[Feeling nostalgic, this time I diverge from the T-Team’s adventures in the Central Australia and share the place the T-Team calls home—Glenelg.
Many thanks to Mohamad Al Karbi for giving me the opportunity to share the T-Team’s life in South Australia.]
My Old Stamping Ground
I grew up in Somerton Park which is about a ten-minute bike-ride from Glenelg. Even today, though I live in the Adelaide foothills, I go to Glenelg to shop, have coffee at the Broadway Cafe with Mum, and many times I drive through Glenelg on my way up north to Salisbury, or to the Barossa.
[Photo 1: View of Glenelg looking south © L.M. Kling 2018]
So, while tourists snap their memories of Glenelg frozen in time, for me images of my childhood and grown-up years remain fluid, layers in my head and marinated with the changes and experiences over the decades. Glenelg has changed; the land/seascape of my memories unrecognisable as the shops, the trams, the jetty and the coastline shift and develop. Although some places have changed, some have stayed the same.
[Photo 2: Somerton Beach Catamarans © L.M. Kling nee Trudinger 1977]
Gone: The Gift Store
At the tender age of one, I committed my first (and only) criminal offense at this shop; a five-finger discount of a face-washer. Mum caught me in time, and blushing, returned the stolen item, replacing it on the shelf before anyone noticed.
The gift store, a favourite of mine, provided birthday presents for me to buy for friends and knick-knacks with my pocket money.
[Photo 3: Sea Mist near Glenelg © L.M. Kling 2012]
Gone: The Historic Cinemas
One with its red carpet, sweeping staircase and chandeliers. It’s a supermarket complex now. Many happy moments with family and friends watching movies, eating popcorn and occasionally rolling Jaffa’s down the carpeted aisle.
The other, halfway down Jetty Road towards the sea, disappeared in the 1980’s. I remember watching the film Heidi there, and before the movie started, the pre-film entertainer conducted a singing competition. My friend won first prize.
That cinema space became a mini shopping mall which, as a university student, I mopped every Saturday morning for $12. Today, a restaurant resides in that space.
After several years bereft of cinematic entertainment, a new cinema complex has been built off Partridge Street.
Gone: Tom the Cheaper Grocer
While Mum shopped at Tom the Grocer on Mosely Square, my brother and I hung out near the sea wall by the jetty. I loved winter when the waves crashed against the wall. Tom’s was sold off decades ago and today the old building houses cafés and restaurants.
[Photo 4 & 5: Waves crashing near Broadway Cafe © L.M. Kling 2018]
Gone: Charlies Café
At three, I crawled under the table at Charlies Café and my auntie uninvited me to her wedding reception.
When sixteen, we dined at Charlies as a youth group. The guy I was dating didn’t show. After the supper, near tears from being stood up, I waited with my friends for this guy to arrive and drive us home. There were not enough cars amongst the group to drive us all. In a flash, this guy (the no-show) appeared in his silver car. He glanced at us and then kept on driving down Jetty Road.
My brother had to make two trips to carry us all safely home.
Charlies is long gone. So’s that guy. I dropped him.
[Photo 6: View from the Broadway Café © L.M. Kling 2018]
Still There: Glenelg Jetty
As my friend from Youth Group was fond of saying, ‘Thank God somethings stay the same.’
At least an updated and cemented version from one of many over the years of storms that regularly destroy the jetty. Each time the jetty is damaged by a “storm of the century”, it’s repaired or another one is built to maintain that steady icon that makes Glenelg.
[Photo 7: Jetty Boys © S.O. Gross circa 1958]
[Photo 8: From the Jetty to the Hills © L.M. Kling 2011]
Still There: Moseley Square
Tarted up over the decades, today with tall palms and water-features. The shops, cafés and restaurants that line Jetty Road leading up to Moseley Square, though they change, they are still there and most importantly for the tourists, are open Sundays and public holidays.
[Photo 9: Moseley Square © L.M. Kling 2006]
[Photo 10: Sunset over Moseley Square © L.M. Kling 2010]
Still There: Some Sort of Amusement Park
That’s why we go to Glenelg, right? A famous dating place or hang-out for youth. In my teenage years, I followed my date around the games arcade as he sampled all the pinball machines. Yawn!
A friend sourced the sideshow for lovers and got herself into “trouble”.
Memories of parking in the carpark in the early morning under the inert Ferris Wheel, and furtive romantic moments before the inevitable knock on the window by the local policeman.
Over the years, the sideshow alley vanished, but still near the carpark at the end of Anzac Highway, the Ferris Wheel sat idle, a skeleton of its light-garnished self. Then this carpark turned into a round-about, high-rise apartments grew along the foreshore, and the sideshow morphed into a massive brown lump called “The Magic Mountain”.
My sons enjoyed birthday parties in this mountain’s cave, chasing Pokemon, bumping in floating boats, and slipping down the waterslide.
Then the “Magic Mountain” went off, replaced by “The Beach house”. Same amusements as before without the “magic” of the mountain. The Ferris Wheel now sits in front of “The Beach house”.
[Photo 11: Boat Bumping at Beach House © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2010]
Alongside the marina, a delicious array of cafes and restaurants to feed the foreshore wanderer.
[Photo 12: Marina in the moonlight © L.M. Kling 2017]
Still there: The Beach
Ever faithful, ever beautiful, the setting to summers filled with family teas by the beach on the lawns, fish ‘n chips with soft drink or cheese and gherkin sandwiches with cordial. Grandparents busy themselves with crossword puzzles while Mums and Dads swim in the waves with kids by the jetty. Then after, while sitting and licking an ice-cream, families watch the sun bulge bright orange as it sinks below the horizon of sea, overhead in the cloudless sky, a plane from Perth streaks a jet-stream, and on the water, there’s a sailboat, swimmers and paddle-boarders.
[Photo 13: Watching paddle-boarders © L.M. Kling 2018]
[Photo 14: Foreshore fun © L.M. Kling 2008]
[Photo 15: Kitsch Sunset with seagull © L.M. Kling 2018]
And people, who walk the boardwalk, play on the sand, and frolic in the water, on a balmy summer’s evening, beam with smiles on their faces. This is the constant memory, through the decades of changes, this is the memory that stays with me of Glenelg.
[Photo 16: Sunset contemplation of Mr K © L.M. Kling 2018]
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2017; updated 2019
Feature Photo: Sunset at Glenelg © L.M. Kling 2019
Dreaming of Adventure?
Read more of the adventures of the T-Team in my memoir, Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981 available on Amazon and Kindle. Check it out, click on the link below: