Tag Archives: houses

Sixty-Six Years Young

After World War Two finished in 1945 and ex-servicemen returned to civilian life, many couples married and began buying their own quarter acre blocks (around 1,000 square metres) in Berowra.

One such couple was Jack and Kath Molyneaux who bought 47a Woodcourt Road in 1949 and six years later purchased number 47.

Building materials were in very short supply so instead of building a large garage in which to live, as many couples did, Jack and Kath built the left hand end of their future home. This took nearly two years and by then their eldest child, Chris, had arrived.

Roof titles were available only after being on the waiting list for about six months so a temporary “roof” of “Malthoid”, (two ply felt impregnated with bitumen) was used instead. (pictures 1 and 2) It was held down by battens, but one day huge hailstones punched holes in the “Malthoid”! Imagine the mess!

Finally, by 1953, the rest of their home was completed. (picture 3) If you look at 47a today, you’ll still see the chimney but because the house has been extended over the years the chimney is now in the centre of the dwelling!

Picture 4 shows Chris, in the corner, cooling off in Molyneaux’s concrete wading pool, with some young neighbours. The pool converted to a sand pit in winter. Note the old 44 gallon drum, with lid and brick, used as an incinerator.

Shirley Collins

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

100 Years Ago Today

Ber Nov 6 Subdivision001

The following sub-division map, from the Local Studies Collection of Hornsby Shire Council Library, is a promotion for the early sale of blocks of land between what we now know as Berowra Waters Road and Hillcrest Road in Berowra.

Hillcrest road is named after the property of Mr J Stewart noted on the lower right hand side of the map.

C J Turner, whose name appears on the document also, was heavily involved with Berowra in earlier days and has a road named after him in Berowra Heights. By 1922 C J Turner was advertising an Auction Sale using the same sub division map as it seems only blocks 3 and 4 had sold by then.

Robyn

Tagged , , , ,

A Unique And Mysterious Vase

Unknown maker, late Victorian hand-painted glass vase

Unknown maker, late Victorian hand-painted glass vase

This unique glass vase was purchased by long-time Berowra resident Merle Davis at auction in 1984 from one of the first homes built in Berowra circa 1895, called The Laurels. The auction comprised an extensive list of antiques and collectables; it attracted a huge crowd on the day with many bidders and spectators vying for some spectacular items. The Laurels was a well-known guesthouse in its heyday, a welcome retreat for people mostly escaping the hubbub of city life on the weekends. Unfortunately the house no longer exists due to the recent redevelopments happening in Berowra.

An exceptional piece of hand-blown glass made during the turn of the last century, the vase is stylised in what is known as the ‘grotesque’. It was fortunate that my mother-in-law then gifted us the vase, which remains a great talking piece with our visitors due to its unusual design. One friend suggested that perhaps a collective of glassmakers around the1900s had made it. She could see it as an experimental piece, its production would have been done after hours by hands utilising the left over’s of the working day. I have found no other vase comparable to this one and certainly agree that this late Victorian vase in the spirit of its making has stood the test of time.

Can you add any information?

Rhonda

Tagged , , ,

Out Along Turner Road

THEN

In 1974, long time Berowra resident Tony Sneddon wrote an excellent, detailed geography assignment on Berowra. He has generously shared this document with berowralivinghistory.com.The 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.”

NOW-

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.

Robyn

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Those Steam Cars in Hillcrest Road Berowra

Note the two tramcars exposed

Note the two tramcars exposed

The 2 tramcars 72B (built 1891) and 93B (built 1889) ceased service in 1932 and were later stored at Randwick Tramway Workshops. Both tramcars were purchased later that year and for the next 65 years 93B served as 2 bedrooms whilst 72B was fitted out as a dining room, kitchen, and bathroom/laundry/toilet.

On arrival in Berowra they were placed along the land on pre-built brick piers with space between to build a lounge room. An overall roof was built which in retrospect contributed to the preservation of the tram bodies from the elements.

Three families were associated with the life of this ‘tramcar house’. Then in 1997 a new owner decided on a demolition in order to build a modern home.

The demolition was undertaken by The Steam Rail and Preservation Society after agreeing to purchase the 2 tramcars and demolish the remainder of the house and leave the block clear. Approximately 500 man hours were recorded in this task undertaken between 4 January 1997 and 10 March 1997.

The cars were loaded onto semi trailers and taken to Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum for storage and eventual restoration. 93B re entered service in 2005 after being restored while 72B awaits restoration.

Looking down into lounge and car

Looking down into lounge and car

Information taken from the Archival Material held by The Steam and Rail Preservation (Co-op) Society Ltd. Tuscalum Road  Valley Heights, New South Wales.

Courtesy of Peter Stock

 

Robyn

Tagged , , , , , ,

Mystery Solved October – Mount Colah Grammar School

This building was once part of the Grammar School

This building was once part of the Grammar School

Like today, in years gone by many children in Berowra and the surrounding area left the immediate suburb to attend school. In the mid 20th century, one school available to local families was the Mount Colah Grammar School which was once located near Mount Colah Station. The Grammar School was originally located in Berowra itself, but moved to Mt Colah where it shared the land with St George Church Of England. You can read a little about the Grammar School during it’s Berowra years here.

Beverley Gibbons attended the school at Mount Colah from the age of ten and recalls:

The Mount Colah Grammar School was a Church of England School run by Mr and Mrs Sidwell. Some people called it Sidwell’s School. All of the buildings were made of fibro, including the little Church which we went to every morning. I remember lining up outside the Church for my first funeral.

It wasn’t a big school. The house which is left is where the Sidwell’s lived and also where Mrs Sidwell taught kindergarten. She had a little Pekinese dog which she used to carry around with her – it yapped and yapped, but she loved it. Mr Sidwell taught the older children in another big building which was nearby – it might have had two rooms. He took classes from 3rd or 4th I think, right through to high school (which was three years then).

We had a school uniform and I remember for the girls it was a brown serge tunic with box pleats and a belt. We wore a white shirt underneath and also a green tie. In later years, for Summer, there was a bone frock with green buttons. We wore felt hats in Winter and in Summer we had straw panama hats.

There was quite a lot of land, and it sloped down at the back into the gully. We had a playing field down there, but there were also a lot of caves, which were very deep.

The school ran for at least 20 years I think, and closed down perhaps in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I think it closed when one of the Sidwells died.

Does anybody remember attending this school, or know of local children who attended? Leave us a comment!

Elissa

Tagged , , , , , ,

In Their Own Words: House Building At 21 Berowra Waters Road

Shirleys House

Every concrete block in the garage (finished 1946) and in the house (finished 1948) was made by my parents Bert & Thelma Hobday.

Cement was scarce (the war had just finished). So hence the slow build.

The blocks were made with sand, cement and ashes. The latter were got by the trailer-load from the ‘San’ hospital – the residue in their coke or coal fired (?) burners (for the heating of water for the laundry etc). Dad shovelled in the ingredients while Mum turned the concrete mixer by hand. When mixed, the ingredients were pressed into greased moulds for ‘curing’.

Photo (circa 1954) and words courtesy of Shirley Collins (nee Hobday)

The flowering Double Ornamental Peach tree in the foreground is a reminder that Spring 2014 cannot be too far away. Many blossoms & buds are already appearing in gardens around our local area of Berowra.

Robyn.

 

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..

houses

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

Robyn

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

In Their Own Words – Growing Up In Berowra

The team at Berowra Living History is fortunate to have the opportunity to hear about (and often also read) people’s memories of living, working and growing up in Berowra. Our community, not just those living here now, but those who have moved on to other homes and communities, have wonderful memories which we love to share. The account below comes from Cheryl Jepson, who lived in Berowra in the 1950s and 1960s.

Class 2A, 1964, featuring Janita Hilda, Cheryl Sinclair, Sheryl Starling, Annette Wells, Peter Shackleton. The teacher this year was Miss Tucker

Class 2A, 1964, featuring Janita Hilda, Cheryl Sinclair, Sheryl Starling, Annette Wells, Peter Shackleton. The teacher this year was Miss Tucker

I lived in 10 Rawson Rd, which was a dirt road at that time, with my parents, sister Lynne and baby brother Stewart. Dad built a shack down the end of the road in the bush in the 1950’s. Mum did the washing in the caves where there were beautiful rock pools and waterfalls, all of which emptied into Bakers Pond. At that stage we didn’t have electricity.

My best friend Ann Richards, my sister and I were always playing in the gully all day and would return home filthy, bare-footed and scratched. Wild blackberries were abundant and we certainly helped ourselves to these fruits. There were old trams down the track which we played in – there would have been snakes everywhere. Mum didn’t know where we were half the time.

We were always carving our names in some of the trees. Down the track we found suitcases with clothes and shoes within. I think people used that area for a dumping ground. We of course used the old clothes in our cubby house.

In Rawson Rd there was a very small fibro shack on the right-hand side. (Next to the old chook farm buildings, which later burned down). There were pots of paint within the shack which we used to splash everywhere.

The bamboo grew to gigantic heights and we used these to play in, also in Rawson Rd. We had a great life and memories growing up as children in Berowra in the bush.

In 1961 I was in kindergarten and the teachers name I remember was Miss Smith. The children had to have a sleep after lunch. She used to have a tray of ‘Smiths’ chips to share with the students.

1962 was transition for 1st Class. I remember we had a social and my mother made me an outfit, created from white crepe paper. We were made up to look like cats and danced to the music of the ‘Pink Panther’.

In 1963 my teacher was Miss Douglas and I was 7 years old. (I don’t have a photo of that year). At assembly we had to sing “God Save The Queen”.

We were forced to drink 1/3 pint bottles of milk in glass bottles with the silver tops. The milk was in crates, placed in the assembly area which unfortunately was also in the sun; therefore the milk was hot and I didn’t like to drink it.

The tree behind the school photos was a great climbing tree and all the children used it for that purpose. My sister Lynne and I always walked to school, regardless of the weather. I can’t remember how far but was quite a distance for a youngster.

Class 3B of 1965. The same people are featured

Class 3B of 1965. The same people are featured

Do you have memories you would like to share? We would love to hear from you, and include your recollections and images in our archives and upcoming exhibitions.

Elissa

Tagged , , , , ,

The Springs – Margaret Preston’s Berowra Home

Harold Cazneaux, Distant view of Margaret Preston's house at Berowra, 1936

Harold Cazneaux, Distant view of Margaret Preston’s house at Berowra, 1936

William and Margaret Preston moved to Berowra in 1932, and it is believed that the artist was recovering from surgery performed in 1929 as a result of breast cancer. The anticipation of the retreat into the bush coupled with the first ownership of property by the Preston’s would have provided Margaret with a great sense of comfort during that difficult period.

Arthur Rickard throughout the previous decade had been promoting the health benefits of Berowra in the Sydney Morning Herald. Many people like the Preston’s became aware of seeking an exodus from city life as beneficial to health and well being, in Preston’s case a time for reflection and contemplation.

We witness a striking development in the architectural style of Preston’s house as compared with that of the Federation style of such homes as ‘Sunbeam’. Preston’s house was extremely modern, based on the California Bungalow with a low-pitched roof, it’s architectural structure was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. The Preston’s made additions to the existing structure – it is believed that Margaret used the concept based on “design for living” principles when the additions and refurbishments were undertaken. Effectively, Preston created flow between the outdoor and indoor living spaces as she was known to often work on the verandah which overlooked the gardens and bush land area. Life and art merging within the everyday – one of the many inspirations of Berowra.

Rhonda

Tagged , , , , , ,
Advertisements