The Bickerton Family by Mary Sturrock (nee Bickerton)
My Dad, Bill Bickerton, worked for Redpath Brown on the building at Yallourn Power Station. When that was finished he could have either gone with them to work on the Sydney Harbour Bridge or Fords.
When the building was finished at Fords he worked in the factory on the leather trim.
Dad worked for Pivot for approximately 10 years. When the boats were in, Dad used to drive the winch to bring the trucks of rock up from the boats. At other times he worked with Joe Power in the Acid Plant.
An Indian on one of the boats wanted to buy a chook. He killed it then wanted to cook it. Mum was pretty scared so she let him. He curried it and took it back to the boat. He left a little curry powder for Mum to try.
Football was played at an oval diagonally opposite Fords beside the hotel. Dad played a game or two and then he umpired but not for long.
McClures had the station. He also must have worked for the railways as he sometimes worked at the signal box in North Geelong.
The church was the other side of the railway line. We used to go on Sunday School picnics in a furniture van with seats around in it.
Dances were held at the North Shore School.
Smiths had the Post Office. Mr Smith had bushy white whiskers. He would go for a walk along Myrtle Grove and if you met him he would throw a handful of musk lollies on the road for you to pick up. When Mr Smith died the funeral left the house and I climbed a tree opposite to watch what was going on.
I think at one stage that Thompsons lived across the road. They had an Alsatian dog that ran out and bit me when I was going for the mail one day.
The baker delivered the bread with a horse and cart. If you bought a dozen buns you got a baker’s dozen. Sometimes the baker would put a penny in one of the buns.
Dad used to have standard roses. When Carl Schacke was showing flowers he would come over to see what Dad had out and sometimes use some. Carl Schacke had a big garden.
To go to school I had to walk to Fords to catch a bus to North Geelong school. Molly Hinksman from the shop used to walk with me. She went to St John's. Coming home we would walk to the tram terminus to catch the bus. It would go up to Seabeach Parade at night. The parents got together to get the bus to stop opposite North Geelong school (not long before we left).
Hinksmans’ store had the first red ice blocks I had seen. You could get one penny worth of broken biscuits from the grocer shop in North Geelong.
You could smell the pies and pasties cooking at the shop near the North Geelong station.
The headmaster at North Shore School had a two stroke motor bike; you could hear him all over the place. We used to say, “here comes old Pop Mason.”
Footes used to live across the highway from Donnelly Avenue. My uncle, Bob Elliot, lived next door to Les Foote. Uncle Bob was Mum's brother. He was a noxious weeds inspector. My first ride on a motor bike was on his bike.
In a phone conversation on 24 May 2005 Mary told Bryan Power that her family had lived at 7 Myrtle Grove. During that time Mr Taylor built and lived in the weatherboard house at 9 Myrtle Grove. Then an English couple, Mr and Mrs Cook, lived there. They had four children, two of whom Mary remembered were Jean and Colin. Bella Nicholls (Mrs Pat Hole) bought the house at No 7 from Dad when we left to move to Rowville. Chrissie Nicholls lived in Nauru. Betty Scott lived further down Myrtle Grove. She was about four years older than Mary.
Mary also gave Bryan a copy of a reference given to her father after he resigned from Pivot. It is dated 8 July 1937 and reads:
To whom it may concern
Mr W Bickerton was employed by this Company for approximately ten years, ending his services with us at his request, in November 1936.
He served the Company in various capacities in the Production Section and in 1929 was appointed to the Works Staff as a chemist operating a shift in the Acid Plant.
His services were valued in that he was reliable and conscientious and always applied considerable thought and initiative to work in hand.
Mr Bickerton left to work on his own account and carries our best wishes for success in the future.
A Trevor Davies
Acting Works Manager