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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Reminiscing: The Tuross Holidays c1924

The Beagle Editor, Just thought that an article my mother Beryl Knight (nee Chudleigh) wrote back in 1995 may be of interest to your readers Regards Keith Knight Each year in January Dad would decide it was time for him to have a break from farming and he would take the family to Tuross - sometimes to the cottage and sometimes for a camping holiday. The Tuross cottage was built by his father, Glanville and there are photographs showing the cottage and Albert Teidemanns house at the end of a dirt track. For days before departure there would be great preparations for the trip and the weeks away from home. Mum would bake biscuits, biscuits and more biscuits to fill several of the old square Arnott's biscuit tins. She would also make fruit cakes and pack bottles of preserved fruit from the orchard. Clothes had to be sorted and bedding prepared along with numerous other items which all had to be accommodated on the back of the truck with an assortment of kids. I remember the old army Marmon and then the newer Fargo. One trip in the Marman we had 4 punctures on the way down. That was the longest trip we ever had. The high sides would be put up on the truck and tarpaulins checked as once we arrived at Tuross the truck table became extra sleeping space so it had to be made waterproof.

Above: a Marmon truck

The trip always took a couple of days with usually an overnight camp on top of the Clyde Mountain. Mum and Dad and the youngest of the tribe would climb into the cabin of the truck and whoever was left clambered up the back and found seats on the top of the load. Usually we travelled down the Clyde Mountain but occasionally would go via Araluen. What a terrifying trip that was with the narrow steep winding dirt road and corners that sharp the back of the truck seemed to go over the edge of the mountain. The Clyde was also a dirt road but not quite as narrow as the Araluen. At the foot of the Clyde was the little ferry at Nelligen which always seemed to be at the other side of the river. The Nelligen ferry only held about six vehicles so not nearly as exciting as the much larger Bateman's Bay ferry.

Above: The first Batemans Bay steam ferry C 1930s

The old ferry c1920's At Bateman's Bay Dad would buy us all an ice cream in a cone while we waited for the ferry. Once the truck was driven onto the ferry we were allowed to climb down and walk around as the trip across always took a little while. In later years when the bridges were built at Nelligen and Bateman's Bay time was certainly saved on the trip but a lot of the magic and excitement was lost. The last forty miles after Bateman's Bay were always the longest and nearing Coila, where the ocean is first sighted I can remember the groans going up "Not more mountains" but then the Tuross turnoff sign would loom into sight and we were there. Weeks of water, sand, fishing, blackberrying, and of course the mosquitoes and sandflies. What bliss for country kids and how fortunate we were that our Grandfather bought the block at Tuross. All too soon the holiday was over and the long haul home began. That final ice cream at the Bay, then mountains, dust and heat as we headed home, back to school and another year before we saw the sea again.

Above: Tuross Cottage 1924 Corner of Hood and Trafalgar Road Cottage remains with little change from original build and within the Chudleigh Family to this day Photo provided by Keith Knight

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