Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Nancy Phelan

Interviewed by [talk at Mosman Library] on 28 June 1990
Subject: ,

It’s a very strange experience for me because people keep coming up and saying, ‘do you remember me I was at school with you’. But actually our family connections go back a very long way, I don’t live in Mosman anymore. I just realised the other day that this year 1990 is 100 years since my mother and her sisters, and their friends used to come over to Mosman to picnic when they were young.

The girls were all living at home and they were all hard up. The boys were mainly law students at university, and they used to sail over or row over and picnic in Mosman Bay and they actually came round the Spit. They used to go for long bushwalks there was an electric launch that went to Clontarf there were all sorts of things going on.

Anyway, they all liked it so much that quite a few of them when they married each other came to live here. Ethel Turner married Herbert Curlewis and came, eventually after several other places, she ended up in Warringah Road. My future mother and father got married and came to live in down in the Spit, John Noonan who was a law student brought is wife and baby over to Mosman to live, there were quite a few of them that gradually came over here because they liked it so much.

By the time I was born it was starting to be a suburb but it was still very unspoilt and the part that I lived in was the Spit of course down in Cyprian Street, and it was really untouched. We did have trams that went down the Spit Road, well actually it was called the Spit Road but you call it Parriwi Road, but that was about the only real high tech thing that we had. The trams were absolutely hilarious, I suppose a lot of you can remember them but they were very high and they sort of groaned and screeched and they were freezing in winter and every now and then the pole used to fall off the line and crash down onto the roof.