I’ve mentioned before that I was brought up in a pretty alternative area; although my parents were not actual hippies, we were very much in the middle of an alternative lifestyle, arty, left wing and free thinking community. I loved where I grew up; I have a half formed plan to retire to a little house in the bush up there.

Anyway, I found this you-tube clip the other day which took me straight back to my childhood. This was the gallery where my mother worked, and Gary Greenwood taught my Dad how to use leather to create art. I haven’t stepped foot in this place for 30 years, yet I can still smell the studio, and the sea grass matting on the floors, and remember the echoing sound of walking up those huge stairs. I still occasionally see some of the artists that my family were friends with in those days. My family life is so different from that of my parents in the 70s. I think I miss it, in a lot of ways.

Anyway, maybe I’m imagining things but looking at some of those sculptures I think I know why I wasn’t particularly thrown when we finally got around to studying human biology at school..



Bowerbank Mill, 1979

4 thoughts on “Bowerbank Mill, 1979

  1. I can imagine, from the video and what you write here, that it was a wonderful childhood in many ways. It is a lovely part of Tasmania (are there any unlovely parts??), and creative people are generally a pleasure to be around.

    I think I must have driven past the mill, about 6 years ago when we stayed overnight in Deloraine, then after exploring the town we drove to Westbury and Longford. But I don’t remember it now.

  2. As a fellow child of the 70s from your home town I completely understand the nostalgia. Our school bus used to stop at Bowerbank to pick up the Greenwood kids.

    Childhood for us involved milking the goats before school, building cubby houses in the bush, helping Mum make butter from the goats’ milk, being paid in chocolate by Mum to drink the goats’ milk ( so disgusting), chasing the goats from the neighbour’s paddocks, fending off marauding rams and assertive roosters when trying to get to the chook house to get the eggs, sitting on the stubborn donkey and trying to make it walk because I really wanted a pony but the donkey was the closest I could get (and when I gave up and got off it always kicked me) etc….

    I have tried bringing some of this into my own kids’ lives. I recently made my husband stop the car and pick up a dead echidna on the side of the road “so we can let it decompose in the back yard and then the kids can collect the quills and make interesting things”. My husband didn’t see any point to this but couldn’t argue with “If you truly love me you will let me have that dead echidna”. You just can’t argue with that. So the echidna decomposed in the chook yard and every now and then I would turn the internet off and make the kids come and appreciate the wonders of nature in front of our very eyes. The most they have got out of this little adventure is being able to tell their friends that their mother is a nutter who makes them look at road kill. WELL IT GOT THEM OFF THE INTERNET FOR FIVE MINUTES AND I CONSIDER THAT A WIN!

    The youngest kid in the house (11) just can’t comprehend a childhood with no computers. Every now and then he asks us to tell him about life before internet. His head explodes when I talk about the day we got our first microwave and Video player….. He always shudders in horror. Life without Minecraft? Impossible!

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