The family home where Charmian was born

  • <p>2019. The blue house on the right is where Charmian lived as a child. The house was single-storey, similar to the house next door. The house has been renovated and a second storey added.</p>
  • <p>2019.Charmian's childhood home was originally a single-storey cottage.</p>
  • <p>c.1910. Looking north; the quarry workers cottages of North Kiama, facing onto Sydney Rd and the outlet of the creek.</p>
  • <p>c.1910. This is the enclosed world that Charmian regarded as the centre of the earth. You can see the quarry workers cottages lined up in front of the highway to the right of the creek. The cottage closest to the railway bridge was the Clift's home. Bombo Headland, where Charmian's father worked is in the background.</p>
  • Listen to the audio

The family home where Charmian was born

1 Hothersal St, Kiama

South end of Bombo Beach, off Gipps St, at the creek end of Hothersal St.

Charmian was born in Kiama on the 30th August, 1923. She was the third child to Sydney and Amy Clift (nee Currie). She had an older sister Margaret and an older brother Barre. The family home from 1916-1937 was the very last house on the left side of Hothersal St heading north, right next to the creek. The road was known as Sydney Road as it was the highway into Kiama from the north. The Clift's house was the last house in the municipality of Kiama, which added to Charmian's general feeling of having 'outsider status'. The house was a primitive single-storey weatherboard cottage (the last one (in a line of cottages that were built for the quarry labourers).

Syd Clift was a senior engineer at the quarry and could have lived in a much nicer home, but he chose to live with the workers in these rough cottages.

The family lived here until Charmian was 14 years old.

Today the house is a double-storey blue coloured weatherboard house that has been renovated from the original single-storey cottage.

Audio passage: Charmian Clift, 'The End of the Morning', unpublished typescript, Charmian Clift Collection, National Library of Australia.