Henry Brown

Henry Brown grew up in Erskineville in the 1920s and ’30s. In this interview he talks about religion, children’s paid work, recreation, sport and many other aspects of working class life in that period. In the excerpt below Henry describes the joys of transporting ducks and fowls on trams.

The old Newtown markets, the bottom end of the markets, the furthest away from King Street, all along the bottom there were the fowls, fowls and ducks. You used to also go down to Paddy’s Markets later on for fowls, and you wouldn’t get them killed in those days. They’d give you an old sugar bag with a hole cut in the bottom corner and stick the fowl or the duck’s head through the corner of the sugar bag and you’d carry it home in the tram and everybody’d be going crook at the chook or the duck having a peck at the people sitting on the seat beside you. And then at the finish up, you’d get some of the tram guards that let you ride in the back driver’s compartment of the tram so that you’d be out of the road and wouldn’t worry other people with the fowls.

Sue Rosen