by John Hood
The Hood Family started in Castle Hill in 1932 after moving from Canada. Alexander Hood and his wife Agnes were both in their 40s when they arrived. There was Peter Hood, who was about ten, Alex who was eight, and not long after that the Riverstone chapter was to unfold. My grandmother gave my grandfather a nudge and said “how about one more child”. Then John Hood arrived, a blue eyed blond. My grandmother was a very strong Christian, a Methodist lady with a very strong Scottish accent, who I remember as a grand lady.
From what I can gather my father, John Hood, left home to go west at the age of about sixteen, (he attended Castle Hill Primary school till that age). He worked on a sheep station between Trangie, Cobar and the surrounding area. Being a jackaroo he met my mother Elizabeth Ann Hayes. She was a shearer’s cook somewhere out there and they returned back to Castle Hill to get married. There they bought 2½ acres from my grandmother (who owned five acres in Carrington Road, Castle Hill where the Hills Centre is now). On the 2½ acres my father built our family home, a 2-3 bedroom fibro and tile home. I came along, then Alan came along 18 months later, and after about five years my sister Sybil was born, then last of the line, Phillip Thomas Hood.
My mother had a mishap on Windsor and Schofield Roads with our 1937 Willys car. It sat in the back yard for a while. One day while my father was at work logging at Glenorie, a chap who also had a Willys car pulled up and wanted to buy the engine. He came back that night and saw dad and bought the motor out of it. That’s how the wrecking yard started on the 2½ acres not long after. It was covered in old cars being wrecked for spare parts. Baulkham Hills council wanted us out! We got enough money to buy 2½ acres at Riverstone at the corner of Melbourne Street and Riverstone Parade where the Famous Auto Undertakers started. We even had a 44 Chev Hearse to do our deliveries with. Now the yard, on two building blocks, is run by myself and my brother Phillip and is called Western Wreckers.