Our Place: Newtown & Darlington Interviews

Our Place - Newtown - Loretto Thurgood b. 1919

Loretto grew up in Newtown and Erskineville and particularly loved Newtown. Her story has a strong focus on domestic life, women's work and children's play. She was familiar with the various shops and businesses in Newtown and Erskineville. The various theatres and vaudeville were popular entertainments, as were street/pub brawls: (The funny part about it was if a woman come around the corner from Erskineville Road with a pram they'd stop and let her go through and then they'd start the fight all over again!) Her happiest memories are of Sunday school picnics and Sunday school lantern slides, but she also enjoyed Union and Council ferry picnics to Clifton Gardens in the days of the Dixieland dance hall there. Loretto remembers festivities associated with the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and kids' antics at cracker night. She recalls her ballet and tap dancing classes before the effects of the Depression set in, as well as her strict 'ladylike' upbringing. Sex education was non-existent and an illegitimate birth (was a deep, dark secret in the family).

Caveat: This video was shot on a Sony Hi 8 video recorder. It was not until 2010 that we could get the analogue tapes digitised. Despite careful storage in the intervening period there has been some deterioration in quality. While we have retained the original .mov files from the original digitization in the SRA Archive, by necessity uploaded here are .mp4 files. The video is raw and unedited, a primary source document recording the occassion.