Tag Archives: pacific highway

Dolls In The Tavern

David Lever 1

If you look closely at David Lever’s painting of what was the old Tavern on the Pacific Highway, Berowra, you may be able to see the reason for our blog title!

While the Tavern of yesteryear was the hub of many activities like dances and school concerts it apparently also attracted attention for another reason.

Long time Berowra resident, Pam Gartung has fond memories of Mollie Dwyer and her great skills at knitting and sewing. Mollie features in the following extract from Worth Reporting on p.38 of The Australian Women’s Weekly of 26th November, 1949. At the time this popular magazine cost sixpence!

Knits Dolls’ Woollies on Hatpins

MOLLIE DWYER, of Berowra, N.S.W. has turned her childhood hobby of dressing dolls into a business. She makes baby clothes and exquisite dolls’ frocks, which are shown in a window of the Berowra Tavern where tourist buses stop each day. Hungry tourists have even been known to miss afternoon tea through spending too long gazing at Miss Dwyer’s handicraft.

Mollie Dwyer believes in making dolls’ clothes that are pretty but which can be taken off and washed by the young owner. One of the most beautiful dolls we saw wore vest, pants, petticoat, dress, shoes and socks and bonnet. For the doll’s one-and-a-half-inch feet, Mollie Dwyer had made quilted satin shoes, inventing the pattern and sewing away until midnight

Dresses are of the finest organdie or marquisette, appliqucd with hand-made medallions or sometimes with lace. Frocks and underclothes unfasten and can he laid out for ironing.

But not all the dolls wear summer dresses. Many are dressed in finely knitted wool. “I do the knitting on hatpins,” said talented Molly Dwyer.

This article is accessible through TROVE.


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Berowra’s Version Of The Tardis!


This photo, by local resident S. Collins, is a photo which I couldn’t resist sharing with our readers, particularly our younger audience. It comes from a slide, and shows the Police Post which once proudly stood outside Berowra Railway Station. It may not be as glamorous as the Police Box used by Dr Who as his Tardis, but it is a wonderful glimpse into Berowra’s past.

This small building is something of an enigma – although we have two great shots of the building (courtesy of our intrepid photographer S. Collins) we do not have many recollections which relate to it. If you have a story to share about this little building, or any other aspect of Berowra’s history, leave us a comment.

Perhaps you even know why it appears slightly scorched in this photo!


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On The Road For New Year

With the New Year rapidly approaching and so many Australians ‘on the move’ for the Summer break, it seemed the perfect time to look a little more closely at some of the roads which have carried much of this traffic for so long, and which run past Berowra.

The Pacific Highway in 1958. Photo by Shirley Collins

The Pacific Highway in 1958. Photo by Shirley Collins

There has been a major road running past what was to become Berowra since well before the first settler on the ridge, Mary Wall, arrived. In fact, this road, then known as Peats Road was the main road North, having replaced the unreliable and difficult to traverse ‘Great North Road’ in the early 1850s.  Mary Wall, who was for so long believed to have bush bashed her way to Berowra almost certainly followed this road and settled along its edge.

The F# in the process of being built. Photo by Shirley Collins

The F3 in the process of being built. Photo by Shirley Collins

Peats Road, which became known as the Pacific Highway remained the main route North for over a century and is still a major road. Many residents of Berowra recall that during periods of heavy traffic, such as holiday periods it was nigh on impossible to leave Berowra due to the traffic gridlock!

In the 1960s and 70s a new toll road, the F3 Freeway was opened to help carry the abundant traffic which ran past Berowra. Today, this road, now widened, upgraded and free still carries thousands of holiday makers out of and into Sydney during holiday periods.

Photos of the F3 from a promotional booklet. Photos courtesy of the Harrison Collection

Photos of the F3 from a promotional booklet. Photos courtesy of the Harrison Collection


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Berowra – No Longer In The Sticks

The Opening Of Berowra Community Centre

Extracts from the Hornsby and District Advertiser of September 1980:

Two of Hornsby Shire’s major building projects in the past year were opened by Shire President Cr Don Evans, on Saturday September 6, 1980.

Local residents came out in force to watch the opening of the Brooklyn overpass in the morning and the Berowra Community Centre in the afternoon at 3pm.

Cr Evans spoke on this big occasion and his speech included the following:

Berowra is ‘no longer out in the sticks’
“You’ve heard it said and I’ve heard it said, ‘Oh Berowra’s way out in the end of the Shire –
it’s out in the sticks’
“Today it’s not….”

Were you there on the day?


Photos Courtesy of Sandra Hawkins

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Berowra – Then and Now


The above is a 1947 photo taken in Berowra looking west down Berowra Waters Road from just short of the Pacific Highway. It shows three local friends (L-R) Neil Davis, Dave Newling and Cedric McCready alongside the fence of the once popular Putt Putt Golf course. Natural bush dominates the background on both sides of the road.


This photo was taken in December 2011 – looking west again. Here Neil Davis is standing outside the Berowra Car Care office with signs of our much changed & busy suburb behind him down Berowra Waters Road.

Do you have some photos of early Berowra?


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