Dear Share Your Story,
I started work as a teenager at Woodhill’s General Store in the then country town of Richmond NSW, as a shop assistant in the Menswear Department.
With the outbreak of WWll in 1939, I enlisted and served with the Royal Australian Engineers in Papua New Guinea from 1941 and returned to Australia in October, 1945. At the end of WWll, returned servicemen were offered training in a range of fields. By this time I had returned to my position at Woodhill’s General Store, but quickly took up the chance to further my career by enrolling in a Ticket Writing and Window Dressing Course at Sydney Technical College.
I took the course by correspondence because of the distance from Richmond to Sydney. In 1946, after my enrolment was accepted, I was sent a drawing board, tee square, various sized brushes, lettering samples and worksheets.
These worksheets were completed and returned by post for assessment and feedback each month. The next month’s tasks were then sent by return mail. I completed the course over 12 months.
Woodhill’s General Store had 24,000 square feet of retail area with four large, street facing shopfIt windows. The store, an icon of the early days of Richmond and the Hawkesbury District, had many departments including menswear, ladies wear, childrenswear, haberdashery, foot wear, farm produce, timber, hardware, explosives, furniture, floor coverings, electrical, marine, giftware, kitchenware and liquor.
With so much variety within the store, I had ample opportunity to practice and apply my training and skills. I went on to work in many departments of the store and at all levels of management, including a number of different store ownerships. In 1987, the store closed and I retired as the last manager.