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Nostalgia

Please Email me with your nostalgic or funny memories of early Strathmore. Perhaps you have stories of the milkman with his horse and cart, the iceman, getting bogged in Napier Street, of restrictions during the war etc. I will publish them on this page - no names if you want. (Please note that I reserve the right to edit them for spelling grammar and good taste.)

Jim writes: "When I was about 11 years old (in 1942) my mate and I were on our bikes. We had just left Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds and were riding towards Essendon. When we were opposite Queen's Park we looked back up in the air and saw a four engine plane only about 1000ft up. One of the engines was trailing black smoke and it was flying the same way as we were going. The plane was losing height and more smoke and flames were coming from the engine. We lost sight of it as it flew towards Essendon airport. It crashed and burst into flames just inside the old airport fence near the corner of Prince and Kerford Strrets. The fire brigade from Essendon, on the corner of Bulla Road and Woodlands Streets, went to put the fire out. The plane was a US Liberator. I think some of the crew survived. They were taken to the new Royal Melbourne Hospital that was in the final stages of being built."

David writes: "Some names of people I have gone to Strathmore with and had some of the best times. I played around and had a lots of fun. I left in form 3 and went to work for Cadburys in the city a big shock no more fun and very regimented. Where are they now - Kristen, Marilyn, Bill, Ken, Grant, Bev, Donald and so many more. 

I remember one or two of the teachers Ms Mears for history she opened my eyes to modern history and I have always thanked her for it. Then there was Ms Lynch a fab music teacher, my love for opera and good music came from the seeds she planted, One day she left the room for meeting, this gave us the opportunity to take the record off and put a funny one on by Stan Freeburg she came back halfway through but just joined in the fun with us all she was a very nice woman. Now back to me, I did make something of myself with the help of the Australian Army and the education that was supplied to me. But the time I had at Strathmore was the fun time for me. I have never seen any one from the School and have over the years thought about you all many times."

Bob writes: "I grew up in Glenroy and found your pages about Strathmore extremely interesting. Well done. I knew it as North Essendon (and in parts as Glenbervie). Students from there travelled to Glenroy High School in the 1950's to early 60's before Strathmore High School was built. Some kept coming till they finished year 12 as the original Strathmore High School didn't go beyond about year 9 or 10 in its early stages. There was a wooden bike track near the railway gates at Strathmore later replaced by that railway overpass.

The paddocks nearby were a favourite place for circuses and I remember one year the elephant was scared of a noisy train and broke off and ran all the way to Pascoe Vale before getting caught. In the 1960s-70s the most respected and better known councillors and mayors of City of Broadmeadows came from the Strathmore area. (Cr Ernie Angel did a magnificent job for the betterment of everyone not just Strathmore. Cr Malcolm Brown was a stabling force as Mayor of Broadmeadows. To name a few!)

I recall the heavy road traffic in Pascoe Vale Road, visiting the old "chook farm" (owned by Tommy Cook I think), the "swing bridge" across the Moonee Ponds Creek near Pascoe Vale Railway Station and the vast open paddocks. As a youngster my parents and I used to walk up the hill from North Essendon station to Woodlands Park for picnics. 

I recall an aboriginal 'canoe tree' and thicker bushlands in Napier Park. A lot of my school friends lived in homes that were demolished to make way for the Tullamarine Freeway. As a youngster Id often ride my bicycle from Glenroy to Strathmore and Essendon (or all the way out to Bulla or Wildwoods) There were 6 scout groups in Strathmore as part of Broadmeadows scouting district I can forward you a history of their formation (when I find the booklet I have stored under my house) My father was the local scout commissioner and had 21 groups within Broadmeadows at that time. 

Your page tells about the Essendon Aerodrome/Airport and of its opening 1921 however the aerodrome for Melbourne was in paddocks at Glenroy 1919-1921 (i.e. outside of the Point Cook military air fields). See photos SLV. I also recall the many 'quips' by local councillors who were really peeved when overlooked in NOT getting invitations to greet dignitaries including the Queen when they arrived at Essendon Aerodrome. 

Your page tells about place names. There was also the spelling "Mooney Ponds" on some old buildings see photos in SLV You have some excellent authorities for the FACTS about Strathmore. Sam Merrifield was a great man for the district. I must contact Bob Chalmers of the Essendon Historical society. Your pages have brought back many memories of the area and family names (e.g. I played hockey with some of the McCracken families).

Peter writes "I was living in Strathmore in 1961 quite close to the old railway crossing. One night in October I was woken up by the sound sirens and people yelling. I got up to see what all the fuss was about and walked up to the rail crossing. I saw an elephant lying dead on the crossing and a train derailed. So yes Carol some one does remember. I was 15 at the time."

Marie writes: "Hi, my family migrated from the UK in 1964. Strathmore HS in their wisdom or lack thereof put me in a class right for my year but below my capabilities. I spend a whole year totally bored and even reduced one teacher to tears. My enduring memories are of my classmates helping me adjust my pommie accent, and fish & chip lunches on Fridays. I was a bit of a novelty being a totally obsessed Beatles fan, complete with the haircut and fan club stuff. I remember a rumour that the Beatles, on their OZ tour, were to be at the Melbourne Zoo, goodness knows why, but a few of us wagged school, crossed the creek and went to check it out. It was ages before I was game to tell my parents!"

Debbie writes: "I remember the milkman with his horse and cart, I remember getting up early in the morning waiting out side listening for the horses hooves coming up the hill, hopping on and going to help deliver the milk (they were good times.)

I attended Strathmore Primary School until 1970 (grade 6) then went to the Secondary College for a few years. I used to walk to High School. It seemed a long walk then over the swinging bridge and up along the creek to school.

Remember Bonfire Nights (who would have the biggest fire).

Carol writes: "My name is Carol. I attended SHS from 1957 to 1960, having come from Moonee  Ponds Central School. I was born and bred in Moone Ponds before moving to Pascoe Vale South (almost Strathmore) after I married. I'm still there.

My children attended PVS Primary and Strathmore High School. Now my grandson is at PVS Primary School and will also attend Strathmore Secondary College.

Do others remember when walking home from school, or to the station, the girls and boys weren't allowed to walk together. I clearly remember Glenys and Rob walking along Woodlands Ave together holding hands (after all, they were going out together with the blessing of their parents) and the next day there was absolute hell to pay in the Headmaster's office. Little did they know that most us girls travelling down to Moonee Ponds and Essendon used to meet the boys from Glenroy Tech on the train.

Imagine our kids today if they had to wear a hat and gloves to school, as we did. We would be in real strife if we were seen not wearing ours to and from school. And do you also remember at assembly having to kneel on the asphalt while a teacher measured the distance our school uniform was from the ground?

Does anyone remember when the elephants escaped from the circus on Cross Keys oval back in the 50's? From my recollections I think one was hit by a train at the old rail crossing near the Greyhound Track.

I also have some very fond and warm memories of going with mum and dad and my brothers and sister to the Carols by Candlelight in Napier Park after church on the Sunday night before Christmas.

And of course, who in the 50's DIDN'T go yabbying in Woodlands Park?

Wonderful memories! "you can always go back to the place, but you can never go back to the time". "

Bruce writes: "I have some very good memories of going to Strathmore Primary School in the 60's. I remember on cold winters mornings the puddles on the asphalt schoolyard would freeze over and we would run and "ice skate" on the puddles. Dangerous but fun.  I also remember the huge number of the white thistle seed pods (we use to call them "robbers") that at certain times of the year would blow down from the thistle infestations of the undeveloped land in Strathmore North and Strathmore Heights. The wind would swirl the pods around in the schoolyard and children would chase and catch them."

Lindsay writes: "Thrilled to see your photo of the tree in the middle of Woodland street - my father had told me the story of this many times, but never seen a photo of it before. When I was a kid we rode horses from Woodland Street near Salmon Ave. across the paddocks to the trestle bridge - Essendon airport only came to top of Carnarvon Road then. Often looked across to the two up school on the other side of M.P. Creek. Also knew Jack English who owned and farmed Oak Park."

Nina writes: "You know the thing that sticks in my mind about the Creek land before they changed it to parklands is horses. People used to keep their horses tied to long ropes with a big bucket of water. The horses would graze away whilst us kids played around them. The grass used to be approximately 3 feet high. It was so high we played hide and seek in it. It was such a change to come back here to live as an adult and find the land all cleared and landscaped. Environmentally, I don't know whether that is a good or bad thing."

John writes: "I lived in Strathmore from 1952 until 1967. I was a foundation member of Strathmore High School, spending most of 1957 riding my bike between the various temporary classrooms. It was fascinating reading about the politics behind the establishment of the school."