Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Vintage Tea Towel Tuesday

Today's t.t. reminds me of Summer holidays in the 70's when my parents thought it might be fun to cram seven of us in a caravan. They were right...kind-of. We did have fun, but what I remember most is burning my bum and legs on the hot vinyl which covered the seats of our station wagon. Those sticky legged trips between towns and caravan parks seemed to last an eternity - you can imagine the fighting that went on in the back seat. We were hot (no air cond, of course!), bored, and probably busting to go to the loo (and told to hold on)

Nothing's changed. Our girls carry on in exactly the same way, despite the distraction of technology. All we had were colouring books and those 'magic' pads you drew on (you know the ones where you lift the plastic top sheet and your scribbles are erased) Those things were hi tech back then!

One of the places we parked the caravan, was Pemberton, which brings me to today's tea towel

Pemberton is a small country town 335 clicks (kms) south of Perth. As it 'says' on the tea towel it's best known for its magnificent Karri forest.

What I remember about Pemberton is climbing The Gloucester Tree. It's on the t.t. too. I'm pretty sure it didn't have a warning sign like this in 1975

"This climbing tree is not suitable for children"

(image via flickriver.com)

There is no way my Mum would've let me climb near it, if it did. The sign also says no thongs or sandals which is (and you know this already don't you?) exactly what I wore. My blue thongs or (my brown school - yuk!) sandals.

The Gloucester Tree was chosen as a fire look out in 1947 and named after the then Govenor-General of Australia, HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

image via panoramio.com

It's a 61 metre climb to the top (or 153 of those pegs you can see sticking out). According to Wikipedia T.G.T. is the second tallest fire lookout tree in the world. Wiki's little blurb also says that only 20% of visitors climb all the way to the top of the tree - most people only make it part way before turning back. Chickens!

(for once in my life I'm in the top 20%!)

Anyway, that's today's t.t./little trip down memory lane done. Here's some more info on Pemberton if you're interested. I do like this funny little drawing of a car

don't you?



  1. How do you turn back and not look down? Sorry not happy Jan, you were braver than me!
    My holidays were at Blairgowie, the back seat chorus of 'are we there yet' must have driven my olds nuts, then the reversing of the caravan up the driveway when we to home!
    Holiday family fun, it's the good stuff of life!
    Great TT lovely! Great outfit your wearing! Xx

  2. Wow,awesome tree,Mr CH would never have got to the top,he hates heights,ha.He has bad memories of the hour long school bus trip on hot vinyl seats in NQ heat.I always wanted a pair of those brown sandals,mum made me wear red sandals (with heels) and knee high white socks,doomed,doomed....

  3. That tree is just begging to be climbed ! I have several tree monkeys and a vertigo boy who always holds the legs of the ladder.
    My memory of those trips in the station wagon was fighting over who got to sit on the bench seat between Mum and Dad and who had to lie in the boot next to the baby basket!!!!! Yes there was a baby in it!

  4. I like your little trips to memory lane. Yeh, those "magic" pads were great. Not v. long lasting though (well not in our house anyway). I always wanted an etch a sketch but never got one (boo hoo) or a Tiny Tears for that matter. I was clearly deprived. Anyway, I've gone off on a silly tangent. Another wonderful tt, Kylie. xx

  5. Omg, no way would i climb that thing @shudders@ what happens if you meet someone coming down when your going up?!! Everything was vinyl in the 70's wasnt it-hated our (in retrospect rarher cool) white vinly couch, freezin in winter and back of thigh acorching in summer x

  6. Not surprised only 20% of people climb to the top! I hate heights, so I'd not go near it! I remember hot (yes even in Scotland) summer car journeys, arguing with my brother and really annoying our parents - the joys of family life!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  7. Great T Towel! The tree looks scary to climb. Its huge!
    I remember car trips with sticky hot kombi seats, with sand all over them that wasn't brushed off properly from our legs after the beach. Nasty business.x

  8. At least your holidays included a caravan...we tented it all the way and yes three girls in the back had our share of tiff's...I remember the magic pen books and many colouring in books too....we also had our honeymoon at Karri Valley in the winter of 1988 and I must say it is a beautiful part of the state.

  9. Ooh you total daredevil! I like tree climbing but think I might baulk at that kind of height. And I have to agree on the no thongs rule! (yes I know it means flip-flops in Aus)

  10. I would have climbed that tree in an instant when I was a kid, but I'm scared to death of heights now. So odd how that can develop almost overnight. I remember those backseat fights too...and some on the sofa as well. That may be why I decided to have only one child...:)

    Till I read Loo's comment, I never realized I was a privileged child. I had an Etch-a-Sketch and a Tiny Tears doll and tons of those "magic pads." My parents must have really wanted to keep me occupied and quiet! haha

    Incidentally, we called flip-flops thongs here in Texas when I was a kid.

  11. Yes, I DO like that little car!
    I wouldn't have dared climb the tree, I am a total wuss, and you are a Daring Upper 20% Queen of Tree-Climbing!
    Your memory of hot hot vinyl car seats burning poor little kiddy legs, dressed in shorts or a teeny skirt, is so much a part of my childhood too! xxxx

  12. That lookout is quite marvellous but I doubt you could get me to climb it.
    My childhood included me and five siblings crammed in the backseat of our family car...hot vinyl was part and parcel of going anywhere.

  13. amazing little piece of history, all thongs included....