Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Run in the Country

Yesterday A and I went for a "run in the country" 

that's what my Nan and Pop used to call their weekly drive in the Ford Anglia to "keep the battery ticking over".
Soon we'll be keeping a jar of toffees in the glove box like they used to!

Our first stop was Northam, 96km East of Perth.

(I've written a post about Northam before - you can read it here if you want to...)

My favourite building in Northam (and there are heaps to choose from - whatever design-style you fancy!) is the Iwan Iwanoff designed Public Library and Council building. Constructed between 1971-1974, I bet it had local tongues wagging! It is so unlike anything else in (what appears to be) an archetypal Australian country town. Seriously, the mind boggles!

Here is a photo I took yesterday (I've posted pics before, but they weren't mine) Next time I'm in Northam I'm going to check out the interior.
Another building I've always loved is this ex-butcher shop on the main street. Last time we were in Northam it was still operational, it's currently vacant and for sale ($450 000+ from memory) 
Roediger Bros was a favourite among post WW2 migrants who settled in the area because it sold European-style meat.  
I love its door, signage, tiles, everything about it really.

We also checked out every op-shop in town. I bought a tooled leather bag for three bucks and this Saga snack plate,
designed by Turi Gramstad Oliver for Figgjo Flint, for two. It's missing its cup, but hey?! I think I am going to use it as a soap dish...

Next stop was the town of Kellerberrin. Significant for me because I lived there for a few years when I was a little (very little, ha-ha!) girl. I had my ears pierced in Kellerberrin, went to the local Catholic Primary School there (St Joseph's, Sister Finbar, Grade Two) and was a Kellerberrin Brownie! (a Tintookie. Got to find a photo - I looked like a small and not very attractive boy - due to a bad haircut referred to back then as a shaggy dog! Woof! In 2014 we'd call it a mullet! Nice one Mum!)

Like Northam, Kellerberrin has some beautiful old buildings. Look at the deep recessed doorway in "Succulent Foods" (cakes made from scratch! Best carrot cake ever - worth the drive!)
And what about the beautiful copper framed windows and lead lights on the exterior of the old drapery?!
I still remember the glamorous bouffant-haired, long-lashed mannequins on display in the windows.
(probably from the 50's, but still in use in the 70's and I daresay, beyond...)

The Post Office (like many country post offices) is grand and rather imposing.

There is an antique/vintage shop in Kellerberrin called Old With Style. I spotted this Martin Boyd demi-tasse coffee set among the treaures for sale, but unfortunately it was $750 so it didn't make the trip home with us :(

Sadly the house we lived in is long-gone, but I'll end with a photo of this classic Mid-century fibro
I wish we could buy something affordable just like this close to Perth! Sigh! Check the patio furniture! Original cushions (a little worse for wear) and all!

(you'll be able to buy this sort of lovely stuff at Concrete Swan when it's up and running...)

Thanks for ploughing your way through another long post. As always I appreciate it x


  1. What a great little trip down memory lane for you....there is certainly some great originals still in existence out in those sleepy towns, xxx

  2. Is it my imagination or does that fibro house have a crazy golf course in the front garden? Gotta love that library - wouldn't it be great to have been a fly on the wall in that planning meeting! xxx

  3. Love seeing pictures of old buildings, but it's even more interesting when someone who remembers things about them can add those personal details. Your Figgjo piece will make a perfect soap dish!

  4. You had me at that drapery shot...oh my I love that little town...d x

  5. Really beautiful buildings Kylie...they just don't make 'em like that anymore do they? I love the butcher shop and the drapery. There is something so nostalgic about these buildings and it is such a shame when they are empty and deteriorating.

    What a great run-in-the-country just to keep the battery ticking over! x

  6. Lots of lovely to look at here. A 'run in the country' is always a good idea as far as I'm concerned. Your grandparents sound like my parents! except they have minties on the dash. Always a delight to drop by your space:) : Leax

  7. Hello my dear! My granddad always called it 'the motor'. So you took the motor out for a run in the country. Makes me think of flask coffee and sandwiches. Lovely. Anyway, your little road looks amazing. All those wonderful buildings and nostalgia. I doubt we have any buildings like those 60s ones left here with the incredible signage. What was it about mothers and hairstyles in the 70s? Mine always ordered something appalling for me. All I wanted was long hair, but invariably I came out looking like an orphan boy. Short back and sides, accessorised with tears. I do like a sweet in the glove compartment. Butterscotch or lemon, please. I also had a little dish like that. My sister adored it so much, I gave it to her. So glad you are back blogging! xxxxx

  8. Oooh I do like to see pics of your forays in the countryside. That tea set looks like it's covered in moss to me (I know, I'm a complete fool). xx

  9. How nice to take a trip out and actually have time to study and photograph the buildings. Since starting a blog I've found I take much more notice of my surroundings - good and bad!

  10. I love the plat you got and that house on the last pic... Dreamy!

  11. You have a great eye for design and detail, Kylie, and it looks like a lovely "run out"! (Get those toffees in the glove box immediately. And some barley sugars!) I confess that I don't quite share your love of the concrete, but the stained glass and grand Post Office are fabulous! And yes, find that Brownie photo, please; I think it was The Law to have a horrific haircut as a 1970s child, so you are not alone! xxx

  12. Love your 'Sunday Outing' did you pack some sandwiches and a flask of tea? He he! Will email soon xx
    .....a very small sweet dress arrived today, if only you could get my size right ;)

  13. You know Kylie, I think you should do a book on mid century public buildings in small towns. Or a PHD perhaps? Dr Kylie? Because I think you have a real knack for it and you'd get to do lots of road trips too!

  14. 'A run in the Country'.. that's so cute.
    I love driving to new towns and checking out all the old buildings as well as finding somewhere delicious for lunch.

  15. Concrete Swan sounds intriguing. They always remind me of Carmel who likes to keep one by her front door- including the new one, I assume. That little cottage is lovely. We just got back from the Sunny Coast where we were bemoaning the ration of original fibre holiday beach houses to new 90's+ McMansions. Beach houses are losing I'm afraid.

  16. Love these photos. That last house is INCREDIBLE! :D I must explore and share photos again asap, your post has me itching for it. That area is beautiful.