Guesthouses at Flinders - Oral History
Interview with Lesleigh and Robert Bond
Co-ordination: Pam Marshall and Sue Smith, Flinders District Historical Society
Production: Way Back When and Lavender Hill Multimedia, 2014
Flinders District Historical Society
Lesleigh and Robert Bond reflect on their memories as children growing up at St Andrew's Guesthouse.
Lesleigh: Well it had twenty-eight bedrooms in it, and there were singles and doubles, and there was one sunroom, which was the honeymoon suite, which in those days was just a big room. We seated about sixty-four people for breakfast, lunch and dinner, constantly.
Robert: It was basically full on with golfers, you know. And the Easter tournament was probably the busiest time. Although Christmas was busy, Easter was full on because they all had different times they hit off and wanted meals at different times. And Christmas was full on for six weeks.
Lesleigh: The xylophone. Mum would ring the xylophone every mealtime for people to come down to the dining room. And everybody knew where they sat, and we had the most beautiful damask serviettes and tablecloths and everybody had their own and they had their own ring – serviette ring. And then there was a full-on menu – it wasn't just buffet or anything. It was a full-on menu, and for breakfast there was always cereal and stuff and eggs and bacon.
Robert: The ovens were big – the old-fashioned ovens. And the fridges were big, they were roof high.
Lesleigh: The fridges had eight doors on them, and the stoves – there were eight jets I think and two huge ovens. Huge ovens, because we used to cook six or seven legs of lamb and six roasts of beef every meal – every dinner time. So they had to be big.
Robert: Well I know the history, people stayed there, like Peter Thomson and because, being a golfer, he used to stay there. Sir Henry Winneke, before they built at Shoreham.
Lesleigh: this couple came down – I don’t know if you remember it but I don’t know their names, so that doesn’t matter. And they’re having a lovely weekend and Dad…
Robert: I was just going to tell that too!
Lesleigh: As they were leaving Dad’d say goodbye, and then for some unknown reason, I don’t know why, but Mum went into the room and checked and found a razor – an electric razor, and gave it to the lady. And then we never heard anymore and then the phone rang, oh, I don’t know, the next morning or something, and the lady said to Dad ‘I don’t suppose my husband’s razor’s down there is it?’ And Dad said, ‘Oh I gave it to you as you were walking into the car.’ Oops! (laughs)
Robert: Never saw them again.
Lesleigh: No. (laughs). Dad didn't get up until very late because he would entertain the guests in the lounge room, and he would sort of go to bed at four o'clock and then he'd get up in the morning and say 'Those guests, they kept me awake all night, all chatting.' And then the guests would say 'God your father can talk. Kept us up all night.' And it was an ongoing thing, particularly over the summer period.
Robert: You know, motels were just coming in, and as I said before, that was the big essence of the guest house. A community base really. You all get together. Whereas, motels you get a key, you get hey, goodbye.
Lesleigh: They’re doing more travelling and don’t want to stop in one particular place for too long and motels are out there now.
Robert: It was sold to a developer and he was going to subdivide it and he wanted a little bit of the golf club land and they wouldn’t give it to him, so in the end Doug Jennings bought it and the golf club took all of it back, which in a round about way they could have had a residential guest house still there. So the bowling club’s there now, and the second hole’s called ‘St Andrew’s’, so the history’s still there.