The recent floods in the Hunter and just north of Sydney put me in mind of a family holiday in January 1951, when I was seven years old. It was meant to be special, as it was at a rather swanky place called a “country club” which had ballroom dancing and all. My sister Jeanette was there, and I think my brother Ian, then 15, as I seem to remember us being in a rowing boat fishing on the Wyong River which flowed by the place. We went by car. I think we had a Ford Anglia then, unless Dad already had his first Standard Vanguard.
The three of us squashed in the back, I seem to recall, with me in the middle being prodded or poked from either side when my constant talking got on Dad’s nerves – particularly when we were driving home through what may have been very dangerous conditions.
Our holiday had come to a sudden stop as we virtually evacuated as the Wyong River rapidly rose… I recall us crossing bridges where the water was perilously close to the decking.
Little did I know then that one Les Murray, now Australia’s best-known poet, was just about to start high school up the road in Wyong, though he was not there long transferring to Taree in March.
In Wyong Station – see a great page on steamtrainstories.com
In the Kiama Independent Wednesday 7 March 1951 I found a story that really brings to mind what road travel was like in our part of the world in 1951.
I do recall those fruit stalls and roadside eateries – on the way TO Wyong rather than on the way back, on this particular holiday, the weather being what it was by then.
An earlier holiday – 1948-49? at Shellharbour Beach.
That’s me on the left possibly being restrained by my mother! My sister is in front of me.
Of interest: Wyong District Pioneers Association blog.