Max Ricks Recollections - My youngest childhood memories

Among my very earliest memories were our family visits to Grandma and Grandpa Stone’s house, which is now numbered 454 Cherry Gardens Road, Cherry Gardens.

Grandfather was Arthur Robert Stone and Grandmother was Ada Stone, nee Mildwaters, and parents of our Mother Ethel Ellen Stone. As a family we would often walk from our home to our grandparents for the evening meal on a Saturday night.

About half way along the road, I recall as a very small child sitting in the bend of an old dead wattle tree. This became a tradition for my brother Charles and I to sit in the bend of the old curly wattle tree as we went past.

After we had tea which always seem special to us boys, Grandpa would get out his Billatel Set, and we would all play in competition to see who could score the most points. This was a game played on a table with a set of balls and a cue. At one end of the table a frame was set up which contained 10 pigeon holes. The “kitty” ball was placed at a point near the centre of the table, and using 6 balls, one would try to hit the balls into the kitty by using the cue. The aim was to get the kitty into the highest numbered hole.

Another point of great interest was to be shown into Grandpa’s room where he would do his writing, in particular to see him recording the rainfall readings. The official rain gauge from the State Bureau of Meteorology for Cherry Gardens was at Grandfathers house at the time, and to watch him fill in the Monthly Rainfall Report was something special. In the mid 1930’s his house was fairly new, with stone walls, and green coloured cemented verandahs and cemented pillars as verandah posts. There was also a cellar beneath the kitchen floor for storing food stuff because there was no electricity for refrigeration in those days.

Grandfather Stone was very good at wood work, and he built a large storage shed, which also had a loft for storing unused fruit boxes, in readiness for next season’s fruit crop. To a little lad, a visit to Grandpa Stones place was a real highlight.