OUR CITY OUR FUTURE: Wilfred Wickham

THE GOOD LIFE: Wilfred Wickham wishes he had a little more spare time.
THE GOOD LIFE: Wilfred Wickham wishes he had a little more spare time. Jonno Colfs

AFTER spending more than 70 years in Karara, living and working on the land, Wilfred Wickham along with wife Margaret, sold the farm and moved into Warwick two and a half years ago.

While a transition like that can be hard for some, Mr Wickham said he had coped well with city life.

"I actually thought I'd have more time,” he said.

"I'd like a little more to be honest.

"I guess I keep myself pretty busy, tinkering away in the man-shed and catching up with mates from time-to-time.

"You couldn't really ask for a better place to enjoy retirement though.”

Mr Wickham was born during World War II in a maternity hospital known as Welford House situated at the southern end of Palmerin St.

On a small faded piece of paper in his wallet Mr Wickham read out the names of two other maternity houses where his parents were born.

"There used to be these places all over Warwick, where babies were born back in the day,” he said.

"In 1919 my mum was born at Brianawara House in Fitzroy St, which was near Plumbs Chambers.

"And dad was born at Garthowen House in Palmerin St in 1916, but I've never discovered exactly where that was and no one has been able to tell me.”

An excellent athlete in his youth, Mr Wickham left school at 15 and spent the next few years shearing and working on farms in the Western Downs.

"Dad worked on the family farm and also had a small Atlantic fuel depot,” he said.

"We used to deliver fuel to farms around the district.

"I was driving around delivering fuel at 15 - when I finally went to get my licence, the Leyburn copper laughed and said he'd seen me driving around already.

"He let me off and gave me licence after a quick drive around.”

Finally buying a farm of his own in 1975, Mr Wickham spent 40 years battling the seasons.

"The first 20 years were good, the next 20 not so much, but we did okay,” he said.

"I tried growing sunflowers once, for three years. First year no birds, second year they hit the crop around harvest time and the third year there were thousands of them.”

Mr Wickham said Warwick was no longer a quiet country town.

"There once was a time I knew everyone, but not any more, it's changed a lot,” he said.

"But I think it's got a good future ahead.”

Topics:  jonno colfs our city our future warwick community warwick people

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