One way of finding out about the past is to ask someone who knows about it. Oral history is a way of preserving the past by recording the unique life experiences of ordinary people. Oral histories capture both the memories and the voices of people as they tell their stories, and allow us to share in very personal accounts of events, places and periods from our history.
These interviews were recorded in the late 1990s with long-term residents of the Ryde area.
The aim was to establish a collection of oral history recordings that reflect the history of the district, as seen through the eyes of a wide range of long-standing local residents. The focus of the interviews is therefore people-centred rather than topic-centred. Interviews are specific in that they deal with life in the Ryde district between 1920 and 1960.
Each interview contains a fully searchable transcript with audio extracts and images. Paper-based versions of transcripts as well as original recordings and photos are available by contacting the Local Studies Librarian on 9952 8222.
Peggy talks about growing up in Eastwood during the 1920s and 1930s.
Owen reminisces about his childhood and growing up during the Depression. He talks about the dairies and market gardens in the West Ryde area.
Jean gives us an insight into a childhood in a frugal and hard-working family. She lived in Ethel Street, Eastwood during the 1920s.
Jim chats about his childhood and working in the timber industry on his grandfather's farm on the South Coast during his adolescence.
Growing up on a market garden in Cressy Road, North Ryde, Joseph shares his childhood memories of the area, the 1919 flu epidemic and the end of World War I.
Lillian describes her life as a child of English migrants and as a young married woman living in North Ryde.
Ron talks about growing up in North Ryde during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.
Jean shares her memories of growing up in Ryde. She talks about her life as a young woman and the various social activities that she and her friends enjoyed.
Bert recalls his childhood on his parents' dairy farm in Ryde in the 1930s and 1940s.
Greta arrived from Scotland with her family in 1921 and settled in Gladesville. Her family founded the Caledonian Society in the area.
Jim describes growing up in the rural area of North Ryde during the 1930s and 1940s.
Doris talks about how her parents cleared land and built their new house.
John reminisces about his childhood and his involvement with the UAP (United Australian Party) and politics. He also talks about returning from service in the World War II.
Arthur chats about growing up in Gladesville. He recalls the period from World War I onwards and talks of local identities and their pastimes.
Rita was the Lady Mayoress of Ryde in 1951-53 and 1957. She recalls stories of her life and times.
Dorothea came to live at Ryde when she was 11 years old. Her father operated a shop.
Norm came to live in Ryde in 1913 and witnessed the changing land use of the area - from market gardens to residential and shopping areas.
Dorothy was two years old when she moved to Ryde in 1922. She describes her school days and family life and shares her memories of the local community and its development.
Ross' family arrived from Italy and worked hard on their farm in Ryde. During World War II and grew vegetables for supply to the Australian Army.
Lucy was born into an Italian family in Marsfield in 1907. Her family operated their orchard where they grew fruit trees and grape vines.
Neville describes what it was like growing up in Ryde during the Depression.
Olive grew up in the family home built by her father, an English stonemason. She tells us about her family's life in Meadowbank.
Norm recounts stories about his early life in Ryde. He shares tales about local landmarks and social activities.
Roland's family grew up in Palmyra, a home of local significance in Ryde. He tells of his life as a young adult and married man in the rapidly changing Ryde community.
Jean describes growing up in May Street, Eastwood. Her father operated the family business, Meadowsweet Jam factory, from the rear of the home.
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City of Ryde acknowledges the traditional custodians of this land, the Wallumedegal clan of the Darug nation. Council also pays respect to elders both past, present and emerging and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people visiting this site.
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