By Ivor Jones
Looking from the door leading from the main rooms on the right side of the courtyard were two rooms, then the kitchen, then two more rooms, a bathroom and the school room.
Next to the school room was the big green back door that creaked every time you opened it. On the left side of the courtyard were four rooms and Gran’s room near the main rooms. Her room opened onto a glassed sunroom which led onto the side verandah.
The green back door opened onto the back verandah. The verandah was in two stages with two steps down half way along the walkway (where we fell that first night). The back verandah continued past the green back door to the toilet. Steps at the side of the toilet led down to the wine cellar which was all sandstone. After we had been playing in the cellar it was blocked off so we couldn’t go there anymore.
In the front of the house was the long driveway which led to a circular driveway directly in front of the house. In the middle of this circular driveway was a garden full of old fashioned sweet smelling roses. On the right side of the house was a tennis court, fruit trees, gardens, chook house and storage sheds. Behind the house was a gate to the two servants cottages (each three rooms and kitchen), which seemed very nice. On the left side of the main house in the side paddock was a lake that had waterlilies floating on the top. We would sit at the edge of the lake and watch the blue dragon flies flutter and dart around the lilies. Beside the house there were very large trees with big stag horns around the trunks and beautiful rock orchids growing from behind the stag horns. It was a lovely spot.
There was a very large two storey shed around the back in which was stored fuel and other liquids. The servants’ cottages and main rooms of the house were also used for storage during the war.
The paddock near the servants’ cottages was used by the cows. I remember we burnt the blackberry bushes one year in that paddock because Gran was worried about snakes and the fire got away. We had to put the fire out with wet bags and my cousin Ronny singed his eyebrows. A creek ran through the paddock and there was an old convict wheel that they turned to bring water from the creek. In the next paddock was the big milking shed where we learnt to milk cows. One day we were milking and Vera the cow must have eaten something that upset her. We all ended up in big mess including the 36 cats that came for the milking every day.
Ron and I used to go fishing in the creek. We would sit on the edge with our lines in the very long grass. We got into trouble with Gran because a snake could have bit us in the long grass. However we never did see any snakes. The reason might have been the presence of Gran’s 12 house cats and the 36 cats that lived in the paddocks.
The house had a slate roof and the possums would hang over the verandah of the courtyard and watch us watch them.
We had the best Christmases a child could wish for. All the family would come to Roxburgh Park. The aunts, uncles and cousins came from Queensland even with the war going on. It was the best time of my life.