The Wilsons Creek Packing Shed House 1950 – 1956






THE PACKING SHED HOUSE …. we lived in this before Dad built the house across the creek ….. (equivalent to the caravan Harriet and I lived in for four years on our land from 1977 to 1981 in Brisbane) ….. There was Dad, Mum and I plus Gerald (born in 1952) and Rick (born in 1956) who was one year old.

We lived in this two roomed converted banana packing shed for a number of years from 1950 to 1956 ….. Colin was born in 1958 in the new house across the creek … It had cream painted tar – paper walls on the wooden framing and a simple system of 12-volt lights for lighting. Dad used to charge up a number car batteries in the engine room across the creek …… They were placed serially in line to maximise the power.

My bed, more settee was in the first room of the house ….. outside were just unpainted, greying and overlapped weatherboards ….. on the roof was grey galvanised tin roof in typical packing shed construction …… it was raised up a metre or so off the ground on wooden stumps …… I remember catching mice in the mouse trap under this house …. I was only five years old at the time …. There was an outdoor timber toilet above the house with a cream painted toilet seat placed over a small drum bucket …. water for drinking was obtained by walking down the hill about fifty metres down to the creek and getting a square kerosene bucket of water …. A really laborious chore of bringing the water from the creek. ….. Then leaving it on the ramp landing to the front door.

Osman’s (Dad’s relations) came to stay from New Zealand … Lorna was Dad’s twin sister …… Linda who would have only been about four years old was constantly dipping her feet in the bucket to wash her feet each time she came inside …… everyone getting frustrated with her behaviour.

These are some of the things I remember:

The Interior:
  • Cooking was done on a slow combustion stove set in a galvanised iron recess
  • Ironing was done with a shellite iron with blue flames emerging from round the iron. Shellite was like methylated spirits …. The burning kept the base hot
  • Refrigeration was by a Coleman Refrigerator where cold was created in the fridge by a rising column of heated air going up a small flue at the back of the fridge ….. the heated air column was created by a perpetually burning kerosene wick at the base of the flue …… a metal kerosene reservoir had to be filled periodically to keep the flame burning
  • The radio was a valve radio run on as pack of batteries cemented together by bitumen which ran out occasionally.