Roads - a bit of Yarloop history
When I was a kid we walked from the veranda to the road and then down to Works. They had a dairy farm on the corner. There was Mrs Work and her two daughters. They had a wind up gramophone which was something we could never aspire to in our house as we were just too poor.
Then it was across Logue Brook and the railway line to Syd and Lorna Adams. At that stage of course it was Mr and Mrs Adams. These would have been two of the best people in the world. When we first moved to Yarloop mum was walking into the town, which was over two kilometres from the house, and when she got to the corner where the Adams house was we were greeted and mum had a friend in Yarloop.
It was then a long trek past a few houses and the Church of England to eventually get to Millars store. You told the person behind the counter what you wanted and they got it for you from the shelves behind them. Then you paid and carried your goods home.
Moving to Yarloop acted as an aphrodisiac on our dad and a brother came along nine months after we had moved to the town. While she was in the hospital mum was not visited by the Roman Catholic priest but the Church of England minister, Mr Wrightson, would have talks with her so while she was of the former faith we ended up going to the C of E church. An advantage was that it was half the distance of the RC on from us which was on the other side of town.
Today we can get on the computer and use Google maps to see just how far we walked in those days. The trees that were around the house are still there. The house went many years ago. I cannot understand why our father had us live in such a substandard accommodation for eight years. No electricity. A pair of tanks to supply water from the roof or be filled up from the irrigation ditch if they ran dry using the pump Uncle Jimmy had supplied. It was not until I went away from home to Bunbury Senior High School as a boarder at the hostel that they moved. I suspect that with me away dad started belting up mum again and she complained to Uncle Jimmy who did the dad thumping. But this is just based on a memory of my youngest brother and as he was only six years old when they moved probably completely unreliable.
Using Google maps our nearest neighbour, the Works, were 400m away.
Then from the Works to Mrs Adams was 500m.
It was then 600m to the C of E church, and a further 350m to the store.
I see that my estimate of the RC church distance is way out as it was only a further 700m.
To buy a paper or a comic it was a further 200m to Higgins the newsagent. He also had other stuff including sweets but the only bit of that which I remember is that when our aunty Beryl came to stay with us with her son Barry who was a little bit older than us he stole some sweets from the shop when we went there. This was unheard of.
While they were visiting us I, my younger brother and Barry went for a walk through the farmland to the South West Highway. I assume we had not anticipated walking that far as again consulting Google maps it is over 2 km. The farmland was not cleared and had not been fertilised as it was full of trees and wildflowers. Kangaroo paws and smokebush I remember but no doubt also a variety of orchids; spider, donkey, emerald and bee were some of the local ones. When we got to the highway we walked along it to get home. We were not far from the road into Yarloop but before we got there a car stopped and the woman wanted an armful of flowers. We each had a huge armful. Barry was the only one to give up his flowers. He got a ten shilling note which in 2017 money would have been a hundred dollars or so. In other words a huge amount for kids. The most irritating aspect of the episode was that when the visitors departed soon after our mother insisted we give our aunt a bundle of flowers to take with her.
Not that Barry was bad. He later, when I finished Year 12 and wanted to earn some money, got me a job at the Post Office in Perth where he worked. I stayed with him and Aunty Beryl and sorted the post during the night. The job lasted until Christmas. His older brother Ron had been in the Air Force based in Malaya and died. Being in the Air Force he had a thick great coat good for keeping warm in winter. Mum got him to get one for me because it was cold in Bunbury and the walk from the hostel to the school was not far from the beach. It cost twenty pounds which in today’s money would be about two thousand dollars so we should have chosen a cheaper option.