REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Peering through the layers to discover more about ourselves, then and now

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My husband and I bought our first home with the aim of reviving our little slice of 1960s architecture.

You would expect to learn a bit of history when renovating a house, but we didn't know we would uncover our own personal stash of archives.

Our first renovation step was to change the carpet. It had to go.

It wasn't a daggy colour or style. It was just worn down and, honestly, kind of had a faint, odd smell.

Friends helped us cut through the dusty layer to unveil brightly coloured lino, which was interesting in itself.

Peeling it away we made a bonus discovery.

A layer of surprisingly preserved newspapers and magazines from more than 70 years ago peered through.

Among the discovery was a May 1945 edition of the Australian Women's Weekly, various pages from the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner's Advocate and comics.

My eyes darted across the floor, unsure where to look first.

I saw a photo of Sydney Harbour without the Opera House, read stories of soldiers who had returned from war in 1945, just in time for Christmas.

The papers were in good condition despite their age, sheltered from the environment by the colourful lino barrier.

It was amazing to see what had changed, and yet, eye-opening to realise a lot hadn't.

Should taxes increase? Who's doing what? Reports of quarrels between countries and neighbours were sandwiched within the questions of the day.

It made me think of what life would have been like living in this house when they laid the papers.

What family memories unfolded between when they laid that lino and we tore it up? I'm sure they never thought a journo would uncover it decades later.

It's so amazing what you learn when you look beneath the surface.

Those papers of yesterday's news, which lay unseen for years, became something of significance to a journalist who bought them decades later.

Looking back on history allows us to learn from mistakes and reminisce on what worked.

To anyone else it could have been an interesting novelty. But, I'm glad that a journalist found them.

It may have been a different time with its own struggles and joys, but maybe we weren't that different after all.

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