I Remember When - A Snapshot of Life in Midvale during the 1950's.
One of our regular readers, James Richardson shares his memories of growing up in Midvale during the 1950’s.
Midvale, our suburb, most homes were Housing Commission Homes and some were identical, our home at #44 was the similar to # 46 and #50 Hooley Rd, Midvale suburban homes were primarily occupied by returned Servicemen who were employed either by the W.A.G.R., Midland Railway or the Abattoirs
Our Family home was in Hooley Road, on the corner of Mathoura Street, it was here, my Parents and Five Brothers lived and grew up.
Our home like many in Midvale experienced everyday activities of having our bread delivered to our front Porch by the local Baker as he drove his Horse & Cart down the street, other deliveries were made by the Milkman, also by horse & cart, in the Milko’s cart was a large urn containing the milk, he would retrieve our billycan from the front porch and with his ladel, pour the required amount into the Billy then return it to the Porch.
We had a constant stream of various deliveries to our house throughout a typical week, we had the Iceman, with a large slab of ice on his shoulder constrained with a pair of iron tongs gripping the ice, our Iceman would carry the ice to our back verandah and place it in our Coolgardie Fridge, in 1950, our house did not have a Hot water System, as most of the homes in Midvale,, we did not have a Motor car, a telephone or a Television, we did not have a Refrigerator or a Washing Machine, but we did have a radio which was entertainment in most Midvale homes and most of my neighborhood kids knew a lot of the regular programs, like Dad & Dave and Life With Dexter. on Weekends and sometimes through the Week, we would occupy our time reading the various comics and swapping them with the local kids, other Weekend activities were playing games of Marbles, most kids had a sizeable collection of various coloured favourites.
Other deliveries were from our local corner store grocer who would pack our weekly order and deliver it to our house and place it on our Dining table, we had deliveries from our wood supplier, delivering a load of wood to our back yard, after delivery, my younger Brother and myself would stack the load up tidily against the fence, our regular delivery of Jarrah timber cuttings was needed to supply our Fireplace in our Loungeroom, our Kitchen with the wood burning Stove, our Kitchen stove over the years cooked and provided many fine meals and pies baked in the oven, also it also helped in keeping our new born Chickens warm, as we did have a Chookhouse in the Backyard, Wood to fire up the small furnace in the Laundry to boil up the large Copper tub and also provide fuel for our Chip Heater in the Bathroom, once again, my younger brother and I would cut the wooden blocks with a sharp axe to sizable lengths to ensure a supply for the various needs.
Once a Month, we were visited by the local Bottle Collector, “The Bottlo” as we called him, ringing his bell as he drove down the street, he would collect all of our bottles and after calculation would reach into his big leather money bag, ( after all these years, I still have a faint recollection of the peculiar leather smell of that bag. ) He would take the money from his pouch and hand a One pound Note to my Brother and me, a lot of money then for kids back then and it helped with the purchase of comics and admission to the Pictures at The Renown Theatre Saturday Matinees.
Our Local Council also provided services and we had regular pickups of our Rubbish Bin kept just inside our backyard gate, The collector would open our gate, take the bin to the truck, empty it, then return the bin to our backyard and close the gate, as would our Nightsoil man, ( The Dunnyman. ) He would go to our Backyard Toilet which was a distance from the house, ( In a few years we had Sewerage installed and a new flushing toilet. ) The Nightsoilman would go to the rear of the toilet, raise the hinged door, extract the full pan and replace it with an empty pan, then take the full pan to the waiting truck.
We had the local Postman making his Mail deliveries down our street, riding his Bicycle and after posting in the letterboxes would blow his whistle, the postman would also make Saturday morning deliveries as the Post Office was open on a Saturday.
If Children or a member of the household was unwell , Household visits by local Doctors was always available.
Transport into Midland and Perth was supplied by Beam Buses with Bus stops along Hooley Rd Progress was being made in Midvale and at our house too, our Clothesline, a Wire strung between two poles and Propped up with a long timber prop, was soon to be replaced with a modern Hills Hoist rotary clothes Line, Midvale Shops were established and we had a Butcher, a Newsagent, a Hardware, a Chemist, a Deli and a Convenience Store, A Childrens playground was established at the rear of the shops by the Local community, in 1954 Midvale School had opened and had a large enrollment of Local children, in 1955, an Open Air Picture Theatre, “ Midvale Gardens “ was established by Lucas Pictures and soon became very popular with a large regular attendance. These are just a few memories of life in our Local Midvale community. In the Fifties.
A photo of the Richardson family home at 44 Hooley Road in Midvale.
Thank you James. If you have any memories to share just like James please feel free to email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org