My Parents Bryan Henry TAYLOR & Yvonne Phyllis ASHDOWN

My Parents Bryan Henry TAYLOR & Yvonne Phyllis ASHDOWN

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My father - Bryan Henry TAYLOR (1930 - 1999)

My father Bryan Taylor

My father Bryan Henry TAYLOR was a Bus Driver and Union Representative. He was born 1 on 24 Jul 1930 in Wheatley Private Hospital, Naremburn Sydney NSW Australia, the son of Felix St. George & Iris TAYLOR (nee ASHER)and was christened in St. Thomas Church of England, North Sydney. He married my mother, Yvonne Phyllis ASHDOWN in the same church on 6th Aug 1955.

He resided 3 on 6 Aug 1955 at 59 Falcon Street, Crows Nest, Sydney. He resided from 1959 to 1974 at 68 Ourimbah Road, Mosman, Sydney. He resided in 1999 at 107/155 Fisher Road North, Dee Why.

Dad passed away 2 on 17 Jul 1999 in Collaroy Nursing Home, Collaroy NSW Australia and he was cremated on 21 Jul 1999 in Northern Suburbs Crematorium, Delhi Road, North Ryde.

My father was a Civil Servant who worked in the Accounts Department of The Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission from 10 Dec 1945 until the 23 Mar 1954. He was employed as a Bus Conductor from 1954 until December 1962, starting his career with the Tramway Service where in 1953, he received an extra 4 pence an hour danger money for working the "toast racks". He stated this would "be the equivalent of 5 cents an hour" in 1999.

Dad became a qualified Bus Driver in 1962 and later a respected Driving Instructor. He was also a Union Representative for many years including in 1974 when Bob Hawke, the future Prime Minister of Australia, was head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and with whom Dad socialised with as Union Representative. (Employee NSW No. C983794 NSW Transport Authorites File # 552/312900). He retired on 13 Jul 1991 aged 61 years due to ill-health and was issued with a 'Retired Officer Gold Pass'.

As a child Bryan was an Altar Boy and when he was young he would travel to Woy Woy with his grandfather Samuel Webster ASHER by train, where his grandfather had a property. In those days it was about a six hour journey and Bryan slept on the overhead luggage racks. His grandfather would reward him with a "Red Ned", a drinkmade from Red Syrup and Lemonade for being good, at the local pub, which he loved. Many years later, when a father, Bryan would buy the same drink for his four daughters and then years later, the same drink now known as a 'Fire Engine', for his grandchildren.

My father loved fishing, tennis, football and gardening all his life and in later years loved to grow roses. He was an A'Grade tennis player and Captain of his team before his marriage and was offered to play at White City. Unfortunately his parents could not afford for him to attend. He also played football for the North Sydney Bears and competed in the 'President's Cup' in 1948. Later he also supported the Manly-Warringah Football Club and also continued to support the North Sydney Bears.

Bryan met his future wife Yvonne, whilst he was working in his second job at a milkbar at Crows Nest in the evenings. During their courtship he would walk her home to Mosman and then walk back to his parents home in Crows Nest, which was a return walk of approximately 1 & 1/2 hours.

His wife and daughters were always his first priority and therefore he was very hard-working and didn't hesitate to take on second jobs to support his family. Early in their married life, my parents lived at Giffnock Avenue, North Ryde until November 1956. Not having his own means of transportation, Dad was forced to hitchhike to work, leaving home at 3a.m emptying the "outhouses (toilets)", which involved a hard two hours of labour before putting in a day's work of broken shifts, from which he didn't arrive home until 8p.m. He decided there must be an easier way and would hide in the bushes until the "Sewerman" passed, so as to wait for the Florist.

In 1973 he had a second job as a Storeman and Packer with "Admail" an advertising company situated in Neutral Bay. He stayed with this company for approximately five years, all the while still carrying out his full-time driving duties with the NSW Transport Department. In June/July of 1973/74 my parents purchased their first home and our family moved to Unit 6/96 Ourimbah Road, Mosman.

In 1977 my parents purchased a mixed business at 566 Military Road Mosman, which operated seven days p.w from 7am-8p.m. At this time the family, except my elder sister Maureen who had married by this time, moved to the residence at the rear of the business. My parents did not sell their property at 6/96 Ourimbah Road, Mosman, but maintained the property as a rental income. Eighteen months later they purchased a second business called "The Big 20" an American Conceptual 20 flavour Ice-Cream and Hamburger Shop at 568 Military Road, Mosman. They simultaneously operated both businesses for a period of six months, during which time the "Big 20" was also opened 7 days p.w from 11am to 11pm weeknights and 11am to 3am on weekends. During the disco era of the late 70's The 'Big 20' was a popular spot for teenagers, having arcade table games such as "Space Invaders". The international celebrity Sir Harry Secombe once visited.

When their first shop was sold our family moved to the upstairs residence of 'The Big 20' and in about 1980 my parents sold their unit at 6/96 Ourimbah Road and purchased a new family home at 70 Ourimbah Road, Mosman. In approximately 1982 my parents sold 'The Big 20' and purchased their 3rd and final business, 'The Munch Box' in Falcon Street Crows Nest, which was a combined mixed grocery business and take-away food shop, opposite North Sydney Girls High School which operated seven days per week. Throughout the years my parents were in business by father acted as support to my mother, the primary operator of the business, acting as Storeman and Packer, Delivery Man, Floor Cleaner and Onion-Peeler, whilst continuing to never miss a days work in his employment as a full-time Bus Driver.

In 1991 my parents sold their home at 628 Warringah Road Forestville NSW, which was advertised in 'The Manly Daily' on 27 Jul 1991 for $219,000 and described as "Tucked about behind a high brick wall sits proudly this 3 bedroom family home with study and sunny family room which flows to level garden, fully landscaped in-ground pool, BBQ and courtyard, Large double garage".They owned this home for 4 years and my maternal grandmother Irene Sylvia ASHDOWN resided with them there.

In 1995 they sold 23/2 Forest Road Warriewood NSW, which was advertised on 24 Feb 1995 for $249,000 and described as "Sunny north facing spacious two bedroom townhouse in well maintained complex with heated pool, situated in rural setting..5 minutes from beach and shops. Features include two huge double bedrooms, walk-in wardrobe and ensuite with main, built-in in second, internal laundry, double lock-up garage with internal access and beautiful landscaped garden courtyard." and moved to Unit 107 of Dee Why Gardens Retirement Village at 155 Fisher Road North, Dee Why NSW in Sydney.

My father passed away on the 17th July 1999. The high esteem, in which he was held by his fellow workers at North Sydney Bus Depot, was demonstrated when on the day of his funeral, nine years after his retirement, a full bus complete with drivers attended his Funeral Service at Northern Suburbs Crematorium with Bus Drivers commenting to his family, that it was my father who had trained them to become Bus Drivers when they where young men. His Medical Certificate of 'Cause of Death' dated 19/7/99 was given as (1) Cardioresp Arrest - 5mins (2) Emphysema - 9 years (3) Hypertension - 17 years.

After his cremation Bryan's ashes were buried at the Rose Garden at Northern Suburbs Crematorium, North Ryde. His memorial is the back rose at Plot No.33MG18A, behind those of his grandson's Mark David SHIPTON (front rose ashes).

Bryan and Yvonne had four daughters :
i Sharon Gail TAYLOR and her twin sister, born fifteen minutes later,
ii Maureen Yvonne TAYLOR married Martin KEARY
iii Amanda Helen Mary TAYLOR. I married Paul Anthony Peter Patrick CARBERY in 1983
iv Susan Louise TAYLOR married Geoffrey Stephen TAKEN

My mother Yvonne Ashdown aged about 44 circa 1980

My mother - Yvonne Phyllis ASHDOWN

My mother Yvonne Phyllis ASHDOWN was the daughter of Arthur George & Irene Sylvia ASHDOWN (nee KEWN)

My mother Yvonne attended Middle Harbour Primary School in Mosman, like her father. She then attended Mosman High School until December 1951 when at the age of fifteen she obtained a position as an Apprentice Dressmaker and Milliner. After six months spent disliking sewing buttons and hat making, she obtained a position as an Apprentice Window Dresser for Coles Supermarket in Spit Junction. However, when a window display collapsed and spilt tomato sauce all over her, she decided to seek alternative employment and obtained a position as a Shop Assistant with Frazers Chemist at Willoughby.

It was while working at Frazers Chemist that she met her future husband Bryan Henry TAYLOR, when she bought a Chocolate Milkshake at the Milkbar in which he worked of an evening. Prior to obtaining the position at Frazers Chemist she had applied for a position with The Cremorne Orpheum Theatre, however there were no positions available at that time. Three months after she commenced working at Frazers Chemist she was offered a position by The Virgona Family who owned The Orpheum Theatre, which was closer to her home and she commenced working in their Cremorne Theatre as an Usherette during the week and on weekends at their North Sydney Theatre (which is no longer standing as it was bulldozed to make way for the Cahill Expressway). Yvonne was promoted to the position of Booking Clerk and continued to work for the Virgona Family until she became pregnant with her twin daughters, Sharon and Maureen.

On 6 Aug 1955 she resided at 10 Bray Street Mosman with her parents and younger sister Helen, at the time of their marriage at St. Thomas Church, North Sydney. Their wedding reception was held at Francis Tennis Courts in Cremorne and they spent their honeymoon in Brisbane, Queensland.

In the 1960's whilst living at 68 Ourimbah Road, Mosman, Mum worked as a Bookkeeper for Jean Wilmot whilst her daughters all attended Middle Harbour Primary School. However she was not paid a wage and worked for Mrs.Wilmot in exchange for her four daughters receiving Ballet Lessons. Mrs.Wilmot's students regularly performed concerts for the school, for which Mum would make ellaborate costumes. In the late 1960's Mum commenced working for "Admail" an advertising company situated in Neutral Bay and then in the early 1970s' she became Manager of 'Sam Herford Swim School' in Ourimbah Road Mosman and of an evening would do ironing for a laundromat and local families at 5 cents per garment, often working till 3am in the morning and then arrived at 'Herfords' by 9am. Originally Mum worked at Herford's in exchange for swimming lessons for her daughters, but her management skills were quickly recognised and she was offered a paid position, which later included the managing of their Snow Ski Hire & Sales business.

My mother Yvonne Ashdown on her wedding day in August 1955

In the late 1970s when Mum and Dad were Small Business owners, operating a convenience grocery/mixed business at 566 Military Road Mosman and owners of The Big 20 American Hamburger & Icecream Parlor, two doors down, Mum was featured in a segment on the childrens' television program "Simon Townsends Wonder World" as having the 'Biggest Hamburgers in Sydney'. For a period of eighteen months they operated both business consecutively until they purchased 'The Lunchbox' a combined convenience store & take-away food shop at Crows Nest, opposite North Sydney High School.

After moving to Dee Why Gardens Retirement Village, Mum became very involved in co-ordinating various social activities for the residents. She introduced entertainment to the monthly 'Happy Hour' get togethers and organised various shows and productions for the enjoyment of the residents, for which she would once again make elaborate fancy dress costumes. She also served as Treasurer of The Social Committee for many years and was actively involved organising fund-raising activities and social functions for the benefit of the residents. During her first five years at the village, every Christmas she would ellaborately dress the window of their family home with Christmas Scenes which provided much enjoyment to the elderly residents.

In the middle of this year (2006), Mum commenced as a Volunteer Worker for the Salvation Army's new Oportunity Shop in Manly and is presently enjoying this role one full day per week. She is an extremely active and busy person who walks regularly each morning, but still manages to always have time for her family who always have been and always will be her priority in life. We are very similiar in many ways (thought different in others, like most mothers and daughters) and enjoy each others company at least one day a week when we usually play Bingo and then have lunch.

[Amanda Taylor (me)]

The following photo of my mother was taken when she was seventeen years of age in 1954

My mother Yvonne Ashdown aged 17 years in 1954

Surname List of my Direct Ancestors | Individual Name Index

My complete Rootsweb database can be seen at Amanda Taylor's Genealogy.

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Send an e-mail to: Amanda Taylor