HAVING moved to Claremont at the age of four, Dudley Allan has seen many changes in his 83 years.
He said one of the biggest was the style of housing.
“We lived on Goldsworthy Road and our home, like most of those in the area, was a small brick home with a corrugated iron roof on about an eighth of an acre,” he said.
“Most of the residents in the area were working class and many worked for the Midland rail workshops.”
Mr Allan has fond memories of growing up in Claremont.
“The Claremont Baths at the bottom of Chester Road were the centre for meetings and holidays,” he said.
“And on a summer’s night, dads would be prawning and crabbing in the river, while mums and kids would sit in the two parks on the river’s edge.
World War II brought some changes to the area.
“During the war the teachers’ college was taken over by the women’s army service corps,” Mr Allan said
“At noon on Saturday they would go on their weekend leave but they would have heavy kit bags, so enterprising local children would assemble at the gate with their carts (fruit boxes with wheels taken from the family pram) and offer to carry their bags.
“‘Carry your kit bag miss’ we’d say, then we’d take it up to the train station and accept whatever they would pay – the highest was sixpence, the lowest was nothing.”
Mr Allan got married at 23 and he and his wife Marion moved to Nedlands to raise their family.
They moved back to Claremont 26 years ago, buying a unit.
“We’re empty nesters, so we didn’t want a large home, but we are fortunate to have a garden where we are,” he said.
“And we’re fortunate enough to live right on the waterfront.
“We have a great choice of transport, with three buses going by our home and we can walk to the train stations – it really opens us up to the whole of the city.
“Claremont is a great area; it was established early so the facilities are here, such as good parks and good access to private and public schools.” n