Growing up in Brisbane, the Royal Queensland Show was an annual highlight. Something we planned for. We did jobs to earn extra pocket money. We behaved beautifully because mum said “if you don’t behave, I won’t take you to the show.” We just had to go to the show. In 1967, my brother David cut his foot very badly the week before to Show. The pain in his foot was nothing compared to the pain induced by the thought of not going to the Show. Happily the problem was solved – David was pushed around in the old stroller – and we all got to experience the rides and the pavilions and the show ring and the many joys of the show.
Some time since then the Brisbane Show became known as the Ekka and in the many years since 1967 I moved many times and didn’t get to go to the Show. However in 2015 and again in 2016, I was fortunate to be invited to be a producer of the day at the Lockyer Valley stand. It was fabulous opportunity to showcase Gecko Grove Preserves and to once again check out the display cases of prize winning food, craft and art. The star of the Lockyer Valley display is a 1962 Fruit and Veggie Truck all kitted out with wooden boxes full of farm fresh produce. When I was little we had a weekly visit from the veggie man in a truck very like this. He brought produce to the suburbs from the many Brisbane market gardens. If I smiled nicely at him he gave me fresh baby carrots! Such fun to climb aboard the truck and take a trip down memory lane.
It was a trip down memory lane not only for me but also for many people who stopped to chat. They talked of jam and farms, of trucks and tractors, of food and family.
One old lady told me that she had grown up in Grantham in the 1930’s . Her dad had worked in Butter Factory where I now cook preserves. She had left school during WW11 and gone to work in the Grantham orange orchards – the orchards that no longer exist. She moved to Brisbane when she married and life got busy. She said ” I used to tell my husband that we should go for a drive in the country. He would say “yes – one day.” But then he up and died and now I’ve no one to take me back. ” I told her about bus trips available and she left clutching the Lockyer Valley Information Booklet full of beautiful photos to remind her of her country childhood.
When was the last time you took a trip down memory lane?