Good things come to those who wait, and Phyllis Murray-Carter has been waiting for a very long time — 53 years, to be precise.
Finally, after decades enduring torrents of rain bringing gravel and other debris down the hill into her property, of wading through puddles to get out to the shops or even of staying inside because the road was impassable, Ms Murray-Carter is celebrating a newly sealed road outside her Hazelbrook house.
The 86-year-old’s smile told the story as she stood and admired the little stretch of Railway Parade that seemed to have been forgotten.
The octogenarian, who needs regular medications, said she had been frequently stuck during wet weather.
“I couldn’t get the car out to go to the chemist or anything,” she said.
After particularly heavy downpours, council had to get a grader to come and remove the dirt and other debris that piled up near her driveway.
Over the years she had repeatedly asked for the road to be sealed but said “I’ve been told so many fairy tales about when it would happen that you could fill up a nursery rhyme book with them”.
Ms Murray-Carter first came to Hazelbrook in 1961. In those days, few of the roads around her were sealed and even the highway was gravel in patches.
Bit by bit, neighbouring streets were resurfaced, including the other end of Railway Parade.
But for Ms Murray-Carter and her four neighbours in their short strip, it was puddles at 50 paces.
The newsagent refused to deliver papers because of the potentially dangerous conditions and she had trouble getting tradesmen to come. In January she finally contacted Clr Romola Hollywood, who took up her case.
Clr Hollywood said “it seemed odd that her small section at the bottom of the street wasn’t sealed when the top part of the road was”.
“When I raised the matter with our council officers, I was told that sealing this section of the road had been on the agenda for some years but it was put on hold because of the highway upgrade.
“It’s great news that now that it [the highway] is finished council has been able to finally finish this small section of road sealing... making life a bit easier for its residents,” Clr Hollywood said.
Ms Murray-Carter was simply thrilled.
“I just come out and walk up the road and I think, ‘isn’t it lovely?’