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Graeme Selby reminisces about a trip across the Nullarbor in 1951

Graeme Selby.
Camera IconGraeme Selby. Credit: Supplied

My mum and dad, together with myself and my young brother, had set off in Dad’s new 1950 Holden for the drive to Sydney and back on January 26, 1951.

Crossing the Nullarbor today, it is hard to believe that back in 1951 several gates were across Eyre Highway, which marked the borders of station properties.

It was my important job to open and close the gates along the way.

One particular gate must have been a continuing nightmare for the pastoralist, as his obvious displeasure at not only the gate being left open but evidently the periodic theft of the signs by tourists. Written in small writing on the bottom of the sign was “Don’t pinch this one”.

The road as can be seen was gravel, and this stretched from Norseman to Ceduna. It was a very dusty trip. This photo was taken in the gimlet country between Norseman to Baladonia.

With two hessian water bags on brackets on the front of the car, we were always glad to get to the government public water tanks at Ivy Shed tanks and Cocklebiddy tanks.

On reaching Adelaide, because of the new General Motors Holden car he proudly owned, Dad had organised for us to tour the Holden plant at Fishermans Bend in Victoria.

This was an awesome, worldly experience as I think that among the few factories in Perth in those days, I knew about were Peters Ice Cream, Plaistowe Chocolates and Sanitarium.

My mother took this photo 70 years ago in front of the gate with her old 1907 model 2a 116 Kodak Brownie box camera.

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