Holden on to History

Today marks the sad end of Australia’s production of cars. Goodbye to the Holden car.

Last week, while exploring the Murray River, my good friends Pat and Jeff suggested we visit Echuca’s Holden Museum. This museum has a very large collection of Holden cars, the car that has travelled our roads for almost seventy years. The visit brought back wonderful memories.

Most Australian families have had some association with Holdens. As a child, our third family car was a Holden. My own family’s first car was a Holden station waggon.

My father bought me a Holden Dinky toy and I spent hours playing with that little car. We recreated the Redex car trials of the fifties. We pushed our cars along the dirt tracks we made, simulating the imagined conditions of ‘outback’ travel. I even gave my car a new paint job.

So, hold on to your hat and your Holden memories!

Winds of change are blowing.


Sputnik Remembered

Back in October 1957 I can remember the excitement as we looked to the night skies to catch a glimpse of Sputnik. Our comic book stories were beginning to come true. How long would we have to wait for Dick Tracy’s telephone watch, I wondered?

Sputnik was the world’s first artificial satellite, successfully launched by Russia, then the Soviet Union, on 4 October 1957. My father’s copy of the April 1957 edition of Practical Mechanics had a satellite on its cover. It also included an article implying that America would successfully launch the world’s first satellite later that year. And so the ‘space race’ was off and running.

My father bought me a plastic, elastic-powered Sputnik to remember the event. It has survived the years, unlike the real Sputnik which burnt up on re-entry, three months after its launch.