Huffington Post Australia has posted footage of Sydney and surrounds in 1939/40. The footage is compiled from reels of film discovered recently in a California garage. It is a sensational historical and social find, particularly for someone who grew up in Sydney at the time. I was four-years-old in 1950 and have a good memory of things. There was not much change by 1950, except for the cars, of course. It was a time very different from now. It was great to see footage of Manly baths, a popular destination for people living on the North Shore of Sydney, a place we often went to from our home in Lane Cove.
A visit to Sydney’s department stores in the 1950s was a great day out, especially for kids around Christmas time. The toy departments with their array of toys at a time when kids received toys only on special occasions were entrancing. Sometimes there were visits of stars from kids movies. I remember one of the pirates from Disney’s Treasure Island (1950) was in the toy department of one department store one Christmas. I’ve forgotten which store but it was most likely Anthony Hordens & sons in George Street. And then there was lunch in the cafeteria, often a meat pie and chips. Part of the thrill of a visit to the city was the ride on the double decker bus. Kids rushed for the front seats upstairs.
As reminder of the number of department stores in Sydney, HERE is a link to a fascinating page about Sydney’s department stores for furniture and furnishings, 1890-1960.