Suicide Hill

Up from my place there was what we used to call Suicide Hill. It was the gully that runs parallel to Fairfax Street and which is now the stormwater drain. It wasn't unknown for slug-gun and shang-hai fights to be had up there. Shang-hais were whatever one manufactured at home with the fork of a stick. The more sophisticated actually got a bit of flat steel and bent it up into a handle and there was always bicycle inner-tube rubber and bits of copper wire to put the little leather tongue in to hold the rock.

We used to take our billly-carts up on to Suicide Hill which is up the top of Wongoola Close. And we'd come down. There was about a 15 foot flat area and then it dropped. It seemed to me an enormous drop - it was probably only about 8 or 9 feet. There were a few injuries sustained there with people who couldn't turn their billy-carts around. We also made billy-carts. Billy Kinnane's father used to work at the old Black Mountain tip and we used to get hold of old steering wheels from cars at the tip. We found a method of making billy-carts with steering wheels and if you wound the steering rope around the wrong way, you had to turn the wheel in the opposite direction to the way you wanted to go. So that got a bit confusing on occasions. But that was a sort of preamble to our later years, our more juvenile years with old Holdens and VWs, where we pulled them apart and some of the backyards around our area looked like wrecking yards.

Michael LeGrand, 4 Macarthur Avenue, 1954-1991 (oral history interview 1996)



•  Cowboys and cracker nights

•  The cross on the chimney

•  Dressing up

•  Suicide hill

•  Visiting

•  Todd Street ceilidhs

•  Square dancing

•  Dances and a keg of beer

•  Sunday at the Raccosta's

Story Index | Image Gallery

The Tocumwal Archive was first developed by Mary Hutchison and Katherine Pepper with the support of
PhotoAccess and funds from the ACT Government through its Heritage Council.

Page design and construction by Adrian Redman