1950s Transcripts

A transcript is an exact copy of the things said during an interview. These interviews are with people who lived in our area during the 1950s.


What was the Birkdale area like in the 1950s?


Interview with Peter Beer

When it was about 1951 my father Arthur Beer retired from his city job and decided to subdivide the farm (this is now Birkdale Intermediate School) and sell the sections, about 1954/1955 the Works Department wrote to inform him that they would take a large part of the subdivision for a school. He was disappointed because he had saved this land and cut it into quarter acre sections, beautiful sections sloping to the sun which were selling for about £450 each in those days. It was compulsory to sell to the Crown (Government) at whatever price they offered. At that time this farm was planted in an orchard of peaches, plums, nectarines, apples and lemons. I can remember coming back to see ripe apples still hanging on the trees unpicked after the Works Department had bought this land and hadn’t yet levelled it and made the school and the land was the beginning of two streams, there were two gulleys and at the far one there was a spring where a cabbage tree grew and a creek, a stream started which joined up with the big creek down there. All of that stream went out to Hellyers Creek down the bottom so I was saddened. All the things I had worked for, the apples were just hanging on the trees eaten out by birds, dropping on the ground and really they are unpicked. I can remember sad and feeling the loss of my family land where I had lived until I was 21. I looked up to the house where I had spent my early years with my three brothers Paul, Mark and Michael in a house that I had helped my father to renovate at the age of 12 in 1940 during World War II and you couldn’t buy any new materials, the roof had to be made of second hand iron because of the war effort. You couldn’t get a lot of materials and it was a lovely home. We kept cows and hens and there was always milk, cream, butter, eggs, fruit and vegetables.

December 3, 2012 |

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