Our Old House

Old House on Google Maps

Our Old House 1

I have always kept memories of our “old” house built post war.

A few weeks ago, I just happened to think of my old house back in Adelaide, that we moved into in 1948.  And there it was on Google Maps.   It was looking very close to what it looked like in the early days.  I found on the map that I could go back in history to see changes to the property, and learned that the front fence that my father built around 1949 was still there, until some time after May 2017, when it was removed and a new fence installed.

The address changed – just the name of the suburb.  I am not going to name either of the suburbs here, though some person may find it out.

Post-World War II

My memories of the first few years of my life are very vague, but I do recall living with my parents, my mother’s parents, and my mother’s sister and her husband and three of the children.  It was a big house, but it was very busy.  My parents had been in the Military, though of course my mother left when she married, but Dad “soldiered on” for a bit longer.

This is when I started being lonely as most days I wandered around on my own.  My cousins were at school, and Mum, Aunt and Nanna were busy with housework – cleaning, cooking etc.  It was here that I had my imaginary friend, whom I have never forgotten.

I recall my father was working as a signwriter when we lived at the busy house, just near the old Woodlands Castle (built in 1925 but now a shopping centre).  It was during this time that my father and brothers-in-law and friends started building the house that we moved into in 1949 at the time of my sister’s birth.

Several things that I do recall that were part of life at Woodlands, were the searchlights scanning the night sky searching for enemy aircraft (of which there were none found that I am aware) having no electricity and having the evening meal by lamplight, to make it harder for the enemy to see the city?

I also recall my grandmother killing the chickens so that we could eat them, the shortage of food, and eating liver, brains and tripe (which was sheep stomach lining.)  There were food vouchers too around that time.

The laundry and bathroom were in a separate building not far from the back door.  I still recall the old washing machine and the copper to boil water.

I can’t remember anything of the bathroom but I do recall that there were chamber pots under every bed in the house, that were emptied each morning.  There’s history of chamber pots video here.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seVHNdytm4o

Neighbours in the new house.

I recall that some of the funding for the house or land came from a War Service Homes project by the government, but I may be wrong.  It was never discussed in the family.

There were neighbours next door on one side and paddocks on the other side.  Over the years the whole area was built on but I can recall those early days.  Our neighbours were great and our parents kept in touch right until the end of their lives. In fact I am still friends with one of the girls that lived there.  Yes, a friend lasting from 1948!!!


My first school was about 2,3 kms (or 1.4 miles) away and I walked alone often, though sometimes with a neighbour, young Roger.  It was along roads and through the bushland if we chose to take that route.

After 3 or 4 years at that school another one was built closer to home and I went to that one. I don’t think Roger did, but again I walked to school.  Often alone, though the population grew and there more kids making their way to the closer school.

Many memories.

For the first years we lived there our street was a dirt track, which after rains became muddy holes and challenging road way for the few cars and the horses and carts.

I remember the milkman with his horse and cart delivering milk and putting it in the metal billy can waiting at the front gate.  I remember the ice man delivering large blocks of ice for the ice cream, for there was no refrigerators at the time.

My mother walked to the local corner store to buy groceries – sugar, flour etc, weighed and put in paper bags.  There were not great supermarkets in those days.  The butcher was next door, with a sawdust-covered floor (to mop up the blood from the meat) and a huge wooden chopping block where they cut and carved the meat.







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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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