Dancing the night away

Dances were popular entertainment in cities and country towns through much of the twentieth century. Often the dances served as fund-raisers for local community groups, or during World War II, for the Fighting Forces Comfort Fund and the Red Cross. Read More …

Going to the pictures

Before the introduction of television in Australia in 1956, going to the pictures was a popular entertainment. The first permanent cinema in Adelaide was established in 1908: West’s Olympia Theatre at 91 Hindley Street.*  A further fifteen cinemas opened in Read More …

From gum-studded paddock to superb sports oval

Describing the Meadows oval as a sports oval in the early- to mid-1900s is probably being overly generous. In common with ovals in other small towns, it had its shortcomings. Harry Portlock recalled that in the 1940s: The oval was Read More …

Life in the Unemployment Relief Scheme settlement in Meadows: a social perspective

The Meadows poultry settlement was established in May 1934, as I described in a previous post.  Twenty-four families with a total of 130 children moved in.  At this time, the population of Meadows was about 290, so the settlement suddenly Read More …

Unemployment Relief Scheme settlers in Meadows in the 1930s: how did they fare financially?

During the Great Depression of the1930s, several Unemployment Relief Scheme settlements were established in the Adelaide Hills.  A contemporary newspaper report predicted that the settlement in Meadows would achieve “success and prosperity.”  Settlers were expected to earn 300 pounds per Read More …

Oral history of the Great Depression part 2

My previous post introduced the Unemployment Relief Scheme settlement in Meadows that was established during the Great Depression.  Oral history interviewees talked about what it was like to live there in cottages that had been described as ‘roomy tin bungalows’ Read More …

Oral history of the Great Depression

One of the most valuable aspects of oral history is being able to ask someone exactly what it was like to experience a certain event or era.  I was fortunate to record interviews with two people who had grown up Read More …

Memories of summer 2: keeping the milk cool

Continuing the theme of my previous post with memories of summer, I’ve selected this time some excerpts from oral history interviews focussing on milk in summer – keeping it cool (or not) and drinking it. Pat Connor was a dairy Read More …

Remembering the general store

General stores were a central feature of most country towns.  They provided a wide range of goods and services, and were run by local families. The general store in Meadows, in the Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia, was built Read More …

Childhood summers spent scrambling up hills and swimming in waterholes

As the school year comes to a close and we approach the summer holidays, it is interesting to look back over some of the pastimes that children used to enjoy – many of which were outdoors. Barry Ellis grew up Read More …