Five Island Road, Unanderra, Wollongong, NSW. Balgownie (Fairymeadow) Hostel. Berkeley Hostel
I have done this drawing from memory (1967-1970) and it is not to scale.
The buildings on the old site were being demolished as we arrived in 1967 and had already been replaced with the new prefabricated wooden huts.
Here I have drawn a layout map of Unanderra Hostel accompanied with brief descriptions as to what was what.
Unanderra Hostel facilities
The rooms were quite small. They had very basic furniture, Sofa-bed ,beds, table and chairs. Depending on the size of your family determined how many rooms you got. In 1968/69 all the rooms where modified. They had connecting internal doors fitted so that you didn’t have to go outside onto the veranda to gain access to your kids next door. Also every room was fitted with a small sink and running water.
Each block contained its own communal male and female toilet facility comprising of a row of about 4 or 5 toilet cubicles, a row of 4 or 5 wash basins, a row of 4 or 5 shower cubicles and in each male and female WC was a single but small bath room for those whom preferred a little privacy.
The shop was basically a small convenience store, a place where you could acquire the simple but necessary items that one would need for every day life.
I seem to remember that the shop was more frequented by the youth as there was a pinball machine located in the shop.
The bus stop was primarily used for the school pickups and drop off’s. Each week day mornings the kids would gather and line up with their school cases and wait for the school bus, which would then take them to Port Kembla Public school.
I am not aware if there was a regular bus service or not.
The indoor recreation area was a large in door area that was equipped for many different activities; primarily it was used for those days when the weather was not so good. You had a choice of a variety of different board games and there was even a vaulting horse for those whom had a more gymnastic nature about them. The indoor recreation area was also used for organized social evening by the adults.
The basketball pitch was a very popular place as some evening it was flood lit.
I believe there was a netball team formed on the hostel called the “Green Flashes”.
The laundry buildings were communal and purposely built for general washing and ironing.
My knowledge of the old Hostel site is nil, so if anyone can help out here by providing me with some information, photos or even a rough sketch of the site then please get in touch.
I would like to express my most sincere thanks to all the people who have contributed to this site, thus making it possible.
The Chatfield family. The Spaan family and also the Morgan family.
The Hostel accommodations were arranged in Blocks, two rows of four. Starting from, “A Block” to “D block” and “E Block” to “H Block”. Each Block contained 16 rooms, 8 either side and a communal wash and toilet facility.
The canteen was a large communal eating area for breakfasts, lunches and dinners, mainly staffed by part-time workers from the Hostel.