Tag Archives: hitchiking

Hitching a Ride Cross Town — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

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Hitching a Ride  Cross Town — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers
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In The 1940’s
As a child, for some reason the fascination with trains and the tracks was always there.  Maybe it was due to the fact my Dad rode the trains from New Brunswick to Ottawa after he went to find his Mom who had left  him in England.  He had little money in his pocket when he arrived in Canada and this was a way to travel the country and not have to pay.
I spent much time watching the trains, there were side tracks between Montreal Road and McArthur Road.  On certain tracks they would drop of various sections of the train..  There was a place for Oil Tank cars to be emptied into the Permanent oil tanks.  There were cattle cars filled with Cattle to be dropped off at the slaughter house.  Now this was not a nice place one could hear  the cattle and the end result was not a good one.
Across the two lane of tracks was National Grocer and they had a set of tracks to drop off the groceries, to be delivered to the various stores in the area.  Fruits and Vegetables arrived this way, we sometimes would investigate the premises of these box cars and sample the goods.  Now workers from National Grocery would spot us and tell us of the many spiders that could be found in the bananas.  This did not deter us for when the thought of fresh fruit  took over we would once again investigate. I did very well climbing the cars once again I was with the boys.  (A BIT OF A BAD CHILD – MAYBE  – sure no prissy little girl.)  Now one has  to remember FRESH Fruit was a luxury item as money was tight.
I had become at ease with the trains and had little fear.  I would wait for them to stop at the various spots and before long would be climbing on the ladders, hanging on and going to the next stop and jumping off.  Our neighbors and playmates had moved from Gardner Street to Queen Mary Road in Overbrook, I was rather bored and came up with the idea that maybe I should ride the train to see the kids.  I could drop off on Queen Mary Street, as it was a crossing and the train went slower, I was quite confident and though this will be easy.
Now one gets to know the times of the trains so it was not hard to plan my time. .  You soon realize that the train usually slowed down between the Montreal Road and McArthur Road. Over to the tracks I went and when the train was going by I reached for the rail.  I was so intent on what I was doing I hadn’t noticed my Dad was behind me.  Just as I was reaching he grabbed me by the back of my clothes.  At that moment I was never so frightened for I thought I was going to fall under the train and be run over.
I do not think my feet touched the ground the whole way home. And I did get punished.
YES THE BUTT WAS RED
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historicalnotes
The Vanier Parkway, specifically the portion between Prince Albert and Beechwood, was constructed along the same route that once carried the tracks of the Bytown and Prescott Railway Company through the commercial, industrial and residential areas of today’s Overbrook, Vanier and New Edinburgh. At the time the railway was constructed, this area of the Ottawa region was known as Junction Gore—the northwestern corner of Gloucester Township located at the junction of the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers.
The area continued to grow and small businesses started to open up along Montreal Road and McArthur. By 1909, the villages of Janeville, Clarkstown and Clandeboye amalgamated to form the new village, and then town, of Eastview. Sizable vacant lots along the railway provided the opportunity for larger industries to set up shop.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

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If You are Unemployed in Almonte- Hitchike to Carleton Place

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Photo-Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in “It Happened One Night.” Credit Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

 

In a September 1950 issue of the Almonte Gazette the townsfolk of Almonte were so furious the editor went to his typewriter to complain loudly.

 

It is understood that the Unemployment Insurance Commission has terminated the practice of sending an employee from the Carleton Place office to Almonte to deal with the claims of persons out of work in this town. We don’t know who is responsible for this decision but it works a distinct hardship on those who must figure out some way of getting to Carleton Place once every two weeks.

If it were an indication that unemployment conditions, here, were no longer serious it might be accepted as a reasonable step, but this is not the case according to our information. It is said that there are still some 141 local persons under part or full time compensation, and the idea of all of them trying to thumb their way to Carleton Place seems very unjust. Employers and employes in Almonte pay into the funds of the Unemployment Insurance Commission in the same way that is done by those liable in other towns where the Government set up branches. It seems outrageous that workers should be penalized because they live in a town close enough to a larger one that the Dominion Governm ent feels it can save money by making the one office do. Many of these claimants, practically all of whom arc textile workers, should blame the Dominion!

On top of that they are required to pay or beg for transportation to the nearest unemployment Insurance office. It sounds like something out of this world. Unless our information as to the number of local people affected is incorrect, the least that could be done is for the Commission to keep on sending an official over her to deal with.

 

F. C McDiarmid of Carleton Place —Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

Almonte cases rather than have 141 unemployed going seven miles to demand what is their right. If there were only a few out of work, here, as was the case in normal times, the arrangement we complain of would cause no particular hardship, although we can’t see where it is justified even if only a dozen claimants were on the roil. In the above we are not blaming Mr. Frank McDiarmid who is in charge of the Carleton Place office. No doubt the action taken is in accordance with a general policy laid down by Departmental officials at Ottawa. After all Almonte is not the only town located close to a larger one that might be affected by the factors mentioned above.

Read the Almonte Gazette here

historicalnotes

 

F. C McDiarmid was a Merchant at Men’s and Boy’s Outfitters on Bridge Street. 

Unemployment-Annual average rates of 3% to 5% were common in Canada before 1958 and from 1964 to 1969. From 1958 to 1963 and in the early 1970s, 5% to 7% rates prevailed. Women’s unemployment rates were likely lower than those of men in the 1950s and 1960s, but became higher in the 1970s as more women participated more regularly in the labour force.

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Hitchhiking— Hitchhiking apparently, irked local police officials, as well as the F.B.I. First, in the late 1950s, the F.B.I. began warning American motorists that hitchhikers might be criminals.

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 Nov 1930, Mon,  Page 4