Kathy Ingram

Kathy Ingram was born in 1945 and lived much of her life in Waterloo. In her interview she talks about her childhood and life around the inner city of Sydney; entertainment; school; ethnicity; Aboriginality and other aspects of life in the 1950s and ‘60s. In the excerpt below she recalls the proximity and ready availability of factory work in Waterloo in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, a time of full employment and flourishing industry.

I worked in the shoe factory was my first job, just down the road at Packard Shoes, and then I went to another lolly factory, and then I got to Mastercraft Chocolates and I stayed there. That’s where I settled, ended up until I got married, and then after I got married I went back there to work for a while but then they moved to Lane Cove, so it was too far for me to worry about going all the way to Lane Cove. We finished up all working there; Lorraine and Donna [close friends] and I all finished up working at Mastercraft so we used to walk. Even though you could get a bus we just walked there and walked home.

What kind of industries were around? There was a choc factory and you’ve mentioned a boot factory…

The Packard Shoes used to be down the road, and there was a carpet place in Pitt Street and a friend of ours that lived around here he used to work there, carpet cleaning place. There’s Francis Chocolates which is still up there [no longer] and a lot of people worked there. That’s where my husband worked and a lot of other people worked up there from around this area. Mostly I think it was all just close enough for you to walk to if you wanted to go to work, most of the jobs you got, because they were pretty easy to get. If you didn’t like one job you’d just leave it and go and get another one.

Sue Rosen