C-Day, 1958

This is just a quick note to remind everyone we will close for the Christmas – New Year holidays at 12.30pm on Friday, 23 December 2016.  We will re-open as normal at 9am on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

Christmas in 1958 in Wagga Wagga was a busy time. So much so that The Daily Advertiser of December 23 warned readers that “C Day” was approaching rapidly.

Many local stores were reporting excellent trading: “Store managers said yesterday they had never experienced such a busy morning as last Saturday, and yesterday was much busier than expected. Most managers said Christmas trading was well in excess of the last few years…”

The Daily Advertiser also carried a large number of advertisements offering last minute gift ideas. Suggestions from David Jones’, the “Store of the Christmas spirit”, included hand-made Italian ties, handkerchiefs, socks, cigars, cigarettes, and bottle openers for him; and for her, stockings, slippers, perfumes and night gowns.

David Jones christmas decorations
David Jones Christmas decorations, c.1960s [from the Lennon Collection, RW1574/97].

Wagga Legacy had grand plans to sell at least 800 Christmas trees, and Huthwaites’ ran an innovative guessing competition where people had to guess the weight of a car filled with groceries. Over 140,000 entry forms had been distributed by the store, with the prize being the car and the groceries inside. Mr M.C. Cather from Forest Hill won with a correct guess of 18cwt (hundredweight), 2 quarters, 13 pounds and 12 ounces (or approximately 940 kgs).

Purchasing food supplies over the Christmas break might have been a problem for families. Stores closed on Wednesday (Christmas Eve) and most did not reopen until the following Monday (December 29). Bread was a particular problem. “No bread will be baked after tomorrow until next Monday. Extra bread will be baked to enable households to stock up, but bakers said to be on the safe side customers should place their Christmas orders early.”

How Christmas has changed in Wagga in the 58 years!

Santa RW1574.237.744
A bemused Santa, c. 1960s [from the Lennon Collection, RW1574/237/744].

Have a very merry Christmas and we hope to see you all in the new year.


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