Interviewee: Mrs Hope Emily (Chisolm) Partridge
Date of Birth: 1903
Interviewer : Jennifer Golding
Date of Interview: 15 July 1987
Date of Death: 3 November 1996
Synopsis: Lyn Adams
BOHG No: 1987-005
Total Length: 53 mins
Mr Kenneth Eastman, father of Hope Emily came from Sydney and started a practice as a Solicitor in 1902, married Sylvia, and Hope was born in 1903, the eldest of five children. They lived in a house out from the town and opposite the estuary with lovely views. There was no access to the north shore except by boat, but they used to picnic at little holiday settlement called Turkey Point. A launch called the Valdimar used to travel two and three times a day to take people there. What is now Stirling Street, was paved with limestone and known as White Road. The children rode push bikes to school. In the town, about a mile away from their home, the main shopping centre was down towards the jetty, Haywards being a main store there. There was an old horse drawn cab but normally people walked.
Mr Eastman had the second car in Bunbury, a De Dion and its number was BY2, which was later taken by the ambulance.
The State School, which was attended by the boys, was run by Mr Paisley. The girls attended a private school which was held at the Bedford Hall, until it was moved to large home owned by Dr Lovegrove and which later became St Clair’s Hospital. The school, at the time run by Miss Harcourt, moved near the Jetty Baths.
Hope, her sister and brother Edwin went to boarding schools in Perth, whilst the younger boys were taught by Miss Wellard.
Hope can recall and name many of her school and family friends.
Her father’s business joined with another firm and eventually it was called Money, Barr and Eastman.
Some original big houses remain such as Walker’s at the bottom of the hill off from Picton Crescent. Mitchell’s house, the Willows, was on the corner, where the Post Office is now. Bury Hill was originally Rose’s but became part of the St John of God Hospital. Other hospitals were the District Hospital, the Stirling Hospital, St Clair’s and St Roche.
One of the Mitchell boys became Sir James Mitchell. Two of his sisters remained in their house and welcomed visitors, cooked and ran a little flower shop.
Before Sherry’s, there were a lot of little shops called Christie’s Bazaar. Other businesses in Victoria Street were Boulter’s Men’s Store and Bon Marche, Monkhouse’s, Tipping’s, Cronshaw’s . There were also some banks.
St Paul’s Cathedral, on the corner was where Hope was married and children christened. The Congregational Church was another.
The Railway Station was at the corner of Wellington Street and Arthur Street with big trees which cars could park under. Along from there were a number of small houses, including the Carey’s house, Careyscot. Along Wittenoom Street was the Convent with the original cemetery behind, and the Police Station. On top of the big hill was the tank for the town’s water supply.
The main entertainment for the Partridges was dancing and tennis, from where Hope met her husband.
A major interest was in cars and driving. Hope learnt to drive at an early age and but the family earlier enjoyed many excursions, including holidays on a property which they purchased at Thompson’s Brook. The journeys were eventful, the roads not being good, and the cars not being very reliable. On rare car journeys to Perth it could take about seven hours, including two or three punctures on the way.
Trains were the main mode of transport to Perth, which they used to travel to school. The railways and the port were quite busy.
In nineteen-twenty-five, Hope married Walter Stephen Partridge and we went out to live in Brunswick, at White Rocks. They had a small dairy. The house was old, and conditions were hard in the early years, especially before electricity reached them. During the war things were very difficult with rations but were lucky to have the farm produce.