Category Archives: Progress

Providing News


2015-12-30 11.45.56 Berowra News Paper banner  Jan 1972  2

The above newspaper was first published in August 1971 by the Berowra Progress Association. It was a free 8 to 10 page (44 x 31cm) monthly publication and, as you can see, distributed to all local suburbs.

This paper carried local news, also adverts for local businesses, details of community activities, usually with a selection of related black & white photographs.     

One regular column was ROUNDABOUT – with Mary which reported on some of the activities of local residents. The following is from the p4 January 1972 column.

‘..Christmas parties are all behind us -the giant Christmas tree at the Crossroads and a visit from ‘Skippy’ to the Village Shopping Centre -a busy time and now many local families are enjoying their annual holidays. Most of the holiday makers headed for favourite haunts on the North Coast -South West Rocks, Lake Cathie etc..’

Who can recall the giant Christmas tree at the Crossroads? Do you have a photo to share please?

The ‘Skippy’ visit to Berowra features in the blog of January 16th 2015.

Do you know how long this Newspaper was published?

These days Berowra is quieter for the next few weeks while families go away for holidays.

berowralivinghistory acknowledges the donation of a number of copies of Berowra and District News  papers from Mary Budd.




Tagged , , , , ,

Marking The Occasion

Extracted from the Hornsby and District Advocate of Thursday April 3rd,1952

Extracted from the Hornsby and District Advocate of Thursday April 3rd,1952

‘Berowra’s Open Air Pictures’ was a blog subject back in November 2011.

It turns out that Cinema Indoor & Outdoor was just one of a number of things organised by the Crossroads Community Advancement Co-Operative Society Limited. Also included were Tennis Courts, Mobile Clinic, Kindergarten, Monthly Sale, and an Annual Flower and Orchid Show.

Opening of the Co Op 1951 in Alan Rd Berowra- from the collection of Eric & Iris Frost

Opening of the Co Op 1951 in Alan Rd Berowra- from the collection of Eric & Iris Frost

Were you or your family involved with any of the above? Please share your experience with us through this blog site.


Tagged , , ,

Out Along Turner Road


In 1974, long time Berowra resident Tony Sneddon wrote an excellent, detailed geography assignment on Berowra. He has generously shared this document with following 2 photos and quote come from that assignment. (Tony and his parents and siblings originally lived at 145 Turner Road Berowra Heights)

2015-03-24 17.04.11

Turner Road looking North – arrows from the top indicate the Sneddon home location, the section of unsealed road and Gooraway Place & Blue Ridge Crescent.

a map of the Turner Road area showing the proposed and existing development by the '70's including the position of the Sneddon family home.

Map of the Turner Road area showing the proposed and existing development by the ’70’s including the position of the Sneddon family home.

“…When my father came to Berowra he bought five and a half acres of land in Turner road about one mile from the crossroads where the shopping centre now stands. The land was portion 365. Most of the surrounding land was sold off in five acre blocks….from Gooraway Place to my father’s subdivision is crown land covered by bush with no seal on the road.”


2015-03-21 16.10.032015  T rd BR  G rds rotate

Turner Road, looking north again, seems to show little change. The road is fully sealed now and curbed but heavy bush is prevalent.

215 Google map Turner Rd Croped

The Google map clearly shows the ongoing development of and around Turner Road Berowra Heights.

Quite clearly further land division occurred which allowed for more houses such as we see today in this area.


Tagged , , , , , , ,

Old Red Rattler

Old Berowra Station

Old Berowra Station

A big thank you to former resident Ken Bruce for his gift of a set of copies of his photos of Berowra in 1960. Ken captured this image 55 years ago at Berowra Station, looking north to Cowan. The electrification of the line had happened in 1958. Here we can see a now infamous “Red Rattler”, a far cry from our much more comfortable trains of 2015. Note the clothing of the various passengers who have left the train at Berowra and the woman standing and waiting perhaps for another train or another passenger.


Tagged , , , , ,

Heralding The New Virtual Museum Exhibition Berowra: Going Postal

Now on view at:


This exhibition retraces the history of postal services in our suburb of Berowra being initially part of the duties of the railway attendant at Berowra station to a thriving venture. These services expanded to meet the demands of our community and step-by-step the post office developed into a successful business. This exhibition is only the first stage so continue to watch this space and enjoy the virtual journey of Berowra: Going Postal.

Robyn and Rhonda

Tagged , , , , , ,

In Their Own Words – Dr Rich

Dr Beryl Rich

Dr Beryl Rich

The following account comes from Dr Rich, who was the first doctor (that we know of) to work in Berowra. She worked here from 1951 to 1958.

My name is Beryl Rich and as far as I know, I was the first resident medico in Berowra. This was quite unplanned. I graduated from Sydney University in March, 1944. I worked in hospitals for several years and planned to specialise in Obstetrics. However, I got married and started a family which was the end of my specialist plans.

As older people will recall, housing was very scarce in the post war years and like many young couples, we were forced to live with my parents. This proved to be most unsatisfactory and when my husband heard through a colleague of a partly built house for sale in Berowra, we jumped at the opportunity. I had continued working part time in a hospital but had no clear plans for my future.

We moved to Berowra about September, 1950. It was only a small, rather scattered village at that time. The house we bought was in Alan Rd, but the post office general store, run by Ernie and Joe Foster was on the highway.

Dr Eric Giblin, whom I had known at University, had started a general practice, based in Asquith which extended to Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury. When he found out I was living in Berowra, he suggested I start a practice there and cover from Berowra to Brooklyn, so in 1951 that is what I did. We added a small surgery and waiting room to our little house.

At the beginning of 1953, a fully built house on the highway came on the market and we bought that as the highway appeared to be the centre of activity. The Crossroads had only a small general store and it was not realized then that it would become the busy centre it is to-day. The house was on a double block so there was plenty of room to add a surgery and waiting room.

Thank-you to Susan Lynd for the kind donation of Dr Rich’s memories of Berowra. If you have any stories to share, please leave us a comment or send an email to the team!


Tagged , , , , , ,

All in A Row At Berowra Creek

As it was planned..

Donated to blh, with thanks to Raine and Horne

Donated to blh, with thanks to Raine and Horne

This copy of a 1926 stamped advertisement was probably used to promote the sale of the 32 mainly water’s edge blocks of land down at Berowra Creek. So many & all side by side. The auction was on April 29,1926.  The following appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 1May,1926-

‘REAL ESTATE..BUSY WEEK.. The fortnightly indoor auctions of Messrs Raine & Horne was held on Thursday and largely attended…There was a good demand for the Berowra water front allottments, 32 in Silverwater Estate.They were all sold at from 5/- to 37/6 per foot. Total sales £1696…


As it is today..


This photograph shows some of the  houses that are currently there in the “row”



Tagged , , , , , , , ,

An Historic Bridge ‘Link’ Worth Celebrating

Photo courtesy of The Past Present (

Photo courtesy of The Past Present (

This weekend events are being held at Brooklyn and Dangar Island to mark the anniversary of the opening of the first Hawkesbury River Bridge 125 years ago on May 1st 1889.

The following extracts are from the souvenir programme The Opening of the Hawkesbury River Bridge 1st May 1889 produced by the NSW Government Printer.

. . . it was announced that the 1st of May 1889 would see the bridge publicly opened for traffic,and continuous railway communications afforded between the 4 principal and progressive cities of the Australian continent . . . and in the words of our writers, the iron way shall ‘bind us closer,bind us ever’.
It was felt that the opening of the bridge surrounded as it was with so much that was noteworthy and important,should not be passed over without a demonstration worthy of the occasion. The government took the matter in hand ,and representative men of all colonies were invited to attend the celebration,which took place on the Hawkesbury on the date already named . . .
The day was one of autumnal splendour . . . the people of the Northern and Southern Districts meeting at the bridge . . .
His exellency the Governor, Lord Carrington,P.C. briefley and impressively ‘declared the bridge open for public traffic’. The National Anthem being played to complete the opening ceremony . . .

Extracts above quoted from a printed account of the Official Opening Day and are courtesy of Library of Victoria


Tagged , , , , , ,

The Baby Weighing In At Berowra


Image courtesy of Elizabeth Miller

Berowra and Berowra Heights after World War 11 (late 1940s and into 1950s) became an area of very fast population growth.  Quarter acre blocks of land sold for $140 to $200 and a labourer’s wage was approximately $12 per week.

From a population of about 500 the area began to enlarge as many couples moved into cosy garages, until building supplies became easier to get. And so came the babies! The new mums often needed advice and support and that’s where the Karitane Mobile Clinic Bus was a blessing.

Berowra at the time had no doctors (Dr Rich came later) and no chemists so the mums would catch Corrigans bus to Hornsby. The Karitane sister set up a room at the CWA Hall in Hornsby Park and that’s where Berowra mums could have their babies checked and gain advice.

One such mum from Woodcourt Rd, Berowra was Kath Molyneaux who had done the trip often with her son Chris. She made enquiries about the chances of the Karitane Clinic coming to Berowra and was told that if she could guarantee at least 10 mothers fortnightly and that all would contribute one shilling and 9 pence (18c) to defray costs, then the Clinic would come.

Kath set out trudging the rutted and muddy streets of Berowra seeking out the necessary number of mums. She was successful and so from about 1951 the Clinic would come to Berowra Heights and park on the “Open Air Pictures Block” (the present Uniting Church location). The tennis court had a shed and I’m told, on rainy days whilst mums were waiting, they’d shelter there.

By 1952 the contribution for the clinic was 2 shillings (20c) and by 1958 it had risen to 3 shillings (30c) per visit.

Down at Berowra the Bus Clinic was held beside the Anglican Rectory near the old Netball Courts. It came there fortnightly on Wednesdays from 9am to 12 noon. After the Methodist Church was begun (on the theatre site) in 1962 the “Berowra Junction” (“Crossroads” to us) Clinic was from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. By the late 1960s the bus was parked either outside the Butcher’s shop, (part of HomeBiz now) or by the old pine trees on Berowra Waters Rd between the Crossroads and the Barnetts Rd start.

Finally, Hornsby Council built and opened the Berowra Baby Health Centre in December, 1973 at 122 Berowra Waters Rd. So ended about 20 years of sterling service from the Ku-ring-gai Karitane Mobile Clinic for the mums and babies of Berowra and Berowra Heights.

Shirley Collins

Tagged , , ,

Now And Then – No 39 Berowra Waters Road


Photo of Paul Jones Real Estate  November 2013

Photo of Paul Jones Real Estate
November 2013

The above address belongs to the very familiar Paul Jones Real Estate, a business which has been part of Berowra since Paul established it in 1956 using the existing building.

It has had several owners since then, including Don Smith who built the current house which operated with a front business office.

Since 2005 Jason and Alison Gower have owned and grown the business such that most space now is taken by staff and modern office needs.

Jason considered retaining the business name a priority and locally there is the expression ‘the Paul Jones roundabout’.


The image below is of the Grammar School which stood at No 39 in about the 1940’s. It was run for a time by Mr & Mrs Baily-Sidwell teaching paying pupils.

We have been informed it served as the headquarters during the mock wartime disaster-emergency practice sessions.

Do you have more information about this building and school to share with us please?

The Grammar School

The Grammar School

Tagged , , , , , , ,