A trip down memory lane.

toglhot

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in the late 40s a number of veterans from WW2 formed a Co op to build themselves houses. Originally there were around a dozen members, but that number was gradually whittled down to six as some members pulled out. All six houses were sited on the corner of Toorak Rd and Francisco St in Rivervale. The members of the co op pitched in to help each other on weekends, unfortunately, my old man was a shift worker, most of his days off were during the week, so he ended up building the house virtually by himself. The building started around 1949 the last being completed around 1957. All members of the Co op built temporary residences at the bottom of their blocks to live in whilst they built the houses proper.

Bricks for the temporary dwellings were made by hand, similarly joinery and other bits and pieces were also made by hand. None of the members were builders, rather, they learned the skills needed by actually doing. The houses proper were made from granite, ferried down from the hills in wooden trailers and cut to shape using a hammer and chisel. We lived in our house at number 73 from the beginning until 1970 when my folks sold up, except for a short period when my folks bought a shop with attached house around 1956. All the granite houses are on the historically significant register now.

Growing up there was plenty of Bush around as Perth wasn't a well populated city during those years (pop around 250,000). However, Being so close to the city the properties are quite expensive now,. Perth population now is around 2,000,000, Perth really took off after Australia 2 wrested the America's Cup from Dennis Connor in 1983.

Number 73. The house my father built, was the poor cousin of the the other co op houses, smaller and containing less granite, but, now it has been revamped is the biggest and most luxurious, now fetching between $900,000 and $1,000,000. It wasn't that luxurious when I was growing up, I can assure you of that: Two bedroom and one living arear, it now sports five bedrooms, two living areas and a pool, all we had as kids growing up was a septic tank, but we never swam in that!

Here's some pics of numbers 73 (our house), number 72 Uncle Rolf's house, number 77 the Costello's house, and probably the nicest, and number 74, which belonged to the Randals. All the builders are now deceased, I think Mrs Costello was the last man (woman) standing, she lived until she reached around 100. Uncle Rolf died sometime in the early naughties, although very sick he looked after his wife, Auntie Eileen (Alzheimer's), until she died and he died a matter of days later (now that's loyalty and commitment). My old man died around 1985, my mother 10 years later, I never returned for their funerals, never bothered as they meant nothing to me. Having said that, I must also say that generation were an amazing lot, they did so much with absolutely nothing, cudos to them! Don't know about the Wells, Randals or Pikes the other co op members. I left Perth in 75, never returning until 2000, where my wife and I lived until 2006 then relocating to QLD and then Adelaide where we now live. So all I have left is my memories (most not good) and a few pics off the internet.
 

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Based on Google Maps, Number 73 has now had a lot of alterations. However, the palm tree in the background and the chimneys identify your old home.
Number73.jpg
I lived in Perth between 82 and 84 and have a lot of good memories and a few really bad ones. I loved the climate and the flies were only an annoyance in November/December.
 
in the late 40s a number of veterans from WW2 formed a Co op to build themselves houses. Originally there were around a dozen members, but that number was gradually whittled down to six as some members pulled out. All six houses were sited on the corner of Toorak Rd and Francisco St in Rivervale. The members of the co op pitched in to help each other on weekends, unfortunately, my old man was a shift worker, most of his days off were during the week, so he ended up building the house virtually by himself. The building started around 1949 the last being completed around 1957. All members of the Co op built temporary residences at the bottom of their blocks to live in whilst they built the houses proper.

Bricks for the temporary dwellings were made by hand, similarly joinery and other bits and pieces were also made by hand. None of the members were builders, rather, they learned the skills needed by actually doing. The houses proper were made from granite, ferried down from the hills in wooden trailers and cut to shape using a hammer and chisel. We lived in our house at number 73 from the beginning until 1970 when my folks sold up, except for a short period when my folks bought a shop with attached house around 1956. All the granite houses are on the historically significant register now.

Growing up there was plenty of Bush around as Perth wasn't a well populated city during those years (pop around 250,000). However, Being so close to the city the properties are quite expensive now,. Perth population now is around 2,000,000, Perth really took off after Australia 2 wrested the America's Cup from Dennis Connor in 1983.

Number 73. The house my father built, was the poor cousin of the the other co op houses, smaller and containing less granite, but, now it has been revamped is the biggest and most luxurious, now fetching between $900,000 and $1,000,000. It wasn't that luxurious when I was growing up, I can assure you of that: Two bedroom and one living arear, it now sports five bedrooms, two living areas and a pool, all we had as kids growing up was a septic tank, but we never swam in that!

Here's some pics of numbers 73 (our house), number 72 Uncle Rolf's house, number 77 the Costello's house, and probably the nicest, and number 74, which belonged to the Randals. All the builders are now deceased, I think Mrs Costello was the last man (woman) standing, she lived until she reached around 100. Uncle Rolf died sometime in the early naughties, although very sick he looked after his wife, Auntie Eileen (Alzheimer's), until she died and he died a matter of days later (now that's loyalty and commitment). My old man died around 1985, my mother 10 years later, I never returned for their funerals, never bothered as they meant nothing to me. Having said that, I must also say that generation were an amazing lot, they did so much with absolutely nothing, cudos to them! Don't know about the Wells, Randals or Pikes the other co op members. I left Perth in 75, never returning until 2000, where my wife and I lived until 2006 then relocating to QLD and then Adelaide where we now live. So all I have left is my memories (most not good) and a few pics off the internet.
Your story makes me even more grateful for the great parents and wonderful (although financially poor) childhood I had.
 
Earlier this year, the wife and I flew to Perth for a holiday, a last look. The difference between when we left in 2006 and now is incredible. West Australia has been experiencing a mining boom since forever, and the money brought in to the state through that has been well spent. Freeways, skyscrapers, services have all skyrocketed.
Having said that, I wouldn't like to live there - too big cityish now.
We were going to hire a car, but found it wasn't neccessary, public transport was free and bus and train routes took us anywhere we wanted to go.
I never saw any family, they were disinterested as was I, so we just spread ourselves around: Rivervale, Mandurah, Perth, Rockingham, et al.
A good trip down memory lane for us. We won't return, we are happy in Adelaide, backward as it is. Compared to Perth now, Adelaide seems like a small backwoods town.
December 16 will see us departing on a cruise to NZ for three weeks. We have been to NZ before, but that was a driving holiday. We have a cabin with a balcony, so, we can sit out there, scotch and dry in hand, as we cruise through Fiordland on the Southern island.
Midway through next year we hope to embark on round Australia cruise for 28 days.
After that, perhaps a river cruise down one of the rivers in Europe. The wife is keen, me not so much, they always seem to be fighting over there.
We were a little concerned about booking trips so far in advance as my future isn't a sure thing. But, it's only money!
 
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