Naracoorte’s changes in the past | COLUMN

I note the headline on the Herald’s website, ‘How Naracoorte has changed in a decade.’

The changes over a decade are probably fairly minor compared to those since my childhood.

Back then, the War Memorial was in the middle of Smith Street and cars could park down the centre of the street from that point.

On one occasion, my younger brother refused to get in our black Ford car and mum was reduced to chasing him around and around the War Memorial.

Nick was amused by this escapade and mum was furious. Speeds Shoe Shop was on the adjacent corner.

This was where we would regularly go to buy the uniform, hard wearing black school shoes for each of our 12 years of our schooling.

As well as Heard’s Menswear shop, there was his wife’s shop, Helen’s World of Fashion (Helen also opened a store in Millicent and another in Mount Gambier, if my memory serves me correctly).

As a teenager, Helen’s was a wonder of modern fashion for me. Up until its opening, mum had made clothes for my sister and I.

I got to wear her hand-me-downs too, which didn’t thrill me as my body shape was quite different to hers.

On McRae St, there was Tonello’s Fruit and Veg shop, the Ritz Café and a butcher’s shop with water running down the front window and sawdust on the floor.

Across the street was Bennett and Fishers stock agency and later, Dalgety’s. In my day, my dad’s preferred stock agency was Goldsbrough-Mort and it was situated next to the Kincraig Hotel.

It later morphed into Elders GM and later again, to Elders. One of my classmates, Greg Foster, got a job there on leaving school.

The community club was a favourite haunt of my dad’s. He would head there after he had completed any business he had to do on the regular Friday afternoon excursion to Naracoorte.

He met a German guy there one day and they got chatting about the war. They worked out that he had been stationed on the French Coast at a defence point with the job of shooting down Allied planes.

My dad was in a Wellington aircraft doing reconnaissance flights up and down the Channel. “You could have shot me down,” dad determined.

They laughed at this and had another beer. There have been so many changes, I’ve only just begun. – Moira Neagle

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