|Con with full name as Conrad Crawshaw after 1915.|
|17 June 1885 in Woolloomooloo, NSW.|
|5 January 1966 in Fairfield, Sydney, NSW|
|7 January 1966 in Macquarie Cemetery, Sydney, NSW|
|Alfred Kraushaar (1860-1945)|
|Rosa Ellen Downton (1864-1902)|
|Fanny Ina Lister (1883-1961) in Orange, NSW, on 18 February, 1910.|
|Ina Charity Crawshaw (1911-2015)|
|Milton Alfred Lister Crawshaw (1912-2016)|
|Audrey Joy Crawshaw (1915-2012)|
|Rosa Hope Crawshaw (1918-)|
|Una Faith Crawshaw (1920-2016)|
When we were young—too young to know what was going on—Dad bought what we later called
The Old Farm. It consisted of more than 100 acres and was out of Robertson on a very rough rocky road. Dad loved the country and hated being tied to the sweet factory—although he was always proud of the fact he had always been his own boss! He had great hopes for what he night do with this Robertson land, on which was an old house, which was later slowly destroyed by blackberry pickers during the depression.
We had lots of good holidays there, joined at times by Uncle Carey and his family. Rosa’s birthday was 31st December so we always stayed up and celebrated the New Year. We did this by lighting an old hollow tree. A fire was lit at the base and gradually the whole hollow tree lit and glowed in the dark. At midnight we used to blow horns and bang tins etc. There were no neighbours, we were right out in the bush.
On the rocky road outside the farm bullock wagons used to travel, laden with huge logs. I remember one of the front bullocks had a big neck hanging from his head and in this neck he had a lump as big as a tennis ball—which I thought he must have swallowed.
The Old Farm had acres of perfectly straight tall trees and Dad thought he could make money out of them, also from growing potatoes. He let a young fellow connected to EB try potato growing there. He didn’t make a fortune!! Poor fellow had worked in the coal mines and had lost a leg in an accident there.
Blackberry pickers used to frequent the place and slowly pulled the house apart. Once when Dad went the remains of the verandah posts were poking out of the open fire. They had just been pushed in further as they burnt. We collected huge tins of blackberries and Dad used to make blackberry jelly instead of the seeded jam, out of them. It was really delicious. The land would be worth a fortune now, as that area has opened up.
I remember stories of Dad and Mum’s brothers going by train, as far as possible, and then riding bikes onto the farm. Once when racing down a hill, one bike hit a lot of sand at the bottom and broke in two!!
So the Old Farm had its uses, even if it was for happy holidaying only. Dad also owned two blocks of land at Toongabbie, bought because Mum’s brother, who was a railway station manager, knew a new line was being built out there. But, Dad kept it for years, and eventually sold after the war, when prices were restricted by the Government. Also when the
Moratorium Actwas brought in by the Government. Dad lost the home we used to live in before moving to Thirroul. He let the home at Undercliff and the tenants didn’t pay the rent. Dad couldn’t make them and wasn’t able—with 5 kids and Thirroul to pay for, to continue to pay rates etc., so suppose the Council got it for nothing. This was during the Depression.
One of our Uncles got his home back later but Dad didn’t try. Wish I had been old enough to know what was going on!!
Dad didn’t have my fighting spirit? It would have made us kids’ lives easier if our parents had been more assertive, and passed it down!
Con, Dot & family, c1937. (Photo by Eric Brown.)
My father owned 118 acres 4 miles east of Robertson. He loved the country, but was doomed to eke out a living in the city. He got to this place as often as possible, which was rare. He had a big heart in a small body.
Once, before I started school, he took a pushbike, and me, and an axe and a spade, and provisions and bedclothes I presume, on the train to Moss Vale, and rode 18 miles over terrible roads to this place. There was nothing there except a vandal-riddled hut, and tumbledown fences. But we all loved it.
The place was so isolated, Hope said today
however did he find it?
Mr Crawshaw owned a confectionary factory in Oxford Street, Sydney and the windows of these premises were stacked high with packets of coconut ice bearing their
The Crawshaws had four daughters — Faith, Hope, Charity and Joy — and a son named Milton (no doubt in honour of the author of Paradise Lost). Mr Crawshaw sold his confectionery up and down the coast to various corner stores. He also owned property
over the mountainin the Bowral-Mittagong area where he grew Chinese Gooseberries (now known as Kiwi fruit) and Boysenberries. He was reputedly the first to introduce both these delicacies to the coast.
Faith, Hope, Joy, Milton & Charity.