Well, I finally got a lovely little ‘winter’ getaway and it was so very much needed. On Tuesday 14 July we left home headed to a cottage at a winery in Ballandean (more on Ballandean and surrounds in next week’s post).
On the way, we stopped in at Warwick for lunch and a look around and this is where today’s post is centred. Warwick is a town in the Southern Downs Region, 130km south-west of Brisbane. It has a population of approximately 15,380. Warwick is famous for being a Rose and Rodeo city, and I happened to have lived in Warwick back in 1972 when I was in Year 3. Dad, who was working as a Bank Manager, was transferred there for a year. We also visited Warwick a lot throughout my childhood because that is where my paternal grandmother lived. For these reasons, there were a few places I wanted to see, namely: 1) the house I used to live in, 2) the house my Nanny used to live in, and 3) the church and school that I used to go to. There are not many photo’s of the town of Warwick in this post but rather some nostalgic photos personal to me.
First we visited the old house that my family and I lived in for 12 months back in 1972. I recognised it pretty quickly – the structure of it – though it looked very different. It’s frontage is not as well kept as I remember it, and the front fence was gone. The garden I remember wasn’t there anymore and the air-conditioning units are new additions. I snapped a couple of photos through the window of the car (one of which you will see below), and as I did a car (the residents I assume) pulled into its driveway. I felt like some kind of crazed stalker or something so moved along pretty quickly! haha
We then drove on and next came upon the church and school that I used to go to. I went to St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. My memories from this time are very limited. I remember being excited when we moved there by the fact I got to wear a new uniform and had new school books. Even then I liked new things and I loved covering books! lol I remember being given ‘milk’ at lunchtime. Free school milk was introduced by the Menzies government in 1951 and discontinued under the Whitlam government in 1973. Here’s an interesting article about 1951 School Milk introduced by Menzies Government.
I have very vivid memories of what the front of Nanny’s house looked like but I knew it would look very different now. I had heard it was in bad disrepair these days. I didn’t know what number her house was but felt sure that even if the frontage looked different, I’d recognise the structure of the place. We drove up and down that street several times and I could not recognise her house, so we gave up and went to lunch.
We ended up having lunch at the Criterion Hotel in Palmerin Street. We’d come across a couple of cafe’s that looked to have too many people inside for these Covid days whereas this hotel had good Covid safe practices in place. The tables were spaced far apart, there was hand sanitiser available and they had a contact tracing register. I also love a good pub lunch now and then, don’t you?! For lunch, I had a Chicken Kiev and The Tennis Player had a Steak Sandwich.
After lunch we headed off to try again to find Nanny’s house. While at lunch I had texted Mum who then texted my Aunt (Dad’s sister) to find out what number the house was. My Aunt knew of course because she lived there as a child (she’s 15+ years younger than Dad was). Armed with this additional knowledge, I felt sure that this time I would find it, and I did. No wonder I didn’t recognise it before though. It looked nothing like I remembered it. The frontage is entirely different. The house is a different colour. The front yard was messy. The front fence was gone, and to make things a little more awkward, there was a girl sitting on the front steps. I still managed a snap through the window. It was, I must say, rather sad to see Nanny’s house like this. She was house proud and always had it looking neat and tidy. The house used to be called ‘The Vale’ and had this name on the front of the house. I also vividly remember the patchwork screen thing at the front patio. It was different coloured patchwork squares. Some squares were empty and those ones had a little pot with a cactus in them. This was no longer there. You can see the patchwork screen on the front patio in the photo below. The words ‘The Vale’ were on the wall of the house to the right of that. It was called ‘The Vale’ in honour of the small town of ‘Emu Vale‘ where they had lived previously and where my Dad had grown up.
We drove around a little more looking around the town and then headed off back on track for Stanthorpe and Ballandean. I’ll share all about Stanthorpe and Ballandean including where we stayed and where we went in next week’s post. There will also be mention of a little cafe we stopped in to for lunch at Warwick on our way home.
Have you been to Warwick? Ever heard of Emu Vale before? Have you revisited a house from your childhood?
Ciao for now,