John Berry

John Berry, a former resident of West Hobart, read about this web site in an article in The Mercury and responded with the following contributions.

Came across your website while having a look at today’s ‘Mercury’.  I grew up in West Hobart at 59A Lansdowne Crescent at the top of Warwick Street in a house we moved to in 1951.  It had been owned by a Dr Walsh since it was built in about 1912.  Large block – 7,120 m2 – next door to Eric Cuthbertson whom I seem to recall was the owner or MD of Blundstone Boots.

What intrigued me was that Dr Walsh had obviously way back in the 20s and 30s cultivated many Australian native trees and shrubs long before they became generally popular.

I attach a photo of the old home which my parents sold in the mid-80s as well as the site plan.

59a Lansdowne Crescent, West Hobart

59a Lansdowne Crescent, West Hobart
Click to enlarge

Title_Site Plan

It was a great place to grow up in as children – we kept goats, chooks, ducks, geese, dogs, birds, rabbits etc.

Typical Tasmanian story – of 5 siblings, only 2 are left in the state.  One in St Petersburg, Russia, one between Brisbane and London, myself, one at South Hobart and one at Campania.  I left Tassie in 1964 and spent 30 years plus overseas on every continent except Antarctica.

I do visit once or twice a year.

Another story – I used to deliver newspapers on most of the upper part of West Hobart around Lansdowne Crescent, Cavell and Faraday Streets, Poets Rd, Hill and Allison Streets etc from about 1954 until 1962 for Ted Spencer who had a newsagency on the corner of Barrack and Bathurst Streets – it’s a City Mission shop now I think.  The other paper runner was old Merv – already in his mid-70s and a pensioner.  His father had been a convict and Merv told me about the convict days as recounted by his father as well as the origin of some of the local West Hobart terms such as Pigeon House.

Not blowing my trumpet here but here is a bit of history – handwritten reports disappeared at Lansdowne Crescent Primary in 1954 when they acquired a Gestetner copier.  See the comparison in the report formats!

John Berry_Term Report_April 1953
John Berry_Term Report_April 1954

My Grade 4 teacher in 1953 was Lucy Hughes, whose sister (always known as Miss Seabrook) also taught Grade 3 at the school.  Both sisters who I think were spinsters (probably as a result of the World War 1 losses which left so many women unmarried or widowed) lived at the other end of the West Hobart tram line in a house next to the Cadbury’s office at 1 Liverpool Street opposite the railway station.  I think they were both in their 60s by the time they were teaching me.
Still in touch with some of my Grade 6 colleagues after 58 years even though some have split to the mainland and overseas.

Best wishes

John Berry

1 Response to John Berry

  1. Bruce Ludeke says:

    Mr Spencer’s shop was on the corner of the SE corner of Goulburn and Barrack and it is the City Mission. My grandfather Bernhard Ludeke created the Mayfair Guesthouse at 63 Goulburn St which I believe he bought from Mrs Asquith. He later built units at 17 Cavell St and turned the old house into Motel Mayfair.

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