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With more time on my hands these days, this gives me something to do. I hope you get some pleasure, along with me, in sharing this new stage of my life.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Memories of 10 Colgate Ave Balmain - 3 Balmain Children Return After 60 Years.



Earlier in the year, in a conversation between my sister Lorraine and our cousin Sally, it was suggested that they go on a walk around the suburbs of Balmain and Rozelle where they spent the first years of their childhood. 
When my brother Les and I heard of this we said we would like to go along as well, the date was set for the first Wednesday in April. A couple of days before the planned walk Sally rang to say her brother was coming over from Western Australia on that date and she had arranged something else with him and wouldn't be able to make it. As Lorraine, Les and I had kept that day free, and the weather forecast was good, we thought that three of us would still go.
So it was with the 'Balmain Walk Heritage Time Line' Les had put together (part of which can be seen below) it was off to the childhood suburb we had left some 60 years ago.
Lorraine's husband John and my wife Lynn joined us on this pilgrimage.


Photos taken on a different tangent can be see here at  Rust, Relics and Ruins.



Part of the 'Balmain Walk Heritage Time Line'.


So it's....... Welcome to our Balmain.


It was a foggy morning at Circular Quay where we were to get the ferry to the Darling Street Wharf at Balmain.

Towers in the clouds.

Towers in the clouds.


The cruise ship Carnival Spirit and a foggy Opera House.

The Harbour Bridge is just visible through the fog.

The sun comes out, and all turns to gold.

Les limbers up ready for the walk.

The city is looking good as we sail off.

Seen it all before.

Making the most of the views I haven't seen for a long time.

The iconic photo of Sydney.

....and another one.

How did Les get in there?

I think I can see Zane.

A view that will change over the next few years.

We are here.

A old restored store in Illoura Reserve.

Les, Lorraine and John silhouetted against the early morning sun.

Sydney from Illoura Reserve.

We see the first of the older and well preserved houses on the steep climb up Darling Street.

I remember Mum cutting up the paper label of a tin of jam,to make confetti, for a wedding that was held in this church.

A walk through the Balmain 'bush'.

Ewenton Park

There are some wonderful old buildings in Balmain.

I don't know what this symbol represents, maybe an ice-cream through a doughnut. 

It's good to that these old places are being kept in good repair........well some are.

Clontarf Cottage, 1844, in Wallace St.

An old two storey cottage in Wallace St.

Terrace houses in Wallace St.

When old meets older still.

Balmain Watch House, which was the Balmain Lock-up 1854-1925.
This is just around the corner from where we used to live.

This must be number 6 Duncan Street.

Back to our old street.
Use to be called Broadstairs St. in earlier times.



Our dad at the front gate of our place, number 10, in the late 1940's or early 50's.


As it was in August 2013 and still is today.


The 3 of us in the front yard, about 1954, and as we are today in the same front yard.

The following group of photos were taken in the front yard.

Mum and one of us.



Dad and I, about 1948/49.


Lorraine and I.


Lorraine (in the back) and I. The yard would have only been big enough
to turn the car around.


I could have been dressed up to go to the Conservatory of Music
in Sydney. I played the tri-angle.


My first day going to school?

Lorraines first day going to school?


The following were taken in the back yard. The ones taken today are a comparison. The present owners were kind enough to invite us into the house and backyard, it brought back many memories as not much had really changed in those 60 years.





Note the veggie patch.


That door is a bit of a mystery. (dad was a boxer)


There's that door again. Painted upturned-brick garden edge.


Sitting on the dog kennel that went with us to Ryde.


Pop (grandfather) sitting on 'spitfire'. 

Mum and Les.


One of our dogs.This one could be burried in the grassy area next to the Balmain Watch House.

As it, and we are, today

Pop and 'Saddles'. No veggie patch.


Talking to the present owners, they were both very interested and helpful.


Mum and I on the back steps, which were then wooden.


Now and then.........well some things had changed.

Dad, Lorraine, I and Saddles.

The back door has changed.

We were trying to work out when the back steps might have changed, the next photo could answer that.

Concrete steps (minus the grooves in the bottom one) in about 1955/6.

I remembered the wood pantry door in the house where the 'Scott's Emulsion'  (cod liver oil...yuk) was kept.


Sally's mother was our auntie Dot. The street name has nothing to do with that though, just thought I would put it in.

Street art on Gladstone Park Bowling Club building.

Some people might. (or does it mean you can see better when you have no clothes on?)

57th anniversary of me getting hit by a taxi while getting of a tram between stops in Darling St.
(did anyone notice the cafe in the background?)

I suppose a spare nose could come in handy sometimes.

Working-Mens Institute building, 1865.
Mum and Dad had there wedding reception here.

........and I didn't.

Balmain Post Office, 1888, and Court House.

The Post Office won't be built for another 27 years.

There are 7 adjoining cottages in Birchgrove Road that all have that ornate vertical tile decoration between the windows.

Some nice wrought-iron work in Darling St.

A collection of ex corner-stores.

1910 William & Nan Swindail living 1 High Street (painted brown) (birth of Aunty Myrt) .
1921 Nancy Swindail (Mums’ infant sister) dies 1 High St.
1924 Mum born 1 High Street.

1898-99 Great grandparents Frederick & Laura de Belin lived in  32 High St Balmain (Pop de Belin with them).

2 Evans St, Uncle Jack de Belin's old butcher shop.

Date Palms in a wide Isabella St.

Leafy tree-lined  Elliot St.

'Typical' houses of Elliot St.

Aunty Till's house in Birchgrove Rd.

Decorative work in Birchgrove Rd.



Another fine house in Birchgrove Rd.

'The Rock' our parents played on as children.

I don't know why I photographed this house in Spring St.

Wildlife seen on the walk.

1901, Harriet Smith (Nan Swindail's sister) marries in St.Johns Church Balmain – 1st record of what is to become a family tradition linked to this church.
1945  Mum & Dad marry at St.Johns Church.
1945 Aunty Dot de Belin & Uncle Jack Terrens marry at St.Johns.
1946 Uncle Jack de Belin & Aunty Elaine Martin marry at St.Johns.
1989,  Mum’s ashes scattered in Gipps Street and at St.Johns Church.
1996 , Dad’s ashes scattered in Gipps Street and St.Johns Church.


1945 Aunty Dot de Belin ( living here at 63 Louisa Rd.) & Uncle Jack Terrens marry at St.Johns, Balmain.
1946 Uncle Jack de Belin (he living here at 63 Louisa Rd.) & Aunty Elaine Martin marry at St.Johns, Balmain.


1926  Grandma Turner (Pop’s future mother-in-law) living  at 121 Rowntree St.
1928  Pop nominates 121 Rowntree St,, as his address to get his children from Burnside Homes.
1930  Pop, a tram conductor, living with “Old Liz” 121 Rowntree St. They married 1928.

1946-1954 Nan Swindail lives at 73 Curtis Rd.
(photo taken Aug 2013)

'Corner' store in Curtis Rd.

Cheers to what has been a great day, at the Riverview Hotel.

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