Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Paul Metzler

Interviewed by Donna Braye on 18 February 2000
Subject: ,

Paul Metzler. Oh yes – we all walked in those days. Except you didn’t walk up to shops, the shopkeepers delivered.

Donna Braye. Really? In horse and cart?

Paul Metzler. Oh yes, so I knew the baker boy, and the butcher boy, and all these grown up people. But Clifton Gardens – yes we walked there too. I have a couple of memories of that – one memory is that they had a German picnic there, so it must have been after the War – 1919. I remember the German picnic, which was absolutely super. There were people everywhere instead of just our household – people everywhere, and running races and skipping for the girls, and the cream cakes, and oh, it was heaven – I never forgot it.

The other thing was that we used to go there – there were the baths there – not the baths there now, there was a giant circular swimming baths. The only circular swimming baths in Sydney, and you see it in old galleries and things – I’ve got a picture of it. And if you go to Clifton Gardens now, about opposite where the telephone box is and walk straight toward the water you will see a big sandy dip, like a sandy ditch – that aimed straight at the old Clifton Gardens circular baths. And as well as being circular it was terribly deep just out there – very dark water, and it had the highest diving tower in Sydney. I used to be in the shallows with Minnie and Dot, I suppose, and my father would dive from this high tower with his beautiful swallow dive. I thought he was swooping out to land on us, but swooping out apparently, then he sort of straightened and went down like a dart into the water and I thought that was marvelous, and I would be a tower diver when I grew up.