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Anecdotal History

By Time, Places, People or Events.

The "Annandale Post Office"

In 1809, Issac Nichols, was appointed to take charge of mail in Sydney. Convict Nichols arrived in Australia in 1790 and married Mary Warren six years later. Mary drowned in 1804 and the following year Nichols married Esther Abraham's daughter Rosanna (ADB). Nichols spoke in George Johnston's defence at his court martial, following the Rum Rebellion, and (Pg 18 Annandale's Great War: A Short Walk). In 1814 (Marine officer, convict wife) Nichols officiated at the marriage of George Johnston and Ester Abrahams (Annandale PO History).

The overland Telegraph was completed in August 1872. A 20-word telegram to England cost £9.- 1872 NAA: Creating a fast link to the world. viewed 28 December 2011, 200years.auspost.com.au

The Annandale Post Office, Petersham

map showing balmain road, callan park, leichhardt park, austenham A post office was opened at Camperdown in 1853 (pg2, Annandale PO History). The following year, the inhabitants of Austenham (now Orange Grove) and Petersham petitioned for their own post office (NAA: SP32/1, ANNANDALE PART 1 Annandale [Petersham] Post Office file [Box 12]). The Petersham Post Office opened in 1855.

Possibly the Norwood Post Office - a Brick Building with arched colonade. There are people standing outside the building and a boy on a bicycle and horse and buggy
The "Annandale Post Office, Annandale (NSW)" is most likely the original Petersham Post Office, renamed the Annandale Post Office in 1872. (Photograph State Records NSW)

"The Glebe delivery is bounded by the city boundary, the water, Johstone's Creek, and the Par- rammatta Road as far as Annandale Bridge. The adjoining delivery of Camperdown includes the whole of that locality, and the Parramatta Road from the Cook's River Road to Annandale Bridge ;..." 1859 'PARLIAMENTARY PAPER.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 3 September, p. 8, viewed 18 March, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13030268

On the back of the petition, Frederick Codner was nominated as a suitable manager. Though appointed "pm", on a salary of £10, he adopted the title of "Sub-officer Keeper". When he resigned, in 1857, on his recommendation, Marianne Williams was appointed to the post. On her resignation, Marianne nominated her sister, Martha, for the role. However, at 18, Martha was considered too young, and her mother Hanna Williams was appointed on a salary of £12. When Hanna died in 1885, Martha was finally appointed Postmistress. (pgs 3/4/5 Annandale PO History)

A post office was opened at Petersham Station. With the another Petersham postoffice, already in operation, the new post office was named Norwood. Not surprisingly, this lead to much confusion but a proposal to relocate the existing Petersham Post Office, to the Leichhardt Municipality, met with spirited opposition, particularly from H Mosman of Annan Grove. Annan Grove, was a one acre property on the Northern side of Parramatta Road (adjoining Macquarie Street, possibly the first residence in Modern day Ananndale. (Photo pg 160, Marine officer, convict wife). However, while the Post Master General did aquess and retain the post office, he decided it would be renamed Annandale Post Office. (pg7 Annandale PO History).

"It is also notified that on and after the 1st July, the name of the post-office at Petersham will be changed to "Annandale" and the post-office at Norwood will bear the designation of "Petersham"" - 1872 'LOCAL NEWS.', The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843-1893), 29 June, p. 3, viewed 2 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18764664

The Postmaster General's 1874 annual report records WH Ireland, of Enfield, holding the contract to convey mail, six times a week by 2 horse omnibus between the GPO, Bankstown & Upper Bankstown, via Camperdown, Petersham, Ashfield, Enfield and Bark Huts for £50pa until the end of 1875. The following year, the rate increased to £75, and the route reflected the name change from "Petersham" to "Annandale".

In 1878 Fitzwilliam H Eyre's was contracted at the same fee to provide a 3 horse omnibus service, with an extra stop at Druitt Town. By May 1882, when the contract was transferred to Francis Bower, the fee was £100. A year later the service was cancelled. However, Bowers then secured the contract to provide 12 services a week, from Burwood on, for £250pa. (pg 8 Annandale PO History).

As a result of an 1874 complaint by Mr Beames, on behalf of Leichhardt Council and a review of options provided by assistant PM Martha Williams, it was approved for mail to leave Annandale Post Office at 11.30am to for Sydney, via a 12.50 train from Petersham to Sydney. (pg 8 Annandale PO History)

In 1875, Robert Johnston complained that letters addressed to Annandale Estate, were going astray. He further complained that the post office's name should be changed as it wasn't on his estate and that other residents had mail delivered to their homes. Eventually, it was decided that Johnston's mail would be delivered to Camperdown for collection. (page 12 Annandale PO History)

A Post Office in North Annandale

In 1888, the Hon F Abigail MP, wrote that the people had asked him to urge "the necessity of a post ofice in Johnston Street"(pg 16 Annandale PO History). A deputation to the post master general, including W Pritchard, proposing a post office be established at the corner of Collins and Johnston Street, was reported in the SMH(pg 16 Annandale PO History).

Photograph of W Pritchard JP W.Pritchard JP, Borough of Annandale Photos

pale Green 2 story Victorian House with Lace Balconies11 Collins Street (Terrara in 1890s) Yellow Italianate Semi-Detached Villas Tylden at 13-15 Collins St. Tylden in the 1970s

In March 1890, with a business case of Rent: £90
PM Salary: £
Messenger salary: £26 and Estimated revenue postal £300, telegraph £150, - Balance in favour of Deparment £234pa.

The following properties were offered:
Stanislaus Gets (Houses at 119 & 121 Trafalagar St)
R Shannon (shop, Parramatta Road near Johsntone St)
WH Sadler (shop, 5 Johnstone St)
W Pritchard & Son (Terrara No 11 Collins St, adjoining Johnston St)
FW Mason (107 Booth St)
Mrs JJKiley (junction of Booth and Johnston Streets) New House, 7 rooms, kitchen, large shop front, stables
G Simmons (Shop, Parramatta Road near Johnston St.) and
a late offer of a Shop from J Newland of 68 View Street, were all found to be unsuitable.

The property at the corner of Collins and Johnston Street (opposite the recently opened Hunter Baillie Church), with a 138foot frontage to Johnston Street and 100foot to Collins, at £17, was too expensive. Negotiatiations to purchase a 40 foot portion at £15 with the sweetner that the department would construct a building [of similar grandeur] to the Leichhardt Post Office fell through. Eventually a site, at the corner of Booth and Johnston Street, was purchased in November 1890.(pg 18/9 Annandale PO History)

"DEPUTATIONS.
THE ANNANDALE POST-OFFICE.
The Postmaster-General was interviewed yesterday morning by a deputation, comprising the Mayor, aldermen, and residents of Leichhardt and Annandale, and it was requested that a site for the Annandale Post office should be secured at the corner of Booth and Johnson streets." - 1890 'DEPUTATIONS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), 13 December, p. 7, viewed 2 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13775870

With indecision over the suitability of the site, the department had acquired, it was decided, to rent premises. This time, W Pritchard and Son, offered Tylden, 13 Collins Street as a temporary Post Office. However, the rental of £135pa was considered too high. Following a petition from residents, Pritchard accepted an offer of £120pa subject to temporary alterations of the verandah to provide a public space and "letter fronts" (posting boxes), able to be removed when the premises were vacated.(pg 22/3/4 Annandale PO History)

Plan showing work to be done at 'Tylden' 13 Collins St. (1890-1900)

NAA: SP32/1 ANNANDALE PART 2 "Annandale Post Office: Plan showing work to be done at 'Tylden' 13 Collins St. Location: XNAA " 1890 - 1900 6918542

NEW POST OFFICE.-An office for the transaction of postal, telegraphic, money order, and Government savings bank business has been established at 13, Collins-street, Annandale. - 1891 'Government Gazette.', Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), 11 April, p. 35, viewed 21 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71251320

Mrs Kate M Black, a mother of six, the postmistress at Barenjoey post office, since her husband's death, was appointed. Her appointment on a salary of £150 because was on the basis that she was "a lady of considerable ability", demonstrated by her past service and further justified by the dependence, on her income, of her six children.

Post Office No. 1606 (reassigned from the early "Petersham Post Office") opened at Tylden on 6th April 1891. Money Orders, Government Savings Bank and Telegraph services were available. Equipped with Alphabetical Telegraph Instruments, the post office did not need a morse sound reader. Letter Carrier Farquharson's now operated from the Annandale PO instead of Leichhardt PO, while Letter Carrier Hearle's new route was along Johnston Street and Macquarie Streets. There were clearances at 5am, 10am and 3.30pm with the Newtown mailboy picking up mail closing at 12.45 and the post mistress sending mail at 4.30pm to Camperdown. Mail was delivered to Annandale at 7am, 1pm and 3.30pm(pg 22/3/4 Annandale PO History).

Annandale Post Office (corner Booth and Johnston Streets)

black and white photograph of Arts and Crafts Post Office

The Annandale Post Office with telegraph pole but no gas street light. Image (http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/36165340) used with permission of Australia Post and National Archives of Australia

In 1891, the Colonial Architect stated the £2500, for the erection of the post office, had been ommitted from the Budget estimates. Following representations from the Mr Haughton MP, the Postmaster General Kidd decided to purchase or resume the land recommended. The owner William Clark offered it at £13 per foot, the compulsory resumption offer of £11 was made and eventually £12 rate was agreed and the preferred site was acquired for £792 in May 1892. The local council was allowed to use of the original site, in Booth Street, for storage until it could be disposed of.

The tender for construction of the Post Office comprising a Colonnade, Public Lobby, Office, PM Office, Hall, Store, Dining Room, Kitchen and Pantry, on the Ground floor and Balcony, Drawing Room, 6 Bedrooms, Passage, Store and Bathroom upstairs for £1470 from Brown and Tapson was accepted and the building completed by March 1896. Furniture and Fittings were £75 and drainage and sanitary fittings cost £37.17.6. It was connected to the sewerage system in January 1900. (pg 30/31/32 Annandale PO History)

"ANNANDALE POST-OFFICE
A deputation from the Annandale Municipal Council, introduced by Mr Mahony, MLA , waited on the Minister for Works yesterday to ask for the erection of a post office within the municipality. The Government had already secured a site for the purpose" - 1894 'ANNANDALE POST-OFFICE.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), 26 October, p. 3, viewed 3 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13973871

The Annandale Post Office was designed by Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon - www.sydneyarchitecture.com

The February 1896 minutes of the Annandale Borough discuss a letter from the public works department about sharing the cost of guttering path in front of the new Post Office

When the Annandale Residents requested an extension of Telegraph Services to 8pm, similar to that offered in Camperdown - it was refused as the revenue at Annandale was less than several city post offices (Elizabeth St South (£1055, King Street£8180, Surry Hills£1098 and Sussex Street£4650), which closed at 6pm. (pg 25 Annandale PO History)

Arts and Crafts Post Office

The Annandale Post Office, with Gas Street Light but no Telegraph Pole from State Records NSW:NRS 4481, Government Printing Office Glass Negatives, Digital ID: 4481_a026_000529 SRNSW: NRS 4346, Photographs of Public Buildings in New South Wales 1880-1940,Digital ID: 4346_a020_a020000017 reproduced with permission State Records NSW

Australian Gas Light Company, 3-7 The Crescent Annandale

"DEPUTATIONS. ANNANDALE POSTAL NEEDS.
With a view to obtaining for Annandale increased postal facilities, a telephone exchange, an extension of hours during which the local post-office is open, and a better delivery generally,...In regard to the telephone service, Mr. Crick stated that he could give no relief to his audience until the end of January, when the new switchboard would be completed. As to the extension of the hours of post-office business, the Postmaster-General promised an assistant operator and messenger to Annandale, which would have the desired effect..." - 1899 'DEPUTATIONS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), 19 December, p. 3, viewed 2 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14261224

In February 1900 an additional messenger and acting super numerary operator was appointed with a salary of £65 and £25. The Messenger Smith undertook the usual condition of employment - which was that if after 20 years of employment there was no other position available he would be dismissed.

Public Telephones

A public telephone was installed on 27 January 1905. The Annandale Council already had a telephone on the Newtown exchange - Newtown 93 appears in an 1895 directory. Also listed was Robertson James, Canister Maker Nelson St, Annandale on Newtown 94 and Taylor Bros, Jam Factory Booth Street, Annandale on Newtown 85. A Telephone exchange opened at Petersham in the early 1890s.(pg 26/7 Annandale PO History)

The NAA records include: TA49/2544 "Public Telephone LM74 corner Booth and Young streets, Annandale " 1941 - 1950 4318336
TA50/3889 "Public Telephone, Annandale Post Office" 1950 - 1952 4327749; and
TA50/4443 "Public Telephone West Annandale Post Office " 1950 - 1951 4327851

municipality of Annandale, Letter to each parliamentary represent () requesting support1909 Annandale Borough Resolution, City of Sydney Archives 1909/1355
Penny Postage

16 June 1909: Resolution
That a letter be written to all councils (municipal and Shire) soliciting their co-operation in an endeavour to secure the establishment of the system of Penny Postage throughout the state of NSW. That all Councils willing to co-operate be requested to approach the federal postmaster-general through the parliamentary representatives, urging its adoption. - signed Hinsby (town clerk) - Sydney City Council Archives: Town Clerk's Correspondence Folders1909/1355

Annandale Borough receives hearty co-operation for letter righting campaign to "secure the establishment of the system of penny postage throughout the State of New South Wales." - City of Sydney Archives 1909/1355

Annandale Post office with Electric Light and Tram Cables (circa 1915)

black and white photograph of Arts and Crafts Post Office

Possibly before 1925 as it could be the Annandale Picture House, rather than the Royal Theatre located next to the Post Office. Image (trove.nla.gov.au/work/36076813) used with permission of Australia Post and National Archives of Australia

Electricity and Electric Trams come to Annandale.

Annandale Post Office, showing electric tramlines and Annandale Picture Theatre next door. The Picture Theatre was replaced by a much larger theatre in 1925. More about Annandale's Theatres

Kate Black and her assistant Mary Mulligan retired in 1915. Letter Carrier Hickey died in the same year. Robert L Studdert was the next PM, with staff W Laughton (who was appointed in 1915 after working as the telegraph assistant at Penrith Post OfficeNT), EG Simper, PD Morgan, FA Hearle, JP Green, James J Hannan, WX Goodwin, WJ Gamble, XLC Darell, FW Lowe. Studdert was followed by Alfred Plumley(1938) in 1921.

North Annandale Hotel & Tram, opposite corner from Annandale Post Office, ca 1955

Annandale Post Office with Cars and Traffic Lights circa 1973

black and white photograph of Arts and Crafts Post Office

The Royal Movie Theatre next to the Post Office operated until around 1960, when it was demolished to make way for a petrol station. Image (trove.nla.gov.au/work/36210619) used with permission of Australia Post and National Archives of Australia (NAA: C4078, N48414 (Looking at the Southern facade of post office) & NAA: C4078, N48415 (Looking at northern facade of post office))

Postmen

NAA: MP33/1 NSW1927/2343 "Case of A J Macpherson, postman, Annandale Location: Melbourne " 1925 - 1928 6001085

AWA, Telegraph Poles and Traffic Lights

The location of the telegraph pole and traffic light in front of the post office could be a result of AWA being the contractor for the telegraph and traffic lights [LINK] Those AWA footpath plates (Richard Chirgwin 28 Jun 2011)

red arts and craft building on street corner, with red Australia Post van passing byAnnandale Post Office 1996

Australian Heritage Photographs: Annandale Post Office May 1996 and February 2002

The 2000s

The Annandale Post Office continues to operate, in the heart of Annandale, on the North West corner of the Intersection of Booth and Johnston Streets. red arts and craft building on street cornerThe North Annandale Hotel is on the South East corner. There are Shops on the North East corner and St Aidans is on the South West Corner.

In 2010, the Post Boxes from Camperdown Post Office were moved to Annandale. The pocket of Camperdown in which the post office was located had become Annandale in 1995 and the ongoing operation of the post office(GNB3587,3718 http://www.gnb.nsw.gov.au/name_search/extract?id=JPjLXtsE") would have been confusing!.

Photograph of Bennett's Coach Factory and Camperdown Post Office, Parramatta Road, west of Mallett Street, Camperdown (1 December 1911) - City of Sydney Archives

Annandale Post Office to get Parcel Lockers (September 2013)

post officepost office
notice

Development Application for the installation of Parcel Lockers at Annandale Post Office. The lockers are to be installed on the Northern Fenceline, adjoining the Bill Board in the Petrol Station on Johnston Street. Heritage Impact Statement, Drawings and homepage for D / 2013 / 374 (comments close 27 Sep 2013).

red brick building with arch, steel and glass entry, and 10 silver (stainless Steel) letter boxes and flagpole Westgate Post Office, parramatta Road, Annnandale, converted to 8 appartments circa 2010 two men in front of post officeWestgate Post Office 1927 Source: National Archives of Australia

Westgate Post Office, Parramatta Road

National Archives of Australia Records: SOUTH LEICHHARDT PART 1 South Leichhardt [South Annandale] [Westgate] [Box 575])(SOUTH LEICHHARDT PART 2 "South Leichhardt [South Annandale] [Westgate] [Box 575]" 1899 - 1900 11058289) (SOUTH LEICHHARDT PART 3 "South Leichhardt [South Annandale] [Westgate] [Box 575]" 1900 - 1909 10856945)

Westgate Post Office is located on Parramatta Road. Around 2011, it was redeveloped into 8 Apartments. The posts and verandah of the adjoining building can be seen on the right hand side of the 1927 photograph. However, with cars crashing into the posts, in the 1920s, the verandahs were replaced with balconies and awnings.

The Post Office was part of the new Westgate Shopping Centre.

PMG Training School

National Archives of Australia Records: (A6074 PO1386 "Annandale NSW - lease post office site to P McDonald Location: Canberra " 1935 - 1941 6962905) and (A6074 "PO9341" "Annandale New South Wales - Lease of Premises in Nelson Street Location: Canberra " 1947 - 1947 7158875)

NAA: PA/2041 "Annandale, acquisition PMG [Post Master General] training school, owner: Beale & Co Ltd [2.5cm; box No 284] with exception " 1957 - 1973 1101472

acquisition PMG [Post Master General] training school, owner: Beale...more

Further references

Annandale Post Office Annandale Post Office, 18 February 2017.