Down Memory Lane by Philip Brogden

My Dad was born at Rocky Ponds on 20th November 1887, christened Richard Hall Brogden. My Mum, Eva Gould was born at Tomingley, 7th April, 1893.

My Dad and Mum were married 20 May 1911 at St. George's Anglican church in Parkes. They lived out on a farm called "Adavale" on the Bogan Road. Also they lived for a time at Nelungaloo out on the Bogan Road. My Dad was a share farmer, and they were also round the district of The Welcome and Parkesborough areas.

There is a photo of Richard and Eva, plus photos of their parents and also one of myself  HERE  if you would like to view them.

They were fairly young when they got married, Dad was 21 and Mum was 17 and twelve of their fourteen children were born at a private hospital in Bushman Street which is now the Niola Nursing Home. Twins are very prevalent in our family.

My first real recollections are living on a farm, a place the family called "Frog's Hollow" about six miles from Eugowra on the Mackey's Creek Road. My father was a share farmer here and this is where my sister Beryl as born, sadly she only lived for fourteen months. I also remember some of our hardships there at the farm. The house was in a fenced yard, Mum was a firm believer in having the place neat and tidy, this was in drought time, depression time and the wars, as I can recall fairly clearly then.

Whilst still at Frog's Hollow, there was a big dam and on a moonlit night, the moon used to shine on the dam's surface like a big mirror and there were plenty of ducks for the taking, delicate and a very tasty change from our normal fare. There was also an abundance of fresh fish in the dam and my brothers and sisters used to fish successfully with a piece of string on a stick and raw meat as bait. Boy, did the fish bite! We children were not allowed to swim in the dam, as the banks of the dam were extremely slippery...if we wanted to swim, we were permitted to go to the creek where there was running water, only about waist-deep. That was our permanent swimming spot.

We moved from Frog's Hollow to Murga, which was about six miles from Eugowra and Dad worked there for two years with the owner, sharefarming and doing general farm work. That is where Dad got hurt helping to sink dams and clean out silt from other dams, using draught horses and a scoop.

We moved to Orange from Murga, in the early to mid 40's and while we lived in Orange Dad worked in various occupations, at the Meat Works and on a farm that belonged to Sharp Brothers on the Iceley Road about three miles from Orange. He also worked at a factory in Orange, the Small Arms Factory called EMMCO, which is the present-day Electrolux, recently taken over from EMAIL.

We moved to Payton's Bridge at the crossroads of Grenfell, Goolagong and Forbes, to a property called "Bandon" and Dad was a sharefarmer there. The main crop they grew there was wheat. The property owner issued us with milking cows; plus sheep for our own consumption on the farm and we separated the milk and cream from which Mum used to make her own butter as well as baking her own bread. Mum used to make all kinds of jam especially melon and lemon, or melon and orange, a delicacy which is not found in the shops these days, much to our regret.

We used to make all our own entertainment - playing cricket on the main Goolagong - Forbes Road was one of our favourite pastimes. We also found much enjoyment in playing "Hide and Seek" - our main place to hide was on the top of the windmill stand, which was about forty feet high. There was a big tank stand alongside the windmill, which was always full of water, due to the constant pumping of the windmill. To shut the windmill down, there was a lever for the brake, which prevented further turning of the windmill sails, until the water level in the tank subsided. The source of the water was from a spring somewhere on the property, this was pumped by the mill to the tank and the water quality was crystal clear and cold.

Whilst at "Bandon" we went to the little bush school at Payton's Bridge, which was a one-teacher school. Our teacher was a good teacher and a good sport - strict but very fair and never showed favour amongst his students, giving the cane whenever necessary and commanding respect from the whole community.

Whilst living on the farm, I had to go to hospital for a time, imagine my delight, upon returning home, to discover my parents had bought me a shiny, fire-engine red pedal car, which was my pride and joy and a delight for many years!

Dad decided, while we were still at the farm, to bring in the tractor and disk plough to cultivate the ground for a household garden. Dad worked up the ground for about half a day to get the soil friable,. With the amount of vegetables produced at "Bandon", we used to supply the close neighbours with fresh vegetables - Mum must have had a very green thumb. We also supplied a local grocer in Eugowra, and they used to load the car up and bring it to town, park in front of the store and the public used to come and buy produce from the vehicle before it even got into the grocery store.

Christmas at "Bandon" was a special occasion for our entire family. All our family would come back to the farm from their various locations to help celebrate Christmas and one of the best presents of the lot was our brother home on leave from the Army, which, to the whole family, was the best Christmas present we ever received. His was a short leave but it meant a lot to all of us.

Wherever we lived, it was always there - washday! We used the old fashioned funnel washing machine, and when I got old enough, I was the 'engine' that worked the machine. No spin dryer in those days; we used a mangle, which was a hand operated wringer. This was my job, too! Mum used to use a bar of Sunlight soap, which she grated into the washing machine, and of course she used little knobs of 'blue' to whiten the clothing. Hot water in those days did not come out of a tap, of course - we had a copper, which was a vessel containing water, and we would light a fire underneath it, to heat whatever water we needed.

When it came to the big move to leave the farm, about 1945, everybody was unhappy. Our years at "Bandon" were the happiest of our lives as a family. During our time there we never had any floods, thank God - we were in close proximity to the Lachlan River and floods would have been devastating and the water would have come three quarters of the way up the walls of our home - so we were very glad we were spared that.

We were still at the farm when a world event took place at Cowra, which was about forty miles from "Bandon". On Saturday, 5 August 1944 Japanese prisoners at Cowra staged a breakout that resulted in the deaths of 4 young Australians and 231 Japanese.

Whilst at the farm, we used to have picnic days, on different farmer's properties. This would mean an attendance of about two or three hundred people on any particular picnic day. These picnic days took part during the War and the Depression. Some of the activities we partook of were Catch the Greasy Pig, Flag Races, Sack Races, Egg and Spoon, Three-Legged Race and people used to come from all around the district to the picnic day.

Catering was done by all the womenfolk, who prepared food beforehand , plus cold drinks , sandwiches, tea and coffee. A copper used to boil the water for the tea and coffee. Cream puffs, cream horns, chocolate sponge cake and lamingtons were provided, the cream of course, was good quality farm cream and the butter was home made.

We moved to Parkes, from "Bandon" about 1946 and Dad and Mum bought a small home in Dalton Street. This is now the Pre-School Kindergarten but in those days the house was weatherboard with a corrugated iron roof - three bedrooms with a front verandah and back verandah. These verandahs were used as sleepouts since there were still five of us living at home; the others having married and gone their own way.

Whilst visiting family in Forbes I got rheumatic fever. In those days the only treatment available was penicillin and bed rest. Bed rest in itself was particularly severe, as the patient had to remain flat on their back at all times, and I was on my back for six months in Forbes Hospital. The doctor in Forbes then permitted me to be transferred to Parkes to the District Hospital where I was a bed patient for another eight months.

At the end of that time I was allowed to go home to complete my convalescence and it was at this stage I told Mum I wanted to leave school. Mum was very understanding as she was well aware it would have been difficult for me to resume after missing eighteen months of schooling. After I got home I had to be under the doctor's supervision for three months. Dr. told Mum and myself I would have a weakened heart to a degree while I was young, and as I got older my condition would improve but I would be left with irregularity of the heartbeat.

Dad and Mum purchased the Dalton Street house, then Dad passed away on 6th June 1948. Mum then gave authority for the house to my brother and not long after that,he purchased a small block of land at Iceley Street, Eugowra. Family members built the house. Whilst the house was in the early stages of construction, we used to sleep there, even though there was no water or electricity connected. Mum, my brother and myself lived in the Iceley Street residence for the next four years and then we sold it for one thousand pounds, and my brother took us from Eugowra to Orange.

Mum rented a half house in East Orange next door to the East Orange Post Office and we lived there for six months before we bought a house. The house we then bought was at 62 Cecil Road, less than two blocks from the swimming pool and we got this building for a very good price from the real estate agent.

Now, a little about myself. When I left school, I got my first job, as a mechanic's assistant working for a car dealer in Parkes. I was there for eighteen months and my pay then was ten shillings per day and the hours were from 8am to 5pm. If I worked Saturday morning my total take home wage was six pounds, which was good money for a lad who was not long out of school.

My second job was weighing and bagging up potatoes for a mixed business in Parkes, on the site of the present day Big W car park. This car park was then the property of R.S. Howard & Sons and they used it for stabling horses and sulkies belonging to the customers. They had home deliveries twice per week and this was done using their Chev van. Then I got a job in an iron foundry making the casts for the metal moulds and worked there for eight months before going on to my next job, where I was self-employed, mowing lawns and collecting rubbish.

I also worked for the Orange City Council doing the kerbing and guttering and worked with the Department of Main Roads in Orange as a labourer-cum-plant operator and worked on the D.M.R. for seven years, also employed by Canobolas Shire Council as a grave digger for three months.

Another one of my jobs was with the railways at Orange, where I was employed as a labourer. My job was to make sure the railway engine was serviced with water and coal and the ashes raked out down the chute and into a rail truck. Sometimes this set the truck on fire! A timber and hardware place in Orange was another place of employment for me and I was there for eight years working in the capacity of forklift driver, unloading timber, truck driver, packing timber away in the racks, also unloading road transport vehicles, all interior timber for homes, you name it, it was on the truck. Another part of my job was unloading cement and always making sure ample stock was on hand. I was always a handy man, always being needed somewhere else; even my boss remarked, "It is good to be popular!"

This is where I gained my truck and heavy transport licence plus forklift licence and my job was always forklift operator - nobody touched that forklift whilst I was employed there. Other duties involved were getting customer orders out and loaded, plus delivering orders out of town, using the big Ford truck and crane. I also used to go up to the railway goods shed and collect consignments, which would then be unloaded back at the store.

I was still employed at the hardware place when Mum began to need more constant care and attention, so I left my job to be at home with her at all times. In due course, Mum needed more care than I was able to provide and she was admitted to a Nursing Home where she remained until her death at the age of 92, on 7 Apr 1984, which was her birthday.

After Mum went to Calare, we sold the house in Cecil Road and I bought a 30 foot caravan and lived in the Canobolas Caravan Park in Bathurst Road for about six weeks then I moved to the Showground Caravan Park where I remained for about four years. Following that I moved with my caravan to my sister's place where I lived for six years. During this time I put my name on the Housing Commission list and after about five years I got a self-contained unit in Moad Street.

While I was living at my sister's place, I got a job at Email, which was a factory which manufactured refrigeration appliances or "white goods" as they are commonly known. My job was working in the sealed units which entailed bending evaporators into position, hung on the conveyor to go through through into the black dip, my other job was working on the freezer boxes, to tape and bend tubes, putty the corners then dip in hot sealing wax. Also I worked on fridge track number two putting in shelf runners and plastic trims. As well as that I was putting the sealed units into the back of the fridge.

I also worked in the paint shop at Email. Appliances would come down from the spray booth on a big overhead conveyor to an inspector who would pass or reject the item. When passed, they were taken off the conveyor, shunted out the big door where they were taped and polystyrene foam protection placed down both sides, also I helped build room air-conditioners, also assembling the gearbox for washing machines and as well, manufacturing electric fans.

My employment at Email lasted about four years and during that four year period I was also working for myself, doing the mowing and rubbish removal. These activities contributed to the breakdown of my health, due to the repetitive movements in the factory which aggravated arthritic conditions in my spinal area and ultimately this caused me to leave Email and go on sickness benefits and ultimately the pension.

I then lived in my caravan in Eugowra and Parkes before moving to the Rosedurnate aged care facility in Orange Street, Parkes, where I am currently a resident.

Check out further information on my Brogden and Gould families which have been listed in the RootsWeb WorldConnect database. Click on the link below which will take you there: