Fire Parties

Fire Parties

Posted by
(Alfred) Keith Daniels
Shadforth Street

I became a N.E.S. messenger or junior warden for the street but I was never required.

(Alfred) Keith Daniels · 21 November 2007

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Hi…I remember Terry Thorpe..VK@TM, an Amateur Radio Operator, at work a TV and radio technician who built his own gear…his work was utterly precise and beautifully done Terry was one of three Mosman Hams I knew, two really lovely guys..Ted Barlow of Spit Road VK2GQ…right next to the group of shops at Awaba Street was so kind to me as ayoung feller interested in Radio.

Terry used a modified AWA..”AR8” Australian ex aircraft receiver down threre in Shadforth Street…something just jumped into my head that he lived at number 34…with wife son and daughter…and his own (Geloso front end) transmitter.

I can recall being there many times and listening for “scheds” up until midnight..shreewww crackel wheeeeoaw,,,wheeeee weeeerp…and the voice from say Antarctica. ” VK 2 TM shrrrrriiisssshhhhh ..VK2TM…VK2TM…pssswwssss isssss..this is VK shwarkdr 9 THIS IS…Vk9…something…maybe a W or an M or such calling on sked…come in Terry..come in Terry.

Unlike me I don’t think Terry was interested in CW (morse code) but old Ted Barlow, ex RAAF was…and his wife was so kind. Ted used a BC348 Aircraft receiver and a “bread board” mounted transmitter…mounted on rack… from the early 30s. The tubes were immense glowing objects of another era ..I wonder why he wasn’t looking at my X-ray’d skeleton every time he transmitted..maybe he was!!

Wally Kermond, a soldier who lived further down in the spur off Spit Road …near the lighthouse…was not Ham but I visited him too as I constructed my one valve short wave sets with “reaction” (feedback) and using 2 45 volt batteries and one post office tall round cell I scavenged from the Post office techo.

The third ham I haven’t detailed…I’d rather forget but can’t…but I learned about some aspects of life from him which I have included into my life by excluding them..all the same…all a part of what started at Barlow, went to Shadforth Street via my “NSW Amatuer Call sign book” I worked hard to buy and which included addresses..I’d go and knock on their door.

Interesting days as a young man in Mosman where we were all a community..” must be a Clancy”...I can see that in your eyes”...a great place Spit Junction and where a lovely little lady went shopping for years with her downs syndrome son who grew taller than she…he carried her bag…but as the suburb changed she no longer fitted the image, nor did he and they vanished…..

Mrs Mc Gregor too, the fine Scotswoman who had the antique shop next to Dawsons, was 2 doors down from the council chambers in Military Road…who loved to see me..and I loved the antiques..over the road the old service station where the shops alongside what was then “Mosman Antiques was built..

Shadforth Street was kind of hidden…mostly accessed by a lane from Avenue Road then doglegging into Musgrave Street as I recall…losing the names…It was quiet….It has changed but managed to hold onto some of that sort of quietness even whilst losing property to some more modern apartments. It went down as I recall behind St Clement’s Church but was rarely parked out except during services or funerals..and back then people seemed to live rather than die…Because real road access was only from one end, down nearer the church Shadforth Street in a way, never seemed to exist.

Years later I wnt back to see Tery but he’s moved out..then I remembered he said he might…..and Shadforth Street went back into Camelot…

So…there you go…cheers Tony

— Tony Clancy · 8 February 2008, 03:33 · #

I remember Terry Thorpe. I lived in Musgrave street as a teenager and spent many hours and days with Terry and his ham rig. I was a radio and TV apprentice to Terry and I last saw him in early 1960 when he was with Ingles Electric. I remember Terry well and his beautiful ham radio gear. He taught me how to cut out those old chassics and paint them up grey and install new tops on the for building a rig. I built my first HF transmitter at 34 Shadforth street and I am glad I have found the number as I had forgotten. I was in Australia a few weeks ago in Mosman and I tried to work out just where Terry house was but couldnt quite figure the house as its been so long. Terry had hardships there his eldest son died at a very young age about 17 and his wife also died at Shadforth Street. He has a daughter Judith and another son Neil but I have never been able to track them down. I guess I spent around 4 years with Terry. I am told by the WIA that Terry married an american lass and went there to live. He had a great love for the US. It seems he also came back to Coffs Harbour and lived for 2 years but went back to the US where he must have passed away by this. He was great friends with Bob Medows VK-2IN. Sure would like to ahve a yarn with you Tony.


— Rob Germon · 8 June 2009, 06:09 · #

Will do Rob. You and I and all these people were a part of a gentle era of people who didn’t need to be entertained, who found our own fun in productive hobbies and loved to communicate. Such like us still are born but are overshadowed by a generation demanding to be noticed and demanding to be obeyed, demanding entertainment and enjoying things more off their faces. We have many stories to tell, let’s all tell them and actually build an Australia before we join the ghosts and spirits of those whom we knew so well who sacrificed all for us. Money was not then our be all and end all. We worked several jobs and loved it,we were entitled to pensions before the rot set in and paid vastly less pro-rata of salaries for houses but that didn’t suit the avaricious, the smarties, the nouveau “would be” riche. Tell them about our world Rob and all you others who read but don’t write, who have stories and experiences knowledge and photos, letters and manuscripts, and describe what great fun it was. Maybe they, the next generation, will see something about what it means being Australian instead of a US clone or rap-dancer or genocide admirer or believer of every political lie which emerged from WW11 and which has been fatal for millions. Maybe our stories can re-invigorate the simplicity and wonder of what it was being a dinkie -die real Australian and especially in pre-avant garde Mosman. Get out your Green and Gold WW11 books and read “My Son” should be read every day in Parliament in place of the lord’s prayer.

Dave Healey, write to me, your email didn’t work, mate Tommy Smit and Tinika, Tony Switzer, Richard Griffiths, all you chaps from Marist brothers… where are you all?....Jim Poate where are you?...Lets’ get together again! Cheers Tony Clancy.

— Tony Clancy · 9 June 2009, 11:46 · #

Hello boys I am an old Mosman Marist Brothers boy.
Lived in 74 Avenue Rd going through to Wolger Rd at the back. I seem to remember Terry Thorpe but I’m not sure why. I think the name Terry Switzer rings a bell as well. It’s great reflecting back on the streets and where we used to go in and around Mosman. If any of you can remember, I still keep in touch with Tommy Booker, Geoff Marles and Peter Whitfield from school. Peter’s father Jack was the local detective at Mosman and his mother Kate was Bumper Farrell’s sister. I am 60 this year and live at Lennox Head on the Far North Coast of NSW.
Mosman …what a wonderful place it was.

— Paul Wyatt · 19 June 2009, 05:18 · #

Hi, I am a old Sisters of Mercy/Mosman Marist Brothers\student 1944-1953. I lived at 126 Shadforth St, (its gone) and moved to 43 Avenue Rd,(its gone) until1958. Ken Irvine was a class mate at the Brothers along with John Murphy, John Timms ( We raced one of his beautiful ski boats) Tony & Maurie Colton, Toni Lopez (They had the fruit shop at Mosman Junction). I competed a Wool tech. course at Gore Hill/East Sydney then into the Pharmaceutical industry and stayed there until I retire I moved to QLD in 1960-65, back to Sydney/Newcastle back to Brisbane now live at Waterford West.

— John Geraghty · 29 July 2009, 04:09 · #

Hi, all.
The “Switzer” I knew was (is) Tony Switzer. He is still around. I ran into Paul Antcliff a few years ago, and he told me that he still sees Tony from time to time. (Did he live in Keston Avenue?). The Booker I remember is Bob Booker, Rosemary’s brother. They lived in Military Road, just a block or two from the Catholic School. Rosemary married one of the Antcliff twins, the bootmaker (Melvyn, I think), who died around 10 years ago.
The Lopez fruit shop has been sold, but it’s still a fruit shop, I believe.
having lunch with my brothers, Denis and damien, in April last year, we ran into Tommy Smit, and spent some time shooting the breeze with him.
David Healy

— David Healy · 4 February 2010, 03:32 · #

Bob Booker now lives at Harvey Bay Qld with his wife Gail. Rosemary lives in Beacon Hill. Her husband was Lyle, the twin brother of Melvyn and he passed away 10 years ago last June. He and Melvyn went to school with Ken Irvine at the Marist Brothers. You may also recall that Len Antcliff (the youngest of 5 Antcliff’s) was in Bob’s class.
I am the youngest sibling, Tom and I live on sunshine coast Queensland.
My much older class mate Paul Wyatt alerted me to your comments so I have passed them onto Rosemary and Bob. Paul and I went to school with Terry Thorpe (Wyatt has no memory) and Peter Irvine. The Clancy name is certainly well know to all and sundry who lived and worked in Mosman in the 50, 60’s and I guess 70’s.
Richard Griffiths lived two doors down from us and I remember that he was a great swimmer. He was also very keen on chemistry and with my brother’s help almost demolished his family’s garage late in 1958 . Last time I saw Richard was in the 70’s when he worked at Westpac in the city.

My family lived at 433 Military Road (now a block of units) and I often drive through the Mosman area to visit two of my three children who live on the Northern Beaches. A lot has changed but the memories are many and still put a wry smile on my face. Bob and I were taught by the Sisters of Mercy and the Marist Brothers. Rosemary by the Sisters of Mercy.

— tom Booker · 14 February 2010, 03:26 · #

I am trawling the net to show things to my son related to his family. I am late 50s and have no memories of my own of Shadforth Street, though I was thrilled to find it and go wandering there some years back once I became a parent myself. My parents lived I am pretty sure its on my birth cert at 60 Shadforth around 1953/54. My father was ex Brits Navy transferred to Oz Navy to be with my mother who was travelling the world as a governess and ended up working in a guesthouse in Nowra. They met there. He was stationed at Nowra on leave and then Mosman Naval base when he returned from the Korean War as an Aussie sailor. He left the navy eventually and they moved out of the area. But have some lovely photos of my rather beautiful young mother in her 50s hollywood hair holding her little bundle of joy outside of a sandstone fence there somewhere. And some pics taken in the back yard. A neighbour there said yes she was aware that the navy had rented some of the houses there for their people at that time. Loving reading your stories of that time when you didn’t need a million dollars to live in that lovely part of the world. Would love to live there for a bit but probably not on the cards! Much warmth and pleasure in your stories. Thank you!

— Lorraine Binnington · 15 May 2011, 23:59 · #

I went to Marist Bros Mosman up until 1953. I was just surfing and came across this blog. Ken Irvine, his younger brother, Tony Lopez, Frank Portelli, the Antcliff boys, John Bailey … it’s great to hear about the old school days. Apart from John Bailey and Louise Locke from the nuns across the road, I lost contact with all the classmates. I did however meet up with Ken Irvine, he called my concrete business and had us carry out some paving work on his home in Frenches Forest.

I still tell people about the time when a group of us went down the road and took itchy buds from a tree and caused so much havoc that old Froggy had the whole school in the parade ground looking for the guilty boys … no one confessed or dobbed us in, so the whole school got a wack.

— Ian Hay · 8 June 2011, 21:04 · #

To Ian Hay,
I remember the day of “The itchy bud” fiasco. I was called down to Frobert out the window’s office under the stairs, I had burnt my hands a few days before and had them bandaged,I questioned him on my apparent situation, to which he flew into a rage, as he could not cane me on my hands he made me drop my pants and gave me six across the hind quarters. I became his mortal enemy after that.
John Geraghty

— John Geraghty · 27 February 2012, 15:42 · #

Hi, stumbled over this site again and oddly whilst thinking of the girl Gillespie!!…I wonder what she’s doing!? these days. Saw her at the reunion many years ago, terribly nice and memorable, have a picture her and myself and Paul Antcliffe there … It’s good to see your names and your survival. Paul Wyatt I remember very well and Booker’s, Antcliffe’s Healy’s, Griffith, Barnett, Perdriau. can’t list them all…Ian Hay and his brother?)…was related to Hay’s Jewellers in Manly (yes),,bit of a lad as I recall…Peter and Les Ham
are still around as I recall, Les did a radio programme of classical music from home or a community radio station…and had great devotion to Our lady of Medjugorje. Les, a refugee as I recall, was a whizz with making telescopes even at school. Tony Switzer is very ill I hear…sadly, ….I’d like to see him again. Paul and Lennie Antcliffe are still active.John Willis,Farrell, Anyone recall Dennis Tapp..he disappeared between 5th and 6th class and the rumour was he’s met a sad fate…but I sometimes wonder about him, Willy Martin, who certainly got as many sixes as I did, where are you Willy… .time for another reunion or a beer isn’t it..or both!!…Rita Smith’s mother died recently, you’ll recall Bill Smith from Whittles. John Geraghty….I think Kenny Irvine was three classes ahead of ours. Great swimmers….how about Ken Hatten, left the Olympic champ way behind at a demo at Nth Sydney pool and his brother Allan was also a great swimmer and both could run. . Both did miles of swimming training each morning….. Remember the brothers..Herbert,, Swithin, Redmond, Frobert, (aka Froggie) Mc Carten, Aquinas (Baldy), “Mex”….Nicholas, ‘the Mongol’ (his name eludes came for one year and went to civvy..tragically to arrive to my horror at my next school at St Pats Goulburn) ) Ted (Rogartas?) Vincent, Keenan, ..add some more….? Any others remember the ‘cruel’ rhyme about Br Aquinas, a great English lover and teacher and copper-plate handwriting expert…“Baldy Baldy, common noun, parse him up and parse him down, neuter gender hopeless case, governed by his ugly face”…that’s a long time ago, LOL!!!….Ron Germon I vaguely recall you…you were at Terry’s twice when I was there. Email me (goldmort AT Also Wally Kermond, who emailed me…love to hear from you again..and Miss Gillespie too….Always pleased to hear from you.

— Tony Clancy · 21 April 2012, 10:42 · #

Lived at 19 Noble Street, Mosman (1/8/1954 to 12/5/1973) memorable dates first my ninth birthday the second my wedding day. Remember billy cart redex trials through streets of Mosman and Cremorne, mulberry trees at bottom of street etc those were the days.

— John Willis · 11 March 2013, 15:02 · #

John Willis: Your brother Bob was in my class at Marist Brothers. Ran into him at the DMR many years later. Heard he died quite young.

— David Healy · 4 December 2015, 15:30 · #

I was a student at Mosman Marist Brothers from 1954 to 1960.
I knew a lot of the people mentioned including Ken Irvine who lived at 106 Holt Avenue and I lived at 66 Holt Avenue . Brian was in my class whereas Peter was younger .Tony Lopez was also in my clas and a great source of laughter particularly with our lay teacher Mr. Locantro.
Yes a lot of memories raised including my best friend at that time Colin Coulton along with his big family..Tony Maurie, Jenny and Roberta.
Could go on but I don’t want to bore .It would be good to communicate with likeminded survivors!!

— Chris Gray · 13 April 2016, 21:38 · #

I also attended Marist Brothers Mosman leaving in 1956 to go to Oakhill College with John Cody. I remember Brian Irvine, Ken Hatten, Tony Lopez, Jimmy Vote, Victor Volpe, Chris Nolan, Barry Aylwin, Colin Coulton, Geoff Hicks and Dennis Moulton….I also remember Br. Aquinas “Baldy” Br Frobert, Br Keenan….I still see Tony Lopez and was friendly with his brother Dom when he was the Mayor of Mosman.

— Peter Rolfe · 19 June 2016, 15:23 · #