My recollections

Posted by
Rick Jenkins

My family has been in Mosman for nearly 100 years. They came from Manchester in the UK and after living for a short time in Eastern Avenue, Kensington, moved to Cremorne.

My grandfather, Aaron Jenkins built 1 Thompson Street, and they lived there for some years. I remember stories about the wonderful parties they held in the ballroom on the first floor of the house. I remember the house he built was doubly expensive, because the builder was stealing the bricks to build another home for himself! I’m not sure, but it would be too late now for the Dept of Fair Trading to act :-).

The next house was one my grandmother built – 19 Whiting Beach Road. My grandmother bought the land from the Buckles next door. I see now the new owners have added a second level. This was the original idea, so my father (Phillip) and aunty (Ann Jay) could share the house and have their own space. My father married in 1943 and my parents shared the Whiting Beach Road house with my Aunt and Uncle (Joe Jay). My Aunt lived there until she sold the home in 1980, shortly after my Uncle died.

Back to just after the war, and my Aunt saw a ‘for sale’ sign on a couple of tennis courts beside the flats owned by the Gilets at 27 Bradleys Head Road. She told my father and he immediately pruchased the land for one thousand pounds ($2000). This was to become 25 Bradleys Head Road, a wonderful home where I was born and grew to my adulthood there. Mum sold the house in 1979.

Of course there are a plethora of memories, but one thing that I always remember is Dr Ralph Huntley’s Rolls Royce, 4-133 was the number plate I think, was always parked outside our place as he was visiting my Dad and talking about racehorses! He owned a horse called Carmen and Dad used to race and breed the thoroughbreds.

Growing up on Bradleys Head Road was full of adventure. Yes, really! I would often go to the zoo – we would climb over the fence – and wander around. We would collect the ‘Osborne’ drink bottles and get 6d (5 cents) for each bottle from the little kiosk.

The bush tracks around Ashton Park and Clifton Gardens were just great. As were the tunnels that I see mentioned in some of the stories – cobwebs, sticky, mossy, dark caverns – all very spooky.

Who remembers walking up the huge stormwater pipe at Sirius Cove?? Did you know you can look out of the drainage grates at the end of Sirius Cove Road?!

Rick Jenkins · 1 June 2010

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Do you but chance remember a Roger Nicholson who lived 5/15 Bradleys Head Road around 1972? He was my fathers best man but they lost contact. I am trying to trace him but he seems to have moved from the area. If you know anything about him then please can you get in touch. Regards


— Martin Day · 1 July 2010, 20:20 · #

Rick, like you I grew up in Bradleys Head Rd, but I am writing in response to your question about who remembers walking up the hughe stormwater pipe at Sirius Cove. One night after a senior school party (1980 or 1981) my friend James van Sommers suggested we walk up with a torch with a dying battery. When it got too narrow we turned back, only to find what looked like a funnel web spider blocking our way (we had not noticed it on the way in). As the torch kept flickering out, James was luckily brave enough to (successfully) attack the spider with his shoe, and we made it out.

— Derrick Browne · 24 May 2019, 15:11 · #

I certainly do remember the storm water drain, as much as the one at Balmoral. That one, you could walk half way up Botanic Rd. Also we lit a fire with tyres and boxes right under the grog shop across from the beach, never seen people with such confused looks!!.
For me!, best place to grow up! You just had to use your imagination, we had, forts , an old factory at Rawsons Oval (pre 70’s), the Army stores to visit down at middle head and just of Georges Heights Oval and HMAS Penguin big swimming pool and also I was part of the First Port Jackson Sea Scouts.
I remember one Sunday afternoon, all the leaders involved in the Scout group, were having a B-B-Q, and we pinched a flaggen that was near by and put number one in the bottle, and believe it or not they drank it!.
Yes we were horrible, but I’m nice now. Wonderful Memories….

— Andrew John Dean-Smith · 20 March 2021, 18:42 · #