Ada Bridge (1911-1994) - Greta Resident. Part 1/1. Recorded 23 November 1984.
TAPE 113B Ada Bridge, née Kedwell (1911-1994) 23 November 1984
Ada was a Kedwell, always a Greta girl. Her father was named Old Joe "fairly good with the gun". She went to the old school about where the hall was – with two rooms partitioned and the nuns had a room to eat.
She was born 1911 and was six when she started school. Her mother was a Langland her mother was a Shannon from Branxton. The school was about 30ft with two rooms of 15ftx15ft.
There was a stage. There were two nuns. There was a long desk with 5 or 6 at the desk. The new school was to open in Feb 1955 but was delayed till May. The boys and girls had separate paddocks to play in. The church was opened in 1962.
The name was changed to St Catherine’s. In the hall they ran fetes and hoy and also classes for slow learning children and the library and the tuckshop on the verandah.
The new school was built it in 1955.
She went to Saturday school at Branxton school when she was studying for the bursary. Branxton always considered themselves better than Greta.
Her husband worked in Rothbury mine before they married, as a butcher and as a taxi driver after. He then worked at Leckenfield. Headley had the bus. Headley bought out from Brownsmith. Barney Ford with his son Harold Ford. Harold’s aunty was Mrs Headley (she was "mentally deranged".)
Ada’s mother went to Maitland Hospital by two horse ambulance.(Kurri horse ambulance) A doctor used to come from Branxton for an hour.
When she was seventeen they had electricity and in the streets. She was working for Tommy Redgrove in a store – also for Grandma Teasey selling school books and fruit and veg. Teasey’s husband was blind. Dr Ernie Tweedie (Archbishop of Tasmania) came to the shop and spoke to Teasey.
She went to dances in the big hall near the paper shop – close to Beswicks – the crazy cottage – dances on Wednesday night. Orchestra was Lily and Jim Sinclair at the big hall. Mrs Bert Sealy played the piano and Matt McAuley played violin at Crazy Cottage. There was club on Monday night at 6d a turn – Harper’s built it – a lot of strangers came there.
There were three hotels at Greta. The band rotunda, the brass band played there on Sunday nights.
Friday night late shopping in Greta till 9pm. The pits were working then and the men were out. Her father and two brothers worked at Whitburn pit.
Rothbury Riot – she knew Norman Brown who was older than her. He was keeping company with Edna Ford. He was a quiet chap. Her father was very bitter about the conflict. They fought hard for the conditions. Frank Wall brought the Union around to go into Rothbury. The miners got into the Union through Frank.
Her father worked at Leckenfield for ten years till 1957. It was then closed down.
They won money in the Pools and bought the new (present) house. Margaret won $198,000. (Margaret is Ada’s daughter)
New Australians who were Catholic but gave little to the Church.
Margaret arrives into the interview.
St Catherine’s was opened on her feast day. There was a nun in Branxton called Catherine. There is a Foundation Stone on the Rotunda and the old Foundation Stone is under the Hall they brought from the camp.
St Brigid’s at Branxton.
End of Tape 113B.
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