Paddock Street Whittlesea

This quaint five-bedroomed timber dwelling, standing on an acre block, is a typical example of an early district pioneer cottage.

Few details 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.

Necton's original 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.



Homing Instinct

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 Hill.
Named after my ancestors town of their birth Necton in Norfolk in far away England.
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 house.
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 hold,
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.

Lois Daley
Port Melbourne Muse 29/10/03.