness.

Producer: Dr Houston Dunleavy. Engineer: Simon Todkill

[8 & 10] Intermezzo 1 & 2 (1994) Jeanell Carrigan, piano: Written as companion pieces, the two complement each other beautifully and, for me, there is a natural progression from one to the next. Intermezzo 1 is subtly moulded by the pianist around the composers musical ideas of poetic expression. The left hand provides some strong passages that are tempered with soft dynamic shadings. I love the brief ‘silence’ just before the finish. Intermezzo 2 is finely crafted piece in both composition and performance that seems to be speaking to itself in a spirit of affectionate reminiscence. Exquisite phrasing throughout the piece and a sense of ‘underplaying’ takes it to a final point of disappearance that is meltingly vivid. These two works, I feel, are best enjoyed back to back in order to understand the poetic element however they also stand as two very individual works.

Engineer: Danielle McWilliam

[13] In Nomine Patris (2012) The Linden String Quartet: Inspired by a dream featuring Michelangelo’s great sculpture Pieta, this piece reflects the classical study in sorrow created in marble by the artist during the Renaissance. This piece is a dedication in memoriam to Denise Bassanelli, a mother who fought a brave battle against cancer for 17 years until the disease claimed her life in 2012. The connection between the inspiration and the dedication of this piece is remarkable; a sculpture depicting a mother holding her departed son inspiring a piece dedicated to a departed mother who is held in the heart of a beloved son. The piece, played with little to almost no vibrato, has a true Renaissance flavour blending the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty with naturalism. Justine Marsden’s viola begins with a solo passage that is gradually embraced by the other strings to create a sense of a sorrow that can be shared with others but rarely understood by them.

Producer: Dr Houston Dunleavy. Engineer: Simon Todkill

[17] Remembered on Waking (2012) The Linden String Quartet:  Dedicated to a remarkable young man, Ben Breedlove, who passed away at the age of 18 from a heart condition in 2011, this piece begins with a beautifully modulated motif between 2nd violin and viola which is then joined in a moment of intense sensitivity by the first violin. The phrasing by Marina Marsden’s first violin  draws the melody line  along carefully in a recitative-like solo, with well judged restraint so as to allow the mood to be shaped into one of wistful yearning. This piece ebbs and flows along on the subdued richness of Elizabeth Neville’s cello bass line carrying it to a delicate and sensitive ending, reflecting the memory of a fine young spirit that touched and continues to touch many.

Producer: Dr Houston Dunleavy. Engineer: Simon Todkill.

This CD stands as a wonderful dedication to the family of Thomas Kelly and their aim to further the awareness of the need to remove violence from our streets and promote a culture in which life is respected and valued.

Piano: Jeanell Carrigan

The Linden String Quartet: Marina Marsden, Violin; Emily Long, Violin, Justine Marsden, Viola; Elizabeth Neville, Cello.

Produced by Wirripang Pty Ltd.




Copyright © 2007-2015 Cultured Views. All rights reserved.

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