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respectable people who lived in spreading suburbs such as Harbord, Brookvale and Dee Why

        Our house faced the lagoon, looking across it to the flat of Manly and Fairlight hill beyond.   Behind us,  Warringah spread out along a twenty mile chain of beaches to Barrenjoey headland, at the mouth of Broken Bay.   We were very much on a border, which divided the genteel, tinselled resort from a more rustic expansion of suburbia.

        A trip to town for us involved a bus to the Manly wharf, the terminus for all the local routes.   Here we mixed with the holiday makers.   During the war, there were crowds of uniformed men, Australian and American, with compliant girls on their arms.   Sometimes they gave us children pieces of chewing gum: but I was warned not to collect the strange white balloons that they left to float on the tide.

         In the fifties, sailors and soldiers still brought their girls across in the ferry for a day's fun; and they were joined by young people from western Sydney, who lived far from the surf.   On summer weekends they all streamed through the Village, headed for the beach.

        At night, the Corso sparkled with coloured lights and rang with laughter.

        Manly maintained an informal veneer.   Everybody was expected to dress as if on holiday, whether they  

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