It’s Spring and it’s Sunday. So much to do and see, open gardens, festivals and fetes and even open house at some of Sydney’s historical properties. My diary is filling up with invitations to see and experience a wealth of beauty around this great city of ours. Well that is what is happening at our place this week. Actually as I am writing this it is not yet Sunday, but Saturday and my mind has wandered back (as it often tends to do now) to years past. I am recalling the days when the roads were less busy on weekends, shops were closed on Sundays and even Saturday afternoons, when there were less people around and everyone seemed to know everyone else in the neighbourhood. Back in the day when people would go for a “Sunday drive” often to outlying rural areas or to the beach, when dad would load the family into the family car (remember when there was usually only one car in the household?) and off we would go.
Dad would often ensure that the fuel tank in the car had sufficient fuel for the trip because many service stations were not open on Sundays. The Esky and picnic tables or blankets would be loaded into the boot of the car. There would be sandwiches or salads prepared by mum, some soft drink and maybe some beer in the Esky. The family including the dog would pile inside the car after deciding on a location to head for.
I am generalising in these recollections. Actually the dog did not join us in these drives back in the late 1950’s or early ‘60s. Different families may have different memories of such drives. As a child we would be taken to such exotic places as Bobbin Head or Coal & Candle Creek at Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. We would look for a vacant picnic hut or table if we could otherwise it would be “get out the table or blanket from the boot of the car”. You would kick a soccer ball around, dangle a fishing line in the river or creek, or just go for a little walk.
Some family outings for some families I knew at the time would go as far as the nearest country pub that was open on a Sunday (pubs generally in Sydney were closed on Sundays). Country pubs were open for bona-fide travellers so that many pubs on what was then just outside the fringe of Sydney’s metropolitan area were very popular. The Cross Roads Hotel , just outside Liverpool or the Log Cabin at Penrith and the pub at Brooklyn are some that come to mind as being popular with Sydney’s Sunday drivers.
As I got older and obtained my own car I often took Sunday drives along country roads to places such as Cobbitty, Camden, Campbelltown and Appin. Later Sunday drives after marriage would include visits to garden nurseries along what was then countrified Old Northern Rd at Castle Hill, Dural and Galston or perhaps a drive out to Windsor or the Blue Mountains.
Mostly now though my Sunday drives are just as often on a weekday avoiding the weekend traffic of mums and dads taking their kids to sporting events or out shopping now that stores are open seven days a week.
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