Monday, November 12, 2012

Nanna Bridge

No Victor, it is not related to your night time recreational activities.

"Nanna," I asked excitedly, "do you use the (Sydney Harbour) bridge?"

"No, there are other bridges we use".

I was so disappointed in my Nanna, The Bolter. Why didn't she use the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

Well, time for some research. Why didn't she use the Bridge? For a start, it did not take her where she wanted to go.

She lived in Balmain and so had no need to use the bridge. I vaguely recall her saying if they went to northern side of the harbour, they used other bridges.

I need a map. An old map. I have an old Sydney map. It has all the tram routes marked on it. Now that might have been a question I should have asked. Nanna, did you use the trams? Or even do you use the ferries. Later thought, of course she would have. She bolted with one of her music students when Father was a young teenager, so that would have been the early fifties.

Right, for the City, she would have travelled by car south and then turned in to what was then Commercial Road, now roughly Victoria Road, across the Glebe Island Bridge and then Pyrmont Bridge to land in Market Street, obviously before the monorail took over the bridge.

To go north, she would have used the Iron Cove Bridge, then the Gladesville Bridge. Just from memory, she might have had wait for at least two of the bridges while they swung or rose to let ships pass.

I suppose I ought not be hard on her to have not used the bridge.

As an aside, today I clicked on a link I had saved and not investigated, The Ryerson Index. Off and on, over the last couple of years I have looked at NSW cemetery sites online to find out where she was buried, without luck. But today I found a starting point, with at least a date of her death. Early investigations indicated that the Sydney Morning Herald that day has not been digitised for that day. Oops, I just realised I tried to look at the 29th of June, not the date of publication, 1st of July. Still no good. One day....

*******DorothyDeath notice29JUN1969Deathat Balmain Hospital, late of BalmainSydney Morning Herald01JUL1969

18 comments:

  1. Gladesville Bridge wouldn't have been around in the 50s. According to Wikipedia it was completed in 1964. There was an older Gladesville Bridge.

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    1. Panther. Weird. I just thought of you yesterday. Wouldn't the old bridge have remained there though?

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  2. Colin9:01 am

    That is correct "Panther". And I might add it was a bugger of a bridge, the new one was well overdue!

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    1. Colin, I think it was a single tram lane that went across too.

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    2. Colin1:30 pm

      Correct Andrew - that even made the traffic problems worse. I went to "Joeys" at Hunter's Hill, all boarders, in my time - about 600 plus of us. Sometimes I went to get music copies for the Master of Music at Palings in George Street, the music shop. I can assure you that was a real treat, as long as your boater didn't fly off as it once did to me in the wind. An old boy spotted me charging across the road hatless in pursuit of said "boater" and reported the "terrible incident" to the College Director. I can assure you at 8.00pm that night I was marched into the Director's office to explain. Thankfully accepted - but told next time, "young Huggins" keep your hand on the boater if there is wind. Very strict - ha ha. On Gladesville Road there were no trams, a bus was the only means, at least from Hunter's Hill. I forget where the trams met Gladesville Road, but I sure know it was a bottle-neck at that bridge! It took years of political infighting for the new bridge to be constructed. Shades of Mascot Airport at present. Thank your lucky stars that Melbourne has TULLAMARINE!

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    3. Colin, I am sure you have kept your hand on your boater ever since. Once the trams were gone, I expect the bridge was a much easier construction. Ah, have you used Tullamarine? It is horrible.

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  3. Your gran bolted with one of her music students when Father was a young teenager, so that would have been the early fifties!!! And ran away to a distant city? Goodness gracious. She must have been a bit of a goer :)

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  4. Tertiary educated, pianist and composer, educationalist, demure. Who knows the full story. She married the student but he left her for a younger woman after about twenty years and took off to Italy, without any claim on her money. I only met her twice.

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  5. And to think that hotbed of seething passion is in your bloodline!! How exciting!!!

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    1. OMG Red. That is where is comes from. Fortunately I have dismounted from the wild horse.

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    2. Haha! Fortunately for whom??

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    3. Probably many.

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  6. Sounds like an admirable woman.

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    1. Wihs I knew her better FC.

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  7. My late father twice tailended cars on the old Pyrmont Bridge. The accidents were twelve years apart and would you believe it was the same driver he tailended both times! The incident/coincidence made Column 8 in the Sydney Morning Herald.

    I think the old Gladesville Bridge disappeared when the new bridge replaced it. The new bridge was opened by Princess Alexandria, from memory.

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    1. Victor, that is quite remarkable. Normally when someone runs into the back of another vehicle, it is clear whose fault it is. But there must have been some error in the way the one who was hit was driving.

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  8. Amazing story Victor. If I had an opportunity to cross the Harbour Bridge, I'd take it as often as I could, love that bridge. Mind you, not so keen on the other thousands of folk using it at the same time!!

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    1. Grace, not so pleasant to walk across. The traffic can't be ignored.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.