I Must Confess…memories of my hometown

Welcome to another round of I Must Confess, the home made confessional where we all have the chance to get the big and little things off our chests.

The prompt for this week is to share stories of your hometown.What does your hometown mean to you?

I must confess the prompt for this week was inspired by a group set up on Facebook called “You Know You’re From Maitland When…” which brought back a flood of memories for me this past week.

I was born in Maitland Hospital in 1975 and lived there for the first 20 or so years of my life.

Maitland is known for the destructive floods of 1955…

Maitland Railway Station 1955 Flood

Maitland Railway Station in February 1955

champion boxer Les Darcy…

Les Darcy - the Maitland Wonder

Les Darcy Drive in central Maitland is named in his honour

the politically incorrect “Little Black Boy”…

Little Black Boy

In the same position in High St Maitland since 1892

and having one of  the oldest regional newspapers in Australia…

Maitland Mercury

Informing the Hunter since 1843!

I love my hometown. So much so that even now I only live 30 minutes away and continue to head back there on a regular basis. Most of my close school friends still live there and I probably would too if I didn’t have a job in Newcastle. 30  minutes might not sound like a long commute but the traffic congestion on the highway during peak hour really is the pits.

I have good and bad memories of Maitland. I loved walking to and from school through the Maitland Mall (which is ironically set to be re-opened to traffic this year). I remember going shopping with mum as a young girl and always being treated to a milkshake at the Tucker Box milk bar. I remember Nature’s Wonderland, a local theme park where I somehow swallowed a piece of grass and nearly choked when my Dad gave me the only drink that he had, coffee!

I also have vivid memories of flood warnings – where the Hunter river swelled to near overflowing. Living on the riverbank for a time had it’s scary moments during those periods! I remember the old drive-in at Rutherford that later turned into a rubbish tip and now (fully rehabilitated) hosts a new housing estate.  Then there’s the Maitland Show. Despite the organisers moving it to different times of the year, it still rains. Nearly every single year.

I loved catching the “red rattler” train from Maitland to Newcastle to visit “the city”. Newcastle had cool things that Maitland lacked, like a beach, a cinema and McDonald’s – very important to an impressionable young country girl! But Maitland did have a central library close to my house which became a second home to me. Plus, we were also lucky enough to score a visit from Charles and Di back in 1983 – that’s nothing to sneeze at!

Maitland_Town_Hall

Maitland Town hall, where I had my debut as a sweet sixteen year old…

Most of all, I’m proud to have grown up in a regional centre like Maitland. It was a fantastic balance between having all the essentials, proximity to farms and the country and being a mere 30 minutes away from the beach. Everyone knew everyone and I still see people I know whenever I head back there, even after being an ex-resident for over 15 years now. There is a real sense of community and belonging – that’s what has always made me hold my hometown so dear.

Confession time – do you have any tales of your hometown? Or do you have something even more pressing to share? If you do, you are in the right place!

The Rules…

I Must Confess

– I Must Confess is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for the whole week.

– You can link up something old or new, we’re not fussy around here.

– Feel free to go with the prompt for the week or add your own confession, whatever suits.

– Please go forth and share the comment love – it is bloggy crack after all!

– We’re always open to suggestions for the weekly prompt!

 

Next week’s prompt – what is the strangest and most exotic food that you’ve ever tried?


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19 Responses

  1. My home town is Bathurst and oddly enough I was born on the Bathurst Race long weekend and my mother’s DR lived at Mt Panorama. It certainly made for an interesting entry into the world.

    I lived and worked in Maitland for a couple of years, many years ago now. We still have a house there and family on the other side of town. We are heading over this week, to look at our house and make a plan of attack so we can hopefully sell.

    Not sure I will have time to catch up, or if you are free?
    Mystery Case helper recently posted..A Mystery Case Confession | Mission Impossible…… cue the music……. Ten kilos in five days.

  2. Lydia C. Lee says:

    Just wanted to say I loved this prompt – I loved looking at all the photos I take on my phone when I’m out and about….so thank you, it was very fun!
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..My Home Town – Sydney

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Lydia – I really enjoyed this one too. Loved your photos and your appreciation for everything Sydney has to offer – it was fun looking back and appreciating it all, wasn’t it?

  3. I lived 40 minutes from any town, so it’s our district that I have fond memories of, neighbours a few kilometres away, knowing everyone on the gravel road and at school break-ups the ENTIRE district about 15 families would come and meet up! Thanks for linky x
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted..On being a sub-editor, an aquarian and wine bearer – Laugh Linkup

    • Kirsty says:

      That sounds like such an awesome community to grow up in Em – that sort of thing rarely happens in towns or in the big smoke!

  4. Woohoo, winning at sticking to the prompt this week! My hometown is actually a giant-ass city, although not quite as big as the city I live in now!
    I’ve not been to Maitland, but I’m hoping to get to Newcastle one day soon as we have friends there so perhaps a trip to Maitland might also squeeze in there.
    Emma Fahy Davis recently posted..Homesick

  5. I didn’t even know where Maitland was til you mentioned it was near Newcastle! Oops. I have always lived in Brisbane, though I grew up on the northside and now live south of the river in the Redlands (and have done for 24 years today!).
    Janet @ Middle Aged Mama recently posted..A Wedding Day Disaster

    • Kirsty says:

      I should have taken the time to explain where Maitland was for those interstate – linky host fail!

  6. Ness says:

    Great memories and photos, Kirsty. I love visiting those type of country towns. We’ve stayed in and around Newcastle several times.
    Ness recently posted..Quiet On The Nessville Front

    • Kirsty says:

      If you ever come up this way again, let me know. I may have to write a post about Newcastle now – it really is an awesome place to live and work!

  7. I wonder if the organisations who built pedestrian shopping malls are the same ones that are now digging them all up? My hometown, Townsville, re-opened its mall to traffic too.

    Great post, great post topic and I love the revamped look of the blog.
    Ed @ The Tunnel recently posted..The news in Lego: Levying the Federal Budget

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Ed! I know Parramatta and Newcastle pulled theirs out too so I would not be surprised if the creators did later turn on their creations. BTW, I really loved your post today too – pretty damn funny!

  8. You never said where Maitland is! I’m from Darwin and whilst I love to visit, I am always so glad to leave. I now much rather living in a large city, then a small town.
    Sarah from Creating Contentment recently posted..loving kindness

    • Kirsty says:

      Sorry Sarah – I didn’t even think to explain that rather crucial point! Maitland is a large town in the Hunter Valley NSW, 30 minutes north of Newcastle and 2 and a half hours north of Sydney. It’s classed as a regional centre and is surrounded by farmland but it’s more town than country – probably why I enjoyed living there with all the benefits of a city close by!

  9. Tegan says:

    It’s great that you have such fond memories of your hometown. I live 7 hours from the place that I grew up in and some days it’s still too close lol!
    Tegan recently posted..I must confess…Stigma

  10. Kirsty says:

    I’m lucky I have good memories of where I come from – I know others aren’t so lucky, like yourself. While the place we grew up in is important, it’s always more important to find a place to belong – as long as you have found your place, that’s all that matters x

  11. Zita says:

    Sounds like a lovely place to grow up. Growing up on a farm I don’t really have a ‘home town’.. We pretty much lived smack bang between 2 very small towns, the one I went to school in and the one we did all our shopping etc in. I never really considered either of them my home town.
    Zita recently posted..for the challenge to end.

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