Three Decades in the Hills

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Memories With Ivor Jones & Friends -

Change is in­evitable but is also man­age­able.

Ear­lier this month, my wife and I cel­e­brated more than three decades of liv­ing in the Hills. (33 years to be more ex­act) Pur­chas­ing a block of land from Land­com, in a very small sub­di­vi­sion we then vis­ited nu­mer­ous ex­hi­bi­tion homes to se­lect the type or style of home to suit our fam­ily.

Af­ter clear­ing the land and hav­ing de­cided upon the home that we wanted to have con­structed it was time to get Coun­cil ap­proval and have the builders start.

Our home was the first to be con­structed in the small sub­di­vi­sion and we are only one of two re­main­ing orig­i­nal oc­cu­py­ing fam­i­lies still liv­ing in the sub­di­vi­sion. Our chil­dren have grown and moved away and we have watched other fam­i­lies come and go over that time. We have also seen many changes in those years.

When we moved into the Hills, the ar­eas of Bella Vista, Nor­west, Kel­lyville, Rouse Hill and so on were ru­ral in na­ture with just small ur­ban pock­ets close to the main roads. We wit­nessed the con­struc­tion of the M2 Hills Mo­tor­way and less than 20 years later the wi­den­ing of the same due to in­creas­ing traf­fic. We have seen the growth in the re­gional shop­ping cen­tres when Win­ston Hills had two ad­join­ing shop­ping cen­tres (both now com­bined into one), Cas­tle Hill Tow­ers evolv­ing from a small neigh­bour­hood shop­ping cen­tre fac­ing Old Cas­tle Hill Rd into one of the largest shop­ping com­plexes in Aus­tralia, Stock­land shop­ping cen­tre at Baulkham Hills has grown also in that time. Long- time res­i­dents would re­call when it was ap­prox­i­mately half the size it is now and Ven­ture was the largest store in the cen­tre. We have seen the in­tro­duc­tion of traf­fic man­age­ment schemes such as speed humps and round­abouts in sub­ur­ban streets as traf­fic has in­creased.

The Gar­den Shire as the area is known as has also seen, in Baulkham Hills and Cas­tle Hill the loss of gar­den nurs­eries such as Fer­gu­son’s on Wind­sor Rd, Wagon Wheels on Seven Hills Rd and Alexan­der McDon­ald’s on MacDougall Lane and Ce­cil Ave. Cas­tle Hill.

Of the ad­vances we have now seen is the in­tro­duc­tion of reg­u­lar bus ser­vices to Syd­ney and in­creased bus ser­vices gen­er­ally in the area and to Par­ra­matta. We also ap­pre­ci­ate the con­ser­va­tion of some of the re­main­ing his­toric sites still in the area. Bella Vista Farm is one ex­am­ple where it is now more eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble and has been used for com­mu­nity events such as Christ­mas and New Year cel­e­bra­tions. Hos­pi­tal and med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties have also im­proved. When we moved into the area a hos­pi­tal was pro­posed to be built at Old North­ern Rd and Ex­cel­sior Ave. Cas­tle Hill, how­ever that soon changed and a pri­vate hos­pi­tal was built on Wind­sor Rd, Baulkham Hills which re­placed that sug­ges­tion. More re­cently we have seen the con­struc­tion of the much larger Nor­west Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal at Bella Vista.

Like oth­ers how­ever we have not al­ways liked the changes that have taken place. Some I feel have lacked for­ward plan­ning such as the sale of schools to de­vel­op­ers which then led to over­crowd­ing at the re­main­ing schools or the lack of ac­tion on some mat­ters that have been on the draw­ing board for many years or even decades.

But no doubt we will see many more changes to the district as time goes on.

Share your me­mories and old pho­to­graphs with our “as we were” read­ers

Me­mories of grow­ing up lo­cally, or when you moved into our com­mu­nity are wel­come. Tell us your ex­pe­ri­ences from school days, sport­ing clubs, hol­i­days, work or group or­gan­i­sa­tions.

If you have a funny or in­ter­est­ing neigh­bour­hood sto­ries, we would like to pub­lish them! Write to: 17 Rose St, Baulkham Hills, NSW, 2153. Email to ivor­jones@hill­sto­hawkes­bury.com.au. Share on Hills District Me­mories at face­book.com/groups/Hills. me­mories or Hawkes­bury Happenings & Me­mories at face­book. com/groups/Hawkesmem­o­ries.

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