Red phone boxes ruled in the days when mobile phones could never have been imagined

Unpleasant memories

A 1963 Leader photo of the red phone box, which stood outside the post office at Brighton-Le-Sands for many years is a reminder of an age when mobile phones were beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

Phone boxes like this, which were found on every second corner throughout the suburbs, were fully enclosed when the door was shut.

They may have iconic status today, but they are also remembered by some as being claustrophobic, dirty and smelly and the phones themselves unreliable. Coins would jam or drop through without a call connecting.

People standing or queuing outside, waiting for their turn, were inclined to bang on the glass if they felt a call was taking too long.

There were frequent complaints about phones being out of order, often as a result of vandalism.

However, with no other option outside of a home line, people did the best they could.

In 1977, Leader photographer Don Sheehan snapped a photo of a woman who obviously intended to have a long chat, and took a chair along.

Another photo in the Leader files is of a phone box in Ventura Avenue, Miranda, adorned with curtains - without explanation.

Tommy Bishop cleans up

Rugby league legend Tommy Bishop worked as a carpet cleaner while playing for the Sharks in the 1970s.

At least that was the pitch of the promoters of a newly imported carpet cleaning machine, which Bishop was pictured using.

The PR lines were predictable: "Tommy Bishop also wants to see the Sharks clean up at weekends".

Bishop's first job in Australia was with Arthur Chapman's sports store.

Smoking by schoolkids declines

Smoking by schoolchildren in NSW had dropped substantially over the previous six years, a 1990 report revealed.

The results were attributed to anti-smoking education campaigns and increases in cigarette taxation.

The report's findings were consistent with the attitude of a group of Caringbah High School student, Kylie Weatherall, 15, Susan Coates, 15, Michelle Bennett, 16, and Michelle Ridland, 16.

They said, as far as they were concerned, there was nothing "cool" about smoking, or about boys who engaged in the practice.

Dim days at Jubilee Oval

Jubilee Oval took on an eerie look in the late afternoon during a game in 1975 between St George and Eastern Suburbs.

There were none of the big floodlights in those days, but the lights used on training nights were switched on.

The old grandstand stands out in the photo.

MacMahon's Manor celebrations

Celebrations took place in 1986 to mark the second anniversary of the opening of MacMahon's Manor at Hurstville.

The lovely old Tudor mansion, originally called Kenilworth, was said to be "the scene for not only happy luncheons, dinners and parties in the theatre restaurant, but children's pantomimes in the school holidays, and lovely weddings".

"Now, John and Annette Ibbitson are busy arranging a special birthday party night when there'll be champagne flowing, balloons, and a huge birthday cake, a replica of the manor itself," the report said.

"The 70,000th person is due to pass through their doors and the lucky one will win three dinners for two."

The building at 14 MacMahon Street became the Hurstville Museum an Gallery in 2004, and is maintained by Georges River Council.

St George District Rugby Union Football Club used it as a clubhouse between 1962 and 1978.

Stranded at Rockdale

A group of overseas tourists were left stranded at a Rockdale caravan park in 1983 after the driver of their unusual, German-owned was arrested and charged with driving an unregistered vehicle.

The coach had carried tourists around Australia for the previous year.

Egg eating record attempt

Dick Trevor, of Hurstville, set out in 1960 to establish an egg-eating record, but could manage only 18.

The chairman of the Egg Marketing Board said he knew of several men in Sydney who could eat 24 eggs at one sitting.