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21 September, 2015.POSTES IN: Molong, Stories,TAGS: ,

Molong my home town

After coming from England to Molong I could call Molong my home town.

John Hammond
John Hammond

I came to Australia from England in April 1951 under the Big Brother movement. I came to Sydney and then to a sheep station called Redbank, Mr and Mrs Carroll’s property. I wanted adventure. The idea of bringing young English boys was to help populate Australia. It gave young boys a chance to see what Australian life was like at the time. Redbank was six miles out of town on the Garra Road from Molong.

In those days, Molong had a bit of everything: watchmakers, cafes, a couple of garages down the main street, three pubs, grocery stores, store. There was a big store called Western Stores; that was an eye opener. It had a whole range of different things in there from hardware through to haberdashery, groceries, a bit of everything which I didn’t experience in England.

If you start at the top, right at the top there was the Council Chambers and there were some real old shops down from the Council Chambers and you walked across the crossing. There was a picture theatre there, there was a jeweller’s there as well, and then there was a café, then there was a garage, a chemist shop and then you went a bit further on to Western Stores which had a very large front, and I had never really been into anything like that before. Past there was another garage and there was a pub on the corner and across the road from that there was a railway station. You come back up the other side there was an ironmonger, another garage.

Then coming up further, bakers, another grocer shop, a post office, a couple of banks. Over the railway crossing again there was a dentist and houses basically. Oh, and there was the Town Hall opposite the Council Chambers and the library.

[On the farm] probably one of the main things which I had never encountered before was aerial spreading of super [phosphate]. I had never seen that done before. AB [Carroll] picked out a landing site for the plane and they had the super dumped there. They loaded the plane up and dropped it wherever it was required.

To start with I was at Redbank for six years. And when I got married to Marie, we were there for a few months and then we moved to Yeoval. I share farmed with John Williamson. His father was the Molong shire engineer. They bought the back end of Yallundrie when it was sold up.

I was three years out at Yallundrie and then I came back to Redbank again and I did some share farming with Mr Carroll for another three years, and after that I left and went back to Cumnock and worked for Frank Tollhurst. He had a property, Hacienda, on the outskirts of Molong.

We would go out rabbiting. I suppose that was one of the first jobs I got.

At Redbank AB had his own smokehouse to smoke the pork. That was my job too to keep the smoke house going.

The other thing we used to do is go out and collect firewood, of course. And we had a Fergie tractor with a sill bench on the back and we’d all get involved in that. That would be AB, Jack, Packo and myself. We’d go round the paddocks with a truck and we’d saw up wood for the whole household basically. The whole place was self-sufficient, really.

After coming from England to Molong I could call Molong my home town.

In a way, being on the Carroll property, I was content. My main thing was driving tractors, machinery, that type of thing. I enjoyed the sheep work too. I enjoyed it all as far as that went.

Interviewed by Marg Carroll


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