Terry Forrest. When I mentioned the change of number of the house – that was because Bay Street stopped well short of Pickle Road, it was then extended subsequent to Pickle Road. In that bush there also during the war which was quite heavily timbered or scrubbed there was an elderly couple living in a cave with a galvanised iron lean-to at the back of the cave, probably living free on a block of land worth millions of dollars today, living there free. We used to call them Sloop, and Mary. We got into a lot of trouble because we used to throw rocks on the metal roof and get chased away out through the bush by Sloop.
Another interesting character was a man whose name I can’t remember, that lived in Central Avenue. I can recall because you will remember that there’s a huge sewerage operation up near Primrose Park, well that had been suspended and the oysters that were growing around the rocks at Beauty Point were very much in demand.
I don’t think those two things go together, but anyway this guy used to walk around in sandshoes or bare feet and get the oysters that had floated off the rocks – they called them ‘floaters’ and were buried in the mud. He’d take them away, open them, put them in little jars and take them up to the Hotel Mosman and sell them. I’m not too sure that everybody who bought them knew where they came from, but they were pretty good oysters – and big oysters when you got them out of the mud they were big oysters.
My parents regularly ate the oysters off the rocks but there was always this problem associated with the fact that the old sewerage farm was alleged to be leeching out toxic waste. So they are a few of my recollections of Bay Street and Beauty Point.