Way back when, Wednesdays

Locals expose alien’s nocturnal reconnaissance flight

If extra-terrestrials decided to visit Australia where do you think they go? The nation’s capital perhaps? The outback? The City of Tea Tree Gully? In a scene reminiscent of a vintage science fiction film, the North East Leader reported on sightings of a mysterious saucer-shaped flying object, on page 4 of the edition dated 27 July, 1966. Was it an alien visitation or something else?

UFO 1966

The first ten-second sighting of the saucer shaped flying object was made by local resident Mr. L.G. Bradbook and his young son. Mr Bradbook alleged that at 8.30pm, in the week prior to the article’s publication, the UFO shot across the night sky in the vicinity of a reservoir (possibly now the wetland) At first sight, the UFO appeared to be very large but then diminished greatly in size when he saw it ascend and fly off over his car in a northerly direction. Miss Imelda Steinmueller, a young woman from Vista, also reported seeing a strange white object slowly flying high in the sky over North East Road, Tea Tree Gully at 7.15pm.

Enthusiasts from the Flying Saucer Research Society of Australia were soon on the scene to investigate – an impressive feat in the days before social media and news on demand. Vice President Colin Norris surmised that both Mr Bradbook and Miss Steinmueller could have seen the same object. There had been many sightings of UFOs near bodies of water, even near large water tanks. Colin Norris provides rather hazy information about how various bodies had been established to document these sightings, just that you could read reports through ‘official sources’. He suggests that extraterrestrials could be flying over the local area doing survey work, and while they were here, they needed to take on water for their own mysterious purposes. Some may remark that aliens may have been disappointed in the quality of Adelaide’s water in those days, should they have sampled the Murray River.

Note how the North East Leader did not interview anybody who could have offered another explanation for the flying objects. Nowadays the media would probably get also reports from the Bureau of Meterology and other scientific organisations, to investigate if the UFO might really be a weather balloon, a satellite in orbit or a piece of ‘space junk’ entering the Earth’s atmosphere before burning up.

The photo accompanying the article shows another mysterious round, flying object which was taken nearby in the Gilles Plains area in June 1965.

So how did our fascination with UFOs start? TIME magazine describes what is credited to be the first modern sighting of a UFO and the ‘flying saucer’ phenomenon. On 24 June, 1947, an amateur pilot named Kenneth Arnold saw a bright blue flash of light in the sky near Mt. Rainier in Washington State, U.S.A. He then saw nine more flashes of light in rapid succession. Arnold calculated the speed of these flying objects at over 1,200 mph, which was nearly twice the speed of sound; unheard of at a time when planes had not yet cracked the sound barrier.

Arnold compared the way the lights flew over the sky with somebody throwing a saucer over a body of water, which then skipped over the surface. A reporter for United Press misinterpreted what Watson had said, describing the lights in the sky as ‘saucer like’ unidentified flying objects and further reports called them flying saucers! Within a month, Americans had reported hundreds of sightings of flying saucers across the sky.

The obsession with spacecraft and extraterrestrial life forms intensified when a rancher from New Mexico reported finding what he thought was the crash site of a flying saucer near Roswell. There are reports that the Air Force initially supported the Rancher’s claim, then refuted it, saying the wreckage was the remains of a weather balloon. Let’s just say the rest is history but in 1994, the US Air Force declared that the wreckage was more likely to be one of a train of high-altitude balloons, carrying acoustical equipment to monitor Soviet nuclear testing at the beginning of the Cold War era (http://time.com/3930602/first-reported-ufo/).

It looks like our visitors may have returned. A local resident lodged a report more recently on the UFO Hunters website. On 9 January 2016, they spotted a pulsating, spherical object in the sky near the Tea Tree Gully area. You might enjoy reading about other possible alien encounters in South Australia in the ‘Curious Adelaide’ page of the ABC news website.   Maybe we are really not alone…

 
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Way back when, Wednesdays

Finnish librarian takes to the road

At the Tikkurila library, which is situated in the city of Vantaa in southern Finland, customers can sing along to pop tunes or to a selection of Finnish favorites in a custom built soundproofed karaoke booth.

The City of Tea Tree Gully may not have a karaoke booth but we can say that we have had a Finnish librarian employed here! On page 4 of the edition dated 25 November 1965 the North East Leader reported on the appointment of Miss Ulla-Maija Salonen to the City of Tea Tree Gully mobile library service.

IMG_0003 Finnish librarian

Image courtesy of the State Libary of South Australia, North East Leader, page 4, 25 November, 1965

As stated in the newspaper article above, Ulla-Maija Salonen was a highly educated and accomplished young woman. She was also multilingual. The District Council of Tea Tree Gully was fortunate to have her in its employ. Ulla-Maija Salonen was also the first female librarian to work for the Tea Tree Gully Library. Ms Salonen held the equivalent of a Master of Science degree from the University of Helsinki and she had taught science at schools in New South Wales and Finland. She had worked as a medical science technician. Ulla-Maija had also joined the department of Botany at Adelaide University, before taking over from the Mr. Keech, Tea Tree Gully’s first librarian.

The Minister of Education, Mr. R.R. Loveday, officially handed over the mobile library to the Chairman of the District Council of Tea Tree Gully on Saturday 12 June, 1965, in the vicinity of a community centre on Memorial Drive at Tea Tree Gully. The bus began servicing the local community on Tuesday 15 June.

Mobile public library 1965

Image:  North East Leader, page 1, 3 June, 1965

It was the second mobile library service to operate in South Australia, the City of Marion ran the first. The Library was actually a refurbished Department of Health vehicle which had formerly operated as a mobile x-ray unit!

The bus was a gift from the C.M.V. Foundation. Sidney Crawford established the C.M.V group in 1934 in South Australia, selling commercial vehicles to the transport industry. He set up the C.M.V. Group Foundation in 1953 to assist charities and those in need in the wider community. In total, the C.M.V. Foundation contributed 16,000 pounds towards establishing free public library services in the South Australian metropolitan area.

So where did all the books come from? The State Library of South Australia has provided this information about how public libraries were funded. In accordance with the Library (Subsidies) Act of 1955 and a 1958 amendment, the State Treasurer could subsidise local government to meet the costs of a establishing and running a public library, provided that the amount of funding did not exceed what Council spent in any financial year. A substantial amount of the books had to be of an educational or literary nature.  The Annual report of the Libraries Board of South Australia of 1964/65 states on page 11 that “The Libraries Board supplied initial bookstocks new libraries at Millicent, Enfield and Tea Tree Gully.” Councils such as Tea Tree Gully paid money to the Libraries Board to be supplied with books; the amount of which was subsidised by an equal amount from the South Australian State Government.

The Mobile Library’s initial book stock was valued at 5000 pounds, which was a substantial investment in 1965. And the Library was fully air-conditioned, a very modern feature. When it was introduced, the Library service would have 5000 books in its collection. The bus was to hold 2,500 volumes on the shelves (a considerable amount) with the remainder of the books placed in reserve in storage (Page 1, North East Leader, 3 June, 1965). A driver-assistant library was also employed.

People of all ages were able to use the Library for free if they lived in Tea Tree Gully and surrounding areas. This was of great benefit to residents as at this time there were still Institute based libraries in South Australia, where people had to pay a subscription fee to borrow books and use the reading room.

The Mobile Library stopped in many locations around the district, for the convenience of residents:  On streets, at local schools and post offices.

Mobile Library new itinerary

Image:  North East Leader, page 8, 24 March, 1966

In the edition dated 24 March 1966, the North East Leader reported on changes to the mobile service timetable on page 4. This was to accommodate the librarian going to lectures in the city. We can presume that at this time Ulla-Maija commenced her course for the Libraries Board Registration Certificate at the public library in the Adelaide city centre, as referred to in the article from November 1965.

Mobile library changes to to schedule

Note the amount of loans just for February: Members borrowed 1176 books for adults and 1,345 books for children! The new library was obviously very popular with younger readers.

For your interest, here is an article about new books which were purchased for the mobile library, printed on page 8 of the North East Leader from 28 April, 1966. It seems that historical romance was popular at the time.

Mobile library new books

As employment records are confidential, we do not know how long Ulla-Maija Salonen remained working for the Tea Tree Gully Council. However, by 1969 the North East Leader reported that Mr W. Bustelli  was employed in the Library’s new premises, in the former Modbury school house at 561 Montague Road, Modbury.

Perhaps Miss Salonen secured a better job or one which was closer to home in Alberton. If she had married and started a family in the 1960s, Ulla-Maija would also have had to leave the workforce. Or she could have returned to Finland.

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Our library enters the computer age

Library enters computer age

The North East Leader a Messenger Newspaper reported on the beginning of the information technology revolution at the City of Tea Tree Gully Library, on page 3 of the edition dated 15 June 1983. Computer technology had been installed which would benefit local residents and enable staff to store information about all of the books in the library.

Just like magic a librarian could wave a computer wand across a member’s credit card sized borrower’s permit (their library card) to reveal their identification number. The customer could then borrow when the wand was waved across a barcode on a book, as the computer would correlate and store this information electronically. Imagine that! Furthermore, the computer referencing system would allow library staff to easily see if books were on loan and to whom.

To put the wonder of all this change into perspective, it helps to know how people used to borrow books before the installation of computer technology.
Website Quora recalls how libraries used to operate (https://www.quora.com/How-did-old-library-systems-work-before-computer-catalogues)

Some readers might remember using the card catalogue at the library. Library staff would type or write out three or more cards for each book. The catalogue cards would detail information such as its title, author, date of publication, subject area, and the call number which indicated where it was shelved in the Library. Then librarians would file each of these cards in alphabetical order in separate drawers labelled title, author and subject area. Customers and staff would have to rifle through a long row of cards, to find out if the library actually held a book and to find out where they could locate it on the shelf. You didn’t want to lose your place either or the cards would fall back in order!

card-catalog what fun

Searhing through the Library’s card catalogue.  Image:  https://brockport175.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/card-catalogs-what-fun/

 

CR 123 Hand-typed card

An example of a typewritten library catalogue card for a novel.  Image:  http://tarletonlibrary.blogspot.com/2012/09/monteverde-friends-library-of-costa-rica.html

So what happened when you finally found the book you wanted to borrow and took it to the service desk?

The North East Leader article is correct when it reported that computers would allow library staff more time to assist customers with enquiries! Each library book used to have a card in a pocket stuck inside its cover. Library staff would remove the due date card from the book pocket then stamp it with the date the book was to be returned. They would record a patron’s name and library card number alongside the due date of the book. In some libraries members also had to sign the book out. Then the date card would be placed in sequence in a special holder.

ebae0ee36127733e8af0ae8a8ecc5547 Card in pocket

Image:  https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/126171227036239502/ card in pocket

Staff would either stamp piece of paper which was stuck inside the book or place a due date slip inside the book’s pocket, so that a customer could see when the book was due for return. Alternatively, librarians might spend ages stamping due date slips when it was quiet in the library.

170px-Library_date_due_slip

An example of a due date slip which would have been stuck inside a book’s cover.  Image:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_circulation

When somebody returned a book, a librarian would take the date card out of the holder and return it to the pocket in the back of the book. The book would then go onto a trolley for re-shelving, and the circulation process would begin again. At regular intervals a librarian would manually check the date cards to identify overdue books. They would look up the patron by name in the library’s membership records and send out a reminder notice.

Library Technology Officer Hayley was happy to discuss how library systems had changed at Tea Tree Gully Library since the time that this article appeared in the North East Leader. Here are some of the significant improvements for our customers:

Since our Library has embraced Radio-Frequency IDentification technology (RFID) Library staff no longer have to scan and read the barcode of each item to issue it to a customer. Items can now be borrowed and returned using RFID technology which sends a signal from the item to the computer.

Our customers no longer have to stand in long queues to borrow items as you can use our self-check machines at your leisure. RFID allows for multiple items to be processed at the same time which can be more convenient than scanning them one by one.

Notice also in the North East Leader article that the original computer screens had a dark background with coloured print. Nowadays the desktop where we search the library catalogue is visually enticing and much easier to read.

The One Card Library Network has transformed the public library service in this state. Through a shared computer network customers can access millions of items available throughout South Australian public libraries, not just at Tea Tree Gully Library.

The implementation of the One Card Network has also greatly reduced the time that library members have to wait when they reserve, or put an item on hold. Aside from new items, customers will generally be sent the first copy that becomes available, whether that be from your local library or as far away as Cooper Pedy!

With the introduction of the new Libraries SA App customers can save their card digitally and have it available on their mobile device. The app also allows customers to place holds, view checkouts and renew items.

Library staff and customers may not have believed that these changes were possible when this article went to print in 1983! And to quote the words of the late comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory “The only good thing about the good old days is that they’re gone.”

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Way back when, Wednesdays

A stylish new school for the modern era

Did you attend Modbury High School? The North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper reported on the prospective success of the new Modbury High School on the front page of the edition dated 8 April 1965. This was only the second issue of the North East Leader which had commenced publication on 1 April.

New Modbury High School

Image:  Page 1, North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper, 8 April 1965

Modbury High School opened on 9 February 1965 at 62 Pompoota Road, Modbury. Much had changed since Robert Symon Kelly had encouraged the development of and named the little village of Modbury on his farming land in 1857/1858 (Auhl, Ian, 1976, Settlement to City A History of the District of Tea Tree Gully 1836-1976, 2nd ed. Adelaide: Griffin Press, pages 202-203).  Modbury and it’s adjoining suburbs had grown with sub-divisions opening up for housing. Since 1958 many young couples and families (including immigrants, many from the United Kingdom and Ireland) had moved into the area and by 1965 there a need for a local high school. In 1959 the population of the District of Tea Tree Gully numbered 2,672 living in 765 houses. By 1965 the number of residents had increased to 20,071 people and there were 4,820 dwellings! (Auhl, Ian, 1976, Settlement to City A History of the District of Tea Tree Gully 1836-1976, 2nd ed. Adelaide: Griffin Press, pages 339-334).

Modbury High School opened on 9 February 1965 at 62 Pompoota Road, Modbury. Much had changed since Robert Symon Kelly had encouraged the development of and named the little village of Modbury on his farming land in 1857/1858 (Auhl, Ian, 1976, Settlement to City A History of the District of Tea Tree Gully 1836-1976, 2nd ed. Adelaide: Griffin Press, pages 202-203). Modbury and it’s adjoining suburbs had grown with sub-divisions opening up for housing. Since 1958 many young couples and families (including immigrants, many from the United Kingdom and Ireland) had moved into the area and by 1965 there a need for a local high school. In 1959 the population of the District of Tea Tree Gully numbered 2,672 living in 765 houses. By 1965 the number of residents had increased to 20,071 people and there were 4,820 dwellings! (Auhl, Ian, 1976, Settlement to City A History of the District of Tea Tree Gully 1836-1976, 2nd ed. Adelaide: Griffin Press, pages 339-334).

The first principle appointed at Modbury High School was Mr A.G. Strawbridge who held this position until 1975. In 1965 seven teachers were appointed as there were only 99 students enrolled for their first year of high school (now year 8). It seemed that the school curriculum would also grow with its students as children would be able to progress to their second year of high school (now year 9) at Modbury in 1966.

Lessons were taught in what still is the main building at Modbury High School, an E-shaped structure with a façade featuring steel rimmed windows and stone crazy paving. At the time, this style of architecture in the mid-century modernist style was considered stylish and progressive. Modbury residents would have been proud to have such a state-of-the-art school built in their local area. This building picture above had twenty-four classrooms and could accommodate a maximum of 850 students. Students could study traditional disciplines of Mathematics, English, Science, French, Geography, as well as art and craft.

As stated in the article above, in 1965 only three classrooms were in use as well as other facilities such as science laboratories, an art room and a library.

Science class at Modbury High School

Image: Science class. Bottom of page 1, North East Leader a Messenger Newspaper, 8 April 1965

There were also rooms dedicated to the study of crafts and home economics – note the kitchen and laundry rooms were only girls would be taught how to run a household! It would be interesting to learn what activities boys pursued in the craft unit, possibly wood, leather or metalwork. In the following year, students would also be able to undertake office studies in a custom built commercial room.

At the time of this newspaper article, the Modbury primary school was temporarily sharing space and facilities with the high school in the main building.

The North East Leader also printed a photograph depicting local business the Savings Bank of South Australia donating books for Modbury High School’s library on page 2 of the edition dated 10 June 1965.

Books presented to new Modbury High School

Image:  Page 2, North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper, 10 June 1965

By 1972 enrollments at Modbury High School had grown to a record number of 1383, so the school expanded out of the main building into transportable unit classrooms. By 1970 Modbury High was able to offer its first matriculation or Leaving Honours class to pupils (now year 12). In 2017 821 students enrolled at Modbury High School. The current principal School is Ms J. Costa (https://www.modburyhs.sa.edu.au/our-school/history).

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Way back when when, Wednesdays

Giving the people what they want

There would have been mayhem when a hoard of local shoppers attended the opening of the new Peoplestores retail outlet in the St. Agnes Shopping Centre in 1971. The North East Leader celebrated the event with several pages of photographs, articles and advertisements for the discount department store, in the edition dated 17 November 1971. Just in time for Christmas shopping.

Peoplestores St. Agnes Mall page 5

Image:  North East Leader, page 5, 17 November 1971

Peoplestores St. Agnes was the eighth store in the retail chain to open in South Australia. In 1971, Peoplestores also traded in Gouger Street in Adelaide City, Modbury (at Clovercrest shopping centre), Para Hills, Rosewater, Elizabeth, Findon and Reynella. There were also six stores in country South Australia.

Peoplestores article page 5

Image:  North East Leader, page 5, 17 November 1971

Ladies wear advertisement

Advertisement for Peoplestores women’s apparel.  Image:  North East Leader, page 9, 17 November 1971

manchester and men and boys clothing department photos with captions

Image:  North East Leader, page 10, 17 November 1971

Library staff who shopped at Peoplestores remember the department stores as being fairly basic, it was better than Kmart but not an upmarket shopping experience. It really was a shop ‘for the people’. Peoplestores was fitted out with large bins, through which you would rummage to find your size or chosen colour. This was possibly an attraction, as shoppers love a treasure hunt to find a bargain.

Peoplestores St. Agnes Interior

Peoplestores interior at St. Agnes with entry through the Mall.  Image:  North East Leader, page 5, 17 November 1971

One staff member recalls that Peoplestores always had lovely window displays. Another remembers shopping with her mother at Peoplestores, as they stocked a quality product. It reminded her of a country store with racks of garments on display, grouped around the shop floor. Peoplestores was especially good for buying wool for crochet, dress materials and habedashery such as buttons. They also bought little girl’s Red Robin socks! It sounds like Peoplestores did not move far from its origins as a drapery.

Fashions for the family

Image:  North East Leader, page 6,  17 November 1971

 

Peoplestores dress materials and crochet

Image:  North East Leader, page 6, 17 November 1971

In a sales cross-promotion, Peoplestores offered the same special prices on goods to shoppers at its Modbury stores as at the new St. Agnes branch. Plus free gifts for children.

Haberdashery with Judy

Image: North East Leader page 7, 17 November, 1971

Peopestores Key Man trousers

Advertisement for menswear at Peoplestores.  Image: North East Leader, page 6, 17 November 1971

Roland suit

Advertisement for womenswear.  Image:  North East Leader, page 6, 17 November 1971

Homewares and outdoor furniture advertisement

Advertisement for homewares, manchester and dress materials at Peoplestores.  Image:  North East Leader, page 11, 17 November 1971

Peoplestores drapery was founded by W.H. Williams in 1905. The cloth merchant was built in 1905 on the corner of Gouger and California Street South near the Adelaide Central Market. Peoplestores expanded several times on the same site in Gouger Street.

1708-a24a-5c46-80ae-5429abd7f376 Peoplestores in the early 1900s Gougher Street

Peoplestores Gouger Street in 1938. Image:  State Library of South Australia, https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+7416

In the past, people used to travel to the city centre to make special purchases as Adelaide did not yet have suburban shopping malls. Peoplestores on Gouger Street was also close to Moores, Adelaide’s iconic department store on Victoria Square. The former Moore’s building now houses the law courts and has been renamed the Sir Samuel Way Building.

In this photograph taken around 1939 the façade of the store has had a smart renovation in the Art Deco style, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.  The renovations included large plate glass windows and a wide cantilevered verandah (https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au).

Peoplestores Gouger Street

Peoplestores Gouger Street, circa 1939.  Image:  https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+8175

B-37471.jpeg Peoplestores 1970s

Peoplestores Gouger Street in 1979.  The cars parked outside the building have certainly changed over the years!    Image:  https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+37471

 

Peoplestores Grote Street entrance with cars 1954

Entrance on Grote Street Adelaide to the Gouger Street Peoplestores in 1954.  The Adelaide Central Market is to the right of the photograph.  Image:  https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+12989

The large store in Gouger Street was eventually redeveloped as part of the Adelaide Central Market. This building has now been demolished and is currently the site of several food outlets, including Krispy Kreme donuts.

During the 1980s Peoplestores ceased trading in South Australia, closing its last remaining stores.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

The stressless classroom for seniors

Albert Einstein once remarked that “Once you stop learning, you start dying” (http://www.basicknowledge101.com/subjects/educationquotes.html). There is also the proverb that you are never too old to learn. On page 10 of the edition dated Wednesday 18 February 1987, the Leader Messenger reported on the new Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age, where retired people could participate in a variety of courses for learning and recreation and share their knowledge and experience with others.

U3A

The Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) was established in 1987. 31 years later it is still thriving, with members meeting at 22 Golden Grove Road, Modbury North.

We speak of the Third Age as a time of active retirement. It follows the first age of childhood and formal education and the second age of working life. The Third Age precedes the fourth age of dependence (https://www.u3a.org.au/u3a_movement). The University of the Third Age is an international non-profit organisation which advocates that we should have access to life-long learning opportunities and the pursuit of knowledge, in a supportive environment where mutual learning and teaching flourish. So what feels like the end for retirees is often the beginning (https://www.goodmorningquote.com)

The British U3A embraced the philosophy on which the medieval university was founded: A fellowship of equals who met to share and extend knowledge. The British U3A embraces the principles of self-help and self-determination. Acknowledging that older people have accumulated a lifetime of knowledge and experience, members of each branch develop and structures their own programs, based on the strength and interests of their learning community.  Group members plan and develop a syllabus for each course that the offer and those with specialist experience teach on a voluntary basis. Other members assist in the administration of U3A. Each group is autonomous and manages itself.

Logo U3A 2

University of the Third Age logo

The Australian U3A is based on the British model. In 1984 the first Australian U3A opened in Melbourne. Universities of the Third Age in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Western Australia have established intrastate networks to support the different branches in each state with a range of resources (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_the_Third_Age).

If you would like more information about the Tea Tree Gully University of the Third Age log on to the website at: http://users.tpg.com.au/u3attg/index.html

TTG University Third Age

The Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age situated at 22 Golden Grove Road, Modbury North.

Members pay a membership fee when they enroll in their first course. They can experience the joy of learning for learning’s sake as there are no examinations or certificates to be obtained. No educational qualifications are required. Courses are designed to offer participants a range of educational, creative and leisure activities, with opportunities to socialise and enjoy yourself!

Now there is even a virtual branch of the University of the Third Age at https://www.u3aonline.org.au/  U3A Online is the world-first virtual University of the Third Age to deliver online learning via the Internet. U3A Online is especially suited to older people who may be geographically, physically or socially isolated. The website also provides links for older people to access useful information about different topics, such as news, maintaining good health and staying safe online.  You can also find your local branch of the U3A.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Suit up Seventies style

Cord suit

At first glance you might think that the clever lady in the photograph has recycled some bathmats and sewn herself a tailored outfit. This is certainly not the case. In the edition dated 14 July 1971, the North East Leader tells us that Mrs June Cooper is in fact, modelling a stylish suit made from jumbo cord. This photograph on page 19 was taken to promote the Witchery Boutique at Tea Tree Plaza. According to the North East Leader, it was a modish outfit that women would have wanted to wear in the early 1970s.

Corduroy fabric has been used in the manufacture of workwear since the 18th century in Britain and Europe. During the 20th century, factories in many other countries started produced clothing made from corduroy, often for the working classes. In the 1970s garments made from corduroy became incredibly popular. They were easy to launder, soft and warm in winter and affordable. Corduroy garments could also be dressed up or down. Both men and women could wear a corduroy suit to the office or wear the jacket or pants separately on weekends.

Corduroy jeans, jackets and skirts are still worn today. In the cooler weather, corduroy always seems to be a popular choice for jeans.

 

corduroy-fall-2017-2

Corduroy on the catwalk in 2017.  Image:  http://corduroy.in/corduroy-news/

 

If you are not familiar with corduroy, it is a durable cotton or cotton blend cloth, which is basically a ridged form of velvet. Corduroy comes in a multitude of colours and it can be plain or printed. Multiple cords are woven into the base fabric to form ridges or wales, which lie parallel to each other in clear lines. Sometimes you can see channels where the bare fabric between the cords is visible. Corduroy fabric with a standard or wide wale (jumbo cord) is used to upholster furniture, such as sofas, or it is made into trousers. Fabric with medium (midwale) narrow, and fine wale (such as pinwale or pincord) is used in the manufacture in garments worn above the waist. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corduroy (http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com/fashion_costume_culture/Modern-World-Part-II-1961-1979/Corduroy.html).

 

Corduroy Fabric

Different wales of corduroy.  Image:  http://market-research-explore-report.blogspot.com/2018/02/world-corduroy-fabric-market-2018.html

 

The 1970s was revolutionary for women as it was the first time in history in which it was acceptable for women to wear what they wanted. Asian women had worn pants under tunics for many years. Now western women seemed to prefer wearing pants to dresses and skirts (https://www.retrowaste.com/1970s/fashion-in-the-1970s/1970s-fashion-for-women-girls/). Women wore pantsuits to the city, and some could wear them to the office. A trendy or elegant pantsuit was just the thing to wear out to dinner. As the 1970s progressed, pants for both men and women became low rise and firmer on the hips. Legs widened out and were sometimes cuffed. Eventually, flares came into fashion (http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1971fashions.html).

This issue of the North East Leader also featured an extensive sales promotion for the St. Agnes shopping centre. Take a look at this advertisement for Witchery which was printed on page 11 and the funky bohemian image that this brand was trying to sell. In the 1960s and 1970s Witchery opened retail outlets at many suburban locations such as at the St. Agnes and Ingle Farm shopping centres.

Witchery advertisement
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