Not far from the Museum on the corner of Gamble and Flint Streets is the heritage “School-House Museum”, a step-back in time to a home, built in 1926 and used until the late 1960’s.
The original building has been upgraded over the years with 240 volt power and running water, however the fit-out goes back to a time when most chores were carried out by hand. Antique furniture, cooking and cleaning implements either take you back to your childhood or will make you wonder “what did this do”? (depending on your age).Sir William Haseltine once the Queen’s Private Secretary resided here when his father was the headmaster in Wyalkatchem 1932/34.
Through this connection Local Artist Ruth Maitland , supplied a painting that now hangs in Buckingham Palace.
What a lot of changes there have been over the years since growing up in the 50s, 40s or before. Many things have disappeared all together or are very different today.
This was a time when life was uncomplicated and was centered around family, friends and faith; an era when……..
we drank water from the garden tap; not a bottle;
while playing we got cuts and bruises and the occasional tear in jeans but it was just part of being a kid and no visit to the hospital was needed;
the memory of mum sewing name tags on your school clothes and pasting covers on your school books;
comfortable with the thought that “If we didn’t get in the team we were not good enough and that was that”;
children played with all the other kids in the street only coming home when it was dark;
when we had no fancy games but could play for hours making a Go cart or a new tree swing and for other games, most times we would find a ball and whatever we could use as a bat. In summer we all jump into the nearest water and if it wasn’t clean we just didn’t swallow it;
children under 10 always believed in the Easter Bunny and Santa;
cars did not have seat belts and most families were lucky to own one;
money was the penny, halfpenny, threepence, sixpence, shilling, two bob and a pound was a lot of money;
three pence would buy a big bag of lollies from the corner milk bar;
you stood in the one spot to talk on the telephone as it had a cord from the telephone to the handset;
television was black and white and there were only a couple of channels -not everyone even had a set and if you missed a TV show, bad luck as there were no recorders so you could see it later, many will remember when it was introduced in the 50’s and all you could get was a test pattern and music;
hours were spent at school learning your time tables and the correct way to write;
we had a third of a pint of fresh milk with cream at the top; delivered for every student in a glass bottle daily to be consumed at playtime;
the local constable would kick you in the butt if you wagged school then Dad would give a repeat performance when he found out;
we used to enjoy “Unsafe Activities” like ‘Cracker’ nights when letter boxes were fair game and dogs, chooks, cats suffered from unknown health issues or Bonfires that could take out the whole town but never seemed to;
thoughts of service delivery, unknown to Generation X or Y where the milkman delivered bottles of milk to the doorstep before dawn, the Iceman (not a TV show) would deliver blocks of ice to top up the icebox, the “Nightmen” (not a TV show either) would empty the house ‘Thunderbox’ or ‘Outhouse’ at the back lane, the Vegie Man would travel the streets and sell fruit/vegetables from the back of his truck;
when bread, jam and fresh cream were a rare treat and even dripping on bread was appreciated;