Memories from the Black Diamond District –Rube Hargrave O.A.M. Memoirs
Shared by Bronwen Chamberlain on the Black Diamond Heritage Centre Facebook page 25.11.2013
Arthur and Isabella Chamberlain’s son Neild married Zella Winley. They had two girls Cynthia and Gwen.
In 1926 all the family lived together at Tilimbi, 6 Harbord Street, Thirroul, then in 1933 Neild and his family moved to a large house owned by Larry and Mary Kelly. This house was divided into three flats and named “Zellamba.”
Larry and Mary Kelly built a shop in front of the flats in 1934 and this was for a mixed business for Neild and Zella. This business was called “The Royal.”
During this era Neild and his wife used to rise at 4 am to make meat pies and pasties on a fuel stove, then Neild would deliver them. When Neild first started to deliver , it was in a horse and cart, then a grey T Model Ford converted to a delivery van with a wooden box on the running board that was especially made to carry the eggs. In 1937 they bought a new Chevrolet Panel Van and a much larger electric stove replaced the old fuel stove.
Neild Chamberlain, Big Chamberlain’s & Little Chamberlain’s at Thirroul, and “Tilimbi”, the Chamberlain family home in Harbord St Thirroul.
They were making pies, delivering provisions, and working until 10 pm, when the picture theatre opposite was open; to sell milkshakes and handmade chocolate ice creams, during the interval.
They made their own brawn, boned the flitch of bacon, cut and wrapped the butter.
The shop sold large tins of Arnotts’s biscuits. The sugar was bought in bulk in hessian bags and weighed into paper bags. Cynthia was given a 3/4 Malvern Star bicycle mainly used to deliver 6d ( now 5 cents) worth of Devon when Neild had sold out during the day.
Because two Chamberlains had shops in Thirroul, this shop was called “Little Chamberlain’s”, and the other shop ” Chamberlain’s”. George Chamberlain’s shop being on the corner of Lawrence Hargrave Drive and McCauley’s Street, Thirroul.
Neild enjoyed going to the Thirroul Temperance Masonic Lodge with his father, Arthur and son in law Basil McCree. Neild and Zella eventually bought the house next door where Mrs Barry conducted a hairdressing business.
During the war years Neild, along with other citizens acted as an aircraft spotter in the Miss Turnbull’s house, next to Thirroul school.
In 1948 Neild bought “The Popular” from his brother George and his wife Phyllis.
Neild’s daughter Cynthia joined him in the business, and then Gwen, as well as Cynthia’s husband Maurie Jones.
In 1950 Neild became ill and passed away 11/5/1954 at 56 years old. Arthur Chamberlain and George Chamberlain also died in 1954 . Father and his two sons dying in the same year.
Continued – part of Bronwen Chamberlain’s “Tales from the Black Diamond Districts“
To see more old photos or stories of the Black Diamond districts, please visit the Black Diamond Museum and Heritage Centre, Bulli Railway Station east, on Franklin Avenue Bulli, 2516.