Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Ted Pethebridge

Interviewed by Sandra Blamey on 6 March 2001
Subject: ,

Ted Pethebridge. There were several kids in the neighbourhood, and we used to play our cricket, because the roads weren’t built then, there were a lot of asphalt roads, or clay roads actually, and some asphalt roads. We used played cricket and football down where the promenade is now – that was just an open grassy spot there and we used to play football along there as kids. And you mentioned there was Happy Land, a great big area of land, and a chap called Fred Scarsbury came along and he bought that and turned it into tennis courts, and then he formed the Balmoral Beach Tennis Club was formed.

Sandra Blamey. Now where on the beach exactly is that located?

Ted Pethebridge. Straight opposite, towards the southern end on the Boulevarde, [Ted means The Esplanade] right on the Boulevarde, and there was a great big guesthouse on the corner of Botanic Road, and the Boulevarde. That was named Braemer Guest House. They rented rooms out for people to live in, and of course the Happy Land was right alongside of it – a great big area there.

Sandra Blamey. What are your memories of Happy Land?

Ted Pethebridge. Well when the people used to come in, they used to set up different sorts of stalls and raffle wheels, and all sorts of things, and of course the ferries used to come in from the Quay, right round to Balmoral and then the crowds used to come in and go into Happy Land and have their picnics. They used to have their little running races like we’d normally do on ordinary picnics ourselves.

Sandra Blamey. Was it open everyday, or just on weekends?

Ted Pethebridge. Mostly only weekends, because the ferries never used run during the week then.

Sandra Blamey. You spent quite a bit of time at Happy Land?

Ted Pethebridge. We used to go there and play, yes. It was a great place to play in.

Sandra Blamey. How long did it exist for?

Ted Pethebridge. Oh that I couldn’t tell you exactly.