Monday, July 10

Around Clayfield

Clayfield is a lovely old suburb close to the city of Brisbane.  You can read some of its history here.  The suburb was part of my life for many years, though I have never lived in it.  I have spent time as a house sitter in a friend’s house as she travels overseas.

My daughter went to school at Clayfield College – way back in the 1970’s/80’s.  We lived in the northern suburbs of Brisbane during that time, and usually, it meant a drive to the school.  For a short while, there was some public transport to the school, but mostly it was me who drove to and fro.

I remember when she started the school, it was a fraction of its current day self.  I remember the old swimming pool, the old houses used as classrooms.  Over the years Janet was at school, it acquired land around the site, and grew and grew. 

I remember the old Turrawan Hospital across the road.  Our son had his tonsils out there before Janet was a student at CC, and I remember smuggling a little puppy into the hospital to visit a friend who was a patient there.  It is of course no longer a hospital. 
There was a bowling alley on the corner of Sandgate Road, opposite the school.  The school purchased the building, and it became the up-market gymnasium for the students.  I remember when the new swimming pool was built.  Over the years there have been many developments.

But always the one thing that I loved about the suburb was its old houses.  Again, over the years there have been changes there too.  Many of the old homes have been replaced by multi-storeyed accommodation.  Flats. Apartments.

It is the fear of everyone who remains in their old traditional houses that next door neighbours might sell – and it is usually the developers who offer the highest sum – and next door they have a tall building with many inhabitants, few who become friendly neighbours.

It was just around the corner from where I am house sitting that I went to church.  St Marks Anglican Church.  That was until I became a “trouble maker” when I discovered paedophilia at our son’s school, and endeavoured to get the church to act and protect the boys.  Of course, they didn’t.  I never attended church again.  Sadly, despite being an active member of the church community, not one other parishioner bothered to contact me.  Some days I think I might go back and see if anyone recognises me.  Perhaps if someone did, I might still be accused of bringing disrepute to the Church.  Wasn’t it the paedophiles that did that?

I still love driving around the streets and observing the old houses.  It is a suburb where the folks generally have plenty of money, so the upkeep on most of the houses is excellent.  Keeping the timber homes in good condition is very costly.  Painting the timber alone comes at some cost.

There are private homes that have been built – and I love the ones that have clearly been blessed with a creative architect.  There’s one near here that I would love to photograph. 

Not today.  Rain is heavy.  Darn, I’ve just done some washing too.


An old style Clayfield House with verandahs closed in.


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