Mosman Voices - oral histories online

John Carruthers

Interviewed by Trish Levido on 15 February 2006

Trish Levido. So you didn’t get to go on the tugboat because Violet actually said that she had been on the tugboat. Now Hazel McLain had some connections with the Medusa Dairy. All I’ve got is to ask you if you knew anything about a Hazel McLain and the Medusa Dairy. I’ve since found out that the Medusa Dairy – there’s something where the Medusa Dairy is there’s either a foundation that’s still left there or you can actually see some part of the Medusa Dairy.

John Carruthers. Well the house where they separated the milk is still there and there’s a little bit of an alleyway that goes back to where the large shed they had that they used to put the cattle in.

Trish Levido. So they’ve still got the milk- separating shed.

John Carruthers. Well, it’s a house now.

Trish Levido. Yes, it’s been converted into a house, but that was where the actual separating shed was.

John Carruthers. It’s where the dairy was, yeah.

Trish Levido. And it’s like a battleaxe block of land then is it?

John Carruthers. It’s a long narrow block of land like that, and there’s a road or a lane on the southern side that goes down which was the grazing area for the cattle on top of this hill.

Trish Levido. How many cattle are we talking about?

John Carruthers. No, but there were a fair few and I used to milk them.

Trish Levido. And did you take the milk can down to the dairy to get the milk everyday?

John Carruthers. That’s still there I think, they used to dispense the milk down there.

Trish Levido. Yes, when they’d actually separate the milk out and sell it directly from there. Did he have a horse and dray to carry the milk carts?

John Carruthers. Yes, Paul Stevens, the second house up there, Mr. Stevens he had several carts.

Trish Levido. Was Mr. Stevens the actually milkman?

John Carruthers. He carried the milk for the Mosman dairy.

Trish Levido. So he would have had the horse and dray that actually carried it, but he wasn’t the milkman.

John Carruthers. Yes, he was the milkman.

Trish Levido. But he didn’t actually milk the cows did he?

John Carruthers. No.

Trish Levido. It was his business to sell the milk.

John Carruthers. Yes, he carted the milk for the Osborne’s.