A PICNIC IN THE EARLY 1900s
EDITH MILLER 1897 - 1987
Interviewed March - August 1982 by Ronda Jamieson p4.
MILLER Always my mother, in the summer, took us for picnics, down to the river. Now we were each allowed to ask a friend, so my mother had eight small girls to look after, and we'd walk up the hill and turn down what is now Richardson Avenue, around, round Bindaring Parade, as far as Peppermint Grove and then sometimes through Peppermint Grove and over to Mosmans. Each carrying something to do with the lunch. A bottle of home made lemon squash or lemon syrup it was, was always taken and a billy, and this lemon syrup was put into the billy and water from the tap, no iced water or anything like that, filled up to make the drink. And my mother would sit under the trees, and she's often told me how she used to sit there crocheting, and occasionally look up and count the heads in the water; if there were eight heads she could go on crocheting again.
Then every spring my father used to take a house at Darlington for us, and once again we girls were each allowed to ask a friend to go. And looking back now, having had experience with my own children and with other children as well, I realise what a noble effort it was of my mother, for one week, to look after eight girls. Never any rows or upsets like that. We would sometimes catch the train from Darlington to Mundaring Station, and then walk from Mundaring Station out to the Weir. No-one ever thought it was a hard thing to do, but I would guarantee you wouldn't get the youngsters of today doing it. But it was always a wonderful time the springtime up there, because it was lovely property the house was on, with a creek running through it, and loquat trees shading the creek and moss roses. I can always remember the moss roses round the caretaker's cottage. Looking back now I realise what a wonderfully happy childhood life I had.
(Battye Library OH 506)
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