More 1950s Shire nostalgia

Yes, of course I saw The Debate yesterday…

Meanwhile, I see New Scientist is currently offering this:

Wistful thinking? Why nostalgia can be good

Endless movie remakes. Throwback Thursdays on social media. Politicians who seem to want to turn back the clock to a vaunted era. While nostalgia seems harmless, and perhaps a bit mawkish, it turns out to be a powerful motivator of all that is good and bad in humanity. Find out how nostalgic you are through our special test, and understand the influence of wistfulness on our lives…

Looking at a couple more photos from the Sutherland collection (see the previous post), I saw this shopfront in Kirrawee in 1955:


Hey, I don’t remember that! However, note what appears to be a pasted over phone number LU 1970. That’s the Beverly Hills office of D W Sproule and this, DWS Building Service, was at the time my father’s business.


See my post Random Friday memory 13 – Humber Super Snipe. I don’t recall that Kirrawee office at all, but I studiously avoided much interest in my father’s businesses for years. It may however explain how we came to be living in Avery Avenue Kirrawee from 1956-1958. By 1959 we were in Jannali.

See Random Friday memory 30: spotting the Pardalote and Random Friday memory 24: riding the red rattler.

Now I mentioned Jannali, and another photo in the Sutherland collection brought back an almost completely faded memory from 1956: the goods train derailment of April 1956. Here is Jannali Station:


And the story:

I would have been one of those bussing it to Hurstville from Sutherland at that time. I am pretty sure I went, probably with my grandfather Christison who lived near the Jannali-Sutherland line, to have a look.

Someone who later worked at Jannali Station posted this:

The real peculiarity about Jannali Station was, (and still is) if any passenger did want to go from one platform to another, they had to exit the railway property area and walk through the council footpaths and parks, and then over a road bridge to the other side. (a very long detour) No railway steps to walk over as a short cut. Us rail workers had the convenience of the “boardwalk” across the railway tracks, but it was with a lot of caution. A lot of trains coming from Sutherland going top speed of about 70kmh (non stop) used to come tearing through the cutting and appear “out of nowhere” I witnessed a couple of close calls which were too close for comfort.

I was then in Second Year (Year 8) at Sydney Boys High:  More “Neil’s Decades” –8: 1956 — 1 and 1957 or MCMLVII. So my final nostalgic photo concerns what I would see every morning at Central’s Eddy Avenue, thanks to this blog.


In 1955, being then just 4 feet 8 inches tall, I remember lying on those tram tracks to prove to a friend that the gauge was 4’8.5’’, the standard railway gauge. He thought tram-tracks were narrower.