25 MAY 2008
Sirdan’s new VW Golf Polo Match — generic pic above — is beautiful to ride in, and amazingly quiet too. Conscious this was a trip we had engaged in hypothetically with Lord Malcolm last year, and given today would have been his 51st birthday, we set out to explore at last the road bridge at Scarborough south of Sydney.
We went the long way to get there, through the Royal National Park, which Sirdan had never seen before. Dropped by my old house in Auburn Street Sutherland on the way too.
It proving impossible to park at the Scarborough Pub, and lunch being overdue, we went on to the Headland Hotel at Austinmer, which we shared with some fairly genteel bikies…
Another brief refreshment stop at the North Wollongong Hotel — we drank light and sparingly I hasten to add — and we had to go a very long way around the block as we missed the entrance to the North Gong. I did a Memory Lane as this was the nearest pub to my North Wollongong flat from 1978 to 1980.
Then a time at beautiful Wollongong Harbour, before heading home.
** To see the actual pics Sirdan took on this trip, go to Sirdan’s pics from the Wollongong trip.
21 May 2015: That iconic Headland Hotel closed not long afterwards. It had featured also in a now forgotten Channel 7 soap, Headland.
Posted on May 12, 2008 by Neil
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.
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 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: