Parramatta Heritage Street Project – What are your thought’s of Parramatta Road?

In light of the WestConnex proposal the changing face and use of Parramatta Road could change dramatically. Here at Leichhardt Council we have undertaken the task of photographing the Leichhardt Local Government Area side of Parramatta Road form Hawthorne Canal to Mallett Street Camperdown.

Photograph by Emilio Cresciani

Photograph by Emilio Cresciani – Parramatta Heritage Streetscape Project.

Parramatta Road has had a long and rich History as one of Sydney’s main artillery connecting the city to Parramatta, originally Sections of the current Parramatta Road were an Aboriginal walking track for the Dharug nation which resided in the area.

Parramatta Road was one pf the earliest colonial transport Routes in Australia. It linked the two original European settlements at Sydney Cove and Parramatta.

The Parramatta Road corridor also has a rich and diverse urban heritage host to iconic buildings with a rich history such as The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney’s oldest Pub opening in 1830 on the corner of Parramatta Road and Balmain Road.  It holds the record of having held a continuous license perhaps longer than any hotel in the Commonwealth.  Other Iconic Buildings include the Albert Palais, The Empire Hotel, The Annandale Hotel

Bald Faced Stag.

Bald Faced Stag C.1830 originally Colonial late Victorian Italianate. It has changed architecturally style four times. Now a two story brick structure with ornamented Parapet in the Inter War Free classical style.

The Albert Palais – The Grand Ballroom

Photograph by Emilio Cresciani

103 Parramatta Road The Empire Hotel

Nowadays The Empire Hotel is stop on QC Mark Tadeschi Eugeni Falleni walking tours.

Along the Parramatta corridor there are approximately 146 items on the State Heritage Register and 3747 statutory listed items on local environmental plans ore regional environmental plans.



Annandale Hotel 17 Parramatta Rd, Annandale NSW 2038

Heritage Festival, 2010

2010’s Heritage Festival programme was a huge success with a great range of events held in our local area. The Balmain Association’s ferry tour on board the historic Radar of former industrial sites was a sell out and accompanied the Association’s exhibition Balmain Locals help to make our Nation at the Watch House on Darling Street .

In Leichhardt our walking tour ARCHITECTUS – held on a breezy Sunday morning- was well attanded with people coming from as far as Sutherland to discover some of Norton Street’s architectural highlights.

Former Leichhardt councillor Hall Greenland presented a stirring overview of the  life of long-time local activist and Leichhardrt alderman Nick Origlass to a packed crowd at Balmain Town Hall meeting room. Our friends at Heritage Group of Leichhardt District, meanwhile, launched their eagerly awaited book Exploring Leichhardt Heritage at Leichhardt Library.

Balmain Association's ferry tour on April 11th

Busted Walking Tour

1st stop: Balmain Library

1st stop: Balmain Library

The Busted Walking tour was a sunny Sunday in Balmain and a wonderful group of 18 local history enthusiasts and heritage consultants gathered at Balmain Library for morning tea and a sneak preview of the Busted Exhibition, which showcases 8 mug shot images, courtesy of the Justice and Police Museum, a street landscape of Beattie street and a 1958 shot of the Balmain courthouse registry room.

A short film “Balmain Boys Do crime” flavours the exhibition with some old time Balmain characters, Larrikins at heart, they share stories of SP bookmakers, local pubs and a few scandalous crime stories from decades ago.

The walk took us to the historical  Balmain courthouse, then the confectionary shop run by the notourious cross dressing convicted murderer Eugene Falleni and wife Annie Birckett. Next stop was further down Darling street for a guided tour by Kath Hamey and June Lumsman of  the Balmain Watchhouse which once operated as a an overnight lock-up. The Balmain Association, showcased police uniforms, historical photographs, stories and newspaper clippings of gripping local crime from yesteryear.

Stop 3: Balmain Watchhouse

The Exhibition is open from September 5th – October 31st at Balmain Library.

celebrating History Week 2008 – row, swim, sail, fish, bathe!

70 people joined us down on the waterfront at Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths – the oldest surviving tidal-baths in Australia- as we celebrated History Week 2008.

Heritage consultant Meredith Walker gave an illustrated presentation on the history of bathing pools around the Leichhardt and Balmain foreshores, and Leichhardt Rowing Club’s Barry Moynahan held our attention with his words and an image presentation exploring the history of the Club that was opened in 1886 by Sir Henry Parkes.

Meredith Walker has identified 9 bathing pools that have existed around the Balmain and Leichhardt foreshore since 1875.  We’ll be putting up some of her research into swimming baths here on LOCAL NOTES soon.

at the water’s edge : History Week 2008 September 6-14

We are celebrating life at the water’s edge during September!


Wherever waters rise or fall, there’s a story, and events across the Leichhardt area in September are a great opportunity to explore just how central the water’s edge has been since before European colonisation.
From photographic exhibitions, speakers nights to guided walks there’s plenty happening – download our events list here (requires PDF reader):dl_brochure_web1
And don’t forget we are  wanting to hear about your time spent ‘at the water’s edge’ – log on and share your memories – see the ‘MY WATER’S EDGE’ tab at the top of our masthead, and get typing!


Place is People – Annandale 1907-2007 – a book launch

Leichhardt Library hosted the launch of a publication by writer/historian/performer Mary Haire on Wednesday, 9th April. UTS journalism student Dan Bishton attended the launch and posted this report for

Local historian Mary Haire launched her new book to a packed Leichhardt library on Wednesday April 9th. The event opened with a speech from fellow actress and author Judith Nunn. Haire; an historian, actress and 23 year Annandale resident took on the project with a $5000 grant as one of five local history grants awarded by Leichhardt Council last year.

Place is People – Annandale 1907/2007 presents a colorful cast – leaders, ghosts and chimney-sweeps feature in twin portraits of a suburb a century apart. Haire reveals uncommon knowledge of a mild suburb in her obvious delight for untold stories – two examples being Annandale’s sudden secession from Leichhardt Council and Sydney’s bubonic plague outbreak – complete with the district’s own rat catchers.

Born in Perth, Haire moved to Annandale in 1985. She cites the inspiration for her forays into Annandale’s past as her discovery of the story of Esther Abrahams, a Jewish convict who arrived in Australia on the first fleet and eventually became first lady of the colony. “I discovered Esther at the Jewish Museum, I’d never seen her name in Annandale – I was fascinated, and from that moment I decided I wanted to bring her back to Annandale.”

Esther’s story became the basis of a guided walk started by Haire in 1999, which covered important sites in Annandale’s development from estate to municipality. The success of the walks led into a successive set of local history projects that have culminated in the publishing of Place is People.

Haire’s Annandale projects aim to provide a reference point for current social developments by drawing strong parallel between the two eras, for example the recent influx of wealth into the suburb that is comparable to its 1907 status as one of the wealthiest in Sydney. Her motive in drawing this comparison is an attempt to regain an element she’s seen disappear. “I think we’ve lost our sense of community generally,” she says. “I want people to go away and be stimulated to think – not just have some entertainment and then close the book. I’d like to inspire people to be more community minded, and I’d like people to be inspired to do something themselves on heritage and history.”

Place is People: Annandale 1907/2007 is a limited release of 250 copies, and is available for sale through Leichhardt Library.

People in the Park



A photographic exhibition of visitors to Pioneers Memorial Park by Mick Scott, the Park’s maintenance officer. Wednesday, 2 April 2008 6.30pm. Bookings for opening: or 93679266. Free event.  Exhibition 2 – 30 April 2008. Leichhardt Library

Women at Work

An international event, International Women’s Day was conceived in 1908 when many women were officially cast as second class citizens. Women in NSW only received the right to vote in 1907 – just a little over 100 years ago! (and women in many other places waited much longer) As well as being denied their democratic right at the ballot box, many worked in appalling conditions, earned half of men’s wages (maybe) and frequently died prematurely due to poor nutrition and maternal health.

It is sobering to reflect that the gains women have made have are due to the strength, determination and courage of women who risked their lives and their reputations to make the world a better place for all women to live.

We got into the International Women’s Day spirit with an exhibition of images of women at  work taken from our photographic collection. Here’s a sample. . .

 Beale Piano Co., Trafalgar Street, Annandale, 1920sBeatrice Bush, the White Bay nespaper seller, ca 1990

 APIA Club fashion parade, ca1967  winterday7.jpg