Thursday, 28 November 2013

Roy Anderson

An article appeared in the Nunnawading Gazette, 14 July 1982 on pages 1,2 and 3 entitled, 'Recluse turns down $1/2 m.'. It was written about Roy Anderson, aged 72, who still lived on the land on which he was born. Roy had turned down an offer to purchase his land. The article by Frank Palmos, provides information not only about Roy but also some information about his family and their life in the Vermont.
View of last 10 acres - 1982
The Andersons had at one time owned around 60 acres of land but this was subdivided into blocks, some of which were sold. In the 1930s they still owned several blocks averaging 10 to 12 acres. In 1982 Roy owned 10 acres with developments on either side. A description of the farming of the Anderson family property is provided on page 2 of the article.

Roy was trained as a blacksmith, with his father. Together they cleared the land with Clydesdales and chains to rip out the stumps, then used a stump-jump plough to finish the job.

Between the two great wars the Andersons grew flowers, using blackberry hedges as windbreaks and land markers.

"Never did put fences up. We grew the most beautiful flowers and supplied many markets. All that's left now is the blackberry hedge. You know you can't grow flowers near paling fences, don't you? Blackberries let the gentle breezes through yet protect them from strong winds," he said.

Roy's only other friends have long gone. He trained and raced greyhounds 50 years ago, but speaks of his champion Joylad (a winner at White City and Gracedale Park) as though it was yesterday. 

"I had to get rid of them. People were always stealing them." Little wonder with no fences.

A row of giant pine and cypress trees form a northern boundary. There is a disused fowl shed, some ancient ploughs and five rusting cars - all from a forgotten era when Vauxhalls and Hillmans and old V8 utes were supreme.
Roy Anderson's house 1982
Roy Anderson lived in a fibro shack, had no gas or electricity or telephone and cooked on an open fire. He grew his own vegetables and obtained any other supplies from a shop in Hanover Road. He had never married. Roy's land was on a hillside overlooking Burwood Highway.

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