YOUNG Family 19 Portland Street, Norlane (Formerly known as Normanby Street, changed sometime in the 50s.) The house is on the corner of Hopetoun & Portland Streets.
Thomas George Young was born in 1923 in Jung ‑ a small farming town just outside of Horsham. He moved to Geelong with his family in approximately 1930 and lived in Swinburne Street, North Geelong.
Jean Agnes Elizabeth Doull was born in 1926 in Geelong West, where her family lived in various homes.
Tom and Jean were married in 1946 at St George’s Presbyterian Church, Latrobe Terrace, Geelong. They lived for a short time with Jean’s aunt & uncle in Wellar St, Geelong West where their first daughter, Judith Grace, was born in 1948.
They made the big decision to set up their own home in the new Housing Commission area now known as Norlane. It was on 15th December 1949 that they moved into a brand new two bedroom home built by Murray & Rowe for the Commission. What a special Christmas!!
The home consisted of a wood chip heater in the bathroom, open fire place, gas cooker and a copper in the outdoor laundry, a wood shed and an outdoor toilet. There were no floor coverings, blinds or curtains.
There were houses on one side only of the street when they moved in and you could see across the paddocks to the Phosphate Company in North Shore.
The only shop was 'Walpoles' on the corner of Hopetoun St & Melbourne Rd. Many happy years were spent shopping there. Judith & Dianne have fond memories of their Dad’s pay day when that night over he would go to Walpoles' and come home with their favourite ice cream or lollies.
It is strangely comforting remembering the days when the milk was delivered by horse and cart and you always knew when the baker’s van was in the street because the wonderful smell of fresh bread would waft ahead of it.
Grocery orders were picked up each Wednesday by a boy sent out on his bike from the Corio Stores in Little Malop Street, Geelong. The orders were then delivered on the Friday by van. (See attached copy of Corio Store receipt.)
Also ice was delivered in big blocks for the ice chest from the Ice Works in Fenwick St, Geelong.
Meat was bought from Spitty's butcher shop in North Shore Rd in the days when their floors were scattered with sawdust.
Tom and Jean’s second daughter, Dianne Faye, was born in 1950.
Jean became a very good homemaker, teaching herself to sew on an old Singer treadle sewing machine. There was no end to what she did with that machine, from curtains for her own home as well as the children's clothing - that's, of course, when she wasn't knitting for the family.
Prior to their marriage, Jean worked and played basketball for Sims Cooper, Corio Quay.
They canned food for the War Services. She also worked at the Federal Woollen Mill for a short time. Her married life was devoted to her much loved family.
Tom worked at Fords during the war years and then moved to Pilkingtons where he remained for the next 34 years, eventually becoming Maintenance Foreman. He played cricket for the
His weekends were spent turning what was bare ground into a fine garden.
In later years he turned his hand to extending the family home by adding another bedroom and living area, bringing outdoor laundry and toilet indoors.
Their third daughter, Joanne Wendy, passed away in 1958 just two days after her birth.
It wasn't long before, with much joy, their fourth child, a son, Stephen Thomas, was born in 1960.
The homes in Portland St in the 50s and 60s housed many young families. At one time there would have been approximately 70‑80 children. They were the days when children played in
the street and would be in and out of one another’s homes. Most times things were peaceful but there would be the odd fight or two, which always livened things up in the street!
As the area developed a shopping centre named 'Labuan Square' was built in Tennyson St.
Jean would often cycle to the Square where she could purchase anything from groceries to chemist items, haberdashery or a new pair of shoes. It was a very welcomed centre in the area at the time.
The Norlane Hotel was built in 1959 (see attached copy from the Geelong Advertiser) at the North Shore Rd end of Portland St. The hotel in those days closed at 6 o'clock so it was a regular sight to see different characters staggering home along the street.
Jean recalls many humorous stories but one in particular stands out. There was one character who was past staggering. A taxi was called but the driver refused to take him. Tom took pity on this chap and managed to get him into his car. On arriving at his home the wife abused Tom for getting her husband drunk and then turned on the husband for not bringing home any extra liquid refreshments!! Whenever Tom recalled this story to his mates it always caused great laughter.
Football was a big part of Tom and Jean’s life in the early years and they were regular supporters of the Geelong Football team. In later years Tom became disillusioned with League Footy and became a staunch North Shore follower. Tom enjoyed 23 years of retirement before passing away in 2003 just prior to his 80th Birthday.
The children have remained in the Geelong area and although Portland Street is a shadow of its former self, Jean, the last of the originals living in the street, is determined to see her days out in the place she has called 'Home sweet Home' for 60 years.