‘THE PINES’: Honey & Egg Man

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Community - Story and pho­tos by Carmel Lid­dell

In 1984, when eggs were sell­ing for $1.55 per dozen, ‘The Pines’ honey and egg man Clive Rough­ley, did some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary: he sold his Du­ral prop­erty for the princely sum of one

dol­lar. Of course Clive knew the price of eggs. He was in the busi­ness. How­ever, as Clive had no di­rect heirs, he de­cided to ap­proach The Hills Shire Coun­cil with an of­fer they couldn’t refuse: to buy his prop­erty for $1, al­low him to stay in Rough­ley House till he died, and there­after to pre­serve ‘The Pines’ as a liv­ing mu­seum.

To­day, thirty four years later, The Hills Shire Coun­cil con­tin­ues to hon­our the agree­ment by main­tain­ing Rough­ley House and gar­dens. It also main­tains a Vis­i­tor’s In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre (open week­days from 10am - 3pm) which is manned by Syd­ney Hills Vol­un­teers. Ros­tered on ev­ery sec­ond Wed­nes­day, is gen­teel cou­ple, Ajit and Preeti from West Pen­nant Hills. Af­ter five years, Ajit has lost none of his quiet en­thu­si­asm for ‘The Pines’. Re­spect­fully he opens the doors of Rough­ley House to let in the fresh air, then draws at­ten­tion to the fea­tures in ev­ery room; the rock­ing horse in the chil­dren’s at­tic bed­rooms; and the changes made by each gen­er­a­tion of the fam­ily. There’s a lot to see in this his­toric house. Free tours may be taken by prior ar­range­ment, or dur­ing band breaks at the 20 year old Jazz at the Pines con­certs. Un­der a re­newed con­tract, the Ro­tary Club of The Hills-Kel­lyville will con­tinue to spon­sor the pop­u­lar jazz event for an­other five years.

Clive was born at Rough­ley House in 1914 and it’s easy to imag­ine him as a child shin­ny­ing up pine trees in the ‘front yard’, and rid­ing the an­tique rock­ing horse. It’s easy to imag­ine Clive in his later years too, be­cause ev­ery­thing in the house is where he left it; his comfy lounge, tele­vi­sion, bot­tle of Rough­ley Red and honey and egg para­pher­na­lia. Clive ap­pears to have merely - ‘popped out’- for a while. When the honey and egg man sold ‘The Pines’ in 1984, he got what he wanted for his dol­lar: the con­ser­va­tion of his home and fam­ily his­tory. Now that, was a sweet deal.

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