rural life

A Hard Day's Chase

One morning towards the end of September 1920, when I was 10 years old, my mother woke me a bit earlier than usual and said two of our team horses were missing. My father told me when I went to breakfast that it was Prince and Kitty, and said their tracks went west along the Sea Lake Road from our farm.

The Roar of the Crowd

In 1918 my father entered my horse, Elsie, and I into a riding event at the Sea Lake show. It was reported in the Guardian as, "Our Day of Glory":

Ken Brydon's performance as an eight year old at the 1928 Sea Lake Show caused spectators to rise to their feet and cheer lustily while Show stewards dug into their pockets to award him a special cash prize.

Lightning and The Death of Ossie

In the spring of 1923, Joe Battersby bought two blocks of land with crop on in the Chillingollah East district. They drove up from Tatura, with two horses in a double-seater buggy, and Ossie, the eldest son, driving a horse in a spring cart. They called at our farm at Waitchie South on the way up as they were old neighbours of ours at Tatura and stayed the night, then went on the last 20-miles the next day.

A Night of Natya Magic in 1938

Just after the Depression, and 9 months before Robert Menzies announced Australia's involvement in the Second World War, a night of magic happened at Natya Hall; the School Concert and Christmas tree and Santa visit was held, it was December 1938.

The fathers in the School Committee had been out during the day before, and collected a large branch of a Mallee Pine Tree and placed it in the Hall in a big drum of sand.


It was towards the end of 1926 that my parents moved to a dairy farm called Myrtle Mount a few miles from a quiet country town. The road to the farm turned off the main highway on to a rough gravel road, past several small dairy farms, up a steep hill until it reached the last farm on this road. Tucked under the shadow of Curry’s Mountain, the farmhouse commanded a splendid view of the surrounding country but that was of little interest to this family of Mum, Dad and two small boys, aged eight and seven.