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21 September, 2015.POSTES IN: Eugowra, Stories,TAGS:

Eugowra railway and silos – Ron Sloan

The most important places in Eugowra is the railway and the silos. There are great views from the showground looking out over the canola crop to the hills beyond. This is a special image.

Ron Sloan, Eugowra

Ronald Charles Sloan known affectionately as ‘Speckie’, my first job was a paper boy for Mrs Gallagher who had the newsagency and her husband Jim owned the Eugowra District Stores near the old bakery.

We lived at 3 Loftus Street and the house is still standing and occupied to-day. My father Bill ran the local ambulance which was stored in a lean-to next to the garage.

Sometimes I went with him to pick up a patient.

I first went to school at St Joseph’s from 1926 for four years and then went to the Central School until I left at the age of 14 years. I was baptized and confirmed at St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Eugowra and I also attended Sunday School.

My grandfather had a small acreage in the area known as ‘Old Eugowra’ and he was a great horseman and used to break in horsed for the Bray family at ‘Vychan’.

I played hockey, I was selected for a country team. We played cricket on the cricket ground behind the Club House Hotel. Hockey started at the Showground, tennis was on the town courts, table tennis was played in the billiard room and golf was on the local course. I won the championships in the 50s.

We had a couple of gallopers running at the racetrack at the showground mainly at the picnics. We were well known for our greyhounds. Two of the dogs, who were brothers from the one litter, won 52 races between them. My dog was named Jovial Invader and Dad’s was Banberra.

In the school holidays me and my mates enjoyed playing around the creek and rabbiting.

My favourite place in town was the Golf Club. The Central Hotel is the most important place because of the social aspect.

I admire most Harry Esperance, he was an American Negro, he was a real gentleman and could play any musical instrument. He lived at the old Boree Shire depot in North Street.

The 1928 flood was of historical significance. The School of Arts was the venue for regular stalls and mum used to take things there to sell. I remember my mother asking Mrs Woodward to take me home, I was 7 and I remembers her carrying me across to the café, she had a little rest and then continued on through the water and over the old wooden bridge over the flooded Mandagery Creek.

The most prominent produce from Eugowra was wheat, tomatoes were grown for Edgells and lucerne.

School lunch was jam sandwiches, breakfast was porridge or semolina, and the evening meal was generally a stew or soup. On special occasions like Christmas we would have a chicken and plum pudding and dumplings were a special treat. There were plenty of rabbits which kept the working man alive.

Unless you were lucky enough to have a regular job, work was mostly what you could find, which was generally labouring.

The Escort Rock hold-up by the Frank Gardiner gang of bushrangers was a big part of Eugowra’s history. ‘The way people lived’ has been a big change. The car replacing the horse in the late 40’s and 50’s and the roads are better.

The most important places in Eugowra is the railway and the silos. There are great views from the showground looking out over the canola crop to the hills beyond. This is a special image. I was born here, reared here, lived most of his life here, enjoyed working with people here and playing sport with my cobbers here.

Interview by Judy Smith

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