Miss Ashfield 1931 – Miss Marie Walker – PIN

Miss Ashfield, Miss Marie Walker of 231 Liverpool Road Ashfield was one of 19 participants in the Miss Sydney fundraising competition organised by United Charities Fund of NSW.

This pin was donated to Ashfield Council in 1984 by Jim Sherry of Summer Hill

After a close competition, Miss Rockdale was crowned Miss Sydney on December 2, 1931. Having recieved  209,305 votes and raising over £872, she took home the crown and £50 prize money.

Runner up Miss Marrickville won £30, raising over £609 and receiving 146,375 votes. Miss Ashfield came in third place with 82,171 votes, raising over £342 and winning £20.

Details & newspaper clippings from TROVE

Miss Ashfield finished 3rd, behind Miss Rockdale and Miss Marrickville.

MISS. SYDNEY GIRLS (1931, October 24). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246560564

October 24 1931


Heritage Festival – Haberfield Association Yasmar House and St Davids

So the 2019 Heritage Festival: Connecting People Places and the Past has come to a close with 14 vibrant events including open houses, walking tours, history talks, two exhibitions and the Built Environment Awards attracting over 8oo attendees.

Last Saturday, May 11, the Haberfield Association held a very successful event with the opening of the garden at Yasmar to the public. About 320 people attended. A petition asking the NSW State government to keep Yasmar in public ownership was circulated and 209 people signed the petition. Once 500 signatures are obtained, our local MLA for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen, will present this petition to the State parliament. As a result of this day, the Association obtained eleven new members and ten more people volunteered to help renovate the garden at Yasmar. Many factors contributed to the success of this event but one important one was the positive and cheerful attitude maintained by everyone throughout the day. Congratulations and thanks to all these people.


ANZAC Day 2019

The traditional Anzac ideals of courage endurance and mateship are still relevant today, established on 25 April 1915 when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The inner west had a total of 14,522 WW1 enlistments. There are some cases where multiple members of one family have enlisted in different battalions.

Studio portrait of 164 Private John (Jack) Booth, A Company, 20th Battalion.

John Booth was a shipwright of Balmain, NSW, he enlisted in March 1915 and embarked on HMAT Berrima in June of that year. He was killed in action on 9 October 1917 at Passchendaele.

The Booth Brothers

Studio portrait of 9481 Driver (Dvr) Samuel Hordern Booth, 1st Divisional Train (left), his brother 164 Private (Pte) John Booth, 20th Battalion (seated) and an unidentified soldier. Dvr Samuel Booth, a carpenter from Balmain, NSW prior to enlistment, embarked with the 14th Reinforcements from Sydney on HMAT Ballarat on 16 February 1916. Later transferring to No 28 Company, Army Service Corps, he returned to Australia on 23 June 1919. Pte John Booth, a shipwright and also from Balmain, NSW prior to enlistment, embarked with A Company from Sydney on HMAT Berrima on 25 June 1915. Following service at Gallipoli, he transferred to the 5th Machine Gun Company in France. Later returning to the 20th Battalion, he was posted as missing in action in Belgium. It was subsequently determined that he had been killed in action at Passchendaele on 9 October 1917. Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium. See also A05787.

For more on John Booth click here 

For a selection of images depicting servicemen of the Inner West click here

For further information on memorials and WW1 service men and honour boards please email: history@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

Images courtesy of Inner West Library and History

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.

Continue reading Historic Letterheads Uncovered

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


Continue reading Billy Murdoch: A Star Cricketer from Balmain

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


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’


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