Relatives and links: Rae Ballantyne, Barbara Haynes nee Ballantyne, Barrie West
James Ballantyne was born in Scotland on 4 March 1888. After completing his apprenticeship as a gardener he migrated to Australia before World War I. In December 1919 he was discharged after serving with the Australian Army overseas. In 1923 James was allocated a soldier settler’s block of seven and a half acres right on the River Torrens on the western side of River Road, St James Park, now known as Findon Road, Kidman Park. The bridge, at the time and until 1937 when the Keele Bridge was built, was a narrow plank. James grew a range of vegetables including: tomatoes; cauliflowers; turnips; spinach; radishes and lettuces which he sold at the East End Market. He focused more on potatoes and celery from the 1940s. The celery was sold in Melbourne and Sydney.
James married Muriel Langsford Brown in 1929. Rae was born on 7th January 1933, and Barbara, on 22 April 1935. They grew up assisting their parents in the market garden. In their interviews Rae and Barbara recall helping their parents and ploughing the land with a horse. Rae worked full-time in the garden with his father for ten years until he was 25 years. Their father knew some of the Italian market gardeners along Valetta and Findon Roads and employed Italian men at harvest time. The Ballantynes sold their land in 1958/59 to Eyles warehouse. In their retirement, they kept half an acre, and grew flowers. Muriel died in 1973, and James, in 1977. Both Rae and his wife, Nancy, and Barbara and her husband, Russell Haynes, bought houses at Kidman Park.
Rae Ballantyne and Barbara Haynes were interviewed for the project in 2012. In their interviews they provide their memories of growing up on the market gardens and their parents’ hard work.
Interview summaries and transcripts
Currently we are redoing our transcripts and they will be made available soon