Way back when, Wednesdays

Waste to wattage

Imagine if you didn’t cringe every time your power bill arrived. And if the contents of your bin was the solution to cheap and affordable electricity! Is this science fiction? One far sighted resident of Ridgehaven wrote to the Tea Tree Gully and Campbelltown councils because he believed that converting rubbish into electricity was not only possible but cost effective.  Mr. J. Sagen’s futuristic plan to burn general refuse in specially designed furnaces at Torrens Island power station, made front page news in the the Leader Messenger on 23 January, 1974.

waste power

Forty-three years later, on 1 March 2017 the Eastern Courier Messenger http://www.adelaidenow.com.au reported on the proposed construction of a $300 million plant in South Australia, where household rubbish would be converted to electricity. Recycling company Integrated Waste Service approached six of Adelaide’s councils, including Norwood, Payneham and St Peters, Unley and Burnside with a view to  purchasing their rubbish. This new incentive could lead to an alternative, reliable energy option for our state.

Peter Dyson, the managing director of the Kwinana Waste to Energy plant, which will begin operating in Perth in 2020, stated that one wheelie bin of rubbish could produce up to 20 per cent of a household’s weekly power needs.

480 plants across Europe generate electricity by burning combustible, non-recyclable residential and industrial waste. The most common way of generating electricity from rubbish is by burning solid waste, which would normally go to landfill. Garbage is incinerated, transforming chemical energy into thermal energy at temperatures of up to 1093 Celsius. The heat then makes steam, which drives a turbine and produces electricity that feeds into the grid. Waste conversion facilities must meet strict guidelines, in order to filter emissions and capture pollutants such as dioxin, from being released into the air. Harmful methane gas is produced when waste decays which contributes to global warming. It can also be used as fuel.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

What a funny old fellow

On page 6 of the edition dated 2 May, 1973 the Leader Messenger advertised that Humphrey B Bear would appear at St. Agnes Shopping Centre. His visit was in celebration of Mother’s Day and a retail promotion.  Despite being a children’s character, we all know that mums love Humphrey!  Everybody wanted a photo with Humphrey and a big bear hug.

Humphrey

If you did not grow up with Humphrey, he is a local television legend. He does not speak but communicates through gestures.  Humphrey wears a tartan waistcoat, a big yellow tie and a straw boater.  In true bear style, he loves eating honey.

Perennially young at heart, Humphrey turned 50 in May last year. Here’s Humphrey first appeared on Australian television on Monday, 24 May 1965, televised by Adelaide’s NWS9. Each episode of the show aimed to both entertain and educate its preschool audience while making children feel good about themselves.  Young children could identify with Humphrey as he explored his world of the Magic Forest, meeting friends, dancing and singing.  Humphrey learned from his mistakes but also had lots of fun.  Humphrey was always accompanied by a human companion who narrated his adventures.  One of the writers of the show, Anthony O’Donohue, also hosted it for an extended period.

Humphrey last aired on mainstream television in 2009. Humphrey became an international celebritity when an american version of his show was translated into different languages and screened in several countries. Humphrey was honoured to be declared official ‘Ambassabear’ for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation in 2012. He was introduced to a new generation of children and the hospital successfully raised funds from sales of a limited edition plush doll and DVD.

In July 2013 Humphrey returned to television when his show was screened on Community Television stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. In May 2015 the Sydney Morning Herald reported on plans to produce a high quality Humphrey themed animated television series or film.

Humphrey B. Bear is still making public appearances and drawing crowds at community events and school performances. He even has his own Facebook page.  Humphrey does lead a very exciting life!

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Way back when, Wednesdays

You spin me round

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On page 18 of the edition date 18 July 1973, The Leader Messenger advertised a sales promotion for the Hills Hoist at Myer in its feature Tea Tree Plaza News.  Did you know that not only was the Hills Hoist a revolutionary invention but that it was created in Adelaide?

When her washing kept falling off a propped up clothes line, motor mechanic Lance Hill created the first ‘Hill’s Hoist’ for his wife. He built it in the back yard of his home on Bevington Road, Glenunga in 1945.  Mr Hills was not the first person to come up with the idea of a rotary clothesline.  Gilbert Toyne of Geelong had patented four rotary clothes hoists designs between 1911 and 1946.  In 1925 Toyne had designed a rotary hoist with and enclosed crown and a wheel and pinyon winding mechanism.

On Lance Hill’s original structure metal ribs spread out from a central steel pole. He strung rust-proof wire between the ribs, on which the clothes could hang. Lance Hill invented a way to raise and lower the height of the hoist and he attached a handle to make this happen. You could hang the washing on the lines with the hoist set to your height, then wind it up higher. Combined with the rotating square structure, this feature allows your washing to dry more effectively in the wind.  His design was so successful that Hill’s neighbours started putting in orders and he happily manufactured the hoists from scrap metal in his shed workshop.

In 1946 Lance Hill and his brother-in-law, Harold Ling, established the Hills business in Glen Osmond.  They bought some army surplus trucks to make deliveries. Lance and Harold opened a factory at Edwardstown to manufacture steel tubing in order to create a quality product at a reasonable price. Demand was high, even though the hoist sold for 11 pounds, which in 1948 was twice the weekly wage. Hills then expanded its operation to include the manufacture of other laundry products. Lance Hill was awarded a patent for his Hills Hoist in 1956. Renamed Hills Industries in 1958, the company exports its range of clothes lines around the world. The Hills Hoist is listed as a National Treasure by the National Library of Australia.

In recent times, with the rise in construction of medium density housing in Adelaide, such as townhouses, there is usually only room for a pull-out clothes line. Let’s hope that we will continue to see the Hills Hoist as an iconic fixture in the Australian back yard.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Adelaide’s famous duckling

TTP Children's show with Winky Dink

On page 16 of the edition dated 17 January 1973, in the section entitled Tea Tree Plaza News, The Leader Messenger promoted its forthcoming school holiday programs.  The caption accompanying the photograph stated that kids could see shows featuring celebrities such as Channel 9’s Hot Dog and Cheryl.  But who is that little bird sitting in a bucket, pictured in the centre of the photograph?  If you grew up in the 1970s or 1980s and watched Channel 9 after school, you will probably remember that small pink duck with fondness.

Winky Dink was a sweet-natured, happy young duck. The puppet was operated and voiced by children’s author Wendy Patching. Winky starred on the Adelaide children’s show the Channel Niners, produced by NWS-9.  The show screened in the afternoon from Monday to Friday.

Pam Tamblin and Ashleigh Mac originally hosted the Channel Niners. They were later replaced by Patsy Biscoe and Ian Fairweather.  The final presenters of the show were Joanna “Joey” Moore and “Robby” Robin Roenfeldt. Channel Niners was repackaged during the mid 1980s as C’mon Kids, screening from 1986 to 1990.

Winky often made references to the duckpond where he lived, looking down through the aperture in the desk. Winky Dink’s favourite treat was sugared worms.  I remember one episode of the Channel Niners in which a young viewer once sent Winky a small box of sugared worms.  The contents resembled Allen’s Snakes coated in sugar!

Pink Winky Dink

The fabulous Winky Dink

 

If you found Winky Dink to be too sweet or you just didn’t like his voice, the early days of the show also featured zany, rude Wilbur Worm. Wilbur would make funny, insulting remarks to Winky (by the standards of a children’s program) which their human comperes would have to counteract. However, Winky had pluck. Winky could hold his own and was usually ready with a quick reply to Wilbur’s jibes, creating a humourous interchange between the two characters.

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From left:  Channel 9 children’s characters: Wilbur Worm, Humphrey B. Bear, Hot Dog and Winky Dink

Foraging for wild mushrooms

On Saturday 14 May, the library hosted a Mushroom Foraging excursion with Adelaide horticulturalist Kate Grigg.

We took a group of 15 guests to Pine Park in Tea Tree Gully and then onto South Australian state forest near Mount Crawford. It wasn’t long before we had collected a decent amount of mushrooms, garlic and other edible flowers & greens.

Our guide Kate has been a forager of wild mushrooms for over 18 years in South Australia, particularly in the Adelaide Hills region. She’s passionate about teaching others about many of the edible goods that lie in our native bushland and pine forests, including mushrooms but also native greens, flowers and berries. Like anything, it’s about knowing what you need to look for.

Edible flowers in Tea Tree Gully

Who knew these pretty pink flowers are edible – we ate all of the ones we found in Pine Park, in Tea Tree Gully

A few things Kate taught us about spotting edible wild mushrooms:

  • Don’t eat any mushroom with white spores (the part underneath the top of the mushroom). If in doubt – leave it out.
  • Cut the stems off any edible mushrooms you find. Then put them back under the pine needles, to help the next flush of mushrooms bloom.
  • Don’t eat raw mushrooms – they are harder to digest. It is always best to cook any wild mushrooms you find. The heat will break down any mild toxins in wild mushrooms.
  • Avoid all umbrella shaped mushrooms – these are the deadly ones. They often have lovely and iridescent colouring, but don’t be fooled. Take photos, but please please please don’t eat them.
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Horticulturalist Kate Grigg, expert mushroom guide.

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On the hunt for goodies, in state forest near Mt Crawford.

The most common kind of mushrooms we came across were saffron milk caps and slippery jacks,  which are the normal sort found in Australian pine forests.

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Some of our finds on the foraging trip – dock leaves, ginger, pine mushrooms, saffron milk cap and Slippery Jack mushrooms.

 

Many colourful and magical mushrooms were also spotted – but Kate was quick to point out these are often poisonous and absolutely inedible.

 

The weather was perfect and it seemed the more mushrooms we found, the more we continued to find. We discovered an edible feast spread over the pine forest floor.

After lots of gathering and walking, we cooked our wild mushrooms in olive oil and in some of the garlic we found in Pine Park.

Paired with some sourdough bread, our mushrooms proved to be a delicious morning tea on a misty autumn day.

International Games Day @ The Library Sat 21 November

Anyone can play games, whether you’re 1 or 101!

International Games Day

On Saturday 21 November, Tea Tree Gully Library will be joining thousands of libraries across the world for the eighth annual International Games Day @ Your Library

There will be everything from charades, chess and Monopoly, to giant Pacman and a cricket play-off. You are welcome to bring along your favourite games to share with other players on the day.

Plus we’ll have an assortment of board games to try, like Pictionary, Upwords, Jenga, Cranium and more.

You can choose to join in a group session or play any game at your own leisure.

We’ll be hosting sessions on playing:

12-12.20pm Pictionary Play-Off

12-12.30pm Come and Try a New Board game

12.30-12.50pm Uno Tournament

1-1.20pm Outside fun in Civic Park

1.30-1.50pm Twister in the Teen Area

2.30-3pm Cricket in Civic Park

No bookings are required. Just come along on the day. Bring your family and friends and anyone else you’d like to get competitive with!

Bushfire Awareness Talk Wed 22 July

bushfire

A bushfire safety and awareness talk for Australians whose first language is not English.

The Country Fire Service will present an easy-English presentation with simple bushfire safety messages, ways to stay informed, bushfire behaviour and discuss people’s experience of fire. Easy English and translated materials will be provided.

Where: City of Tea Tree Gully Library Community Learning Centre
When: Wed 22 July 10.30am-noon

Bookings are essential. Book online or phone 83397 7333