| Notes for Gwen Farrell
Known as "Tommy"
to her siblings, Gwen was raised and went to school in Clancy's rd,
Korumburra South. The small and crowded school was just up the road. So close, that the
teacher was boarded with her parents, as was the requirements to attract
teachers to rural schools. The area was a new farming subdivision, and many
new families had moved to the area. Most of these had children, which
resulted in the demand for schooling in the area.
Horsley Estate State School No. 4395
It took the residents of this district four years of
work and correspondence with the education Department before the school
was finally built and opened in their district, The first letter dated
14/10/25 came from W.A. Beamish who inquired concerning the procedure to
follow when applying for a school. The next letter came from C.C. Taberner
on the 24th June 26, who suggested that a contract be let for the
conveyance of the district children to another school. This method would
be cheaper than building a school. The education department replied that
it was a matter for the parents to decide.
Four months latter a further application for a school
was made by the parents. Thirty children who would attend this school were
listed and Geo Kirk was agreeable to sell land for a site for the school.
The district inspector in his report dated 22 Oct 1926, did not recommend
a school as the children could go to the nearby schools. This decision
resulted in the number of protests to the Education department, but
without any success.
Twelve months latter on the 27 June 1927, the parents
applied again and on this occasion they were successful. The inspector
sent to investigate found there were 27 children of school age and he
immediately recommended that a school be established. Three acres of land
were now purchased from Mr Kirk, and as soon as the survey and the
transfer of the land had been completed a disused school from Boyes No.
3638, was shifted and erected on the site, at a cost of 233 pound 12
shillings and 2 pence.
Horsley Estate school No 4395 was opened on the 12 Feb.
1929. with Miss Adela Peacock in charge of 28 Pupils. The parents
considered that the school was too small for the number of children
attending and there were more children to come. These facts
influenced the parents in their decision to apply for additional
accommodation . Unfortunately the school had been designed for 32 pupils,
and the Education Department said that when that number was exceeded the
matter world be then be considered.
The school carried on until 1946, then owing to the low
attendances at this school and the Korumburra South school, arrangements
were made to take the children from these schools to Korumburra State
School. Horsley's Estate School was then closed on the 12 July 1946. It
remained unused on the site till 1948 when it was shifted to Osborne
State School No 2655 where increased accommodation was required.
Claims for the site were made by Mrs Kirk and the
Korumburra school who wanted the land for a plantation. Finally the land
was sold to Mrs Kirk for the sum of 120 pounds. and transferred on the 31
May 1949. Several chools wanted the shelter shed, but when it came to
paying for the cartage, the prospective owners withdrew. The shelter shed
appears to be sold to a Mr R Wade for the sum of 12 pounds.
Teachers who taught at the school were: Miss Paecock,
Miss Blick, Lilian M Twomey, Laslie W Watson, Mm Ryan. Miss Starbuck and
Early memories of kerosene
lanterns before the coming of electricity to the district. The first radios
attracted an audience from around the district to sit and listen, much as we
might around a television or the Internet. These radios were powered by
large batteries for the above reasons.
Before her marriage, worked
for grandfather Fritz Tiesler and uncle Alan Tiesler at Allambie South. Work
involved milking cows and general house duties. Remembered the sad tale of
her auntie "Lee" Tiesler who was a very meticulous house worker
who ended her life at Allambie Sth, with a strychnine overdose. Auntie
"Lee" was a polio victim (had a leg calliper) and appeared
troubled by a failed relationship.
Introduced to her future
husband by her sister Hilda, who’s boyfriend Ernie was a friend of
Charlie. Charlie also got to meet Gwen as part of his job, which included
dropping off basic groceries with the milk cans. Outings together would be
to local dance halls in a horse and carriage as cars were still expensive
and not yet all common. Bicycle rides into Korumburra to go to the pictures
were demanding as Clancy's Rd was long and mostly uphill. Favourite movie
stars included Clark Gable and Errol Flynn, the dynamic star of rousing
adventures. Cartoon's with "Popeye" the Sailor feature in cinema's
was always good for a laugh. Comedian's Laurel and Hardy were very much
loved. Cars could be
borrowed from friends for special trips. Gwen did not finish her driving
lessons, as she proved too nervous for the task.
Early married life in 1945 started
at Korumburra in Bena Rd. This first home was connected to the local electricity
grid. Two children would be born and commence life here. Charlie was driving
milk trucks for the Korumburra Butter Factory until 1947.
She played basketball with
her sister-in-laws when she was young, almost the complete team.
then moved to her brother’s farm at Bena. The old weatherboard house was
old and drafty. No running hot water on tap, this was cooked up in the
boiler in the laundry and carried inside for bathing. The toilet was still
the can variety, reached by walking outside to the outhouse. The cooking
stove was old and when it rained, water ran down the chimney, Gwen was not
Eventually in 1957(ten years
later), Gwen's brother, Digger constructed a new farmhouse. Not all the fittings were
supplied. Gwen’s father paid for the electric stove to be included along
with the "EVERHOT" combustion stove. A ‘His Masters Voice’ black and white TV was
eventually added shortly after. Carpets were included in some rooms.
Linoleum in the kitchen required constant maintenance with an electric
polisher to apply wax. An outside toilet remained but connected to a septic
system. The washing machine was upgraded to a ‘Wringer” which had
mechanical rollers to drain water from the clothes. Every load was rinsed in
blue tinted water to add brightness.
How to use a Wringer Washing
Position your washer so you can swing the wringer all the way around
without bumping anything and allow yourself enough room to move at least
halfway around the washer. Put the tubs side by side against the washer, and
swing the wringer so that it can be locked in near the edge of each tub,
with the opposite side sticking out a little so the clothes won't fall back
into the tub. Make the adjustments before putting it the water! Tubs filled
with water are very difficult to move.
Once everything is in place, fill the washer with water and detergent.
Turn it on for a minute to dissolve the detergent, but be sure to put the
lid on first! An empty tub will slosh water everywhere. While the machine is
running, add your clothes a few at a time, allowing them to be dipped under
by the dasher. This part is fun, actually.
When the tub is fairly full (don't overfill; allow the clothes room to
swish), put the lid on and begin filling the rinse tubs about two thirds of
the way full. Put fabric softener or vinegar in the last tub.
After ten to fifteen minutes, check the wash by either grabbing something
that was grungy and seeing if it looks clean, or stopping the washer and
checking. If clothes are clean, run them through the wringer into the first
waiting tub. Fold clothing that has buttons with the buttons inside, and
make sure zippers are zipped and snaps are snapped before putting them
through the wringer. This part takes a little practice, but you'll soon get
the hang of it.
Put the next load of laundry in... whites first, light coloured, then
dark coloured, then jeans, coveralls, etc, then rugs and rags.
While the second load is washing, swish the clothes in the first tub to
get rid of detergent, and run them through the wringer. Do the same thing in
the second tub, and run them through the wringer into a waiting basket,
which can set on the floor, or another stool. This whole thing should take
about five minutes, then you can hang out the clothes, or put them in the
dryer. You'll have about five minutes before the next load is done.. and you
can do an entire week's wash in a short morning.
Don't even think about laundry for a week.
This house was exposed to
the elements as it was built out in the open, on top of a hill. (Great view)
wooden fence, many new plants were blown away by the strong Gippsland winds.
Many plants were hidden by wooden sticks, which also kept the cats away.
Gwen also worked beside my
father in the cowshed. Conditions in the cowshed matched the weather
outside. They could be freezing cold in winter or stifling hot in summer.
Charlie milked cows day and night, seven days a week, every week of the
year, except for maybe a week or two in winter when holidays were possible
due to slow milk production.
Days were spent cooking and
washing. I can remember the house was always full of the most varied cakes
and deserts. School lunches always included some of her cooked cakes. Hum! I
can still recall the smell of walking in the back door on a cold wet day and
smelling fresh cake. If local functions required the "ladies to bring a
plate", then the lightest sponge cakes were produced with cream and
icing toppings. Fairy cakes , Lamingtons, lemon slice, the list could go on
An entire kitchen drawer was
full to over flowing with recipes collected from magazines, most of which
were rarely used as she knew her cooking too well. Home made jams from the
most delightful plum tree I have ever known. Egg's for breakfast every day,
the farm had it's own chickens. Mushrooms if the were in season on the farm.
Vegetables from the farm, Potato's. Fresh peas or beans from local
Evening meals were
traditional meat and vegies, always potato. Summer lunches were cold meat
and salad. Lunch was always accompanied by the daily newspaper "The
Sun" which was delivered to the farm gate. Fresh un-sliced bread also
arrived this way.
Shopping for meals meant
checking special prices in the paper. An order was always left at a small
Square" grocery shop at Bena. Shopping was every Friday and meant spending
half the day talking to friends in the main street of Korumburra. Charlie
found some time to get to a local Hotel for a beer or two. Special long
trips were made to Dandenong on Tuesdays for anything not available in
Korumburra. Tuesday was Market Day in Dandenong and many farmers made their
way there to go to both the cattle sales and market.
The must delightful
Christmas puddings, hung in the traditional way. (Small coins for small
No microwave oven to achieve
all this, the kitchen stove was fired by wood and briquettes. This had to be
kept burning all year long to provide hot water to the house as well, even
in summer on the hottest days. Late afternoon would be tea time before
heading of to the shed to milk the cows, returning some time later to cook
Clothes were repaired
lovingly with her mother's treadle ‘Singer’ sowing machine. No fancy
stitches here, just straight up and down. But
she could mend just about anything. I recall frequently going to primary
school with knee patches, as I was always kneeling and playing on the
Gwen loved the opportunity
to explore the world with the television. Nights at home frequently meant
watching documentaries from all over the world. The news at night followed
by a Current Affairs show, This Day Tonight. Football replays ,
especially her team Melbourne, who could do no wrong. TV shows included
Perry Mason, Bonanza, Peter Gun, Rawhide, Rifleman, come to think of it, any
cowboy show seemed popular. Local shows always included "In Melbourne
Tonight" with Graeme Kennedy and Bert Newton, followed by The Don
Lane Show. Crawford Productions Division 4 or Homicide,
police drama. Channel
Seven's "Saturday Night Live" with the horse trot's and Mary Hardy
as one of the compares. Bob Dyer’s Pick-A-Box, World
Of Sport on Sunday morning for sporting commentary. World Championship
Wrestling with Jack Dyer was not to be missed. Tennis or cricket during
summer was always popular.
She could always be found
siting in the car watching her son's play football on Saturdays. Strasburg
and tomato sauce sandwiches in the car next to her. Helping in the canteen
to sell hot food and drinks on some occasions.
Since Charlie was involved
in everything in the district, Gwen frequently always him to local
dances. She loved being asked to join the dancing. They seemed to be one of
the last to leave despite having to get up early the next day to milk