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Annandale Heritage Festival 2016

Tom Worthington hanging panels 15 April 2016Annandale Heritage Festival 2016 Merrick Fry hanging Rediscover Annandale from Land Grant to Urban Village 15 April 2016

Rediscover Annandale Landgrant to Urban Village

rediscover annandale LAND GRANT TO URBAN VILLAGEAbout the Exhibition | Opening | Visitor Book | Text of the Posters

Text by Marghanita da Cruz, March 2016

'A View in upper part of Port Jackson ; when the Fish was shot.' (SLNSW)

Surgeon John White

John White was the doctor to the first fleet and the new colony. It was on his advice that the colony was established at Sydney Cove, Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), and not Botany Bay.

In his Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales, White describes a trip to the "upper part of Port Jackson Harbour" and encounters with the Gadigal over fishing.

A Sea Horse (Hippocampus whitei), "White's tree frog" (Litoria caerulea), White's Creek and White Bay are named after him.

1843 Annandale (SLNSW)

George Johnston

George Johnston was a born in 1764 at Annandale, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Johnston was the first ashore at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 and gets numerous mentions in White's descriptions of expeditions from Sydney Cove.

Land Grants

In 1793 Johnston received a land grant of 100 acres on the southern side of Parramatta Road, which he named Annandale (now Stanmore). In 1799 Johnston was granted land on the northern side of Parramatta Road, bounded by Johnston and White's creeks, which became modern day Annandale.

White received land grants adjoining Johnston's on the western side of White' creek. In December 1794, White returned to his family in England with his Sydney born son. The child's mother was Rachel Turner, a convict, who later married Thomas Moore. Moore's grant was on the southern border of Johnston's Annandale.

In 1806 Governor King granted William Bligh land on the east bank of Johnston's Creek. Bligh named his estate Camperdown after the battle in which he had captained HMS Director.

Arrest of Governor Bligh by George Johnston (SLNSW)

Rum Rebellion

On 26th January 1808, George Johnston lead the NSW Corps in a military coup. Johnston arrested Governor Bligh and assumed control of the colony, as Lieutenant Governor, until 1810. Julia Johnston accompanied her father to England, to face the court-martial, as Lachlan Macquarie sailed to Sydney as the new Governor. Central to Johnston's defence at the court-martial was the reallocation of Camperdown from John Macarthur to Bligh. In 1995, the boundaries of Annandale were extended to Mallet Street and included the catalytic part of Camperdown.

Johnston was found guilty and stranded in England. When Johnston eventually returned, the colony was under the control of his former comrade in arms. Macquarie, Macarthur and Johnston had fought together, for the British, in the American war of independence.

Johnston married former convict Ester Abrahams, the mother of his seven children, in 1814.

Macquarie's Proclamation

On 4 May 1816 Governor Macquarie proclaimed: "no Black Native, or Body of Black Natives shall ever appear at or within one Mile of any Town, Village, or Farm, occupied by, or belonging to any British Subject, armed with any warlike or offensive Weapon or Weapons of any Description, such as Spears, Clubs, or Waddies, on Pain of being deemed and considered in a State of Aggression and Hostility, and treated accordingly."

Annandale Estate & Model Township

Text in these two posters not available. For more about this period see: Anecdotal History of Annandale.

Annandale Public School and Hunter Baillie Presbyterian Memorial Church

The Annandale Public School and Hunter Baillie Church Hall were opened in 1886.

The sandstone church, with its landmark steeple, was completed until 1889. The construction of the Church and Hall, along with a ward at the Children's Hospital and a chair at Sydney University were endowed by Helen Baillie in memory of her husband John Hunter Baillie.

The Annandale Borough

Annandale Council Chambers (LLLH)

The City of Sydney Municipal council was established in 1842 and given control of the water supply, at Lachlan Swamps (Centennial Park),Sewerage and Drainage. John Young was on the Sydney Council from 1876-87 and Mayor in 1886.

The Leichhardt Municipality was established in 1871. The North Annandale Estate became the East Ward of Leichhardt. John Young was elected Mayor in 1879 and 1884-85.

In October 1884, John Miller of Albion Street complained to the City Council, that he was waiting on water to be connected to start building his house. The City Engineer gave instructions for the work to begin. In July 1885, Leichhardt's Town Clerk complained to the City Council about the state of a plug casing in Collins Street and an exposed water main in Annandale Street.

In 1893 John Young lead a secession from Leichhardt. The newly formed Annandale Borough held their first elections were in 1894 and Young was elected Mayor.

The second Mayor of Annandale was Allen Taylor, he went on to become Lord Mayor of Sydney and a Member of the Legislative Council. Taylor Square is named after him. In opening the new council chambers, Taylor noted it was a modest building that hadn't put the borough into debt and that at a later stage a Town Hall could be built for social and political activities.

Annandale Aqueducts

Advertisements for the North Annandale estate boasted sewerage, water, gas and ‘perfect and natural drainage’. However, backlanes were resumed to remove night soil and this along with other waste and runoff ended in the creeks which ran into the harbour.

In 1888 the state government took over responsibility for Water Supply and Sewerage. The Annandale Aqueducts were constructed in the late 1890s, to carry sewerage over White and Johnston's creek to the Bondi sewerage outflow. WJ Baltzer's innovative and competitive proposal to build the aqueducts using reinforced concrete was received with skeptism and a 3 year warranty was demanded.

Over the next 40 years, the entire length of the two Creeks were converted into brick lined storm water drains with concrete inverts. and in the case of White's Creek parts were covered up completely.

Edwinville, 41 Trafalgar St. was built by Alexander Sherif ca1891.(LLLH)

In 1893, Sherif created the 60x178ft Pyrmont Stone facades for the City Bank Building at 168 Pitt St and 83Castlereagh St.


The 1888 depression lead to subdivision of the large Annandale properties. The new buyers were builders, who erected more modest homes on smaller blocks. Well serviced by Horse drawn Omnibuses and Trams, Annandale residents had less need for private stables and carriages, which could be hired if needed. Horses and carts were also used for transporting goods. There are also stories of Cattle and Sheep being driven through Annandale, to the Glebe Island Abattoir. The Harold Park trotting track, saw horses stabled in Annandale and Glebe into the second millenium.

Annandale Post Office

Annandale Heritage Festival 2016 Merrick Fry hanging Rediscover Annandale from Land Grant to Urban Village 15 April 2016

See images of post office at Anecdotal History

In 1809 Lieutenant Governor Johnston appointed former convict Issac Nichols to take charge of mail in Sydney. In 1805, following the death of his wife, Nichols married Esther Abraham's daughter Rosanna. Nichols spoke in Johnston's defence at the court martial and officiated at Johnston and Ester Abraham's marriage.

In 1872 the Petersham post office was renamed Annandale, to avoid confusion with the new Post Office at the Petersham Railway Station. Robert Johnston complained that mail addressed to Annandale Estate, was going astray and as the post office wasn't on his estate, it should not be called Annandale. It was decided that mail for the Annandale Estate would be delivered to Camperdown for collection.

Lobbying for a Post Office in Annandale began in 1888. Several sites along Booth Street and on the corner of Johnston and Collins Street were considered. As negotiations continued on a permanent site, 13 Collins Street was leased as an interrim post office.

Mrs Kate M Black was appointed Postmistress on a salary of £150. Black had demonstrated her "considerable ability" as postmistress at Barenjoey, after her husband's death, and supported her six children.

The current site was purchased from William Clark for £792 in May 1892. Colonial Architect WL Vernon designed the building which included office space and a residence for the Post Master. Brown and Tapson tendered to construct it for £1470. The building was completed in March 1896, furniture and fittings were £75 and the drainage and sanitary fittings £37.17.6. It was connected to the sewerage system in January 1900. The department of public works asked the council to share the cost of guttering in front of the building.

A public telephone was installed on 27 January 1905.

In 1909 the council wrote to other councils asking for support for a campaign for Penny Postage throughout NSW and received hearty support from the City Council.


Westgate is the Parramatta Road businesses from Johnston Street to Tavernor's Hill. The Westgate Post Office on Parramatta Road opened in 1927. Around 2010, it was converted into 8 appartments.

The Annandale Theatre

Around 1910 Anton Schell and Andrew Tome opened the Annandale Picture Theatre next to the Annandale Post Office in Johnston Street. The animosity towards Germans took its toll on Schell who withdrew. Tome in partnership with Wilfred and Harold Rein continued to operate the theatre.

The Royal Theatre

In 1923 Tome and the Reins registered the Royal Theatre. Architects TW Hodgson and Son contracted Edgar Rein to build it.

In 1927 a fire broke out in the generator room behind the theatre. The patrons were plunged into darkness and asked to evacuate due to a current failure. The Theatre was connected to the City Council's electricity service in 1939, but retained its generators and a nest of batteries as backup.

In July 1929 an application was made, to the Council, to install Western Electric's talking equipment.

Shell Oil bought the site in 1961 and demolished the theatre to make way for a petrol station.

Beale Pianos and Sewing Machines

In 1901, Prime Minister Edmund Barton opened the state of the art Beale Piano Factory. The complex had its own electricity generator, blacksmiths shop and pioneered plywood manufacture in Australia. The company branded sewing machines and made the wooden cabinets for Singer sewing machines and Raycophone radios.

Beale died when his car overturned in 1930. During WW2, the factory's was used to manufacture plywood Mosquito Bomber fuselages.

Police Station

The Police Station designed by WL Vernon opened in 1905. The State Heritage Register describes the building as "federation Queen Anne", with a "hipped and gabled roof" "clad with a patterned slate roof" and displaying "the Australian Adaptation of the shaded Verandah, sandstone, brick and timber work".

Annandale North Public School

The 1907 Annandale North Public School was built by local Owen Ridge. Ridge's home "Annanville" is at 100 Albion Street. Ridge was Mayor of Annandale 1904-6.


In 1910, the Sydney City Council built the Substation at Johnston Street to supply electrict street lighting to Annandale. 156 Gas lamps were replaced with 116 Electric Lights, with a "bonus" that they would shine every night. The gas lights only shone for 300 nights a year.

Taylor Brothers Jams were keen to be connected to the City Council supply. Allen Taylor (not related to the Taylor Brothers), the former Mayor of Annandale, had been on the Sydney Council electricity committee since 1902.

Melocco Brothers

The Melocco Brothers had their operations at the corner of Booth and Wigram Road from 1919 until 1984. Their heritage listed show room remains on the site. Peter Melocco bought the house at 86 Johnston Street, which he converted into appartments and built the Villa at 84 Johnston Street. The Melocco Brothers' mosaics adorn the Central Railway Booking Office and in the vestibule of the Mitchell Library.

Annandale War Memorial

There are over 1200 names on the honour boards in the schools, churches and the council chambers in Annandale. The War Memorial in Hinsby Park lists only a few of those who did not return. Next to the memorial is an Ersatz grave. The community raised over £1200 (about the price of three cottages) to build the Memorial. Keith Harris won £15 for his grand design only part of which was built. F. Gagliardi constructed the memorial from Bowral Trachyte with two electric flames - which are now missing.

Amy Hudson

Amy Hudson played cricket in Trafalgar Street outside her home at 153. Later Hogan Park became the home ground for the Annandale Warratah's Women's Cricket Team. Amy went on to bat and bowl for NSW and tour England & Holland with the national team before and after WW2.

Raycophone Factory

By 1937, Raycophone sound systems were in 345 our of 1420 cinemas around Australia. The company also produced wireless receivers at 62 Booth Street. During WW2, they manufactured gunsights and supplied portable movie equipment to the military for training.

Looking North and South along Johnston Street

In 1926, Edgar Rein presented the Annandale Borough with two panoramic photographs of Annnadale. The photographs had been taken from the top of the Annandale Theatre, which was in Johnston Street, next to the Post Office.

Sydney Tram Network

Sydney had horse drawn, steam and electric trams. A steam tram service ran along Parramatta Road to Annandale from 1883. In 1902, the Leichhardt, Abbotsford and Fivedock services travelled through Annandale, along Parramatta Road, and the Balmain line was along the Crescent.

Before it was shut down in 1961, the Sydney Tram network was second only to London in scale.

Booth Street Tram

A delegation from the Annandale Borough met with the minister for works in 1902, seeking a Tram along Booth Street or Johnston Street. The minister said he had a report which supported a tram along Johnston Street, but would seek a report on the Booth Street route. Tenders were sought in 1909, for construction of the line from Minogue Crescent, over Johnston's Creek, along Taylor St and Booth Street, to Catherine Street.

White Bay Power Station

Commissioned in 1917, the White Bay Power Station was built by the railways to provide electricity for the expansion of the electric tram network.

Metropolitan Freight Line

Arthur Griffith won state seat Annandale in 1913. As minister for public works from 1910 to March 1915, Griffith initiated projects worth over £4 million and promoted JJC Bradfield to the position of chief engineer for metropolitan railway construction.(ADB)

The construction of the Metropolitan Freight Line was given impetus by the demand for food for the war effort. The initial design included duplication of the Glebe Island bridge to connect the line from Rozelle to the docks at Darling Harbour. However, the former mayor of Annandale, Allen Taylor and others had docks in Blackwattle Bay and the line was rerouted around Rozelle Bay via a brick viaduct and several bridges. The line opened in January 1922 and closed in 1996.

Light Rail

In 1997, the "Light Rail" tram service opened on the former Metropolitan Freight line.

WW2 and After

Air Raid Shelters

During WW2, Air Raid shelters were erected around Annandale including at the Annandale Public School, behind the Council Chambers and in Hinsby Park.

Council Amalgamations.

In 1949, Annandale Borough was absorbed into the Leichhart Muncipal Council along with the Glebe and Balmain.

The Abbey

In 1959, Dr Geoffrey Davis was given the Abbey by his father who had purchased it for £4500. The Abbey had been turned into flats, which Davis leased these to artists. Author Christina Stead died at the Abbey in 1983. Davis was well known in Sydney for performing abortions. He was also well known for the parties he hosted. Following Davis' death in 2008, the contents and the Abbey were auctioned.

Greek Orthodox Community

In 1961 until 1975, the Greek Orthodox Community ran after school child-minding and classes on cultural and religious heritage in the St Aidan's school hall. It was an uncomfortable arrangement with the Rector at odds with the Church authorities.

The Annandale Association and Green Bans

Betty Mason recalls, Oybin and Rosella were to be demolished, to make way for eight story blocks of units. Betty, her husband Hugh and others decided a local organisation was needed to save these and other elegant buildings in Annandale. From a copy of the electoral roll, they identified people who would be useful to the campaign and invited them to a meeting in the former council chambers. They also letterboxed Annandale. 100 people turned up to the meeting which formed the Annandale Association. A motion to restrict membership to local residents was defeated. Betty also recalls a horse and cart still being used for street sweeping.

In 1951, the Cumberland County Plan incorporated green belts and a network of expressways for Sydney. In 1962, a State Planning Authority was established and six years later, a new plan included two freeways through Glebe and Annandale. 1180 homes and parkland in Annandale, Glebe and Leichhardt would make way for expressways. "The Battlers for Kelly's Bush" asked the BLF to impose a Green Ban to protect condemned bushland in Hunter's Hill. Green Bans were also imposed on the demolition of the inner west houses.

In 1974, the federal government redirected funds from expressways to a National Highway program. Two years later, the Wran government abondoned the expressways in favour of a strategy of priority roads, clearways and traffic light scheduling.

Save Rozelle Bay Association

Campaigns to convert the foreshore into parkland dated back to 1899, with a successful campaign, which secured Federal Park.

In the 1920s, after a fire at a foreshore factory, the Annandale Borough, Parents and Citizens', Ratepayers' and the local member lobbied the Minister for Lands to resume the site on the Crescent for a park. The council were compensated for the parkland lost to the railway viaduct and damage to the park by its construction.

By the 1980s, the threat from the expressways and developers had dissapated and interest shifted to the foreshore parklands and the formation of the Save Rozelle Bay Association. Leichhardt Council acquired several sites along the crescent, with the intent to convert them into Parkland. In 2003, the State government changed the council boundaries change puttting the Annandale foreshore under the Sydney City Council.

Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative

Boomalli Aboriginal Artists cooperative was formed in 1987. The co-operative was based at 191 Parramatta Road Annandale from the early 1990s until 2002, when they moved to Flood Street Leichhardt.

Save Annandale Village Campaign

See Save Annandale Village

In 2010, a devlopment application was lodged to build a large supermarket with associated car parking at the corner of Trafalgar St and Parramatta Road.

Locals leafletted, rallied in Annandale and gathered at the Leichhardt Town Hall, to have a final input, to the planning panel's decision. The application was rejected on the numerous grounds highlighted by the campaign.

Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery

In 2012, the Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery in Wisdom Street opened. The purpose built facility reused timber from the Pyrmont bridge. Since 1995, bushcare volunteers had propagated local provenance plants and reintroduced them into Annandale, from temporary accomodation in Chapman street.

Constructed Wetland and Swales

See Opening Taylor Street Swales (MdC)

In 2001, two wetlands were constructed to filter rain water before it entered the harbour. Salt marsh wetlands were constructed in Federal Park. The White's Creek Wetlands are a fresh water system, which now provides habitat for frogs and turtles.

In 2012, Swales were constructed in Taylor Street (south) to capture rainwater and replenish ground water. A swale has also been constructed in Annandale Street, at Piper Street. There is a water retention basin on the eastern bank of White's Creek near Piper Street.

Footprints ecoFestival

See: Footprints ecoFestival (MdC)

The annual Footprints ecoFestival, established in 2010, fills White's Creek Valley every August.

Douglas Grant Memorial Park

Opening Douglas Grant Park 2015 (MdC)

Douglas Grant c1931 (SLNSW)

Douglas Grant grew up at 132 Albion Street, attended Annandale Public School and played Cricket for the Hunter Baillie Church Team.

Grant enlisted in 1916 but when he arrived at the docks, the authorities noticed he was an indigenous man and did not allow him to board. Following referrendums for conscription, Grant enlisted again and sailed for Europe. Grant was captured by the Germans. In the POW camp, he was recognised by a colleague of his foster father. When released, Grant made his way back to London, where he was elected to reply to a toast to the Australian Troops. Grant also received incessant invitations to visit his scottish "relatives", which he did before returning to Australia.

In 1929, the Sunday Pictorial published a response from Grant to a police shooting. Grant wrote: "The shooting of 31 aborigines in Central Australia is damning in the extreme. It shows the utter lack of law and order and protection that is theirs by law of the same Government whose officers shot those unfortunate natives." He went on to write "'Tis indeed passing strange that such persons as my foster-father and foster mother, the late Mr and Mrs Robert Grant (and many other notable men), had lived for months in the midst of the wild tribes of North Queensland. In fact my foster-mother was the first white woman to traverse and mix up with these uncivilized and so-called savages."

The narrator in the play Black Diggers by Tom Wright, which premiered at the 2014 Sydney Festival, is based on Grant. Douglas Grant Memorial Park at the southern end of Taylor Street was opened in September 2015.

Acknowlegement Abbreviations (for text, images and graphics on posters)
SLNSW State Library of NSW; SRNSW State Records NSW; ADB: Australian Dictionary of Biography; NAA: National Archives; LLLH: Leichhardt Library Local History Collection; AWM: Australian War Memorial; CSA: City of Sydney Archives; HP: Historic Photographs; HHT: Caroline Simpson Library, Historic Houses Trust; MdC: Marghanita da Cruz; SLV:State Library of Victoria; NMA: National Museum of Australia; SHR: State Heritage Register; NGA: National Gallery of Australia; NLA: National Library of Australia; MU: The Rylands Collection, Manchester University Library; AA: Annandale Association Register of Buildings; TG: Tony Grech; GG: Gretchen Gamble; Graphics: Joel Tarling. These posters were a Leichhardt Library Local History project for the 2016 Heritage Festival.

Self Guided Illustrated Historical Walks

Each book in this series is a self guided historical walk through Annandale. Each walk explores the people and construction of Annandale. Each book covers two decades of Annandales History a hundred years apart. The first book in the series, 1890s Annandale: A Short Walk, covers the 1790s and 1890s...more.

1890s Annandale A Short Walk second edition Marghanita da Cruz with line drawing of Church with steeple Federation Annandale A Short Walk Marghanita da Cruz Annandale's Great War: A Short Walk Second Edition by Marghanita da Cruz with Annandale Viaduct and Soldiers 1920s Annandale A Short Walk  Marghanita da Cruz with line drawing of 1920s Flats 1930s Annandale: A Short Walk by Marghanita da Cruz with line drawing of an Art Deco Pub 1940s Annandale A Short Walk  Marghanita da Cruz with photograph of street with aircraft being towed. 50s Annandale A Short Walk,  Marghanita da Cruz