HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

2 August 2016

Local correspondence–Jervis Bay


Albury Banner and Wodonga Express 1926.


Uncle Geoff is a journalist that publishes a children’s column.  Children from all parts of the country write in and apply to become one of his nieces of nephews and have their stories published.

There usually small simple letters,  but they contain some very interesting information.

Some of the Jervis Bay and surrounding districts children have sent in letters and this time we have one from a young girl at Tomerong who’s pen name is. -   Heather Bell.

Heather Bell is quite a prolific writer with many of her articles appearing in  ‘Uncle Jeff’s”  collumn.

It appeares Heather Bell’s real name is Eileen.

Dear Uncle Jeff,

17th September 1926.

We enjoyed the pantomime very much which came here last week. The warships have, been having target practice lately in the bay, and we could hear all the shooting and see the splash of the waves as the shells struck the water. There was an aeroplane or seaplane hovering overhead all the time, evidently marking for the warships.
At night there have been rockets sent up from the man-o'-wars, and they looked so pretty from here. Tomorrow we are going aboard the warships with the Huskisson school children.
Love to all.— Your fond niece, 'Heather Bell.'

(It must have been very interesting to you all to visit the warships Eileen,  It would certainly be a pretty sight.)

27th August 1926.

Dear Uncle Jeff, — There was a motor boat launched to-day at Huskisson. We saw a largo vessel launched there at one time. We will soon be having our Sunday School picnic, and it is a day we all look forward to. Daddy is getting a Rexonola and records, as our other gramophone is about worn out.

Our little bantam has some dear little chickens. Last time mummy set her on three duck eggs, but she soon tired of the ducklings, for they did not seem to understand her language and would run into water, when she would try and warn them off it.— Your fond niece, 'Heather Bell.'

(The ducklings natural love of water must have been very puzzling to the foster mother, Eileen.)

23rd July 1926.

Dear Uncle Jeff, — Mummy has a 2A Brownie camera; and has taken a few snaps, 'h toook one and it came out nicely. We have an 'Aladdin' lamp and it shows a beautiful white light. We also have  two 'Aladdinettes' and one has a pretty globe with animal pictures on it which revolves and looks pretty. The people of Tomorong are going to build a School of Arts and I hope we will be having some nice entertainments. Tomerong is a village about 14 miles from Nowra on theSouth Coast road.
-  When we first came down here we travelled from Moss Vale by motor and on the way across we saw the Fitzroy Falls, also the beautiful scenery of the Burrangarry and Camberwarra mountains.

-  Have, you, ever been down this way, uncle?  — Your fond niece, 'Heather Bell.'.

(Yes,. Eileen, I have been in all the places where my nephews and nieces live. I believe in the slogan 'Know your own country. '


Antique motion lamp with animal shade.


My own Box Brownie owned by my grandfather - similar to the one described above.

30 July 1926.

Dear Uncle Jeff,— On Tuesday; two old schoolmates, with whom we used to go to Huskison School, came over to spend the day with us. They brought another little girl friend with them and we spent a very nice day. We played rounders, cricket, hide-and-seek and other games, and played the gramophone. On Wednesday we minded the little ones while mum and dad went to town, and as Thursday, Friday and Saturday were very wet we had to remain indoors, but we spent a very happy week at home, sweet home during our holiday.— Your loving niece,

'Heather Bell.' (After all, it is the spirit that makes a holiday, Eileen, and if you face your holiday with the right spirit, you can enjoy it anywhere — even at home.)

20th August 1926.

Dear Uncle Jeff,— Since I wrote to you last we have finished our tennis match at school, and am pleased to say my team won. Our baby has been very sick, but is getting better now. I have a new piece of music called 'Deuxieme Mazurk.' The Great White Train nas not visited this district yet, but I hear it is expected to come to Nowra in October, when we hope to see it and what our great country can produce — Your fond niece, 'Heather Bell.'

(I hope the music is not as hard to play as the name is to pronounce. You wil enjoy the Great White Train when it comes, Eileen.)


The Great White Train.
And what was the Great White Train?
It was regarded at the time as "The most spectacular plan of publicity undertaken by the  "Australian Made" Preference League".
The train was a travelling exhibition of Australian - made articles. The train was loaded with representative exhibits of Australian products and goods.

The train visited Berry and Nowra on the 14th of October 1926.

The train comprised 20 vehicles,  including two sleeping cars,  a dining car,  a break-van, a power van,  and fifteen semi louvered vans or coaches.

The train was a attempt to show the country what the towns are doing in an attempt to bring a deeper conciousness of Australia's industrial progress and achievements.


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