Dictionary of Sydney

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Mrs May Rae recalls her father's work for Challenge Woollen Mills, Liverpool, interviewed in 1986

Mrs May Rae was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960.' She recalls her family's immigration to Liverpool in New South Wales was due to her father's skilled work in woollen mills.

INTERVIEWER: Mrs Rae, I was wondering if you could tell me when you first came to Liverpool?

MAY: The year I think would be about 1911, and we arrived in December. We left England on the 1st of November and I was four and a half that day - and my father was brought out here to help with all the spinning mules [complex machine for spinning wool or other fibres] in the Challenge Woollen Mills.

INTERVIEWER: And where did you live when you first came here?

MAY: Well, we got a house on Campbelltown Road, which is up above Atkinson St, now I think Kentucky [Fried] Chicken are up there now, and we were there for twelve months, and then we got a new home built at the end of Nagle Street, just where Atkinson Street joins Nagle Street, and then my father was given a house on the woollen mill property and he lived there until just before he retired.

INTERVIEWER: So your father worked at the woollen mills?

MAY: Well yes, because he came out to install it [the machinery]. See not many people knew how to work woollen mills and he'd always been in that field in England, and that's why he came out here.

My uncle, his name was Nathaniel Hutchinson, he was the one that sent for my father to come out because he was in the same work.

Contributed By
(Excerpt from interview with Mrs May Rae in 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith.)