Whittle’s Hardware Store

Posted by
Terry Brown

I was wondering if anyone had memories of Claude Whittle’s Hardware Store in Military Road, Spit Junction?

The staff while I was working there in the sixties were Bill Smith, a charming man of wonderful character, he was very kind to all who met him; Mr Claude Whittle, the wonderful elder of the family, served daily to all of his many friends; John, his son, a hard working man also kind to all; myself and a chap – I can’t remember his name but a cheerful person. Claude told me that he had sailed to Australia, so his trip was long, and hard. The shop was a joy to work in and it was quite a famous shop. I know for a fact that it was spoke about in London by travelers in endearing terms. Claude stocked all and sundry, gold fossicking pans, paint, ships fittings, really all you would need he stocked. I hope someone remembers the dear old shop.

Thank you to the Library for this lovely site which I love to go on to look for photos and stories.

Terry Brown · 10 October 2007

Your comment

I lived in Cowles Road and would often visit Whittles Hardware in the ‘40s and ‘50s. It was on the corner of Harbour St. and Military Rd. Whittles offered a multitude of hardware items and the front window quite often featured a range of kitchen/gift items. As a young boy I saved my pocket money up for some time and purchased a decorated dish complete with lid, on a warming stand, as a gift for my Mother on Mothers Day.The flat above the store was occupied by The O’Loughlin Family. Mr. O’Loughlin worked at the Oaks Hotel, Neutral Bay. I believe the store changed hands in the 1960’s.

— Bruce Manuel · 29 November 2007, 02:30 · #

CORRECTION!... My comments re Whittles location was incorrect, I confused this shop with another hardware store in Military Road.

Whittles Store was across from the Kings Theatre on Spit Road, just south of the old Bank of New South Wales, and between the bank and the Masonic Lodge. I remember Mr. Whittle as a very knowledgeable shop keeper who was patient with us young kids who would often ask a load of naiive questions about how to build a billy-cart etc.

— Brucey M · 6 May 2008, 02:15 · #

My great Uncle was Claude Whittle, but he lived in Flemington, Victoria. He was a lovely old gentleman too. He died in his nineties. He was my grandfather’s youngest brother. My single name was Whittle and I am searching the family history. Originally our Whittles came from Lancashire, UK

— Edna Coleman · 11 May 2008, 07:58 · #

As a boy I remember the charming and voluble Claude Whittle, A long face with jowels and kindly eyes. He always wore a bow tie and swore that he had the cheapest mouse traps in Sydney.

— Paul Delprat · 28 June 2008, 10:55 · #

Does anyone remember MT Curran Chemist Shop opposite Belmont Road entrance to Military Road, just past the post office next to King Weddel Radio and TV Shop? My parents owned the shop, Marie and Syd Curran from 1952 to about 1971.

I have many memories of growing up in Mosman as a child and a teenager. Does anybody remember the old house on the corner of Belmont Road, which was part of the school grounds? We used to, as kids, sneak over there and go exploring into the building. It was a wonderful old turn of the century double-storey structure with a pointed turrett tower.

I also remember Claude Whittle very well, having done many errands up to Spit Junction to go to the Whittle hardware shop. There was a flying fox on a cable in the shop into the basket of which you could put goods and they were then delivered to the front counter. Claude Whittle was a really funny and spontaneous guy and yes, I remember his bow tie clearly! The shop fascinated me as it had so much stuff inside and you could walk on the old floorboards right up to the back of the shop and be totally fascinated by all the kinds of stuff he had in there. They also provided good old fashioned service with a smile and sometimes a joke and nothing was too much trouble for them. These were the days when service meant something in a shop, long before the Bunnings afflication occurred.

Does anyone remember the Montana Milk Bar next to the Hoyts Kinema, run by the lovely Italian family? Us kids all lined up there on Saturday afternoons to go to the ‘flicks’. Particularly clear in my memory in the 1950s was the fantastic layout the Hoyts management did for the movie ‘Jedda’, setting up amazing re-creations of scenes from the movie with 3D images of koories in the Australian landscape. It was a memorable and magic moment to walk into the picture theatre that day. And just added to the poignancy and the impact that this movie had on everyone who saw it.

Ron Curran · 24 October 2008, 08:23 · #

Well..g’day Paul Delpratt, who lived (maybe still does) just above Nth. end of Edwards beach just to the right of the stairs, house set back about 3 metres from the street as I recall. Balmoral was a famed spot for artists and Paul was/is an artist and with a very pretty sister who spent a bit of time down the ski fields..I wonder how she is these days.

There were a few interesting people down there including Darryl Finlayson from who I bought my first Motor Cycle, a 1925 or 27 1200 cc Harley. Darryl rode a Matchless I think. He had a mad mate who had come off his bike onto his face and his face looked like one big scab…he was undaunted however… Later I had a nice cycle or two myself, a nice 650 and also a T120S Bonneville..another long story.

A short one though…On the Matchless I went for my licence down at Mosman police station. The policeman was interested in the cycle, the police had used them in fact I can recall the police sidecar cycles…Sgt. Menzies from manly…not a very empathetic cop at all…also was seen riding through Mosman occasional with his sidecar outfit.

At the licensing I was a little nervous at first but the copper was ok. We chatted then he pointed and said “go down the road to where the break in the fence is…see down there” ..yes!...now at that point do a U-turn and come back here…”...nup..”eh”?...I said no I can’t do that…”why”...there’s a “no u-turn” sign down there..He laughed…”ok…go down there do a three pointer and come back. I kicked her oer as I sat down, gave a handsignal and took off. I glanced into the vibrating rear vision mirror 20 metres later…saw he was walking back into the little grassed area alongside the police station! I did the right thing any way….Licence?..no problems….

I wonder what happened to Darryl,he was a big handsome chap who lived one street up from Balmoral. I lost track of him not long after he went into the army. I’m sure he also played in a band…lived with his mum.

A couple of really good sorts used to accompany him here and there, sisters,...the names just won’t come, it was a jewish name and they were from cremorne girls I think rather than Queenwood.. ..anyway it’ll emerge soon.

I think one was killed somehow (not like Janie Bower though whom I remember well) perhaps in an accident.

The really turn-you-on girls came from Cremorne girl’s high but the ones who passed our house each morning from Queenwood with their skirts hiked up (to get their legs browned on the walk down to school from Spit Junction were worth the effort of hanging for a look around too. I’m pretty sure they had Saturday morning school too then…which is when I had the time to be working on my car or cycle from 7 to 10 am!!.in Clifford Street..Interesting days!.

Balmoral changed from a place where you’d timidly ask a girl the time in a fumbling effort to get aquainted to a place where men would come and do it to you…I fished down there several times a week and later went spearfishing quite a lot. John Willis was attacked in that area I frequented and a lady sewing in one of the houses up high above, not too far away from Delpratts there saw the whole thing through her window I recall. I once came across a large shark there only maybe three yards in front of me and I became “jet propelled” getting the hell out of there cutting myself on the shells on a ledge just around the point… The last couple of metres I was truly “packing it” . Without going into a hundred tales I have about Balmoral I also came across a large sunfish at Balmoral baths and on another occasion suggested a hammerhead brought in alive by fishermen on a boat be sent to Taronga, and it was. They came down with gear and took it away in sea water. You could catch a fish then, it wasn’t the highly polluted place fished out by professional with nets it now is.

The Hoyts Kinema, I remember it well, I had a substantial collection of Intermission passes to get into the second half free. I remember trying most stunts like walking in backwards as others exited…worked ok…or at the Kings going in before the movie when there was no supervision and leaving the latch off the rear door into Clifford Street. The Kings had coca-cola club on saturdays with the bouncing ball sing along and all that and also “serials” those ‘cut up’ westerns and superman and other films …but the serials were much better at the “Southern Cross” at Neutral Bay. I did a lot of walking then!

There was a Milkbar, yes, next to the Hoyts at Mosman Junction, that’s true, but unfortunately all that went when the RSL moved from its bankrupt as I recall position at the corner where the Antique centre took over, just east of Mandalong road and moved to where it is now under new management..

Now, to Claude… Claude Whittle’s Bill Smith had a wife and a pretty daughter….lived down near Joe Antcliffe’s home and across the Road from Paddy Kennedy…Antcliffes and I fished down at Inkerman’s boatshed area. Pat was a good mate at school, we got into strife occasionally.

I think Rita was Bill’s daughter. Wonder what happened to her?...up the road from there were the Rick Collins’..live theatre people and Tony Bott. Tony had an ‘interesting’ history…wonder where he got to after going overseas.?

Back to Whittles as I am tearing through this…Whittles was really interesting when Claude was alive..he knew where everything was under the piles of stuff. Bill would prattle on making jokes and giving advice, another chap worked there also sometimes, and John of course who was tall and solid and not the humorist as was Claude. John took it more seriously. When Claude died and the shop was tidied up the charisma died somewhat but at the same time the Mosman Council in its typical self preening pompous ignorence let the Junction die…carparking even across the road at the old tram terminus went to the great edifice of the old people’s home…after some monkey business to turn Spit Junction into a shopping mall was defeated. In the meantime dad’s business war ruined by these “developers”, sending him broke through court costs and when the court refused to toss him from his last shop at no 4* he was burned-out. He told me later 7 other attempts had been made. One of the developers he later found was one of his “mates”..

His wonderful shops which had every year the windows stripped of all Commerce for two seeks before and after Christmass and a large nativity installed were gone and a very awful cement floored shop went in as number 48 and became a liquor store.

Claude’s shop was right next to 48, though I think there was a photographic studio upstairs between them and therefore Whittles was still number 50. I remember the inside of it pretty clearly and the back yard and the windows. Upstairs from on the “50 plus” side there were the sailmakers upstairs, Whittaker’s ” ....who did the sails for America’s cup…then later Yeff’s glass shop which moved from alongside dad’s factory when the “developer” got cracking and tore it all down. “Vandals in the name of progress” they are fixated on money…..Mosman has had numerous of them and it all had to go through the cliquey Mosman Council Management.

The lodge location..You had to go north of 48 Spit Road to get to the Masonic Lodge, there was a lolly shop at 46..where Lammie, a pretty Arabic girl maybe Lebanese and her family lived (after an explosion the shop was burnt out) ...where are you now lammie?.... then next to it was a small, narrow menswear shop, then the brick front of the masonic temple (windowless as usual) ...long ago it was a church as can be still seen from the lane behind that area…later just north of the lodge came the hock shop which was owned by Mr Goldberg.

If I recall Friday night or maybe it was Saturday was lodge meeting and the stuffed shirts with their black cases and unsmiling faces were milling around in the foyer looking terribly important.

Yes I remember the Chemists, Mr Curran, quite clearly it was right next to the post office, the door was on its left and the counter on the post office side…It’s now a real estate agency…..I think that eventually, after your parents, the pharmacy went to Mrs. Charlesworth (yes?)..The young Charlesworth was studying I am pretty sure Pharmacy at uni but played in a band at Manly Skiff club on the Friday or Saturday night…their signature tne was “Gloria” and they really did it well.

The radio place you mention wasn’t as interesting as Huckles or the one at Spit Junction (Wedells actually….). The one you mentioned was I think, too modern!!... but I know the one you mean, almost opposite the Kinema corner. You might have the names mixed…but I bought the only Crystal set I bought from there..it wasn’t a patch on the ones I made…little Japanese one in a creamy coloured case about 6 inches by 3×3 with a red and cream dial….useless thing.I paid it off for ages to add to the ideological injury.

Jedda was mentioned…and Jedda I saw, thought it was a bit of a dud…. but I think it had a pretty aborignie girl in it….that’s all I really remembered at the time…LOL!!

I could go on for ages but have to stop soon as i am scooting from place to place…down the road on the way to the army barracks was a boy called Darcy Nelson, big feller then to me…wonder where you are Darcy?..then at the army barracks was Charlie Tobin’s ‘girlfriend” Sonia. She was very very pretty. Charlie is gone now, sadly. He lived not far from Antcliffe’s also, bit closer to Macpherson Street..I can still see his house in my head…I don’t forget these images of the houses or the people.I sometimes now have to think about a name though.

People had terrible tragedies sometimes, the Antcliffes, the Bowers, Dennis Tapp’s family for example , yet the Clancy children are all still living…amazing really.

Tony Switzer was well known as was Paul Antcliffe and they were popular with the girls.Now I recall somehow that maybe Tony was in the Ampol with some young blokes in an old open topped car…I am pretty sure it was actually an old Rolls…painted in reddish primer and held together in some places with fencing wire. I saw the car and some commotion. Later I heard someone had approached them at the service station and was told where to go and what to do with himself…....he pulled out his book and said “Ok..I’m a transport Inspector ”...whoops!!... wrong move!!..The car was defected off the road.

Tony Switzer in particular was a big boy. In those days quite a bit of street fighting went on. I was a bit timid but found I could do some real damage when people pushed me too far. I can remember some vicious fights I had at Mosman and at at the circus at Cammeray, where the golf course is.

Later, next generation, a new breed of tough-guy family emerged down at Mosman Junction, one family in particular. I recall one brother, Guy, punching a hole through the timber door of the Oak’s Hotel one night…

Few people know that these areas from Mosman to Crows Nest /St Leonards were plagued with party crashing and street brawls. The 21 Division was excessive in its violence and mistreatment too…the police seemed to like to provoke people into giving them the opportunity to do them harm.

Bumper Farrell was the local 21 Div heavy but he and I got on ok after a confrontation we had. Much happened around Mosman Cremorne which was later somewhat replicated in the newer drug frenzied times. A new viciousness to do with drug trading and cannabis growing around Mosman emerged but that’s another story.

I recall the Wipples pretty well and have had the enjoyment of writing to Cy not long ago.

Brucie Manuel yes there was another hardware store in Military road Mosman down near the police station..maybe that’s where you meant..? I seem to remember another too but somewhat smaller, narrow, closer to the post office….further back. Cheers all

— Tony Clancy · 15 December 2008, 23:22 · #

Frank (Bumper) Farrell was never in 21 Division. And if we had 21 Division around these days at least decent citizens would be safe walking the streets. In those days the crims and hoodlums were scared of the police. Not any more.

— Dave Whiteman · 13 January 2009, 22:56 · #

I respond to Tony Clancy. Article dated Dec 16th 2008. Tony I am alive and well living on the South Coast of NSW at Moruya. Would love to get in contact.

— Darcy Nelson · 13 February 2009, 01:07 · #

Another hardware store was Wildman & Elliott, not on the corner of Harbour Street, but on the same side (and a few doors up) from the then Mosman Library.

The one on the corner of Harbour Street, I can’t remember the name, was, at one stage, owned by the Wakim family. Paul Wakim became a solicitor, practicing at Ashfield (I think that he is till there, although there is a Paul Wakim, solicitor, in Bowral).

Darcy, I was in your brother, Denis’ class at MBHS Mosman; you were in my brother, Denis’ class. I recall that the Nelsons were heavily involved in Lane Cove JRLFC

David Healy

— David Healy · 7 August 2009, 01:43 · #

I remember Whittle’s Hardware, and Claude Whittle, well. Always a charming and informative man.

And I remember the Montana Milk Bar, next to the Kinema. I remember Dom Lopez working there after Saturday arvo “flicks”; I think that he was going out with one of the daughters of the owners; he might well have married her.

Did you know that Dom’s father, Tony, was interned during WW2?

I note that the Lopez’ fruit shop has closed down or changed hands in recent years. One of the last existing Mosman businesses from my youth.

David Healy

— David Healy · 7 August 2009, 02:02 · #

All Mosman and Balmoral boys remember Mr. Whittle. Paul Delprat and Pip Ashton were the best artists in 5th and 6th class at Mosman Primary and, no matter how hard others tried, their artistic skill never quite made it. Kanga Birtles and Paul Delprat were virtually neighbours – we all loved the stories from Dora on Frank Birtles exploits crossing Australia by car in the 1920’s (I think).

I really want to know the name of the theatre where we were all marched on Empire Day (24th May) and sometimes for other shows as well. It was located near the bend in Military Road that comes around from Mandolong Road – not too far up from the Mosman Bus Company Depot (Blue buses). can anyone recall the name of the theatre,

— Chris Borough · 1 January 2010, 08:29 · #

Remember Whittles very well.
I lived at the bottom of Mandolong Rd.1940’s next to Boddam Wethams-(Good old Bin.)Mosman Juvenile Baseball Assn.. Martins-Cornish-Quillen-Holdsworth-Leckie-Murphy-Greenwood-Alldritt-Suter-Atkins ran shop at bottom.
Mosman Infants-Mosman IHS
Opp.Mavis Mills had a riding school-we swam horses at Chinaman’s.Peter was local dog.
Dinny Lutge-Maggie Council looked after beach-surrounds. Ron Rule family at Pavilion.
Balmoral swimming club.Also we swam at Cavill’s etc

— Jack Cameron · 18 February 2010, 08:06 · #

Discovering this website has brought back so many memories.

I lived in Spencer Road, Cremorne, now it’s in Mosman municapility.

I remember fondly Huckle’s Radio Shop, on the corner of Cabramatta Road and Military Road, Cremorne. I would make a detour just so I could press the button on the window and watch the train and scenic railway display.

Other fond memories are walking around the Cremorne Reserve from Mosman Bay and playing hide and seek along the way, with my dad; catching the ferry with my dog from Mosman Wharf, to Cremorne Wharf, across to Circular Quay and back again, without getting off and having to pay for the rides; crossing the fantastic suspension bridge over Reid Park, Mosman Bay; and climbing in a large water pipe in Reid Park and one day discovering someone’s belongs inside.

I have lots of memories of Balmoral Beach. Swimming at the southern end where the trees shaded the parked cars and the boats bobbed around in the water; going to the shop at the wooden boatshed to buy lollies; walking on the jetty to see what fish had been caught; swimming at the ‘net’;
playing and climbing over the ‘island’, looking for sea creatures in the rock pools and walking around the rocks at the northern end.

Someone mentioned the pet shop at Spit Junction. I loved the big yellow ornamental dog that sat at the front door. I think it was for collecting money for the blind.

I went to Middle Harbour Public School and Cremorne Girls High. There was a girl in my class named Sylvia Delprat. She had previously attended Queenwood. Haven’t thought of her for years, but the mention of a Paul Delprat brought back her memory.

— Julie Knight · 18 February 2010, 09:06 · #

I was looking for some information and came upon this site I remember all, so I shall try and give you some that are gone at the moment there is a huge developement cnr Raglan st and Military that used to be Moran and Cato, walking up from home to watch T.V. at night with my mum and dad at Wardells
musticks from Jimmys the movie theatre I think I have lived here too long

— Chris Dale · 25 March 2010, 09:33 · #

My daughter came across this site and it’s lovely to read all of your memories of Mosman and Whittles’ Hardware. Whittles opened it 1920 and continued until 1988, when it closed.

My father was John Whittle, and obviously Claude was my Grandfather. I have so many wonderful memories of the shop, ‘helping’ Dad & Pa. Bill Smith was like part of the family and was a great friend and valued employee of Whittles for all those years.

As some of you may know Whittles was all but destroyed by fire, but Mum & Dad rebuilt, but it was never quite the same. It had a huge impact on Dad and I think he never really got over it. Mosman has changed so much over the years, but the memories I have are of a wonderful community and people.

Sadly, John Whittle passed away on 6th October 2009, aged 89, after living a very happy and long life. He was one of life’s true gentlemen and was a wonderful father, friend, husband, grandfather & great-grandfather, brother, uncle & Alderman.

— Louise Rodie · 22 April 2010, 08:58 · #

Lovely to read about my old boss Claude and John, both lovely people, plus dear Bill Smith, lovely shop, i loved my job then. so sorry to hear John has passed away.

Regards terry Brown.

— terry brown · 23 May 2010, 17:20 · #

Love to hear anything about Cremorne, Mosman, Neutral Bay. I grew up in Parraween St & at the moment tripping down memory lane. I like it there.

— Marion Barnard · 10 July 2010, 11:36 · #

OMG! I just can’t believe what I have read. I am Rita, Bill’s daughter. I was directed to this site by the Library. On a tour of Lake Eyre last week I met people from Mosman who knew my father. I emailed the Library to try and chase up an article written about dad when he died in 2006.
Tony, the last time I saw you was at the reunion for the Sacred Heart girls in the late 80’s. I remember so many of the shops mentioned.
David, you got the shop correct. Near the petshop was also Callaghan’s grocery store. Back to Spit Road and there was Mr Teiffel the chemist, there was a milk bar a couple of shops up from Whittle’s. I used to take off and order an ice cream or milk shake. The people always gave it to me, spoilt me rotten because I was Bill’s daughter. There was the fish and chip shop too not far from Coles, and back towards Ourimbah Road was Craig & Littley the estate agents. Upstairs from Whittle’s was Miller and Whitworth (they made a new sun roof for my first little car a Fiat 500 Nuova D). Ben Miller changed his name to Ben Lexcen and I am sure you all know who he is. I went to school with Jane Bower. Leonard Antcliffe was my boyfriend for many years. Knew Paddy Kennedy. And there’s so much more.
I am not sure where to go from here, I am just so excited about this site.
I live in Canberra, have done since 1980. Two daughters, Michele 39 married to Jaime and has three boys 10, 3 and 4 and Samantha 31 with Amy aged 10.
I would love to hear from anyone if they care to write to me as I have no contact with the area and often speak of Mosman and people there with fondness. I still have a great love for the old Whittle’s shops and know some wonderful stories about the place.

— Rita Corbett · 23 April 2011, 16:12 · #

And sorry, Terry, I do remember you too. There was a David Campbell worked there at one time also.

— Rita Corbett · 23 April 2011, 16:24 · #

Just a thought, there may e some confusion between spontaneous comedian Bill Smith and old Claude who was much quieter. Claude knew the location of everything irresepective of what it was or under how many layers… I never wanted a thing Claude didn’t have stashed away somewhere….wonderful wnderful place was Spit Junction and it was almosy “country” in a way. I really missed Claude’s piled assortments when John, as sons will and after Claude’s death,, tidied-up.!! The ebullient Bill Smith was also a whizz of location. What a great period of history we lived through in such a great place….as was said to me by a Vietnam vet, “they don’t know what they missed, the nwer generations, we had the best of it, we lived in a wonderful era”Cheers

— Tony Clancy · 25 April 2011, 19:05 · #

I recall Whittles and the milk bar close by that burnt down in the late 60’s or 70’s

Mark Skipper · 14 May 2011, 20:16 · #

The milk bar that burned down was occupied by a very sweet family, I remember one daughter Lammie..maybe one was Rosie. I thought the family was Lebanese, I wonder whatever happened to them….? It reminds me I bought my G-Man bubble gum there and aniseed and lemon fizz dumbells and sherbert bags there…remember them?…with the flat licorice straw to suck up the powder…..Petrov’s had the fish-shop where the hock shop now is (was?) hardworking refugee migrants often with tragedy striking, even in Australia.

— Tony Clancy · 21 April 2012, 12:54 · #

Tony Clancy, if you happen to read this, I ran into Paul Antcliff in January this year (2012). He told me that Tony Switzer is quite ill. (Paul is doing OK).
I was also contacted, because of this site, by Rita Corbett (Smith). Catherine and I had dinner with her and her partner, Stuart, late last year. She and I had a great time reminiscing about the “old days”, which I am sure bored Catherine and Stuart to death.
I hope all is well with you. (Whatever became of your sister, Denise?)
David Healy

— David Healy · 27 April 2012, 08:12 · #

The milk bar at the time of the fire was owned by the muvic family and at the time they sold fireworks the step brother Boris was out the back taking a nap and the stepsister Anne was looking after the milk bar – as a young 14 old I seem to recall that someone threw a Tom thumb at Anne who brushed it away and it landed in the fireworks display – thus the fireworks went off and the milk bar burnt down.

My family owned the fish shop on Spit Road which my grand father started back in the 1930’s – we lived in Cowles Road and I would be interested if anyone remembers my late mother & father who were well known in Mosman

— Tom petrovski · 17 May 2012, 21:23 · #

I am trying to locate a family member that disappeared off the face of the earth in about 1968. He had an antique shop at approx. 730? Military Rd Mosman named William Henry Antiques. His name is Neville Malcolm Justus Clover & was a gifted pianist who taught many. He later opened a shop in Gordon, not sure if it had the same name.

Does anyone remember this shop?
Kind Regards & thanks for the interesting history.

— Tracey · 25 November 2012, 12:08 · #

I am Les Peterkin. I lived in Mosman for 27 years. I was the PE teacher at Moman Intermediate High School from 1954 to 1958. Later in 1970 a friend named Willaim Gill and I , opened a studio of Dance and Pottery in what was the Miller and Whitworths sail loft above Whittles Hardware Store.
We called it STUDIO 52A. I was a constant customer of Whittles and knew Claude ,John and Bill very well. Our studio was very successful for 10 years until the fire, in I think about July ,1980 practically destroyed Whittles and we had to close down. It was a very sad occasion. I have only just discovered this website and found it it most interesting.

— Les Peterkin · 17 August 2013, 12:08 · #

Yes I worked at Whittles in 1964-65 as a truck driver. Old Mr Whittle was a great old man. John and Bill rounded of a great team in that shop. I do remember Johns family and Bills daughter Rita.
I do have great memories of the shop and those that worked there.
Anyone can contact me. Via email lyndonreece@gmail.com
Or ph 0414661085
Lyndon Reece 11/09/2013

Lyndon Reece · 11 September 2013, 08:22 · #

Yes, I remember Whittles very well in the 1960’s and 70’s as a boy. My mother Wyn was raised in Balmoral, Botanic Rd, across the road from the baths.
My Father and Grandfather had chemist shops on Spit Rd, my Grandfather E G Neale was on the corner of Awaba St Spit Rd and was there for 40 years until 1983. My Father’s chemist shop was further down nextdoor to Callaghans fish shop at 150 Spit Rd and was there until 1974. At one stage I was my Fathers delivery boy and remember going to John Whittles house in Michell Rd behind the shop. It was the last house in the street before the elbow into a lane.
As for the Whittle shop I remember Bill, who would always had a long chat to my Mother and eventually they got around to the subject of actually buying some hardware after solving all the worlds problems. Mum (1977), Dad (2010) and E G (1983) all gone now. As a delivery boy I knew a lot of Dad’s customers, the nursing homes like Rima that were there in the late 1960’s. It was a real community in those days long before shopping malls.

— David Neale · 25 September 2014, 20:18 · #

hi – My Dad had a milk bar 408 Military Road Cremorne around 1947 and I would like to know if there are any photos or information around that time.

— Anna Notaras · 13 January 2015, 13:08 · #

Les Peterkin: Good grief, Les. You were my PE teacher in 1st year Mosman high school. Were you were living in Mabs Wilson’s house at (about) 15 Musgrave Street? We lived in 11A. I’m very pleased that you still have life left in you – this augurs well for me!!

— Ian Crooks · 24 June 2015, 20:34 · #

It’s a great pleasure to read this website. I grew up in Neutral Bay but I’ve got many fond & vivid memories of Mosman & of my school mates – with inevitable regrets for my own ‘bad behaviour’. After leaving school I became a clerk in the Public Service, singing part-time & eventually full-time in bands.
In the 80s I finally yielded to the ‘Hound of Heaven’ (it’s a famous poem by Francis Thompson) once & for all. Now I’m ‘retired’ I sing & play gospel & other music in nursing homes, hospitals, churches, pubs & clubs & on a little radio show. Great job you’ve done here Anthony. Please drop me an email.

— Terry Darmody · 5 November 2015, 00:18 · #

Hello Ian- I just had a look to see the latest posts and there you are. You have a good memory.It’s hard to believe it is 60 years ago which put you 70 something and I am 81.Yes, I was living at Mab’s Wilson’s place ,15 Musgrave St. I have been living in Newcastle (49201870) for the last 7+years. There are some other interesting posts by the Mosman lads here on Mosman Memories by Chris Withers, Richard Piedmont and Dennis Francis. Maybe you’ve seen them. Anyway take care Ian and keep on keeping on!!

Les Peterkin · 19 December 2015, 13:36 · #

It is so good to read everyone’s comments of their memories of Mosman. My family moved there in 1960 when I was only six months old. I miss Mosman especially Balmoral so much. Whenever I visit Sydney my daughter and I always make a trip to Balmoral. I even took her friend to Balmoral when we were visiting Sydney for the 1D concert in February 2015. I remember in the early years (1962-70) when my dad would take us all to Balmoral Beach from 68 Spofforth Street Cremorne, where our house once stood,and one that was owned by Tess Scully. And sometimes in the early Sunday morning, we would hear faintly the roar of a lion from Taronga Zoo. I hated that zoo as a child, animals in cement cells was traumatising. I remember feeling angry when my older sister tookn me along with her new boyfriend. Maybe it is a different place today but I don’t like how Taronga Zoo is being used for social events etc, how do the animals there feel I wonder. Anyway, that’s said. I remember seeing ‘Love Story’ at Cremorne Orpheum and so many other films there in the 60s and 70s; thanks to Mike Walsh it was revived. Cheers for now. I always say that if I win Lotto, I will move back but to Balmoral.

— Eunice Callaghan · 5 January 2016, 22:22 · #

You all seem to have such knowledge of the Mosman area – I wonder if you might be able to help me on my quest?
I am trying to track down archives/negatives from Stuart Brown Studios, 48a Spit Road, Mosman. Which as far as I can see, no longer exists.
You see he photographed my parents wedding in the late ’60’s and sadly the album, framed pics etc were stolen when boxes of storage went missing in transit.
My parents will be celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary this April and I dearly want to frame a print of their big day.
Please email or call if you can help.
Many thanks in advance,

Anthea Williamson · 23 February 2016, 14:45 · #

This is to reply to Les Peterkin. I attended Bill Gill’s dance school upstiars when about 8 yrs old, and my sister and I remember your vases your made, as we would walk pat your studio entrance. I did not ever forget them as they looked to be out Aladdin’s tale! The vases were taller than us! Ming inspired, blue and white ceramic vessels? My mother Sita was at Ashtons Art School, (Rocks), this would be about 1976/77, we lived in Mosman, in Killarney street. I looked up information about Bill Gill, as I am studying post grad (Creative Arts Therapy) and just completed a unit on embodied inquiry / movement. Bill was an entertaining teacher, good instructor! I did attend other dance schools later (Jill Glastonbury Academy, Melbourne). I am sorry the dance school caught fire; we left Sydney 1978.

— Genevieve · 15 July 2016, 13:39 · #

Have just found this website while doing some research. So many memories of those names who have corresponded . Tony Clancy, Rita Smith ,the Antcliffes plus the names, Marist Bros Mosman. Whittles ( knew where every bolt and screw was kept) , Kings Theatre and milk shakes. A great era.

— Roger Desmarchelier · 3 August 2016, 17:09 · #

Hello Genevieve -it was so lovely to read your comments. I can't say that I remember you but its great to know you remembered us. Sadly Bill passed away some 12 years ago. I live in Newcastle now. You can see the pottery vases you mentioned on my website : www.lespeterkinpottery.com
They were memorable days at the STUDIO 52A

Les Peterkin · 6 October 2016, 15:37 · #

I have found memories of Whittles Hardware. My family always shopped there for hardware items and John Whittle and staff would always address us by name – what service! I also remember the Friday night in 1980 or 81 when a fire ripped through the shop. I was studying for my HSC at the time and heard the sirens on Spit Road from my place in Congewoi Road and ran several blocks to see what all the commotion was about.

— Ian Crouch · 12 May 2020, 17:58 · #

Periodically but not often enough I re-look…but how to contact the people?

David Healy, Terry Darmody (remember you well) Peter Ham and his brother, Paul Antcliffe, Darcy Nelson…and I have just seen his note….how the years fly by. Roger Desmarchelier and Lulu… Rita of course…Tom Petrovski, yes I recall you and your dad….Some of the girls I re-met at the many years ago ‘old boys reunion’ at the strata….are you still around?. Here’s my email address ‘goldmort@onthenet.com.au’…say ‘hi’. I’m still around more or less and just completed a Masters Degree to make up ‘for it’.

My Regards

— Tony Clancy · 25 August 2020, 10:04 · #

I remember Whittles hardware with many fond memories growing up in Mosman as a kid in the 60’s
My dad would often take me in there on a Saturday morning after footy games at Balmoral. I was always mesmerised by the shelves and the owners ability to find things in the jumble of shelves .
My dad would often have a laugh with the owner and would often send me in there for joke items like a left handed screw driver or stipped paint , but the best was when he would slip into the pub for a quick beer and send me to the hardware to pick up a long weight

— David Bussell · 16 June 2022, 22:27 · #