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1956-1969 - Bohemian Annandale

The Sydney Push

The Abbey was subdivided and turned into flats in 1924. In 1959, Sydney surgeon Geoffrey Lancelot Davis, paid £4500 cash for the property. He leased the flats to folksy artists. The Sydney Push partied at the Abbey, to the strains of the original "The Bushwacker's Band"... more

Anne's memories of School in the 1950s

Horses and Carts

The Bakeo would sell bread door to door.

concrete watering trough on roadside with plants growing in itconcrete watering trough on roadside with plants growing in itBetty recalls being on the fringe of parties at the Abbey. She also recalls Council street sweepers with horse drawn carts. The Horses would amble along the familiar route, while the street sweeper filled the cart.

Many years later, Betty campaigned to save a Bills Horse Trough that stood in front of the Annandale North Public School - a Plaque on the trough acknowledges the Annandale Association (and by implication Betty). David Lawrence's story of the horse trough

This is one of 700, or so, of animal watering troughs erected around Australia and elsewhere, by a Trust fund set up by Annis and George Bills. -

concrete watering trough on roadside with plants growing in it concrete watering trough on roadside with plants growing in it

Hoadley's Chocolates at new plant, Annandale, 2 November 1962

Annandale resident returns home to Brittany after 50 years

Tony Moody pointed out this story of his grandparents: "On the way from their home in the Sydney suburb of Annandale with M. Le Nevez and his wife, I asked him: "Why did you come to Australia?" "I didn't mean to come here at all," he said. "I was electrical engineer on a ship which came to Australia. I had an attack of malaria, the ship sailed with out me, and I am still here."...1956 'A stubborn Breton goes "home"', The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), 4 April, p. 26. , viewed 16 Nov 2019,

Greek Community

In 1961, the Greek Orthodox Community were allowed to use the St Aidan's school hall for an after school child-minding and teaching about cultural and religious heritage. However, the 1964 minutes note "it had come to Mr Hemming's notice that there was sme communist influence apparent in the faction of the church wich was using our Church hall for after school instruction, the lease was terminated in 1969, but reinstated in 1970 a further instruction from the Church council to terminate the lease in 1975 was rejected by the Rector, but the popularity of the service had waned anyway. - Annals from AIDAN's in Annandale (p26)

Margaret Barr

"She formed the Margaret Barr Dance Group in Sydney in 1952, was Director of Movement at the National Institute of Dramatic Art from its inception in 1958 to 1975, and conducted classes at her Annandale studio"....more

The Art of parts: collage and assemblage from the collection, 17 Sep – 13 Nov 2016 AGNSW featured works by two of the Annandale Imitation Realists.

collage The Beautiful One is Here, Mike Brown, 1969-70 tryptitch assemblage on red background The Dry Salvages, Colin Lancely, 1963-64.

Annandale Imitation Realists

"In 1960 the 22-year-old Mike Brown joined the New Zealand artist, Ross Crothall, in an old terrace house in inner Sydney's Annandale. Over the following two years the artists filled the house with a remarkable body of work. Launched with an equally extraordinary exhibition, the movement they called Imitation Realism introduced collage, assemblage and installation to Australian art for the first time..." - 3.Sailing to Byzantium: Annandale Imitation Realism (1960-62) 2011, English, Book, Illustrated edition: Permanent revolution : Mike Brown and the Australian avant-garde 1953-1997 / Richard Haese.

"By 1960, Crothall and Brown were living together in a house Crothall had rented in Annandale and Lanceley was a frequent visitor...The group ended in 1964 when Lanceley departed for Europe."

"Colin Lanceley first came to notice in the early 1960s" - (14 March 2011)

"Brown's philosophy was simple: ''We have forgotten that art isn't some special condiment you splash on life to make it taste a little better." - (November 12, 2011)

"Crothall’s experience of art in New Zealand meant that he was able to present new possibilities for the work of a group of Sydney art students, some of whom would become the Imitation Realists. Their work was shaped by the awareness of indigenous art forms of the Pacific" - (Winter 2007)

The Art Gallery of NSW has two catalogues from the group's exhibitions. The catalog (SA709.94/18) for the exhibition at the Rudy Komon Gallery, 124 Jersey Road Wollahra, is entitled the Subterranean Imitation Realists formerly of Annandale, with cover design Title Lettering credited to R Crothall, the Central Drawing to Colin Lancely and the "Motifs above and below" to Mike Brown. 177 works are listed including 5 "Joint Works" and individual "exhibits". The exhibition included Byzantium, which is now in the NGA's Collection. The catalog carries a description (advertisement) of the services provided by the Rudy Komon Gallery and credits the printers, with a comment that their payment was dependent on the sale of artworks.

In the catalog (SA709.94/19) for the exhibition at the "Museum of Modern Art of Australia" under "Words Words Words - William Shakespeare, English Poet, d 1616" Elwyn Lynn wrote, on 3/2/62 at Double Bay, "Junk Culture is the culture of cities and expropriates its environment in Annandale for Crothall and Brown timber off-cuts and waste metal were readily available; Lancely (and later, Brown) found Woolworths handy and cheap." The handwritten and illustrated catalog also included Joint Works and statements and individual works from "Countdown Lancely", "Poncho Brown" and Crotheral

"Byzantium is a collaborative work that encapsulates the freewheeling, experimental spirit of the early 1960s. It was created by Mike Brown, Ross Crothall and Colin Lanceley"...NGA 88.645

St Brendan's Student in 1950s School UniformBoy with BiblePhotogaphs courtesy of Julie Azzopardi

Julie's Memories of Annandale

In 1959, Julie and her family, landed in Sydney after a six week sea voyage from Malta, via the Cape of Good Hope. After temporary accommodation with her mother in Leichhardt, Julie and her husband, moved into a house in Trafalgar Street.

Julie's three sons attended St Brendan's primary school and served as Altar boys for parish services.

While Annandale had provided convenient access to the city, via public transport, six years later a growing family, which now included two daughters, needed more space and they moved to a bigger home.

Story and Photographs courtesy of Julie.

Visiting Maltese Dignatories at the Sacred Heart Club, Annandale (Photo 1963)

The Hunter Baillie

The Rev. Leonard Mervyn Williams and his wife Dilys came to the Hunter Baillie in 1956. The church was in decline and the threat of falling masonry had made it impossible to obtain public liability insurance. (p39, Hunter Baillie) Dilys conducted alternate services at Leichhardt and Hunter Baillie Presbyterian churches with her husband and was inducted, in 1969, as the first woman Elder in NSW. (p41, Hunter Baillie). Ferguson Library Archivist mentioned in her talk at the church on 4 September 2010, that Dilys Williams in the 1930s had applied to the Presbyterian Church of Australia General Assembly to be Accepted as a candidate for the Ministry. Her application was "laid on the table" and was never dealt with. The stained glass window on the northern side of the church was restored in memory of the Williams' time at the church.

"Back in the 1950's after first attending Sunday School in the morning the older children were then taken into the church for the last part of the service. One of these Sunday School students recalls the time when entering the church a number of them were whispering and giggling as they entered and took their seats, girls in the first pew, boys in the second, when Mrs Williams picked out one child and instructed her to take a seat further back in the church.

As a result, this child made an effort to check, as to who was doing the service each week to avoid any further humiliation by Mrs Williams.

Annandale Theatres

Olympia, Parramatta Road

Royal, Johnston Street (adjoining post office)

Peter's first experience of the Annandale Royal was when his Mum took him along, when he was just 3 months old (no child care then) to see "The Third Man". He, recalls living at "163 Johnston St, about 2 minutes walk from the cinema. My mates and I went there every Saturday afternoon. There used to be a very dark Milk Bar next door as well that sold McNiven's ice cream (the lime ripple was fantastic). The milk bar acros the road next to the chemist sold Peter's which was dearer. The Royal used to get the Disney films-I saw "Peter Pan" there and "Snow White". It had bouncers rather than ushers-real thugs some of them. A shilling (1/- = 10c) in for a downstairs seat. For that you got the Cinesound newsreel, a serial, Warner Bros cartoon and the B feature. After Interval you got the main feature. If you decided to go posh upstairs was 1/6 (15c)!

Peter was in the Glebe branch of what was then the Police Boys' Club. On Friday nights they use to give free passes to local cinemas and the Olympia was always referred to as the Olympia Annandale. The bank on the corner of Parramatta Rd and Northumberland Ave was always referred to as the Bank of New South Wales Annandale branch.

This page last Updated: 11 Jan 2022.