ICONIC DEVICE: Judy King, of Richmond Hill, has fond memories of the Hills Hoist in backyards across Sydney in the 1950s.
ICONIC DEVICE: Judy King, of Richmond Hill, has fond memories of the Hills Hoist in backyards across Sydney in the 1950s. Marc Stapelberg

When it comes to clotheslines the Hills Hoist rules

Judy King, of Richmond Hill, remembers how the thought of swinging on a Hills Hoist clothesline was absolutely tantalising but how she was also under strict instructions parental instructions not to.

"We were told never to swing on it because it could put it out of balance,' Mrs King said.

Instead she believes they grabbed onto a tea towel and ran with it to twirl the clothes line as if it were in the wind.

"But the mother's got to love their Hills Hoist because the clothes dried a lot quicker," she said.

Mrs King said before the Hills Hoist most people used a 'line and prop' in the 40's and she remembered the prop man coming round on street to sell props.

The problem was that if it fell your clothes ended up on the ground.

"It was probably round the 50's that everyone got wind of the Hills Hoist and then everybody starting buying them and all the fathers started to cement their Hills Hoist into the backyard," Mrs King said.

"In no time at all, towards the end of the 1950's most households in Sydney had a a Hills Hoist.

"There were not too many pools in the backyards, but thousands of Hills Hoists.

"It would have made a good aerial picture."

It is no surprise then that the Hills Hoist has been named Australia's "Most Trusted Iconic Brand" for the fifth consecutive year in the 18th annual Reader's Digest Trusted Brand survey.

Created in 1945 by Lance Hill for his wife to use in their Adelaide backyard, the brand has gone on to be voted ahead of Qantas, SPC, Akubra and Arnotts.

In 1974, a Darwin family reported that the only thing left standing, and working, after Cyclone Tracy was their Hills Hoist.

Mrs King said she had fond memories of their Hills Hoist.

"You could decorate your Hills Hoist with balloons and streamers, or cover it in plastic to make a makeshift gazeebo.

"We enjoyed winding it up and down as a kid."

Mrs King said she remembered hearing a story about a lady who used it to lose weight.

Mrs King said she tied a rope to the corner and walked round in circles and ended up losing a large amount of weight by doing that rather than walking in the street.

"I was excited to see it make an appearance in the opening of the Sydney Olympics," she said.

"It was very appropriate.

"I like the metal ones because it reminds me of my childhood, it has an aesthetics and a bit of charm."