Heritage Festival 2019: Connecting People Places and the Past

It’s autumn which means it’s time for the 2019 Heritage Festival, presented by the Inner West Council Library and History under the auspices of National Trust.

Join us as we explore the rich history of the inner west and highlight the people who have shaped our vibrant neighbourhood. The Festival takes place from 18 April to 19 May

This year’s theme is Connecting People, Places and the Past. The events take place at a variety of historical inner west venues, some rarely open to the public.

Browse here and book for your events.

Historic Letterheads Uncovered

Before electronic communications, paper letters reigned supreme. Now perceived as ‘just that space where the company’s address is written’, letterheads were once so much more – an influential device businesses used in convincing people they were the best.

Letter from H.T. Seymour Ltd to Town Clerk Municipality of Marrickville, 22 April 1922

As one of the earliest examples of direct marketing, letterheads offered a quick outline about a business. But – like the company logo that sits silently in the footer of today’s emails – letterheads are more than mere adornments; they offer revealing insights into the history of the visual and commercial arts in Australia.

Australia’s growing population and an expanding economy fuelled a thriving art scene, with creative industry embracing marketing strategies to gain an advantage over competitors.

Billy Murdoch: A Star Cricketer from Balmain

Billy and his older brother Gilbert grew up in Balmain attending Balmain Public School and Fort Street School. At the age of 19 Billy was the first captain of the Balmain Rugby Club, when it entered the Sydney competition in 1874. But cricket was Billy’s first love and he became captain of NSW by 1879 and of Australia in 1880. Gilbert was a member of the Balmain Council for 10 years and its mayor for two.

Billy Murdoch was a colossus of Australian cricket in the 1880s, famous for scoring big hundreds. He scored 321 for NSW in 1882 and the first double century in Test cricket.

April 18th 2019

Balmain Town Hall Meeting Room

6:30pm – 8:00pm

Register

The Queen Visits Ashfield 1954

We recently obtained a photograph in the Inner West Council Library and History collections of Queens Elizabeth II visit to Ashfield. So it was February 6 1954 just 3 days after the Queen landed in Australia when the royal car and entourage made its way from Burwood to Concord making stops to wave and connect with over one million lining the streets to get a glimpse.

Read all about the historic traffic jams in the SMH

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 6 February 1954, page 6

The Queen’s car drove down Parramatta Road along Ashfield Park: 6 February 1954

Image: Queen Elizabeth courtesy of Inner West Council Library and History Service

The Balmain Polka respectfully dedicated to the ladies of Balmain

Check out the the writings by Historian Lisa Murry on The Balmain Polka by Ernesto Spagnoletti on dictionaryofsydney.org

Cover of ‘The Balmain Polka’ by Ernesto Spagnoletti 1857 SLNSW

 

The Witches’ Houses of Annandale – AURA Journal 2

When: Tuesday, 4, December, 2018 Time: 6:00pm -8:00pm Where:

Leichhardt Library Piazza Level -Italian Forum, 23 Norton St Leichhardt NSW

More about this event: The Witches’ Houses of Annandale Journal Number 2 Annandale Urban Research Association launch Local authors will showcase images of the majestic houses that stand on Johnston Street, Annandale, between Rose Street and Kentville Avenue. Hear some of the extraordinary women associated with the houses including: • Bertha Blackmann from “Oybin” • Elizabeth Young with “Claremont” • Sister Dorothea with “St Basil’s Home” • Betty Mason (The Annandale Association) that saved the block from further demolitions – and • Sir Henry Parkes, who was living at Kenilworth at the time of his death

Cycling Communities: Cycling clubs in Sydney, 1860s-2000s’

HOSTED BY THE MARRICKVILLE HERITAGE SOCIETY

Cycling Communities: Cycling clubs in Sydney, 1860s-2000s’ Date: Sat 24 Nov at the Herb Greedy Hall, Petersham Road. Time: 10:30am -12:00pm

Speaker: Dr Marc Rerceretnam, Cyclo-historian The formation and popularity of bicycle clubs in Australia closely reflects the costs of purchasing a bicycle. In the 1860s it was largely a pastime for the rich and affluent, and by the 1890s it widened to include the middle classes. However by the turn of the twentieth century, with the rich and middle classes smitten with new motorized transportation like automobiles and motorcycles, opportunities to own a bicycle opened up for the first time to the working classes. As a result bicycle clubs flourished throughout the Australian social landscape. The decades following the Second World War saw growth in wealth and the growing affordability of personal motorized transportation. By the 1960s and especially in the 1970s, bicycle users turned away from the low tech bicycle towards the now affordable automobile. However by the 1990s and 2000s the bicycle acquired new meanings, practicalities and charm of bicycles were discovered yet again by new affluent professional classes.

Waratah Rovers Club 1 – Frank Walker glass slide collection, RAHS

From coughing to coffins: digging into council archives

To celebrate History Week 2018, Inner West Council hosted a fascinating presentation by well-known local historian Chrys Meader, about the worldwide pandemic of the pneumonic influenza in 1919 and how the local community dealt with the crisis.

The pneumonic influenza was one of the worst catastrophes of the 20th century. Widely known as the “Spanish flu” in 1919 its deadly reach eventually crept through the doors of Sydney homes.

This engaging presentation brought to life the social impact of the pandemic on the community. Travel outside of Sydney was restricted, church services were cancelled and theatres were closed.

The wearing of masks in public was compulsory. The Council responded by setting up inhalation chambers and the community was actively involved in managing the outbreak.

Attendees were shown rarely seen original correspondence and records from the former Marrickville Council archives, photographs, newspaper clippings and contemporary accounts of people who lived through the deadly, terrifying days of the pandemic.

Marrickville Council Infectious Diseases Register [photo courtesy Dr Peter Hobbins]

Dr Peter Hobbins, a medical historian at the University of Sydney, said “it was really impressive to see how such a diverse range of records were brought to life, telling us not only about the disease, but how it affected the entire Inner West community a century ago”.

The effects of the Pneumonic plague in the Marrickville area.

Balmain Association Spring Garden Walks 2018

THIS SATURDAY 10.00am to 4.00pm

This Saturday seven private gardens in Balmain East and Birchgrove will be open for inspection.

This is your opportunity to see behind the garden fence and enjoy a variety of beautiful private gardens – a large waterfront garden, a treasure of orchids and ferns, a secret garden with South American varieties of plants, a large formal garden, a large shady palm garden and a small terrace garden complete with bees. Each garden is entirely different and provides a wealth of ideas to take back to your own.

The gardens will be open from 10.00am to 4.00pm with last entry at 3.00pm.

For more information please contact Di Garder

Tickets available at the Watch House 179 Darling St Balmain and at Wyoming, 25 Wharf Rd Birchgrove on the day 9:30am to 2:00pm $15 for adults and children free. Please pay by cash

Balmain Watch House, 179 Darling St Balmain

History Talk: Callan Park Hospital for the Insane

To celebrate the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Callan Park Lunatic Asylum, Sarah Luke has published Callan Park, Hospital for the Insane (Australian Scholarly Publishing).

Sarah’s book explores the early history of the old Callan Park Lunatic Asylum, using Victorian-era medical files to explore the lives of its patients and staff. Discover the workings of the madhouse ­– from the tiny mansion originally used to house Sydney’s insane – to the magnum opus asylum that was the Kirkbride Complex.

Sarah will present a lecture at Leichhardt Library on Tuesday November 6th 6pm for 6:30pm start exploring the lives of the first patients of Callan Park.

Book here