Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Trove Tuesday - Out Lindfield Way

This poem from The Sydney Morning Herald in December 1929 may describe the suburb of Lindfield or some other place of the same name.

1929 'OUT LINDFIELD WAY.', The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), 28 December, p. 7, viewed 22 October, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16613744

Of the author, Gertrude Moffitt, Trove indicates that she published several books of poems.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Trove Tuesday - Death of Film Censor

The death of  Mr Walter Cresssswell O'Reilly of Pymble was reported in the Goulburn Evening Post in December 1951.

1954 'OBITUARY.', Goulburn Evening Post (NSW : 1940 - 1954), 22 December, p. 2 Edition: Daily and Evening, viewed 10 October, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103503286
A biography for Mr O'Reilly can be found online in The Australian Dictionary of Biography: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/oreilly-walter-cresswell-7920

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Trove Tuesday - New Rector

Reported in the Sydeny Morning Herald in 1937 is the appointment of a new rector to St Andrew's Wahroonga.

1937 'THE CHURCHES.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 18 December, p. 9, viewed 10 October, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17432733

Friday, December 5, 2014

Our Public Utilities

Article by Max Farley reprinted from the Society Newsletter October 2008

 Our Public Utilities

For many years most of Ku-ring-gai has had easy access
to a range of public amenities including electricity, gas,
telephones, water and sewerage, postal services, and regular
garbage collections. Though the Lane Cove Post Office,
renamed Gordon Post Office in 1879, was established in
1860 in what are now the grounds of Ravenswood, most of
the other facilities did not begin to appear until the 1890s.
These notes tell in chronological order something of their
arrival. They draw significantly on a paper by our member,
structural engineer Ken Wyatt, which was published in THE
HISTORIAN of June 2001.

From the outset, water was from creeks, rain water tanks
and wells with creeks sometimes used for doing household
washing. In 1896 the Public Works Department installed
two large water tanks at Wahroonga which were filled by a
pipe-line from Chatswood. A reservoir was built at Pymble
in 1900 and this supplied residents between Pymble and
Chatswood. A pipe-line from Ryde to Wahroonga was built
in 1905. Additional reservoirs came later at Wahroonga
(1915); Killara (1930) and St Ives (1975).

Lighting at first was mainly by kerosene lamps and candles with
cooking being done over open fires or on fuel stoves. “Slush
lamps” consisting of fat in a tin with a piece of wick were also
used for lighting. At the turn of the century, parishioners attending
evening services at St John’s at Gordon used to leave their
hurricane lanterns in the Church porch. With the building of De
Burgh’s bridge, 1896 saw the coming of gas from Ryde to Gordon
and Wahroonga. It was first used for public lighting of public
places. The Pymble News of 25 April, 1901, reproduces a letter
from the Railways Commissioners agreeing to a Pymble Progress
Association request to have gas lights installed on Pymble Railway
Station and level crossing.
Gas for lighting and cooking slowly found its way into private
homes and was used for many years until electricity came
after 1917. Even today superseded gaslight fittings can still
be seen in some of our older homes such as Tulkiyan and
many cooks still prefer gas.
The gasometer on the corner of the Highway and Ryde
Road was a feature of our landscape for many years until
demolished in the 1960s with the arrival of natural gas.

In addition to the coming of water and gas, 1896 was
obviously a year of progress and saw Ku-ring-gai’s first
telephone line. It came from Hornsby to Mr Boyne’s store
at Wahroonga when his wife was appointed as the local
postmistress. An exchange was installed there in the
following year. The demand for telephones grew rapidly as
did the proliferation of unsightly telephone poles. Initially
many residents visited their local post office to make calls.

Cesspits were banned and a nightsoil service begun in 1913.
The “sanitary cart” remained a feature of Ku-ring-gai, and
most of Sydney, until well after water was piped into homes.
Depots were initially at Hampden Avenue in Wahroonga and
Koola Avenue in Killara. These depots were understandably
the source of much controversy but their sites are now valued
recreational assets. Parts of Wahroonga were “on the sewer”
by 1915 through the Hornsby Treatment Works. A pipe-line
from North Head had to cross Middle Harbour at Clontarf,
and the West Middle Harbour sub-main built, before the sewer
came to Roseville in 1927. It then connected to Gordon and
Pymble in 1929. Even so, by 1951 the sewer lines were only to
locations within one or two miles either side of the Highway.
By 1971 most of Ku-ring-gai was “connected”. As with all
these services, new and outlying areas usually had to wait longer.

As with gas, electricity was at first mainly used for street lighting.
Sydney’s first publicly-owned power station was at Pyrmont in
1904 but cables did not come to Cammeray until 1916 and
spread north to Ku-ring-gai from there in 1917. Transformers
were put at Shirley Road (Roseville); Beaconsfield Parade
(Lindfield); Stanhope Road (Killara) and Park Avenue
(Gordon). Power was available to sites along the Highway. It
was not until 1920 that electricity was carried north from Gordon
to Wahroonga. In 1925 Ku-ring-gai Council decided to change
all street lighting to electricity instead of gas.

Garbage collection by Council began on an experimental
and voluntary basis in 1914. The Koola Avenue nightsoil
depot was used for this purpose. The charge was sixpence
a week. An incinerator designed by Walter Burley Griffin
was opened in 1930 where the Bicentennial Park is now in
West Pymble.

An examination of the development of postal services is
beyond the scope of these notes and historical records
sketchy. Before the 1850s, residents on the north shore had
to collect their mail from the GPO and until the end of the
1850s from the North Sydney Post Office. In 1860 a Post
Office opened at Gordon with one mail a week. Individual
locations gradually were appointed as de facto post offices.
These were shopkeepers, railway stations and individuals.
Delivery services did not begin until the 1890s.

(Appreciation is expressed to Ken Wyatt for his kindness
in casting his eye over an early version of these notes.