Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Jolly Swagman

Photographs and story by June McPherson

One thing to come out of all the sadness of losing my Mother last March has been going through all of Mum's things. I wouldn't say she was a hoarder as everything had a place but I'm just amazed at some of the things from my childhood she kept, including this 'pearler', a book called "The Jolly Swagman".

Now, a swagman is the name given to a man who travelled on foot looking for work with nothing but his 'swag' (the bed roll) on his shoulder with a few other bits and pieces and usually a 'billy can' (tin can) used for brewing a pot of tea back in the days of The Depression.

Poor little Jenny and Sue look like the saddest little girls around and oh to be surprised that Mr and Mrs Pepper's house had been burnt.

This is where 'Clancy' the swagman just so happens to pop up and knows of some gold buried somewhere so they set off to find it to help Mr and Mrs Pepper. (Yeah, a likely story Clancy. You're after the gold yourself.)

The poor little black faced sheep were probably wondering what the hell that was standing before them.

Funny how small Clancy is at ground level and then all of a sudden its at the same level as the horse's head!

"Do you know where the river is?"

"Yes, you are almost there," answered the horse, "down at the bottom of my paddock near the trees.  It's the river where I drink."

"Oh, thank you" called the excited three searchers.

The worst case of hat hair on Clancy I've ever seen!
The gold was found and delivered to Mr and Mrs Pepper by Clancy and they all set off on their merry way.
Obviously a poor way of illustrating a child's story back in Australia in the 1970's but I loved it. I'm so glad Mum held onto this and I've shared it with my children. They think its kind of cute too.

Happy Australia Day everyone! A time when our country reflects on how lucky we are to be Australian and to commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet into Botany Bay, New South Wales back in 1788.

I'm linking up with a Cooker and a Looker and her Australia Day linky party.



  1. What a lovely story Anne. It reminds me of some of the books Nanny would read us as kids.
    Happy Australia Day - thanks for linking up,
    PS. Did you see the Gourmet Garden video? I tried to tag you in it yesterday.

  2. Happy Australia Day. That is a cool looking book.

  3. What a wonderful memory - My Mum had a doll like that one with the blue dress!

  4. How gorgeous Anne. It was probably very high tech for those days! xx


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