Dunmore residents adjust to life in dead end

When Thelma Williams moved into her Dunmore home 54 years ago, Oak Flats and surrounds "was just a bare paddock".

"There was one train a day and a few houses at Minnamurra, but not many, most were holiday homes," Mrs Williams said.

"This street those days was called Main Rd, then it was The Terrace. We used to get letters for both."

Mrs Williams's street was later called Jamberoo Rd, Shellharbour Rd and now after the road's recent closure to accommodate the Oak Flats to Dunmore Princes Hwy upgrade, it is known as Dunmore Rd.

Mrs Williams said the street was known as The Terraces because in the late 1930s about 15 almost identical homes were built for workers at the Dunmore Quarry.

At first rented out, they were later sold off to the workers. Since then many have been modified, and some knocked down.

"There were about 15 along here, all belonged to the quarry," Mrs Williams said.

While many have welcomed the road's closure, Mrs Williams says she is not happy with the new dead end and the new roundabout further north in particular.

And while the traffic has reduced, she says there are still plenty of cars in the area as GPS systems continue to send people the wrong way.

On top of that she has lost her bus service and the train station - which she now relies so heavily on - is soon to be replaced by a new station further up the line at Flinders.

Despite this, she still loves living at Dunmore.

"I still have friends in the street, and the people next door look after me," she said.

Further down the road is Hilda Johnson, who has lived in her home for 40 years.

She also expressed her frustration at the number of cars that still come down.

"You watch the caravans coming down for nothing," she said.

Mrs Johnson is also not happy to see the Dunmore railway station station go, and the highway is now very noisy, but after 40-odd years your home "gets into your blood".

A few doors up live Joan and Leo Irving, whose old quarry house is slightly larger than the rest.

Their property used to be the quarry's manager's residence where board meetings would take place, directors and guests put up in the cottage next door.

Mrs Irving says she is happy with the dead end as it has taken the trucks off the road.

"It has always been a good place to be," Mrs Irving said.

Mr Irving bought the house 42 years ago - attracted by the tree in the front yard.

"The only reason we are not in a retirement home is they won't let Leo build a shed down the back to bash around in like he has now," she laughed. "It is nice and quiet and that's the way we like it."

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