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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 5:53 am   #16
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Hi to The Crone,

Fantastic reading, just out of interest the place were you began your journey you state as 'Baildon' it got my interest as it looked just like the town of Basildon in Essex where I'm oringinally from. I remember my mum and dad talking about immigration for ten pounds, many people at that time went to Australia too.
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 6:33 am   #17
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Thumbs up Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
It was nowhere near as organised as you make it sound, tony!
To begin at the beginning!
When I arrived in Perth with the girls, my husband had been here almost a year. Ostensibly he'd come for a holiday, but after a short time I received a telephone call saying he wasn't coming back to the UK, and I should sell up, pack up and join him. As we were in rented accommodation, there wasn't the problem of selling a house. As he would sponsor us as Ten Quid migrants, we had to go on a waiting list, a process that was made much longer by the fact that my elder girl was the child of an earlier marriage and both her father and I had to appear before a judge to get permission to remove her permanently from the UK.
During the time we were going through this, my husband got work with the Dept. of Lands and Surveys, which saw him walking from Onslow to Port Hedland surveying sites for the first microwave towers. This was where he first fell in love with the wide open spaces of the North West.
When we arrived, he was managing an hotel in what is now Northbridge, so that was where we stayed for the first few months. We enrolled the elder girl in school. She'd begun High School in the UK, but here we were told that she was too young and that she should repeat the last year of primary school. But the standard was much lower than that she was accustomed to, my husband was getting decidedly itchy feet, so we decided we'd go on a long trip, so thnat we would all be able to see something of the country we now called home.
My husband's Outback experience really came in handy. We left Perth in an old FJ Holden, pulling a trailer containing not only camping gear, but an adequate supply of water, food and extra fuel. And so we headed North.
It took us four months to reach Darwin. We stopped where there was anything interesting to see, camped, for the most part, just by pulling off the road, cooked on a camp fire, did the laundry in any water-hole we came across.....such a change from the twin-set and tweed skirt life I'd been used to! Now it was shorts and a T-shirt, a 'style' of dress I'd never thought I would wear!
We saw such amazing things on that first journey; being woken by a group of emus examining our tent by moonlight; an Aboriginal woman sitting on a pavement, waiting for the shop to reopen after the afternoon siesta, feeding a baby on one breast, a dingo pup at the other; crocodiles on a river bank where we'd intended to set up camp...........oh, I have lots of stories!
We didn't much care for Darwin, so we headed back to Perth, but it was winter by this time and, comparatively speaking, cold. We were also fast running out of money, so work was an imperative. We haunted employment agencies that specialised in finding work for people who wanted to go North and the first thing that came up was a position for me as cook in Derby, in a hostel which catered for airline staff. So it was back in the car and heading North once more.
We were able to get housing in Derby, and M. (husband) soon got work also with the airline, in charge of the stores which temporarily held goods air-freighted in from Perth. But this required him to meet planes at 2am, three times a week, which became a bit much, after several months. So we applied for, and got, positions as manager and manageress of a hostel for Aboriginal school-children in Halls Creek.
(We arrived at 3.30pm on a Saturday, were met at the plane by what was then called a Native Welfare officer, were told that all the staff of the hostel were at a wedding and there were 104 children expecting to be fed at 5pm. And welcome to Halls Creek!)
We ran the hostel for 3 years, then moved out to look after a mining camp, 50 miles further out bush; from there we drove to Queensland, to meet up with some of my husband's relatives who had recently migrated. But we found we much preferred WA, so it wasn't long before we were on the road again.
To be continued!

Strewth rushing out the door this cold cold morning in the shires in England

You made me stop Crone what a top post had to read through it all some real mind stopping thoughts for all us wannabies..........

Echoing everyone else keep them coming good bad or the indifferent :scared:

My Uncle was a ten pound pom and man o man we talk for hours about the true Australian Adventure he went out to some 37 years ago and he wouldn’t venture back like yourself regards Australia has done him proud but again with the open minded attitude to integration and taking the country as you find.

Thanks again Poms.
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 7:08 am   #18
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Brilliant, TC - this has to get my vote for the most refreshing & fascinating post I've read on here in a long time. Keep up the good words...!

Wishing you many more happy years here!

Cheers,
Anya.
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 8:31 am   #19
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Really refreshing!

Keep posting your tales!
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 9:31 am   #20
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

What a great saga - please keep posting.
My wife's brother was a £10 pom 30+ years ago and also spent a few years following employment in the NW of WA - lots of fascinating stories. It was during one of our visits to him and his family that we decided to retire to live in WA. Everything is on track to arrive in July.

Please keep your imformative stories coming
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 12:26 pm   #21
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Welcome to the forum, looking forward to reading more of your posts.
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 12:55 pm   #22
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Another wellcome to the forum from me too.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you did with all that spare time on your hands
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 2:47 pm   #23
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bix
Another wellcome to the forum from me too.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you did with all that spare time on your hands
Thanks for your welcome, people, I'm glad you're enjoying my stories. I know some of them sound like tall tales, but I assure you they're all true.
When I arrived in Halls Creek, it seemed like one of those frontier towns one saw in Wild West movies. There were no paved footpaths and very few fences. Most of the houses were of fibro construction and regardless of the original colour of the paint job, they were all red, caused by the frequent willy-willies which swirled through the town. And let me tell you, that red dust is a permanent dye....on one occasion, I had just finished hanging out a line full of new white sheets. Before I'd reached the back door, a willy-willy hit and despite boiling and bleaching, those sheets never did return to their original colour.
As I said earlier, I was raised in Baildon,which then was still a fairly small village on the outskirts of Bradford. But I'd lived in Oxford for 6 years before I migrated and compared to either place, Halls Creek wasn't just in another country, it was on another planet! Most foodstuffs for the town were delivered either to Derby or Wyndham by ship from Perth, then had hundreds of miles to travel over dirt roads before reaching us, roads which were sometimes impassable if there was a heavy Wet season. The exceptions were seasonal fruits, vegetables and salad stuffs, which came in via airfreight twice a week. The planes also brought newspapers; but as they arrived only on Weds and Thursday of each week, World War III could have broken out on a Friday morning and we'd have been unaware of it. There was, of course, no television and radio reception was sporadic, due to atmospheric conditions and also the high mineral content of the hills amidst which the town lay. Halls Creek, incidently, was the first place in WA where gold was discovered.
Maybe it was this isolation that fostered such a strong sense of community. Certainly, I've never experienced it quite as strongly anywhere else I've lived. It is, I know, quite different now, but in those days there simply was no colour bar. Sure, there were people to whom one wouldn't give house-room, but they were just as likely to be white as black, while some of the Aboriginal people, particularly the elders, were always most welcome guests.
Imagine a Sunday afternoon in January. There has been rain earlier in the day, so the air is still fresh. We decide to take the girls to swim at a Caroline pool, a place 9 kms outside town on the White Elvira river where the local council have excavated a pool deep enough to swim in. The kids are swimmimg, while we're relaxing in the shade of some trees when another vehicle pulls up containing another family with their kids. This process is repeated throughout the afternoon till it seems that half the town is there. Whereupon someone has the bright idea that those who are still in town are missing out and should come to what is developing into quite a party. Some people head off into town and return carrying steaks (it was 50c. per kilo!), .....someone brought a wind-up gramophone and records, others musical instruments. Others brought salads, potatoes; some went off and gathered wood, then lit a big camp-fire; portable gas lamps and gas stoves appeared as if by magic, together with copious amounts of beer, wine and cool drinks. And the majority of the townsfolk enjoyed an impromptu barbecue and dance in the sandy river bed.
But it wasn't all fun and games, of course. Looking after the wellbeing of 104 children and supervising 20 staff was something I was completely untrained for. It was a matter of taking it one day at a time and doing the best that one could - and hoping nothing went wrong. It did, of course, on occasion. But that's a story for another day.
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 7:34 pm   #24
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

I've been through Halls Creek, WA in January 2003, just after New Year's
Day. I remember an Aboriginal hostel of sorts.

The young girl who filled up my Falcon was English.

BM
 
Old Jan 3rd 2005, 8:58 pm   #25
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
It was nowhere near as organised as you make it sound, tony!
To begin at the beginning!
When I arrived in Perth with the girls, my husband had been here almost a year. Ostensibly he'd come for a holiday, but after a short time I received a telephone call saying he wasn't coming back to the UK, and I should sell up, pack up and join him. As we were in rented accommodation, there wasn't the problem of selling a house. As he would sponsor us as Ten Quid migrants, we had to go on a waiting list, a process that was made much longer by the fact that my elder girl was the child of an earlier marriage and both her father and I had to appear before a judge to get permission to remove her permanently from the UK.
During the time we were going through this, my husband got work with the Dept. of Lands and Surveys, which saw him walking from Onslow to Port Hedland surveying sites for the first microwave towers. This was where he first fell in love with the wide open spaces of the North West.
When we arrived, he was managing an hotel in what is now Northbridge, so that was where we stayed for the first few months. We enrolled the elder girl in school. She'd begun High School in the UK, but here we were told that she was too young and that she should repeat the last year of primary school. But the standard was much lower than that she was accustomed to, my husband was getting decidedly itchy feet, so we decided we'd go on a long trip, so thnat we would all be able to see something of the country we now called home.
My husband's Outback experience really came in handy. We left Perth in an old FJ Holden, pulling a trailer containing not only camping gear, but an adequate supply of water, food and extra fuel. And so we headed North.
It took us four months to reach Darwin. We stopped where there was anything interesting to see, camped, for the most part, just by pulling off the road, cooked on a camp fire, did the laundry in any water-hole we came across.....such a change from the twin-set and tweed skirt life I'd been used to! Now it was shorts and a T-shirt, a 'style' of dress I'd never thought I would wear!
We saw such amazing things on that first journey; being woken by a group of emus examining our tent by moonlight; an Aboriginal woman sitting on a pavement, waiting for the shop to reopen after the afternoon siesta, feeding a baby on one breast, a dingo pup at the other; crocodiles on a river bank where we'd intended to set up camp...........oh, I have lots of stories!
We didn't much care for Darwin, so we headed back to Perth, but it was winter by this time and, comparatively speaking, cold. We were also fast running out of money, so work was an imperative. We haunted employment agencies that specialised in finding work for people who wanted to go North and the first thing that came up was a position for me as cook in Derby, in a hostel which catered for airline staff. So it was back in the car and heading North once more.
We were able to get housing in Derby, and M. (husband) soon got work also with the airline, in charge of the stores which temporarily held goods air-freighted in from Perth. But this required him to meet planes at 2am, three times a week, which became a bit much, after several months. So we applied for, and got, positions as manager and manageress of a hostel for Aboriginal school-children in Halls Creek.
(We arrived at 3.30pm on a Saturday, were met at the plane by what was then called a Native Welfdare officer, were told that all the staff of the hostel were at a wedding and there were 104 children expecting to be fed at 5pm. And welcome to Halls Creek!)
We ran the hostel for 3 years, then moved out to look after a mining camp, 50 miles further out bush; from there we drove to Queensland, to meet up with some of my husband's relatives who had recently migrated. But we found we much preferred WA, so it wasn't long before we were on the road again.
To be continued!
its fantastic reading your experiences, please keep posting, it will bring cheer to a site that has been sadly lacking someone like you.
thankyou for sharing this with us, its really inspirational.

Trish
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 11:25 pm   #26
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badge
I've been through Halls Creek, WA in January 2003, just after New Year's
Day. I remember an Aboriginal hostel of sorts.

The young girl who filled up my Falcon was English.

BM
Badge, I needed to pay a quick trip to Halls Creek hospital within a few days of arrival. The nurse who attended to me had been at school with mysister in Bradford, Yorks.
Sometimes the world seems a very small place,lol
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Old Jan 4th 2005, 12:25 am   #27
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
Badge, I needed to pay a quick trip to Halls Creek hospital within a few days of arrival. The nurse who attended to me had been at school with mysister in Bradford, Yorks.
Sometimes the world seems a very small place,lol
Crone
What a great post. You should write a book. So very interesting.
Look forward to the next installment.
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Old Jan 4th 2005, 8:15 am   #28
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

I wrote earlier than Halls Creek seemed like a frontier town. Perhaps this will illustrate what I mean.
One Friday evening, a prisoner escaped from the jail in Broome. He stole a car and headed north. By lunchtime on Saturday, he had reached Fitzroy Crossing and, being short of petrol, needed to refuel; he'd found the $300 which the owner had stashed in the glove box, so paying for it wasn't a problem.
The petrol bowsers were operated by the man who owned the town's only store and, like most Kimberley businesses at that time, everything closed for the afternoon siesta from 1pm to 4pm. To pass the time, the ex-con decided to have a beer.
In the bar was the town's only policeman, relaxing on his day off. A conversation began and the two played pool until the store re-opened. The car refueled, our convict headed north again, while the copper stayed on until early evening, when he knew there would be a meal ready for him at home. It wasn't until this was finished that he decide to turn on the station's radio for the evening schedule from Derby police and it was only then that he realised who his pool opponent had been. He also learned that there were two unlicenced rifles hidden under the car's back seat.
(At this time, the telephone exchange in Fitzroy closed from Fri. night till Monday morning, while the Halls Creek exchange shut down at lunchtime on Saturday.)
With persistence, he managed to reach the police in Halls Creek to tell them that the escapee was headed for the town; we had two policemen stationed then, a Constable and a Senior Constable. ( I understand that there are now 16 police stationed in the town.............)
So Chris and Dave sprang into action. Just inside the town boundary, 5 kms outside the township proper, across the wide dirt road, they placed four brightly-painted but empty 44-gallon drums, linked by planks. And they waited...........
Around midnight, they heard the car and saw the headlights, so they stepped out into the road waving their torches. To no avail; thedriver simply swerved the vehicle around the obstacles and headed into town. By the time the barrier had been dismantled, they were well behind their wanted man, but soon found traces of him. He'd broken the lock on a set of petrol pumps and the car was standing on the petrol station forecourt. There was no sign, however, of the fugitive, but obviously, he was now on foot. And if he hoped to get away, he needed another vehicle.
And here's where it got really interesting!
The police woke the local magistrate, Joe, and agreed that every vehicle in town should be disabled. So every householder was woken ; I think it was around 1.30am when they got to us. It was also decided that the town should be thoroughly searched. Headquarters for this would be at Joe's place, so certain vehicles were designated as temporary police vehicles. These were packed with the town's men-folk, most of whom were armed; and since Joe owned the local bottle shop, each vehicle contained at least one carton of beer!
It was on for man and beast, then! Armed with only a baseball bat, I stood ready to protect the children in my charge, while preparing to serve coffee to the mob when they'd done what they had to do. I could hear vehicles roaring around the town and frequent gunshots, but no-one came to let me know what was going on. It was almost 6am when people began to trickle into the hostel's dining room.
Yes, they'd been succesful and the escapee was now back in police custody. It seemed that eventually he'd gone to ground by burrowing into a huge pile of gravel at the airstrip; he wasn't aware, however, that he'd been seen by some of the aboriginal people who lived near by; he was an Italian, not one of their own people and it was they who'd told the police where to find him.
The pile of gravel was surrounded by the men and Dave, the Senior Constable, called on him to give himself up. He sprang out of the heap wielding a knife, which he'd picked up on his travels around the place, and he began waving this at Dave. Dave was taunting him, "Come on, you mongrel, think you can take me, etc, etc" . And while he kept the man's attention, Constable Chris, all 6ft 6 inches and 20 stone of him, wearing Bush boots of heavy leather which laced up to the knees, got behind him. And planted a kick right where it hurt most, so that the man went one way, the knife another..........
Did I mention earlier that any reason served as an excuse for a party? This was a day-long humdinger!
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Old Jan 4th 2005, 8:28 am   #29
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bloody hell..thats more like it....

none of this namby pamby bizo you get nowadays..
 
Old Jan 4th 2005, 9:55 am   #30
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badge
bloody hell..thats more like it....

none of this namby pamby bizo you get nowadays..
Can you imagine them getting away with that these days. Not allowed to ask politely to put the knife away without infringing his civil liberties
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