A (small) room with a view!

Posted by
Alan Harvey

After living in both a flat in Sommerset St and a house in Noble St, in 1966 we suddenly moved to a small flat in Middle Head Road. This came about because a Real Estate Agent knocked on our Noble St door one day asking if we wanted to sell. My dad didn’t want to sell but he told the agent if anyone offered “this much” (and it was a highly inflated figure) he would consider it. The agent soon came back and said he had a buyer who agreed to the price and so we were on the move to Middle Head Road!

The “offer” was obviously very good and Dad and Mum decided they would buy land in a new suburb, Killarney Heights, and build a brand new home. Dad, with the help of some friends, had done a lot of renovations on our Noble St home and didn’t want to renovate again and mum wanted all those 60’s mod cons, especially a dishwasher. This meant for about 6 months we needed temporary accommodation and mum eventually found a flat in Middle Head Road.

There are two things I remember about this flat. One, as we were on the second floor, it had a magnificent view over Balmoral Beach and towards Manly. Although being on second floor meant it was a bit of a shakey walk down some very old wooden stairs to the clothesline. Secondly, the flat was extremely small. The kitchen was small too and quite old fashioned, although once again it had a great view, but as young adults we could now guess what life was like for mum and dad in the tiny Sommerset flat with 3 kids. Unlike our Sommerset St flat though, where we were babies and toddlers, in 1966 were all large teenagers stuck in this very small 2 bedroom flat. It was also the only year us brothers (or “My 3 Sons” as dad would say) were in high school together (Shore). My older brothers got the second bedroom and I slept on a bed in an enclosed balcony which was also the dinning room. I didn’t mind too much as waking up to “that” view every day made it bearable and I could step out of bed and be first at the breakfast table! It must have been quite difficult for my eldest brother though living in such tight circumstances as he was doing his HSC at the time.

A couple of positives about the unit was that it was close to Mosman Junction and close to our Scout Hall at George’s Heights. Other than that it was very tight living although being at Shore we were busy with sport practise after school and played rugby and cricket for them on weekends so we were out quite a bit.

Eventually when we did move to our new home that year and it was both exciting and sad. Growing up in Mosman was fun. With all its parks and beaches it was a wonder full “playground”. It was the era of the “baby boomers” and kids were everywhere and we’d formed some great friendships. Moving out to a new home and suburb was exciting, but looking back at the time we spent in Mosman, they were formative years that we all treasure.

Alan Harvey · 15 February 2012

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Finally tracked down the street number where we lived in Middle Head Road. It was 107.

— Alan Harvey · 19 February 2017, 21:51 · #

Alan Harvey, I noticed your comment about moving to Killarney Heights, my parents did the same to the 17 year old me. In 1967 the family home that I loved at number 59 Gerard Street, Cremorne was sold and my parents built a new home in the brand new suburb of Belrose, not far from the newly subdivided Killarney Heights. Belrose in those days, much like Killarney Heights, boasted that it was the new area, designed like the modern suburbs of the US, a garden suburb. So move we did, away from Military Road at Cremorne where the buses flowed into the bright lights and discos of Sydney. Suddenly I found myself living along side bush blocks, where the biggest mosquitoes on earth live and where the sound of silence was deafening. This was the other side of the norther suburbs, where the only public transport was a Private Bus Company that ceased to operate at 7pm most nights. No more city lights for the 17 year old me. Gone was my Cremorne community, the lifestyle I love and to make matters worse I lost contact with so many of my school friends. My life changed forever, party weekends turned into body surfing at Manly and riding horses along the trails of Frenchs Forest. Life went on and in 1990 with the loss of our parents behind us my sister and I sold the house in Belrose and moved to the central coast.

— Robin Corban (nee Webber) · 11 July 2018, 21:31 · #