Archive for the ‘1 Guildford Rd’ Category

The school hosts

Visiting troupe of professionals

Sportsmen? Entertainers? Educators?

Uniforms clearly identifying


Generous contributor to a new, essential

Life skill.

They provide tools,

Show the fun,

Teach the skills of …


Wondrous tricks with spinning discs

They make them whistle, sleep, walk, almost talk, certainly bite.

We’re hooked.


This entry was prompted by a picnic yesterday with old Penrith buddies Ian Elliott, Paul Kenny, Bill Joyner, & Merril Worrad.

Bill (of course) produced a couple of yoyos and away we went. It was like riding a bike, the skills passed on by those representatives of the ubiquitous Cola company emerged from the depths, perhaps a little rusty but largely unscathed by the passage of time.

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Look, there!
In Mum’s wardrobe.

A priceless treasure amidst

The rack of worthless wire.

A piece of artistry.

The design masterpiece

Creating utility and beauty

From the simplest items.

A wooden cotton reel

A few nails

Lengths of discarded wool.


The wooden coathanger

Enveloped, transformed

Cloaked in french knitting.*

from the priceless collection of Bill Joyner


* I could not believe it when, over coffee, Bill Joyner reached into his bag and this beauty emerged. It’s specific story is his and it holds its own significant lessons for life (related to both the vast improvement in workmanship and the dangers of taking short-cuts). But Bill’s personal Alladin’s Cave continues to reflect my own (and yours too, I expect) memories.

Oh! I hope there is no need to remind you that my Short Memories are not meant to be chronological … generally they are pretty random. Anyway, in case it entered your mind … this Short Memory does not have its roots in a 4th Form (Year 10) art or craft class, despite my poor performances in matters crafty.

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Roger is chauffeur

It’s the school run,

Penrith Primary first,

My stop.

There’s tension,

I’m frustrated, angry.

I get out

Grab the door, preparing to slam it.

Grasping also …

For a hurtful barb.

One comes to mind.

I shout derisively, sarcastically:


Door slams.

I storm off.

Got him!


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Our cream Chrysler

Roger driving, mum passenger.

Me ‘n’ Steve in the back.

Down Lemongrove Bridge

Cross Henry St – stop on corner – Evan St

Schoolbag grabbed, jump out

Rushing to school (Penrith Infants).

Roger drives off.

A screech, a scream …

Steve’s fallen out.

Didn’t I shut the door?

Thankfully he’s fine.

Tough brother.

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Away from the hysteria

And fast-paced rollicking

Of the The Beatles

(Fun, exciting as it is),

A more wistful, laid back sound

Speaks directly to me.

Crossing the watery expanse

Solitude, space

But not loneliness

Acceptance & inclusion.

We don’t care what your name is boy
We’ll never turn you away.


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Unlike the elegant Nepean Theatre

The Avon Theatre in Station St

Is a bit ramshackle, disorganised

But full of fun.

First movie, “sans older minder” –

“A Hard Day’s Night!”

The atmosphere, electric.

There’s screams anticipating

Giant mop-top images lighting screen

… and when they do,

Volume and pitch pierce.

Life imitating art ...


A song, an album, a movie … and a single chord opens them all. The one chord to rule them all.

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Early start

Embers still glowing

Wildlife still.

Steve and I, going fishing.

Out into the bay.

Our generous guide Matt Booth.

The haul starts.


We haul, Matt unhooks our prey &

Re-baits our hooks.

He doesn’t toss in his own line.

We show off our brace.

Big smiles all round.

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The gang disbanded

After Mrs Cameron kicked us out.

Why? Maybe …

Setting her fence afire

While burning plastic from wire.

Geoff Jones**, another gang-member,

Fell backwards from the tree-house,

Landed on a brick-pile.

Convinced he was dead,

But he stood up and laughed.

From then, to us, he was invincible.


* This is another Short Memory thanks to Bill Joyner. When he set me this material his closing line about our gang was:

Imagine today if such a gang of 10 year olds was uncovered! It would make the national news.

There would undoubtedly be outrage.

** Geoff wasn’t in the photo I posted in yesterday’s Short Memory. He is in the photo of 4th Class at Penrith Primary. He is front row, 3rd from the right. Peter Cameron, who had the tree in his backyard is in the 2nd row, far right.

1965 Penrith Primary – Class 4A

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Bill Joyner writes:


Dipped into the box of sacred objects,

For my original tree-house gang knife,

Out of Bill Joyner’s box of sacred objects – the knife that united the treehouse gang.

Kershaw & Elliot** did the deal.

They were bought in bulk, about eight I think,

With money raised by collecting bottles

And “gathering” copper wire,

Which we sold to the scrappie on the highway.


* With Bill Joyner supplying this image and also some extra information, I thought we should revisit Memory #38. I’ve altered his words slightly to accommodate my 50-word rule. There will be more on this – Bill has some great memories.

** Kershaw & Elliot – Peter Kershaw & Ian Elliot. They are in the back row of the class photo – Ian is 5th from the left and Peter next to Ian (6th from left). Bill is in the 2nd row, 2nd from the left. Bill also gave me a couple of extra names.

Click the photo and it will open the Short Memory (#70)  that has the names.

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We are wearing the jerseys with the white band across the middle. From left to right is: Paul Bardon, Max Cowan,  Steve Cameron, Greg Mobbs, Mick Harpley (bending)

“I just like ’em rolled down,
Dunno why.”

Not good footy etiquette

And being practical

Socks “up” would hold shinpads

To protect shins from

Kicking, raking, & threshing

Of hookers and props

In scrums that are contests.

I don’t like shinpads, either!

Coach & parents reluctantly sigh:

“Just win the scrums, Max.”

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