Paddock Street Whittlesea
This quaint five-bedroomed timber dwelling, standing on
an acre block, is a typical example of an early district pioneer cottage.
of its origins are known, although it is believed to have been owned by
a clergyman until purchased shortly before the turn of the century by
John Cornelius and Polly Craske. The Craskes, from Necton, England had
left London for Australia on 2 April 1887, aboard the ship Port Adelaide
with six children. Fares were forty five guineas for saloon passengers,
eighteen for twin cabins, sixteen for four berth cabins and thirteen for
men's open berths. Fares for children under twelve years of age were half
price and infants under twelve months free.
In 1829 Sydney
Craske, a son of John and Polly, bought Necton. Here he and his wife Sophie
(nee Reynolds) raised a family of five girls.
split shingle roof remains, although now protected and hidden from view
by corrugated iron. Internal features include the ceilings which are of
wooden lining boards and the open fire place. Outside the old water well
and hand pump are still in use.
Today the house
remains in the hands of Craske family descendants. It is currently leased
and occupied by Ann Davies, a local school teacher.
I remember Christmas when I was young.
We travelled by train to a country town.
A suitcase of clothes for each to carry.
Not too much, a bit of this and a bit of that.
A favourite toy and a big sun hat.
My grandfather met us at the station.
Our uncle bundled us onto the back of his truck.
Up the mountain to the old farm house that stood on the top of Eastern
Named after my ancestors town of their birth Necton in Norfolk in far
Cousins to meet, not seen for awhile such excitement with wonderful smiles
Christmas for us was making chains of coloured streamers to hang in the
Old pillow cases to write our names on.
Walks to the town, to buy bits and pieces small coloured combs, loose
lollies from jars, soaps to wrap in cellophane, hair ribbons and perhaps
a penknife for older boys.
Photos I have and treasure of these wonderful years are mine to have and
of a childs dream of times when all was made not easily bought.
Games played by all, a concert or two with Dad's mouthorgan, no piano
or record, tape or the like.
Mothers and Aunties tap danced on worn bluestone steps, and sang a song
of Three Little Girls in Blue Lad.
And time was so precious, those three weeks of the year.
Savoured by me as I move on in life.
Port Melbourne Muse 29/10/03.