Migrantweb.com Hostels Forum Forum Index Migrantweb.com Hostels Forum
Hostels were used to accommodate new Australians. 1950's-1970's
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Life on the hostel:

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Migrantweb.com Hostels Forum Forum Index -> Berkeley Hostel Forums:
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Len
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2004

Posts: 881
Location: Great Harwood, Blackburn. UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:44 pm    Post subject: Life on the hostel: Reply with quote

Hi Phyl welcome to our forums.

What was life like on the hostels back in those days was it as bad/ difficult as what some would suggest?

Smile


Last edited by Len on Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Phyl Phyl has been starred
Respected Contributor:


Joined: 05 Jan 2007

Posts: 544
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Len,
Thanks for the welcome.
I think in the early days hostels were not what you would call the Waldorf
Astoria. They were meant to be a temporary thing until people had somewhere of their own to live . Certainly there were disgruntled people at times and we had a few knock on the door with some choice language . I think though many people got on with the task of settling and trying to find their own way.Many women especially were homesick and I could relate to that as my own family were in NZ . Tony's father was an Australian and he was also a Manager with CHL until his death in 1956. In the rough very early days he lost an eye when he was taken too. I think as the years went by more and more help was availabe with staff helping to find accommadation for those who wished the help. When my children reached 12 or so they wanted to eat with their friends in the communial dining room and we allowed this. THey were two young at Berkeley ,but they did at Dundas,Cabramatta,etc. in fact I would go down for a meal myself ( I have to say I was a terrible cook Laughing ) I knew of people who stayed in the hostel 5 years in the early days but later a time frame was introduced and movement was faster.
The staff were always wonderful to me where ever we were.
I must relate a little tale from Balgownie. I loved Boston Buns . There were two kitchens there, and the cooks tried to out do each other with my Boston Buns .Each week the Buns grew bigger until one was as big as the tray. It was then we had to draw a halt to the Boston Buns .But my word I did love them.
In the later days too some hostels had a Dr. who ran a clinic a couple of times a week,certainly this was so in East Hill's Hostel. There were also Youth Activities for the children and sport too . My own children were involved with this and I was too.Each hostel had a youth Leader.
So though in early days it was a bit hard I think the powers that be did try as the years went by to make life better in hostels . I can remember wonderful times ,bad times and scary times too.
I guess I could write a book.
Kind regards
Phyl
_________________
Kind regards,
Phyl
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Len
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2004

Posts: 881
Location: Great Harwood, Blackburn. UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I suppose you canít please everyone and as you say, they where meant to be temporary. Our family never had a Nissen nor were we at Berkeley but having said that I was only a kid at the time when we stayed at Unanderra hostel and it wouldnít have bothered me if we had stayed in a tent. hehe

I read somewhere that some of the hostel residents at Berkeley, the one's that stayed for a while had created them selves small gardens out side their Nissen huts and I also read, that years after the hotel had been demolished the gardens still remained, well the flowers/plants still grew where they were planted.

:)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Phyl Phyl has been starred
Respected Contributor:


Joined: 05 Jan 2007

Posts: 544
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Len,

You are right. Many people had wee gardens. Some were really nice too.
I remember one lady whose flat was so polished you could eat off the floor. You were scared to walk on it . She was lovely though and we did visit her a couple of times when they left the hostel. I wonder if they are in the same house now, or if they moved again, I wonder where they moved too.
Of course a lot of the houses we lived in in hostels were also nissen and they did get hot in the summer. I remember Tony used to get up on the rooftop and set the sprinkler going to cool the house down and we used to wet a blanket and hang it at the front door too try to get a cool breeze through. ALso used to pull the curtains.
My twins started school at the school down the road. My eldest son had started when we were in Sydney at I think Bradfield Park Hostel.
Gosh Len I hope you are not getting bored with this .I could go on forever
I remember a wee dog. The farmer next to the hostel warned people not to let their dogs on his property or they would be shot. One of the residents had a little dog and it wandered on his property . not doing anything and do you know that farmer shot it . I can still see that little dog running up the hostel fenceline and getting weaker. and I still think of it today after all these years. I cried over it.
Better stopfor now,
_________________
Kind regards,
Phyl
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Len
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2004

Posts: 881
Location: Great Harwood, Blackburn. UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I remember one lady whose flat was so polished you could eat off the floor. You were scared to walk on it . She was lovely though and we did visit her a couple of times when they left the hostel. I wonder if they are in the same house now, or if they moved again, I wonder where they moved too.
You never know Phyl, one day she may stumble across this post and remember you.

Quote:
Gosh Len I hope you are not getting bored with this .I could go on forever
No chance of that Phyl. :)
In fact, posts like yours may well encourage other to register and join-in. Iím sure there must be lots of things that everyone could chat about.

Quote:
I remember a wee dog. The farmer next to the hostel warned people not to let their dogs on his property or they would be shot. One of the residents had a little dog and it wandered on his property . not doing anything and do you know that farmer shot it . I can still see that little dog running up the hostel fenceline and getting weaker. and I still think of it today after all these years. I cried over it.
Thatís sad.
I can understand it if the farmer has life stock in his paddocks such as sheep and especially in lambing season. A friend of mine once had a red setter and it escaped from his home. The dog wandered off into a farmerís field and found a bunch of sheep to play with but unfortunately it was lambing season. The farmer saw this and tried to scare the dog off but to no avail so the farmer had no choice but to cull the dog.
The farmer actually went round to my mates home after he shot the dog and apologized as the dog had a name tag on but he was angry because he had been put in a position whereas he had no choice but to cull the dog, he didnít want too but he had too. My mate accepted this and apologized to the farmer.
This happened quite a few years ago and Iíve not heard of anyone locally having had their dog shot since. I think these daysí people are more responsible with their dogs.
Having said all that, Iím sure there are some that would shoot just for the hell of it and I would be devastated if it had been my dog in any event. cry
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Phyl Phyl has been starred
Respected Contributor:


Joined: 05 Jan 2007

Posts: 544
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Len,
I agree about farmers but that wee dog did nothing and I agree if it was my dog I would be devastated. I was upset about that one and it wasn't mine.
A further little story about Berkeley :
Our house faced that farm and my children were outside playing When my eldest son came into tell us there was some black hose on the front lawn.Tony went out to have a look and ,no, it was a red bellied black snake , He and the Manager in charge's wife Killed it between them . I felt sorry and so did Tony because the snake was trying to get back to the paddock and also trying to save it's life by lashing out. Have not forgotten that either.At Berkeley too , we found a funnel web spider nest in the ground and Tony poured boiling water down the funnel cry
The only other snake we had was at Colmslie Hostel and it was a harmless green snake and was sunning it self on the seat we had at the back of the house. We left it to enjoy the sun and it later disappeared into the paddock next door. We also had toads at Colmslie. One used to sit in front of the house often in the evening and we couldn't let our dog out because they spit. Colmslie was in Brisbane. We also had a goanna in the paddock next door there and a frill neck lizard used to come to our fence often in the evening.
In the mating season people used to have umbrellas up when leaving the hostel because the nesting magpies would dive bomb them . And the other side of the paddock was a house and I remember the girl who lived there screaming because a magpie chased her . That house was private and nothing to do with the hostel.
THe first time I saw a blue tongued lizard was soon after we arrived in Sydney and we were at Villawood Hostel.It was behind the fireplace in our house and it poked it's head out . My gosh I thought it was a snake and I grabbed my 11 month old baby and ran. However it was harmless and one of the staff came and let it go out in the bush..
Oh gosh there I go again, once I start I can't stop . So I had better... Smile
_________________
Kind regards,
Phyl
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Phyl Phyl has been starred
Respected Contributor:


Joined: 05 Jan 2007

Posts: 544
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Len,
Further memory of Berkeley.
One day I dropped into the hostel office to see Tony for a minute.As usual he was busy with Hostel business so as I left the office intending to go home ,a lady resident was going in . I decided to wait for her to come out of the office . I don't know if anyone remembers a pole outside the office,well it had a stay on it Sort of like like this at the lower part of the pole I\ pretty rough but..... Embarassed Anyway out came the lady I wanted to see,I ducked under the stay on the pole ,came up too early and spent the next week in Wollongong Hospital with a fractured skull. You wouldn't read about it would you? I managed to get home and lay down on the bed and that is where Tony found me at lunchtime. I had a bad headache and much pressure but I survived. Smile . I did suffer awful heads for a couple of years after though.
_________________
Kind regards,
Phyl
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Len
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2004

Posts: 881
Location: Great Harwood, Blackburn. UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did you manage that? idunno hehe it must have been one hell of a dump, jeepers. I donít know where the hostel offices where. But I remember from my visits to the Berkeley hostel in and around 1968-69 most / nearly all of the nissen huts had gone apart from two large-ish units. One of them I believe was the canteen and the other which was across a short road from the canteen may have been the offices?

The Berkeley judo club which was founded by Henry Lewiston used the canteen for its dojo after the unit had become redundant. It was fun; they had part of the floor in the canteen covered with old mattresses and a large canvass sheet.
I also played soccer with the Berkeley East Soccer club which was based at the hostel and we did all our training there at the hostels soccer pitch.

Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Phyl Phyl has been starred
Respected Contributor:


Joined: 05 Jan 2007

Posts: 544
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THe hostel offices were at the bottom of the hill , Len and I think the canteen was way off to the left.
_________________
Kind regards,
Phyl
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Len
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2004

Posts: 881
Location: Great Harwood, Blackburn. UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember this particular building (canteen?) it was at the bottom of the hill, well not quite at the bottom just a little way up and there were a building a Jason too it. ( a Jason? idunno )

I have a supper 8mm film, showing a mate of my parent pulling up in his car out side the building opposite the canteen. His name is John Moxham. We knew the Moxhamís through out our whole stayed in the Au, as they were good friends of us all. The last time I heared John Jnr Ďwho is about the same age as meí boiled down to being a beach bumí surfyí. Smile
So John, if you ever read this post then bob-in and say hello. Mr. Green

Anyway back to topic. Iím in the process of transferring super 8 mm film into dvd and if Iím successful then I will put a few videos clips on here.

Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Phyl Phyl has been starred
Respected Contributor:


Joined: 05 Jan 2007

Posts: 544
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Len ,
The video clips sound great. I will look forward to maybe viewing it if you are successful Very Happy
_________________
Kind regards,
Phyl
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
rasherriff
New Member
New Member


Joined: 27 Oct 2011

Posts: 3
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My grandmother related a tale about there being a TV BBC 'interest' programme about the hostels shown in England just after Christmas 1964 and she recognised my brother and I sitting waiting for the evening meal...still skinny and little...but she thought we looked like we were starving and got real upset and wrote my mum and dad about it!!! We survived Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
maljen
New Member
New Member


Joined: 01 Feb 2013

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The canteen was half way down the Hostel if you went left of it the was the Hostel shop and to the right a road and then the tv room I was about 16 and used to be part of the tv club and would man the door and take 6 pence from anyone who wanted to watch tv in the evening .
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Migrantweb.com Hostels Forum Forum Index -> Berkeley Hostel Forums: All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
 
 
Copyright © 2003 migrantweb.com
Images on this site are owned. Reproducing, republishing or mirroring on other WebPages or websites without permission is not permitted.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group