Ethel remembers a simpler time
By Daisy Baker
January 10, 2018
ETHEL Clark remembers a time before electricity, cars and mobile phones, a simpler time when children made their own fun.
Mrs Clark says she has crammed a lot into her 96 years, throughout all of which she has lived in
She was born at Telita, which at the time was called Ayr, and raised on her family’s farm.
“At Telita, they had a school, hall, railway, post office and butchery so it was a community within itself with probably 100 or so residents,” Mrs Clark remembers.
“If someone came to Telita to visit my mum from Winnaleah say, the train would drop them off in the paddock so they didn’t have to walk back from the station.
“It’s still beautiful up there but it has changed over all the years.”
Mrs Clark says she remembers the days of the horse and cart and when power came in.
“Before that everyone had their fuel stove and kerosene lights and candles,” she reminisces.
“They didn’t have tractors then either – it was just draught horses to plough the ground.”
She recalls the tragic Derby flood of 1929, which happened when she was eight years old.
Mrs Clark went to school in her hometown until she was about 14 and continued to live in the area for another ten years.
“I met my husband Charles just after the war and we moved down to Ulverstone for a while before coming back up to the [North-East] coast,” she says.
“When we came back he was an electric motor driver on the Briseis mine at Derby.
“After that, we bought a farm at Winnaleah and I lived there in the same house for about 60 years.”
Mrs Clark says she loved attending country dances in her youth and was an active member of the Winnaleah church in the years she lived there.
She says she didn’t really like the farm life but with three small children there were plenty of other jobs keeping her busy around the home, including knitting clothes for her children.
“When I was about 15 my aunty said, ‘I think it’s about time you learnt how to make your own clothes’ so from then on she would cut the fabric out and I would sew them.”
Decades later, with fingers slightly less nimble and eyes not quite as sharp, Mrs Clark still enjoys crocheting and embroidering tablecloths and towels.
Mrs Clark moved to her current Scottsdale home around five years ago and keeps herself busy crafting with friends at the Day centre at Gladstone.