Fond childhood memories – John Flower

John Flower, President of Wodonga Historical Society, has written some of his memories growing up in Wodonga.

I can remember when there were no bridges over House Creek in Lawrence Street or Brockley Street.  This was about 1958 and the town boundaries were from Wodonga Creek Bridge in the north, Griffith Street in the south, Wigg Street in the east and House Creek in the west. There were only a few farm houses beyond the boundaries.

Pictures were shown at the Melba Theatre Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, also matinee Saturday afternoons. The Council Offices were at the front of the same building on High Street and Melbourne Road.

Plum & Crichton, 1950-1970, had a scrap metal yard at the corner of Chapple Street and Tallangatta Road. It covered 10 acres; they also sold ex-Army vehicles and equipment of all sorts.

The first Fire Station was on the south side corner of Melbourne Road and Sydney Street, opposite the Melba Theatre, it had a bell tower in the front of the station, and it later moved up near the water tower.

Hydes, then Birrells, had a Bakery next to the Fire Station, the oven was brick, firstly fired with wood until 1950, then converted to diesel oil.

Halls also had a Bakery further south of the railway line.  Both Bakeries delivered bread to your door five days per week.  Bread carts were drawn by one horse.

The Golf Course was on the North West side of the Belvoir Lake. Most winters part or all of the course flooded, as there were no flood gates on Hume Dam.

Belvoir Park football ground was in the same area south of the Golf Course. Sometimes games were played with flood water all around the ground.   George and Joe Reuss used to retrieve the football using a small rowboat.

When the circus came to town they too were held at the football ground. We would go down after school and watch the elephants pull the tents up.  After working, the elephants would swim and wallow in the mud where House Creek meets Wodonga Creek.

Up to the 1950’s the circus would arrive in town by train, the elephants were used to pull their wagons down to the Park.