How times have changed at popular Suffolk Park

TODAY Suffolk Park is a very popular place to live.

It has a beautiful beach nearby, there are great walks and modern amenities while the bright lights of Byron Bay are close enough to enjoy if you so desire.

The early Suffolk Park was however quite different.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s men in Australia were looking for work and often taking whatever jobs were available.

One family found themselves at Suffolk Park because of this; a job was available in the zircon sand-mining plant on Tallow Beach.

Bulldozers move a sand-mining plant along Tallow Beach.
Bulldozers move a sand-mining plant along Tallow Beach.

Suffolk Park at that time was just a clearing in the heath about where the camping area is now.

The land was owned by George Suffolk and there were three shacks, two of which were available to zircon workers. The third was used as a holiday home by the Suffolk family.

Each shack comprised four rooms on a concrete floor; two bedrooms, a living area and a kitchen.

Meals were taken in the kitchen. There was no bathroom but the beach was nearby. A dunny was up a path among the ti-trees. Fresh water was collected in a tank.

All the walls of the house, inside and outside, were made of hessian rendered with concrete and the windows were wooden shutters. There was probably an iron roof.

A track led from the camp to the unsealed Ballina to Byron Bay road. The road had been made from white rubble called hailstone, possibly mined nearby.

It would give up a cloud of white dust which was visible for miles through the heath when a vehicle passed.

The dust cloud was used as a signal that the daily Farrell's bus from Byron Bay was on its way to Lennox Head and Ballina.

Children from the Park families went to a one-teacher school at Broken Head.

They would walk down the sandy track and wait to be picked up by the teacher who drove out from Byron Bay. They would be returned in the afternoon.

One teacher was Percy Coulton who later joined the Army. Sadly, he spent most of the war in a prisoner-of-war camp in Malaya.

Another teacher was Bill Bell, a young chap just out of teachers' college.

Suffolk Park was an interesting place for children.

There was the beach and the bush to be explored but it was also a popular place for young lovers, especially at weekends.

Courting couples would ride their bikes out from Byron Bay and spend the day on the beach under the watchful eyes of the local children. Possibly they did not know that they were being watched.

Other entertainment was provided by young men who came out, perhaps from a militia unit, to practise throwing hand grenades.

These lethal weapons were actually "banksia men" which had fallen or were knocked from nearby trees.

The children thought it was great fun watching them as they attempted to improve their skills.

All provisions had to be obtained from Byron Bay.

This usually meant a long walk along the untarred road to Tony Feros's shop.

It was a tiring journey for the children but especially for their mother. The free bag of lollies from Tony's shop was most welcome at such times.

Yes, those were the days.

Topics:  history suffolk park

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bangalow faces the music this weekend

WORLD-FAMOUS: Didgeridoo player and winner of the 2012 ARIA for best classical album Kulkadunga, William Barton, is part of the line up at the Bangalow Music Festival 2017.

Bangalow Music Festival will offer a number of music events

199 home sites approved in Evans Head

The Evans Head Manufactured Home Estate plans. Zoran Architecture.

Manufactured Home estate approved near aerodrome

Traditional Country music festival across the region

LINE UP: Country singer Reg Poole.

The Cedar Guitar Country Music Awards 2017

Local Partners

The simple pleasures of a Bruns photo comp

GET snapping in and around beautiful Brunswick Heads and be in the running to win the annual Simple Pleasures photo competition.

Warhol star brings satire show to Brunswick Heads

Penny Arcade is an American performance artist, actress, and playwright based in New York City.

Warhol muse Penny Arcade is coming to the area this weekend

Jungle Giants' new hits in Byron Bay

ON TOUR: The Jungle Giants are a four-piece band formed in 2011 in Brisbane, formed by of Sam Hales on vocals and guitar, Cesira Aitken on lead guitar, Andrew Dooris on bass and Keelan Bijker on drums and trombone.

Quiet ferocity is their new album.

Young people on stage at Brunswick Heads

ALMOST FAMOUS: Beth is one of the youngest members of the Brunswick Heads Youth Theatre.

They will be performing two original theatre pieces

Survivor twist bound to shock

TARA Pitt benefited from a shock twist on Australian Survivor, but will everyone be happy? She’s bracing for a viewer backlash.

The Block goes back to school with gorgeous kids rooms

Ronnie and Georgia's winning kids bedroom in a scene from The Block.

ONE magical bedroom received the first perfect score of the season.

A prince is sailing around the Whitsundays

Prince of Denmark Frederik is racing on Wild Oats in the Whitsundays.

Rumours circulating about where the princess is

What's on the small screen this week

Rob Collins and Jessica Marais in a scene from season two of The Wrong Girl.

JESSICA Marais returns in The Wrong Girl.

Playing Tom Cruise's wife was a dream for Sarah Wright

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in American Made.

The actress stars opposite Cruise in the action comedy

Taylor Swift wipes presence off social media

Singer Taylor Swift has deleted her social media accounts

Social media wipeout prompts rumours of a new album

Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.

Scandinavian crime thriller goes troppo

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

Developer tears up couple's contract for new home

Jade and Edward Roberts were stung by the sunset clause on the first day of their honeymoon.

The developer has the right to do this under the sunset clause

Reports of Ibrahim family connections to farm and food hub

John Ibrahimat Bluesfest 2012.

REPORTS circulate colourful Sydney family have investments on the NR

Stunning, heritage-listed Coast home going under the hammer

STUNNING: Buderim House, a stunning heritage-listed Queenslander estate, is going to auction.

Coast home that played host to royalty is set for auction

Internet king Kim Dotcom house-hunting

Kim Dotcom and his partner Elizabeth Donnelly have apparently been in Queenstown scoping out houses. Photo / Kim Dotcom

Dotcom tweeted pictures and video of himself and partner Elizabeth Donnelly

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!