In the early days when cars weren't so prevalent (there were still some horses and sulkies) most of their business was done with mail orders. Mail days were rather frantic especially with folk phoning
at the last moment to catch the mail. Of course in summer , butter and frig items were left till last and wrapped with ice to last the long day on the back of an open truck.
Some mails were second
daily but out and back on the same day. But those further out, like Glen Moan and Blackville, were out one day and back the next. A lot of orders were monthly and packed in large corn flakes cartons. There was an art in packing so that nothing was broken or
smashed by the time of arrival. (Especially eggs!)
Saturdays and especially end-of-the-month Saturdays were very busy. Many folk went to town, dropped off their order and picked it up on their way
home which may be as late as after the pictures. All orders, small and large were left on the front verandah. Never once in 30 years was ever anything stolen. Rarely there was a mix up but never stolen. Mum did get nervous at times listening to matches being
struck to read labels with a drum of petrol nearby!
There was a large frig/freezer in the shop and in the early days cordial drinks were restricted to raspberry and sarsaparilla. That was before bottled
cordials from Tinsons Quirindi. Their real specialty was milk shakes with fresh full cream milk from their own cows. Ice creams were a real treat and they came in long cylinders packed in dry ice on the passenger train. As young things we learned to serve
early but reaching the bottom of the ice cream churn was beyond me.
Before the telephone went automatic all the shop's business was conducted on a party line of seven. Our call was three shorts but
anyone could pick up the receiver and listen in!
As the years went by and the business grew, help was needed. Included were Libby Maunder, Joan Henry, Marion Wood, Marj Smith, Gwen Gardiner/Press,
and Marilyn Tickle (who left to marry Bowden Smith.)
Murray started school riding his bike to Warrah Creek. By the time I started in 1947 Cecil Carted started a bus run to Willow Tree in an old side
curtain car, picking up at Old Warrah, Warrah Station and Ronda Schofield.
We soon out grew the car and Cecil got a flatbed truck and put a canvas canopy over it with forms along each side and a step
ladder to climb in. It was pitch dark inside so he put in a tiny light bulb. Wouldn't pass OH and S today! If my memory serves me this was used to pick up as far out as Jack's Creek when that school closed and I am sure the Howard Family can better tell the
later story. It wasn't until 1955 that there was a High School bus going past the shop.
As I was almost ready to leave home Wendy and Darrell came along to keep Bill and Thel company. With such a spread
out family, Dad was on the P and C at Willow Tree Public School so long they made him Patron!
All the Binghams went to the monthly Methodist Church at "the little grey church on the windy hill." This
was halfway between Jack's and Warrah Creeks. Mum played the pedal organ. It was interesting when wet as the up hill road on Jacks Creek side was a slippery black soil track and on the other side was a creek crossing. (Depending on how deep it was.) As a young
one I used to be terrified the little Austin 7 would never make it up the steep bank.