Allen and Shirley Wilson (nee Lock) Interviewed by Bryan Power on 6 May 2009
Allen and Shirley met at Allen’s father’s hairdressing saloon at the corner of Melbourne Rd and Victoria St, North Geelong. Shirley’s sister Beth was working in the shop as an assistant and one fateful day Shirley called in there on her way home from work and so she and Allen met for the first time.
Alec and Cora Wilson and their four sons Max, Doug, Allen and Wes lived in a residence at the back of the shop.
The boys all attended North Geelong State School and later Doug and Allen played football with North Geelong in an era when North was the dominant club in the Geelong area. Doug was the only one of them to become a hairdresser.
Allen went to the Gordon Institute and gained a diploma in electrical engineering and then worked for the State Electricity Commission in Geelong.
After Shirley left high school she attended Austin Commercial College and after eight happy months there she found an office job with Geelong solicitors Crawcour & Hollyhoke.
Later she worked at the International up until the time she married Allen.
Shirley and Allen were married on 28 February 1953 and rented a house in Albert St, West Geelong. They were keen to live in North Shore and bought a block of land from Mrs Hall in Pine Ave but when they were offered the house at No 41 The Esplanade they sold their Pine Ave block to Mr & Mrs Holwell.
Their three children are Ian who married Gail Morrison and now lives at Forest in the Otways, Eric married to Janet Dunn and living at Barwon Heads and Linda in Highton. Allen and Shirley also have four grandchildren.
The Locks came from Colac. After serving in the First World War Eric Lock went jackerooing for a number of years. Eric married Winifred Clutterbuck at Colac and their first child Arthur was born there in 1931. The family moved to Geelong and were paying off a nice home in East Geelong with the T & G but had it repossessed when Eric lost his job during the Great Depression.
They moved to North Shore and their first house there was next door to the Berry family at the northern end of Seabeach Parade. The house they lived in later, at 29 Myrtle Grove, was owned by Jack Webb who was the chief engineer at the Phossie where Eric had obtained work as a rigger.
Shirley (1932), Beth (1934) and Winifred (1942) were born in Geelong.
Shirley and Beth walked across the paddocks each day to North Shore State School.
Shirley can remember Bubbie Gourlay riding his horse to school.
Shirley’s best friend at North Shore was Marj Thomson who lived in Seabeach Parade.
Bill and Nellie Clarke lived next door to them in Myrtle Grove. Bill was a Scot and owned two Scottish terriers.
The Lock dogs were ‘Boxer’ who was a mixed breed and then later ‘Tinker’.
Shirley’s family were members of the Presbyterian Church but the PFA had not been formed when Shirley was of that age.
Shirley and Beth went to Geelong High School but Winfred, who is ten years younger than Shirley, went to Belmont High because at that time she was living with Beth and Beth’s husband Stuart at Hamlyn Heights.
Arthur met and married a Western Australian girl, Jill Gordon, in Melbourne and they had four children: Peter, Robert, Stephen and a daughter, Kristen. Arthur had studied at the Gordon and then went on to do architecture at Melbourne University.
The family lived at Greensborough. Arthur died on 8 June 1997 at the age of 66.
After her stint in the Wilson Hairdressing Saloon Beth worked at the State Savings Bank in Moorabool Street but left that job to help her father care for her mother who suffered with a chronic nervous disorder. Mrs Lock died on 15 October 1954. She was only 49.
Beth later married Stuart Watson, a North Geelong boy. Their children are Bruce, Carol and John.
After the death of his wife, Eric went to live with Beth and Stuart. He died on 10 May 1974.
Winifred worked in the office of Brintons Carpets in Breakwater and it was there that she met her future husband John Hand.
They had three daughters: Susie, Heather and Judy. Winifred and John divorced and later Winifred married Bob Hamling.
Allen was very much involved with the Presbyterian Church in North Shore and was the Sunday School Superintendent and Youth Leader for 30 years, from 1951 to 1980.
He also played with the church’s cricket team, a North Shore-North Geelong combined team known as North Presbyterian and in one match he set a club record with a score of 217 and also, during the same innings, he and Jim Sillitoe set a club batting partnership record.
Allen enjoyed a 33 year career with the SEC, broken only by a couple of years at the International before returning to the SEC. Allen retired in 1987.
After the children had left home Allen and Shirley set out to fulfil a dream of living on some acres and they eventually found an ideal place at Leopold not far from Lake Connewarre where they have lived happily since moving from North Shore in 1980.