15 February 2022

Sue's postcards a reminder of simpler times on the South Coast

| Katrina Condie
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The road bridge over the Clyde River 1981

A postcard showing the Batemans Bay Bridge over the Clyde River taken in 1981. Image: Supplied.

When Sue McIntosh found an album of old postcards in her garage, she was transported back to her childhood summers spent on the South Coast.

The postcards were collected by her daughter Lizzie in the 1990s who also spent many family holidays around Batemans Bay.

Out of interest, Sue began sharing images of the postcards on Facebook noticeboards and gained an instant following.

“I think that, in general, people are increasingly looking for memories of happy times which are looked on with nostalgia and a longing for the ‘good old days’ when life was less complicated and people were more satisfied with the simple pleasures of life,” Sue said.

“In today’s society, with COVID and world events upsetting the normal routine and lives of so many people, along with an over-use of technology, it is wonderful to look at photos and postcards which bring a smile and memory of simpler and happier times.”

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Sue said the postcards brought back happy memories of family times spent at the beach, construction being done on the town centre and the early days of houses and roads being built.

The collection features images of colourful boats on the shore, feeding the kangaroos and beautiful scenery around the Batemans Bay area including Surfside, Caseys Beach, Malua Bay, Surf Beach and Pebbly Beach, as well as the old Batemans Bay Bridge.

“I particularly love the ones showing the surfside area, because this is where my family have holidayed for many years,” Sue added.

Sue and her family live in Canberra now, but her family has been visiting the coast since the 1970s when her dad took her and her sister on day trips down the Clyde Mountain or Brown Mountain to Batemans Bay or Merimbula.

“My mum would pack us lunch of sausages, bread and boiled eggs, with a thermos of tea (and) off we’d go,” she said.

“Mum chose to stay home for a few years as she was terrified at the thought of having to go down, and back up, the Clyde Mountain.

“However, mum was very brave one day and came with dad down both mountains eventually, to enjoy family holidays together. “

Sue recalls her first family holiday spent at the motel on the hillside adjacent to the Kings Highway turn-off at Batemans Bay in the early 1970s.

“My sister and I would walk across the bridge and visit the shops in town and dad would take us fishing, either hiring a boat to go up the Clyde or going to the sandy area at Surfside, beside the bridge,” she said.

In more recent years, Sue, her husband and their children continued visiting the coast, with Lizzie saving her pocket money to buy postcards at the old dairy shop in Tilba in 1992.

Sue McIntosh and her family

Sue McIntosh and her family pictured at Surfside during a family holiday in 1981. Photo: Supplied.

“I love thinking back to the times we spent holidaying at the South Coast,” she said.

“My husband would pack up our car and a punt he had with our belongings. I don’t know how we fit it all in – fishing gear, sheets, clothes, baby stuff including two highchairs for the twins, food.

“Life was simple. The kids were happy buying colouring books and pencils, trinkets and souvenirs and we’d visit the beaches, go fishing, jump off sand dunes, paddling, get covered in sand and walk to the corner store.

“We were carefree and without too many responsibilities – the hardest part was choosing which cake to buy at the bakery in town.

“The most precious memories are the ones where our parents spent time with us too. We’d visit Birdland, the shell museum, Tilba and it didn’t matter if it rained as it meant we could stay inside and play board games, talk or read a book.

“Four generations have enjoyed the beauty and environment of the bay.”

After Googling and finding the printing company that made the postcards, Sue discovered the photos were taken in 1981 and sold in folders of nine.

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myf thompson10:50 pm 19 Feb 22

Lovely to see old local postcards – we collect souvenirs like this (called ephemera) at the Batemans Bay Heritage Museum,if anyone cares to send them in. The most important part, though, is the story that accompanies them. Lovely sharing, thanks.
Myf Thompson\Hon Curator
Batemans Bay Heritage Museum

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