Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

mid-north SA

I googled for this picture, thanks to whoever put it out there....

We arrived in Port Pirie late one night on the "Bluebird", (not the one in the picture, not sure what year the photo is from), a passenger train that regularly ran from Adelaide. The year was 1957. In those days the trainline ran down the centre of the main street to where the railway station was. This old railway station is now restored and used as a museum. The newer railway station was built across the paddock from the high school while I was there. We'd sit on the oval during lunch and watch the construction.

Being so far from Adelaide, television reception was poor, so very few people had TVs. By 1960, more people had television, viewing made possible by antennas mounted on large towers similar to those carrying electrical wires across the country.

I don't have any photos of these towers, but I have asked my sister who lives there if she could maybe get me some...

Anyway, these towers were in peoples backyards, close to the house, to minimise the amount of antenna wires needed I suppose, and those of us who were game enough, (my brother and me), used them as playthings. We swung from them. We climbed them. We climbed as high as the roof and jumped across to hide in the dips between gables and spy on people walking past. We hung sheets and blankets around the base and had a cubby or fort depending on what game was being played. We climbed higher than the roof, as high as we dared, and clung on while the wind tried to blow us down.

The towers were easily 60 feet high and probably dangerous, oh alright, definitely dangerous, to play on, yet play we did. Absolutely no thought was given to safety. Falling didn't even cross our minds. We were having FUN. And no, we never did fall.

I don't remember when we stopped climbing the tower, but I've never forgotten being up so high and looking out over the rooftops and backyards of our suburb. We could see as far as the beach in one direction (a mere 5 minute walk down the road), and as far as the city shops by turning about 90 degrees west from there.


  1. Kids never think of falling lol.

  2. The car in the middle looks like an Austin A70. The one on the right of it is a Ford Consul. The old crate on the left is probably 1920s but could be a Ford or anything, there were still a few of this sort around in the 1950s.

  3. Ha these days, they'd have a cyclone fence around them and no access. Loved the things we did when we were young without a care. I'm ashamed to say , I've never been to Port Pirie, just the Barossa and Adelaide. One day . . .haha your captcha is "Stepit" maybe I'd better walk the distance!

  4. Between the cars and the diesel train, I'd suggest the photo is around the mid 50s. Diesels weren't on the line up this way much before then.

    I grew up with one of those towers next door. I may even have photos of it somewhere. I was never quite as brave as my brothers, but it was still a good climb (and scared the wits out of mum!)