Sunday, 13 March 2011 02:47
..Hello, and Welcome..
....... to Ovada at Berthong Street
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Berthong Street was both the way to Berthong, and the street
where I lived in my childhood years. Today, it is a digital memory,
a place for collecting treasures.
It was more like a country lane as I remember it, a long and
sometimes happy route to our home, but that depended
on what had happened to start me on my journey, and what
kind of reception I could reasonably expect. The coming
of the telephone to our street had one major disadvantage: it
allowed teachers to tell their tales faster than I could walk.
Now, a street full of happy memories,
of family, old motor cars, trucks and
dogs. Horse-drawn bakers' and milk
carts there were
and unseen wagons
worked through the night, but the
valiant draught horses were being
displaced by noisy, unreliable trucks
of all shapes and sizes. Most of them
had done their duty in New Guinea, and Borneo and other such
dreaded, war torn lands, another world and another time.
There was new hope in people's faces in those days as men
returning from war, were building new homes and new lives.
The street was becoming a busy thoroughfare, and might
soon be decorated with a narrow strip of black macadam
surface, flanked by wide, weedy fairways reaching down
to nondescript, unsealed gutters.
To our city dwelling visitors, there was something
perplexing about these three-lane roadways, one of
asphalt, flanked by weeds. But those city folk ought
to have been well aware of the folly of allowing narrow
lanes to morph into Sydney's busy streets. Colonial
planners had learned hard from the experience and by
mid 20thC, even in Berthong Street, the gutter-to-gutter
limit would be of such a width as to allow various
horse-drawn carts to turn without unharnessing the team.
None of these quaint country town features were out of place to the boy who scampered to school to avoid a late mark and the cane, and dawdled home in the afternoon with a head full of childhood fantasies. Such a child was selectively conscious of the world around him and there were so many pursuits to excite his imagination: school was not amongst them.
We were a family of builders, rarely rich except in the popular
belief of those people who owned the hidden faces at
windows as I passed. We rode the pendulum of fortune from
plenty to penury whilst government agencies deferred payment
of their debts from one budget to the next.
Like the farmer who spent the family savings planting a crop
that he might never harvest, there was an element of the
gambler in such men. Wisdom spoke of the foolhardiness of
such unmet payments, but wisdom seldom put food on the
In my juvenile view of the world, Berthong really was our street. Ours was the first home at the Berthong end, high on a hill, our castle! The folk in the housing estate down the hill, might have seen it as a little bit of feudalism in country Australia. A ridiculous notion to be sure, but the resentment was alive and well. There were few who passed the time of day to the builder's sons, but neither did they share their unhappiness unless the cause was a window that got in the path of a misdirected football or a stone from a sure-fire catapult.
There were many happy days, and when school was
mercifully closed, the boys might roam the grassy
hillside in the company of their Collie dog. Then, the
street and the rolling grassy hills were just likea little
bit of heaven.
The delighted Collie Dog thought so too!
Then, Ovada Berthong Street was ...
............................Our Laughing Place!
Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 February 2012 05:14 )