Tag Archives: then and now

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 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)

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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.”


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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.


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Significant Days

New Life  - Rock Orchids at Muogamarra Nature Reserve Photo: A. Lomas

New Life – Rock Orchids at Muogamarra Nature Reserve
Photo: A. Lomas

Palm Sunday has just passed and we are about to celebrate Easter. Many of us give and receive Easter eggs, symbols of new life.

Palm Sunday with its procession of Christ on a donkey is celebrated by groups around the world.

How many of you remember the Palm Sunday street processions in Berowra sometimes even with a donkey? Perhaps you walked in the combined churches procession or joined the group for the open air gathering at the conclusion of the walk. Do share your recollections.

Good Friday 2014 falls exactly a week ahead of ANZAC Day with its commemorative marches and services.

As people worldwide remember the events of the first Good Friday their thoughts may also move to those who gave their lives for others in Gallipoli and so many places. Some may even connect the donkey of Palm Sunday with the sturdy donkeys that bore the wounded in that far away place of pain and bravery.


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Celebratory Cakes

Von Jones, long term Berowra resident, celebrated her 92nd birthday this year. Von is shown with her birthday cake made to the family fruit cake recipe. Many of us can vouch for how delicious it was! These other birthday fruit cakes seem too beautiful to cut!

The fruit cake recipe has been passed from mother to daughter through the generations. Here we have Von and Max’s wedding cake from 1948 followed by their daughter, Bronwyn’s wedding cake.

Christmas for Von and now Bronwyn has always meant multiple cakes to bake for the family and to give as presents. Don’t they look appetizing!


Photos courtesy of the Jones family.

Do you have special family customs around important celebrations?


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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

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Then And Now – The ‘Horse Paddock’

Recently, there has been quite a change going on in Berowra. The field in front of the local IGA shopping centre is no more. Instead there is a substantial hole in the ground!

The 'Horse Paddock' today

The ‘Horse Paddock’ today

In discussion of this exciting and slightly controversial change, the field in question has often been referred to as the ‘horse paddock’, which has been puzzling for many of Berowra’s newer residents. There has not been a horse residing in this paddock for many years.

Th 'Horse Paddocl' . . . complete with horse!Photo taken by S. Collins

Th ‘Horse Paddock’ . . . complete with horse!
Photo taken by S. Collins

Once however, not all that long ago, there was indeed a horse in residence, as the slide above shows. It was taken during the construction of the ‘IGA Shopping Centre’. Certainly, I remember this horse being a great attraction when I was taken shopping as a little girl, and probably a great bribe for my long suffering mother too!

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Scenic Berowra Waters

Rob's BW pict 006

This C1940’s photograph of Berowra Waters shows the very tranquil scene of yesteryear.

Rob's BW pict 007

By comparison this 2013 photograph of Berowra Waters indicates the popularity of this area today.

How many changes can you see between the 2 photographs?

Do you have any stories about good times at Berowra Waters to share with us?


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New Year In Berowra

Each year on New Year’s Eve the spectacular display of fireworks flashing across the night skies throughout the globe brings the promise of a fresh beginning to the incoming year. For most, it’s a great relief to see the end of one year in the hope of brighter things to happen in the next.

The Pacific Highway - a popular vantage point

The Pacific Highway – a popular vantage point

Berowra Chinese Restaurant

Berowra Chinese Restaurant

Living in Berowra has its great advantages many of which have been conveyed in the Berowra Living History blogs over what is now last year, 2012 – the quietness, fresh mountain air, unique bushland setting in close proximity to Sydney and most important its sense of identity and community with many fascinating stories to tell. But really, Berowra on New Year’s Eve is not the most exciting destination. New Year’s Eve epitomises the hype of the city lights, partying, dancing, action, fun and outlandishness. But, what if one is seeking something a little more subdued; I suggest spending a New Year’s Eve in Berowra is not all that bad. I was ecstatic to see that the Berowra Chinese Restaurant, which opened in 1978, on New Year’s Eve was a packed house, with people enjoying exceptional food, good beverage and each other’s company – the atmosphere was truly uplifting. So instead of battling the near 1.5 million people that thronged the streets of Sydney, we opted for the calmness of Berowra. After all, you can hear the fireworks echo across and in some places in Berowra see the dazzling, colourful lights flicker across the sky.

New Year in the city - a hectic night.

New Year in the city – a hectic night.

A few city lights and fireworks

A few city lights and fireworks

An ideal lookout spot to delight in the New Year’s Eve fireworks is along the east side of the Pacific Highway, if not for the current privet overgrowth blocking the view. I do recall it once being a hot spot for many New Year’s Eve onlookers in days gone by. The distant mountain vistas from this vantage point set the atmosphere and mood anticipating the incoming year dreaming of good things to come. We would be very interested to know about your experience and stories of New Year’s Eve in Berowra.

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Then And Now – Aboriginal Carvings

Photo by Keith Holmes

Throughout Berowra’s history, people have gravitated to the area for its abundance of beautiful flora and fauna, and for the spectacular ‘river’, Berowra Creek. European settlers were, of course, not the first, and there is plenty of evidence of Aboriginal occupation around the Berowra area in the form of carvings and shell middens.

The photo above was taken by Keith Holmes many years ago and shows the Aboriginal engravings at the end of Alston Drive. These are just some of the Aboriginal engravings you can see in Berowra, but as you can see from the modern photograph below, with more people living in and visiting the Berowra area, combined with natural weathering, the engravings are slowly fading. Luckily, we are able to document them for future generations, even if the originals do fade from view.

A photo taken in August of 2012

If you have old photographs of some of Berowra’s Aboriginal engravings, or would just like to tell us where to find another example we might not have heard about, please leave us a comment!


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Then And Now


This photo of the former Ampol Garage in Turner Road Berowra Heights is from Alan Cunningham, the original proprietor who ran the business from 1974 to 1984. Alan employed about 5 men a day with probably 16 different men working over a week with many being casual staff. The opening hours were 6am to 8pm 7days a week which made for very long days.


A current photo of approximately the same site with an altered role in our busy suburban shopping centre.

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Berowra – Then And Now

Changes to our suburb are clearly shown in the following extracts from the memoirs of Keith Holmes

The following is an  image of  the well known Holmes Dairy Farm (“Merriwonga”) of Turner Rd (circa 1953) which was at one time the  milk supplier to over 300 customers in Berowra, Mt Kuring-gai and Cowan.

Merriwonga, circa 1953

This farmland is today taken over by urban housing


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