I emigrated to Australia from England, with my parents, in 1937, when I was 14 years old. We lived in various flats for a few years after our arrival. Two of the flats were also in the Mosman area, one in Bradley’s Head Road and one in Cranbrook Avenue, although my memories of these places aren’t clear. In about 1940 we moved to lovely house, 44 Ryries Parade. I was in my late teens by that time.
I remember Ryries Parade well. It certainly was a long walk up the hill to the tram at Cremorne Junction – but we took it for granted. The view from the back of the house was wonderful – Middle Harbour in all its glory! We became close friends with a neighbour, Vera, but I can’t recall her surname.
I remember that scramble down the bush track, which started two houses down from ours near the end of the street, to get to the water and a rowing boat that one could use. I do not remember (if I ever knew!) the owner of the boat, which is rather is mystery to me.
While I lived in Ryries Parade I worked in the city until I joined the Australian Womens’ Army Service (AWAS) during World War 2. I often caught the ferry across to Circular Quay to go to work. Then in late 1949, I was married in the house, with much help from our friend and neighbour, Vera. My first baby was born in nearby St Monan’s Hospital in 1952.
My father died that year and my mother moved away from Mosman. So, that was the end of my connection with 44 Ryries Parade.
As I remember Ryries Parade fondly, a few years ago some Mosman friends took me to see our old house and I was happy to see that it was still there and looking lovely.
I lived on the corner of Ryries Parade and Lodge Road from 1942 to 1963 and attended Middle Harbour Public School.
Next door in Ryries lived the Myers family who owned the Mynor factory at the top of Macpherson Street. Who will ever forget Mynor’s GI cordial. Further up Ryries was the Gannon family, then the Sibree family ,then the Berry family. I think the Sibrees were attached to the RAAF and the Berrys were Solicitors.
To reach the tram up on Military Road we could walk up Ellalong Road, through Fernhurst Avenue and then up Macpherson Street. Alternatively we could walk north in Ellalong Road and then catch the blue bus on the corner of Ellalong and Macpherson.
Saturday afternoons were generally spent at the Cremorne Orpheum theatre or the Neutral Bay theatre (serials galore). To walk to Neutral Bay we would turn right at the top of Ryries Parade into Tobruk Avenue and walk for about fifteen minutes. Bob Virgona owned both the North Sydney Orpheum (the expressway now runs through the old site on the corner of Litle Arthur Street and Pacific Highway) and the Cremorne Orpheum. He would only rent one copy of each of the two feature films for the week and then run the reels between the two theatres; so one film would be shown before interval in one and then after interval in the other.
We used to swim down at Inkerman baths on Middle Harbour or catch the tram down to the Spit baths or the tram down to Balmoral baths.
Round the corner in Ellalong Road near Macpherson Street lived Reg Livermore with his sister Helen and brother Doug. I remember Reg used to erect little footlights between his lounge room and dining room and away we’d go with a little Christmas pantomime. He trained his audience from about twelve years old. We were even told to clap louder!
At the top of Macpherson Street was the Commonwealth bank on the left corner and Lewis the newsagent on the right corner, Further along was Mr Nicholas the pharmacist, then further the milk bar attached to the Orpheum. Opposite on the corner was Mr Huckel’s electrics shop.
The tram ride into Wynyard was eventful; after North Sydney the tram joined the rail line which had been intended for the Northern beaches line which never eventuated. The old tunnel still exists running off no.2 road at North Sydney station. It runs off up towards St Leonards Park and then stops in a dead end.