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Living in Cottesloe

For John Curtin, Cottesloe was refreshing and spacious after the populated streets of Brunswick, Melbourne. He enjoyed its proximity to the ocean and the state's warm climate:

Cottesloe Jetty from the south, 1920. The beach was a short walk from the Curtin’s rented house in Napier Street and, subsequently, their home in Jarrad Street, Cottesloe. Watercolour by Elsie Curtin’s father Abraham Needham Records of the Curtin family JCPML00374/4

..looking out across the winking light on Rottnest Island towards the blue sky and the rim of the Indian Ocean. 

In [a]... lovely city, with its red roofs, salt breezes, and whirring windmills, with virgin bush among the houses and unspoiled foreshore, they [West Australians] live pleasantly and happily... [4]

The holiday atmosphere at Cottesloe Beach is captured on this postcard from the 1910s, around the time of the Curtins’ move to Cottesloe. Courtesy Cottesloe–Peppermint Grove–Mosman Park Libraries CPM00125

'John always had a hankering for the sea' Elsie was to recall later, although she wrote that he was to see very little of it except at weekends. [5]

Steam trains coming and going at the nearby Cottesloe Station could always be heard in the Jarrad Street house. John Curtin travelled by train to and from the Worker, which was close to the station in Perth, each day.

Walks with the family dog were an opportunity for Curtin to think out his speeches and, frequently, to contend with 'the old bogey': his fits of depression.


Next:  The home

  • 1910_Post_card_of_Cottesloe_MosmanParkLibrariesCPM00125.jpg
    1910_Post_card_of_Cottesloe_MosmanParkLibrariesCPM00125.jpg
    1910 Post card of Cottesloe MosmanParkLibrariesCPM00125
  • Claremont_train_station_Mosman_Park_Libraries_CPM00663.jpg
    Claremont_train_station_Mosman_Park_Libraries_CPM00663.jpg
    Claremont train station Mosman Park Libraries CPM00663
  • Fremantle_Oval_1927_Fremantle_City_Library-1917.jpg
    Fremantle_Oval_1927_Fremantle_City_Library-1917.jpg
    Fremantle Oval 1927 Fremantle City Library-1917
  • Holman_House_home of the Westralian Worker_Perth_1920_JCPML01137-5.jpg
    Holman_House_home of the Westralian Worker_Perth_1920_JCPML01137-5.jpg
    Holman House home of the Westralian Worker Perth 1920 JCPML01137-5
  • John_and_Elsie_Curtin_with_their_children_1922.jpg
    John_and_Elsie_Curtin_with_their_children_1922.jpg
    John and Elsie Curtin with their children 1922
  • John_Curtin_with_Elise_and_children_outside_home_in_Cottesloe_1942.jpg
    John_Curtin_with_Elise_and_children_outside_home_in_Cottesloe_1942.jpg
    John Curtin with Elise and children outside home in Cottesloe 1942
  • View_south_from_Cottesloe_beach.jpg
    View_south_from_Cottesloe_beach.jpg
    View south from Cottesloe beach
  • View_to_Rottnest_Island_Cottesloe_beach.jpg
    View_to_Rottnest_Island_Cottesloe_beach.jpg
    View to Rottnest Island Cottesloe beach
  • Watercolour_of_seaside_scene_signed_AN_1920.jpg
    Watercolour_of_seaside_scene_signed_AN_1920.jpg
    Watercolour of seaside scene signed AN 1920
  • Watercolour_of_train_by_seaside_signed_AN_1920.jpg
    Watercolour_of_train_by_seaside_signed_AN_1920.jpg
    Watercolour of train by seaside signed AN 1920
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