Life in the Back Yard


Sepia Saturday suggested clothes lines and all things related for this week’s topic.  I think we all have samples of washing photo-bombing our photos taken in the back yard.

And this one is no exception – a frame from a home movie taken in Melbourne c1960.

bringing in the washing 2The back yard is closely related to the clothes line and its display of washing , whether it be a wire propped up with a pole or an Australian Hills Hoist.  And the back yard of  a spec house bought in the 1950s was just that – a  backyard free of landscaping and usually without a garage.  A garage  was a later addition and was usually built apart from the house.

So in my washing photo you can’t see that the garage has been added to the back yard.  First buy the car and then build the garage around it. The house next door is also getting its garage at the same time.   It must be the weekend as the garages were home built. The clothes line is there but no washing that day.

Back yards were also where many of the family photos were taken, this one in 1962,  and you can see the corner of the garage and imagine the washing to the right.

Sally in bassinetAnd where is this lass today.  She is on the final day of an eight day trek of the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.  She has gone as an adult role model/mentor  on the annual trek run by the Geelong Police for some troubled youths and the party consists of police, twelve youths and some adults. There are  local porters to help too.  This is a video of the 2013 trek. The Kokoda  Trail is important to Australians as it is where our Militia repelled the Japanese forces advancing on Australia.

But whatever you are doing or wherever you go the washing goes with you, whether its rinsing out your smalls  while trekking  Kokoda or having a holiday at Kennett River c1960 as below.

bringing in the washing - kennettx riverMore displays of washing can be seen at this weeks Sepia Saturday site.

12 thoughts on “Life in the Back Yard

  1. jamestaylor

    Love it! Revives so many memories. Ah, building garages and sheds in the backyard before all those annoying rules and regulations. After the clothes prop days Dad said we weren’t going to have any commercial clothesline so he made one that operated by water power — a hose connected to a backyard tap. As I recall it worked quite well until a few of us (yes, I was one) used the arms as a movable monkey bar and caused some internal haemorrhage of the working parts and it was never quite right afterwards. Thing either stopped halfway up or would refuse to lower. Dad eventually surrendered and we joined the Hills Hoist brigade.


  2. Little Nell

    What is it about duaghters in wash baskets? Mine appears in my blogpost doing just that! The still from the movie reminds me of the one I wanted to post of my Dad battling with a large sheet on a windy day; unfortunately it was far too grainy.


  3. Tattered and Lost

    Your daughter is beautiful. A very fine portrait.

    I always remember that all of the houses my family lived in in Maryland had carports. I could never understand that. With all the snow we got the poor car was always partially buried. I guess a garage was a luxury. They should have just taken a page from Australia and built their own.



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