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Tales Of Times Past - Review

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
Published September 8th 2013
Memories by senior residents of Swan
When my son was little at primary school, one of the more popular days events was the talk by grandparents on times past.

This, I think, is something we can all identify with, this connection to previous generations experiences. I recall being held spellbound by my grandmother's stories of life under Queen Victoria and I once met a retired Colonel of the Black Watch who kept me entranced with tales of skating at Baden-Baden with the Kaiser's daughters in 1913.

The programme 'Tales of Times Past' run by the City of Swan aimed to bring senior residents of Swan together to share memories of their lives in the first half of the last century.

[ADVERT]The stories have a strong common streak of humanity and that bond that makes the whole world kin.

Some of these stories have now been collected, compilied and edited by Vasanti Sunderland and Maxine Laurie and now published under the same title.

Some of the stories are poignant, some funny, many touching and showing strength and courage in the face of adversity almost unimaginable in today's society, where if we want water, we turn on a tap, if we want food we drive down to a supermarket, and electric services, refrigeration, dish washers and washing machines are commonplace.

Stories like that of John Edgecombe, one of the well-known Edgecombe Brothers who describes how the family came to arrive in the Swan Valley - a chance meeting between a horticulturist specialising in table grapes and living in Sussex in England and a passing visitor from Perth.

The topics covered include such things as arrival in Swan, housing and home life, growing up and school days. Occuaptions, courtship, marriage and children and the War, its conduct and effects of the home front.

Tales of Times Past is a book for dipping into and browsing. It speaks with a clear voice in varying accents from a range of people of different backgrounds, ages and sex.

People like Min Plunkett, John Edgecombe, Neil and Jean Outred, Joan Ewers, Sybil Gordon, Maurice and Shirley Tomlin, Doreen Sweeny, Colleen Castello and Julie Little.

Copies are available for purchase from the City of Swan. Recommended.
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Why? A fascinating ramble through Midland's past
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