Archive for the ‘Penrith Primary’ Category

School excursion to a key place - past, present, & future.

School excursion to a key place – past, present, & future.*

A school excursion, rocky junction.

Glenbrook Creek meets Nepean River.

A history lesson from Mr Street.

Our own histories yet to be made,

Pivoting around these waters.

Waters flowing through our town

Irrigating lives & memories.**

Some included here, others omitted,

But always there, constant, this river.

The Nepean River.


* In the photograph:

(l-r) Back: Gordon Hall, Sandra Hall, Peter Elzer, James Corr, Mark Haines (?), Me, ?.
Front: Margaret Martin (?), Christine Smith (?), Bruce Turner, ?.

Some of these have made appearances elsewhere in 365 Short Memories.

** To the south we water-skied through this point (the narrows) and down Nepean Gorge, swam at Bent’s Basin & hunted for crayfish there, swung off a rope at Menangle, witnessed water thuunder down Warragamba’s spillway.

To the west, along Glenbrook Creek we picknicked and swam at Jellybean Pool and the Blue Pool

To the north we jumped off Victoria Bridge, cooled down at the Weir, kayaked through to Yarramundi.

Nepean Gorge - to the south of the school excursion site

Nepean Gorge – to the south of the school excursion site

Our River irrigating our past, present, future

Our river irrigating our lives & memories.

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Threepence – most desired prize at Christmas

Camden Nana’s baking dish,

Flavours of years released into

The great Christmas Day roast.

In this little house in Elderslie

Everything feels just …

Well, … just right!!

Excitement mounts for the piece-de-resistance.

The plum pudding, where threepences hide

And discovery invokes little feet to run to Mum:

“Mum, I found one!”

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Anticipation fires up impatience.

Every passing day urgency intensifies.

Four brothers alone

While parents on social trail

And the hunt is on …

Christmas presents? Where? What?

Through cupboards, wardrobes,

Between clothes, in drawers.

Standing on chairs, crawling under beds.

We love the hunt,

Secretly hope for failure.

Don’t spoil Christmas.

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Shades & hues.

Beautiful shades & hues. (these are not Derwents, though)

My colouring-in techniques are not great.

Loving the beauty of graduated shades & hues

In a full set of Derwents 

Isn’t enough to create beauty.

A determined & tidy start

Falters rapidly & declines …

Into a disappointing (messy) finish.

Persistently sent to Charlie Chuckles.

Acknowledged by certificates of merit

But alas! No prizes.

Charlie Chuckles Club Pin

Charlie Chuckles Club Pin

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Out of bounds, intriguing, magnetic.

The Brickworks.*

Grounds untended, wild.

Dangerously obscuring the massive pit.

White clay cliffs

Reaching up from

Opaque blue water.

Bright blue.


Painted, unreal.

Discarded, rusted machines

Poke through the surface.

Rocks tossed create ripples.

Water is real.

I love the clay-pit.

And fear it.


* The Penrith Brickworks was opposite the cemetery on Copeland St and Richmond Rd Kingswood. I think it was operational to some extent up until the early 1970’s.







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The great (GPS) schools visit Penrith The Nepean.

Flash cars fill the streets.

Thousands line riverbanks.

Penrith Kingswood urchins watching

– curious & cautious –

Alien invaders claiming our river.

Head Of The River. Rowing.

Thousands line riverbanks. Photo: Sam Hood.: State Library NSW

Secondary sport:  “drowning” local kids.

Local kids’ sport: stealing football jerseys from “toffs”.

Cycling home; victoriously waving

My new Newington jersey.

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SRA Reading Laboratory

Get the next reading card


Complete the comprehension test,

Check the answers.

And a new one awaits – same colour code.

On through new colours, colour tones, grades.

The SRA Reading Laboratory

Constantly beckoning, cajoling

With colour, content, themes, illustrations.

And competition with self and peers.

Honing higher reading skills.

SRA Reading Card from blog: Games We Played. Click here to visit and see this card in full, & comprehension & marking cards.

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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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