RDP: Bridge

The Tasman Bridge Disaster

image Tasman Bridge, Hobart
crossing the bridge

Hobart’s eastern and western shores are spanned by the Tasman Bridge which was completed in 1964. This bridge replaced an earlier floating bridge that had been built in 1943.

I was not living in Tasmania in 1975 when the bridge collapsed but of course, I saw it on the news. It was only much later when I moved here that I began to understand how it affected people’s lives.

The disaster occurred on the night of the 5th of January 1975. Lake Illawarra, a bulk ore carrier was making its way up the Derwent, as it was a Sunday night there was no pilot on board.  The reports of the accident say that human error and tidal currents in the river were the main factors that caused the ship to smash into one of the bridge pylons. A section of the bridge came down sinking the ship and carrying with it four cars that had been unable to stop in time. The five occupants and seven crew members from the Lake Illawarra died that night. Two other cars were left teetering over the edge of the bridge but miraculously those people survived.

The Tasman Bridge from below.

What I was unaware of until I moved to Tasmania was the social impact the loss of the bridge would have on Hobart. At that time there was only one other river crossing and it was several kilometres away at Bridgewater so getting to and from the CBD became a major problem for people on both sides of the river.  Initially, ferries were brought in to deal with the commuters but later a temporary “Bailey Bridge” was constructed to replace the Tasman Bridge while repairs took place. It was nearly three years before the bridge was re-opened.

The Tasman Bridge, Hobart.

Apart from the delays that this caused for people trying to get to work or appointments it changed people’s lives in other ways. I spoke with workmates who were old enough to remember the disaster and one who was just a teenager at the time told me that she had to move because her job was on the opposite side of the river to her home. Her parents thought it was easier to set her and a friend up in a flat than for them to commute to their jobs. I am sure that she was not the only one who made the move because of work.

The Tasman Bridge, Hobart Tasmania

Probably as a result of the disaster services on the eastern shore were developed faster than they might have been otherwise. The population had been growing for some years but most people worked and shopped in the Hobart CBD. Eastlands shopping centre was enlarged and new shops, offices, medical facilities and entertainment venues started to appear.

Of course what I can never know is how people felt when they heard the news. In a small place like Tasmania. when something bad happens it’s personal because it’s very likely that someone you know has been affected in some way. When people saw the first pictures of the bridge it must have felt as if nothing would ever be the same.

Today a few things have changed. The bridge is repaired but the pylons are in slightly different positions as the Lake Illawarra, now a dive site, still lies on the river bed. There is always a pilot on board any ship that passes under the bridge and when one does the traffic is stopped. A third bridge has been built between Hobart and Bridgewater. The City of Clarence is now one of the fastest growing areas in Tasmania.

image Tasman Bridge
The Tasman Bridge today

Sources:

I have included a few links for those who would like to learn more about what happened. There are some historic pictures as well.

https://roadsaustralia.weebly.com/tasman-bridge.html

https://think-tasmania.com/tasman-bridge/

http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/T/Tas%20bridge%20collapse.htm

https://www.news.com.au/national/tasmania/tasman-bridge-lights-go-out-to-honour-12-who-died-in-disaster/news-story/3e38ff29cf07486a5b747b23d346c6eb

https://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/tasman-bridge-disaster/image-gallery/3ab6314370988d3e65a0978f68dd3e1c

http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/C/Clarence.htm

 

RDP: Broadcast

Who Listens to the Radio?


I probably started to listen to the radio a lot when I was a young teen. It was the beginning of the 1970’s and radios were getting smaller although the Sony Walkman had not yet been invented. Most people had a radio in the house and even kids might have a “tranny”, a transistor radio.

That’s how we discovered the music we grew to love, listening to it on the radio.

The first rock concerts that Naomi and I attended were free ones sponsored by a local radio station featuring local Adelaide bands. We had favourite DJ’s and shows that we liked to listen to. I always enjoyed “The Album Show”, I think that was the name, on 5KA Adelaide hosted by Barry Bissell 

He would play several tracks from the latest albums and as this was in the days of the four-minute single it was great to hear the long versions of songs and those that you didn’t hear on repeat all day. A sort of try before you buy if you like.

I probably stopped listening so much sometime in the late nineties as the music of that time was less to my taste and now, I hardly listen to current music at all.

When we moved to Geeveston I discovered there was a community radio station and David and I eagerly tuned in but we were unlucky that every time we did they seemed to be playing country music which neither of us liked. Later though, I started to volunteer at the station and discovered that there were also presenters playing blues, jazz, folk, “oldies” music and various other genres as well as information programs. Community radio stations don’t have to play what the commercial stations play. The presenters are usually enthusiasts of a particular type of music and most put a lot of thought into their selection of songs each week.

I never had any desire to go on air myself but I did enjoy working in the office where I did a variety of jobs to support the manager and presenters. Sometimes if there was an outside broadcast I would go along to help set up, sell raffle tickets and so on.

Setting up for an OB. Kingston Beach January 2012
Presenter interviewing one of the police officers at the venue.

I made some good friends too who I still see regularly even though most of us are no longer associated with the station. I still turn off the country music though.

I don’t listen to the radio all that much now though. When David was in the hospital and I was first at home by myself I started to listen to a classical music station at night and I found it helped me to sleep (unless it was opera). I still listen to it sometimes before I go to sleep and when I wake up. I like to hear the news and the weather first thing and then, unless something major is going on, I don’t listen to the news for the rest of the day. I like hearing the news without ads, without opinion and without a video clip attached to it.

 

Good Times

I decided to reblog this post which I wrote in 2016 because it has been three years now that David has been gone. I like to remember the good times we had.

Our Other Blog: Two Sisters and Two Points of View

David at Port Huon 2014 David at Port Huon 2014

One of the things that David and I enjoyed was going for a drive together. Sometimes we had a plan, where we would go and what we would do, other times we just picked a direction. David always carried a camera in the car, he was old school and still using film cameras long after I’d switched to a digital camera.

After I started this blog I would sometimes ask him if we could go for a drive so I could take photos of something or other. Every year for about five years we would go for a drive along the Channel Highway when the scarecrow competition was being held and David would stop the car every time I spotted one I wanted to photograph. When I said that I wanted to photograph the apple blossoms he happily drove me around the orchards till I…

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The Night Mum Saw A Ghost

Mum’s family moved about quite a bit after returning to England from India in the early 1930’s. During World War Two the family was based in Liverpool for a while.

The Liverpool docks were important to the war effort and this meant that  Liverpool was the most frequently bombed city after London.

My mother’s family late 1930s. Mum was 16 when this photo was taken. She is the tall one.

Mum was in her nineteenth year when war broke out and she was living at home with her parents and three sisters.  When we were young mum often used to tell stories about her youth and about what it was like living in Britain during the war. Sadly, although we always meant to, we didn’t write the stories down which means that now mum has been gone twenty years I have forgotten many of the details. I can’t tell you exactly where or when this event took place. I will try to tell the story to the best of my recollection.

I do know that Liverpool was bombed heavily between August 1940 and the early part of 1942 so this occurred somewhere in that time period. I also have a vague memory that mum said that family had lived in Bootle but I would not swear to this.

Anyway, the important thing to know was that there were frequent air raids and that when the alarm sounded everyone was supposed to go to the nearest air raid shelter.

As well as the family there were also three Norwegian Merchant Navy sailors staying in the house.  Mum did not particularly trust one of them so when she went up to her bedroom on the top floor of the house she used to take the doorknob off the door and push a chest in front of it.

On this particular night, mum had gone to bed and was reading by lamplight before going to sleep. Her dog was on the bed with her. She became aware of a figure standing over her bed. Thinking her father had come in to tell her to turn the lamp off she said “In a minute dad.” or something of that nature. Then she remembered that the door was blocked off. She noticed that the dog was reacting strangely, his hair standing up on his back.  She told me that she wasn’t afraid but puzzled.

Suddenly one of her sisters started banging on the bedroom door and calling out to her. “Air raid! We’ve got to go to the shelter.” Of course, she had to move the chest and put the doorknob back in but she made it out of the house safely.

Mum said there was no way anyone could have got into the room without at least making a lot of noise and she was always convinced that she saw a ghost that night and that he’d been sent to warn her of danger. She told this story on many occasions and the details never varied so I am sure she was not making it up.

Links:

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/exhibitions/blitz/blitz.aspx

http://www.liverpoolblitz70.co.uk/2012/07/25/i-wonder-if-theyll-come-tonight/

 

 

Liverpool Blitz D 5983.jpg
By Ministry of Information Photo Division official photographer –
This is a photograph D 5983 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.

 

Straight From Rubbish Tip To You

One of my favourite Bloggers, Life in the Boomer Lane, recently wrote about her trials with flies around the house.

This prompted me to remember how trigger happy mum used to be with fly spray. I honestly don’t know if the fly sprays of the sixties and seventies are exactly the same formula as those of today but their smell was way stronger it seemed. Certainly by the time mum got through with it we were nearly choking.

When we were children  in the mid sixties fly spray was dispensed from a different type of container, aerosol cans were just coming on to the market I think.

Cervo093.jpg
By Georges Jansoone (JoJan) – Self-photographed, CC BY 3.0, Link

In Australia the most well known brand was Mortein which was advertised on television with a catchy little jingle sung by “Louie the Fly”. Everyone knew it.

Louie the Fly, I’m Louie the Fly
Straight from rubbish tip to you.
Spreading disease, with the greatest of ease.
Straight from rubbish tip to you.
I’m bad and mean and mighty unclean.
Afraid of no-one, ‘cept the man with the can of Mortein.
Hate that word Mortein.
One spray and Louie the Fly,
Apple of his old mother’s eye was Louie,
Poor dead Louie, Louie the Fly a victim of Mortein.
Mortein.

Out of curiosity I looked up Mortein and learned some interesting bits of trivia about the advertising campaign.

Mortein was first developed in Australia in the 1870s by German immigrant J. Hagemann, the name being a combination of mort (French: “dead”) and ein (German: one). Mortein was manufactured by Samuel Taylor Pty Ltd from 1937. The company is now owned by the British company Reckitt Benckiser.

Louie first appeared in 1957, the year I was born. He was drawn and animated by Geoffrey Morgan-Pike.

The famous jingle was created in 1962 by none other than Bryce Courtenay during his time at advertising agency McCann Erickson.

Louie was voiced by Australian actor Ross Higgins. Australians will remember him from “The Naked Vicar Show” and especially for his character “Ted Bullpitt” in “Kingswood Country“which was a popular sitcom in the early eighties. It might not be considered very PC now but David and I found it hilarious although like most sitcoms the later series are not as funny as the early ones.

As an aside I remember seeing Ross Higgins advertising rival product Pea-Beu in the eighties. Pea-Beu also had a catchy jingle.

At the end of this post you can see an early Mortein jingle from the sixties and one of the many commercials Ross Higgins did for Pea-Beu from around 1980. I  can still remember all the words to the Louie the Fly song. Only a year or so ago Mortein did an advertising campaign based on whether or not they should drop Louie.They didn’t and here is a piece about him on the Mortein website.

http://www.mortein.com.au/about/about-louie/

 

Times Past: The Biggest Change

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Baby Boomer: Australia Suburban

It is hard to pick just one thing that as the biggest change in my lifetime. About the only thing that hasn’t changed is that we still have the same Queen.

One very big change that has occurred in my lifetime is that here in Australia we no longer manufacture goods the way we did when I was a child.

When I was growing up there were numerous factories. In Elizabeth where I lived for several years there were factories making jeans, sewing machines, white goods and of course cars at the Holden plant. I can remember when I was a child that at around four o’clock our normally quiet suburban street would suddenly be full of cars as workers returned home after their shifts at the factory.

An ad from an old Woman’s Day from 1976.

In other suburbs around Adelaide there were more factories, Chrysler, later Mitsubishi with two plants and other factories who supplied them with parts, Actil  made towels and bed linen, Golden Breed made T-shirts and sweatshirts, Perry Engineering, Castalloy, Hills Industries, Simpson, Pope, Kelvinator, Sabco and Clipsal were all names that South Australians knew.

Ford had their factory in Geelong, Victoria and there was another Holden plant at Fisherman’s Bend.  We even had our own toy manufacturers, Cyclops, Metti, Verna to mention a few.

Frigidaire advertisement from an old magazine 1948 so a bit before my day.

Today many of those companies are gone. Cars are no longer manufactured or even assembled in Australia. You can’t buy an Australian made fridge and many other products formerly made here are now made in other countries where labour is cheaper. Even here in Tassie our Blundstone boots are now made overseas.

I think it is very sad. We were proud of our Australian brands and those factories provided employment and a decent wage for many.

Below you can read an article on the closing of the last Holden factory, the one in Elizabeth not far from where I used to live.

Holden made in Australia 1948 – 2017

 

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/motoring/australian-car-manufacturing-reaches-the-end-of-the-line-today-as-holden-closes-elizabeth-factory/news-story/4cf69f8466a9750c690d3775f6487d97

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-11/timeline-holden-history/5150240

Blogiversary #5 on Our Other Blog

Today is the 5th anniversary of my first post on “Our Other Blog”. Of course it was “My Other Blog” then. I had only been writing the doll blog for about a month and I was itching to write about other things and post photos of non-doll subjects.  However, I wanted to keep the blog on topic so the logical thing to do seemed to be to start another one.
I wasn’t sure how I’d get on as a newbie blogger trying to write and photograph  enough material for two blogs or how long I’d keep it up for before losing interest.  It wasn’t exactly an auspicious start; looking back at the stats I had 9 views of the blog in June 2013, the next two months were no better. My first very modest goal was to be read every day. I hated seeing those blank spaces in the stats graph like gaps in your teeth.

Stats for Our Other Blog

Things picked up though. Six months later I was posting regularly two or three times a week. I’d started joining in the Daily Prompt, thanks Daily Prompt you helped; and I’d hit on the idea of posting a photo every Thursday as a blogging goal.

Messerschmitt car at the National Automobile Museum at Launceston.

Since that time there has been steady though unspectacular growth in the number of people reading the blog and the names of many regular readers feel like old friends now.

I have learned a bit I think.  I take photographs now consciously looking for subjects that will be interesting to use in a photo challenge. Cee’s Photo Challenges in particular have been a big help to me as I now look beyond the obvious for a picture and I have a new enjoyment of black and white photography.

Australian Comedian Roy Rene (Mo),
Australian Comedian Roy Rene (Mo), Hindley St, Adelaide
Hairy Maclairy sculpture in Tauranga, New Zealand

Reading the work of fellow bloggers has helped me a lot too. Sometimes their thoughts trigger an idea of my own to write about; sometimes just an interesting thread of conversation in the comment section.

I know that some people who read my posts are not native English speakers so I proofread for spelling and grammar errors and try to write in language that won’t be too hard to follow. I want us to write the way we speak but to keep it simple. I know that sometimes I write a bit too much so I try to check that too. “Is there an easier way of saying that?” I ask myself.

I’ve probably learned as much from reading the work of others as from reading WordPress articles about blogging.  I want to particularly mention Marilyn Armstrong and her team of writers at Serendipity-Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth because I enjoy the variety of subjects they write about and Marilyn has a lot of good advice for new bloggers as well. Pat, who writes Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss, has shown me that even if you rarely travel far from home you can still write entertainingly about your daily life and the antics of your cat.

Over the past year I’ve learned how to work as a team with Naomi after she joined me in blogging here. In fact Naomi’s first post was on the 31st of May last year so it’s her anniversary too. It’s been a lot of fun to have someone to exchange ideas with.

While thank you’s are being said I also want to mention my friends Ally and Matt Clark and Bruce Laughton who have all generously allowed me to use their photographs when I didn’t have any suitable ones of my own.

I think that photography will be the main theme of this blog  for the next twelve months. I want to keep on sharing photos of the places we know in Tasmania. Naomi is particularly interested in vintage vehicles and we both love to photograph old and interesting buildings and other structures.

MV Cartela-Port Huon Wharf- July 2014 by Vanda
image rowboat
Rowing boat, Franklin, Tasmania by Vanda
image old church
Autumn in Franklin by Vanda
Model Steam engine at Evandale. This engine is called The General. There would be all sorts of bits and pieces inside to move the driving wheels and work the pistons. photo by Naomi
Photo by Naomi
Ooh Ahhh Fireworks! This is a great old sign.Photo by Naomi
More of the cast in their terrific costumes. Photo by Naomi
Callington Mill sign. Photo by Naomi
The Richmond Bridge photo by Naomi

Although we probably won’t include them in our Cruise Holiday posts we do hope to share a bit of the footage Naomi has been taking with her movie camera in the future. She wants to concentrate on editing pictures and sound before we do that.

So finally I’d like to say thanks to our readers old and new for sticking with us and we hope you’ll continue to enjoy the journey.