let's take a walk around the town

On Tuesday morning, I gave up waiting for the bus pretty quickly and decided to walk a loop that would take me down the road past my old High School to the intersection where I'd turn left and continue down to the Solomontown area of Port Pirie.  I'd see the Primary School, continue along Three Chain Road, (which is also Spencer Highway), to the beach, then back along Main Street to Ellen Street to my room.

Here we go.......

 Wandearah Road.  I'd walked along Florence Street to the roundabout at the intersection with Mary Elie Street, crossed over and walked down Wandearah Road. This passes my old High School.....

and here's a glimpse of the back entrance. I remember riding my bike from the school, all the way down Wandearah Road and turning left into Grey Terrace without holding the handlebars. I was such a daredevil......
Opposite the High School oval is the Railway Station that was being built when I was a student. We'd sit on the grass in our lunch break and watch the workers sometimes.
It is no longer used as a Railway Station for passenger trains, but there is a mini railway that operates from there. 

On the railway side of the road here is what you'll see now if you walk like I did....

Aussie scrub......

and trees all the way.

These tangled tree roots could almost be yard sculpture.

I followed this walking track a little way but soon went back to the roadside.
After turning into Grey Terrace, I saw this....

the old rail yard with some track still there for the goods trains that go to the smelting works or the silos. Passenger trains no longer go into town, the bus from Adelaide is the only way if you don't drive.

I also saw lots of peppercorn trees....

some still had the tiny pale yellow flowers that would turn into these....

...peppercorns. They start out green and shiny, then turn pink and papery, eventually browning and shrivelling, before falling to the ground.

Further along Grey Terrace I spotted the overpass that is part of Three Chain Road. 
As far as I know, Three Chain Road was called that because of the two narrower roads that flanked either side of Spencer Highway separated from it by wide median strips of assorted types of trees, one of which had a playground in the middle. The strip, not the tree, ha ha. The playground is no longer there and the access turns from Spencer Highway to the side roads were closed off when the overpass was built sometime in the 80s or late 70s. 

The overpass seen from Grey Terrace.

I walked under it and stopped in the shade there for a moment,

and spotted a couple of pigeons doing the same. 

The overpass from the Solomontown side.

This is how you get up and over...

and here is a view from the top. Aerials everywhere and the Flinders Ranges in the background.

Down on the other side, Grey Terrace is now Railway Terrace and on the corner is.....

my old Primary School, attended from 1960 to 1964, five whole years of my life, grades three to seven.

The original stone building, grades six and seven, is still there, but there was a fence where those cars are and cars parked on the street back then. Where that garden now is. Most of the temporary demountable classrooms are still there too, plus a few extras.

These airconditioning units sure as heck weren't there when I was. 

There are even classrooms where the practise cricket pitches used to be. 

We've done about half the loop...I'll let you rest, it's been a long walk. 
To be continued.......


  1. Oh, yes, the great tall windows with no screens, the bottom sash fully up. Thirteen years of our lives, and completely ignorant of air conditioning except Sunday afternoons at the movies.
    I was looking forward to the tour of your past. Waiting now for more.

  2. I loved this trip down memory lane with you. And no, there was no airconditioning when I was at school either - and precious little heating either.
    Looking forward to the next stage of your marathon.

  3. Did you have fans, at my school they just opened the windows and doors, and in winter they were closed but we did have heaters because I remember someone left a book on one and we had a fire and the firemen and their trucks all turned up, that was fun and we had half a day.
    Ah schooldays.

  4. We had half a day off I forgot the off.

  5. Noticed your city where you grew up and my city where I live now have some things in common, graffiti and pidgeons.

    Looked like an interesting place to grow up in. I know the newer schools here have air conditioning but the older schools don't. I know ours didn't when I was in school.


  6. I went to a one room school grades one to eight...no ac there either and the heat was a wood stove at the back of the school for the first couple of years.
    Looks like it was a brilliant sunny day when you did your walk about.

  7. It looks like you walked quite a distance. I am bit curious about the name Solomontown.

  8. What a wonderful tour you are taking us on. I notice the 'temporary' demountables are still there as is often the case with Aussie schools. We had no heating or cooling way back then but the ceilings were high which kept us cool and we wore jumpers in winter.
    I don't blame you for popping under the overpass to cool down and it would seem the pigeons often do the same as they have left lots of 'calling cards'.
    I love peppercorn trees. Do they grow naturally in South Australia? I've seen them occasionally here but not in any great number.
    Looking forward to the rest of the tour.

  9. Back to your old stomping ground eh? It's nice to go back and see all the things you enjoyed as a kid. I hope you enjoyed it.

  10. I'd forgotten about the no screens which meant the windows had to be closed when the bush flies were bad. I think we did get screens before I left primary school.

    Elephant's Child; Funny how memory looks different to reality. Of course it has been many, many years.

    Merlesworld; I don't remember any fans until our grade seven teacher brought in a pedestal fan, no heaters for the winter, but in Port Pirie we didn't really need them, the buildings warmed up pretty well with 40+ kids per classroom. I remember half days now and again, but not why we had them.

    betty; the best part about it was everybody knew everybody else (and their business), so kids could roam freely and be completely safe.

    Delores; Australia had a few of those one room schools, but usually way out in the countryside away from towns. As they closed, kids had to get up early and catch a bus to the nearest town school. Brilliant sunny days are the norm in Port Pirie, even in winter, although the air is cooler then.

    Andrew; it seems like a much longer distance now than it did then. We had the energy of youth I suppose.

    Mimsie; South Australia is chock full of peppercorn trees, especially the northern areas.
    We wore jumpers in winter too and I wore slacks to school on my dad's insistence, but that was against the rules, girls were supposed to wear dresses, so every winter, every day, I had to write lines.
    "I must not wear slacks to school."

    Kymbo; enjoyed? Not so much, the flies drove me crazy and I came home a day early. Couldn't stand them.

  11. I have to take a nap after that long walk but I enjoyed it and could feel the warmth.

  12. Snap on the no air-con when I was at school! I remember sweating like a pig on summer days, even at high school. The nuns thought it was character building :-)

    I enjoyed your stroll down memory lane, although I could feel the heat shimmering through the screen. It really is relentless, isn't it? No escape...

    I loved seeing the peppercorn tree. We had one in our school yard as well. It was still there when my daughter went to the same school, so I wonder if it is there now. I might have to take a snoop on Google Earth....

  13. Manzanita; I had a nap myself after getting back to the motel.

    Marie; we had several peppercorn trees, I didn't get to see the back play area this time though, so I don't know if they are still there. I hope so, but I don't think kids would be allowed to climb in them now as we did then, for health and safety reasons.


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