Kiama in the early 50s, and memories of car sounds…

There has appeared on Lost Wollongong a really great photo of Kiama in what appears to be about 1950.

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As someone pointed out on Lost Wollongong, it appears to have been taken from the bridge carrying the railway northward from the station, looking east. The nearest comparison I have is this from ground level taken last August.

There has been much discussion on Lost Wollongong about when the top photo was taken. The cars give the answer.

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Yes, aside from identifying the Austin A40 and the Morris Minor and maybe a Humber, the big clue is the yellow numberplate – ACV-034. Not entirely sure of the three digits. But fact is yellow plates were introduced in NSW in 1951. So this photo is 1951 or 1952, and that was when I was seven to nine years old, a frequent back seat passenger albeit often squashed between my brother and sister on road trips from Sutherland, where we then lived, to visit the Whitfield rellies in Wollongong and Shellharbour. Kiama was more than once in the itinerary. Indeed I remember a rather delicious Sunday lunch around this time in a Kiama pub. And I well remember the large numbers of pre-war cars still on the road: ours was one, an Essex if I remember correctly*, and the different sound they made as we passed them on the old Princes Highway.

Around 1953 we upgraded to a Standard Vanguard.

* No, it looks as if it was a Fiat. That’s our telephone number at the time — LB2271!

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… like that. Smile

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