Saturday, 23 November 2013

Rear View Mirror: Hornsby 5/5

Final look back at Hornsby.

When we left Hornsby in the December of 1956, the eastern side of the railway line was all private housing, with just the odd corner shop scattered here and there, like the one my Grandma ran. On the western side of the railway line there was a triangle of retail outlets along the Pacific Highway, Coronation St, and Station St. However, that triangle is now a decomposing embarrassment. Once Westfield came along in 1961 and overwhelmed the eastside, the west was a goner.
Two nowadays shots here showing what is left of our magical walk to school. Barry and I walked across the old pedestrian railway crossing - now replaced by an abomination albeit more functional - either around or through the shops on the triangle (around on the way TO school and THROUGH an arcade on the way HOME). We never had money to spend, but we had a lot of imaginative fun, with sticks, and baddies, and shortcuts. But that has all gone. There is no way I would let my grand-daughters walk that route to and from school.
No need to worry about that anyway, because the school that I went to (Hornsby Infants showing me front row second from left) was burnt down one Saturday in November 1957 when a raging bushfire stormed up the valley at the back of the school. The mixed Infants school was cinders, the girls primary school was cinders, and the girls 'home economics' high school (up to 3rd form only) was cinders. On the eastern side of the highway the boys primary, and the boys high school was each saved. My father had gone to both of those from 1931, and Barry was in Grade 5 before we left for our incredibly great/foolhardy adventure in the country.

16 comments:

Rosemary said...

You were in 2A in 1956 and I was in 4th Year down at North Sydney Girls' High the same year (straight down the railway line from you). We were living in Mosman at the time.

Julie said...

That is where Kirsten is hoping the girls are able to go, after Castle Cove Public.

Rosemary said...

That's an extremely competitive school, much more so than when I went. It was still selective back then but the competition wasn't as fierce.

It will be 100 years old in 2014, big celebrations all year. I'm planning on attending the Garden Party on 5th April when I'm next in Sydney.

Rosemary

Rosemary said...

P.S. I've really enjoyed your retrospective. Your gran's shop reminds me of the little shops in Mosman Street (not at Mosman Junction but on the way down to the wharf) that we used to frequent.

hamilton said...

That is a large class you were in (I count 38 kids!!)

It seems as if the whole of Hornsby was eventually obliterated.

Rosemary said...

P.P.S. This is a great local history site of where I grew up.

http://mosmanmemories.net/

Rosemary
(winter has arrived here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with freezing rain and high winds. The temp is just under 0C (31F).

Rosemary said...

@hamilton - we had 40+ kids in my primary school classes.

Julie said...

Rosemary: that is a delightful site of memories. I will search further through Hornsby Library. They have an active local studies group.

NSGH - I would love to have coffee with you if you have the time and inclination, Rosemary.

Julie said...

Small classes are only a recent innovation in the NSW Education System. When I first started teaching in Canberra in 1969 I had classes of 38 - 40. Very difficult.

Rosemary said...

I'll be in Chatswood from 27th March until 7th April checking up on some family and having coffee, lunch etc with any of the girls I can round up. I'll contact you the beginning of March and see how your health is holding up.

Rosemary

Julie said...

Excellent. Look forward to it.

Kay L. Davies said...

I remember 1956. Polio shots. We had to be exceptionally brave to face those, we were told, and I think I did well.
Such fun to see a photo of you when you were small, and looking into that young face for traces of the person I met in Paris.
Was thinking of you today because I saw a TV show about a 22-year old American girl who had inherited $500,000 and decided to spend it on an apartment in Paris. It wasn't enough money, however, so she must have managed to finance the extra $100,000 for a 1-bedroom flat in the "right" arrondissement (the third or fourth, in an area called the Marais).
I don't think I could afford to be a young person now, I'm afraid.
Luv, K

Julie said...

Golly, Kay, that is not a bad deal for the Marais. It is exceptionally trendy, but full of a particular nationality, I am afraid. I am most at home in the 5th, 6th and 7th.

Kirsten said that my now-face is so totally different from my then-face. My face during the 50s was fresh, open, and naive. It wasn't until 1962 that I found grumpy and surly photos.

Andrew said...

A nice and very personal reminisce. Some places don't change much. Some clearly do.

diane b said...

A nice trip down memory lane. I have a school photo that looks identical to that except the date reads 1950.

Julie said...

Ha ... I would be showing off if I had a school photo dated 1950!!