Nell Guthrie


Interview with: Ellen (Nell) Guthrie (nee Bryce)
Date of Interview: 20 August 1987
Interviewer: Amanda Wilson
Transcriber: Tapuitea Hartogh
Tapes: 2


Ellen Guthrie was born on 13 September 1913 at home in Maleny. Ellen (Nell) married Stephen Thomas Guthrie at Toowong in Brisbane in 1937. Stephen was the local barber and had the casket agency in Maleny.

Image: Bryce Family at home,"Rosemount" near Howells Knob, 1926.

Images and documents of the Bryce family in the Sunshine Coast Libraries catalogue.



Nell Guthrie oral history - part one [MP3 45MB]
Nell Guthrie oral history - part two [MP3 44MB]
Nell Guthrie oral history - part three [MP3 44MB]
Nell Guthrie oral history - part four [MP3 34MB]



Tape 1/Side A

AW Starting off with a bit of your family history Nell, were you born in Maleny?


AW Whereabouts?

At home.

AW Where was home?

Reesville, at Rosemount

So, Rosemount was your parent's farm?


AW When were you born?

On 13th September, 1913. My eldest brother was born in Maleny, Bill, but then they went to Toowoomba.

AW When you say Maleny, was he born at home?

Yes, at home. There was no hospital.

AW So, did your father own the farm, Rosemount, when Bill was born?

No, he was out at Wootha.

AW What was the first farm the Bryce's had, called?

Toorworra, and that's arrowroot back to front.

AW Now, why arrowroot?

Because Grandfather grew arrowroot, when he came to Maleny first.

AW Now, what was your grandfather's name?

Alexander Bryce. Yes, and he grew arrowroot and that's why they called the farm, I think they grew arrowroot where they came from, I don't know where it was. And he grew arrowroot so, they called the farm Toorworra.

AW Do you know when your grandfather first came to Wootha?

No, to Maleny, I don't know, but it would be about 1904 I'd say, I'm not sure.

AW So, your father was brought up out at Wootha?

Well, no. He was a grown man then, because he was born in 1881 and, oh, he would have been a bit more than twenty, but he came up and cut scrub up here. And then I think, Bill and perhaps Bob came up here just round about the same time.

AW Now, they were brothers?

Alexander's brothers. Not my Father's brothers, my Grandfather's brothers.

AW So, they would be your great uncles?

Yes, and they cut scrub, because Dad got married I think in about 1906, and he was up here a few years before he got married. I think Minnie Lawley would have known him before Mum knew him, and she was Minnie Clarke, from out at Reesville. Anyway, then they moved to Toowoomba from there, because I think my Mother got sick of the mud, so they tell me. And they moved to Toowoomba and had three years of drought and they came back to Rosemount.

AW So, he bought Rosemount?

Yes, he bought Rosemount.

AW Do you know roughly when he bought that?

No, I don't know.

AW The other day you were telling me, it would have been probably about 1910?

Well, I'd say so. Yes, it would have been, because my brother had been born and was nine months old.

AW Right, that's your older brother?

My third brother. See, there was one child born in 1907, three years between the first three children. So, he would have been born in April 1910. And he was nine months old when he came back, so he came back about 1910.

AW Do you know whose property it was?

No, I don't because I think they had to build a house and everything. I think they started from scratch. I just know that Jean was born there and I was born, I think the rest of us were born at home, I think Collin was the only one born in the Hospital.

AW So, how many brothers and sisters did you have?

There were four boys and four girls.

AW And what were their names or are their names?

Well, Bill is dead now, Gordon died at twenty one, he was the one that got killed while falling a tree and Vernie, then Jean, then myself, Ethel, Joy and Collin.

AW That's a big family.

Eight, yes.

AW Nice size family.

Well, yes. It was a good family, but my Father was a good farmer and grew a lot of vegetables, he said, "if you couldn't eat it you didn't grow it". So, he kept us in vegetables, potatoes and everything, corn. We used to have about a hundred chooks out there, that was funny. They would lay everywhere you know! He grew corn up in the top paddock and then all through it he grew melons, watermelons and rockmelons and piemelons and pumpkins and things like that, through his corn. And of course that fed the chooks and then there was a patch of cane near the house. And if Mum was short of eggs, they'd lay anywhere because they were free range, she would have to wait for the hens to cackle. So, we had to go and find a nest. We'd find a nest with about twenty eggs in it and we'd be in business again.

AW Why didn't you ever build a chicken coop?

Well, they had a chook run.

AW But they'd get out?

No, Dad used to let them out. You see, he used to let them out to run in the fields, so we had nice eggs. Sometimes they'd lay in the thing, they used to lay in the barn, they used to lay anywhere. Then of course, Sunday, there was always a chook, a rooster killed or something. They weren't all hens, you had to run and chase the chooks or catch a rooster for dinner.

AW So, you did that, did you?

No, the boys mostly caught the cooks, but that was fun.

AW You were in the fun of the chase?

Oh, yes. No, I could never ever chop the head of a chook but, Mum was a good cook. She used to make a big plum pudding in a boiler, a copper. You know the copper outside?

AW Yes.

She'd make a plum pudding, I think it was about every Sunday, that there would be a big plum pudding in a bag.

AW So she would cook outside?

No, but the plum pudding was cooked out there in the boiler, in the copper.

AW That was the copper you did the washing in?


AW Oh, really?


AW And what, she'd just put it in a cloth and hang it in the water?

Yes, in the water and boil it, for three or four hours.

AW That makes sense.

Yes, oh well, she used to make a pudding for us. There were five of us going to school at once and she used to make these puddings in the biggest pie dish I've ever seen. It was, oh I don't know, but it was a huge pie dish. And it would either be a rice custard or a baked custard or a bread and butter custard, in this thing. That was our afternoon tea, when we got home, but there would be another sweet for dinner.

AW For dinner that night.

But you see, that was for afternoon tea. I could never understand why we always had puddings in the afternoon, when we got home from school. But you see, with five of us, we would have eaten a loaf of bread, we would have been avenous. And see, bread was more precious than eggs and milk, on a farm.

AW Why is that?

Because we had so much of it. See, you had so many cows, you'd have milk laid on. You know, you'd bring a big bucket of milk up to the house of a morning, and you'd have these hundred chooks that would provide you with eggs. We always had, there'd be about a dozen eggs in that custard.

AW But with the bread you actually had to make it yourself?

Well, we used to get it out three days a week, when I knew about it, I suppose Mum made bread before that, I don't know, but she used to make it Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and perhaps Sundays. And we'd get it out Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But see, with five kids, cutting lunch for five kids for school.

AW It's a lot of bread.

Yes, the bread would run out before the milk and the eggs.

AW Well, getting back to the family property Rosemount, why was it called Rosemount?

Because Mum wanted a rose garden. She was just going to have roses.

AW And mount because if was on top of the mountain?

I suppose, oh well, Rosemount.

AW Now, where about at Reesville was it actually situated?

It was just around the Howell's Knob, you know.

AW Is the house still there today?

Yes, it's there, but it's not like what it used to be.

AW Who owns it now?

Nandor and Mary Nagy.

AW Oh right. So, that's the house that's out on the knoll by itself?

Yes, they've built it all in. It had verandahs all around, it was lovely.

AW I notice there's a big fig tree there?

Yes, there was a big fig tree at the back. Is it still there?

AW Yes. Do you know if your father planted that at all?

Of course.

AW He probably did?

Yes, it grew in a stump. It was a huge tree and they had another big fig tree down at the bails, down where the yard was. But yes, it was a huge tree.

AW Now, you were saying before you had a barn. So, you had a fairly big farm out there?

Yes, I don't know how many acres to start with. And then Dad bought more, he bought the top part. Yes, he used to grow all his corn you see, and potatoes and he would put all the corn and things like that in it. It was a fairly big barn.

AW Were there many neighbours out there that you remember of when you were a child?

Oh yes. There were the Rees', Edgar Rees lived up the road, and Olly Rees lived over the road.

AW So, Olly Rees lived opposite your place?

No, Edgar. Then Deans lived down and there was people by the name of Watsons. But they, well, neighbours you say, but that would be a mile away.

AW But these were all the people within the Reesville district?

Oh, yes, and Clarkes and Flessers.

AW Now, Watsons, are they the same brothers that run the Watson's Garage in town?

No, they lived right down, I forget who's living in there now.

AW Yes, but is it the same family, the Watsons from the Garage; different Watsons?

No, different, I don't know where they came from. But, there was Flitcrofts who lived right out, and there was the Crannys, and Clan Thow, owned the place that Crannys were on.

AW How do you spell that?

T h o w. There was Arthur Aplin, there was Flitcroft, and then Arthur Aplin and then Clan Thow. This is coming in to town from the back of Reesville, towards Maleny.

AW And was Arthur Aplin, Bill Aplin's...?


AW Right. Bill Aplin senior's brother?

Yes, Bill's father's brother.

AW Now, I understand Bill Aplin senior bought Howell's Knob from Xazavier Howell earlier in the piece.


AW Now, there was always some contention, I understand, of why the area was known as Ressville, when it had always been called Howell's Knob. What did you call it, when you were a child?

Howell's Knob, because we used to ride over the top of that.

AW Right over the top of Howell's Knob?

Yes, there was no road round. They used to bring the cream in over the top of that Knob.

AW So what? It zig zagged up the side of the Knob?

No, it used to just go straight up. Not like it does now, it used to go straight up and straight down. We rode our horses to school that way. There was no road, oh that's a long time and then they had a curved bridge there.

AW Below the Knob?

When they put the road round, it was a bridge on a curve.

AW Do you remember that being built?


AW How old were you roughly? Were you going to school?

I was going to school, yes.

AW So, you started school in 1919 you were telling me?

I used to ride that way when I went to work, so it was before 1927.

AW So, it's between 1919 and 1927?

Probably be after the War. Oh yes, I rode over that Knob for a long time. It would be well and truly after the war.

AW So, it was built in the 1920's?

Yes, and it was on a curve.

AW Why was that?

Well, it just went round with the curve of the thing.

AW I heard rumours that Bullockies couldn't get their teams across there, because of the curve in the bridge.

That could be right. They probably went over the top.

AW Why did they decide to put a bridge in?

Well, they had to I suppose, I don't know; and now, they've got the road round it, they just cut more into the mountain I suppose
now. But you see, there was a great big gully there, so they had to put the bridge across, but it was quite a unique bridge.

AW So, the road over the top wasn't suitable, that they built a bridge?

Oh well, over the tope of the Knob, it was steep for the cars I suppose in those days. Cars wouldn't climb that hill. You had to have a horse or a cart. Bill Aplin still owns that place right up to that Knob, but I don't know whether the government must have taken over some of it.

AW That is now a public Lookout?

Yes, but Bill Aplin's property runs right up to that.

AW Do you ever remember any Lookout buildings up there?

Yes, there used to be one.

AW Where was that?

What did they call that? That used to look over the mountain.

AW Because I was told that the Maleny Ladie's Progress Association built a rotunda up there.

Yes, that was right.

AW Did the ladies actually build it themselves?

Oh no, they wouldn't have built it. They would have just paid some money.

AW They just paid for it?

No, I don't think they would have built it. There was a Lookout up there.

AW Would you get many tourists going up there?

No, I don't think so, not then. It wasn't advertised enough. Maleny has always been beautiful.

AW Well, let us get back to the naming of the area. You were telling me that Mr Rees took a deputation to the Landsborough Shire Council. Which Mr Rees?

Well, I don't know, it might have been H.O., might have been the old fellow, you know, the older man, their father.

AW And what did he go to the council for?

He wanted it called Reesville. This was after the war. I think my father was dead against it. Dad never ever called it Reesville, he called it Howell's Knob. He said Reesville started the other side of his property. No, he didn't like the name Reesville.

AW And were there other locals in the area that also only called it Howell's Knob?

Yes, I think that the other people might have objected too, they mightn't have liked it.

AW So, it really was just the Rees family wanting an area named after themselves?

Well, you see it's the same everywhere now. There was a road out at Witta, at Curramore, it was called Bryce Road, Bryce something. ANd now a fellow came in by the name of Schultz and he got on the Council, so that was promptly changed to Schultz's Road.

AW Really.

Yes. So, you see they used to do those sort of things.

AW Now why was it called Bryce Road?

Well, because that's where Bill Bryce came to, at Witta and they owned that property out there.

AW That was of course, called another name when you were young, wasn't it?

What's that?

AW Out at Witta.


AW Yes.

Yes, that was during the war I think it was changed to Witta.

AW First World War?

yes, would have been. Well, they changed it to Witta because it was a German settlement before then.

AW Do you know much about that, because you would have only been young?

Yes, very young. Well, I wasn't very old. I don't remember much about that, I know some of the people were interned, stupidly.

AW Were they? Do you know any of the people that were interned?

No, I don't know. I wouldn't know for sure but, I knew some at the time that some of them were interned during the war, stupidly, because they were all good settlers.

AW Well, most of them were original selectors, weren't they?

Yes, that's right.

AW What were some of the names of the people that lived down at Witta?

At that time?

AW Yes.

Well, there was Manitzky and there was Nothling's, there was Ben and Charlie Nothling, there was Vandrieke's, Bergann's, two lots of Bergann's, Charlie and Bill Bergann and Otto, there were three Bregann's. The Harch's, I think the Sommer's, they're still there.

AW Oehmichen?

Oehmichen, yes, two lots of Oehmichen's, Bill and Edith.

AW So, there were a lot of German people who worked out there and lived out there?

They all had their farms out there.

AW Now, do you ever remember anything about a shop being out at Witta?

No, I don't think so. I think that may be it was only when Manitzky had the Post Office.

AW So there was a Post Office at Witta?

Yes, that people got their mail. I think it was at a house, you know, like their home.

AW So, who had the Post Office?

August Manitzky, the first one that I know of; there might have been other people. There were other people there, there were Donovan's lived at Witta too.

AW Donovan?

Yes, they had a property out at Witta. I don't think they were German settlement, they were Irish.

AW I was going to say Donovan is more Irish.

Yes, they were Irish.

AW Were they Donovan's of "Donovan's Knob"?

I think they might have owned part of that, they might have owned that property. That was right out.

AW That's past Curramore, really, isn't it?

Yes, they probably owned that property, in the good old days, I don't know.

AW So, you don't actually remember the names of any people that were interned but you know some were?

No. I know there were some who were interned.

AW Do you remember your parents talking about any animosity from the remainder of the community towards the German people?

No, they weren't, they were all with them.

AW So, it was really just the government at the time?

Government, yes. It wasn't any animosity of local people because they all thought it was all a bit stupid.

AW Was there any bitterness towards the government because of that then?

Oh, I don't know, I can't remember.

AW Because you were too young. Now, you were also telling me you had a school teacher that was of German origin and he changed his name.

Yes, he changed it, that was Bruce.

AW Now, what was his German name?

Breusch, and he changed it to Bruce.

AW So, it was the people.

Because of that, oh well, probably. I don't know why he did it but people always thought it was a bit silly to do it I think.

AW Now, also about Witta, I was looking the other day and I noticed that there was a sub division out on the corner of the Curramore Road, where it goes off to Curramore and then the road goes down to Conondale, and there were all these half acre blocks, sub divided off in 1912, so they must have had some plans for a big settlement out at Witta?

Oh, I don't know. No, I don't know anything about that. And they are still there, are they?

AW Yes, there's an area called Margaret Street which is only just been developed recently and I notice it was sub divided first in 1912 and I just thought it was interesting, because it was very rare in those days to have such small blocks divided off.

No, I don't know anything about that.

AW So, may be there were some plans of having...

See, the Nothlings might know about that because they lived around that area. Len probably will know about that or old Goidser, she might remember that.

AW So, was the Witta's Sport's Ground always out there, where it is now opposite the cemetery, when you were a child?

Well, we played tennis there, yes. Oh, that's been there a long time. I used to play tennis out there.

AW How long, did you play tennis from when you were really young?

Yes, we had our own tennis court.

AW At "Rosemount"?

Yes, and oh, I was only a kid. I suppose twelve, ten. I don't know, about ten I suppose. Well, I used to play when I was thirteen or fourteen out at Witta.

AW Right, so Witta had had a...

Oh, they had their Sport's ground even before then.

AW From the early twenties?

Yes, it would be. They had about three courts I think, then. They were nice courts too.

AW Did they have the Show ground as well?

It wasn't a Show ground, it was a Sport's Ground. They played
cricket I think and football, they had a football team.

AW And was the pavilion there?

Yes, it was always there. It was great days of tennis out there.

AW So, it's always been a big community out that way, very active?

Yes, because they had that for their young people. Something for them to do at weekends.

AW Of course there was a Lutheran Church out at Witta too, wasn't there?

Still there, it's still there.

AW And also they had a school I believe.

Yes, that's still there. And they kept the school for the, I think the Pine Rivers have taken that over.

AW And they had their summer camps up there?

Not always summer, they come up periodically. You know, different schools come up.

AW So, they use it sort of like a rural retreat?


AW Oh, that's good.

They all have good fun there I think.

AW When you went to school, what school did you go to?


AW Now, why did you go to Maleny when you could have chosen from Wootha or Witta?

Because Maleny was closer.

AW Was it?

Yes, much.

AW How long would it take you to get from Reesville?

Now you're asking! It all depends how fast my brothers rode the horses and how late we were. No, it didn't take long on a horse, it's only three miles, a little over three miles.

AW What so, half and hour, three quarters of an hour?

Oh, half an hour I suppose.

AW And you said it depended on how fast your brothers rode the horse, so you'd go double up?

Yes, well, till they left, I used to double up. Perhaps somebody doubled behind me afterwards, I don't know. I can't remember.

AW Was there ever any stage in your family's history of where all the eight children went to school at the same time?

No, no, five. There were five of us, I think that was the most that went.

AW Right, so three of your brothers were much older that the rest of you?

No, not really. No, there were only eighteen months between them and then there was another eighteen months, no, there was a bit more between Jean and Vernie, then there was only eighteen months between Jean and I.

AW Was it usual for families to have so many children going to school?

Oh, I don't know. I never ever thought about it. It's just that we went to school and I never thought about it, no.

AW Did you wear uniforms?

No, We didn't wear uniforms. We just wore ordinary dresses.

AW Did you wear stockings or tights?

No, those sort of things weren't heard of.

AW What sort of shoes did you have?

Just ordinary shoes, ordinary school shoes.

AW What, little flat shoes?

Probably, I don't know. I can't remember.

AW Because most of the photos I've seen, the children have really big laced up boots?

Bare feet! No, we didn't. I can't see what we wore here, just ordinary shoes I think. (refers to photo)

AW You just wear normal shoes?


AW Now, I've seen quite a few class photographs. Did you have an annual photograph taken at the school?

I think so, yes.

AW And was it an exciting event?

Oh, I suppose it was, I don't know. I took such a dreadful photo though. I was never photogenic, I was always looking sour. You'd think, oh, another chore. Oh, I never worried about them much.

AW Photography would have been something interesting in those days though, because not many people would have been able to afford to have their photos taken.

Possibly not, but I don't know. You can see the photos that are around now, the cameras must have been alright, mustn't they, because they came out pretty clear.

AW I think most of them were taken with little box brownies.

Yes, that's right, and they're still good, aren't they?

AW That's true. Did you have a camera in your family?

Oh, yes. We had the box browny.

AW And who was the master of the box browny?

Oh, I don't know. The boys probably, they took over everything.

AW Did they?

The probably were boss and the eldest.

AW Now, getting back to daily life on the farm, did you have a dairy?


AW How many cows did you have?

No, I don't know. There were a lot of cows.

AW What breed were they?

Illawarrah Short Horn, AIS.

AW Right. So, was your father's farm a stud farm.

Yes, he had a stud farm. They reared all the calves, because they were valuable. We milked by hand for a long time, but you know, some of the people had machines. The man opposite us had a machine at about 1906 or 1907, or something. Maddson lived on that farm. That was before Rees'.

AW What Rees' bought Maddson's farm?

No, it wasn't Rees. He sold to different ones. Kirkwood I think owned it before Rees' took it. Maddson had it when we were kids, he was a Swede and he had milking machines.

AW Now, do you remember that or have you been told that?

Well, I was told that, I don't remember it, but there supposed to be the old boiler, that ran it, still out there. Yes, I didn't know about it myself, but the son told me lat time he came up to look at the old farm. And he told me that they had a milking machine about 1907 or '08 or something like that; but we didn't. They milked by hand because I suppose three boys and Dad.

AW Now, how did they keep the milk? Did you have to keep it hot or keep it cold?

No, they separated the milk and fed the milk to the calves. The separated milk went to the calves, the cream went to the factory. It wasn't milk in those days, it was cream. They had a cream shed and they kept it in this cream shed, which was rather cool. I think they had you know, air vents and cement floor and I think that they used to stir it about two or three times a day anyway.

AW And how often would you take your cream into the Co op?

Three days a week.

AW Now, you were telling me that your father in the very early piece, was one of the first consignors to the Butter Factory?

Yes, he was. He was the first.

AW The very first?

Yes. I think he raced down the hill in front of somebody else, I don't know who it was. He was coming this way and somebody else was coming that way. And Dad got there first.

AW So, he went in the records of being the first consignor of the Maleny Butter Factory?

Yes. I suppose it was fun for him. He had a horse and cart. I think he used to take a couple of lots of cream, I think in the old days, so they tell me. But later he had the cream carters take it in.

AW Now, was your father a shreholder of the Co op?

Yes. He was one of the directors for a long time, but I don't know how many years. My brother knows, but I don't know. I was not interested in it.

AW Was he a director when you were really young? Do you remember him going off to meetings?

Oh, yes. I remember him going off to meetings. But he used to go in the day time to the meetings and the meetings were always held in the day time. No, I can't remember much about it. You know at that age, girls are not very interested in that, I don't think.

AW So, if you weren't interested in the dairy side, what did you do with your day, before you went to school?

Before we went to school, we didn't have much time. We got up out of bed, swallowed our breakfast and went to school.

AW No, before you went to school. You said you started school in 1919 when you were six, so, what did you do before then?

I don't know what we did.

AW Just played games. Did you have dolls when you were young?

Oh, yes.

AW And what sort of toys did the boys have?

I can's remember. I suppose they had cricket bats and tennis, I don't know. They always seem to be playing tennis and when I remember, they probably had cricket bats, they played cricket the same as they do now, a box for stumps or something like that.

AW Now, how did they transport the butter from the factory down to Landsborough in the early days, before the road was properly made?

The butter? Well, I don't remember that. I think that it all went by horse and cart. Because they used to bring passengers up by horse from Landsborough.

AW See, this area was notorious for it's bad weather and muddy roads.

Yes, and bad roads and steep hills. We didn't go down very often, down to Landsborough, but I think they had waggons, with two horses or four horses that they took down. I don't know how often.

AW Can you remember the names of any cream carters out at your district?

I remember most of them.

AW What are their names?

Out our way? Frank Higgins was the first one I remember at Reesville. No, Harry Lewis was the firest, Frank Higgins took over from him. And when they went to the war, George Brown took over.

AW Now, were they people that lived out at Reesville themselves, that they were carting from out there?

Yes, they lived out at Reesville and they had four horses and a wagon, they called them German Wagons, I think. And they used to have to ride over the top of that Knob.

AW With all the cream?

With the cream on.

AW Now, in the old days, they put the cream in a big old metal containers, as they do today?


AW Same things, so, that would have been a very heavy load?

Yes, it would have been. But there were a fair few suppliers out there.

AW Do you remember any of the other carters?

Yes, I think I remember most of them. I don't know about the real early days, but that would have been in from my day on. I think there was at Wootha, there was a Claude Campbell, and there was a Dick Johnson I think took over from him. And Ben Martin then was later. He took over, I think he bought some of Dick Johnson's horses and he took over from there. And the Baroon Pocket I know was Bill Rough. I don't know anybody else but he must have been there in the early stages.

AW So, were there many farms down in Baroon Pocket?

Oh, yes. There was a fair, well the Roughs were all down there and the Thynne's.

AW The Thynne's?

Yes, they had that silo down there. No, I can't remember but there were a fair few.

AW So, Bill Rough would take the cream from North Maleny and Baroon Pocket?

Yes, and they had, I think it was Balmoral was Tom Sinclair and Witta was Frank Riordan and they used to call him "Pinky".

AW Why did they call him "Pinky"?

I don't know. And then afterwards of course when the trucks came on.

AW Who got it from Conondale, because Conondale would have come up here, would it?

I can't remember. I don't think Conondale was sort of supplying cream until they more or less had trucks. I think they more or less had trucks before they were established down there on farms.

AW Was Conondale regarded as being an outlying districk of Maleny in the arly days?

Oh, well yes, it was. I think there were mostly trucks by the time that Conondale people came there.

AW Do you know anything of the Conondale Butter Factory? Do you ever remember any main things?

No, they built it but they never ever supplied cream there.

AW I wonder why it never started?

I don't know.

AW Did your father ever talk about it?

Not to me, Dad was always too busy on the farm. We didn't get to tak to Dad much.

AW Do you remember any of the cream prices?

No, I don't. You'll have to find out from Bill Aplin I think. He'd know the cream prices. But Len Nothling told me the other day that he had a cheque book of his father's that was in the early 1920's, it went back to that. And there was a cheque written to the Tytherleigh's and I think it was about one pound and fifteen shillings or something like that. And he said that would have been the month's groceries. He thought that that would have been the bill for the month.

AW So, butter you wouldn't have got much of for your cream actually?

No, I don't know.

AW Now, in the arly days, did the farmers have quotas as they do toady?


AW You just supplied as much as you could?

Yes, there were no quotas then. I don't know when that came in. That's only recent, isn't it?

AW Probably that would be just to regulate the industry so that it didn't over produce. Did your father ever have to cultivate cow cane for fodder for the cows?


AW Do you ever remember any big droughts?

Not really. No, I don't remember droughts, I can remember the floods.

AW Were you aware of other children at school having to do lots of work before they went to school?

Yes, I was with some children.

AW And what sort of things would they have to do?

Well, they had to milk cows and I suppose separate. They had to do everything and then come to school! They had it a bit harder. No, we didn't have it that hard, really. I suppose having the three brothers older.

AW So, that, you feel made your load a bit easier?

Well, we didn't have to go to the yard. My Mother never milked a cow in her life.

AW Really?

No, she never milked a cow. I don't think she could milk, no, she never milked a cow in her life. She had led a much more sheltered life than I did. And you know, even having eight kids, she had a good life, I think.

AW And she had most of her children at home, you were saying?

Yes, right up until, we had a mid wife, a Mrs Ewen.

AW Where was she from?

I think she lived at Wootha. She used to ride a horse when the stalk started to come I think. She used to come by horseback.

AW And would she come and stay with you?

Yes, she'd stay just, oh, the baby wouldn't be very old. I can't remember that, but no, I don't think she stayed very long. But she'd deliver the baby and she might stay a day or two, but I suppose she might have been the mid wife of Maleny. She must have been a busy lady.

AW And what was her name again?

Mrs. Ewen.

AW Now, of course you were telling me you started school in 1919 at the end of World War One. Do you have any memories of the soldiers coming back from the War?

No, I can't remember.

AW Because I was told by somebody else that they can remember as a child meeting the soldiers down at the bridge. Did you hear that?

Yes, people met them when they came back. They gave them a reception, but I can't remember. Perhaps because we lived out from the town and we didn't get to meet them.

AW I understand there was a big drought in 1919, the Obi stopped running?

Yes, there was a drought.

AW So that was your first year at school?

Yes, but I can't remember it.

AW So, you must have had a dry year that year?

Yes, the Obi might have stopped running, but I don't think that we ever had worry with water on our farm.

AW Because you had a good creek. Now, also I was reading the other day that there was a flu epidemic which closed most of the schools in Queensland in 1919 and you told me that you remember your mother being ill around that time.

Yes, Mother was sick with that, she had the flu but she wasn't desperately ill or anything.

AW Do you remember many of the children when you first started school being ill?

No, I don't. I remember the teacher died, I think from that flu, Miss Harding.

AW Now, Miss Harding, her father?

He was the manager of Tytherleigh's.

AW Everybody seems to remember that one.


AW Do you remember the Prince of Wales visiting Landsborough in 1920?


AW Now, after the War, in Maleny, they decided to build a Soldiers Memorial Hospital, do you remember while the hospital was being built?

No, I don't.

AW You would have been going past it when you went to school?

Yes, I suppose I saw it built, but it didn't sort of register much with me. That was built in 1922, wasn't it?

AW Well, everybody seems to think it was opened in 1922, but I've looked up records andit was actually running as a private hospital in August 1920.

That could have been right, because my brother was born in the hospital up here and that was August 1922. But it was running as a hospital then. My Mother told me the story, see all the other children in our family were born at home and Mum went to the hospital for this baby, and I think she was in and out about four times. She had about four false alarms.

Tape 1/Side B

AW What were you saying about 1916?

There was a great big hail storm at Witta and Reesville.

AW Do you remember that?

No, I remember photos of it.

AW Because you would have only been three.

Yes, but there was a great big hail storm, hail as big as hen eggs, or something. But there are photos of it.

AW I've actually seen a photo, it looks like snow on the ground. So, have you ever seen any big hail storms similar to that since?

No, we had a cyclone.

AW When was that? How old were you?

I must have been about ten.

AW So that would have been in 1923, roughly?

Yes, a big cyclone. Yes, it was out that way. (Reesville) It went through Reesville and Witta and knocked a few houses over and a few toilets and a few cream houses. And we were coming home from school and our horses went down the lane, they didn't go to the house, they went down the lane to the dairy. We had to just let the horses go because we were in this cyclone.

AW So you walked them home?

No, we didn't, we were riding them. But they made for the dairy so we stayed down the dairy. Mum was upstairs worrying about the house, worrying about us and we were down at the dairy. Yes, quite a few people got hurt in that storm.

AW There was a bit of excitement in the community?

Yes, but it's very similar to the storm that blew through here a few years ago and it went in practically the same path.

AW There's always been really strange freak winds that just blow through that Reesville area.

Yes, well, the last one that was out there, was very similar pattern to the storm in 1916.

AW Of course you can see it sway, definitely where the wind had blown and trees, everything on its path has been blown over.

Yes, well that was practically the same path as the other cyclone.

AW Really. That's interesting. Well, we were talking before about the hospital and when it opened in 1920. What did people in Maleny do if they were very ill, before the hospital was opened, was there a doctor here?

I don't know. There was a doctor that used to ride out to patients on the sulky or something.

AW Did you ever have to go to a doctor?

When I was young?

AW Yes.

I think we were tough kids. No, I remember, see that nail........................

AW Yes, so you cut that, mashed it?

I jammed it in the cow bail and split right through there.

AW What did you do?

One nail is half in there and one is half.......My Mother wrapped that up with the bandage and kept it on for a week or fortnight or something and then took it off.

AW Do you remember any old home remedies?


AW ...............

Oh yes. Well, we used to have to have the sulphur and treacle

AW What was that for?

I think that was any sores you have.

AW Was that on the sore or internal?

No, eat it. Eat that.

AW Sulphur and treacle?

Yes, you mix it up in a spoon.

AW Were you given cod liver oil?

Oh, my brother lived on cod liver oil because he was asthmatic. And he used to opiarum and cod liver oil every night going to bed. I remember opiarum but he used to have rum and cod liver oil. No, he lived on cod liver oil, but that was the one that got killed. But he had cod liver oil. We used to have, it wasn't epsom salt, what was it?

AW What was it for?

Senna leaves, senna tea.

AW Oh yes, to make you regular?

Yes, the senna tea, I think you had to have that ones a week, keep the worms away, I don't know.

AW Oh, I was just interested in the old remedies. I've heard about spider's webs, if you cut yourself, you wrap spider's webs around the wound to stop the bleeding.

No, we never did that. Oh, I don't know, my Mother just wrapped that up and once I fell over a gorge down and cut myself there, we never went to the doctor for that. We were healthy mob, survival of the fittest.

AW Now, do you remember William Burgum and his son drowning in the Obi, that was in 1921?

I remember when it did, that was the floods.

AW Was there?

No, I didn't know about it. But there was a girl down out at Gardener's Fall.

AW Oh yes. Was she swimming or?

Yes, they were swimming. My husband dragged her out of the pool.

AW Oh really. When was that? Was he your husband then?

No, they were out at north Maleny.

AW When did Steve come to Maleny?

I can't remember, no I can't remember. He was grown, I think he was about eighteen. I don't know. They were all swimming; there was a crowd swimming down in the big pool and I think she was swimming out further. And I think there were a lot of girls and then they started screaming and shrieking and I don't think anyone took much notice to start with, because they thought they were just fooling. Then they heard that she was at the bottom of the pool and I think Steve dived down and brought her out. But I think they sent the ambulance or sent for something, somebody. But you see, they didn't know about mouth to mouth or anything then.

AW So, she was a Gardener?

Yes, she wouldn't have been in the falls, she wouldn't have been in the water long. You know, they could have probably saved her today. But they didn't know anything about that.

AW So, you were saying she was at Gardener's Fall, so that was a well known swimming spot?

Oh, yes.

AW What about other swimming spots?

Well, they got the Narrows, they used to go down to the Narrows. That was down in Baroon Pocket too. And this Maleny pool over here has been here since.......

AW What about, I've heard about the Bridge Creek Road.

That is the Narrows, isn't it?

AW No, the Narrows is down Baroon Pocket.

I don't know about that. There was a big pool at Gibsons out there. We used to call it Gibsons; I think it's where the nut farm is now. There was a big pool there.

AW That would be in the Obi, wouldn't it?

And they used to have swimming carnivals there.

AW Did they? What, schools swimming carnivals?

No, just people. I can't remember.

AW How old were you when they had those?

I can't remember how old I was. I remember going there to this. And then there was another big pool, a different one. We had one out at Clark's.

AW Down at Reesville?


AW Now they live down behind Fleeses' Road.

We could ride through there, Reesville. Go through the property and get on to Wootha.

AW Go diagonally across.?


AW So you'd have to cross the Obi?


AW You would come out roughly where Bill Aplin lives now?

No, you'd have come out further this way. You'd have come out more where Denings are.

AW Was Reesville road as we know it today, the bitumen road running along the top of the ridge, around Howell's Knob, was it there when you were a child?

No, that's only recent. No, there were two separate entrances. You came from Reesville this way and Wootha from the other way.

AW So the two roads didn't connect. Now there's a property out at Reesville that I'm interested to know who owned. It is down the very end of what is call Flesser's Road now. A big farm house and bails, was that Clark's property?

Where Thomas live now?

AW I don't know who lives there now. It's a house that's been just available for rent ever since I've lived in Maleny and it's right at the very end of the road. There's a little one on the end of the road and then you go through the paddock and then it's about half a mile through the paddock.

What is this, before you get to where?

AW You got Flesser's Road, you got Reesville Park on the corner.


AW It's call Reesville Park, it's that place with the big metal molases tank, looks like a bullet on the side of the road.

Is that before Rosemount or opposite Rosemount?

AW Opposite Rosemount, and then Flesser's Road goes down and it's right at very end of Flesser's Road. Now, you're at the end of Flesser's Road and then there's a house there on the right and then there's a gate right infront of you and you go through that gate and it's about half a mile round and it's all red soil down the hill, down around and up. And then there's this house up on the hill, whose farm was that?

I don't know.

AW Which one was Clark's farm?

Well Clarks Thomas, where Ted Thomas lived, I don't know who owns that now.

AW Where was it?

You went in a gate from Flesser's lane.

AW It's got a house there.

That's probably the house you mean.

AW So, that's the swimming hole, because I know there's a swimming hole there.

Yes, that's it.

AW What creek is that?

Well, it's still the Obi, isn't it?

AW Is it the Obi out there too?

Yes, I think it's the Obi. Starts up there.

AW So, did all the local children know how to swim?

I don't know, probably.

AW Did you know how to swim?

No, I didn't.

AW You were never taught?

No, and I was petrified of the water.

AW So if you didn't have a swimming hole on your property, you probably didn't learn to swim?

No. We used to go down and probably dog paddle on whatever. We went over ther to the creeks, over to the Clarks. It was a big there, but there was a big one down here at the back where Jim Gibson used to live. Now, Joan and George Gibson should have been there, they should be able to tell you about that. It's at the back of Jim Gibson's, what was his property. I think it's all the nut farm now, isn't it?

AW Right.

It was a great big swimming pool. They used to have swimming competition or carnivals or whatever there.

AW So it was bigger than Gardener's Falls on the Obi Obi?

Bigger area, but not as deep as Gardener's. No, it was a bigger area really in those days. But you know when you're young, everything looks monsterous, you know. You say, "Oh, that's huge." And then when you see it again, "Oh, that's not nearly as big as I used to think it was."

AW Can you remember the names of any of the Cream carters ?
I remember most of them.

AW What are their names?

Out our way? I wrote it down somewhere. Frank Hickins was the first one I remember at Reesville. No, Harry Lewis was the first, Frank Hickins took over from him. And when they went to the war, George Brown took over.

AW Now, were they people that lived out at Reesville themselves?

Yes, they lived out at Reesville and they used to bring down; they had four horses and a waggon,...............what they called them German waggons I think, they used to call them. And they used to have to ride over the top of that Knob.

AW With all the cream?

With the cream on.

AW Now, in the old days, they put the cream in a big old metal containers.......................?


AW So, that would have been a very heavy load?

Yes, it would have been. But there were few suppliers out there.

AW Do you remember any of the other carters?

Yes, I think I remember most of them. I don't know about the real early days but that would have been in from my day on. I think there was at Wootha, there was a Claude Campbell, and there was a Dick Johnson I think took over from him. And then Martin then was later. He took over, I think he bought some of Dick Johnson's horses and he took over from there. And the Baroon Pocket I know was Bill Rough I don't know of anybody else but he must have been there in the early stages.

AW So, were there many farms down

The tape jumped here, I don't know what happened but adjust here.

AW Now we were talking about medical service before and accidents. I heard that there was young girl; a circus came to town and she was bald by a lion. Do you remember that?


AW Did you go to the show.

Yes, it was in the hall.

AW Now, why on earth did they have lions in the School of Art?

Oh, I guess they put the show on for kids and show them the kids didn't know what a lion looked.

AW Do you remember who it was?


AW What was her name?

Do I have to tell you?

AW Yes.

Well, it's Mary McLean. She still lives at Caloundra.

AW Does she?

Yes, she lives in Caloundra somewhere.

AW And who helped her, who saved her?

Oh, I don't know. Somebody rushed to her aid. I suppose it was a kid. Mary Burgum knows all about that I think. I remember her with the head in the lion's mouth.

AW You saw it.

Yes, we all saw it there. Yes, they get too close. I wouldn't have got that close to a lion anyway. Would you?

AW No, I wouldn't. We were also talking the other day, I remember reading in the Nambour Chronicle about somebody been shot in Maleny. Now we were working this out the other day and you said it was Mr Parrot's son, Hew.

No, it wasn't Hew, it was Jim. I remember that after you left, I thought it's not Hew, Hew was younger. It was Jim. Now Jim I thought was a school boy, but I think he must have left school and I think he must have been working with his father.

AW Now, he father was a builder?


AW And we worked out, who was it who shot him, Mr Rickerbree, now he was a saddler, didn't you say?

I don't know if he was a saddler at the time. I think they had the boarding house then. I'm not sure about that. But it was the Bank teller, Bank clerk or teller that brought the gun out and didn't think it was loaded.

AW So, did that cause a big fuss in the town at the time?

I can't remember. He didn't get charged or anything.

AW Do you remember roughly how old you were? Were you working?

No, I wasn't working.

AW So, you were still at school?


AW So, it was before 1927.

He must have been about fourteen or fifteen. I could have found out how old he was.

AW Was he much older than you?

Not a lot. He would have been perhaps two years older, but I must have been about thirteen or twelve when that happened. I don't know.

AW So, it would have been about 1926.

Yes, I think it would have been 1925, '26 because I thought he was still going to school but I think he might have left or he was helping his father...............his father. No, I don't think there was do about it. But I think that fellow came back as a manager later.

AW The Bank clerk?

Yes, I think he came. I could tell you his name but I'm just not quite sure on his name. But he came back as a manager later.

AW Why, you're not sure if it's him or not?

No, not really. I didn't ask any more questions. But I was told he came back as manager.

AW Who do you think it was?

It doesn't matter. He's dead now anyway, the poor fellow.

AW Yes, I was going to say he probably punished himself forever for bringing the gun out anyway.

Probably not, I don't know. Do they think about it?

AW I don't know. I think I would.

I would too, especially if I kill somebody and I was the cause of it. I think he probably would have had thoughts about it. He was a nice kid.

AW Now, when there were accidents, was there a code of mourning. I was going to say a few people have spoken to me how late women had to wear black stockings for six months and you don't out.

It didn't happen in out family.

AW When your brother was killed?

No, there was no black arm bands or, no.

AW Do you remember other people in the community doing that procedure?

I can remember people wearing black arm bands. I don't remember whether they'd be Australians, I don't know; some martyrs, I think.

AW So, that was more of a European tradition you feel.

I think it was. I don't know. No, there were people who used to wear black, some people used to wear black for a while, black hats, black dresses. But it didn't happen in our family, I don't know.

AW Has Maleny got a cemetery?


AW Out at Witta. So that's where most of the people would be buried?

Yes, my parents are buried out there.

AW Are they? So, when your brother died, when Gordon was killed, were you at home when that accident happened?

No, I was working then.

AW So, he was killed in a tree felling accident.

Yes. Oh, he was chopping a tree down, 5'6" through and didn't know anything about it. They were chopping it and sawing it; it took days and weeks really because they were just doing it in their spare time, you know, they used to go up. I can't remember whether it was a week day, it must have been a week day. I can't remember much about it really. The accident was so horrific really for all of us. But you know, you sort of put it out of your mind or you try to. My two brothers and Dick Flaser, he used to come down, they were all trying to get this tree down.

AW You were saying it was a miracle that your other brother?


AW Who was that?


AW That he wasn't killed too?

Yes, it was a miracle, it was. You know, he just laid down on the ground. He said something seemed to tell him to lie down on the ground and he laid down there and the fork of the tree hit the ground and that's where he crawled out of. But you know there are miracles, aren't there?

AW Yes, and Gordon was hit by a flying limb?

He was actually well away from the tree but a flying limb hit him.

AW So, were accidents like timber accidents like that common in the early days?

I can't remember. Actually I wasn't in the timber, we weren't in the timber.

AW May be your father would have told you stories.

In the earlier days yes, when it happened to him but I don't think anything ever happened to Dad in the timber.

AW I also heard that before there was the hospital that Mr Skerman from the mill used to do a lot of first aid?

Oh, I think he was first aid man, yes. From the Butter Factory?

AW Yes, sorry. I thought it was the mill, it was the Butter Factory.

Yes, that's right. I think he was the first aid man. Oh, I think he probably would have. We did our own first aid I think at home.

AW Now, after the first World War, the government had a Soldiers Settlement Scheme, where they brought soldiers from Britain out to Australia and gave them or granted them land. Do you know about any Soldiers Settlement Scheme out this way?

Not here.

AW I heard there was one at Bald Knob?

It could have been. I don't know.

AW You don't know about it?

No, I don't know about Bald Knob. The only I know was Beerburrum and Glass House Mountains.

AW And did you know much about those at the time when they were happening?

No, not really. They were growing tobacco and that. I didn't know first thing about it. If it was happening now, you see, they've all made fortunes later because of the fertilizer. You see, they were just put there. They didn't know a weed from a plant, you know. And I suppose the government didn't help.

AW So, I assume that the farmers in this area used to talk about them a lot saying, "Oh, you know, they don't know this, they don't know that."

No, they didn't because you see, the German settlers, they came here and they were good farmers, you see. And they came here with knowledge.

AW They brought their skills with them?

Yes, and they were good workers. But you see, the other ones, if they came from England or where ever, the soldiers themselves; they didn't know a weed from a plant, and I suppose they just didn't know and they didn't have the fertilizers and things like that.

AW I understand a lot of them just walked off the farms in the end?

Yes, they did.

AW What did the general community think about that?

I don't know. I suppose they didn't think about it. They were too busy thinking about themselves, don't you think?

AW You don't remember your parents talking about it?

No, my Father never went down the paddock without a brush within his hand.

AW And what would he do?

He'd brush ferns and lantana or whatever was on his road.

AW Did he ever use chemicals?

No, not in those days. It was all high ...........................

AW So, he'd go down and get rid of all the weeds?

Yes, as he went. I think the place has grown up since, I don't know. Yes, they dug out the weeds as they went.

AW So really, the job of the farmer in those days was not to get on your tractor and run around the plough?

That plough was the horse, two horses.

AW Did your dad ever have a tractor?


AW Always hand ploughed?

Yes. I think Collin might have later.

AW Collin is your brother, isn't he?

Yes. No, I don't think Collin ever had a tractor, I don't think they had the ...........You see, afterwards, it was the ............and things like that, they didn't, and my Father grew oats and corn; we had a big batch of corn. He grew cow cane and he used to chop that up with a, they had a chop cutter and he used to chop that up.

AW Would you feed the cow cane to the cows fresh or dry.


AW And that was a substitute fodder when you had no grass or something.

I don't know, it was extra at our place as far as I remember. You see, there always seem to be an abundance of grass. See, they never overstocked and there'd be grass about that high.

AW About three feet high?

Yes. I can never remember them being short of grass. But they, for the show cattle; of course they had show cattle; they used to feed them on cracked corn and oats. They used to put them in the oats for half an hour or something like that.

AW Just let them munch away?

Yes, and they'd come out when they were full. And cow cane, they used to chop that up and that went on.

AW Now, you were just saying to me that your father used to show cattle. Now, the first Maleny show was in 1923. Did you go to that?

I sure did! Yes, I went.

AW Did you ever exhibit anything in the show?

No, I wasn't show minded. I was forced to ride a horse in the Girl Rider events. I don't know if I ever won a price, it wasn't my bit.

AW I thought you said you were a nervous rider?

I was.

AW And you were forced to ride?

Yes, I was nervous. I rode a horse from when I was five until I was twenty three. I might have been a bit more, twenty four. I rode a horse just about every day. I've got my hands to show it, see, all sunburnt. No, I was nervous.

AW Did you ever have a bad fall?

Not really, no. My sister did and my brother. Two of them had bad accidents on horse, but I didn't. But I was nervous.

AW And you rode in the show?

Well, only when I was a child. When I got a bit older I didn't ride. Dad and Mum would force me "you must exhibit, you must show".

AW Why was that?

Oh, well, they were show minded and they wanted to..........for the community and this sort of thing.

AW Now, you were telling me your mother used to always into jams and jellies and pickles?

Yes, and preserves, everything; cakes, scones, fruitcakes, you name it. She had an awful lot of everything.

AW Wasn't your mother a dress maker?


AW Did she ever enter any needle work?

No, I don't know whether they had that, but she crochet, she knitted, she sewed, she did fancy work. I don't know where she got the time.

AW In between taking care of all these children and the farm!

Well, she had the hired help until we were old enough. I suppose we must have been twelve or thirteen.

AW Going back to the show, do you remember when the Show Pavilion was built?


AW Was it there for the first show?

No, I don't know. I can remember they had a grandstand.

AW That was probably built in the first year, I'd say. Now, you were telling me also that your mother would; you know, today is the show and tomorrow she'd start cooking again for next year's show.

Yes, the jam. The next lot of jam was put; the best jar was put up in the cupboard for the next show. She always had it in the pantry.

AW And you weren't allowed to touch that?

Oh well, we couldn't eat that but my Father was a jam eater. He used to eat jam and bread. But no, we had plenty because she made jam out of everything. There were pinemelons, you know we'd have to cut the pinemelons up and take the seeds out, you know. We had to peel and we'd cut that up and she'd make when there were pinemelons. And then there would be rubbarb jams, she'd make rubbard jams, she'd make passionfruit jam. She'd make apricot, peaches and all those sort of thing............We didn't have..........

AW And where would you get the fruits from?

Well, we had peach trees. They'd be cut up and made into jam. And apricot, dried apricot, she'd make dried apricot jam, oranges, you know, citrus, all that. Everything, anything that was be able to be made into jam, she made it into jam.

AW Now, you were telling also that the district exhibitions were fiercely competitive.

What's that?

AW The district exhibitions. So, they'd do a display, everybody from that district would put something in.

Yes, they did.

AW Who always won?

I don't remember who won. They were all very good anyway. They were all very proud of it.

AW Who used to judge them?

Oh, they used to get judges from outside. Not from local.

AW So, it was a big thing in the community to have the show?

Oh, yes. That was the event of the year. We all have new dresses and new shoes and new hats and whatever.

AW Did you go to the ball?

Yes, I suppose I did go to the ball. I can't remember much about the dancing. I wasn't really fussy about dancing, not really. I used to go occasionally. I used to like the modern dancing, I didn't like the old time.

AW The old waltz?


AW Well, what was modern dancing?

Well, the jazz and the poxtroph, and the one step and the quick step.

AW So, when was this. This is in the early thirties?


AW When you were a bit older?

Yes, probably in the thirties.

AW And would you get dresses especially for a dance?

For dancing?

AW Yes.

Oh yes.

AW Where would you get those from?

Mum used to make them.

AW ................

Oh well, whenever we wanted a dress Mum made it, that was no problem.

AW What about the ...............when you wore the beautiful slinky......................dresses.

Yes, I had those.

AW Yes, and your mum would make those for you?

Yes, oh Mum, she did beautiful work. Yes, sometimes I wish she was still here. She used to do .............on linen. Oh, it was beautiful. And babies dresses, oh, they were absolutely magnificent. She had smocking and rulaye, you know up the top there, Lenor had some beautiful frocks that Mum made.

AW Who is Lenor?

My daughter. They were beautiful; Mum can do anything like that. But she did..............linen dresses, never let me have a green dress.

AW Why not?

She was very superstitious.

AW Well, what's wrong with green?

Well, she'd say you wear black after green. So, she would never let me wear a green dress. Never made a green dress for me. Later on I did, I got some. She was a very superstitious lady.

AW Did she believe in the rabbits foot and the salt shaker and all that?

No, I don't so. She wouldn't sit down thirteen to a table.

AW Really?

No, and of course there were ten of us and it wasn't very hard to get thirteen. No she wouldn't sit thirteen to a table. She wouldn't open an umbrella in the house.

AW Was she of Irish decent?

No, she wasn't.

AW It's usually the Irish that are very superstitious.

That's right.

AW When did you finish school?

In 1927.

AW So, you would have been fourteen years old. What did you do then?

I went to Tytherleighs.

AW You went to work for Tytherleigh's.


AW And that was John Tytherleigh's.


AW Was John Tytherleigh running the store when you first went there?

John Tytherleigh owned it.

AW But was he managing it?


AW Where was he working?

Who, John?

AW Yes.

With Landsborough.

AW Oh, he still ran the Landsborough store?

Yes. When I went in, Ted Tytherleigh was the manager. I think he opened it about 1904.

AW In Maleny?


AW That was John?

Yes. So, I don't know managed it earlier but I know there was Harding and Syd Tytherleigh before Ted. But I wasn't there with Syd. I was there when Ted Tytherleigh was the manager.

AW Now, what were you employed there to do?

As a bookkeeper, a clerk; clerk, bookkeeper, typist.

AW Do remember your first wages?

Thirteen shillings a week.

AW And what were your hours?

Must have been fourty eight hours a week, was it?

AW What was that? So, you were doing roughly, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm?

Yes, and then I don't know what was on Saturday. It was about forty eight hours. I don't know whether it was forty eight or forty four; forty eight I think it must have been.

AW Probably it would have been. So, how did you get to work?

I rode a horse.

AW So, if you started at 8:30am, you'd have to leave Reesville, what, a quarter to eight on a horse and you'd have been sometimes leaving; it wouldn't be dark but it would be....

At night time?

AW At night it would be dark.

Not in the morning, no.

AW Weren't you scared riding your horse home in the dark?

Yes, I was petrified.

AW What were you scared of?

All the noises round that, because the bridge, that was round the Knob in those days. I wasn't going over the top. I used to go round that Knob and I used to hurry. It was all bush, you know, it was scrub or bush and there'd be owls going you know, hooting and possums probably jumping around and kangaroos or wallabies or something.

AW Did you see any dingoes?

Not really. I was too petrified to see the dingoes. I used to hurry right round that Knob until I got on to the ......then, I was alright. But you know, it was dark when I got home.

AW Did you take a lantern?


AW How did you see?

Well, the horse could see.

AW So, you just let the horse take you home?

Yes, and when it rained, I used to wear this Smith's overcoat, an oil skin, and I had riding trousers and little riding boots. I was very well equipped I might add! And I used to roll my dress up and pin it up round my waist and I had a Smith's oil skin and one of those big oil skin hats, Southwesters. And that was on the rainy days, I don't know what I wore other times, probably just a hat or a cap.

AW And did you have a uniform you had to wear at Tytherleigh's?

No. I just used to wear my dress under this raincoat, I never ever went there wet. This Smith's oil skin was absolutely magnificent. It had a flap over the back and one on the shoulders and I never ever got wet. And I pulled my dress down as though I'd just walked out from home, the coat was that good.

AW So, before you went home you'd have to go and get all that stuff on. And where would you leave your horse while you were working?

In the back of Tytherleigh's. They had a paddock there and they had a shed there to put the saddle and the bridle in.

AW Who was working at Tytherleigh's when you went there, apart from Ted?

Mrs Wool was the draper.

AW Was she a Maleny person?

No, I think she came from Ipswich. No, I think that she probably was a widow lady. I think she had a daughter. She was on the drapery side, then there was Ted, the manager. Mr Winning was the grocer and Allen Shapter. I don't know whether there was anybody else.

AW Now, you were telling me that while you were at Tytherleigh's, you did all the accounts and all the cash dockets. Now, where was the office?

It was up in the back part of the shop. Actually about the centre of the shop, because you had to walk up into it.

AW So, it was on a higher level?

Not much, just a couple of steps up.

AW Now, Tytherleigh's store was in the same building that Super Valu Maleny, is today. Was Tytherleigh's as big as Super Valu is today?

How do you mean?

AW Well, it's an enormous store. You imagine that without all the super market isles in at the moment. Was it the same size?


AW So, Tytherleigh's was a big store?

It was a big store, yes. And they had a back store that they had all their sugar and flour stored in, because everything came in seventy pound bags. People used to order, a seventy pound bag of sugar and a hundred and fifty pound bag of flour.

AW That would be their monthly order, would it?

Yes, and that was all kept out the back. And chaff and corn and everything, potatoes.

AW So, he sold all general goods as well?

Everything, yes. Drapery, boots and shoes, everything they sold there. Where the grocery is now, that was all drapery.

AW That's a big area?

Yes, and they had a counter down the middle. The fabrics would come in and you'd have to roll it up. I didn't work on the counter very much.

AW Did you do any of the stock control recording?

No, I was just in the office.

AW Was that the manager's job?

Yes. I sent the bills out and that was a hard enough job.

AW Now, you were telling me they kept no cash at the counters, so how did people get change?

Well, through a railway system. I don't know what they called it, I always call it the railway. They put the docket into a cup, or bucket, and pulled the handle and wizz it up to the office.

AW So, there was that wire system in Tytherleigh's?

Yes. On the grocery side they had a square hole cut so this would go through to the office. We couldn't see the grocery part, there was a partition through the middle and they used to send it up there for cash dockets.

AW Was there a bell that would ring so you knew there was another little box coming with some dockets in?

No, you'd hear it coming because it used to make a noise. And if I didn't give the change straight away, they used to hit the wire.

AW And you'd hear this pinging noise?

Yes, I'd say, "Right, you wait old boy." Anyway, there wasn't a lot of people who payed cash.

AW Why not?

Because they booked it up and paid at the end of the month.

AW And were people well off enough to be able to take credit like that?

Of course. Well, the shop system, if it was bad times, they'd hold the accounts for six months or three months or whatever. But most of the people were able to pay monthly. We used to get a bag of lollies when they paid their bills. And when they took their order out, they used to go out for orders.

AW Who'd go out for orders?

Allen Shapter, he used to ride out the horse, out Witta and Reesville and all those places, I think he went out Balmoral and those places. And they used to deliver them then in a horse and cart at one time but then later, they used to come in with the cream cart.

AW So, he'd go out selling?

Yes, he'd just go out with his order book, and they'd tell him what they wanted, a bag of sugar and of flour and whatever they wanted and then he'd take it to them. I think it was once a month that they delivered. But usually there was a bag of sweets put in with the order, when ever I looked.

AW So, in those days, people didn't shop around for a cheaper price, they just did all their business with one store?

Yes. Mind you, there were three stores in Maleny though. Vic Magee, and Waddell's, Myers and Waddell's.

AW So, they had very similar goods?

Yes. Well, they had their favourite shopkeeper I suppose. But I don't think anybody shopped around much. But you know, there was a fair bit of cash about for the times. People used to pay cash, but there wasn't a lot that did.

AW What were some of the most unusual lines that Tytherleigh's used to stock?

Oh, they just sold everything!

AW Did they have clothes?

Yes, dresses and men's trousers, boots, working boots.

AW Saddles, or would you have to go to the saddler?

No, I don't think they ever sold a saddle.

AW What about farming goods?

Oh, yes. They'd have rakes and hoes and things for gardening.

AW Barbed wire?

Oh, yes. Barbed wire, that was a big sale item. They used to have everything like that, they sold everything. They had thirteen departments that I used to have to dissect everything into.

AW So, you were the only one doing the books at fourteen years old?

Well, there was another girl there, but she left to get married and I took over. I was there with her for a little while.

AW Do you remember her name?

Yes, Winnie Bate.

AW Was she a local?

She was a local at that time.

AW So, she showed you the ropes and then you took over?

Yes, I took over when I was about sixteen, I think. Yes, she used to do the typing and I used to do the change and this dissection work. That would take all day, but you'd have to dissect into so many department. They sold everything. It was, you name it, they had it. You haven't seen Ted yet?

AW No, it would be good to interview Ted, especially since he was managing the store. Now, tell me a little bit about John Tytherleigh himself, because you would have obviously met him. What sort of man was he?

Oh, he was a very good man. I couldn't speak highly enough of him, very honest, reliable good man. He was very fair, fair with everybody. Well, that's what I found of him, because I knew him all the time I worked for Tytherleigh's.

AW Did he come up and overseer every so often?

He used to come up occasionally, but mostly it was the accountant that used to come up. He used to come up pretty often. We used to call him Friday Styles.

AW So, what was his name?

Charles Styles, but we called him Friday, because he used to ride the piebald horse up on Fridays. But he was quite alright.

AW So, you had an accountant that used to come and check your work?

Yes, he checked it all the time to see whether I was doing it right or wrong. he'd blast me occasionally and then tell me how good I was, after he'd finished blasting me.

AW Now, how many accounts roughly was Tytherleigh's running when you first started?

I wouldn't remember, but there was an awful lot.

AW Would everybody in the area have an account with Tytherleigh's?

Oh, most of them. There'd be well over a hundred people I'd say, or more than a hundred in those days.

AW So, you'd have to balance all your books?

Yes, balance to a ha'penny, you just couldn't start your next week's work, or next month's work until you got that balance out.

AW So, you did a monthly balance on accounts?


AW And when you sent accounts, did you send them through the mail?

Yes, through the post. It was hard work that typing. You know, we used to itemise to the whole account to start with. I think in later years, we used to just type docket numbers, to goods docket number or something.

AW Instead of itemising everything?

Yes, and they were supposed to keep their dockets which they never did. And they'd come in they get this big docket amount, they'd say, "I haven't got a docket for that." and I had to go fishing through the dashed dockets then, to match the numbers. And then they'd say, "Oh yes, I remember that."

AW So, the typewriters in those days would have been horrendously heavy to use?

They were pretty heavy.

AW You'd have to have fingers of steel?

I can't remember much about them. Well, you worked eight hours a day, half the time you didn't get lunch, because there'd be too much work to do. You just kept going, you couldn't stand around talking to people.

AW Was your job regarded as a good job?

Yes, it was. It was quite a good job really. Yes, I enjoyed it all my life, because I enjoyed figures and I enjoyed the books. We didn't have adding machines. I don't think we ever had an adding machine, until after I was married.

AW So, you'd add it all up in your head?

In your head. I can still add up. You know, I can go to the grocery shop now and I could almost tell them how much the total came to, before they had pushed the total button. When I've bought the groceries, I've gone through and I kept it in my head.

AW That's from a life time of doing books though, isn't it?

And figures.

AW You must have been very good at mathematics then at school?

Yes, I was good at maths.

Tape 2/Side 1

AW I noticed the other day that John Tytherleigh provided and lit the first gas light in Landsborough. Now, there's a light, I've seen in photographs, that was in Maleny opposite where the present antique shop is. Do you know if Mr Tytherleigh had anything to do with it.

No, I don't really.

AW John Tytherleigh, you were saying they called him honest John?

Yes, that's right. He was called that and he was an honest man. He was a gentleman, I couldn't speak highly enough of him. He was really a super first class man.

AW How many stores did Mr Tytherleigh have on the coast?

Well, he had Landsborough first and then Maleny, then Woombye, and then Caloundra.

AW Now, who ran Woombye?

Mrs Oakhill, she was Perle.

AW So, that was one of his daughters?


AW Did Alf ever run Woombye?

No, I don't know. He might have worked there. Mr and Mrs Oakhill ran Woombye in my days.

AW And who ran Caloundra?

Ted ran Caloundra after they opened in Caloundra. That's when Ted went to Caloundra.

AW And who took over in Maleny when Ted went to Caloundra?

I think it was Alf Tytherleigh.

AW Do you remember when Caloundra was opened?

No, I don't.

AW Do you remember how long he'd been there roughly?

I think it would be about in the early thirties, about 1932 or something like that. I think I'd been there about five years.

AW Was the staff excited at the thought of another branch opening?

Not really. They were only interested in their own store, in Maleny.

AW Did you see it as a big family business, like the staff were part of the family?

Not really. No, I can't remember them ever having family gatherings or staff gatherings or anything. Not in my days.

AW Not even for Christmas?

No, we used to get a present, but I don't know whether we got money. Most of us were given presents I think. But I think Alf took over after Ted went to Caloundra.

AW Now, Alf was the son that went out and started his own shop. Why did he do that?

Well, I think it was over a disagreement wit his father. And I don't think Alf was a big enough man enough to say, "Dad I'm sorry." I never ever blamed John Tytherleigh for it, because I think it was just something that the father thought he was right about. I don't know what the argument was about. I don't know any of that but it was some disagreement they had, but Alf wouldn't say he was sorry and of course, I think the father expected him to say he was sorry.

AW So, whereabouts did he set up shop?

Must be where the shops are now, at the Co op.

AW So, where the present Maple Street Co op is?

Yes.(Tytherleigh & Freeman were in the building which is now Maleny Kitchen, then later moved to where the Maple St. Co Op is.)

AW Andrew McLean would have owned those buildings then?


AW Who owned those?

When Alf took over, I don't know. No, McLean didn't own those. He only owned the cafe and the bake house. No, I don't know who owned them.

AW Now, what was the name of Alf's store?

Just Tytherleigh and Freeman. He had a partner, Freeman.

AW Who was his first name?

Percy Freeman.

AW So, what sort of goods did they stock in their store?

Just general groceries. They didn't have drapery. No, they just had grocery lines, food and perhaps hardware, a bit of farm goods. But mostly it was just grocery food.

AW And how long did they run?

They went for a fair while, I don't know how many years.

AW Because you said you did their books later on?


AW Now, when was that?

I think I did the books in 1947 and 1948.

AW So, that was after the war. So, do you remember when Alf left?

What, to close the business?

AW No, when he left his father's employment.

No, I can't remember. It must have been after the war. Did Alf go to the war? I can't remember. No, I don't think so.

AW Because he was running Maleny.


AW Who took over from him?

I think it was Mrs Ruby Rickaby. She took over for a little while. Oh, Mr Waters was there, managing for a little while.

AW Which one is that?

John Waters. He was in the drapery section.

AW What I'm trying to ascertain is roughly when Alf split from his father's employment and how long Tytherleigh and Freeman ran?

I don't know how long they went. I don't know where you'd find out. I don't really know. Of course I did their books for a long time.

AW Tytherleigh and Freeman?


AW So, there must have been a successful business?

Oh, it was fairly successful. I think Percy got sick. He had emphysema and he wasn't well. I don't know whether Alf went back to the father's shop then. I don't know what Alf did then.

AW You were saying Mrs Rose Bell took over the grocery side.

The drapery side, yes, she took over the managing.

AW Of the whole of the store?


AW Now, she was one of the Tytherleigh's daughters?

Yes, she was Rose Tytherleigh.

AW Now, how many children did John Tytherleigh have?

He had Ted and Perle and Ruby and Rose and Alf and Joan.

AW So, that's six.

Two sons and four daughters.

AW And they all ran his stores at different times?


AW Did Mrs Tytherleigh run any businesses?

Oh, I didn't think she worked that very much. She used to come occasionally, not in Maleny but I think she went to the Landsborough shop a bit. But I don't she ever did in Caloundra.

AW So, where was head office?

Well, in the early stages, it was always Landsborough until they moved to Caloundra.

AW And then Caloundra became the head office. So, John Tytherleigh actually moved to Caloundra?


AW Whereabouts did he live in Caloundra?

He lived up on the top of the hill there.

AW Overlooking Kings Beach?

Not overlooking Kings Beach. He was overlooking Dicky Beach.

AW Up on Moffat Headland?

Yes, up on the top there.

AW That would have been McIllwraith Street. That's the name of the street up there.

No, I don't know the name of the Street.

AW Now, I also understand Mr Tytherleigh had some land up here in Maleny. I've been told there's a property down Bridge Creek road, called the Tytherleigh Estate. Did he have share farmers on that? (now a property called Frog's Hollow)


AW He never lived there himself?


AW Do you remember the names of the share farmers?

Well, I remember one was Layt, Viv Layt was the share farmer there. I remember somebody before him, but I can't remember his name.

AW Do you remember a Mr Lovegrove ?


AW I've been told that the house where Betty Ferriday lives now, down Bridge Creek Road, was Mr Lovegrove's house. Now, I've also been told that, that was the old Tytherleigh Homestead.

Could have been; shifted up there.

AW From where?

Down in the Pocket. Was there any house on your land when you went there?

AW To Frog's Hollow?


AW No, there was a house that had been moved, Henry Richings had the house from Frog's Hollow up to Tamarind Street.

Did he buy it himself?

AW I think so. No, but the house that Betty Ferriday lives in, which is on the left hand side, going down Bridge Creek Road before you hit the abattoirs, I was told, that was the old Tytherleigh Homestead. Now, that's an enormous old Queenslander. It hasn't been painted inside. And I also have been told that Mr Lovegrove lived there, so I was wondering if Mr Lovegrove bought that land off John Tytherleigh at all?

I think he was there before or, while John Tytherleigh was there. I don't know. There was a house down there at the Hollow, because they had a farm. They sent cream up to the Butter Factory.

AW Oh yes.

See, when Viv Layt was there, there was somebody there before him, who was that? I can't remember.

AW Was Viv Layt related to anybody in Landsborough, because there's Layt's Bridge in Landsborough.

That was the Shire Clerk, was he, in Caloundra. The Landsborough Shire clerk he was Viv's father, Herb Layt. He's got a sister married to Ron Meyers, who lives in Caloundra. That Layt's daughter. But he was a nice old man too. They lived in Landsborough, of course, he was the Shire Clerk.

AW I was just interested in the name Layt, and I know there's a Bridge in Landsborough. When you were a child, did they call Landsborough, Mellum Creek or Landsborough?

Well, I only remember it as Landsborough. I think in the early stages it was Mellum, wasn't it?

AW Now, do you remember at all, what profit margins Tytherleigh's ran on, like what they put on top of the actual wholesale cost of goods?

Well, I think they put about thirty three and a third on drapery. About twenty five percent on merchandise, like towels and sheets and things like that. But general drapery, it was about thirty three and a third. I think in later years; when I first started there, it would have been about thirty three and a third. On groceries, they ran on a smaller profit.

AW So, who organised all the prices?

The manager or probably it came from John Tytherleigh. He was the head.

AW The head in the running of the business all the time?

Always, yes. He was a very astute man. He was good. He knew what he was about.

AW I understand he was very generous to the community?

I think he was a generous man. He was a good man. No, I couldn't speak highly enough of him because he was a good man, very fair in all his dealings. I don't think anyone could ever that he would have taken them down. Now, that's something to be said, isn't it?

AW Yes. While you were working at Tytherleigh's, what would the average purchase be for people with accounts, like their monthly purchase?

I wouldn't know. Well, I reckon that ten pounds in a month would have been a big order.

AW And what would they get for that?

Well, they'd get a bag of sugar and a bag of flour.

AW And we're talking not of just one kilo, we're talking about a fifty kilo.

Seventy pound bag of sugar and a hundred and fifty pound bag of flour. A big bag of flour; that's what we used to get out at home. Of course it was always plain flour, it wasn't so...........we had to buy cream............and soda. But sugar and flour were the main items. You know, because I suppose, I don't know whether; they never ever stocked, they stocked onions and potatoes but they never stocked vegetables or anything like that.

AW What about hardware, lamp glasses, wicks, kerosene?

Oh yes. They stocked all that. They stocked kerosene, big tins of kerosene. People bought the full gallon tin of kerosene.

AW Did people buy tin meat?

I think there was tin meat.

AW You probably wouldn't have had it out in the farm?

No, never ever thought of tin meat. No, I suppose there was tin meat, I don't know.

AW In those days, if you want to get a delicacy, something, a treat. You're going out to lunch at somebody place. What would you take?

I don't know. There was no such thing, I don't think as delicacy.

AW Well did you have chocolates?

Oh, I think there was the odd chocolates. Not much, mostly. No, they were mostly boiled sweets; barley sugar and boiled sweets. Not in the early stages.

AW What about coffee?

Coffee essence.

AW You never had coffee beans?

No, it was coffee essence. Tea, the travellers used to come round with the teas. My Mother bought tea.

AW Casks?

Oh, a tin like that, I don't know how many pound, ten pound. There was a lid in the open on the top and that's actually Ian
Dawson who used to bring that round.

AW Ian Dawson?

Endawson, a tea agent.

AW Well, if you bought a high quality Ceylonese tea, would that be regarded as a treat?

No, I don't think so.

AW What about biscuits though?

Well, everybody made their own. Oh yes, they had biscuits.

AW Shortbread?

No, they used to have those iced vo-vo's and things like that. They've been going for a long time, haven't they?

AW I'm just trying to work out what people in those days regarded as something for treat?

I don't know whether they had a treat. You'd make a sponge cake, but they'd be made at home, wouldn't they?

AW Yes.

There were never a treat at our place because, I said, my Mother was such a good cook. And, well, we had plenty of cream and milk and eggs.

AW What about in the store, in Tytherleigh's, fancy goods, imported things?

No, they never had imported things. No, I don't think they ever sold anything like that. They sold glass ware, you know. They sold those sort of things. But I don't think they went in for a lot of what the fancy stuff was.

AW Now, you were telling me the other day that Tytherleigh's operated in Maleny until Richard and Mary Cook purchased the store. Now, that would have been in 1963 we worked out, is that right?

I can't remember, really.

AW When did Mrs Bell die? Because you said that they bought the store when Mrs Bell died. So, if you can work out how old you were or what you were doing at that time.

I think Mrs Bell was only about fifty three and she would have been about seventy six now or seventy seven. It might have been around about that time.

AW So, that was the end of an era?

I'd say, up here, yes.

AW And what did Cooks call it then?

Just Cooks, I think. Yes, Cooks took over from them, didn't they?

AW Yes, I think so. See, when I first moved to Maleny, all it had written up the top of Super Valu, was Universal Providers.

That's what Tytherleigh's were called.

AW Universal Providers? So, they kept that sign there?

They must have, because Tytherleigh's were Universal Providers.

AW And then I remember somebody painted an enormous rainbow up the top there. (Painted by Simon Morecombe, of Bellthorpe 1978- '79)

Oh, did they? I'm not very observant, I don't think.

AW It was actually a spectrum of all the colours of the rainbow.

See, Mrs Lawley might be able to tell you all these things. All I can remember was I went back to work at Tytherleigh's, more or less full time, in about 1948m, because that's when my husband had that big operation.

AW So, you started working for Tytherleigh's full time again?

I used to work periodically, I was doing all these other books.

AW Now, who did you do the books for?

Cooks, the bakers, and McKillop the butcher, and Tytherleigh and Freeman.

AW Now, McKillop's, that was Snow McKillop. Now, his son is running that Butcher shop again now I understand?


AW And the only other Butcher we've had inbetween years, were Doug Mason and I think Nagy's has owned the Butcher shop for a while?

I think Doug Mason took over from Snow.

AW So, we've got the same Butcher really. Down there in Coral Street as we had in 1947.

Oh, it was before 1947. He was there I think. He was there a lot longer before then.

AW So, when did you meet Steve, Steve Guthrie?

I don't know.

AW When were you married?

1937. I met him about 1935. Oh, I knew him a lot before then.

AW Was he a local person?

Not really. Yes, he worked around here. I think he started the hairdressing about 1935.

AW So, he was a barber?


AW Where did he have his store?

Down in the bottom end of the street, it's just above that house where Bob Lawrence is living. There's two houses on the bottom of the street there before them.

AW Yes, the corner of Coral Street?

Yes, well there was a little shop there.

AW In the corner of the drapery?

No, I reckon it was in between where that house is in there.

AW So, it's been demolished now?

Yes, there was a little shop there. It used to be in the years and years and years ago, it was a little, I don't know, they used to sell lollies and things like that. Col Shapter had it and they used to sell lollies and things like that anyway. So, he started there then he went up to where Nagy is. Up to the Then he used to have a book maker in the back of the shop.

AW Did he have a barber's pole up the front?

Oh yes, he had the side pole.

AW I understand that he used to cut women's hair as well?

Yes, he cut everybody's hair.

AW Would he cut styles?

Oh, did anyone want styles in those days?

AW Well, in the thirties women were very.., that's when women started having short hair and the bulk looking stuff.

I don't think Steve was very style conscious. He only liked the short back and sides, because he didn't like the long hair. I had an old photo in there and in this window of the shop, it had casket thirty, and I think it was about, I don't know whether it was two hundred and something. He had the casket agency. So, I thought that's a long time ago.

AW We'll have to get a copy of that, then that would be a good photo to have. And you were saying Steve sold the casket from his shop.

He was the first casket agent up there in Maleny.

AW Talking of fashion, were there ever any fashion stores in Maleny?

Not really, not boutiques. They sold dresses. Mostly people made their own. I don't know. They sold a lot of material. The same as Betty Dieffenbach has down there now.

AW When you were in your teens, was there a favourite cafe or milk bar that you used to all congregate at?

I don't know. In the early stages, it was only McLean's and then later that became Shaw's. They used to go there.

AW That would have been in the era of the big bands?

Yes, probably.

AW So, that's where you got your taste for jazz music from?

Well, I used to go up to McLean's. No, they didn't have music I don't think.

AW No?

I don't think so. I more or less went to McLean's if I wanted a drink or anything like that.

AW When you were working?

Yes. I don't think people congregated around. Not like now, did they? They just came in for what they want and went home. I think they were in and out. I think there was always too much to do at home.

AW So, you think we've got too much free time these days?

I think we have. Don't you?

AW I don't know. I don't think I have enough.

No, well you don't. Not at your age. But I think that the trouble with the kids, I think that they've got not enough to do really.

AW Right, that's true.

I don't think they congregated. Perhaps more when my kids were little, they went to the creek. They didn't bother about.....

AW Milk bars?

No, no. They didn't have enough money. There was no money then. If you got threepence, you know, you had a shilling. Good heavens!

AW You were rich?

I'd say! But you can go to the pictures. My kids went to the pictures. I think they were the only ones and John Grigor. They went Wednesdays and Saturdays nights, because Steve used to put the posters up in the shop that the Pictures were coming. And I think the kids got a free pass. But they didn't because they used to get two shillings in the early stages.

AW For pocket money each?

No, that was two shillings to go to the pictures. And that was one threepence to go in and ninepence for a packet of minties or whatever.

AW Was that between the four of them?

No, they'd have two shillings each. And they used to go Wednesdays and Saturdays. But then later on when they were putting the pictures up; (this was before Ben Bennett) when they were putting the pictures up for Ben Bennett, they got a free pass for the pictures.

AW Now, where would the pictures be held?

They were in the hall.

AW The School of Arts?

Before it was burnt out.

AW No, it wasn't burnt until the '50's. Was it? '51 I think.

Yes, that would be right.

AW And that's when McLean's Cafe was burnt?

Because my kids were born in 1938, '40 and '42. Yes, they were only little blokes but Steve used to go down with them to the pictures.

AW So, you had four children, didn't you?

But one was seven years later. The others were more or less; she was reared like an ..............

AW Was she?

Yes, because they were away at boarding school by the time she went to school.

AW Now, what were your children's name?

Brian, Stephen, Tony and Lenor.

AW Have you got any sons that live in the area now?

No, one is in Sydney, one is in is in New Castle.

AW So, all the Bryces that are here now are relatives of your father's brothers.

Yes. The only Bryces now that are living here are Isabelle and old Quinne lives and she was married to Kevin, and then Colin and myself.

AW Now, is Harvey Bryce related to the same..

Oh, Harvey that is here in Maleny, yes.

AW Who was his farther?

Bill, my brother Bill, the eldest brother. Harvey's there then. He's going out to Witta now, he was down where the dam is going to be.

AW He was down in Baroon Pocket?

Yes. Does the dam affect you?

AW Yes, we're getting flooded.

Are you?

AW Yes.

Oh, that's bad luck.

AW Now, on holidays in Caloundra. How often would you go down?

Well, we went every Christmas.

AW For how long?

About six weeks, usually.

AW That would have been a nice holiday.

Yes, we used to go for the holidays. And Dad used to fish, he loved fishing. Mum used to knit all the time. She always had a pair of socks in her hand or something to knit.

AW So, had you always gone to Caloundra as a child?

Yes. I don't know how old, but I wasn't very old when we first went down in the buggy.

AW And how long would it take?

All day. Two horses and..........................and we did. And there weren't many shops there. There was a little shop; Rinaldi's was down in the Black Flat, we used to call it the Black Flat.

AW Now, where is Black Flat?

That's down in know where Tripcony's....?

AW Caravan Park?

Yes, well Tripcony's used to have a jetty there. Well, Rinaldi's was on the opposite side of the road. They were on the side, that must have been about where Coles in, that place, now. When the Black Flat was down, we used to call it the opposite side there.

AW Do you know why they called it Black Flat?

No, I don't. No, haven't got a clue.

AW So, when you went to Caloundra first, there was just Rinaldi's?

.................if you get in touch with that Mrs Ron Myers, I don't know if she'd talk to you, she might.

AW So, she'd remember a lot of that?

Of course, yes. They used to live down in the, well we used to call it the Black Flat, round that area. They had a house there. And they used to go down to Caloundra every holidays.

AW So, you grew up with the Myer's children?

No, it wasn't the Myers, it was the Layts. Well, we didn't grow up together, but we knew them when we were kids.

AW So, were there many people from Maleny that would go to Caloundra for holidays?

Oh, I would say in those day. There was Patermores, they had a house down there. The McLean's had a house down there. And we used to stay in Skerman' was only a little slab.

AW Now, was that John Skerman from the Butter Factory?


AW And where was that?

It's round the Post Office area, just in, closer to the beach than the Post Office, but beyond this way more or less.

AW So, further down toward King's Beach?

Yes. Pattemore's had their house there.

AW And would you buy your food down there or take it with you?

We'd take a fair bit but we'd buy what we ran out of. Of course I remember when we were just about to come home once, and I went down to Rinaldi's and asked for half a pound of butter and he

AW Why?

Well, half a pound of butter, you wouldn't buy half a pound of butter.

AW What would you buy?

A pound of butter. And you wouldn't buy a pound of sugar or anything like that. You can only be buying in big lots. But then there was another shop round on the King's Beach there. It was run by Farlow and Henzell.

AW And they had a shop?


AW Down at King's Beach?


AW Was Fristrom's cordial factory running when you were in Caloundra?

Yes. Fristrom's had a shop there too. I think Fristrom's had it before Farlow and Henzell. They had a little shop there.

AW Now, who would take care of the farm while you were all on holidays?

Dad used to. And when the boys got older, they used to stay home. And Dad always employed someone to take over for the holidays. But he was ......he used to get drunk. One of them used to get drunk all the time.

AW So, the boys would do all the work?

Yes. He'd be there.

AW So, who was that?

I think his name was Charlie Gray. He was an ex jockey. Very polite man but he used to like the grog. What did he do? "Now, now little one," he used to say to us. "Now, now little one. Now, now little one, must not be rude." He was a very polite man.

AW And he used to teach you your manners?

Manners, yes. That's right.

AW You were telling me that you found a pearl once down at Tripcony's?

Yes, I found a pearl.

AW Whereabouts was that?

I think it was on the jetty, in the...........just looking for stones to throw in the water and I picked this up and I thought well, this is special. I took it and showed it to my Mother. And she said, "Oh, that's a pearl, don't throw that away." So, we got it into a broach now.

AW Oh, so where did you get that done? You had a broach made.

Nambour. Yes over in Nambour, Glasgow's Jewellery in Nambour. Mother wanted another new ring but Glasgow talked her out of that. It was easier to make it into a broach. But anyway it's a nice broach.

AW You were telling me that your father was bitten by a stone fish. What do you call it?

We call it devil fish.

AW And he didn't die?

No, they kept him running away, they said, "Oh, man went mad when he got bitten by one of those. But Dad just cut it himself.

AW Who said a man went mad?

Oh, the kids that were down there on the beach. The kids that live there. The locals, they said; "Oh, someone got bitten by one last year and he went mad." And anyway, Dad didn't even go to a doctor.

AW And he cut it and just sucked the poison out?

The boys must have been down there then because; they must have had someone on the farm at that stage because they were fishing and that's when they got the line snagged and he went in and.....

AW And that's when he got......

Yes, it was the devil fish........stone fish as they call them now.

AW Were there any bitumen on the roads in Caloundra when you first went down?

I don't think so. No, it was all mud. Rain and mud, it was really a mess.

AW So, you'd go down the beach when it was pouring?

Yes, we used to play around. I never learned to swim though. I was petrified of the water. I didn't perhaps go in to swimming much.

AW Do you ever remember the water or the surf breaking through the end of Bribie Island? I've heard rumours that may have happened?

No, no. I don't remember that.

AW So, was Caloundra highlight your year?

Yes, it was really. Actually, we didn't think much of it but my Father loved it. He loved going down there to fish. That was his.....

AW Well, it would be a total contrast of working in a dairy farm?

Yes. He worked hard. Yes, that was our holiday for the year. I suppose we had a good holiday. Just to live on fish.

AW What about tourism in the old days?

No, I don't think it was ever sort of..

AW Well, Maleny had all these boarding houses and guest houses. There was Cook's boarding house and Sallaway's boarding house?

Yes, they had Bank boys living in those. You know, people worked in the Bank, they lived at the boarding house. I don't think they lived at Cook's very much. I don't know who lived in Cook's house.

AW Now, Cook's boarding house is the present day Maleny Guest Lodge that they've just done up?

Yes, it's lovely. It was nice really.

AW And what about Brightside Guesthouse, run by Mrs Dompsch?

Oh yes. People used to come up to there.

AW At Bald Knob?


AW Did you ever go there and have a look?

No. I went to Montville. We used to ride to Montville.

AW How did you get to Montville?

Ride a horse.

AW But did you go Balmoral road?

No. We used to go down Bridge Creek, down to Baroon Pocket, and up Mill Hill Road.

AW Why didn't you go round the other way?

I don't think there was a road there then, was there?

AW When did you go to Montville?

There wasn't a road through to, then. I'm talking about when (I should have shown you a photo of Peg and I) we used to walk out .................We used to have parties, riding parties. And we used to go over to ....

AW Eaton.

But there's another place too, Manchelda.

AW There's Montville house, there's Eaton.

It was Manchelda.

AW I don't remember that one. And what would you do when you got there?

We'd have a meal.

AW Really?

Yes, that was two shillings, I think.

AW And this would be in the middle of the night or..?

No, at the day time. We used to ride a horse over. It would be about, oh well, might be ten or a dozen of us, or a bit more.

AW And who would you go with? You were saying Peg, is that Peg Bennett?

Yes, and I think that Ron Rickerby..........couple of Bank boys I think. I don't know whether Steve ever went.

AW So, this is before you were married?


AW Did you ever play bowls over there because they had a bowling green in front of Eaton?

No. There was one place there that was a lookout up on the top.

AW Oh, that's presently Misty's restaurant. Did you go up there?

Yes, we used to go there.

AW An old man called Smith used to own that. An old seaman, an American.

I don't know, I forget the name of the people that owned it but we went over there. I thought it was Manchelda or some name like that.

AW Did you have any relatives living?

Yes, over there.

AW Who are you related to over there?

Well, my Mother was related to...oh, what's her name?

AW Ruth Laverick.

Yes, that's right.

AW I remember you saying that the other day. Now, Ruth Laverick is a very famous woman because she was the first white woman to live in Baroon Pocket.

Yes. Well, her daughter, we used to go over there. They grew strawberries and all sorts of things. And then my Mother's sister was married to one of the Butts.

AW Oh yes. Which Butt?

She was married to Harry Butt, (the photo I showed to you). Well, then George Butt; but ..........lived over at Montville, so we used to go over there,..........our family. We used to ride horse over there. Come back with lots of oranges, strawberries. Quite often over to Montville, we used to have riding parties over there. And we used to ride down to Baroon Pocket and go to the narrows and things like that. That was our outing.

AW So, of course Baroon Pocket, the narrows has been flooded for this Baroon Pocket dam and I read somewhere that just before the war in 1939 that they decided they were going to build the dam there. Do you remember any of that?


AW Yes, just before the war and they'd already decided, "Yes, we're going to do it."

They were going to do it after the First World War.

AW Were they as well?

Yes, they had planned earlier.

AW What was the feeling in the community?


AW Yes.

I don't know.

AW What about later on?

I don't know. I don't think that they were worried about it because water always plentiful. Well, out home, we had lots of tanks. And everybody had lots of tanks. Well, not lots of tanks; they'd have about four thousand gallons. But you see, lots of people didn't have showers. We used to have a shower.............

AW But in the old days, why would they need a dam?


AW Yes, because they'd need it for the coast. They wouldn't need it for up here.

No, we didn't need it. So, I don't know but I think that the idea was for the coast in those days.

AW So, that was future planning?

Yes, I think so. I don't think that it was for Maleny because they can't use this up here. And we never seem to have been out of water from this dam because they've never used the up dam, have they?

AW No.

They've never used the up the top. They've only used the one dam, up there.

AW On the Obi?

Yes, up there.

AW Well, that's just a weir on the creek.

Yes, but we've never been short of water.

AW What do you think of them damming the narrows?

I think it's great to have the dam.

AW Do you?

It's great for the coast.

AW What about the beautiful area that's going under water?

I still think there's a lot of other beautiful land. I think the coast need water. I really do. But now they tell me that Beerwah and Landsborough are not getting it which is sad, really. I don't know because I think people will get used to it; it was good farms and everything now, you know, going under water. But see, that happened up at Esk too, up Summerset dam but that land wasn't as good as this, was it?

AW Baroon Pocket is renowned as being an excellent growing area.

It is.

AW It's always a very contentious issue especially in a farming area, a decision such as this.

Yes, but I think in the long term it will be alright. I don't know, you were going to go, how much of your land going out from this?

AW I don't quite know how much this, we've got quite a lot of land that's going under.

Will you get....?

AW We'll be compensated.

They don't compensate you enough.

AW Oh, they can't replace, like there's nothing that can replace that beautiful forest.


AW Because it doesn't grow back. It would mean another hundred years to grow back.

That's right, they can't compensate that. No, I know that. But I think that for the coast, really, you've got to have water. Don't you?

AW So, when you were riding over through Baroon Pocket, that means that the Balmoral road as we know it today, wasn't built?

No, I don't think it was.

AW Where would, there's an area I've heard of called Highlands?

Yes, that's the Highland. I think it's over there. Well, I'd say, what I knew of the Highlands was where O'Connor's used to live, Lambs used to live. You know Bingham's go out that way on the road to ...

AW the Rainforest Park?

No, it's further on from the Rainforest Park. That was about the highlands, when Lamb's lived there. But they had a tennis court. We used to play tennis there.

AW When you'd play tennis, how would you get out there?

Ride a horse or go in a sulky.

AW Well, there's a farm, a big dairy farm on Balmoral Road. I don't know when it was running, I'd say it would have been pre war. Because I know that the road was built during World War Two by Australian soldiers.

There was a road out so far, out to the highlands, but I don't think it went right through to Montville. I think the only that I remember going down and up, but the highlands where that was, was Lamb's, they were this side. Bingham's went in through where the Rainforest Park is. Well, Bingham's go off there too, don't they? Rainforest Park goes that way and Bingham's go that way. And then this road that went straight ahead went to Lamb's.

AW And they are the ones right up on top of the hill, were they?


AW And the road actually went round the side of the cutting.


AW So that's the big farm.

Yes, it was Mannion's on the top.

AW Ah! that's probably it.

Mannion's was right up on the top.

AW Well, you know where Mary Burgum is now, that's the farm to the north on the next to....

That was Mannion's.

AW How did they get there? Did the road go to their place?

Must be, I don't know.

AW Because I've always wondered how on earth they got their cream in to Maleny.

They got a pack saddle, packhorse.

AW Gee, ...............making a lot of money out of it, you bother doing that.

Burgums I think they brought theirs on packhorse.

AW Now, whereabouts did Burgums live in relation to where Mary lives on the hill to the south of...

They lived all there, was all around that area.

AW Down to the Obis?

Yes, but they used to bring in on the old packhorse. Because he got drowned out there on the Obi. See, they had to cross the creek.

AW There's some very good pasture flats down, right down the bottom of that hill down there.

Yes, I don't think the road was there. I don't know how far that road went out. Mary would tell you that.

AW Now, do you ever remember any Aboriginals living in the area?

No, not really.

AW What about Dick Button?

Oh, he worked for Flesser's. He used to just work for Ian Webster. He was a Hindu man. Santa Singh was another...

AW Oh, he wasn't Aboriginal at all?

Yes, Dick Button was Aboriginal.

AW Santa Singh, now where did he live?

Well, he had a bit of property out there at Wootha. He was a Hindu man.

AW I heard that Mrs Webster used to make Dick wear white coat and gloves.

I think she used to in the old days.

AW And have her driven around in the car.

In the car? Sulky.

AW He was driving a sulky?

Oh, yes.

AW Do you know of any other Indians living in the area?

No, I don't.

AW I heard there were some at north Maleny.

Further over I think. I don't know. Santa Singh, I think he had a bit of property. I don't know what he did for a living.

Tape 2/Side 2

AW Entertainment?

Oh yes.

AW Riding horses and..

Went to Montville and playing tennis and..

AW You told me about roller skating in the Miller's cafe?

Yes, there's roller skating.

AW Now, that's where the antique is now.


AW What about the speed way. There was a bike racing speed way I understand held.

Yes, there used to be.

AW Now, where was that?

I don't know.

AW You weren't in to motorbikes?

I wasn't in to motorbikes then. Wasn't my forte.

AW So, you played tennis. There must have been a lot of tennis courts around the area.

Yes, there was one at Witta that we used to play and we used to play at Maleny and Reesville and the Highlands. We used to play out at the Highlands, that was Ned Lamb's team. They were good teams.

AW Did you wear white?

Oh yes. They were good teams. They had good tennis players. Very good tennis players at Witta.

AW Did you have tournaments?

Oh yes.

AW Did you get little trophies and everything?

Oh yes. Lots of trophies and lots of tennis. Oh, there were lots of fixtures and things like that. We used to play every week.

AW Now, whereabouts were the tennis courts that you played in actually at Maleny?

Down at the same place.

AW Show grounds?


AW Right, the same place.

We used to have a footbridge across there.

AW From where?

From the factory. We used to go down behind the factory. A footbridge that got washed away a few times and then they decided not to build it again.

AW While we're talking about the show grounds, do you remember any trees been planted on special occasions down the show grounds?

No, I don't.

AW See, I've heard rumours that .............probably planted a few of those camphor laurels along there.

Oh, he could have.

AW I was trying to find out for the Show Society who planted what trees. You don't remember?

No, I didn't plant any trees down there.

AW Did you plant any trees at all, any historic trees?


AW You didn't plant any of these camphor laurels over here at school?

Oh no. I think I stood back while somebody planted them.

AW Did you?

I don't know. There was one planted every Arbor day. We used to have an Arbor day.

AW Right. Only one.


AW So, all those trees over there represent one year of Arbor day?

There's a horse paddock over there.

AW Were all the children riding to school. That's where you'd keep your horse when you were riding?

Riding to school, yes. There were all about, oh gosh, there could have been fifty horses. Could have been a lot of horses there.

AW Did you see the bridge over the Obi?

Which bridge over the Obi?

AW The earliest one you can remember under water?

I did see it ones. I don't know when. It got washed away ones.

AW Did it?


AW Do you remember that or is it something you've been told.

Probably I was told.

AW When you were really young...

No, I don't think there was a bridge there for a long time. I can't remember, no.

AW Do you remember Tesch's Blacksmith shop being where Tesch Park is today?

I don't remember Tesch's.

AW Who was there when..?

Smith, Ted Smith. Yes, was there when I worked at Tytherleigh's, it was Ted Smith. He used to shoe my horse. I used to have to take the horse down there in a month or so.

AW So, how long ago was all that building down there pulled down and it became a Park?

That's not so long ago, is it?

AW Is it? I don't know.

I'd say not so long ago. I forget I'm seventy four. No, it's not so long ago.

AW What, ten years?

Oh, it'd be more than that.

AW Twenty years?


AW So, there's always been a business there in the history of Maleny except for the.......?

Where's that?

AW Down where Smith used to be.

Yes, it was just a blacksmith shop. I think the blacksmith was the last one there. That's a long time ago.

AW He's the last bloke there?

No, Bill Langdal started then down there at McKillop's.

AW Bill who?

Langdal. Yes, he started down there near Snow McKillop's shop (in Coral Street) and then he finished up there near where Cook's bakery was, next to that.

AW Where was Cook's bakery?

Where the ................Winston Johnson and those offices (1994 Next to A.N.Z. Bank in Maple Street)

AW So, that big white building on the corner there..?

That was Cook's bakery.

AW Oh, I see. Now, which Cook's that?

No, that's just Lawrie Cook, they came from Toowoomba.

AW It's not real Cook?

No. Langdal started there, that's next to where (what's there now) a tyre a place or whatever.

AW Yes.

Well, that's where Langdal started his..

AW Blacksmith shop?

Yes. I know Cooks kicked up a fuss. Put in a complaint.

AW Why?

He didn't want horses there near the bake house.

AW Next to their bakery?

Yes, anyway that finished that.

AW So, when you were married in 1937, whereabouts did you get married?

I got married in Brisbane.

AW Why did you get married in Brisbane when all your family's up here?

I think my husband's family were in Brisbane.

AW Can you remember, your wedding gown, if your mother made it or you bought it?

No, I bought it.

AW Can you remember how much that was?

No, I can't. It was about twenty pounds I think. It was a hell of a lot of money. It was about twenty pounds I think.

AW You were telling me that you can remember the price of the bouquets?

The bouquets were twelve and six and seven and six.

AW So, twelve and six was the bridal bouquet?

AW And what flowers did you have in that?

Oh, multi colours. There was flowerwhite, there were daisies and dahlias and roses and, oh just white flowers.

AW Right. So, they were what was in fashion at that time?

I suppose so. They were the flowers of the day. My bridesmaid was just all pink radiance roses. They were beautiful.

AW That sounds nice. And did you rent a house, you and Steve?

No, we bought this house.

AW This house here?


AW In Miva Street.


AW Who owned it before you?

A fellow by the name of Harry Jones. He worked for McGee's. He used to work at McGee's shop.

AW So, do you know if built the house?

Well, he had it built. He didn't build it but I don't know who built it. I have a feeling it was Battle and Richardson.

AW Were they local?

Yes, they lived at Bald Knob. I have a feeling it was Richardson and Battle or Battle and Richardson. They built it. I'm not sure but anyway, that's fifty years ago, isn't it?

AW So, you settled down here and started to have your family. Now, you said you started full time work again in 1947, so the first, say ten.....

'47, '48 it was.

AW So, the first eight years of your married life, you didn't work then?

I worked on and off. I used to go back to Tytherleigh's every now and again when things needed straightening out or something; somebody needed help or..

AW And your children went to the Maleny school over the road?


AW Right. Now, the depression hit really badly in the country areas between '32 and '35, how did you manage?

Of course, I wasn't married then, I was working. I was married in '37.

AW Oh, that's right. So, you were still at home when the depression hit?

That's why I had to work so hard.

AW Why's that?

Because there were so many people out of work and they'd hang that over your head, wouldn't they? They'd say, "Somebody else would take your job if you can't do it."

AW Really?

I don't know. I think those sort of things went on. But we didn't feel the depression really, because we had food. But a lot of people ............during the depression.

AW Were there many vagrants or swaggies?

I think there were a few. I think it was at that stage that Steve.........his swag for a while.

AW Did he?

Up at Gladstone.

AW Really?

Yes, he went cotton picking. Yes, he went at that stage.

AW So, there wasn't enough money being a barber?

No, he wasn't a barber then. He came back about 1935 and started barbering. But he........he swag for I think 1932, you know in that depression years when there was no work. There wasn't much work you know.

AW Did he ever tell you any tales of what it was like living on the road?

No, because used to tell talltales and truth.

AW So, you know what was truth and what wasn't.

He used to tell the kids how he lived in hollow logs and; he never did I don't think. But he was up in Gladstone a fair bit. In from Gladstone where there were cotton. They were growing cotton, used to pick cotton and any jobs that you can get.

AW So, right just after the depression and everybody is recovering from the depression and next thing you know, the war hit?

Yes, I think that recovered everybody.

AW The war?


AW What, brought them back down to ground?

Well, I think that there was money all of a sudden. They make money for war, don't they? Don't you think?

AW Well, they usually create a depression; a war too.


AW ............out of the depression. Were there many men from the Maleny area that went off to war?

I don't know, really.

AW Did you have any brothers that went to war?

What, the second war? Yes, I had two, Bill and Colin went to the war. Bill went overseas, Colin didn't.

AW Who ran the farm?

Dad was still running the farm then, Dad and Mum with a bit of help from my sister and I when they got sick.

AW Now, what about, you were telling me that you had a land army girl out here?

Yes, we did.

AW The land army, tell me a little bit about that because I don't know much about the land army.

I don't know much about it, I think her father bought a hotel. She was a good worker. She, I think did everything; milked and fed calves and..

AW And would she be paid or was this just her war effort?

Well, I can't remember really. It wasn't her war effort. I think that Dad would have had to pay her but Colin might have known more about it. I don't know whether she was paid by Dad or by the army because a few land army girls came up here. And they were, well I suppose she wasn't a girl who was used to milking cows and everything but I think that was her effort for the war probably.

AW Now, also the war changed the pace of Maleny because you got power in 1939.

Did we?

AW Yes, or there abouts.

Yes, that's right because 1938 Brian was born in 1938. And they had a lantern at the front door of the hospital, threw shadows and everything. There was no electric light up there. They must have had a night light or a petrol light or something.

AW Gloria gas lights?

Yes, because we had them at home.

AW The gloria plant?

Yes. Night light we had. It was opposition to the gloria I think.

AW Oh, is that what it's called, night light?


AW I thought you were meaning they had going all night.

Oh no. Well, it was night light that we had at home I think. I think the gloria was....

AW So that was still a petrol run system?

Yes, and we used to have to fill it up and pumped it up and we had a...when I look back you know I mean we had mod cons, didn't we? Because we had a gas ring to run..

AW ...............

No, well boil your water and then you cook. Yes, you could cook. It was like a farmer's but it was run from the light thing that was part of the light. And we had the light in the kitchen and the dining room and the lounge and Mum's bedroom. And we had these good lights.

AW But that was very modern because most people would have been using aladin lamps and ..........lamps.

Yes, well we had aladin lamps too but we had this gas ring. It was fantastic. I don't why we didn't blow ourselves up on it or anything like that but they were great. Do you remember those?

AW No, I've seen old houses that have got the old gas and I thought they were gas lights but I've found out since that they were these petrol run gloria lights. And they still had a mantle.


AW And they still had a mantle.

Yes, they had a mantle.

AW I always thought they were gas lights.

No, no.

AW They're still been by gas of a sort.

Yes, that's right.

AW So when power came to Maleny..

Must have been...after second World War, we must have had power in Maleny.

AW So that would have been exciting to suddenly have electric lights here.

Yes, it was.

AW Did you have many street lights in the town when it first came in?

Did we have any? I don't know. I can't remember because I was never in the town. Peg would have known that whether they had street lights.

AW But you lived right next to the town here?


AW Yes were living here?

Oh yes. But I was living here I wasn't down the street.

AW You didn't go down the street?

My husband..........because he opened the shop at night. He used to go down there and played cards. I don't know. He opened the shop anyway. But no, I never went down the street at night time. I was too busy with three kids.

AW The threat of Japanese invasion, when did you take that seriously or did you take it seriously?

Well, we had to take it seriously because we had those air raid shelters.

AW Now, where were they?

There was one over here. Just not this house, the next door house at the back yard. The one there. They dug a big hole out there and boarded it up and we used to pop down in there. Had tins of jam and whatever, loaves of bread I suppose. I don't know. We had all sorts of food there. I know there was one down here.

AW So two doors down in the vacant paddock..?

Where? Down here?

AW Yes, in Miva street.

Yes, I don't know whether it's still there. But of course it was there a few years ago.

AW And did the residents build that or was that a council thing?

No, the residents built it.

AW And did you have a siren, an air raid siren?

Yes, they had an air raid siren. But I think they just more or less went off to practise.

AW Did you ever have any Japanese plane that actually flew over?

No, not that I know of, no.

AW Now, what about in 1943 when the Centaur, the hospital was torpedoed?

No, I can't remember that. No, I perhaps didn't want to remember it.

AW It was too real for you, the threat of invasion?

Yes, well I suppose I had three kids then and you know, you're busy, aren't you? I never thought about it very much. And you see, my husband wasn't away in the war or anything like that. It wasn't hitting me, you know. So, I suppose it would be different if you had family in the war.

AW Now, what about knitting socks and that sort of thing. Did you do any of that?


AW You were just busy having babies?

I had children. I wasn't a knitter anyway. My Mother was a knitter. My Mother probably knitted sock, I don't know. I can't remember.

AW You were telling me that Steve, your husband, Steve Guthrie taught children how to swim down here in the Obi?

That was down at the Flagstone Crossing.

AW Now, that's where the bridge is at the present day, or is it a little bit further up?

It was right up that crossing and where that bridge is. Yes, it was right there. He used to take them swimming every Saturday and Sunday.

AW Now, this was in the forties, was it?

Yes, it probably would be and my kids would have been '38 Brian was born. Yes, he would have been about seven or eight. So, it would have been about 1946 that he used to take all these kids down and....

AW teach them to swim?

Yes. A couple of them could swim. The Cash's could swim. There was a little girl, Irish Cash, she had a heart condition. And she used to stand up in that water, she'd be there all day and she'd blue. She'd be blue in her ears, she was blue. But anyway, she lived to be about twenty one. But she had a very bad heart condition I suppose.

AW So, she was what, they regarded her as a blue baby?

I don't know really because it was just this heart condition that made that way. But you know in those days nothing was done about the heart. Probably nowadays, you can live. But she used to swim, she used to love to swim. But John could swim, but the others were just neighbour's kids, all the neighbours around.

AW What about morals? In the old days, like you said that man, that worked for your father, he used to always say, "Now Lacey, let me teach you your manners." Was that a very important part of a child's upbringing?

Oh well, to have good manners?

AW Yes.

Of course.

AW And high moral standards?

Yes, I'd say so. Well, he used to be a jockey this fellow but he was probably well brought up. But drink got the better of him.

AW What about attitude towards women smoking?

I don't know.

AW Did you ever smoke cigarettes?

I tried once.

AW When was that?

Oh, when I was about seventeen I suppose.

AW So there was sort of pressure on?

No, I don't think anyone put pressure on me not to smoke. But I used to get a bad throat and I'd think why put up with a sore throat just to have a cigarette. Couldn't be bothered. Do you smoke?

AW No.

Did you ever?

AW Little while.

Did you? Yes, Lenor my daughter is a heavy smoker. But she is giving it up. She did give it up once and she's giving it up again. She told me she's going to a gym now. You know, spend that $10 a week on her gym.

AW What about attitudes in the community towards say, unmarried mothers?

I don't know much about that really. I think that they didn't like it. Well, I don't think they were very sympathetic to the unmarried mothers really.

AW Why's that?

Don't know.

AW What about people living in defacto relationships?

I don't think they ever did in those days, did they?

AW Well, it was well known that A.C.K. Cooke had a mistress and that when he moved to town. I've actually read it in the newspaper recently. That was tolerated by the community?

It was tolerated by the community for the simple reason that I think his wife tolerated it. And I think, well I don't know. He perhaps would not have had the mistress. She wasn't less...she was a housekeeper I would say.

AW Which one did he call "little mother"?

She was the "little mother". But if the big mother, (I just thought about that the other day) because if...he always said that she would rather feed the pigs and the animals than go out with him you know. And I think that if she had dressed up and gone to his..because he was social, he was in things. And if she was..would have been happy to go out with him to these things, he would have been happy to take her. But I think that because she wasn't. She didn't want to do that. It wasn't her bit.

AW Because he had a big family, didn't he?

Yes, he did have a big family. Very kind lady, his wife.

AW Which is the one who liked to stay at home and do all the household chores, that was his wife?

His wife.

AW Right. So, it was little mother who was the one that he took out socially?

Yes, and I think the wife condoned it. I don't think she cared. As long as she didn't have to go.

AW When he first got the boarding house, was that his home or did he have it built as a boarding house?

I think it was their home.

AW Because they had nine children or so, didn't they?

But they lived on a farm when I knew them.

AW Whereabouts was that?

Out at Witta. Bill Cooke used to, they used to ride horses with us.

AW So, Bill Cooke's one of A.C.K. Cooke's sons?

Yes. They had .........all that property out the back there. Right up there where the Baptist church is, right up there. That was all Cooke's.

AW In town?

Yes, they owned that. Because the used to put their horses there, down there at the Baptist church, you know, put them in the paddock there. But they didn't put their horses here in the school paddock. When they rode in they rode and put their horses in there.

AW Because they had..........down the road?

Yes, they had a farm out there. I have a feeling it was Colin's. Ray Collins bought it.

AW Talking about the Baptist church, was that there when you were a child?

I think it was always there.

AW With all the beautiful coloured glass?

Yes, I think that was there.

AW Always been there?


AW Now the hall up the road which is now the Veterinary surgery...?

Well, that was the Masonic.

AW The Masonic Lodge?


AW I wonder why they ever moved?

Oh, they wanted something fancy I suppose.

AW Oh, I think that old hall is beautiful.

Yes, well they wanted something fancy.

AW Oh dear, I think the one they replaced it with is rather terrible but anyway...

It's not the same, is it?

AW Was your father a mason?


AW Did he go into town?

Yes, he used to ride into town.

AW Were most of the men in the community in the Masonic Lodge?

Oh no. They weren't Catholics so.............I know the Catholic.

AW Was there any been ostracised because you married a Catholic?

Oh no. My parents weren't a bit upset about it and Isabel's mother and father who are very, very strong Presbyterians, they didn't care a bit. They don't care as long as people go to church. They're very good living people. You know, christians.

AW What was Isabel's father name?


AW He was Ben Bryce?


AW Was he your father's older brother?

No, my father's uncle.

AW Alright. So they weren't brothers at all?

No, but they were related because of uncle's nephew and Mum and his wife were sisters.

AW Alright. So what was your mother's name?


AW Maude Bridge?


AW Now, where did she come from?


AW She was related to Ruth Laverick you were saying from Montville. How was she related to Ruth?

I think through the mother's side of the family. She was aunty Laverick, and I don't know, Isabel would be able to tell you that.

AW So you had relatives all over the place round here?

Yes, plenty of them. Couldn't talk about anybody. I don't want to talk about them.

AW They're all relatives? So what do you think is different. Do you think today's generations or today's generation, say the ones in their teens have as much responsibility?

I think they do.

AW As your generation?

Yes, I think they do. Yes, I really do. They're better educated. Well, I don't know. They go to school longer but I think you learn an awful lot when you leave school if you want to. They got more opportunities. But on the whole, they are responsible, most of them. There are the few that don't want to work and they could work if they wanted to. I'm quite sure they can get jobs. Or if their parents cared more, even when my kids were going to Nudgee, they sat for all exams. They sat the bank exams, the Commonwealth Bank exam. They sat for the Public service, they sat for Railway exams and all those sort of things.

AW Remember you were telling me how your sons, when your husband was sick that your children helped you immensely, like milking cows.


AW Do you think children today would do that?

Some might if they had to. But my son was.. I don't think either the elder one or the younger one would have been able to do it. Stephen would have been the only one in my family that would have been (I don't know what you call it); he said I taught to him to work, how to work. I think it did. I think it depends on the families. Now, my Father was a worker. I think my brother across the road is a worker; a doer, you know, I think I am and a survivor. I think now Colin's got a son that could do anything, you know. want something done, it's done. Perhaps he's the eldest only one in that family. I think I only had one in my family. Well, in my family out of eight of us, I think Colin and I, more or less were the doers. You know, it runs in families, don't you?

AW So, it's really just the chemistry of that individual, it's not generations at all?

I don't know. I think it is that chemistry in that person. And I think there are some people now; that's why there are leaders everywhere. That's what I really think because I think stamina; I think that perhaps Colin and I have more stamina than the rest of our family. I don't know because I think Dad had it.

AW Do you think that we have it too easy today? That we haven't known the hard times?

I don't think you have it too easy. No, I don't know. I don't really think so. I think that no matter how you see your habit you still have the responsibilities. Don't you think. I don't know. I don't think there's a big different. I know we perhaps had to work longer to get things done but these days there an awful lot of boredom. I mean people now vacuum their house perhaps ones a week or ones a fortnight. When I had three kids and went to work I used to have to get up and sweep that house out and wash the floors on Saturdays and Sundays and do my washing at night time and hang it out. And it would be done the next day. But now you just throw it into a washing machine and that's it. But you're never bored. It didn't kill anybody, did it?

AW No, I don't think so. What I was just trying to work out, I've heard a lot of elderly people say that they feel the younger generation have had it too easy and that they don't know what it is to have a hard time. And I can see both sides of the argument because there's modern technology giving us all this time saving devices, so with the time you're saving there's usually more work being created doing other things.

I don't think it spoils them. I think that no matter what, through your life time I think you have your problems.

AW Doesn't matter what upbringing you've had?

Well, I think it does help. I think love that helps everything. Solves every problem.

AW That's true. I'd have to agree with that.

No, I don't think that they have it too easy. I think, actually the younger now, my grandchildren I think perhaps in their early life's, had it too easy. But then when they've got to go out and find work they still have their problems there. And they still have to work and do their work properly. So I think it all boils down to the same thing, that you have to work and earn your money really.

AW Where do you think Maleny's future lies?

I don't know.

AW We're no longer a dairying industry?

That's sad. Although I don't know. I really think the reason that there's no longer a dairying industry; those people that owned those farms got too old to work it. The only way that they could retire on a decent level was to sell those farms.

AW And that's why sub division happened?

Yes, I think that because they didn't make enough to save enough to buy a home. And so they didn't save enough. They had families and they started their families up probably and this was the only way they had to buy their own home.

AW Now when you say started a family off, was that expected of boys of the family that the father would try and provide them a farm or some cattle or something?

I don't know whether there's a general run of the mill but it happened in our family. So, I don't know whether that was general run of the mill, most of them had to buy their farms. They might have perhaps as generous, I don't know. No, I don't know really. Well, there were eight kids of us and by the time everybody got a bit..., there wasn't much to save up. You couldn't save up to buy a house or anything. But I think Dad left the farm out there for Colin so he didn't sell it, but Colin did. But that was the only way that these people could build a house. They didn't want to go on the pension.

AW Would that have been changed if the children of the pioneers took on the farms?

No, I don't know. I don't think the children wanted to. I think perhaps they had to do too much when they were kids.

AW And that's saying too much of how their parents didn't really have a life of their own?

Yes, I think that's right. I think that they didn't want to..because I didn't like the dairy. I definitely didn't like cows and liked horses. No, I didn't like cows.

AW So what are we going to do. What's this community going to do for its income?

Just retire. Most would be retired people.

AW You think so?

There's a lot of retired people up here now, aren't they?

AW There are actually.

Because what industry is there...........?

AW Well, I've heard people talk about tourism?

What tourism?

AW Guest houses?

Yes. People might like to come up and stay for a week or two. There's a few out there now, aren't there? I've got a lady coming tomorrow that's staying out there at ...........Park. I don't know. But the Butter Factory is closing, isn't it? Next year, suppose to be closing this year but it's closing down. So that's all going to Caboolture. Well, what will it be? There's no timber. There's nothing, is there?

AW No, very few primary industries apart from the cattle industry, the beef cattle.

Yes, the beef. That's all there is. The cattle farms. So what else do we....there'd be only tour, that people come up and see the dam. I don't know. We'll be under water. Sad, sad.

AW Well, everything goes round somehow?

Yes, that's right.

AW Can you imagine Maleny ever turning out like Buderim been all sub divided?

I think it will be. I think it will finish up that way because I think Maleny is prettier than Buderim.

AW Oh it is, most definitely.

It's pretty and nicer climate or same climate probably. I think it's prettier.

AW Is there anything that you feel historically that is of important that we haven't touched on?

I don't know.

AW Just in your memory, events that have stuck in your memory?


AW Well, I'd like to thank you very much for letting me interview you today Nell.

I'm not very good.

AW It's been a pleasure.

Yes, it's been a pleasure to talk to you anyway.

Yes, I think that's right. I think that they didn't want to..because I didn't like the dairy. I definitely didn't like cows and liked horses. No, I didn't like cows.

AW So what are we going to do. What's this community going to do for its income?

Just retire. Most would be retired people. There's a lot of retired people up here now, isn't there?

AW Do you think so?

Well, what industry is there?

AW Well, I've heard people talk about Tourism.

Yes. People might like to come up and stay for a week por. two. There's a few guest houses about now, I've got a lady coming tomorrow, to visit, who is staying at Tranquil Park. You see, the Butter Factory is closing down next year some time, so that's
going to Caboolture. Well, what else will there be? There's no timber, ther's nothing, is there?

AW No, there are very few primary industries, apart from the beef cattle industry.

Yes, the beef. That's all there is, the cattle farms. So what else do we do? Ther's only tourism. People may come up to look at the dam, but I don't know, all that beauty will be under water! Sad, sad.

AW Can you imagine Maleny, ever being all sub divided, like Buderim?

I think it will be. I think it will end up that way, because Maleny is prettier than Buderim and it has a nicer climate.

AW Is there anything of historical importance, that we haven't touched on?


AW Well, I'd like to thank you very much for letting me interview you today, Nell.

It's been a pleasure to talk to you, too.

End of interview