Home Memories - the Home I Grew up In

36 RIVER RD, REVESBY, NSW, AUSTRALIA

HOME - 36 River Rd, Revesby, New South Wales, Australia

Home- 36 River Rd, Revesby

Early 1950's days.
Early 1950's days.

HOME

Home.

Well, just about everybody has a home, but our fondest memories are where we spent our childhood.

Plenty of stories have been written over the decades about the trials and tribulations of being in that home.

However this is about the home, itself, and what memories are conjured up from the distant past.

Photos help, and there sure are plenty of photos of the home I grew up in.


EARLY 1950s WAR VETERANS HOME

Very early 1950s.
Very early 1950s.
Early 1950s view.
Early 1950s view.
BIG BACKYARD, 200FT BY 60FT, without fence palings....
BIG BACKYARD, 200FT BY 60FT, without fence palings....
I guess Dad was keen on keeping a record of how the house looked. Early 1950s.
I guess Dad was keen on keeping a record of how the house looked. Early 1950s.
Early front garden with the spooky Johnstons' house in the background.
Early front garden with the spooky Johnstons' house in the background.
My how that garden grows.
My how that garden grows.

The House

The house was just a straight forward house made out of fibro (asbestos!!! Well, hell, we didn’t know in those days…but nothing ever happened)… 2 bedrooms till our sister came along 7 years later… and she got our room and my brother and I got the add on room out the back….and boy, that room was cold during winter… not snow cold (we had none of that but just cold to a kid….)

My childhood home was 36 River Road, Revesby, New South Wales, Australia.

There are no problems in talking about that address and home as they are no longer in existence!

Not just demolished and replaced by a new up to date house, just demolished…

Not only demolished, but even the very ground it stood on is gone. That’s demolished too! Replaced by space. Full of air, and fumes, for 20 metres (60ft) below where our house was, stands the M5 Motorway out of Sydney.

The M5 goes to Canberra, Australia’s capital.

My parents lived in that house from around 1951 to eventually moving, not too far way, in 1984.

The River Rd house was a housing commission home for a war veteran.

My parents always knew a freeway would go through one day and would be prepared to move.

Yet, curiously, theirs' was the only house there. Vacant blocks either side, with an old house and garden nursery 2 doors up to the north and an old dilapidated house, 2 doors to the south… spooky looking house with two elderly brothers, by the name of Johnson, living in it.

There were no houses behinds us. Our block was 60ft wide by 200ft long. Dad kept it neat and tidy. A trait that fortunately I inherited.

I also, without really knowing, appreciated the fact that there were no neighbours next door. Nice and quiet……

I don’t remember much about the house in the early years. Probably because I was 18 months old when we moved there. I had a brother who was ancient compared to me. He was 4 years older.


Early Days in the 1950s

In the front yard.....Gee, I looked cute..... I wonder what happened!!
In the front yard.....Gee, I looked cute..... I wonder what happened!!
My brother, Ken (right) and I, Alan, in the front yard....now a Motorway 20m/60ft below.....!
My brother, Ken (right) and I, Alan, in the front yard....now a Motorway 20m/60ft below.....!
My bro and I in the backyard.... little knowing of the Motorway to come....
My bro and I in the backyard.... little knowing of the Motorway to come....
My brother trying to strangle me....??
My brother trying to strangle me....??
New garage open and Velox on display.
New garage open and Velox on display.
My bro and I in the front yard... seem to be hardly wearing anything!!
My bro and I in the front yard... seem to be hardly wearing anything!!
All ready for Sunday School.
All ready for Sunday School.

Movie Memories 1 - the Creature from the Black Lagoon

Kids and movies. No computers, iPads, iPhones, etc in those days. You either played in the backyard or watched the new fangle tv.

The other alternative was to go to the movies with the family.

A distinct movie memory (and remember I was only about 5 years old!) was seeing "CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON" at the Bankstown Jewel Cinema (two miles away north and long gone for decades) and a distinct image of the "creature" carrying the girl.

Now I have that movie on Blue Ray and in 3D which I watch on an 8ft wide movie screen via a Benq 3D Video Projector with a 50,000 to 1 contrast..(most movie projectors are only 13,000 to 1 contrast ratio).

It's also in widescreen (16:9) and even though black and white, absolutely sharp as a tack!!

Trailer - Creature from the Black Lagoon

Movie Memories 2 - Forbidden Planet and the Invisible Boy

I even remember seeing “FORBIDDEN PLANET” at the movies, but not too sure where, most likely Bankstown again. There were 3 cinemas there, the Jewel, the Civic and the Regent. For many years, the Regent was the only one left.

However, after seeing "FORBIDDEN PLANET", I wanted my father to make me a robot… so he got some old empty paint tins off my grandfather (Mum’s Dad, and, I told you my father was very neat and tidy around the house!) and built me a robot who I called Robby… wonder where I got that name from????

Lasted about one night while it stood in the bedroom doorway casting a scary shadow… so Robby was dismantled….

For decades the Id creature sequence that attacked the spaceship, killing some of the characters was never seen in Australia... deemed too horrifying! The restored sequence had to wait till the DVD came out. But even then the special edition that included "THE INVISIBLE BOY" (also featuring Robby the Robot) and documentaries had to be bought from overseas!!

"THE INVISIBLE BOY", though promoted as primarily a children's movie, was in actual fact the first film dealing with a super computer taking over the world. Long before HAL from "2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY", or even "COLOSSUS, THE FORBIN PROJECT". Now we have the internet!

Trailer - Forbidden Planet

Trailer - the Invisible Boy (1957)

Me and My Robby, the Robot.....

I guess I was easily pleased with my version of Robby, the Robot but it sure was creepy at night...! My home behind is before the extra bedroom was added on directly behind me.
I guess I was easily pleased with my version of Robby, the Robot but it sure was creepy at night...! My home behind is before the extra bedroom was added on directly behind me.

And Last but Not Least Movie Trailer - Tarantula!

Now this movie I saw locally with the family at Panania Star Theatre (now a church), a suburb next to Revesby.

All I remember was that my older brother, Ken, ran screaming out into the foyer and I was supposed to be hiding behind the seat in front.

But I sure remember the movie, and have it on DVD so that it brings back all those hokey memories of the 1950s SciFi classics....and fond memories...

Oh, yeah, and the ending where the jets came down and blasted the giant spider with napalm, made such a lasting impression especially the guy who played the steely eyed lead pilot (his eyes were about the only thing you saw of his face) and cool voice, an actor named Clint somebody or other... I wonder what ever happened to him...?

Trailer - Tarantula!

1950s - Television Memories

My sorta first memories were when we got an AWA Radiola black and white tv. Over 58 years later, I have that tv sitting in my lounge room as a support base for my 42” HD tv…. but I am really getting ahead of myself….

Shows I remember include the original “Mickey Mouse Club” (never been surpassed as far as I’m concerned!!); “Disneyland” (naturally!!… old Walt was smart on that one, plugging his movies for an hour each week… while film studios held up a crucifix to that tiny, little screen….); “Maverick” (good on you, James and Jack, wherever you are…!!); “The Rifleman” (good on you too, Chuck, keeping them ornery hombres straight in heaven)…. Bat Masterson (Gene stick it too those Martians as well…); Cheyenne (ah Clint, Walker, that is), those were the days my friends…..

“Davy Crockett”… my brother and I had our coonskin hats too….


Davey Crockett Hats

Even in Australia we knew who Davey Crockett was....!! Me on the left and older bro on the right.
Even in Australia we knew who Davey Crockett was....!! Me on the left and older bro on the right.

The AWA TV Over 50 years old!

June 1960, my brother Ken, sister, Diane and me, Alan, posing by the AWA 17"....
June 1960, my brother Ken, sister, Diane and me, Alan, posing by the AWA 17"....
..... and over 50 years later, the AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australia)....
..... and over 50 years later, the AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australia)....
.... now a stand for my AWA 42" HD TV...!!
.... now a stand for my AWA 42" HD TV...!!

Original Mickey Mouseketeers

Mickey Mouse Club - Opening and Closing

MM Club - Opening Day at Disneyland - Rare Colour footage

Disneyland 1955 - Time Lapse Construction

This would have been a big part of my childhood if it was nearby AND NOT the other side of the world. Still though, it was there in that little 17" black and white tv screen.

Why isn't there a Disneyland Sydney? I'd be there every week!!!

This footage is quite interesting to show how Disneyland was constructed with good narration too. Makes you feel part of it all.... then and now!

Disneyland Under Construction -Time Lapse Footage

My Disneyland Visit 1974

Before we get back to Home, here is my visit to Disneyland in 1974, part of a trip to America (filmed in CinemaScope 8mm..! And part of my films about that trip to America up on Youtube with the one about the Bay Area Rapid Transport system at San Francisco being the most popular)

Some is double exposed (unintentionally!!) but looks artistic and still gives a good idea of what DLand was like then!

DISNEYLAND 1974

The Home Changes

So what of the home in all this time?

Well, my sister, Diane, came along in 1957, so my brother and I had to move into the 3rd bedroom that was added on.

Curiously though, since there was an age gap, my brother 4 years older than me, and my sister, 7 years younger than me, that after awhile there wasn't that closeness you would think between siblings. A gap that started widening over the years.

Mum always said we were not a hugging and kissing family, but stable. Stable, yes, but I think a few hugs now and then wouldn't hurt, even as you grow older.

The Home in Colour

Our neat as a pin backyard in 1959. You can see the room added onto the back of the house. Hard to believe all this yard, house and trees are gone for an open-cut  Motorway 20m/60ft below.
Our neat as a pin backyard in 1959. You can see the room added onto the back of the house. Hard to believe all this yard, house and trees are gone for an open-cut Motorway 20m/60ft below.
This is my 11th Birthday, 30 September, 1961. I was sure sprouting up looking like the skinny gawky kid to the left there behind my sister (in blue). At age 12, I was 5'11"...!!!! And very conscious of it.
This is my 11th Birthday, 30 September, 1961. I was sure sprouting up looking like the skinny gawky kid to the left there behind my sister (in blue). At age 12, I was 5'11"...!!!! And very conscious of it.
Simple backyard, enough garden and the aviary where we raised budgerigars. Only exists in these photos now.
Simple backyard, enough garden and the aviary where we raised budgerigars. Only exists in these photos now.
Another view of our bushy backyard where those two trees didn't seem to get any bigger in all those years...!
Another view of our bushy backyard where those two trees didn't seem to get any bigger in all those years...!
December 1959. Diane at the letter box and Dad's first car along the driveway, the Vauxhall Velox.
December 1959. Diane at the letter box and Dad's first car along the driveway, the Vauxhall Velox.
My father's father! Passed away in 1971. A very stately gentleman, Pop Bond. But we are standing on the edge of River Rd which is now a dual carriageway that crosses the M5!! But not back then in those innocent times.
My father's father! Passed away in 1971. A very stately gentleman, Pop Bond. But we are standing on the edge of River Rd which is now a dual carriageway that crosses the M5!! But not back then in those innocent times.
Here's us 3 kids in the back yard late 50s...
Here's us 3 kids in the back yard late 50s...
My bro and I standing tall. Actually I'm taller than him. I'm now 190cm/6'4"......
My bro and I standing tall. Actually I'm taller than him. I'm now 190cm/6'4"......
Mum and Di, front yard, next to the Velox. All this is gone now.
Mum and Di, front yard, next to the Velox. All this is gone now.
Mum hosing the front garden from one of my first 8mm films.
Mum hosing the front garden from one of my first 8mm films.
Just a simple everyday thing, Mum walking down the driveway after visiting neighbours.
Just a simple everyday thing, Mum walking down the driveway after visiting neighbours.
My L plates on the family Valiant sedan. About 1967.
My L plates on the family Valiant sedan. About 1967.

Cracker Night

Having such a big backyard, and before the Fun Police were around, I took it upon myself to build over a couple a months, a bonfire stack.

Our Australian Cracker Night was May the 24th, Empire Day. Then it was moved to the June Longweekend (Queen's Birthday Weekend) usually around the 13th.

Now the Fun Police have really moved in so you can't have your own private fireworks but go to a community display... usually not much fun in that.

I have no photos or film of the Bonfire and Fireworks at our home, but I do have a film, Cracker Night at Burrill Lake - 1970, to give you an idea of what we got up too....!!!

Cracker Night 1970

Times Are A Changing

So we started growing and getting family portraits, or at least sibling portraits, with us dressed in our school uniforms.

Siblings Portrait

July 1962 with me at 11years10months.
July 1962 with me at 11years10months.

The One Constant Factor

Like all people, many things happened in our lives, certainly too much to put here.

But the one constant factor remained. The home.

My brother married at 23, my sister went to teachers college and eventually married in the early 80s.

Me well, I tried but that M word constantly avoided me.. or I avoided it...!!

Though here I am with my first car in 1977, a Toyota Corona in the backyard. I always drove the family car previously till I got wiped out in an accident when a guy plowed through an intersection and straight into me. I was alright but the car wasn't.


Toyota Corona -1977 - My First Car

27 years and slick.
27 years and slick.

Nearing The End

In 1984(!), my parents received notice that the M5 was coming through. The money offered by the Roads and Traffic Authority was pathetic... A$65,000.

Dad wrote a strong letter, so the offer was increased to A75Gs and accepted.

The house was rented out for awhile. Passing it one day, our parents saw it being demolished... and never took a photo!!!

Going, Going and Gone Forever.

The Home with spring flowers... going.....
The Home with spring flowers... going.....
The Home, 1960s....
The Home, 1960s....
Home - gone... Dad, Diane, holding back and her young son next to her.... Note the driveway entry and the tree stump to the right of picture....
Home - gone... Dad, Diane, holding back and her young son next to her.... Note the driveway entry and the tree stump to the right of picture....
Land gone. The same place now and forever.......
Land gone. The same place now and forever.......
Aerial view. Home was the centre of the Motorway, left of middle of bridge.... A picture is worth a thousand words....
Aerial view. Home was the centre of the Motorway, left of middle of bridge.... A picture is worth a thousand words....

And that's the Difference.....

THE END

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