Flashback Friday historic butchers in Marrickville

Butchers of 205 Victoria Road Marrickville
There has been a butcher shop at 205 Victoria Road, Marrickville from 1911 up until the mid-1970s. The original building, a cottage and shop was demolished in 1936. The current flats and shops were rebuilt in its place.
Between the 1920s to the 1970s there were about 30 butchers in the suburb of Marrickville. Today there are about 16 butchers.


Heritage Festival 2018: First Nations Peoples

Book Now 

Speaker Series: Shady Acres guest speaker Christine Yeates

History talk
Join us for an engaging presentation of Shady Acres by Leslie Muir with guest speaker Christine Yeats. The Royal Australian Historical Society, the Madden Family and Halstead Press recently published an investigation into political corruption, developer donations and the impact of powerful lobby groups on the design and construction of Sydney’s metropolitan railway and tramway network in the 19th century.
Shady Acres foreshadows the transport shortcomings that the city and its suburbs endure today.


Book here

FILEF: Book launch

Guest Speaker: Archivist Fabian LoSchiavo

Chris Iacono, Chairman, Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group, & his Committee invite you to attend the first IFHG event of 2018

Fabian LoSchiavo was the third child born to Dario and Helen LoSchiavo. He was born at St.Margaret’s Hospital, Bourke Street, in 1949. He grew up in Pymble and Marsfield, and attended Catholic schools there, including boarding school in Bathurst (as an attempt to help him survive asthma). In 1969 he entered the Premonstratensian Order of Canons Regular but left in 1972 to return to lay life.   After completing a degree at UNSW in History, he did a Graduate Diploma in Archives Administration, a one-year course to train archivists for government or private archives. In 1981 he began work at the Archives Office of NSW in their office in The Rocks, taking early retirement when that Office was closed in 2013.   Fabian’s interest in family history probably began when, at Grandma’s house in Malabar, he was allowed to look at the old photos which ‘Granny’ had stored in a box under the house. ”Who were these people, the ladies dressed in white frilly frocks of the Edwardian era and enormous hats with flowers on them?” He obtained his first historical death certificate when he was 16….Great Great Grandfather Hobbs, who died in 1871 and was described as “Governor of Her Majesty’s Gaol in Wollongong”. Fabian says: “Mum was thrilled, and brandished the certificate at Dad, saying ‘See! I told you we weren’t convicts’. My father, very proud of his origins in the Aeolian Islands, would tease Mum terribly about her Anglo-Irish ancestors…’When Rome ruled the world, your ancestors were digging up potatoes!’ (Historically incorrect, but he loved to boast of Roman glory.)”   In retirement, Fabian has not lost his interest in family history, helping friends for the sheer fun of it.   Fabian will talk about “Tall Stories”…getting to the truth of family history…does it matter?”

Event date:     Wednesday 28 February 2018
Event Time:    6:45 pm for 7.15 pm start
Event Venue:  The Cultural Centre, Italian Forum
23 Norton St, Leichhardt NSW 2040

Entry $5 ~ No bookings required ~ Please register at front desk on arrival

Please join us at La Giara Café Restaurant in the Italian Forum after Fabian’s talk. (Refreshments at your own cost.)

Subsidised Parking available in the Italian Forum Carpark.  Validate your ticket at Cultural Centre front desk.

Contact Pina Leyland at Co.As.It. for more information. Tel: 02 9564 0744 or email pina.leyland@coasit.org.au.

Please note: This event will be filmed



Cadigal and Wangal people of the Eora nation

This post is to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land in the Inner West.

Inner West Council acknowledges the prior ownership of this area by the Cadigal people who were dispossessed by European invasion more than two hundred years ago.

We celebrate the survival of Aboriginal people and their culture following the impact of European invasion and support their right to determine their own future.

There many different groups within the Australian Aboriginal community. The traditional Aboriginal Groups of inner Sydney Ashfield, Leichhardt Marrickville region are the Cadigal and Wangal clans of the Eora nation.

Cadigal land lies south of Port Jackson and stretches from South Head to Petersham with part of the southern boundary lying on the Cooks River. On the western border lies the territory of the Wangal clan, which extends along the southern shore of the Parramatta River to Parramatta.

Suburbs close to the city such as Glebe are also the home of the Cadigal and Wangal ancestors, and the surrounding bushland was rich in plant, bird and animal life with fish and rock oysters available from Blackwattle Bay.

Aboriginal communities in the Inner West region are part of a thriving metropolitan area, forming an important part of Sydney’s cultural and spiritual mosaic.


Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the area now known as Ashfield within a broader area Wangal people moved and lived, having migrated from South East Asia and then downwards. Exact numbers are unknown, some research indicates there was between 8000 and 10000 aboriginal people in the broader Sydney region, fluctuating with the seasons and tribal conflict. Their territory was believed to be centred on modern-day Concord and stretched east to the swampland of Long Cove Creek (now known as Hawthorne Canal). The land was heavily wooded at the time with tall eucalypts covering the higher ground and a variety of swampy trees along Iron Cove Creek. The people hunted by killing native animals and fish. Violence is known to have occurred both between tribes and within tribes, in particular towards women.


The history of Aboriginal people in the Leichhardt area is, without doubt, a hidden one. What we today know as the Leichhardt Municipality was once the area inhabited by the Wangal band of the Dharug (Eora) language group. The “Eora people” was the name given to coastal Aborigines around Sydney – Eora means “from this place” – local Aboriginal people used this word to describe to Europeans where they came from, and in time the term became used to define Aboriginal people themselves. Wangal country was known as wanne and it originally extended from the suburbs of Balmain and Birchgrove in the east to Silverwater and Auburn in the west.

The northern boundary was the Parramatta River. Neighbouring Darug bands were the Cadigal to the east, the Wallumattagal on the northern shore of the Parramatta River and the Bediagal to the south. How long the Wangal had lived around Leichhardt is unknown, but we do know that the Dharug were living in the Sydney area for at least 10,000 years before the British invasion in 1788.

Occupation sites are areas that show a concentration of debris associated with human occupation. Rock shelters and overhangs were used to provide campsites sheltered from wind, rain and sun. Charcoal, baked clay, fire blackened stones, food remains (usually shell or bone) and stone tools are commonly found in occupation sites.

Middens composed predominantly of shells are essentially the remains of shellfish meals eaten on the spot by Aboriginal people over a long period of time. Fish and shellfish were the main foods of Aboriginal people living around the harbour, with fishing being an important activity of daily life for both men and women.

In the Leichhardt Municipality 16 midden sites have been identified with 4 being readily accessible to the public. Shell middens can be seen at Whitehorse Point in Elkington Park , Balmain and in Rozelle on the foreshore at Callan Point. The other sites are on private property.

The middens are dated at approximately 4, 500 years old, and are recognised as significant by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and archaeologists. A series of interpretive signs can be found at these sites as well as at Yurulbin Point in Birchgrove, recognising the traditional owners of the Leichhardt area.

In 2004, following a change in the boundaries of the Leichhardt local government area, Leichhardt Council, in consultation with the Local Metropolitan Land Council, adopted the names Birrabirragal/Balmain, Wangal/Rozelle-Lilyfield, Gadigal/Annandale-Leichhardt and Eora/Leichhardt-Lilyfield for its four ward structure in recognition of coastal Sydney’s Aboriginal history.


The traditional owners of the land are Cadigal of the Eora Nation. The Aboriginal name for the area is Bulanaming.

Gumbramorra Swamp
Following European settlement, Marrickville was a place where runaway convicts could easily hide out in the bush or disappear quietly into the Gumbramorra swamp, which was a natural boundary between Marrickville and what now comprises the suburbs of St Peters, Sydenham and Tempe. The swamp was almost always impassable.

The role of the swamp wetlands played an important part in Aboriginal life as a source of plants and animals. It supported a dense growth of thatch reed, providing an excellent habitat for a variety of birds, particularly swamp hens, moorhens, ducks, gulls and the occasional pelican.

After European settlement its role in the ecological system was not fully understood or appreciated, and the swamp was drained in the 1890s to facilitate the industrialisation of the suburb.








3.Chrys Meader http://marrickville-heritage.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/marrickville-suburb-history.html


Italian Roots in Australia

FILEF First Nations Peoples: What Recognition

Join us for an infomative night with a great line up of guest speakers.

History Week 2017 – POP

Join us for an exciting history week program across the Inner West

All Events – Book here

History Week

Annandale Royal Theatre – memoirs and a demolition in 1960

Situated on Johnson Street the Royal opened in 1925 with seating for 1,333

patrons. This theatre screened revival programmes for a number of years.

When local residents heard that the theatre was to be sold, they immediately

organised a large petition to try to save same from closure. Unfortunately

this was not successful and the Royal closed in August 1960.

Demolition followed and a service station now occupies the site.


In 1912 the Annandale Theatre opened in Johnston Street, in Johnston Street, near Booth Street. It was much more convenient for North Annandale folk, and Waddington’s lost its appeal. Built by Messrs Schell & Tome, the Annandale Theatre was open-air, with timber seats, iron sheets and timber front and sides. The picture screen faced west and silent films were accompanied by a pianist. The new theatre was built around the old building.

My earliest recollection of the Annandale Theatre dates back to I remember the name of Mr Schell but knew the Tome family. Mr Tome conducted the business, Mrs Tome attended to the ticket box, son Car 1 supervised, and daughter Netta played the piano. Mr. Pickard collected the tickets and also supervised.

A red concrete floor and mirror-walls formed an entrance foyer where easel display-boards advertised coming films. In the foyer’s centre ‘and above a mirror-walled ticket box, were large-framed coloured photographs of Norma Talmadge, Constance Bennett, Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore, Charles Chaplin and Mildred Harris. Strong wire-meshed partitions protected the foyer after closing times and informed patrons of coming films. Swinging double timber gates, manproofed with barbed wire, surmounted with hoardings advertising the current week’s programmes. There was a timber lockup confectionery shop inside the double gates on the Booth Street boundary.

The screen was on Johnston Street boundary in a galvanised-iron building. The sliding galvanisediron panels were kept open except in very cold weather. Unexpected rain

created a panic, sometimes the manually operated wire ropes jammed, the audience cheered and urged the harrassed wire pullers to hasten.

On each side of the entrance foyer, asphalted space surrounds led to two wide entrance doors and gave access to two-thirds of the theatre’s asphalted floors and aisles. The rear of “up-the-back” of the theatre had flooring boards. Access aisles to “up-the-back” were provided by meshed wire partitions and enclosed the “cushion seats” and “chairs”. Admission price was threepence “up-the-back” to wooden benches with back rests. The access aisles were complemented with two smaller aisles and divided the 16 seating into three blocks. The graduated flooring provided tiered seating. The operator’s box was at the rear of the centre block, and its side door opened for coolness. The matinee children would watch ·the operator at work but it was noisy and we tired of that activity. The operator’s patience was magnificent: he ignored us.Admission price was sixpence to the front benches with leather upholstery and back rests. These were divided into two blocks by a middle and two side aisles and referred to as the “pushion” seats by the small children. Three silken cords across these aisles divided the cushion seats from the “chairs”, which cost a shilling, and an extra charge ofsixpence for a reserved seat.

For the full story follow this link to the Leichhardt Historical Journal No:5

Reference: Leichhardt Historical Journal No:5 June 1975

Author: Margaret Quinn

Image 1: A Pictorial History of Sydney’s  Suburban Cinemas Barry Sharp Volume 1 pg. 121

Image 2 A Pictorial History of Sydney’s  Suburban Cinemas Barry Sharp Volume 1 pg. 123