Correspondence school

My Life Before Electricity

For those who have never been to Western Australia it’s time for a short geography lesson. Kalgoorlie is about 600 klms east of Perth and 180 klms North of Norseman. The Eyre Highway terminates at Norseman and The Transcontinental Railway starts, or finishes at Kalgoorlie. Both of these travel networks run almost exactly east/west and for most of the journey are nearly two hundred kilometres apart.

The Rusty Ranch

The tin roof leaked, the verandah posts leaned and the old timber cottage shuddered and groaned when the strong winter winds blew across the bare north paddock We called it "THE RUSTY RANCH" but I suppose it was no worse than hundreds of other, two bed roomed, iron roofed, unlined weather board cottages in country Western Australia in 1942. Sometimes, in the strongest gust, it swayed so much the front door would fly open and scare the daylights out of us.

Kalgoorlie-Lakewood Woodline 1940s

From the late 1890s until the early 1950s because all heavy machinery was steam driven, vast quantities of wood were required to fuel the boilers, coal was too expensive. Consequently Wood Lines were born. The last surviving company was "The Western Australian Goldfields Firewood Supply Limited" which ceased operations in 1964. From early 1946 until the end of 1948, I lived with my parents on the Kalgoorlie-Lakewood Woodline.