The shack had almost no storage space. Mum needed somewhere during summer to store her blankets and extra linen.
I’m told by Faye that Dad created the box from tea chests he had during his time in the army. The box is 70cm long, 60cm high and wide. The inside is lined with old fashioned tar paper, the kind that has a brown paper on each side of tar. I’ve no idea how it was made. Perhaps the tar was brushed onto heavy brown paper, with a second piece of paper stuck on top. It has survived very well, retaining the familiar tar like smell. A spare piece of this paper sits on the floor of the box. The box is very solid, making a great seat.
The boards are held together with nails, with smaller pieces of timber on all upright edges. On the front is a small handle, which looks more like a door knocker, and is totally useless apart from aesthetics. Prior to cleaning, this was almost black. Now it shines like brass, the central semi-circle section being almost pink.
All my life, this box was painted a glossy cream colour. Geoff helped me sand the worst of the flaking paint away. He reinforced the bottom of the box, and repaired any timber coming loose. I have since re-painted the box a milk chocolate brown colour in semi-gloss, called “Nomad”, over any remaining cracked paint; which gives the box an old appearance. This paint was chosen for obvious reasons – the box, like it’s owners has been nomadic.
After we moved to a farm near Nangus NSW, I remember Mum always storing her sewing fabrics in the box. I remember this from the few times I was allowed into Mum and Dad’s room to help with something.
The box had many homes (over 20), travelling everywhere with my parents, living in different rooms in different houses. It’s last home while Mum still owned it, was in Canberra. I have moved it three more times since. It has housed rocks from all over Australia, spare light globes and many bottles of essential oils in little boxes for me.
Today it sits snugly in the corner of our new back room, fully restored, on bricks so no water can touch the bottom; and for now it is empty.
A big thank you to Dad for creating the box. It has made many memories for our family, with more adventures to come.