Western Sydney Thematic History - Office of Environment and Heritage


Western Sydney Thematic History State Heritage Register Project

Terry Kass

This thematic history has been prepared by Terry Kass for the Heritage Office’s State Heritage Register Project.

DISCLAIMER Any representation, statement, opinion or advice, expressed or implied in this publication is made in good faith but on the basis that the State of New South Wales, its agents and employees are not liable (whether by reason of negligence, lack of care or otherwise) to any person for any damage or loss whatsoever which has occurred or may occur in relation to that person taking or not taking (as the case may be) action in respect of any representation, statement, or advice referred to above. ISBN 1 876415 95 9 HO05/03 Crown Copyright 2005 Published online February 2005

Western Sydney Thematic History State Heritage Register Project

CONTENTS Introduction ................................................................................................ 1 Volume 1 - Tracing the Evolution of the Australian Environment ......... 4 1. Environment - naturally evolved Volume 2 - Peopling Australia .................................................................. 6 2. Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures 3. Convict 4. Ethnic influences 5. Migration Volume 3 - Developing Local, Regional and National Economies......... 17 6. Agriculture 7. Commerce 8. Communication 9. Environment - cultural landscape 10. Events 11. Exploration 12. Fishing 13. Forestry 14. Health 15. Industry 16. Mining 17. Pastoralism 18. Science 19. Technology 20. Transport Volume 4 - Building Settlements, Towns and Cities............................... 63 21. Accommodation 22. Land tenure 23. Towns, suburbs and villages 24. Utilities

Volume 5 – Working................................................................................... 79 25. Labour Volume 6 – Educating................................................................................ 82 26. Education Volume 7 – Governing ............................................................................... 84 27. Defence 28. Government and administration 29. Law and order 30. Welfare Volume 8 - Developing Australia’s Cultural Life ..................................... 97 31. Creative endeavour 32. Domestic life 33. Leisure 34. Religion 35. Social institutions 36. Sport Volume 9 - Marking the Phases of Life .................................................... 115 37. Birth and death 38. Persons

Introduction NSW Historical Themes Regional and Local Histories as Contexts for Understanding the State Significance of Potential SHR Items Imagine that the State Heritage Register is a book, called An Illustrated History of New South Wales. The book is very big, and broken up into nine volumes, each volume being one of the Australian Historical Themes. Each volume is broken into chapters, with each chapter being one of the NSW Historical Themes. Each chapter contains and refers to the heritage items that can best illustrate the stories within that chapter. Each theme, or chapter, contains several regional stories. These stories allow each heritage item to be located within the historical development of the Western Sydney region, and in turn within the historical development of New South Wales and Australia. They are generally arranged in a chronological order where appropriate, thus: Volume 1: Australian Historical Theme: Tracing the Evolution of the Australian Environment Chapter 1: NSW Historical Theme: Environment – naturally evolved Volume 2: Australian Theme: Peopling Australia Chapter 2: NSW Historical Theme: Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures Chapter 3: NSW Historical Theme: Convict Chapter 4: NSW Historical Theme: Ethnic influences Chapter 5: NSW Historical Theme: Migration Volume 3: Australian Historical Theme: Developing Local, Regional and National Economies Chapter 6: NSW Historical Theme: Agriculture Chapter 7: NSW Historical Theme: Commerce Chapter 8: NSW Historical Theme: Communication Chapter 9: NSW Historical Theme: Environment - cultural landscape Chapter 10: NSW Historical Theme: Events Chapter 11: NSW Historical Theme: Exploration Chapter 12: NSW Historical Theme: Fishing Chapter 13: NSW Historical Theme: Forestry Chapter 14: NSW Historical Theme: Health Chapter 15: NSW Historical Theme: Industry Chapter 16: NSW Historical Theme: Mining Chapter 17: NSW Historical Theme: Pastoralism Chapter 18: NSW Historical Theme: Science Chapter 19: NSW Historical Theme: Technology Chapter 20: NSW Historical Theme: Transport


Volume 4: Australian Historical Theme: Building Settlements, Towns and Cities Chapter 21: NSW Historical Theme: Accommodation Chapter 22: NSW Historical Theme: Land Tenure Chapter 23: NSW Historical Theme: Towns, suburbs and villages Chapter 24: NSW Historical Theme: Utilities Volume 5: Australian Historical Theme: Working Chapter 25: NSW Historical Theme: Labour Volume 6: Australian Historical Theme: Educating Chapter 26: NSW Historical Theme: Education Volume 7: Australian Historical Theme: Governing Chapter 27: NSW Historical Theme: Defence Chapter 28: NSW Historical Theme: Government and Administration Chapter 29: NSW Historical Theme: Law and order Chapter 30: NSW Historical Theme: Welfare Volume 8: Australian Historical Theme: Developing Australia’s Cultural Life Chapter 31: NSW Historical Theme: Creative Endeavour Chapter 32: NSW Historical Theme: Domestic Life Chapter 33: NSW Historical Theme: Leisure Chapter 34: NSW Historical Theme: Religion Chapter 35: NSW Historical Theme: Social Institutions Chapter 36: NSW Historical Theme: Sport Volume 9: Australian Historical Theme: Marking the Phases of Life Chapter 37: NSW Historical Theme: Birth and Death Chapter 38: NSW Historical Theme: Persons

The regional stories can also be further refined to show their application within local areas. In this way, a heritage item can be located within its local, regional, state and national contexts, and a level of significance can be developed. Underlined text in these histories indicates that the place or object referred to has been identified as a potential SHR item. This history sets out in tabulated fashion the state themes. It enhances knowledge of the various elements, which constitute the physical heritage of this state. However, it is not a model, which should be used for the preparation of the contextual history of any study area. This format enhances knowledge, but it is only a constricted and partial view of that history. Each theme is not fully set within its context, and, unless there is a mind-numbing amount of repetition, it cannot be. Unlike a contextual history, it cannot be read from beginning to end, but is designed to explain each specific theme. For a fuller understanding of the historical process, a contextual history would be needed. This thematic approach organises and communicates knowledge, but it does not provide the fuller understanding that a contextual history would provide. This history, therefore, has been prepared with a specific purpose in mind – to assist in identifying potential items of State significance that could qualify for listing on the State Heritage Register. 2

Each of the regional stories that have been developed is briefly outlined below, with reference to each of the potential heritage items that can illustrate each story. The local stories have not been developed in this project. Local communities are encouraged to develop their local stories within this context. Two major methods of organizing historical writing are, on one hand, the contextual and, on the other hand, the chronological or thematic or process focussed. This history has been written as a thematic history in order to illustrate the processes, which have framed western Sydney the way it is today. In 1987, historian Helen Proudfoot wrote a history later published as Exploring Sydney’s West. For anyone seeking to understand western Sydney in a wider context, her book is essential. Unlike this history, it was written to a chronological framework, with strong emphasis on context and periodisation. Her work is committed, often passionate, and always lyrical and should be read in conjunction with this history. However, it does not deal with the south-west of western Sydney, nor with the local government areas of Auburn, Bankstown, Liverpool and Wollondilly, as well as Blue Mountains, all of which are included within the ambit of this history.


Volume 1 Australian Historical Theme: Australian Environment

Tracing the Evolution of the

The environment exists apart from being a construct of human consciousness. However, a thematic approach recognises the human factor in the natural environment, and how our understanding and appreciation of the environment has changed over time (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 1: NSW Historical Theme: Environment – naturally evolved The gently undulating Cumberland Plain dominates western Sydney. Much of this area is overlaid with Wianamatta shale, with Hawkesbury sandstone as the lower strata. There are volcanic plugs at Dundas and Prospect. Some smaller ones are also found towards Wallacia. The western part of the area is incised by the river system of the Nepean–Hawkesbury that has cut down into the underlying rock strata in some places as the area was slowly uplifted in past geological periods. The Hawkesbury River has left substantial alluvial deposits, particularly in the area below Castlereagh where large quantities of silt have be deposited. The Georges River is a slower flowing river dominated by a series of meanders in its upper reaches around Liverpool. It has left substantial alluvial deposits in those areas. The Blue Mountains and southwards into the western parts of Wollondilly Shire, the topography is characterised by a heavily dissected sandstone plateau with deep valleys often difficult to access from the ridge tops. There are small volcanic outcrops at Mount Wilson and Mt Tomah. Phosphorus levels in the soils of the area determined soil fertility and in western Sydney, it was usually concentrated in the upper soil layers. The Wianamatta shale, which comprised the upper layer across much of the area, gave better soils while the underlying Hawkesbury sandstone weathered to produce a poor sandy soil. The Wianamatta shale derived soils around Parramatta were the first to be farmed successfully by James Ruse. Unlike the sandy soils around Sydney Cove, they retained their nutrients better and were suitable for cropping for a few seasons at least. Alluvial deposits along the rivers were major sources of plant nutrients, though the sand and gravel deposits between Penrith and Richmond were swampy and often of poor value. Agriculture was attracted to the richer alluvial soils along the rivers. Sandy soils derived from the Hawkesbury sandstone were common in the northern part of western Sydney such as in Baulkham Hills shire. Hence, in Baulkham Hills shire, agriculture was only successfully pursued in isolated parts.


The climate is characterised by hot dry summers with an annual precipitation of 900 mm at Parramatta, which decreases as low as 670 mm per annum at Narellan, which was one of the driest parts. Winters are cool with warm sunny days and frosty nights. Western Sydney is the driest part of the Cumberland Plain, where the greatest precipitation falls along its eastern parts near the sea. The original vegetation cover mainly consisted of Cumberland woodland with grey box on higher land and forest red gums on the lower slopes and in the depressions. Ironbarks and stringybark appeared on hilly land with woollybutt occasionally scattered throughout. The understorey was scrubby or grassy and included the nutritious kangaroo grass (Themeda australis) amongst the original species. Scheyville National Park Along the Hawkesbury-Nepean, the woodland included Sydney blue gum, forest red gum plus some angophora and river oaks. Wetlands were found along the rivers, many of them now cleared or filled in but they still survive at Homebush Bay, and along the Hawkesbury. Rainforest was found in the well-watered and sheltered valleys of the Blue Mountains and its outlying ranges and at places such as Kurrajong, Cobbity and Cattai. In favoured places, difficult to access, some species have survived. The Blue Gum Forest in the Blue Mountains is a notable example where a large stand of Sydney Blue Gums had survived. The recent discovery of the Wollemi Pine also demonstrates the survival of unknown species in isolated undisturbed places. Wollemi National Park


Volume 2 Australian Theme:

Peopling Australia

This theme group recognises the pre-colonial occupations of Indigenous people, as well as the ongoing history of human occupation from diverse areas. (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 2: NSW Historical Theme: Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures The Aboriginal people of western Sydney are part of a living and vibrant culture that has adapted to the invasion and occupation of the region by people from other cultures. Their twenty-first century cultures have their own practices and identities, and their own remembrances and histories of their interactions with other peoples. The Dharuk and Gandangara peoples arrived about 40,000 years ago. The earliest evidence of them in western Sydney dates from 28,000 years ago according to physical evidence found in the gravels of the Penrith-Castlereagh area. They utilised a range of tools to manage the landscape to their advantage. These included spears of a number of varieties for different purposes, woomeras, stone axes, and boomerangs, as well as fishing gear. Technical improvement in their tools in later years included the adoption of the woomera and the introduction of edge ground axes, which appear only about 5,000 years ago in western Sydney. They made use of fire to increase open areas suitable for game, to smoke game out of trees, scare away bees from hives and to keep the scrub down for ease of movement. They did not farm the land in the European sense, but they manipulated the land in order to maximize the output of suitable foods. Traditionally, they caught large game. Population increase meant that they had to rely less upon large game such as kangaroo and wallabies and more upon small game such as possums. Yams grew along the Hawkesbury-Nepean and were an important food source. This later lead to major clashes when settlers on the Hawkesbury denied them access to this food. Fish were caught in the rivers and shellfish were collected in places such as Menangle. Eels were caught in the lagoons of the Hawkesbury such as Pitt Town Lagoon. On sandstone based areas, such as along the edge of the Great Dividing Range, both Dharuk and the Gandangara used natural shelters such as caves and ledges. The oldest rock shelter occupied by the Dharuk is at Shaw’s Creek near Yarramundi. Art has been found in a number of shelters and on sandstone areas. It is believed that these artworks had some spiritual purpose. These are often 6

complex works but the meanings have been lost for many of them. The Kooris did not use the Mountains though they knew their way across them if needed. Out on the plain itself where there were no sandstone rock formations to erode, the Dharuk occupied open campsites. Large campsites have been found at South Creek, Eastern Creek, Rickabys Creek and Second Ponds Creek. From 1788 onwards, there was contact with the white European settlers. Explorers such as Watkin Tench, found their habitations and canoes, along the Hawkesbury. Disease affected many near Port Jackson and had an impact inland though the precise nature of its effects in western Sydney is less clear. The spearing to death of the Governor’s gamekeeper, McIntyre in December 1790 brought on a sharp series of skirmishes between the two groups. He was believed to have been killed by Pemulway, who organised resistance against the whites. He organised bands of marauders to harass white settlers. Tension grew between white settlers placed on the Hawkesbury from 1794 onwards. Their grants blocked access to the yams growing on the riverbanks, which were an important source of food for the Dharuk. When setters denied passage across their land, there were attacks. There were also attacks on settlers at Bankstown and Liverpool. Frederick Meredith and William Bond were attacked on their grants near Punchbowl in 1809 and a spear narrowly missed Meredith. Reprisals came. There was a massacre of Kooris at Cataract Gorge in 1816. In April 1816, Governor Macquarie ordered a punitive expedition against the Gandangara after they made a number of attacks on settlers. Some of the soldiers sent into the foothills of the mountains found some encampments and a total of 16 were killed. Others were captured and exiled. It was believed that the resistance of the Gandangara was broken but due to their occupation of rugged country, they were able to survive into the 1860s. They became the core of the groups, which survived successfully in the Burragorang Valley. The loss of population amongst the Dharuk and weakening of their resistance by the loss of food sources made them less successful in maintaining their presence than the Gandangara. Attempts to educate the Dharuk were made through the Parramatta Native Institution in Governor Macquarie’s reign in the 1810s. It took a few children of the Dharuk were enticed to attend voluntarily and the Institution tried to re-shape them into newly acculturated white men, though with no lasting success. As well, Macquarie held annual feasts for the tribes at Parramatta as a way of fostering good relations. With Macquarie’s departure they petered out. A more lasting contribution was made by Macquarie when he granted 30 acres of land along the road from Prospect to Richmond to Colebee on 31 August 1819. Since some of his relatives came to live nearby, it became a focus for Kooris in the vicinity. The area became known as the Black Town and that name underlay the name of that locality as Blacktown. Colebee Grant, Blacktown 7

Survival was even more perilous as white settlers took more land. Kooris could find refuge in the wilder and more inaccessible parts of the area, but food was often short in those places. Some Dharuk and Gandangara were taken on as employees by landholders, thereby establishing a pattern for settlement and accommodation between white and black people further west. James Taber held a property named Mount Pleasant near Menangle Park. He and his descendants employed aborigines giving them a range of tasks and fostering their welfare. Officials awarded breastplates to notable men in the clans. The white settlers often wrongly called such men chiefs. Intermarriage by women with white settlers also reduced the Dharuk population and their links to their clan but that ultimately ensured their survival. Notable families they married into include the Everinghams and the Locks. In 1883, the government formed the Aborigines Protection Board. Reserves were set up at Holsworthy, Sackville and the Burragorang valley. Of these, Sackville and Burragorang valley were to be important foci for the Kooris. The station at Burragorang valley was revoked in 1924 and many of its inhabitants shifted to La Perouse. A food station had also been created by the Board at Penrith. There were missions at Katoomba, and at Blacktown on the Richmond Road. Former Sackville Reserve The continued presence of both Dharuk and Gandangara has emerged from their survival by intermarriage. Consciousness of their heritage was not lost. Though they had no written traditions and many of the linkages for passing down beliefs and rituals had been broken the memory of some traditions was passed down. By the 1960s and 1970s, some of the Gandangara who saw themselves as custodians of their traditions were attracting other people to observe their heritage. Support networks developed, such as the St Johns Park Aboriginal Women’s Group. Growing consciousness of their past has revitalised the Koori heritage of the area, and moves to recognise their contribution to the district and their heritage have gathered pace.


Chapter 3: NSW Historical Theme: Convict Sydney was settled in 1788. Although debate has raged for decades amongst historians as to the exact hierarchy of significance to accord various factors which influenced the choice of Botany Bay for a new colony, there is little doubt that its potential to serve as a place of banishment for the criminals which were overflowing from the gaols of Britain was a major factor. Initial settlement around Port Jackson soon revealed how poor the land around the Harbour was for intensive farming. Exploration up the river found better land near the head of navigation at an area, which was soon named Rose Hill, and then as Parramatta. Convicts were sent up river to prepare the ground for cultivation and to commence a settlement there. Shortly thereafter, a third settlement was established at Toongabbie, to house other convicts. Thus within three years of the initial landing at Sydney Cove, there were three settlements to house the convicts of the colony. Two of them were in Western Sydney. Both of these settlements were laid out with long main streets, with lesser streets bisecting them. Along the main street, convict huts were built by the men and women themselves for shelter. Evidence of these early habitations still survive as archaeological remains beneath the soil of these settlements, as well as in later towns created to serve the emerging colony. These settlements emerged as the nuclei for the agricultural occupation of surrounding land. Parramatta became a gaol town servicing western Sydney. Other, later towns, such as Liverpool, Campbelltown, Windsor and the other towns of the Hawkesbury served the area as well, but none could compete with Parramatta in importance. Not only was it the core of the convict establishment with its barracks, gaol and asylums, it also was the second home of the governor who oversaw this vast enterprise which was wresting Western Sydney away from its traditional Koori inhabitants. Convicts provided the muscle that turned the district into productive land. The absence of power machinery and the shortage, in the early years, of beasts of burden meant that the early settlement of Western Sydney was fundamentally powered by the labour of convicts. They cleared the land, erected the public buildings and many of the private ones as well and provided the labour for the jobs both small and large. They dug the cesspits and emptied them when needed. They labored in the fields, and with livestock. They cooked the dinners, changed the babies soiled linen and washed master’s bed linen, as well as the mistress’s delicate items. Better behaved and educated convicts, managed the grain stores, kept the ledgers and ran the printing presses. Joyce Farm, Baulkham Hills


Convict workplaces across the district include public workplaces such as the Parramatta lumberyard where skilled workmen turned out a variety of valuable goods, to the quarries, brickyards, and even the farms on which many of them worked. Associated with some workplaces were stockades for road gangs and other work gangs, which housed them at night. None of them survive. All of these are now archaeological sites. Convicts were the backbone for agricultural production on government farms at Rose Hill, Toongabbie (1791) and Castle Hill (1801), where the government sought to produce the staple goods and the food needed for the colony, though with rather less success than private landholders. Even private agriculture was built upon the labour of convicts. Clearing gangs made up of convicts often cleared the timber from any land, which was still too heavily vegetated to be placed in immediate production. Landholders were assigned convicts on the basis of their ability to employ, feed, house and clothe them, as well as on their own "respectability". Even small landholders with 40 acres were entitled to a single convict and they made use of them too. More valuable even than the farm labourer convicts offered for private assignment were those convicts who possessed some skill or calling, such as brickmaker, carpenter, or blacksmith. They were especially sought after, with relatively little success before 1821, but with much greater luck after 1821, when the recommendations of Commissioner Bigge to close down government works and the convicts they employed in order to let the men be assigned to private settlers. Nonetheless, a host of assets constructed by convicts survive such as the Great North Road and Old Government House in Parramatta, or the former Hospital at Liverpool, by those on public work. Private homesteads too were built by convicts often in conjunction with free men, including such properties as Elizabeth Farm, Bungaribbee Homestead, Rouse Hill House and Warby’s Barn and Stables at Campbelltown. Convict camp sites on Great North Road Convict built drain, South Maroota The infrastructure of convict management also attests to their impact on the area. The barracks, hospitals, stockades and gaols that housed them were major public buildings in the early nineteenth century. After the ending of transportation, these buildings continued to cater for the convicts sent out by Britain, first in their designed role and later as welfare focussed institutions, living off the built capital created by the convict system. Former convict hospitals, such as that at Parramatta emerged as asylums for the aged and infirm, or public hospitals such as at Liverpool.


Once they had served their time, convicts were settled on the land, often with little success, but in some areas, they formed the core of the locality. A number of convict grants were established on richer soils at Prospect near Parramatta, with mixed success. Much more successful was the establishment of settlement along the Hawkesbury, around what became Richmond and Windsor. A distinct style of small settlement evolved in that area partially based upon the environmental foundations of rich soils and adequate water but also emerging directly from the small convict landholding pattern of the area, which was highly successful. Social background and environment made the Hawkesbury an area unique to the colony, as well as one in which its character persisted well into the twentieth century. A similar settlement to establish former convicts at Campbelltown and Airds was less successful, but it still laid the basis for an area of small settlement where former convicts contributed a distinctive air to the district. The administrative and welfare functions coupled with its role in servicing the convict population with health, welfare and gaol facilities meant that Parramatta and to a lesser extent Liverpool were distinctively different to the towns of Windsor and Richmond and Campbelltown where convict families and their descendants gave a different cast to society. The fabric of some of the earlier role of convicts in these towns and across the district still survives. Some of it is still visible as a complete landscape such as the small farms on the Pitt Towns Bottoms, which were the first farms settled along the Hawkesbury by convicts. It extends to the landscape of large estates on which convicts provided the bulk of the labour to set them up, such as Raby. The ending of transportation to NSW in 1840 put a stop to the increase in convicts, but it was to be some time before those who had been sent to the colony worked out their sentences. The garrisons sent to guard the convicts did not immediately disappear either. The Parramatta garrison, for instance, did not leave until 1847. Within New South Wales, the impact of convicts was most intense within the Sydney metropolitan area, the area that comprised the County of Cumberland as well as parts of the County of Camden. However, the extent of the surviving fabric today is arguably larger and more diverse in Western Sydney than in any other part of the Sydney Basin. Whereas more intensive development has left a few significant icons of the convict era in the central parts of Sydney, it is in Western Sydney where the convict era is so much more palpable in the spatial spread of its evidence and the range of different types of places that survive.


Chapter 4: NSW Historical Theme: Ethnic influences The Dharug/Dharuk linguistic groups that ranged across much of area were the original ethnic groups, which characterised Western Sydney. The Gandangara ranged across the land to the south-west in the south. Together they possessed and held the land that was soon taken over by a new ethnic group of Anglo-Celts. Waves of immigration across the colony and state brought a range of ethnically different groups, with their own folk practices, customs, eating habits, ways of building, and systems of belief. Although the ascendant Protestant elite held the reins of power in the early colony, many Irish arrived as convicts thereby creating a strong divide on the basis of race, religion and culture in the new colony. Small numbers of other ethnic groups arrived as convicts, even Negroes, one of whom, “Black Caesar” was one of the early bushrangers. Other waves, which came to the colony, included small groups of Europeans, mainly from Central Europe such as Germans. They were small in numbers but they had a large impact especially on farming practices. All ethnic groups at one time were market gardeners but it was the Chinese who were both the most distinctive and arguably the most successful. Their civilisation had mastered the skills of making do with little fertility and of harnessing water to benefit growing crops. Therefore, they demonstrated early on the value of irrigation, and provided the evidence for later proponents of major water harnessing schemes to make the “desert blossom” in the interior. Central Europeans were prominent in vineyards in the County of Cumberland. German vignerons had been brought out to manage the grapes at Camden Park. Across the Counties of Cumberland and Camden, there were numerous small vineyards, such as at Fairfield where the Balkan immigrant Theodore Serovich and Germans such as John Asimus and Joseph Klein ran small and successful vineyards. Camden Park Overseas migrants brought specialist industrial skills too. The Liverpool paper mill used Italian papermakers in the 1880s. Despite, the antagonism of many settlers, the Aborigines/Kooris continued their presence, often by intermarriage so that their descendants continued as a firm thread linking the peoples of the district with the former Aboriginal/Koori landowners, especially at Blacktown and along the Hawkesbury. The onset of World War One brought alarm and anxiety to the people of Australia. Citizens were keen to root out all “disloyalty”. All those inhabitants from the enemy powers who had not been naturalised or, if naturalised, seemed


to be suspect were sent to internment camps. The largest of these camps was adjacent to the military camp at Liverpool. Holsworthy Internment Camp The major wave of immigration occurred post World War Two. Western Sydney absorbed the bulk of the post-war migrant influx resulting in variety of evidence of their presence and their continued importance. Italian market gardeners were long a force in western Sydney, replaced in later years by the Vietnamese. The impact of different ethnic groups was originally immersed within the wider Anglo-Celtic society. They often used identical goods and services as the AngloCelts. Generally, their housing was not distinctive at first. In the post-war period however, a host of buildings styles has emerged associated with different groups. The manual of architectural styles by Apperley, Irving and Reynolds has identified building styles labelled as “Late Twentieth-Century Immigrants’ Nostalgic”. The counter to which appears to be the style labelled as “Late Twentieth-Century Australian Nostalgic”. The distinctive elements of the ethnic presence become evident in their places of worship, in their commemorative sites, and their funerary practices, and in their social or leisure activities which often have special buildings, parks or grounds devoted to them. The presence of Mediterranean-style above ground family mausolea in Rookwood and Liverpool cemetery (1892), in Flowerdale Road attests to the distinctly different ways the varying groups deal with life events. Waves of immigration have washed across Western Sydney, from the Dharuk, to the British, and then to southern Europeans, followed by others. The shopping centre of Cabramatta is a good example. In the inter-war period, people of British stock conducted most of the shops, including the “ham and beef” shops. By the 1950s, the “ham and beef” shops had been replaced by delicatessens, conducted by Slavs from Eastern Europe and the Balkans as well as Germans, selling a range of delicacies not available elsewhere. They were later replaced by Vietnamese immigrants, who have now given it a new character that most people associate with the town centre. It is notable too that of the two building styles identified by Apperley, Irving and Reynolds as “Late Twentieth-Century Immigrants’ Nostalgic” and as “Late Twentieth-Century Australian Nostalgic”, that the immigrant style related to public buildings and the Australian to private ones. A caveat should be entered though to such a ready divide. Many of the homes of ethnic groups are taking on certain elements, which distinguish them even if it is only in the use of ornamentation, often ephemeral and usually removable that attest that the family, which lives here, is Sri Lankan, Chinese or Arabic.


The Fairfield area has become a riot of colourful and different places of worship and social institutions all of which attest to the highly mixed community, which these places serve. Leisure too identifies the different groups. Soccer brought by Scottish skilled workers to Granville has been taken up in very large way by Mediterranean and other European migrants who view rugby as a lesser form of play. Places of work and work practices have also been affected by the ethnicity of their workers or proprietors. Cafes and fruit shops once almost monopolised by Greeks and Italians were often not distinctive as purely ethnic workplaces, but the occupation by these groups made them so.


Chapter 5: NSW Historical Theme: Migration The first wave of settlement placed the Dharuk and Gandangara in the area. Though their creation myths do not regard them as migrants, they can be seen as the first ethnic group to take possession of Western Sydney. European settlement commencing in 1788 brought a large group of involuntary immigrants in the form of convicts as well as their overseers, guards and the apparatus of convict administration. Many of the convicts were Irish bringing a distinctive ethnic divide to society. Voluntary immigration also commenced soon afterwards with the first free immigrants arriving voluntarily before 1800. There were to be few in the next few decades. Men with wealth were encouraged to settle in the colony, so that a number of former military officers on half-pay and some men with speculative inclinations were persuaded to settle. Assisted immigration schemes to bring out labourers and skilled workers commenced in the 1830s and brought a host of Anglo-Celtic people to the colony. Young men and women and those with young families were particularly sought after, as being the ideal settler with little chance of becoming a burden on the charitable institutions of the colony and capable of many years of work. Indeed, historians have recently noted how close the ideal immigrant was to the usual man or woman sent out to the colony as convicts. Gold discoveries in New South Wales followed by the other colonies particularly Victoria, drew many more Anglo-Celts as self-financed immigrants. It also meant a broader range of immigrants were drawn from other nations, in Europe, the Americas and from Asia, the most distinctive of which were the Chinese. People with special skills were often brought out by employers such as industrialists seeking special skills such as Hudson Brothers who brought out Scotch mechanics in the 1880s to operate their new works at Granville. Assisted immigration schemes continued, being promoted as vigorously as possible in times of high demand for labour and good income from land sales, which were used to finance the cost of passages. In times of depression with workers unemployed, the schemes were wound down only to sprout again as demand grew for labour. Assisted immigration included a variety of schemes to bring out special categories of people. Young women were favoured in the early years when the ratio of males to females was very high, ensuring a host of problems in society. The work of Caroline Chisholm in aiding these girls when they arrived is well known. Depots to house them were started in country towns from where they could seek work whilst securely accommodated free from the temptations of the colony. One of these depots operated at Parramatta and another at Liverpool.


Other schemes brought out children from Britain. They were accommodated at Scheyville. Scheyville National Park The greatest influx of migrants occurred after World War Two. Australia sought labour to rebuild the nation after years of depression and war. Unable to obtain the British immigrants it desired, the Australian government turned to the large population of refugees in Europe. People who had been ousted from their homeland by war and occupation by the communist USSR, were classified as Displaced Persons, or DPs. Initially, the most Nordic were sought after by Australia, particularly Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians. Polish, Ukrainian and Russian DPs were also sought. Migrant camps to temporarily house them were started in former military camps such as at Cabramatta, Granville, Bankstown Aerodrome, and at Scheyville. Scheyville National Park Loosening of the criteria for entry into Australia during the 1950s and into the 1960s resulted in less rigid entry requirements, which allowed people once deemed undesirable being permitted to settle. Hence, large numbers of people from the Middle East and Asia were able to settle followed more recently by people from Africa. The earlier ethnic groups were encouraged to integrate and often fanned out into the wider Australian community. Later groups often arrived in larger numbers at one time, and they were able to settle in certain areas. The results are seen in the distinctive ethnic character of some streets in some localities. The Turkish and Arabic have favoured Auburn and Canterbury. The Vietnamese have focussed on Cabramatta, and settlers from the Mediterranean have become a major force in Holroyd.


Volume 3 Australian Historical Theme: National Economies

Developing Local, Regional and

While Geoffrey Blainey conceived of Australian history as dominated by the ‘tyranny of distance’ this concept is alien to indigenous Australians. Eighteenth and nineteenth century developments in technology made it possible to link the continent to distant marketplaces, and the incentive for almost every expedition by the first European explorers was in search of valuable resources. Much subsequent Australian history has revolved around the search for a staple on which to base regional economic development. (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 6: NSW Historical Theme: Agriculture Unable to rely upon a ship bringing supplies, the Dharuk had to carefully husband their resources. Management of the game, the waterfowl and fish of the rivers was unsophisticated but effective in maintaining them in food and ensuring their continued ability to live off the land in their homeland. Firing of grassland to keep down scrub and foster grass for game was applied throughout the district and ensured that when European settlers first saw the land they were highly pleased indeed. Not only did it accord to their perceptions of the most bucolic park-like aristocratic estate in Britain, it also provided land available for grazing or agriculture with little need to expend much effort on clearing. Farming was originally in the hands of the colonial government. All convicts who could were employed on public agriculture in order to grow food for the nascent settlement. Private agriculture was also fostered by grants to freed convicts. The first grant made out to James Ruse at Rosehill, is still partially recognised by the later cottage known as Experiment Farm on his grant. A Government Agricultural Station was established at Emu Plains in 1818 near the stockyards already situated there. Private grants had been given to convicts not only to encourage their rehabilitation but also to foster as much food production as possible. Small grants were awarded to former convicts in areas with better soils, such as Prospect where the soil derived from volcanic rocks and on the Hawkesbury, at Banks Town, and along South Creek, (especially in the parishes of Cabramatta and Bringelly) where alluvial soils would provide better chances for farming. Not all were successful. The most successful was on the Hawkesbury and farming still continues there often on the same grants which were first laid out in the 1790s, a testament to the quality of the silt derived soils of the river flats. Pitt Town Bottoms


Although larger area grants could be made to officers, officials and merchants, the breaching of these limits in the 1790s set the scene for the alienation of large areas of Cumberland by private individuals. Much of that land was used not for arable cropping but for pastoral properties since that was where the bigger profits were to be made. Large landholders sought “forest” land, i.e. open park land ideal for grazing. Rouse Hill House The landscape patterning that emerged had smaller grants along the rivers and in pockets of better soils such as at Prospect, which were farmed for grains and other crops. Further away from the rivers and creeks were large area properties held by notable and wealthy individuals, with some of their land used for farming, particularly grains, but a good deal of land set aside for grazing and with much of the land still uncleared. Some larger holders acquired small grants mainly along the rivers when the promised success of the soils did not prove to be true. For instance, in the parish of Menangle south of Campbelltown, large landholders William Howe and James Harrex acquired many of the small grants nearby in order to build up large estates. Farming was successful on the Hawkesbury and in parts of Airds where small exconvict grantees were able to prosper. Often the successful were not the first grantees, but later men who were better experienced or more committed to agriculture. There was little use of ploughs on these properties at first. The hoe suitable for poor men with little money, and able to be wielded by a small child, was the common tool on many of these small grants. Many larger landholders retained their Cumberland farm as their “home” property” with a diverse range of activities, whilst they sent the bulk of their livestock to leasehold land outside the county. Farm complexes emerged on these properties such as Horsley or Raby, which include the full range of activities needed to run a large estate, such as shearing sheds barn, blacksmiths, quarters for employees, bakers, stores for food and dry goods. Horsley complex Brownlow Hill Estate Land which was still too heavily vegetated to be used or which had reverted to scrub after the end of Dharuk land management practices was cleared for the larger landowner able to pay for work by convict clearing gangs. Clearing leases were used by other large landholders by which part of their estate was let to tenants on a lease which specified a certain income to the tenant from the crop as well as a clause that he clear the land, which was used in areas, such as Menangle and Greendale. Regentville owned by Sir John Jamison was largely let as small farms.


Until the 1860s, grain was grown on many of these leased farms, and on the small grants closer to the rivers. The late 1850s and early 1860s brought a series of disasters when floods ravaged land near the rivers and then stem rust broke out in the wheat during the wet season. By the 1860s, grain growing had been largely wiped out in the County of Cumberland and Camden. A network of mills had been built to serve the grain growers, grinding the wheat, which was the best grain for growing with the largest and most assured market. The end of grain growing in the area meant the closure of many of the mills, some to decay, some to be converted to other uses. Few survive with the notable exception of the Mount Gilead mill. Mount Gilead mill Cattle had originally been raised in western Sydney followed later by sheep. Most of the cattle had been sent inland since there was a general belief that cattle were the best for opening up new country. When the area proved too wet for sheep they were sent out of County to the drier inland. Farmers shifted out of Western Sydney further west. Their prospects were not only brighter with less danger of the loss of crops to rust. There was also the possibility of owning their own land after the inauguration of “free selection” by the 1862 Land Act. For those who stayed in the County of Cumberland, either as landowners, or as tenants, the choice of crops was more limited. Fodder crops were grown. Cattle were taken on agistment and a range of specialist crops were tried. J H Atkinson had started an irrigation scheme at Liverpool in 1856 with water piped from an overhead tank. This has been claimed as the first irrigation scheme in Australia. Market gardens spread where there was ready access to market, either near train lines or close to towns such as Parramatta or Liverpool. The Chinese leased small areas of land for this and were prominent and skilful users of water to raise their crops. Specialist producers such as vineyards emerged across the County. Camden Park was an early focus for vine production. The Fairfield area emerged as a vine-growing district and further west the Minchinbury property became a famous grower. Wine was produced by many growers, of which Minchinbury was possibly the best known. Grape production suffered its disaster too in the late nineteenth century when phylloxera infected many of the vines. Closer to towns such as Parramatta were orchards and some specialist producers such as poultry farms. Fruit orchards had emerged in the Parramatta area by the 1840s and continued there. They were also established in the Hills district and by the twentieth century in the Hawkesbury area.


Jam factories to utilise poorer fruit were built in such places as Plumpton where the Woodstock Fruit Company Limited, was established in 1887. Irrigation was mainly confined to drawing supplementary supplies from nearby rivers though a more ambitious scheme was established at Mulgoa in 1890 as a speculative subdivision by George Chaffey, irrigation pioneer at Mildura, and Henry Gorman, estate agent and property speculator. Around this scheme, land was subdivided as irrigation farm blocks and as town allotments. Experimentation in better methods of farm management, better breeding of livestock or better strains of crops was originally a private venture. Large landholders with an interest in fostering better production such as the Macarthurs at Camden Park undertook such experiments privately. Later Experimental farms were created by the government such as at Hawkesbury Agricultural College near Richmond and the CSIRO experimental station at Prospect. The decline of grain growing had left gaps in the opportunities for the man on the land, which was only partially filled by the agistment of stock and by growing fodder crops. However, in the late nineteenth century, dairying came to the rescue. Cheese and butter making had been an option amongst many used by producers in Western Sydney to bring in additional income. Butter produced on the Glenlee estate owned first by William Howe and later by the Fitzpatrick family still brought premium prices on the Sydney market. The salting of butter and the drying out of cheese in processing made them transportable in a hot climate. The development of refrigeration and cooling technology in the late nineteenth century opened up a vast new market for producers to supply Sydney with fresh milk. A range of options opened for farmers, who could now supply whole milk or cream for butter and cheese production, though across Western Sydney whole milk was probably favoured. Hence farmers along the Hawkesbury had an additional product they could raise, and some farms like Robin Hood Farm near Campbelltown and those on the Glenlee Estate could concentrate on raising dairy cattle. The resulting boom brought a wave of subdivision of some farms but many remained as leased properties as part of large estates. In the early twentieth century, other smaller farms were deliberately created by specialist subdivision in order to create small farms. Arthur Rickard was one subdivider and auctioneer who made a special effort to cater for this market. These farms were aimed at purchasers who would occupy them and advertising promised buyers a variety of farming options such as poultry farming, market gardening, and, if the area was right, dairy farming. However, it was as poultry farmers that many of these farmlets went into production. Poultry farming grew considerably across Western Sydney from 1900 into the 1960s. Initially, it was based on small family farms, producing eggs and some birds for the table housing their stock in ramshackle homemade pens. By


the mid-twentieth century, the poultry farmer was the most typical farmer in Western Sydney. The families of poultry farmers coming to do their shopping enlivened market day in towns such as Parramatta, Liverpool, Camden or Penrith. The history of this major economic activity across much of Western Sydney has yet to be written. Later, egg production became highly intensive, utilising factory production methods with birds caged for all their lives in large artificially lit sheds, and fed with grain and other supplements. The Ingham Brothers firm became a major processor of birds for the table.


Chapter 7: NSW Historical Theme: Commerce The buying, selling and exchange of goods and services has formed the basis of most economic systems. Systems of exchange amongst the Dharuk themselves as well as with other groups did not involve cash but the entry of white men into the area brought a host of new and desirable goods, ranging from the highly prized steel headed axe to the equally desirable bottle of grog. Thus, even the interplay between the Dharuk and the white man in the less emotionally charged area of commerce was a mixed blessing. As the convict system with all resources of the colony at the disposal of the governor was increasingly leavened by elements of a free market economy, a commercial system emerged which was unique in its dependence on a combination of barter, a mixture of foreign coinages, written promises to pay and bills on the Treasury in London. Despite the impediments such a complex mode of exchange placed on exchange, commerce still emerged and began to make some astute entrepreneurs a fortune. A hierarchy of settlements emerged across western Sydney as settlement proceeded, with small towns emerging such as Parramatta, Liverpool and the Hawkesbury towns and villages. Their hierarchy of status was closely linked to their commercial hierarchy. Regional centres emerged especially Parramatta. As the nineteenth century drew on, Parramatta became ever more the regional hub with department stores, specialist suppliers and services. To a lesser extent some of these services were also seen in Liverpool and Penrith but for many people, when seeking to go to town to do some comparison shopping, buy that special gift or to seek professional advice, the choice was usually either Parramatta or Sydney. Hotels were often the first commercial enterprise in many areas beating the post office or general store for primacy. The lowliest levels of inns and general stores were often the earliest retailing facilities available in the area. Such places frequently became the places where courts first met, inquests were held, and post offices were established. They were also places where money could be placed in the safekeeping of the proprietor by nearby residents or itinerant workers in the absence of an accessible bank. If they were sited with an eye to commanding passing trade, at key places, such as river crossings, these early stores or inns became the nucleus of future settlements. A cluster of stores at Green Hills near the government landing place on the Hawkesbury River predated the town of Windsor, which was established around them. Apart from the government courthouse, Penrith’s importance and core formed around the inns and stores clustered near where travellers crossed the Nepean on their trek westwards to the mountains. It was never an official village, simply growing up in a favoured spot on the basis of private enterprise. Box Hill Inn Former Royal Oak Inn, Baulkham Hills


Royal Cricketer’s Arms, Prospect Villages were strung out along the railway lines and roads, which traversed the area. Larger centres such as Penrith, Windsor and Liverpool, had a courthouse, police station, a number of hotels, and a variety of stores supplying basic wants. The smallest villages were rarely more than a general store and post office. Hence there were few grand stores. Only Parramatta had them. Murray Brothers was a true department store, not just a “general store”. The first premises built in 1889 for the partnership in Church Street, had different levels devoted to different departments, offering furniture, drapery, hardware and clothing. This was the first true department store in Parramatta (and in western Sydney) and is still extant. The same applied to the new store they erected in Parramatta in the 1920s at the corner of Church and Macquarie Streets. Similarly, when the firm was reorganised and the hardware branch was hived off as Murray’s Ltd, the new firm built new premises in Church Street, which still survive. Like Dalton Brothers in Orange, Murray Brothers had a regional impact, as storeowners, entrepreneurs and investors. Former Murray’s Building, 263-5 Church Street, Parramatta Murray Brothers Building, 186-90 (corner Macquarie Street), Parramatta As the twentieth century progressed, smaller centres which had simply had a small weatherboard general store developed into more sophisticated centres. They acquired basic lock-up shops, little more than a window with a simple façade and parapet and two storey brick shops and premises with residence or office above. Some areas had prominent fashionable businesses housed in purpose-built premises such Rosen Chambers in Chapel Road Bankstown. George Wheatley opened a store on The Crescent, Fairfield in 1892, thus commencing a commercial presence, which drew him and his descendants into a prominent role in the commercial and civic life of the community. J. J. Wheatley remodeled his shop in 1914. Wheatley’s store was the commercial hub of Fairfield for many years. Some retailers merge into artisans or skilled workers, making and selling specialised goods. They included specialised trades, such as harness makers, pastry cooks, blacksmiths, saddlers, and stonemasons. What came first – the desire to sell or the hand-based skill offering its wares to the discerning public? In any case, many of these small enterprises serviced western Sydney. Banking has been prominent element in all commerce. Banks were established in many centres originally only choosing the large towns that served larger areas, such as Parramatta, Liverpool, Penrith and Windsor in the nineteenth century. Smaller centres started to obtain their own bank branch as they matured. Granville acquired its first bank in the 1880s as it commenced its growth spurt. In smaller centres, such as Wentworthville, banks did not arrive until the 1950s. In


many cases, these smaller suburban centres or villages have lost their banks in the rationalisation undertaken by all major banking chains in the 1980s and 1990s, leaving only the banks in the largest centres. Specialist stores such as cafés and restaurants provided for particular needs for locals or travellers. Hotels had originally dispensed meals, but cafés and restaurants arose as competitors selling what the hotels would not serve. The boom in the opening of milk bars from the late 1930s onwards gave a healthy, clean and bright alternative to hotels favoured by families and children which were scarcely catered for by hotels whose character had been altered by the institution of five o’clock closing in World War One. Many larger centres had a café. Greeks conducted many of the cafés, so that the décor was a mix of Hollywood references, bright and shiny décor and hints of the origin of the proprietor from the Greek islands. Few centres originally had restaurants such as Parramatta. In the boom in restaurants from the 1960s onwards, they have arisen everywhere. Paragon Café, Katoomba Motorcar dealers initially favoured the major centres such as Parramatta or Penrith for their business, but as settlement spread so did they, making the sides of major highways out of Sydney such as Parramatta Road-Great Western Highway and Liverpool Road their special place. The emergence of chain stores in Sydney and suburbs in the 1910s was mirrored in western Sydney. Some retailers evolved into more than simply local or regional businesses, with their reach extending beyond their immediate area. Thompson’s Store commenced business in Parramatta Road, Auburn. By 1938, apart from their main store at 60 Parramatta Road, Auburn, A Thompson and Sons had a branch at the corner of Park and Chiswick Roads, Auburn, as well as stores in Homebush, Harris Park, two in Parramatta, two at Merrylands, Fairfield, Smithfield, Cabramatta, Liverpool and Wentworthville. By 1941, they had added outlets at Lidcombe, Berala and Regents Park. The emergence of the supermarket in the post-Second World War period brought a new well-backed competitor in opposition to the smaller established family firms that predominated in most centres. Unlike the chain stores of the 1920s onwards, they were focussed much more on food and in time, eliminated almost all of the general stores, which could only survive, by joining networks of similar retailers, supplied by a larger wholesaling network. Planned shopping centres were a key element of post-Second World War planning and were a feature of Housing Commission development in particular. The planned shopping centres at Delwood in Granville and at Westmead were modelled on the British New Town centres, and were the forerunners of many other examples. Later shopping centres such as Mount Druitt Town Centre were consciously planned to serve the emerging community.


Delwood Shopping Centre, Blaxcell Street, Granville Westmead Shopping Centre, Hawkesbury Road, Westmead Regional shopping centres posed a threat to established commercial centres from the 1970s onwards. The earliest of them were at Top Ryde and Roselands (outside area) but they were soon emulated in western Sydney. Bankstown Square opened in 1966 and Westfield Parramatta opened in 1975 becoming the largest shopping complex in the southern hemisphere. Whilst such centres reinforced the dominance of established centres, at the expense of draining the surrounding streets of commerce, regional shopping centres in other locations, such as Bass Hill Plaza drained custom away from established centres nearby. The growth of Sydney into western Sydney has ensured that it has developed industrially and commercially. Wholesale distribution centres have emerged in western Sydney since 1970. Major warehouses have been established near arterial roads utilising the western Sydney advantages of large areas of cheap land with ready access to major road transport. Thus, areas such as Silverwater, and Huntingwood, have emerged as major distribution centres able to despatch goods to any part of Sydney as well as across the state.


Chapter 8: NSW Historical Theme: Communication Communication by the spoken word, the wink, the slight shift of the body, the smirk of the face and the handshake were all known long before settlement of the area. Aboriginal inhabitants used these as well as some forms of graphic communication. Body language such as this was used by the Dharuk to show how welcome any white settler might be. The white settlers brought their own forms of graphic communication in the form of handwriting and printing. During the first few years of the colony, all communication was either by word of mouth or by hand written communication. Printing did not come until later. The need to send messages, usually in written form caused the emergence of postal services. The post office was often the first official agency to be established in any centre. In many places, it was the only official agency of government to be available. Post offices were established in the major centres in 1828. The first post office opened in Liverpool on 1 March 1828. Originally, most post offices occupied small stores or roughly built structures but as official post office were started in many centres, they became ever more grandiose. More commonly, post offices were simply agencies within an existing small business. Only the larger towns or settlements were graced with a formal purpose-built post office. The other original mode of communication brought by the white settlers - printing - also began to make its impact felt. Printing presses commenced operating. The earliest and only press was in the hands of the government at Sydney and it issued the first newspaper, the Sydney Gazette from 1803 onwards. Other presses followed. In time, other newspapers started publication, most notably the Australian and the Sydney Monitor both Sydney publications. The 1840s witnessed the commencement of newspapers in the main towns of Parramatta and Windsor. The Parramatta Courier started publication in May 1843 but folded after a few issues. The longer-lived Parramatta Chronicle began in December 1843. The Windsor Express began publishing in 1843, joined by the Hawkesbury Courier in 1844. Notable newspapers, which emerged included The Star, published at Parramatta in the 1840s, aimed at a working class audience. The Australian started publication at Windsor in the 1870s and continued to publish until the late 1890s. It too was firmly different newspaper, and its premises are still extant in Thompson Square, Windsor. Newspaper proprietors, were often printers first, journalists next, and last, and often the most ineffectively, entrepreneurs of printing and communication in their community. A case in point was Cyrus Edgar Fuller, who began business in Parramatta as a stationer, printer and newspaper proprietor. He issued a Directory for Central Cumberland for a few years, and invested heavily in new buildings but was driven to bankruptcy by the 1890s.


Telegraph services were extended from Sydney and created a network of telegraph lines linked at telegraph offices in the main towns. Although associated with the post office, the telegraph office was commonly a separate building with its own staff and identity. The first telegraph message in NSW was transmitted to Liverpool from Sydney on 30 December 1857. Telephone services commenced supplementing telegraph services and finally replacing them from the late nineteenth century onwards. Telephone exchanges were constructed in major centres. They were often significant employers of young girls and women in towns or suburbs with little other employment to offer them except in retailing. Originally, all overseas communication was by undersea cable, which came ashore at La Perouse. Technological advances however, meant that radio waves could be used to beam messages to and from other countries. A high frequency radio station to carry out this role was created at Doonside by the Overseas Telecommunications Commission. Communication by radio also emerged. It was mostly used as a medium for entertainment, but radio networks were created for strategic purposes such as wartime communication and fire fighting as well as for emergency services. The emergence of Citizen’s Band (CB) radio, predating the current infatuation with the mobile telephone drew its band of adherents, most notably long-distance truck drivers seeking an outlet for communication as well as amusement on long journeys. In time, digital communication facilities were made available, and as the technology continues to evolve, will broaden the communication spectrum.


Chapter 9: NSW Historical Theme: Environment - cultural landscape Land, which had been cleared and managed by the Dharuk using fire, opened out as promising parkland with grass beneath scattered trees. It was just what the educated amongst the first colonists wanted. It accorded with their ideas of beauty and harkened back to the ideal park landscapes created by Capability Brown and other landscape specialist gardeners in Britain. Additionally, it was most attractive for grazing needing no clearing and simply asking to have cattle or sheep to be put upon it. Since the landscape was viewed as “naturally evolved”, the role of the Dharuk in creating this landscape was admitted by some, but with that special category of blindness to which European conquerors were prone; they saw the land as “uninhabited” or “unused”. They took it. Many of the rivers had heavier vegetation along their banks, which was altered by clearing. Along the Hawkesbury, despite the efforts of the Dharuk to keep the land open, the vegetation was still thick enough in 1796 that one grantee, Charles Thomas, cleared and occupied land on the grant of his neighbour, John Pugh. After 1821, land was cleared by convict gangs, hired out by the government. Large landholders took advantage of this to rid the more heavily vegetated part of their properties of surplus timber. Though the convict gangs used the axe and the spade, other people clearing their land made use of the Dharuk land clearer fire. Sometimes it was used to burn off fallen timber, but in other cases, fire either accidentally or deliberately cleared large tracts of country, such as around Liverpool, where the fires were cause for comment by foreign visitors in the 1830s. Timber was further reduced by timber getters who cut out the better trees for timber and the poorer woods for firewood. The impact of this rash of timber clearing was noted in an advertisement in 1907 for a proprietary cough medicine, appropriately named “Woods Great Peppermint Cure”. The noble forests of our land Beneath man’s devastating hand Soon will have vanished, leaving there This country lying, gaunt and bare. No wooded clothing, now she’s old, To save her from her death of cold, But lo! new Woods arise with healing sure, All hail them – Woods Great Peppermint Cure! (Liverpool Herald, 8 April 1907) Indeed, the land did lie cold and bare, succumbing to erosion by water in a number of places.


Large grants were made out to the elite members of society, often set back from the rivers, which were used to settle smaller farmers. Thus, large estates evolved across the district. Large grants in the Mulgoa Valley permitted larger estates to emerge there particularly amongst different members of the Cox family. Hence by the 1830s, as a result of the current fashion for landscape management amongst its landholders, an English Romantic style landscape had successfully evolved at Mulgoa, and this has been perpetuated in some estates. Large estates such as Glenlee and Horsley were spread across the County of Cumberland and Camden. Few now survive, but those that do are rare and striking evidence of the evolution of land management, and the planting of a new social order in NSW, of which these properties were the heartland where many of the methods of production and land management in the new environment had evolved. Glenlee, Menangle Park Horsley Small farm landscapes evolved along the Hawkesbury-Nepean, mutating and changing over the decades. Nevertheless, the pattern of smallholdings still, predominates along the Hawkesbury. What other Sydney landscape can compare with that between Windsor and Wilberforce on a warm spring day. Here the main road passes through ground growing a mix of corn and a variety of vegetables for Sydney markers, with small packing sheds and farm machinery on either side of the road, all backed by the wild edges of the Great Dividing Range which rises abruptly behind. On the opposite side of the Hawkesbury, the Pitt Town Bottoms still retain their original grant boundaries from the 1790s, and continue to produce for the Sydney market. Pitt Town Bottoms One of the most profound impacts of European settlement has been a overwhelming species change from the trees, shrubs and grasses which formerly characterised the original Cumberland woodland to introduced species, not just for agricultural purposes but for ornamental ones as well. Even the impact of the planted versus natural species is seen on roadside verges. In many places, these are often the best repositories of native species in an area. Yet, the policy of planting decorative species by the Department of Main Roads, predecessor to the RTA, has ensured distinctive landscapes such as the lines of golden privet, wattle, ash maple and poplars, commenced on 22 July 1936 along the Great Western Highway between Leura and Katoomba to commemorate servicemen who had lost their lives in the Great War. Public facilities are often regarded as highly utilitarian undertakings. Yet, the landscapes created by the Sydney water supply scheme possess highly variable vistas. The wild rocky grandeur of Warragamba dam set in its valley provides a stark contrast between the massive smooth man-made concrete wall of the dam and the rough hewn rocky valley in which it is grounded and almost achieves the


nineteenth century quality of the sublime bringing thoughts of man’s insignificance in the cosmos. In contrast, the cultivated and English planting scheme around Prospect Reservoir speaks of bucolic plenty and placidity. Remembrance has created its own landscapes. The highly mannered layout of the older parts of Rookwood cemetery was inspired by the Picturesque theory of landscape management in the mid-nineteenth century. Laid out in sinuous curves, the roads add to its Picturesque aspect whilst the gothic inspired buildings, resting places, and the sombre grey-green plantings in the older parts were devised to encourage reflections upon mortality. One the other hand, the expansive green lawns of the twentieth century lawn cemeteries such as Castlebrook Lawn Cemetery evoke not just sombre reflection. They reflect, in a good season, the wide green expanses of the massive pastoral estates, which provided the land for the cemetery. Rookwood Cemetery Leisure has created landscapes of its own, but has been responsible for holding many natural areas stable, though access has come at a price. The walking tracks of the Blue Mountains have made the wild accessible as well as themselves becoming major evidence of the evolution of leisure activity in the Blue Mountains from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. They do come at the price of some alteration of the natural landscape, as well as their role in permitting higher erosion, and the introduction of exotic species into the National Park areas. Blue Mountains National Park The importance of the green lung for the city was realised by the early twentieth century and the need to retain adequate access to rural areas for city folk was a major tenet of the creed of twentieth century town planning. An attempt to put this belief into practice was the isolation of an area zoned as the “Green Belt” in the post-war County of Cumberland Plan. An area stretching from Casula and Bankstown Aerodrome in the south across Prospect to Berowra in the north was zoned as the “Green Belt”. The inability to hold this area against the suburban expansion of Sydney and its breaching in 1959 threw away the opportunity to have Sydney ringed by a green lung, but its impact was not completely lost. Some areas were acquired by the Cumberland County Council as part of the “Green Belt” and have survived as areas of open space. The collapse of the “Green Belt” opened most of the Counties of Cumberland and Camden to the final stages of landscape evolution – suburbia. Landscapes, both residential and industrial, have taken over as the major land-use type across much of western Sydney. They include the distinctive residential landscape types such as Housing Commission planned estates, War Service Homes estates, as well as the evolution of speculative development from the square checkerboard design seen in the layout of countless subdivisions to the new curvilinear


subdivisions with areas set aside for commerce and parks such as the Winston Hills development which was set in motion from the late 1950 onwards.


Chapter 10: NSW Historical Theme: Events Seasonal rhythm governed the lives of the Dharuk and Gandangara. The blossoming of native fruits such as the lilly pilly, the geebung and the Port Jackson fig gave them new opportunities to vary their diet. Catching eels, especially along the Hawkesbury and its lagoons such as Pitt Town lagoon was an activity that occurred in the autumn months. Seasonal rhythms also dictated the lives of the European colonists dependant as they were on agriculture for their foodstuffs, but it was to be some time before they fully understood the different annual cycle of the seasons in the new colony in the Antipodes where everything was upside down or backward. In time the seasonal rhythm of sowing and planting, weed and pest control, harvest, ploughing, shearing the sheep or putting the female cows or sheep out with the bull or the ram governed the lives of the new colonists. The annual round of the seasons was enlivened by the harvest of seasonally available foodstuffs, such as soft stone fruits, which ripened in early summer. Wholesale change of western Sydney into an area largely suburban has meant that lives are now governed more by school holidays and public holiday routines than by the march of the seasons. Nevertheless, since agriculture and pastoralism still survives in parts, it still provides the annual hub around which some people still spin their lives. Other events have made their mark across time and have created markers and turning points that are popularly, but incorrectly believed to be the sole stuff on which history focuses. Yet other events are consciously planned. These events included commemorations some of which were special events such as the “Back to” movement which became very popular in the 1910s through to the 1930s in which many towns across the state, including some centres in western Sydney hosted “Back to” celebrations to mark their town’s ancestry. Parramatta celebrated its Sesqui-centenary in 1938. Alongside these created events were other types of specially crafted events, some of which resulted in the erection of buildings, and others in the unveiling of monuments. The recognition of local landmarks both natural and cultural was often the focus for such events. Deliberate attempts to create landmarks, mainly for tourist purposes had an impact, though after the initial opening, such landmarks left little in the public memory, apart from the attraction created. Other regular events needed special venues such as showgrounds or pools. In many ways these were as much a part of “Leisure” as of “Events”, but they were still event-focussed. Their openings were moments of civic pride whilst their ongoing maintenance was vital if they were to host regular events such as shows or carnivals.


The Crown had long set aside land for show grounds. In time, buildings were constructed to meet the needs of the show society and its exhibitors and for sideshows. Showgrounds often have a significant collection of buildings redolent of country crafts, sideshows and the smell of livestock. Showgrounds were not just stops on the circuits of sideshow proprietors and the professional exhibitor. They have also acquired a role as part of the network of locations where enthusiasts of leisure pursuits, such as quilting, stamp-collecting, motor cars, meet to exhibit, extol, explore and exchange. Few showgrounds survive in western Sydney, having been overwhelmed by the suburban sprawl.


Chapter 11: NSW Historical Theme: Exploration The concept of exploration would not have been recognised by the Dharuk and Gandangara. They lived in their home area and ranged across the wide sweep of their lands. On the other hand, the expansion of Europe brought British settlers to the district in 1788. These new settlers were anxious to push outwards, to find new productive land, or, in the case of many convicts, they were anxious to escape to China, which was believed to be, but a short distance over the ranges. Western Sydney has been the subject of exploratory surveys as well as having a key role as a base camp from which later explorers set out to seek new lands beyond the Counties of Cumberland and Camden. On 5 February 1788, Captain John Hunter and Lt William Bradley explored the Parramatta River as far as Homebush Bay, thereby touching upon the edge of western Sydney. A short time later, on 22 April 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip on an expedition himself found fertile land at the site of Rose Hill, which was soon to become Parramatta. An exploring party including Captain Collins, Captain John Hunter and others found Richmond Hill in July 1789 as well as the Hawkesbury River. Soon afterwards, the first settlers were placed along the river near Windsor and Richmond. Other explorers found different parts of the river that resulted in the dual names for the river Hawkesbury and Nepean, which continue to today. Further south, in 1795, George Bass and Matthew Flinders explored Georges River to find fertile land near the head of the river, which was named Banks Town. Both the district of Bankstown and the town of Liverpool were to be established within that area. Governor John Hunter found an area across the Nepean River in 1795, which was populated by wild cattle, which had bred from some livestock, which had escaped from the early settlement. The area was originally named the Cowpastures and the presence of the cattle resulted in an embargo on settlement on that area. Today, much of this area is known as the County of Camden. Settlement was slow to proceed due to the cattle, though John Macarthur was able to obtain a large grant at Camden Park, after extensive lobbying in Britain. A good deal of informal exploration as well as more formal exploration was undertaken by the surveyor James Meehan within the County as well to areas beyond such as in the Illawarra. Settlement was secure enough in western Sydney by the 1810s for it to become the jumping off place for further expeditions. Charles Throsby was given a grant at Glenfield in 1809. He used it as a base camp to explore to the south-west. In 1813 Kelvin Park was the setting off point for Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson’s


crossing of the Blue Mountains. At Mount York, on the western side of the Mountains they saw the western plains extending as far as the eye could see. Glenfield Farm The construction of a road by William Cox along their route opened the way to settlement to the west as well as further exploration. Windsor was hemmed in by the Great Dividing Range and the dissected uplands to the north. Yet settlers on the Hawkesbury were anxious to find a route out of the area. Thus, it became the jumping off point for exploration towards the Hunter valley. Routes were found northwards to the Hunter towards Putty, by Benjamin Singleton, John Howe and others in the late 1810s opened a difficult but useable route to the Hunter. The town of Singleton was settled from the Hawkesbury.


Chapter 12: NSW Historical Theme: Fishing The Dharuk and Gandangara caught freshwater fish in the Parramatta, Hawkesbury-Nepean and Georges Rivers. Lagoons along these rivers such as Pitt Town Lagoon, Yarramundi Lagoon and those at Menangle were also fished for freshwater shellfish, mullet and eels. Early settlers took fish from the same streams. Mangroves along the Parramatta River and along the Georges Rivers were important as breeding grounds for fish, crustaceans and shellfish. However pollution altered the ecology of these rivers so much that fish became ever more difficult to catch. The construction of the dam at Liverpool significantly altered the ecology of the Georges River. Salt water was confined to the area below the dam whilst fresh water was held above the dam wall. As agriculture and pastoralism became ever more successful, the urgent need for fish diminished, though the appeal to the occasional angler did not. Nevertheless, edible fish were no longer available in many areas. Construction of weirs along the Georges and Nepean Rivers interrupted the breeding and life cycles of the fish, which lived in those rivers. Introduced species many of them feral pests such as carp and the Japanese guppy have had deleterious impacts on the surviving native fish species.


Chapter 13: NSW Historical Theme: Forestry When the Dharuk and Gandangara managed the land they had little concern for the value of timber for building. Large trees had some value as homes for sources of food such as bees and possums, but thick timber was discouraged by burning to open the land out for grazing animals. The new settlers, on the other hand, had a diametrically opposed view. The value of large timber was well recognised by them. In all grant deeds, there was a clause that reserved all naval timber in the grants. Britain was a naval power suffering from the depletion of its forests, and the shortage of tall trees for masts and other suitable species for hull timbers. Along the Hawkesbury, some useful species were found, but the push to clear land for farms overwhelmed the need for timber. In any case, with such large areas of uncleared land, there seemed to be little need to conserve a resource, which seemed abundant. Clearing removed much of the timber along the rivers plus most of Cumberland woodland on the flat plains. Clearing proceeded to open the land for farms but also to supply the various towns with building materials as well as firewood. Once railways criss-crossed western Sydney, sawmills sprang up along most of the early railway sidings, such as Riverstone. Timber-cutters took the best trees first so that scrub and re-growth came up after they had left. Often this meant that when a cleared area that had not been farmed was seen in later years, the re-growth had changed its aspect again. This often meant another round of cutting when the re-growth was taken for firewood. Areas such as Liverpool and Fairfield were areas, which supplied timber for many years. As the trees close to the railway line were cut out, cutters moved westwards onto new territory. The late development of Rooty Hill since it was part of the Church and School Estate protected its trees for some time but once land was alienated, cutting commenced and sawmills at Rooty Hill became major employers. Alfred Hirst’s sawmill at Cabramatta, which operated from 1890 onwards, was a major local employer. Timber getters were not wielders of power machinery. That did not come until much later. The crosscut saw and the axe were their main tools. Axemen skilled with the blade became noted identities as well as competitors in sporting contests. In the Liverpool and Fairfield area, noted axemen included members of the Heckenberg, and Attwood families from Green Valley. Such has been the impact of clearing that plantations now replace the natural forests. However, western Sydney is not a major timber producer. There are few plantations. Land is too valuable. Additionally, the natural Cumberland woodland is too valuable as a natural resource to be contemplated for removal for timber.


Chapter 14: NSW Historical Theme: Health “Health” meant ample food, physical prowess and resilience for the Dharuk and Gandangara. Isolated from most diseases by the seas surrounding Australia, they conquered the microbes of their ecosystem and could probably expect a lifespan similar to what most Europeans could then expect. The settlers in 1788 brought exotic diseases to which the Dharuk and Gandangara had not been exposed so they had no immunity. Early observers described the desolation of the groups around Port Jackson. The diseases travelled inland with infected people and had a severe impact on the inland groups such as the Dharuk as well. As a convict settlement there was initially no private medical care. The bulk of the population was cared for through the agency of government medicine. Soon, there were sufficient free men, officials or merchants and then freed convicts to make private practice for the official doctors an option. Additionally, other medicos set up their practices, some of them ex-convicts such as William Redfern. Convict hospitals were established at major centres to cater for that element of society. Parramatta and Liverpool were the two main centres apart from Sydney. In all centres, the convict hospital became the nucleus for hospitals serving the free community once the convict system was closed down, and they continued to function from the same buildings for many years. At Liverpool, the former convict hospital is still extant as the TAFE College. Liverpool TAFE Cumberland Hospital Hospitals were started in other centres. Often they were tied to charitable organisations, such as the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society who took over the former convict barracks in Windsor in 1846. Communities in some of the towns organised so that medical care could be available through hospitals, such as at Camden. After a public meeting in 1898, collecting of funds to build a hospital in the town commenced and the new Camden Hospital opened in 1902. Former Windsor Hospital Private benefactors also assisted in providing health care. The Carrington Hospital was established near Camden on the benefaction of W. H. Paling to treat convalescents from Sydney. Private doctors catered for those who could afford their services. One of the earliest doctors was the former convict, William Redfern. He obtained a large grant in Airds, as the Campbellfields estate. Although damaged and altered, his residence on the estate is still extant at Minto. Houses occupied by doctors as surgeries and/or as private residence are situated across western Sydney. Some have had a long association with the medical profession, such the Doctors Houses at Windsor. Doctors Houses, Thompson Square, Windsor


Most hospitals were generalist institutions catering for the full range of medical conditions and complaints. But other institutions emerged to cater for certain conditions. The most specialised of these was the mental health institutions or lunatic asylums, which were built to house the medically and criminally insane. Parramatta was chosen early for such an institution. It was full of substantial buildings from the convict era and was away from the main population centre at Sydney, but easily accessible. The Parramatta lunatic asylum was put into buildings that survived from the former Female Factory. The only facility designed to house the criminally insane was later built at Parramatta Asylum. As it became too full and its buildings aged, a newer facility was commenced at Rydalmere on a site, which included the former Female Orphan School. Often older buildings, unsuitable for the care of the insane were taken over and used, but in many places specially designed buildings were erected. As Parramatta and the Rydalmere facility developed, specially designed buildings were built, such as the "wet and dirty", ward built for the incontinent at Parramatta in 1889. Cumberland Hospital, (Former Parramatta Asylum), Fleet Street, Parramatta UWS Rydalmere Campus, (Former Rydalmere Asylum) Private maternity hospitals also evolved as specialised institutions catering for specific needs. Birth had initially been an event handled by the family or neighbours and friends in the domestic home. It shifted from the home to the maternity hospital in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, which was often privately run in older large houses by female maternity staff. Private maternity hospitals were established in major centres or in suburbs or towns with easy transport access. They were not purpose designed but were mainly conversions of older and larger houses. The needs of organising health care and insurance underlay the establishment and support of friendly societies. Often friendly societies did not create a physical presence, such as an office, or a hall. They served as a safety net in a time when there was no readily available free medical care, or welfare. An associated development was the creation of united friendly society pharmacies, when all or most of the friendly societies of a town or suburb combined to establish a pharmacy, which gave preference to members at a lower cost. There were united friendly society pharmacies formed at Parramatta and Granville in the early twentieth century. The most profound shift in medical care in the twentieth century has been the ejection of what were private life course events from the home to public facilities. The events of birth and death have shifted from care by close family members within the peaceful and familiar surrounding of the home to care by impersonal professionals, in public or semi-public clinical environments. When private maternity hospitals became less acceptable due to the opposition of professional medical opinion and higher standards of accreditation, birth


shifted to the public hospital. There, it was increasingly handled by professional staff, often assisted with increasing technology, often to the great relief of the mother, although a countervailing tendency has been under way. Baby Health Centres were an important initiative from the 1910s onwards in providing quality advice and assistance for new mothers. They eventually obtained specialist buildings devoted solely to that purpose. Like birth, death was formerly a private event managed as best as one can manage such a moment of completion, at home amongst friends and relations. Subsequently, it became a matter for clinical management in the hospital. More recently, it has increasingly become an event associated with the aged care hostel or more commonly, with the nursing home. The large post-war expansion of population across western Sydney created a need for a denser network of hospitals. In 1954, to service the increased demand, a pre-fabricated hospital from Britain was commenced at Fairfield. It was completed in 1956. Health and sanitation tend to go hand in hand. However, matters such as clean water and adequate sanitary provision rightly belong with “Utilities” and will be noted there. On the other hand, rubbish tips have, for obvious reasons been neglected as worthy of attention. Yet, they are vital to a healthy population and sit a little uneasily as a “utility”, so will be briefly mentioned here. Rubbish disposal was a private affair for most of the period of white settlement in western Sydney. Adequate rubbish collection services began to be provided from the early twentieth century onwards, commencing with major centres such as Parramatta. Numerous sites were used as rubbish dumps, in some cases also serving as sewage disposal sites. Maybe, at some future time, these sites will become significant sources of archaeological data.


Chapter 15: NSW Historical Theme: Industry “Industry” defines a broad category of human enterprise, ranging from simple hand based workshop based modes of production utilising little machinery aimed at producing items individually to satisfy a specific order and extends, at the other extreme, to methods based on highly mechanised plants turning out large quantities of goods in serial production runs. There is not only an evolution across time. Simple modes of production on a handicraft basis continue to survive and even flourish alongside more highly mechanised production. What might be appropriate for one product and place might not be suitable for another. Small-scale handicraft production of basic implements and tools was typical of Dharuk and Gandangara industry. Its output was limited and often for personal use only, but it produced a range of items of great utility to them. When first confronted with the output of European manufacturing, they threw away almost everything as useless to them, prizing the steel axe above all else. Simple processing works commenced in towns such as Windsor, Parramatta, and Liverpool. They included a range of works such as tanneries, flourmills, breweries and other plants aimed at converting the rural products of the new colony into something for local consumption or for export. Food processing notably brewing commenced in many of the towns. Brewing started at Parramatta in 1803 and was hampered in its early years by problems. In later years, a number of other brewers operated in Parramatta such as Henry Vallack. Andrew Thompson commenced a brewery at Windsor in 1806. Flourmills dotted the landscape, grinding the grain into flour, and utilised all modes of power generation such as water and wind power as well as steam. Not only were they evident in major towns, such as Windsor, Campbelltown, Camden and Liverpool. The Mount Gilead mill was situated within a major grain producing area. Animals turned the wheel at George Cox’s mill at Winbourne at Mulgoa. The base of the mill and the stones are still extant. With the decline of grain growing, these mills were converted to other uses or fell into disrepair. The Cumberland Steam Mill at Smith Street Parramatta later operated as an ice works and as a jam factory. Mount Gilead mill Cumberland became the venue for a new generation of flourmills run by electricity using the most modern steel rollers and sifting membranes. They took advantage of the junction of the railway lines from the west and the south at Parramatta and Granville. Brunton's mills at Granville opened in the 1880s to be joined later by the Austral Flour Mill at Parramatta (1906). Abattoirs were also established mostly to cater for local demand but some had grander plans. J H Atkinson established an abattoir at Liverpool in 1856 taking


advantage of the opening of the railway to the town. Benjamin Richards' Riverstone Meatworks which commenced operating in the late 1870s was an astute venture drawing on livestock as they were walked into the county, killing them on a large abattoir and then railing the carcasses to market in the cool of the evening. Another noxious industry prominent across the state was woolscouring, which cleaned the wool, prior to shipment. J H Atkinson established a woolwash at Liverpool in 1856. There were others at Fairfield. A woolscour commenced operating at Smithfield in 1895 run by James Smith and Son. The tanneries of Anthony Bros, Samuel Critchley, James Anderson, George Page and R. Dummett were located nearby, mostly along Prospect Creek. Anthony Brothers, a firm that was described as doing "big biz" in 1882, was situated along Prospect Creek Cloth processing began in a small way at Parramatta in 1801 at the Female Factory but was undertaken more seriously from 1803 onwards. Parramatta later became a notable cloth producer with mills such as the Parramatta Woollen Mills, on the Windsor Road and Byrnes mill along the Parramatta River. Granville too became a cloth-producing centre from the 1870s onwards. A paper mill next to the dam commenced operating at Collingwood, Liverpool in 1868 and operated until the early twentieth century. In 1910, the factory of the Challenge Woolen Woollen Mills was erected on the same site. Until the 1880s, manufacturing, apart from some processing of rural products, had largely been focussed on existing towns. In that decade, however, as greater diversity emerged amongst industry, new centres began to emerge. One of the most notable of these was St Marys. St Marys became an important industrial centre in the late nineteenth century, with numerous tanneries as well as Bennett’s wagon building works, which built robust flat wagons for teams. Metal manufacturing, often seen as the measure of manufacturing sophistication, was represented by the full gamut of enterprises running from simple blacksmithing by hand in small workshops through to complex machine based works. Every town had its blacksmith and they were regularly situated along major routes, where their skills were in demand by wheeled and horse drawn transport. Agricultural machinery makers evolved from some of the blacksmithing firms. Until the 1880s, Parramatta was the major metal processing town in the area, with Robert A Ritchie’s works. He had started as a general blacksmith and graduated to agricultural machinery and then to railway rolling stock production. In the 1880s, his firm obtained a railway rolling stock contract. His son, William took the firm to a new site at Granville, which was emerging as a major industrial


and metal working locality, positioned on the railway with ready access to water. The Parramatta-Granville axis became a major core for manufacturing that grew for many years. Hudson Brothers (later Clyde Engineering) commenced their engineering works at Granville in August 1883. Further east along the railway line, Vales commenced their engineering works at Auburn about 1884, also turning out railway rolling stock. In the 1910s, they were part of a consortium manufacturing some of the first four-wheel drive vehicles in the world. In December 1910, Norman Laurie Caldwell and Vale Brothers of Auburn formed the Caldwell-Vale Motor and Tractor Construction Company, which set up manufacturing operations in the Vale Brothers works at Queen Street, Auburn. Brick and clay manufacture had been focused on most of the towns, often as small operations, turning out bricks in small batches by hand methods. The emergence of a number of larger firms along the railway line from Granville to Merrylands and beyond from the 1870s onwards, established works using mass production technologies. Brickyards were started across the district, wherever there was a good market, or suitable clays, such as Symons Brothers works at Fairfield. Christiansen started making bricks near Liverpool in 1879, joining a whole group of brick manufacturers along Brickmakers Creek. The State Brickworks opened at Homebush Bay in 1912, becoming the largest manufacturer in the district, producer many of the bricks, which were used in building construction across western Sydney. One of the last of these firms to continue brick production into the late 1980s was Goodlet and Smith, Merrylands, which also produced the first Marseilles tiles in Australia, as well as cement and artificial stone. Former State Brickworks pit Goodlet and Smith, Merrylands The Homebush Abattoirs established nearby in 1916 was a major enterprise and remained in operation until its site was cleared for the Olympic Games of 2000, leaving the administrative buildings as the sole reminder of the role of the abattoirs. State Abattoirs administrative buildings Rural processing continued across western Sydney. Wineries often at the vineyards themselves were major processors. The Minchinbury winery was a notable producer, but there were others such as the Tizzana winery at Sackville. Jam factories turned less saleable fruit into jams and preserves. The Woodstock Fruit Company Limited, was established in 1887 at Plumpton to can fruit. Rosella conducted a processing plant at Windsor for years and the buildings are still extant. Tizzana winery, Sackville World War One had a marked impact on industrial development heralding the even greater impact of the Second World War. Supply difficulties for both fibro-


cement sheet and terra-cotta Marseilles tiles, gave a major boost to building material manufacture, when the Wunderlich tile works commenced manufacture of tiles in 1915 at Rosehill. James Hardie and Company’s fibro works began manufacturing operations nearby in 1917. Increased tariff protection by the Commonwealth government from the 1920s onwards resulted in the emergence of far more sophisticated manufacturing enterprises. The assembly and manufacture of motorcars commenced at Sandown near Parramatta by Ford Motor Co in 1926, later shifting their plant to Homebush (just outside the western Sydney region) in 1935. The manufacture and assembly of electrical goods, including power plants and switchgear commenced at Auburn in the mid 1920s. Similar firms were started later at Guildford. Cablemakers of Australia built their plant at Liverpool in 1940. World War Two gave a further boost to manufacturing industry outside main towns such as Parramatta-Granville and Liverpool. St Marys became the centre for a major munitions works, which brought a wide range of large and small manufacturers to the district. The munitions works were partially leased and sold after the wart so that it left a legacy of buildings and infrastructure, which became the core of postwar industrial development in the St Marys-Penrith area. At Villawood and Leightonfield, a new centre of chemical processing away from the established Sydney-Botany axis of chemical plants emerged to supply chemicals for the manufacture of explosives and fertilisers. Bankstown became a major industrial centre particularly for its role in aircraft manufacture. The newly established Bankstown aerodrome became the base for the De Havilland aircraft works as well as housing the Clyde Engineering hangar where aircraft were repaired and some assembly of Avro Anson and Wirraway trainers was undertaken. The Chullora railway workshops were also involved, assembling the Bristol Beaufort bomber and its successor, the Bristol Beaufighter fighter-bomber. De Havilland produced trainers as well as the British-designed wooden Mosquito, one of the most innovative aircraft of the war. An aircraft-manufacturing network evolved across western Sydney. Granville was the home of the Australian Aluminum Company's works at Unwin Street Granville. It started production in 1940 and supplied the cast, sheet and bar aluminum needed for the aircraft. Aero engines were produced at Lidcombe. Australian Forge and Engineering Pty Ltd of Auburn manufactured forgings of high quality steel. These were then further machined and incorporated into Pratt and Whitney Wasp engines manufactured by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation factory in Birnie Avenue, Lidcombe. The body panels and engines were assembled at Bankstown either at the Aerodrome or at the Chullora railway workshops where a special aircraft-manufacturing annex had been erected. Aircraft were still produced at Bankstown aerodrome after the war, including jets for the armed services.


Australia produced the Mark 40 variant of the de Havilland Mosquito. In the back of the pilot’s manual, there is an “exploded” diagram of the aircraft revealing every single component, literally hundreds of them, engine block, wing struts and panels, undercarriage struts, screws, glues and so on. These components came from many manufacturing plants, some within and some outside western Sydney. They were assembled into a complex modern fighting twin-engined aircraft at Bankstown Aerodrome. In 1940, the site had been a paddock. In 1942, the factory turned out the first Mosquito, one of the most advanced aircraft of its day. Such was the nature of the achievement in building these complex pieces of equipment. Many of these wartime enterprises became key elements of the post-war industrial expansion of western Sydney. The County of Cumberland zoning of 1951 created large areas set aside for industry, focussing not only on established areas such as Bankstown and the Parramatta-Granville axis, but also adding areas such as Moorebank, Seven Hills, Marayong, St Marys, Smithfield, Leumeah-Campbelltown and Riverstone. St Marys formed the major core for industrial growth near Penrith, which had far greater success in its industrial development than the areas to the south-west which was slower to develop due to the reluctance of manufacturers to shift to those areas, where there was no established infrastructure such as St Marys had inherited after the War. Chemical and pharmaceutical plants emerged in South Granville and Ermington in the 1950s also attracting cosmetic manufacturers as well as pharmaceutical producers. Western Sydney remains both the major industrial area for Sydney and NSW as well as one, which continues to expand and add new activities to its swag of products. The opening up of new industrial areas such as Huntingwood, Glenfield and Smeaton Grange has ensured that western Sydney remains a significant part of the expanding industry of the state.


Chapter 16: NSW Historical Theme: Mining The Dharuk and Gandangara obtained most of their needs from the soil, vegetation and animals of western Sydney. In order to obtain suitable clays and ochres, they mined sites where these occurred. Near The Oaks, the Gandangara quarried read hematite, which they used as substitute for red ochre. Similarly, certain stones useful due to their hardness or ability to be fashioned special tools were also obtained in the same way. The earliest mining activity undertaken by the white European colonists was the digging of clays for brick and pottery making. The kilns near Sydney Cove, which provided the first tiles and the first ill-burned bricks, were amongst the earliest manufacturing activities in the colony. Wherever the settlers went they needed building materials and if there was suitable clay and the market was large enough a small pit would be dug so that a brickyard could be opened and bricks could be made. These small undertakings were superseded by the late nineteenth century by large-scale enterprise, using machinery to excavate their pits and even small tramways to bring the clay to their plant. In western Sydney, a range of large pits were opened for clay but most have been filled with the notable exception of the former State Brickworks pit which is now filled with water and is a feature of the former Olympic Games site at Homebush Bay. Former State Brickworks, Homebush Bay The discovery of a large plug of blue metal at Dundas resulted in the opening of a quarry, which supplied blue metal for the roads of Sydney for many years until the supply was exhausted. Fortunately for western Sydney, there was another supply of blue metal in the centre of the district at Prospect, and stone was being extracted from there as early as the 1860s. Later, companies were formed to extract the stone in mechanized fashion, supplying blue metal for Sydney until the present day. Sandstone quarrying for building purposes was also undertaken, though not to the same extent as in Sydney. Parramatta, as the major centre was the principal area where sandstone was quarried for building purposes. Quarries were opened near the Cumberland hospital and Parramatta River and Toongabbie Creek. A number of buildings constructed of local stone still survive, including public and private buildings such as the cottages at 14 Ross Street and 1 Trott Street. Bricks and even concrete had superseded sandstone by the time that a similar scale of building activity had arisen across much of western Sydney. Nevertheless, in all of the older towns there are stone buildings or works constructed with locally won stone, such as at Emu Plains. A small quarry was opened to supply stone for the Lansdowne Bridge in the 1830s as was another opened on the Nepean River to supply stone for the Menangle Railway Bridge in the 1870s. Stone was also used in the Hawkesbury to erect buildings, or to provide stone facings or foundations ensuring a rich heritage of stone in the buildings of the district. Even as late as the early twentieth century a few small


quarries operated including one at Pitt Town, which is why there are a handful of stone cottages which are distinctively twentieth century in style in Pitt Town and Wilberforce. Shale oil mining was undertaken to supply the kerosene that was a vital fuel and lighting agent in the nineteenth century. Mining of shale began at Hartley Vale in 1865 and continued until 1900. In the 1880s, it also began at Megalong. Much of the shale was shipped to a kerosene works on the Parramatta River at Rosehill, which commenced production in 1885, and was operational until 1894. Coal measures underlie much of the Sydney Basin but are far too deep to be economically exploited. Nevertheless where the beds dip sufficiently close to the surface to be accessible, mining has been undertaken in a number of locations in western Sydney. Coal mining at Katoomba began in 1878 and continued for some years. Coal mining began in the Burragorang Valley during the 1930s. There are a number of mines in the Wollondilly shire, such as near Wilton. Despite the ardent prospecting and the fervent hopes of many optimists in the nineteenth century, western Sydney was not an area where there was a commercially available quantity of gold. On the other hand, at the extremity of the district silver was mined at Yerranderie. Silver mines began operating there in 1898. Mines were opened and closed with the boom years running from about 1907 to about 1914, with desultory work continuing until 1930. The area is difficult to access, and the earliest silver mined was brought out by pack animals. Even today, the area is difficult to access but there is evidence of the mines extant in the area as well as some of the buildings, which were part of the village, which emerged around the mines. Yerranderie In order to supply the large quantity of sand and gravel needed for building works right across Sydney, sandmining and gravel mining commenced at Chipping Norton and along the Hawkesbury River. The area near Emu Plains was being quarried for this material in the 1940s in order to erect the wall of Warragamba Dam. Huge excavations in the Castlereagh area have profoundly altered what was one of the last surviving early nineteenth century colonial landscapes. Sand and gravel mining was undertaken at Chipping Norton in the 1950s. Here, too, it has profoundly altered the landscape.


Chapter 17: NSW Historical Theme: Pastoralism Dharuk and Gandangara management of the land of western Sydney was achieved by seasonal burning of grasses and grasslands to maintain an environment attractive to grazing animals such as kangaroos. The open parklike landscapes, which they created attracted pastoralists as well as the kangaroos. They have since been obscured and replaced by land clearance and the establishment of farms, villages and suburbs across what had been their domain. Government farms and stockyards were established when policy dictated that the government should employ the bulk of convicts under its own control. A stock establishment was set up at Castle Hill. Later, a stockyard was established at Emu Plains in 1814. Other government stockyards were started at The Oaks, Picton and Cawdor about 1818. Although arable farming was favoured by the original colonial administration due to the dire need to provide food, the raising of livestock was not discouraged. Many people who were granted land in the early years also received some livestock from the Crown. It was the large landholder, however, who became the squatters and pastoralists of the new society, due to their ability to amass land, to maintain the quality of their livestock and also their ability to hold on to their stock until good prices were available. Hence military officers, officials, and merchants became the first pastoralists and “squatters” outside the County of Cumberland. They were joined by emancipists who acquired estates of their own. The Counties of Cumberland and Camden became the locus of the “home farm” for many of these men. The bulk of their livestock was sent to land leased from the Crown beyond the limits of the County. Large grants in the Mulgoa Valley permitted larger estates to emerge particularly those of different members of the Cox family. They had their outer farms on the Mudgee area. Apart from the centres of small farming such as the Hawkesbury and along the Nepean, western Sydney became a landscape of large farms. Land in the west of Fairfield was parcelled out in sizeable grants to members of the bureaucratic and military elite of the colony, such as William Lawson, George Johnston, Edward Abbott and Thomas Wylde. They had been granted substantial acreages. On these grants developed a number of pastoral estates, centred upon its homesteads. Most of these broad acre estates survived as viable economic units well into the twentieth century, when subdivision into farmlets and housing allotments overtook them. "Whinstanes", was believed to have been built by William Lawson. "Edensor" was the homestead of J. B. Bossley. Blanche, the daughter of the grantee, Colonel George Johnston, developed Horsley Park in


1833-4. George Johnston’s property, The Homestead near the Georges River at Bankstown was the core of large pastoral estate running cattle through the parish of Bankstown. Elizabeth Farm, Harris Park Camden Park, Camden Bella Vista, Baulkham Hills The Homestead, Georges Hall Later, squatters emerged from men able to make enough from squatting beyond the Limits of Location until they could acquire freehold land in the County of Cumberland for their own home farm. William Howe, a free immigrant, had developed Glenlee as a model estate and had been able to acquire a large area of land south of Campbelltown. After his inability to pay off a loan on the property it was sold to James Fitzpatrick, a self made man who had squatted on crown land. James Fitzpatrick bought up estates south of Campbelltown. In 1849, he bought Mowat’s Magellan estate (formerly W H Hovell’s), then the Grimes’ grant of 335 acres in 1851, and Throsby’s Smeaton 550 acres grant. Finally, in 1859, he bought Howe’s Glenlee Estate, where his family and descendants were to remain for over a century. Glenlee, Menangle Park These large estates were the lynchpin of major pastoral enterprises, such as Glenlee, Raby, Horsley Park, Bungaribbee, Camden Park, Glenmore Park. Here the pastoralist made his home, from which he managed his land and stock outside the county. In the early days, these estates were small villages, making and providing all they needed. Bread would be baked. Stock would be slaughtered for consumption, and anyone needing supplies fronted up to the store on the property to be issued with the goods and their account would be debited for them. Cattle were originally the focus of pastoralist interest in western Sydney, but when sheep proved to be valuable, interest shifted to them. Cattle were mainly sent out of the area since there was a common belief they were the best stock for opening up new country. Later it was found that the coast was too wet for sheep and they were mostly sent inland too. Pigs were raised but small farmers often preferred them. They did not have the value or status that cattle and sheep acquired. For small farmers, they were an ideal animal to raise, ensuring that the family had some meat on a regular basis. They were also highly efficient converters of any farm or household waste into an edible and saleable product. Horse studs developed on many of the large properties, such as Camden Park and Hobartville. Despite the emergence of studs in the area around Scone, the Counties of Cumberland and Camden were to remain significant producers of fine thoroughbred horses as well as lesser everyday animals.


Sheep and cattle moved across the area along “driftways” or early stock routes across the county. One of them ran to Parramatta from the north-east across the Dundas area, whilst another skirted Prospect Hill bringing stock towards Parramatta and to the city. Other stock routes which crossed the included the Cowpasture Road and the Old Northern Road. Cattle and other livestock moved from county districts across the dividing range along the western road and down the Putty Road, to market. Land in Cumberland served as agistment before the stock were finally shifted to market. Mostly they moved to market at Sydney, in the nineteenth century. However, in order to capture the traffic in hides coming across the mountains, tanneries were established at Richmond, St Marys and Penrith. St Marys became a noted tanning area. Abattoirs were mainly at Sydney originally but the establishment of the Riverstone Meatworks by Benjamin Richards in 1879-80 was a major innovation, killing stock then shipping them to market on train in the cool hours. The site had numerous advantages. It was on the route used by drovers bringing livestock down from the Hunter River and the Liverpool Plains. The railway went past the site enabling stock to be brought to the works for slaughter and products to be sent away speedily before they could deteriorate. Nearby rivers and creeks such as Eastern Creek and South Creek provided large quantities of water to process the meat and wash down the resulting mess. A similar processor of livestock though an even less appetising one was boiling down. A number of boiling down works operated at Bankstown, which was sited on the main road into Sydney from the southern districts. Paddocks were fenced in by their owners from the 1820s onwards using timber and very occasionally stone, but it was a relatively expensive method. The impact of wire fencing from the 1860s onwards ensured the gradual replacement of timber fences, though timber was still used as posts. At a distance from the creeks properties often had no ready water and stock could suffer severely in dry season. Water saving technologies were increasingly used. Dams across creeks and rivers were used but the use of tanks on their properties on the basis of the methods developed in the west of the state were applied. In 1906 an Army Reconnaissance map of the area between Parramatta and the Georges River showed a network of these tanks across most of the large pastoral properties. Dairying took over as the major land-use in the later nineteenth and early twentieth century, supplanting most other forms of livestock raising though certainly not eliminating them. Land, which had been under-used since the ending of grain cropping after the 1860s stem rust epidemic, was again useful


and valuable. The establishment of the Milk Board had a profound impact on the issue of licences as well as on the construction of dairies and other structures, like milking sheds associated with the industry. By 1900, a network of creameries and butter factories across the state, such as those at Windsor, Menangle, Richmond, and Cawdor, processed the products of the dairy farms. Notable dairying estates emerged such as Camden Park, which had a network of creameries serving it. In later years, the rotary milking shed known as the Rotolactor at Camden was a major showpiece of the district. By the mid twentieth century the dairy farmer was overtaken in the eastern parts of western Sydney, by the poultry farmer especially on land less suitable for dairying. Instead of the medium to large dairy farmer assessing the relative merits of the Jersey or Illawarra Shorthorn for this herd, the towns of Parramatta and Liverpool by the 1930s witnessed farm boys and their dads vying for the best Wyandottes, or Leghorns. Dairying continued along the Hawkesbury-Nepean and also at Camden and Campbelltown, but has been forced into retreat by encroaching suburban development.


Chapter 18: NSW Historical Theme: Science The Dharuk and Gandangara were themselves the subject of white European scientific curiosity. Anthropological interest in the original inhabitants was widespread amongst the officers and officials posted to the early convict settlement. Their observations have provided valuable data about the Eora in the eastern part of the Sydney basin but far less about the Dharuk and the Gandangara to the west. Equally, a fascination with the area’s flora and fauna permeated all of the writings of the early officers, officials and settlers. Their interest in observation was in the best tradition of scientific enquiry but there was also a practical strand underlying their curiosity. Observations about the economic value of the new species of plants or animals peppered their writings. “Science” was originally practised by individuals, either on their own behalf or for wealthy patrons. Curiosity, rather than craving for profit, inspired their quest. There was little or no formal institutional framework for scientific enquiry. Distant scientific bodies in Britain were the recipients of the fruits of early scientific enquiry. The formation of the Australian Museum provided a focus for the materials they collected as well as their enquiries. Amongst the scientific enquirers were a number of foreign visitors. Some such as the French rarely penetrated much beyond the immediate confines of Sydney Harbour. One noted visitor was Charles Darwin on his trip around the world on the Beagle, which visited Sydney in 1836. During his brief stay, he took a notable field trip to Penrith and across the Blue Mountains, which provided some matter for reflection, on the variety of nature and of the impact of white man on the native inhabitants of any colony. Amateur enthusiasts promoted their findings by publication of their theories or promoted their findings through the Royal Society of New South Wales. They included the Parramatta based William Woolls, a noted early botanist. Dr Woolls was appointed to St Peter’s Church, Richmond late in 1873. During his time at Richmond, Woolls published a number of significant works on the botany of the colony as well as writing a number of his most significant publications in his cottage in Bosworth Street. It was not only botany, and the study of the animals of the new colony that attracted enthusiasts. John Tebbutt was a landholder at Windsor who became interested in astronomy and built his own private observatory on the Peninsula at Windsor in 1863, from where he commenced to take observations of the heavens. Tebbutt’s Observatory, The Peninsula, Windsor Research into animal and plant breeding was undertaken by a number of landowners, keen to improve the productivity of their properties. For many, this


research was of a rough and ready character, but for others, their research often crossed the boundary between “pure” and “applied" science. The Macarthurs fostered research and experimentation on their properties such as Camden Park and Belgenny Farm involving livestock and plants. Subsequently, officially commissioned research into veterinary matters and agriculture also commenced. As the heartland of so many rural empires and of many of the techniques applied in other areas, and with its easy access to Sydney, western Sydney was naturally the site for a number of research institutions. Many of them were attracted to the better-endowed parts of western Sydney, where there was access to a variety to natural conditions nearby, as well as good soils suitable for more intensive experimentation such as the Hawkesbury and the Camden area. Equally, institutions set up to prepare people for farming such as Hawkesbury Agricultural College, also undertook research. The University of Sydney has operated its Farms at Camden, and Cobbitty. They include the Plant Breeding Institute as well as facilities for the Faculty of Veterinary Science. Grantham Poultry Research Station (former) The CSIRO established a research facility at Prospect in 1944, which undertook research into animal production.


Chapter 19: NSW Historical Theme: Technology Technology is an umbrella category which encompasses both the application of a particular mode of doing something to achieve a desired physical output, as well as the innovation of a new technique for undertaking tasks, more efficiently, more cheaply, or to provide a particular result which was not previously possible. Technology applies to the hand-based skills applied to tasks such as cutting turf for roofing, pugging clay to make bricks, or stirring the pot so that jam will not burn. Equally, it also applies to the application of sophisticated mechanized processes. Within the limits of the wood, stone or animal products available to them as raw materials, the Dharuk and Gandangara applied appropriate technologies to fashion all of the tools and implements they needed to survive. Amongst the manifestations of technology are included ways of doing or making things that have now been superseded. The stone arch technology applied in building the Lansdowne Bridge is still valid but it is no longer used since reinforced concrete is available to do the same task. The Lapstone Bridge, at Emu Plains was the first permanent stone bridge built on the mainland, and like the Lansdowne Bridge was designed by David Lennox. It used a design and materials, which are no longer, applied to bridge building. The Menangle Railway Bridge of the 1870s demonstrates the technology of building railway bridges appropriate at the time of its construction that have now been superseded. Equally, steam technology is no longer used for transportation though it is still used for generating energy. The Thirlmere Railway Museum hosts an array of steam engines as well as rolling stock that is no longer used. Lansdowne Bridge Lapstone Bridge The application of the full range of hand-based and machine-assisted technologies that have been used can be seen in brick making. They produced bricks, which were often idiosyncratically individual, and since sand was often used to make the clay easier to slip out of the moulds (hence, the “sandstock brick”), but they were sometimes poorly fired and shaped. Initially, bricks were fired in open clamp kilns of which few survive at all. In later years, more sophisticated kilns such as the Hoffman downdraught kiln were used to produce large quantities of bricks of a regular size, shape and quality. Innovative solutions to technical problems or designs, which demonstrate the technical mastery of a problem, are also aspects of the application of technology. The Upper Nepean Scheme Water supply scheme was a brilliant blend of both the simplest and the most advanced technology of the day when it was designed, or "state of the art" technology. Water flows through the system to reach Prospect Reservoir without the aid of pumps. Gravity supplied the motive force


the whole way. Careful survey and design was needed to create a self-regulating system. On the other hand, the most advanced knowledge of fluid dynamics was applied to enable the water to pass under existing creeks, gullies and waterways through the use of inverted syphons. In short, when water is forced into a narrower opening, which then widens out at the same level, it acquires a force that is sufficient to draw it out at the other end. Thus, by careful design, the Water Board’s engineers were able to make water flow up hills as well as down and make its own way under streams without resort to pumping. A brick viaduct was designed to take the water across a watercourse at Boothtown. It had an aesthetically pleasing pattern of polychrome brickwork. Despite its attractive exterior design, the viaduct later failed and an inverted syphon was designed to replace it. In 1907, a reinforced concrete inverted syphon was constructed alongside the Boothtown viaduct to replace that older viaduct in normal use. This syphon was then the longest reinforced concrete work in Australia. Whilst the former brick viaduct looks impressive, it is now little more than a decorative feature in the landscape. The genuinely interesting item lies invisible beneath the surface. The Water Board constructed two pre-load wire wrapped reservoirs utilising an innovative technique from the United States. The Mt Dorothy Reservoir was erected on this principle in 1960-61 in order to test this method of construction. The only other one built was at Cecil Park. Mount Dorothy Reservoir, Toongabbie The production of notable technical innovations had also occurred across western Sydney. Often the production sites do not survive, though some of the products do. De Havilland at Bankstown produced the innovative British designed Mosquito aircraft. Yet though the basic aircraft was British designed, the Australian version was no simple copy. Shortages of balsa wood from Brazil as well as other timbers used in the final design meant the substitution of Australian coachwood in the design. This meant there were hundreds of minute design changes to enable the Australian version of this aircraft to be built. From the late 1930s onwards, Howard Auto-Cultivators at Northmead produced an innovative hand-held cultivator ideal for farming small blocks. At Vales Engineering works at Auburn one of the first four-wheel drive vehicles in the world was produced. In December 1910, Norman Laurie Caldwell and Vale Brothers of Auburn formed the Caldwell-Vale Motor and Tractor Construction Company, which set up manufacturing operations in the Vale Brothers works at Queen Street, Auburn and manufactured these four-wheel drive vehicles.


Chapter 20: NSW Historical Theme: Transport The Dharuk and Gandangara had few options for transport. They walked or, if there was a suitable stream nearby, they might use a canoe for transport, though canoes were largely used for food gathering rather than transport. Like the Dharuk and Gandangara the early colonists had few options for transport. Roads did not exist and walking was often the only available means until animal transport was available. More commonly, they used the rivers to get to their destinations. Parramatta, the Hawkesbury settlements and Liverpool were initially settled from the river. Until well into the nineteenth century, despite the construction of roads, water was still a viable means for travelling to these destinations. Parramatta was eventually served by a regular service up the Parramatta River. The other settlements had to rely upon more informal shipping arrangements. Nevertheless, the construction of jetties and wharfs was vital to enable the better handling of cargo and passengers. They were built at Windsor as well as Liverpool. Jetties and wharfs still survive on the Parramatta River including a stone wharf at Wharf Road in Ermington. Wharf, Wharf Road, Ermington Boats were built at a number of sites on the Hawkesbury. One of the more notable of these was John Grono who was building boats and small ships at Canning Reach at Pitt Town by 1807. The site was still identifiable. Other shipbuilders also undertook shipbuilding along the Hawkesbury, such as Andrew Thompson, and Daniel Smallwood, Thomas Dargin and Jonathan Griffiths. Grono’s Shipbuilding site, Canning Reach, Pitt Town Despite the construction of the road to Liverpool, the Georges River continued to serve Liverpool as boats sailed or steamed up to the town as far as the dam. A newly built timber one replaced an early wharf there in 1818. Despite the decrease of river traffic, as late as the 1880s, waste paper for the Liverpool paper mill was still being shipped up the river. Rivers however, could only serve some parts of the colony. A denser network of routes was only possible through the building of roads. Modest tracks appeared to Parramatta and then to the Hawkesbury settlements. By 1793, there was a usable track from Sydney to Parramatta. By 1794, it had been extended to the Hawkesbury. The major road works however were completed in 1815, when the Western Road had been constructed. The Southern Road was completed to Liverpool by 1815. William Cox had completed the road across the Blue Mountains following the track blazed by explorers Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson in 1813. In order to keep the convicts who were assigned to undertake the work, stockades were built at various locations on the route. Cox’s task was completed on 18 July 1815.


Mt Victoria stockade site The symbolic importance of the Western Road leading from Sydney westward to the Blue Mountains was captured by Helen Proudfoot in her Thematic History of Penrith (1987) The great road west became a symbolic road as soon as it was formed. Its point of departure was George Street and Sydney Cove, the genesis of the colony; it travelled west to Parramatta, and then, near Prospect, its symbolic character begins to become apparent as the topography of long parallel ridges dipping down to the Nepean in prelude to the ascent of the river ramparts of the Blue Mountains beyond the river begins to unfold. The road held a strange sense of promise to its travellers, a sense of anticipation, quite unlike that felt on any other road out of Sydney. (Fox & Associates, Heritage Study of the City of Penrith, Volume 1, 1987, p 24) That road has an especially significant for all settlement in the west. Other roads were gradually added across Western Sydney or leading out of it. By April 1814, a road from Liverpool to Parramatta Road (later to called Dog Trap Road and then the Woodville Road) was in progress. Engineer George Druitt formed a road in 1818 from the Pennant Hills to the wharf (today's Marsden Road-Wharf Road). The alignment of the road is still extant, whilst the wharf it leads to is still in existence. A network of roads including the Campbelltown Road, the Cowpasture Road, the Old Northern Road, and Elizabeth Drive were extant by 1826 when they were all mapped by surveyor, Robert Hoddle. Old Windsor Road, Baulkham Hills Shire Apart from the western road, the Great Southern Road lead out of the Sydney district to parts beyond. A track was available to settlers seeking to go from the Hawkesbury to the Hunter Valley around Broke and Singleton. The road was poor but passable and took a number of routes over the heavily dissected country. In 1823, Archibald Bell found another route across the Blue Mountains, which was later cleared as a road, known as Bell’s Line of Road. Bell’s Line of Road Great North Road, and convict camp sites Roads attracted a good deal of investment from the colonial government over the next five decades. They were the main means of communication and for some years, there was abundant convict labour to set to work on the heavy chores of road making. Major works included the construction of bridges such as those at Lapstone in the Blue Mountains and at Lansvale. Lansdowne Bridge Lapstone Bridge, Emu Plains


Sandstone milestones were positioned along the routes to mark out the road and distances between major centres. A few are still extant, though they more commonly exist as the later concrete mile markers. Driftways or stock roads were also laid out across the district. One of them ran north-east from Parramatta through the Field of Mars and Pennant Hills. Another ran past the original small grants made to small settlers at Prospect. They were the forerunners of the Travelling Stock Routes, which were subsequently established beyond the Sydney Basin to facilitate stock movements. News of the development of railways in Britain excited many in the colony. They were seen as the answer to the problems of transport in a wide land. Various private proposals were made to build them. The first successful one was a line built by the Sydney Railway Company, which terminated at Parramatta Junction (now Granville) a couple of hundred metres west of Woodville Road on 26 September 1855. It was extended to Parramatta and opened there on April 1860. Financial troubles resulted in the private company and all of its assets being acquired by the colonial government. The Western Line was then extended westwards reaching Penrith on 19 January 1863. Crossing the Blue Mountains was a major engineering feat achieved by the construction of the great Zig-Zag, which ran trains back and forth up and down a series of terraced tracks to bring them down to the future site of Lithgow. The line reached Bowenfels on 18 October 1869. Platforms were opened at various points on the line, becoming the nucleus for future villages and later towns and suburbs. Zig-Zag Valley Heights Railway Station and Locomotive Depot Meanwhile the line from Granville had forked to run southwards to Liverpool, which was reached on 26 September 1856. Fairfield was one of the few stopping places on this line. The line was extended in stages, reaching Picton on 1 July 1863. Camden did not acquire a railway connection but was later served by a tramway from Campbelltown. In order to cross various waterways, a series of bridges was erected. Some such as the one at Menangle did not last being swept away in flood and being replaced by the current Menangle Bridge in the mid 1870s. As the line ascended the eastern ramparts of the Blue Mountains, the engineer John Whitton, had designed and then built an arched viaduct, the Knapsack Viaduct to carry the line up the side of the Mountains. It was later converted into the road bridge. Bargo Picton Railway across Stonequarry Creek Railways were a marvel. At first, they frightened the horses, set the bush on fire and killed sheep unrestrained from wandering onto the track. Nevertheless,


railways swiftly created a reliable, fast and efficient transport network across NSW, which could not be rivalled. Goods could be shipped relatively cheaply and swiftly. Bulk cargoes were no problem. Passengers could travel quickly to their destinations, provided they were on a railway line. However, they also made any area with railway access liable to become part of the Sydney market area. By the early twentieth century, many country industries had closed down since they could not compete with Sydney, which had the whole state as its market and was able to utilise economies of scale production. In addition, railways started the prolonged decline of roads across the state. Finance and construction effort was focussed on railways rather than on roads. Although roads were still maintained, the maintenance schedules were extended with fewer regular upgrades. Fewer roads were also built. They were still needed and additional roads were opened in western Sydney, as new roads or existing roads were gazetted, officially surveyed and some work was done on them to put them into a passable state. The continued decline of roads pushed even more people onto railways. Roads lost their role as long distance transport routes and became feeders to the lines, except where there was no railway to compete with them. Railways also caused shifts of population. As a major railway stop and depot before the line ascended the Blue Mountains, Penrith grew in size. People were attracted to the town. It grew markedly whilst the established towns of Windsor and Richmond on the Hawkesbury remained steady retaining their population numbers but not growing very much. People were attracted to the area around Fairfield, one of the few stops along the southern line before Liverpool. Prior to that Smithfield had been the focus of settlement, but people began to shift towards the platform. Thus, there were calls for better road access to the Fairfield platform, which was becoming more important than the established Smithfield Road leading to Parramatta. Fairfield Railway Station Group Mount Druitt Railway Station Group The advent of motorised transport was fundamental to the re-emergence of roads as major transport routes. Bicycles heralded the emergence of motor vehicles. They were fast and very popular but due to their maneuverability, lightness and robust simple construction, they did not need improved roads. Indeed, bicycles were able to go up and down mountain tracks in the Blue Mountains where cars have not penetrated to this day. Bicycling was a significant part of tourism in the Blue Mountains in the 1890s. Motorcycles evolved from bicycles by the addition of an engine but they were almost contemporary with the emergence of the motorcar. It was the motorcar, which finally forced the hand of government to concentrate on road building. The first motorcars were being used in Sydney in the late 1890s. A motorcar first visited Parramatta in 1900. In that year, motorcar sales commenced in Sydney,


offering imported vehicles. Cars were taken up with zest; first by those with an interest in their novelty such as the wealthy, and then by those found them a boon for their professions, such as pastoralists, and doctors. The nascent Australian car manufacturing industry did not thrive, though many small manufacturers tried their hand at building bicycles or motorbikes. The most substantial manufacturer was probably the Ford Motor Company, which set up an assembly plant at Sandown near Parramatta in 1926, later shifting their plant to Homebush (just outside the western Sydney region) in 1935. The state of the roads and the inability of the NSW Department of Public Works to care for all of them was a major reason why shires were compulsorily formed by the government in 1906. One of their main roles was to provide roads within their area and to tax residents for their upkeep and construction. Grants to assist were provided by the state government but even they were not enough. Cars were only minor road users in 1906. Within ten years they had become a major problem, with their impact of existing roads. In order to provide for roads of state importance, which were not faring well under local control, the Main Roads Board (later the Department of Main Roads and now the Roads and Traffic Authority) was formed on 1 January 1925. It oversaw wok on major roads, taking them out of the hands of local government. A network of roads evolved to cater for different types of travel, such as State Highways, Main Roads and Developmental Roads. They were followed in the post-war period by, Freeways followed by the Tollway, a revival of the manner in which roads were financed in the nineteenth century, i.e. by the imposition of a toll to travel on them. Bridge construction had originally been handled by the Department of Public Works. Some bridge building, as well as maintenance was taken over by local government but the Department of Main Roads became the major bridge builder for roads across NSW. Within western Sydney, it built bridges over major and minor rivers such as the bridge over the Nepean at Regentville and the Silverwater Bridge built of five spans of pre-stressed concrete, was opened on 10 November 1962. Not only did cars mean roads. A complete infrastructure grew up to support what became one of the major aspects of the Australian economy. Apart from the manufacturing involved a car sales network evolved, initially being based in the major towns such as Liverpool, Parramatta or Penrith, where someone, often a bicycle dealer commenced offering motor cars for sale, evolving to the point where large stretches of major roads leading out of Sydney and major centres, are now lined with car sales yards. Service stations proved both fuel and oils plus some car repair and maintenance, whilst a network of dealer's maintenance yards, panel beating and paint shops, wrecker's yards, parts dealers and so on has emerged.


The impact of the motorcar has extended even beyond this to include substantial impacts on existing town centres, as well as in the design of subdivisions, road layouts and even houses. Within established centres, the need for parking space has altered towns immoderately. In Parramatta, the backyards of shops facing the main streets were taken over for car parking, a process also evident in centres such as Bankstown, Windsor and Fairfield. After the 1950s, shopping centres, such as Mount Druitt Town Centre or Macarthur Square Shopping Centre, near Campbelltown were designed with large areas of space for car parking. The evolution of trucking as a major mode of transport has meant that road freight hauling has evolved from small family run depots through to large bulk handling firms operating from large depots. Bulk handling and warehousing has been specially designed to cater for this manner of transport. Air transport evolved almost in tandem with the motorcar, being introduced into western Sydney almost as soon as the motorcar, but its later evolution has been slower. A good deal of early experimental aircraft work and flying as undertaken across western Sydney, with its open spaces and favorable air currents, notably near Penrith. Penrith too has a significant place in the annals of flight. On 3 November 1911, Parramatta dentist William Hart flew an aeroplane from Thornton Park (just north of Penrith railway station) to Parramatta. He took off at 6.45 am with his 16 year old brother, Jack, as a passenger and went to Parramatta for breakfast with his father, the owner of the major timber milling firm of Hart and Hitchcock. The trip took 19 minutes. His return flight back to Parramatta was described in the English and Continental press as a world record. On his return, he landed in Best's paddock at Seven Hills since the weather became poor. It is reported that his brother Jack vowed he would never go up with Billy again after this flight. It has been recognised as the first long distance flight in Australia. The clash between the old and the new modes of flight in the rural districts of western Sydney was dramatic. The Cumberland Argus newspaper observed that Hart's aeroplane had initially created a considerable stir in the fowl yards of the district, when the poultry took Hart's aeroplane for a "new kind of hawk. Some Castle Hill people reckoned their fowls flew for miles without stopping." (Cumberland Argus, 11 May 1912, p 6) The owner of the land from which Hart took off, began to create a Penrith aerodrome about 1928 sponsoring flying contests and other events along with his speedway but the venture did not succeed. William Hart was instrumental in the emergence of a permanent airfield at Richmond. He took up land there about 1912, on part of Ham Common. During World War One, pilots were trained there.


It was purchased in 1923 for the RAAF who continues to use it as their aerodrome. There were few major private aerodromes in western Sydney. In July 1930, the Aero Club of New South Wales opened an airfield for their members at a site later named as Hargrave Park near Liverpool. World War Two was responsible for establishing a network of airfields across western Sydney. Land was acquired in numerous locations as airfields for training and for defence. The largest of these was Bankstown, whilst other major airfields were set up at sites such as Camden, Mt Druitt, and Schofields. Dispersal airfields with a landing strip, and some basic supplies were set up at other sites such as Bargo, Menangle and The Oaks. Most of the sites were subsequently disposed of but some of the, remained as airfields serving civilian uses such as Bankstown, Camden, The Oaks, and Schofields. Most of them serve either recreational uses, though Bankstown has a large role as an airfield for small commercial users, both freight and passenger handling. Aircraft manufacturing was fostered by the war and has largely been focussed on Bankstown since then. Walking has never gone out of fashion, being integral to human movement. The emergence of walking as a recreation activity has resulted in a number of sites which are more properly dealt with as leisure. On the other hand, walking has created its own evidence in the landscape, such as tracks and paths, commencing with the Dharuk and Gandangara whose tracks often formed the basis for later roads. Across western Sydney, facilities have been created for walkers, which were not simply recreational, such as seats, shelters and safety measures like traffic lights. In the late 1950s, the first set of fully co-ordinated traffic signals in the state was installed in Church Street, Parramatta. In the late 1930s, the DMR erected a pedestrian overbridge across Parramatta Road, opposite Auburn North Public School, which is still in use every day enabling children to cross busy Parramatta Road with safety.


Volume 4 Australian Historical Theme: and Cities

Building Settlements, Towns

Although many people came to Australia in search of personal gain, they realised the need to co-operate in the building of safe, pleasant urban environments. Australian urbanisation and suburbanisation have special characteristics, which set them apart from similar phenomena elsewhere in the world. (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 21: NSW Historical Theme: Accommodation Housing is arguably the most common building seen in the landscape. There is wide diversity in housing accommodation and this has been reflected in the types of items identified in heritage studies. Apart from the physical baggage the early settlers brought with them to the colony in 1788, they also brought concepts of how to build and what materials to use. They soon found that many of the trees around Sydney Cove were hard and difficult to work with the tools they had brought. Many of the trees had a “dead heart” or hollow core, making them unsuitable for many types of building. Nevertheless, as knowledge grew of the available sources of the colony, such as timber, stone and clay, suitable for firing as bricks and tiles, dwellings were erected for housing. Many of early settlers learned how to construct shelter from bush materials learning from the Eora and Dharuk, who had been housing themselves for centuries before white Europeans arrived. The stripping of bark from trees for walls or roofing was not a European skill, but one developed by the Kooris. Convicts were not provided with shelter but had to erect their own in their spare time, using whatever materials were at hand. These early convict huts were constructed in centres such as Parramatta, Toongabbie, Liverpool, Windsor and Emu Plains. None now survive but a number have been excavated by archaeologists adding to the scanty data about them that has survived. Housing for small settlers and large landholders was constructed across western Sydney, their size, and materials echoing the circumstances of the owner. Initially, a good deal of accommodation was indistinguishable from the original convict hut, but in time a wide range of accommodation was built. Accommodation was built by the owners for workers on their rural properties. These work based communities needed accommodation for shearers, fencers, and other staff. Along with the staff accommodation and the homestead, a host of general and special purpose buildings were erected for housing machinery, equipment, tools, farming inputs and needs as well as livestock. 63

Such properties were working units, attuned to the production of saleable goods, as well as being the head farm of what might be a pastoral empire. For instance the Cox family properties in Mulgoa, such as Glenmore, Fernhill and Winbourne were the head stations of pastoral empires. Within the same district, there are examples of the later stage of country development whereby country villas were built for the elite of the colony, as quiet rural retreats far from the cares of business life. In Mulgoa, examples of this genre include Glenleigh built for a shipping magnate in the 1890s. Meanwhile, other owners less concerned with their properties rural functions had acquired some of the Cox family homes such as Glenmore as rural retreats. Vernacular housing materials were locally sourced and often utilised hand construction techniques. Coupled with vernacular methods of construction, it produced a range of buildings, which are recognizably of their time and place and speak to us of past ways of living, traditional techniques and the evolution of the inter-relationship between the new settlers and their environment. On the Hawkesbury, there was a choice of various suitable building materials and only “low-tech” ways of producing or utilising them in the early years. When the skills of local men and women were applied to providing accommodation with such materials, they created a vernacular all of their own. Buildings evolved slowly as they were needed, so that many buildings built over a term of decades were a mix of stone, brick, timber or brick nogging. One western Sydney archetype is the jerkin head roof, once seen up and down the Nepean-Hawkesbury but now rare. Extant buildings include Hadley Park constructed in the 1810s of brick nogged construction between timber uprights and incorporating a distinctive jerkin head roof. Hadley Park Within towns and villages, housing was erected in a wide range of styles, with varying materials and often utilising various construction technologies. The evolution of housing not just in the towns but also on the land included the replacement of vernacular locally sourced materials by mass-produced materials. These were often manufactured using power machinery and increasingly incorporating imported raw materials such as softwood timber, sheet and galvanised iron, and finally concrete and Marseilles tiles before they were locally produced. Housing developed until the early twentieth century free from regulation or control so that numerous buildings were erected which were structurally insecure or unhealthy. The 1906 Local Government Act gave local government some control over building allowing them to employ officers to assess building plans and to reject those, which were inadequate in terms of health or structure. Though the Act was not immediately applied in all areas and was often ineffective, at first, its impact was soon seen in the style and method of building particularly in suburban municipalities in western Sydney such as Liverpool,


Parramatta and Windsor. No longer were owners able to whip up something that was not much better or more stable than a convict hut. This ensured standardization and greater uniformity amongst housing. Pre-fabricated timber housing had been available for some years, but the 1906 Act appears to have greatly enlarged the market for them. People unable to afford a builder or seeking to build cheaply bought them and erected their homes, which were guaranteed to be within the competence of anyone who could wield a hammer. Thus, a host of timber buildings from the modest two room cottages for the farmlet to elaborate wide verandahed squatter’s homesteads were available to the buyer. Many of them are seen across western Sydney. A way of escaping the burden of rent was taken by some unskilled workers who built their own homes. In outer areas where land was cheap and the Sydney Building Act did not reach, it was possible to build one's own home. Such workers traded travelling time for access to their own home. Owner-built accommodation on the city fringes outside the reach of building controls became ever more restricted to the outskirts. In time, better and more solid buildings replaced most of them. Few of them now survive, especially those built before 1906. Yet, they are a vital element of the history of housing, redolent of self-help, that classic Victorian virtue, demonstrating the manner in which people who could scarce afford to own their own home achieved some independence. Extant examples are very rare. One such cottage that was still extant recently was at 28 Monash Street, Wentworthville, erected in the late 1890s for a semi-skilled laborer. We currently revere old rural buildings of board, slab, iron or stone, but no reverence or special attention has been accorded to these outer city dwellings that housed far more people in nineteenth century Australia than we can imagine. They are now rare due to developmental pressures in the Sydney basin. 28 Monash Street, Wentworthville Suburban development proceeded with control over buildings resulting in the emergence of a more restricted range of housing types and materials. Houses were increasingly built of standardized components, either as kit homes or by the use of mass-produced building materials. Local government had also been given control over subdivision so that houses were no longer forced to face narrow streets. Buildings developed in most of these estates proceeded at the behest of the property market and the quantity of available housing for sale, either to owner –occupiers or to house letting landlords. In some estates, subdividers used building covenants to protect or control the value, nature and quality of building in that estate, and, by extension to ensure a higher class of resident. Such covenants were applied in a number of estates in Epping, but they were also used in Merrylands to ensure that the Locksley Hall Estate in Granville near Merrylands Station, subdivided by the Intercolonial Investment Land and Building Co Ltd, and first auctioned on 18 October 1919 was of a more select nature.


Loan finance was crucial to the emergence of widespread owner-occupation across western Sydney, particularly after World War Two. The inauguration of temporary building societies in 1937 followed by permanent building societies enabled many people to afford homes on long-term loans who would not have been able to manage home ownership otherwise. Whilst there are a number of other factors, which also supported the trend, the emergence of these building societies was crucial to the expansion of postwar home ownership. Financing the construction of accommodation was largely a matter of mortgage finance. Some people were able to build with their own financial resources, but resort to mortgage was a common method of financing building. Most mortgages were initially from private individuals. Banks and insurance companies were loath to lend to ordinary homebuilders, preferring large builders, commercial enterprises or farming investments. The NSW state government fostered co-operative societies by extending the lending term and ensuring that a financial institution backed them. The result was a huge boom in housing construction across the state in the late 1930s as new homeowners sought to build their dream home. The boom continued after the Second World War. Apart from bolstering the private housing market by ensuring better building controls and fostering home ownership through financial security, State and Federal governments also entered the housing market directly. In western Sydney the first State intervention was the construction of a group of cottages in Auburn by the Housing Board in Paul Street near Cumberland Road. The Board finished its housing activities in the early 1920s and the state government role in the provision of housing was in abeyance whilst prosperity and ideology ruled that housing was a matter for private interest. The Federal Government created the War Service Homes Commission in 1918 in order to build or finance homes for returned servicemen or women or for those who had worked overseas in munitions production or their dependents. The Commission commenced building across Sydney, utilising the latest concepts in design as well as architectural styles thought appropriate for these types of houses. Sometimes these houses were built as single cottages but in many cases they were constructed in groups such as at Vimy St, Bankstown, or Fullagar Road, Wentworthville. The application of “best practice” design principles as well as the possibility that the buyers, often from working class backgrounds could have a say in elements of the design of what would be their own home, meant that the War Service Homes were a far more radical departure in housing practice than is generally realised. Buyers could choose the design which suited their pocket and their taste as well as make small changes to the design to better suit the house to their circumstances or to the site on which it was to be built. For people who had previously only had


the choice of what the house-letting agent had on offer, this was a marked extension of their ability to shape their own lives. Vimy St, Bankstown After the abolition of the Housing Board, State government interest in public housing was not seen again until the creation of the Homes for the Unemployed Trust in the 1930s aimed at assisting the unemployed to house themselves, and, once they could to repay the loan. Cottages built by the Trust are still seen at Granville in Bradman Avenue, in Bankstown and Liverpool as well as in Holroyd. The Housing Commission took over the role of the Trust in 1942 and commenced its own programme of works providing housing on a broader basis than the earlier government schemes. The earliest Housing Commission estate was completed in Montgomery Avenue, Granville in December 1944. Subsequently, the Commission was very active across western Sydney where most of its iconic schemes were built, incorporating new layout and design as well as mass-produced housing, in its earliest years, in order to cater for the dire need for accommodation after the war. It built major schemes in Villawood, Granville, Westmead, Dundas Valley and Green Valley. After World War Two, Walter Bunning designed the St Marys Permanent Cottage Area as an early planned estate designed for the motorcar. Montgomery Avenue, Granville A new range of mass produced housing were turned out by building firms such as Vandyke Homes based in Fairfield who turned out many houses for the Housing Commission as well as for private builders. Work-based places of residence include institutional communities which cover a broad range, such as religious monasteries or convents, gaols, where the criminally convicted were housed. Military camps possessed some of the elements of the monastery as well as elements of living above the shop whilst not quite being in gaol. Workers across western Sydney had to find their own accommodation. The private housing market was seen as not only the best source of accommodation, but it also absolved employers of responsibility for housing their workers. There have been some exceptions. Some employers did erect houses for their staff such as the cottages in Richards Ave, Riverstone, built by the Riverstone Meatworks to house key employees. Traditionally, young shop staff in larger retailing businesses lived on the premises, sometimes undertaking a few minor chores such as cleaning, or acting as caretaker. Small shopkeepers often lived above their shop or behind it though this was less evident in country towns than in the city. Bank managers in places such as Parramatta or Liverpool often lived in the accommodation behind, where


a genteel and relatively prosperous lifestyle existed behind the stately “shop” in front. Hospital staff, most particularly nurses also lived at or near their workplace. Workers construction camps emerged to house those employed on major projects. The camps, which arose during the building of both Prospect Reservoir and Potts Hill Reservoir, were a complete contrast to that created for Warragamba Dam. In the late nineteenth century construction projects, which built Prospect and Potts Hill Reservoirs, workers provided their own accommodation, so that rough frontier style settlement emerged. Stores and pubs were also built to cater for them. Once the dam work was complete, the camps dissolved and disappeared from the landscape. When Warragamba Dam was being built in the 1940s and 1950s a planned community of ready-built cottages with facilities was provided by the Water Board. A workers’ camp similar to that at Potts Hill formed near Cataract Dam during its construction in 1907 and may even have archaeological potential. Warragamba Village Special accommodation evolved for boarding schools such as at Kings School, Parramatta and for monasteries such as the Marist Fathers Centre at Rausch Street, Toongabbie. Camps cater for many different communities. Military camps were built to house troops training at them, commencing with the Liverpool-Holsworthy camp taken over in 1913. During the Second World War, other camps were built at Bankstown Aerodrome, Wallgrove, and Scheyville. After the war, migrant hostels were often accommodated in the former military buildings. An internment camp for enemy aliens operated at Holsworthy in the First World War. Retirement homes and villages are largely a post-war phenomenon. Initially, they occupied larger older houses but gradually, purpose built retirement villages emerged such as the Melrose village at Bungaree Road, Pendle Hill, or the Grand United Centenary Centre on Hammers Road, Northmead built by the Grand United Order of Oddfellows. A different style of accommodation was that provided for travellers. Traditionally, it was part of the role of hotels and inns to have some rooms, which could be let to travellers. The advent of the motorcar caused the emergence of motels specially designed to cater for the motorist so that they were on a major highway and they had self-contained units with parking for cars. The Lansdowne Motel, at Lansdowne on Liverpool Road, 1959, is said to be one of the first motels to be built in Australia. Post-war immigration has meant that there has been a huge influx of peoples from across the globe. Initially, they were content to take the housing on offer to them. More recently they have begun to apply their own desires to the provision of housing. Whilst there are few examples of genuine ethnic housing styles the


background of the owners from different groups can be seen in the application of specific details to buildings, which often announce, subtly or vividly the ethnic background of the current occupant.


Chapter 22: NSW Historical Theme: Land Tenure Occupation of the new colony was proclaimed on 7 February 1788 when all land westwards as far as 135º East was officially taken into the control of the Governor for Britain. Underlying this was the concept of ‘terra nullius’, i.e. that the land was not “inhabited” or was not being actively utilised. Thus, all land belonged to the Crown. It was in the power of the Governor to grant land on the basis of the regulations issued to him. Prior occupation of the land by the Dharuk and Gandangara was not recognised. Initially, Crown Land remained in the hands of the colonial government, which managed all land and apportioned labour to work it. To assert ownership of the places located in their explorations, names were assigned to many features, initially all of which were geographic ones but soon including settlements. Naming was a mixture of reference to British places or notables, coupled with an attempt to apply the names of the Eora, Dharuk and Gandangara to the land. Hence, Sydney, a British name, was the name of the main settlement. Parramatta and Toongabbie (corruptions of Dharuk names) were applied to the next two settlements. Land was soon alienated as grants to private individuals. The first grant in Australia was made at Rosehill to James Ruse. Private grants were also issued at Prospect. Some of these is still held by the CSIRO in its research station there and have continued to be used as rural land. Another group of early grants was at Mulgrave Place on the Hawkesbury River. The cadastral boundaries of many of these, as well as an ongoing rural land use are still evident for a group of these in the Pitt Town Bottoms. Experiment Farm, Harris Park Small grants were largely assigned to small settlers, such as ex-convicts or exmarines, whereas larger grants were apportioned to officers, officials and merchants. Even some of the Governors such as Bligh and King acquired grants despite being specially forbidden from granting land to themselves. They used the simple device of exchanging grants to each other’s families, when there was a change of Governorship. Grant patterns gave a particular landscape character to land settlement in these areas. Grant names or grantees even gave a character to an area. Soldiers were settled on the land to the north-east of Parramatta, thus giving the district the name, “Field of Mars”. Small grants were given to convicts and members of the lower orders along creeks and on good soils such as Prospect, Hawkesbury and along the creeks in the Airds district. They were also laid out along transport routes especially along Liverpool Road through Bankstown and Liberty Plains. However, despite attempts to lay out land according to the suitability of the land for tillage, a process of amalgamation of grants into large estates counteracted


the original layouts. Nearby substantial landowners acquired many small grants to add to their properties. In a number of cases, such as William Howe at Glenlee or Sir John Jamison at Regentville, they cut their land into smaller farms which were leased to smaller farmers. Tenant estates also emerged at places such as Greendale and Menangle where larger properties were divided and leased to smaller farmers. Not all land was alienated. Much remained in the hands of the Crown. At first, the Crown retained large areas as agricultural and stock farms run by the government, such as at Castle Hill, Emu Plains, The Oaks and Picton. Reserves were established for specific purposes. The earliest of these were the Commons created to allow smallholders along the rivers, particularly the Hawkesbury to have land for grazing a few cattle and for collecting fuel. The remnants of these commons have been used for various government purposes but a few still survive as laid out, most notably the Wallambine Common at St Albans on the Hawkesbury River. Reserves were created for other reasons, such as Trig Stations, for travelling stock, public buildings in towns, schools, cemeteries and so on. However, due to the long period of settlement in western Sydney and the pressure for land, Crown Reserves are far less important as an element of the landscape than they are in other parts of the state. St Albans Common Closer settlement schemes later altered the layout of the land. Such schemes were given a major boost by the 1904 Closer Settlement Act, which allowed for compulsory acquisition of land. Though that power was rarely used, it gave a powerful advantage to the Crown when dealing with large landowners reluctant to open up their land for closer settlement. Additional legislation during World War One to settle returned soldiers on the land strengthened the ability of the Crown and settlers to acquire land. Such schemes had a marked impact on certain parts of western Sydney. There were small group settlements where one to three men took up land under such a scheme. A much greater impact came from the larger schemes such as those at Penrith, Bankstown with the Milperra soldier settlement, and Liverpool, where the Hillview Solder settlement and another at Chipping Norton was the subjects of settlement schemes. The onslaught of suburban development however, has obliterated many of the original crown tenures. Suburban development has placed yet another layer across land which was alienated many years ago. In many places, land has been cut up a number of times, initially by the Crown and then by later landowners and sometimes, in the case of closer settlement by the Crown a second time. Hence, western Sydney is a palimpsest of different cadastres, which have been splayed across the landscape in the past. Evidence of many of these earlier cadastral layouts are still evident, in property boundaries, in the positioning and naming of roads, in the survival of earlier routeways and occasionally, land parcels, as well as the peculiar positioning of earlier buildings which do not quite align themselves with current cadastral boundaries.



Chapter 23: NSW Historical Theme: Towns, suburbs and villages Parramatta was the original town settled in western Sydney. Whilst a small convict settlement at Toongabbie was established soon afterward, it did not grow into a township. The next major batch of towns to be created were the five Macquarie Towns – on the Hawkesbury, namely Windsor, Richmond, Castlereagh, Pitt Town and Wilberforce, created in 1810. Pitt Town was later moved to a more central location. Yet, even with these settlements there was recognition of existing settlement clusters, Windsor was formed around a small settlement emerging around the wharf at Green Hills. Windsor became the principal settlement though it had strong competition from Richmond. Castlereagh turned out to be a moribund settlement. Liverpool was also laid out in 1810 on the Georges River, thus giving the settlers at Banks Town and Airds-Minto their own township, providing administrative, service and retail functions. Private towns began to emerge, with Penrith as possibly the earliest example. The establishment of a courthouse and lock-up at Penrith in 1817 formed the centre of the new settlement. Until the 1830s, there were a few hotels near the river. There was to be no officially laid out town. In 1837, St Stephens' Church was commenced at Penrith. It was far too large for the small community it served, and showed the promise of the area. It became a focus for settlement as well. Once the railway arrived at the town, it became a major stopping place and grew markedly. St Marys also grew from a private subdivision. The construction of the Great Southern Road in 1815 coupled with the establishment of Liverpool in 1810 created another vector of settlement with Liverpool and Campbelltown as their anchor points. Campbelltown had also been laid out in 1820 by Governor Macquarie. As settlement leapt the Nepean River into the County of Camden other settlements also emerged. The road to the south-west and toward the Illawarra were major foci. The rivalry between government and private towns was also played out there as well. Appin had been officially laid out in 1834 and the official government town of Picton was laid out in 1845. Yet Picton had already been partially laid out as a private town in 184l. Other private towns were Wilton from 1842 and The Oaks from 1858. The greatest of the private towns though was Camden, which started life almost as the private village of the Macarthur family, when lots were first offered for sale there in 1841. Wilton Appin All of these towns provided necessary infrastructure for their district. A hierarchy of towns and villages gradually emerged across western Sydney, with the earliest concentrations being along the Hawkesbury and the Georges and Nepean Rivers. Liverpool and Campbelltown were significant administrative, cultural,


religious and commercial centres. Towns were often raw little encampments set amongst the stark tall gums from which the ground for the town had been cleared. This was seen in Edward Mason’s sketches of Liverpool and Lycett’s drawings of some of the newer rural properties in the district. They had few attractions for settlers or travellers who passed through apart from an inn or two, but they grew. Churches were built, stores were added and the railway arrived. In time they would even incorporate as local government areas. On the other hand, smaller villages such as Menangle or Appin provided the most basic services, such as a post office, some stores, a church and an inn. Anyone requiring higher order services needed to go to larger centres such as Liverpool, or maybe, if the matter was too complex, to Sydney. A shift of settlement occurred in the period from 1820 to the 1850s from Hawkesbury-Windsor-Richmond to the area along the Western Road, especially Penrith. The railway further enhanced this process. The railway line to Penrith and then across the mountains opened up western Cumberland to settlement. Forests were cleared and small sidings attracted nascent settlements often around a timber mill. Penrith emerged as a major railway town, catering for the locomotives before they began their steep climb into the mountains. Despite decades of development, many of these, were still small and raw settlements years later. Cyrus Fuller described Liverpool in 1887 as typical of most Australian country towns, “That is to say, there is no spot in which it can be said the vacant blocks end and the built-up portion begins.” (County of Cumberland Directory, 1887, p 126) Vectors of suburban development succeeded the original vectors of town development. Sydney’s suburbs grew down the railway line toward Parramatta but until the 1930s, there was still a gap between the two towns through the Lidcombe-Homebush area. Instead, Parramatta started to grow outwards itself, first towards the north and then toward Granville and into Merrylands. Settlement also spread down the railway line toward Fairfield and Liverpool. Meanwhile another arm had started from Auburn and Lidcombe, themselves suburbs of Parramatta, running south towards Regents Park, once the railway was extended to Regents Park in 1912. Then in October 1924 the railway was extended from Lidcombe to Cabramatta railway via Regents Park. The opening of the East Hills line as far as East Hills in 1931 opened up a vast new area for suburban settlement. After the Second World War suburban expansion ran westwards along the railway from Parramatta towards Blacktown, Penrith and St Marys, and down the Regents Park to Cabramatta line, along the East Hills line, as well as following the Great Southern Railway towards Liverpool and leaping beyond it to push past Campbelltown by the 1980s.


Yet, development was not identical in these vectors. Helen Proudfoot noted how the post-war vector of development along the western railway line focussed on St Marys, and Penrith and Blacktown was marked by strong industrial development growing from the St Marys industrial area, which had a positive impact of housing growth. On the other hand settlement towards the south-west towards Campbelltown and Picton was marked by reluctant industrial growth and the creation of large housing estates aimed to cater for disadvantaged families. (Penrith Heritage Study, p 63)


Chapter 24: NSW Historical Theme: Utilities The supply of water and the disposal of human excrement were the only utilities feasible in the early years of the colony. The Dharuk and Gandangara had not required any sophisticated system. They camped close to water and moved on before their wastes could become a danger to health. For the white settlers, these solutions were not feasible since they settled in one spot. Schemes to supply water to Sydney in the earliest years were constructed outside the study area. A water supply for towns such as Parramatta, Windsor and Liverpool had to come from small local schemes. A dam completed on the Georges River at Liverpool in 1839 served as the town water supply. At the same time, a stone lined dam was built at Campbelltown in 1839, and is still extant. A dam on the Parramatta River supplied Parramatta for some years. More sophisticated dams were also built. In 1856, a circular concrete arch dam built on Hunts Creek to the design of Percy Simpson was completed to supply Parramatta. It was a radially advanced design for its day. Hunts Creek dam, Parramatta Campbelltown reservoir. The largest impact on western Sydney from a utility scheme resulted from the Upper Nepean Water supply scheme. Nearly the whole of Upper Nepean scheme lies within western Sydney. The scheme commenced supplying water in 1888. The water supplied to Sydney from the Upper Nepean was delivered to the consumer by a series of engineering works designed initially to require as little power as possible. Gravity provided the bulk of the energy used to deliver the water. Weirs on the Cordeaux and Cataract Rivers diverted the normal flow of the rivers, along with floodwater or "freshes" into tunnels. Upper Canal These took the water by gravity to the Upper Canal, which delivered the water to Prospect Reservoir, built in the 1880s as the major storage dam for Sydney's water supply. From there, the Lower Canal took the water to the reservoir at Potts Hill, where it was screened to remove dirt, vegetable matter and other unwanted debris. From Potts Hill, the water was then piped under pressure to consumers in the various parts of Sydney. Lower Canal Prospect Reservoir Potts Hill Reservoir Service reservoirs were constructed within Sydney to maintain water pressure in the system and to act as back-up in time of high demand. They include those at Bankstown built in 1920, and Mount Dorothy completed to an experimental design in 1960-1. Bankstown reservoir


Mt Dorothy reservoir Local water schemes were initiated to supply country towns. Often these schemes were undertaken under the Public Works Department Country Towns Water Supply scheme, but since large parts of western Sydney were accessible to the Upper Nepean Scheme some centres benefited directly. In 1890 work commenced on a small reservoir of 2,000,000 gallons close to south end of the Cecil Hills Tunnel to supply the town of Liverpool. Ingleburn Weir designed as a multiple arch reinforced concrete dam of a new design was completed in December 1933. Windsor had its own supply scheme from 1889 drawing water from the Hawkesbury River. A water supply for Bargo commenced in 1955 and a supply for Tahmoor and Thirlmere by Water Board were turned on officially on 16 June 1956. Ingleburn dam The addition of Warragamba Dam to the scheme, which was under construction in the 1940s and 1950s vastly, amplified the quantity of water available for Sydney and, ensured that additional areas of western Sydney were accessible to a piped water supply. The corollary of a water supply scheme is a sewerage scheme. Yet, it was to be many decades before most areas had a piped sewerage disposal scheme. For many years, pan systems were in operation. Parramatta’s sewerage scheme was under construction in 1907. Sewerage works started in Auburn in 1926 and in Lidcombe in 1927. Many areas such as Windsor had their own local sewerage schemes operated by council. World War Two put Liverpool’s planned sewerage scheme in abeyance but a scheme was started for the Royal Naval establishment at Hargrave Park, which was operational by May 1945 and was using the new treatment works by November that year. A fuller scheme was complete in 1952. Nevertheless, despite the efforts of the Water Board, sewerage provision was slow across much of western Sydney due to financial stringency. However, the situation changed dramatically from 1973 onwards when the Whitlam government provided funding for sewerage extension. It was later said by Neville Wran, Premier of NSW that, “It can be said of Gough Whitlam that he found Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane unsewered and left them fully flushed.” (G Whitlam, Whitlam Government, Melbourne, 1985, p 739) A gas supply was seen as the acme of modernity in nineteenth century western Sydney, but few centres managed to obtain a supply. Parramatta had its own supply from the 1870s, which was later taken over by the Australian Gaslight Company. A gasworks operated at Liverpool in Mill Street until it closed down in 1927 when supply was taken over by Australian Gaslight Company.


By that time, electricity had supplanted gas as the epitome of modernity, being cleaner and simpler to supply. Local electricity supply schemes were started in many centres, sometimes by private enterprise and sometimes by municipal councils. The Parramatta and Granville Electricity Supply Company started supplying its district in 1913. On the other hand, Fairfield Council commenced the supply of electricity to its area in 1921 with power purchased from Sydney City Council. Liverpool started its own electricity supply on 26 September 1925. Not only did local councils supply electricity. They often operated retail outlets that promoted the latest electrical goods and appliances such as stoves, radiators, vacuum cleaners and toasters. To the housewife who had been struggling with a wood-fired stove and fuel copper for washing her clothes, these were indeed the ultimate in sophistication and cleanliness. The 1947 Census demonstrated just how many women were still using wood fired stoves for meal preparation across western Sydney. In 1951, four package power stations purchased overseas were erected in western Sydney by the Electricity Commission in order to make up the shortfall in supply. One of them was at Penrith and is now the Museum of Fire and another is at Casula where it is the Arts Centre. Local electricity supply schemes were compulsorily taken over in the late 1950s and early 1960s when the state government forced them to amalgamate into larger networks.


Volume 5 Australian Historical Theme:


Although a lot of what we call work is related to the economy, most of it is not undertaken for profit. A great deal of the work done in the home is neither paid nor counted as part of the national economy. Some of the most interesting recent social history written about Australia concerns work and workplaces. (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 25: NSW Historical Theme: Labour Kin and family based food-gathering methods and patterns characterised the Dharuk and Gandangara. For a few hours work a day, they could obtain enough food to sustain them, far fewer hours of exertion than white Europeans needed in order to coax their crops from the reluctant soil, or to manage their roving herds of livestock. Convict workers and the peculiar method of forced labour under which they were controlled was the first labour management scheme in Australia. One of the principal reasons that the colony had been established was to give Britain an outlet for its convict population. Unlike many convicts from Britain who were sent to the American colonies, they were not “privatised” by being indentured to employers but remained under a government regime aimed at purging them of their crimes. However, employment by the government was soon overwhelmed by the employment of convicts assigned to free employers and by the presence of free men offering their labour for hire. The construction of gaols, once the need to incarcerate new offenders became clear, extended the forced labour mode of production. The first gaol was at Sydney but Parramatta and then the other towns were provided with small gaols for local use. Construction of a major gaol commenced at Parramatta in 1836. It was to become one of the principal gaols in NSW, serving to the present day. It had a full programme of employment for inmates in manufacturing and in services such as the washing of linen on contract. The emergence of a prison camp at Emu Plains in 1914 for lower security prisoners arranged convict labour under a different less regimented regime. Parramatta Gaol Work ranges from professional occupations through commercial activities with their own special forms of knowledge and expertise, notably in small business through to the skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled. Pastoral and agricultural labour occupied the attention of most early workers. Even ostensibly “unskilled” jobs, such as horse breaking, droving or as a general hand on a property had their distinct sets of special knowledge. Shearing sheds, workers’ barracks, stockyards, woolscours are all associated with this range of activity and were built as parts of major properties such as Camden Park estate. 79

Camden Park estate The Master and Servant Act hampered the ability of workers to shift easily from one employment to another but, though the scales of justice were often weighted against workers, there were provisions in the Act for adequate accommodation and food, and these ensured a minimum level of comfort for farm workers in particular. The growth of worker consciousness was hampered by the laissezfaire ethos of the colony until well into the 1890s. All men hoped they could obtain not a fortune but a decent independence. Many had seen mates and their employers achieve such goals, but the growing complexity of the economy by the 1890s made such hopes ever less likely to be fulfilled as fewer niches were left to enter the market. This fostered the growth of worker consciousness and an attitude of “us versus them”. Even as early as the 1840s, there was evidence of worker consciousness within western Sydney. The Star and Working Man’s Guardian newspaper, published at Parramatta in the 1840s, was one newspaper aimed directly at a working class audience. The self-employed were important as innkeepers or owners of a small business, and they provided many early services and retail outlets. From being a small part of the workforce in the nineteenth century, the white-collar worker became ever more common in the twentieth century, embracing a host of paraprofessional, and office tasks. Women were engaged in such work but their role was more commonly in shops, or with child oriented employment, such as nursing or teaching or in semi-skilled occupations on the factory floor. Nevertheless, the paucity of employment for women in offices, or factories in many towns and villages left them with few employment options. Employment, often seasonal in manufacturing workplaces such as canneries engaged some but the greater complexity of commerce and industry meant major openings for young women. Some trained for office roles in the business colleges in Parramatta, whilst others undertook work in places such as the factories around Liverpool. Workers created protective labour organizations in order to shield themselves from work accidents, loss of work and the ill effects of management. Thus work based benefit societies emerged which acted as insurance bodies for times of illness, injury or hardship. Organizations to provide cheaper goods were also created such as co-operative retailing outlets. To protect against arbitrary decisions by management, workers formed trade unions. The headquarters of the major unions were established in Sydney. But small worker benefit societies were formed in western Sydney, though they did not achieve the ownership of their premises. Often a hotel or other public building served as their meeting place and “office”. Unemployment was something to be endured by many workers, in the nineteenth century and they could only hope to pick up another job or, at worst rely upon charity. The inauguration of government work schemes for the unemployed


commenced in the 1890s. They were largely to have an impact in western Sydney from the 1930s onwards, during the Great Depression, when major schemes were initiated to soak up widespread unemployment amongst workers. Since work was organised through local government, schemes were focussed on local needs. In well-off areas such as Epping, relief work was largely directed towards improving amenity and scenic improvements such as parks and street plantings. In outer areas, which lacked even basic facilities, effort was focussed on providing the basic infrastructure for the community. In October 1932 unemployment relief work commenced to provide a water supply commenced for Ingleburn. Unemployment relief work in Fairfield involved the grading and improvement of streets such as Hemphill Road, Mt Pritchard. Ethnic labour has long been an element of working in western Sydney. After all, many of the convicts were Irish, a people looked down upon by those of good British stock. The entry of workers from other European areas such as the Balkans, Germany and Italy before the Second World War leavened the labour market, though there were accusations that they were willing to work for far less than true British-Australians. Post-war migrants, some of them ex-Italian POWs, others Displaced Persons from eastern Europe whose countries had been brought under Soviet occupation, formed a large contingent of workers, especially since most were contracted to serve the government for two years as part of their emigration agreements. Once their term of service was over many of them came to western Sydney where they swelled the urban workforce and provided the hands to make the factories of the west into national producers.


Volume 6 Australian Historical Theme:


Every society educates its young. While European education places a great emphasis on the formal schooling system, education encompasses much more. (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 26: NSW Historical Theme: Education Teaching and learning have long been important activities in western Sydney. Dharuk and Gandangara teaching occurred over a long period, and was characterised by verbal transmission and was specific in detail to clan or related group. The early colonists provided their children with rudimentary home schooling in the ‘three R’s’, sometimes with the help of a governess. The government organised some rudimentary schools. Missionary John Eyre was appointed as schoolmaster at Parramatta in 1810. Nearby, Governor Macquarie arranged the construction of the Female Orphan School overlooking the Parramatta River. It is now part of the University of Western Sydney. A Male Orphan School was established near Fairfield on a 12,300 acre grant (50 square kilometres). A dormitory for orphan boys was built on a central part of the area granted, and a farm was established. Male Orphan School Fairfield Female Orphan School Private schools undertook the education of those who could afford it. The Kings School, Parramatta started in 1832, and after a small start was successful becoming the school of choice for many sons of the colonial elite. A competitor, the Methodist Newington College commenced teaching in John Blaxland’s former house, Newington near the Parramatta River in 1863 and remained there until its move to Stanmore in 1880. In the Blue Mountains, the Woodford Academy provided children with education. Woodford Academy Former King’s School, Parramatta The establishment of the public school system in 1848 resulted in several National Schools opening with a simple, secular curriculum. The legislation also permitted religious groups to establish Denominational Schools. Due to the wide spread of churches and small congregations, there were arguably more Denominational Schools than National Schools, though they usually operated in an existing building, such as a church or hall. Amongst the earliest National Schools to appear were those at Camden, Smithfield and Parramatta North. Reform of the government educational framework occurred in 1866, which united all education under one board. It also allowed a wider network of schools to be 82

created, with the Provisional School being added as a medium for public education. The Provisional School was much more poorly endowed than the National School, with parents rather the government providing buildings and furniture, and teachers of a lower standard than those in the National Schools. This brought forth a new crop of schools in western Sydney such as Orangeville, Eastern Creek and Freeman’s Reach. Training of the clergy was also undertaken within western Sydney. The Moore Theological College operated at Liverpool from 1856 until 1889 when it moved to Newtown. Roman Catholic monasteries and colleges also undertook the same role. High schools were first established under the 1880 Act, but most of those in western Sydney grew out of the secondary departments which were established as part of the Superior Public Schools such as Parramatta which became a Superior Public School in 1887 or Penrith which became a Superior Public School in 1892. Denominational Schools continued to operate though from 1883 onwards, they were deprived of government finance. Yet, they did not wither and die, as the secularists hoped. For Roman Catholics who were the main beneficiaries of the denominational subsidy, the shortfall was taken up by the entry of large numbers of nuns and brothers from teaching orders to the colony. The spread of public schools in the region was matched, from the 1890s, by the development of church schools, especially Catholic schools staffed by orders of nuns. These schools followed similar curricula to the public schools, as well as providing tuition in music and other social skills. Our Lady of Mercy College, in North Parramatta became an outstanding music centre attracting pupils on the basis of its expertise. The provision of denominational education and public education still left a niche for private schools to operate. Although they were often small, they were still the preferred option for some people. Indeed, in some localities, especially those serviced by a provisional school some parents sent children to a privately run school because the quality of teaching was superior to that of the government school with its inexperienced staff. Secondary education was strengthened by changes in the twentieth century. Greater emphasis was placed upon secondary and tertiary education, so more secondary schools emerged to meet the need. There were also special secondary schools, such as the Agricultural High School, which provided secondary education as well as instruction in farm mechanics and agriculture, such as Hurlstone Agricultural High School. However, it was not to be until after the Second World War that there was considerable expansion in the number of high schools in western Sydney. Then, they boomed as both the population grew and as the demand for secondary skills became ever more imperative in the


modern world. Campbelltown High School started in 1954, as did Fairfield Boys High and Liverpool Girls High. The expansion of public secondary education was matched by the provision of private secondary and primary education. The Catholic system was the most widespread, but other religious groups were also involved. At the turn of the twentieth century the technical college was established to focus on the sciences, trades and general adult self-improvement, and was the forerunner in tertiary education in the region. Most of the original technical colleges had been in Sydney or in some of the major country centres such as Newcastle or Broken Hill. A technical college had operated in the Granville School of Arts from the nineteenth century but a purpose built building was soon necessary due to the expansion of technical education in the thriving industrial centre of Granville. The Premier of NSW, C A Wade, laid the foundation stone of Granville Technical College on 30 October 1909 and it was officially opened on 15 July 1910. Granville Technical College, 80 South Street, Granville. Tertiary education was slow to come to western Sydney since all of the central campuses of the main universities were closer to the centre of the city. However, specialist tertiary institutions did emerge such as the Camden agricultural research and teaching units of the University of Sydney, and Cumberland College of Health Sciences (now part of the University of Sydney). The creation of the multi-campus University of Western Sydney filled in the last rung of education, which had previously been lacking in the region.


Volume 7 Australian Historical Theme:


This theme is as much about self-government as it is about being governed. It includes all the business of politics, including hostility to acts of government. (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 27: NSW Historical Theme: Defence Periodic raids and warfare between rival Dharuk and Gandangara groups appeared to have occurred over the centuries. Dharuk and Gandangara warfare had been, at times, necessary for defence, but as often it had been a form of entertainment in a society with few other means for young men to vent their latent energies. This was heightened with the arrival of the white man, who upset the balance between the groups and their relationships with their feeding grounds. Overturning the original order heightened conflict between black and white and black against black. Defence requirements both against likely convict uprisings and for policing the unruly in the colony, as well as protection against the Dharuk and Gandangara meant that the main settlements of the early nineteenth century were garrison towns. Parramatta, Windsor and Liverpool all had their barracks to house the contingents stationed there. Lancer Barracks at Parramatta was set aside in 1817 to replace the former rundown barracks near the landing place. It has functioned as a military barracks ever since. In the late nineteenth century it became the home of the Royal New South Wales Lancers, which became a key unit in the First World War. One of the officers who trained with the unit, Frederick Cox was to become known as “Fighting Charlie” Cox, one of the most astute Australian cavalry commanders in the Middle East during World War One. Lancer Barracks still operates as a military base. Lancer Barracks, Parramatta Fears of convict uprisings came to fruition in 1804 when convicts at Castle Hill partially inspired by their shared Irish sense of grievance rebelled and marched on Parramatta arming themselves on the way. Major George Johnston of the New South Wales Corps met them, with 26 men who had force-marched all the way from Sydney. Johnston daringly met the leaders of the rebels between the two vastly mismatched forces, overpowered the leaders and broke up the rebellion. This event, a short-lived battle has been celebrated by the name of “Vinegar Hill” echoing a major battle in Ireland. With the departure of the British colonial garrison, defence units were far less experienced and less well–equipped. Volunteer defence units were formed. In many towns units were formed and they acquired uniforms, weapons and places to train. The drill halls and rifle ranges, established to cater for the militia on 85

which New South Wales initially pinned its defence hopes in the later nineteenth century have largely been eradicated from western Sydney. Federation united all of the defence forces of the different colonies. Federal requirements ensured that the large areas of flat land in western Sydney, accessible to a major capital city and available for acquisition when required would have a long association with the military history of Australia. A naval arsenal was established at Newington with ready access to the Parramatta River by the New South Wales government in 1882. The Commonwealth Government officially acquired the magazine site in 1906. Over the years, a host of storage bunkers, tramways, and other buildings and munitions handling equipment was erected there. Former Newington Naval Arsenal Various annual training camps were held across western Sydney by Commonwealth forces in the early twentieth century. Some of these were at Holsworthy, which was eventually recognised as an ideal campsite. The Holsworthy army base near Liverpool was taken over in 1913. Holsworthy became the core of the army’s training units in NSW. It was there that most infantry and cavalry units were trained or formed before marching or riding to Port Jackson for embarkation overseas in the First World War. It was a role, which was to be replayed in every future war, to Vietnam and beyond, though by then troops, went to the airport rather to the harbour. An internment camp for enemy aliens operated at Holsworthy in World War One. It also became the base for significant units of the army such as the School of Military Engineering, which commenced there in World War Two. Holsworthy Army Base Western Sydney sent many men overseas in both world wars. In the First World War, enlistments sometimes included fathers and sons, and a number of brothers. Some older men went to work in Britain as munitions workers. The erection of memorials after the war caused the emergence of a notable feature of many towns, villages and suburbs, the war memorial, which was the focus of regular events on Anzac and Armistice Days, and acquired further additions as more soldiers fought in later wars, both men and women. They were not the earliest war memorials though. A memorial to the Boer War designed by architect John Sulman had been opened in Parramatta Park for example in 1904. Boer War Memorial, Parramatta Park Other “monuments” to returned men and women were more subtle, and included soldiers' cottages erected by the War Service Homes Commission after both World Wars and beyond as well as the agricultural soldier settlements at Milperra, Hillview and Chipping Norton.


Numerous pilots were trained for the Australian Flying Corps at Richmond. After the war, the RAAF sought a base in western Sydney and acquired Richmond for this purpose in 1923. It has functioned until the present day as an RAAF base. The role of Richmond was overshadowed in World War Two by the network of aerodromes created across western Sydney, for defence as well as training. The main aerodromes were Bankstown, Camden, Fleur (Penrith), Hoxton Park, Mt Druitt, Nepean Dam (Penrith), Richmond and Schofields. Satellite airfields and landing grounds were created at Bargo, Bringelly, Castlereagh, Marsden Park, Menangle, Pitt Town, Ravenswood, The Oaks, and Wallgrove. Many of them were closed down and disposed of after the war, but a number of them still operate, though not as military aerodromes. Scheyville In order to establish a secure communications network, radio and tracking stations were established in western Sydney and included a communication station at Dundas, which is still a military barracks. A secret war operations centre and underground centre fully wired with communications equipment and power was established inside a hill in Bankstown overlooking the aerodrome. It was never needed. Training camps to train raw recruits and turn citizens into soldiers were established across the area. Holsworthy the original camp was the core but others were started at sites such as Scheyville where an officer-training unit operated after the war, Wallgrove, and Glenfield. Camps were also needed to house Allied personnel. United States troops were accommodated at Parramatta Showground. The US Navy occupied Granville Park as a hospital site. Royal Navy flying units and other personnel were accommodated at Hargrave Park and Bankstown Aerodrome. At Bankstown Aerodrome, they operated a major facility preparing for the final assault on Japan. It not only housed personnel but also had extensive repair facilities for aircraft as well as assembly units, which put together aircraft shipped from Britain, ready for the final deadly assault on Japan. All were relieved when that attack did not eventuate after the Japanese surrendered after two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. An industrial network catering for the defence needs of Australia was also developed in western Sydney. The emergence of the Granville-LidcombeBankstown aircraft-manufacturing network has earlier been noted in the Theme, “Industry”. In many ways, it was comparable to that network of plants in the central west created by the decentralization of the manufacture and assembly of small arms in case of invasion. The St Marys munitions works was not only an important munitions facility. It formed the core of industrial development in the St Marys-Penrith area after the war. Some of the wartime bases survived. Some were turned into migrant camps. Others remained as military bases such as the Thornton Park engineers’ depot in


Penrith, which continued to operate until recently. A defence presence continues today in western Sydney at Holsworthy Army base and the RAAF base at Richmond.


Chapter 28: NSW Historical Theme: Government and Administration Though white European settlers imposed a paradigm of “tribes” with “chiefs” as leaders upon the Dharuk and Gandangara, in their analyses of native society, such a view simply failed to recognise the locus of status and power within their society. When western Sydney was settled from 1788 onwards, a governor who was appointed in Britain administered the colony. The convict system stood supreme. The governor lived and worked in two locations, one the head of the colony at Sydney and the other at Parramatta, where Government House grew gradually from the 1790s onwards into a more substantial structure. Not only was this the second home and office of the Governor and one, which a number of Governors preferred to the hustle, and distractions of Sydney. It was the core of the Governor’s Domain, a large area attached to Government House that was set aside for the use of the Governor. Old Government House, Parramatta Parramatta Park Site of Government House, Windsor By the 1830s, matters had begun to change. Magistrates such as Thomas Moore in Liverpool and George Cox in Windsor had been the principal magistrate in their respective town centres and districts. They pointed out the Town Allotments on which applicants were permitted to reside. They maintained contact with the government and governor in Sydney, pressing for improvements. In the 1830s, the first inklings of a freer society became apparent when trustees were appointed to oversee the roads trusts, which controlled toll roads across the district. In 1843 District Councils were appointed in Parramatta, Liverpool, Windsor, Campbelltown-Appin, Camden and Penrith in an ill-fated scheme to train the colonists in self-government. However, the District Council system was quickly moribund. The central administration of the colony was accessible through the legal network set up to manage the colony. Courthouses served as administrative centres before any form of government developed. Magistrates sitting in combined session acted as a de facto form of government, communicating the district’s needs to the central administration in Sydney, issuing auction, slaughter and hotel licences. Public officials, such as the clerk of petty sessions, the registrars of births, deaths and marriages (after 1856) and the land officers were frequently housed in the same building as the courthouse. Windsor Courthouse “Frontier” violence had been a major issue in the early days, when settlers fought against aborigines. Once the aborigines were made relatively quiescent, the problems of sparse settlement and marginal men in marginal occupations meant


that there were outbreaks of bushranging and murder. More commonly, murder, a capital offence, was committed within the context of domestic violence, rather than of premeditated violence by one man against another. The granting of self-government to New South Wales in 1856, considerably lessened the power of the Governor and gave political power to the colonists, but at the local level, it merely meant a slightly less removed system of control, since local needs were still met through the same administrative framework as before. Apart from the courthouse, the District Survey Office and the local Lands Officers, the CPS and the local police constable still managed many matters, such as the appointment of pound keepers, the issue of licences, oversight of roads and public works, and the distribution of charity. The Local Government Act of 1858 altered this, though not for all areas. Only as localities were incorporated could they achieve the boon of managing their own roads and services. The only area to be incorporated under that Act was Parramatta, which was gazetted on 20 July 1859. A new Act in 1867 enabled other areas to incorporate, but only the major centres took the advantage initially since settlement was too sparse in most areas to take advantage of the law. Penrith was the next to incorporate in 1871, followed in 1872 by Richmond, Liverpool and Prospect-Sherwood. There were a few more incorporations in the 1880s, such as Windsor in 1881. There was a rush of incorporations in the 1890s, including such areas St Marys, Rookwood, and Ingleburn. Parramatta Town Hall, Church Street, Parramatta Granville Town Hall, Carlton Street, Granville Most rural areas remained unincorporated until 7 March 1906, when the State Government compulsorily created shires across much of the state, thus ensuring that it divested itself of the care and upkeep of many roads and bridges across the state. Shires created at that time included Wollondilly and Baulkham Hills Shires. Wollondilly Shire Offices, Picton The Federation of the Australian colonies in 1901 was a process achieved by the efforts of many men across many districts. Arguments for and against Federation were canvassed in the main centres, but western Sydney did not become one of the districts that became renowned for its role in the emergence of the federated Commonwealth, unlike Corowa or Tenterfield.


Many local politicians moved into prominence in the colonial parliament and some moved on to Federal politics. Federation of the Australian colonies at the turn of the century provided another level of power, and, some might say, interference in local affairs. The Commonwealth government soon had a considerable impact on the Liverpool area due to its defence requirements.


Chapter 29: NSW Historical Theme: Law and order Although the idea of a policeman was alien to Dharuk and Gandangara society, the concept of law and order was not. Their lives were governed by a set of taboos and practices, which arose as much from a cosmological view of existence rather than from a legalistic one. Maintaining Dharuk and Gandangara laws and customs was a set of sanctions, prohibition and punishments based upon a graduated scale, which reflected the severity of any offence. Initially a hierarchy of power had maintained law and order with a military garrison as the solid core of order but with locally appointed constables, often former convicts serving at the local level. Rough and inefficient, and even unjust as the system often was, it sufficed for western Sydney until there was a sufficiently large enough population of free people to maintain a more orderly society. Once the convict system began to wind down, there was no such recourse to military solutions to maintain order. Convicts convicted of new crimes in the colony were either assigned to road gangs to work in chains or were sent to places of secondary punishment mostly out of the County. Great North Road The nature of early colonial society encouraged lawlessness. Outbreaks of bushranging gave the military and the police ample scope to show their skill, or lack of it in running the culprits to justice. One of the more notable bushrangers of the district was John Donahoe, who carried out a number of robberies across western Sydney in the late 1820s. He was finally run down on John Thomas Campbell's property near Bent’s Basin in September 1830, where, in an exchange of gunfire, one of the soldiers John Muggleston shot Donahue dead. There have been a number of claims over the years, that he was the prototype of the folk song “The Wild Colonial Boy”. Law and order became more formalised. Prior to 1832, magistrates drawn from the local men of note dispensed justice, often drawing criticism for their biases in the way they sat in judgment. Courts of petty sessions were established on 3 October 1832 at major centres such as Parramatta, Liverpool, Picton, and Windsor. Police constables were also stationed in the settlements. As the area developed, higher courts, such as District Courts and Supreme Courts, were also established. The need to house such activities resulted in the erection of ever grander courthouses in district centres. The grandeur of the courthouses was not simply a reflection of their role in awing the populace with the might and majesty of the law. Courthouses served as administrative centres before any form of government developed on to the area. Parramatta became the centre for the Supreme Court in western Sydney when it went on its country circuit hearing cases from as far away as Mount Victoria and south to Fairfield and the Nepean River.


The establishment of police buildings was a corollary development. Initially they were in the form of police barracks, but more formal police stations also emerged, as the towns needed them, such as Picton and Campbelltown. Once suburbs grew sufficiently large enough they too began to demand their own police stations, such as Granville whose police station opened in 1885. Often major towns possess a “legal precinct” with courthouse, police station, lock-up all in close proximity. Police Station, Hutchinson Street, Granville Petty criminality occupied most of the police and the criminal law authorities, and the bulk of prisoners in gaols were there for relatively minor infringements of the legal code. Yet, inmates could also be incarcerated for offences against the person such as wounding men, assault, often domestic, or for offences against property, such as livestock stealing or wounding, breaking and entering, burglary, larceny, false pretences, and laws against morality such as soliciting or procuring an abortion. Police lock-ups held minor cases on short sentence such as a daily or weekly sentence. Major gaols were created to serve the whole state. Parramatta Gaol was commenced in 1836. It became one of the principal gaols of the state incarcerating longer sentenced prisoners in a variety of classifications. Although closed twice in the twentieth century, it was re-opened to cope with the increase of prisoners committed to gaol. The only institutional facility built to house the criminally insane was erected at the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum. Parramatta Gaol Rehabilitation as distinct from incarceration as well as the promotion of useful labour for inmates superseded older forms of punishment. Labour in gaol could not only have a therapeutic effect, but it gave confined men activity and permitted them to earn a modest income to supplement their gaol rations. Labour in low security prisons became more common in the twentieth century. Re-afforestation work was one of the most commonly used ways of using prison labour. Emu Plains Prison farm was started in 1914, one of the earliest of the less heavily guarded institutions, and was originally aimed at providing other gaols with fresh vegetables. Even in the twentieth century, western Sydney, due its accessibility to most of the population of the state has acquired additional prisons. Newington House at Silverwater became the site of a low security men's prison and the women's prison, Mulawa, when all female inmates were transferred from Long Bay in 1969. In 1991-2, construction of the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre at Silverwater was approved, to provide 900 cells. It opened in 1997. The new John Morony Correctional Centre, at Londonderry opened in late in 1991?


Chapter 30: NSW Historical Theme: Welfare Care of the sick, aged, orphaned or decrepit was a charge upon the whole group for the Dharuk or Gandangara and not the responsibility of a few individuals. The entry of white Europeans brought a less direct form of welfare to the district. Charity existed to look after those who for reasons of youth, injury, illness, poverty, mental incapacity, or age could not provide all of the basic necessities for life. Welfare was split between government provision and private charity, with the proportions shifting, never stable, always seeking to find a desirable balance for a responsibility, which was bedeviled by ideology and financial capacity. Welfare was extended to the young often as orphans or as neglected children, to the poor and indigent, to the insane, to those injured in work or war and to the aged. Children particularly orphans attracted the attention and sympathy of most. The rough and ready social composition of the early colony, with many intimate relationships breaking down through apathy, government control of the individual, or accident, age and illness, as well as that peculiar human frailty of falling out of love just as easily as one can fall into love, meant that there were many children with no parent to care for them. The prospect of the rising generation, the first born of this new nation, growing up on the streets, learning the cunning life-skills of their morally abandoned parents, threw the colonial elite into dismay. A Male Orphan School was established near Fairfield in the 1820s. The Female Orphan School overlooking the Parramatta River opened in 1818. It is now part of the University of Western Sydney. Former Female Orphan School, Rydalmere. Private welfare also catered for orphans. The Westmead Boys Home opened by the Roman Catholic Church in 1891 cared for orphaned boys. It is now part of the University of Western Sydney. Former Westmead Boys Home, Hawkesbury Road, Westmead Parramatta with its legacy of large institutional buildings from the convict era became the basis of many welfare institutions, as did Liverpool with its former convict hospital. Private benefactors were less willing to take on the care of the insane, though some private entrepreneurs undertook the task for the government in the nineteenth century. Parramatta Lunatic Asylum commenced operating in the former Female factory in 1850. Rydalmere Lunatic Asylum commenced in 1889, taking over the former Female Orphan School and then adding a vast range of additional purpose built buildings on its site. Norma Parker Correction Centre, Fleet Street, Parramatta University of Western Sydney Rydalmere Campus Philanthropic organizations alleviated local distress. Catholic relief organizations, and the Salvation Army were bodies that undertook some care and provided some assistance, as did private Relief Associations. Charitable relief could be


issued as out-relief where the poor and unemployed were given financial assistance or help in kind, such as goods or clothes. Such help was usually through the agency of such private organizations as the Salvation Army or St Vincent de Paul. The effects of both World Wars were seen in the number of injured and crippled, returned men. Occasionally some were placed on farms. Whilst some were given employment opportunities, other men were less capable of independent lives and needed institutional care. One of the major facilities commenced by the NSW Red Cross was Boddington Hospital at Wentworth Falls, which opened as a tuberculosis hospital for returned men in June 1916 and was retained by the Red Cross as a convalescent home for the men after the War. Boddington Red Cross Hospital, now Nursing Home, Wentworth Falls Care of the aged was a continual problem in the nineteenth century. They were supposed to work until they dropped, but there were always some resilient old folk who curmudgeons that they were, refused to do so. Care of the aged who lived too long to be gainfully employed was traditionally seen as the responsibility of family members. But, NSW was a society where many people were in a new land, far from their connections and kin, and where many men never married, or where “old lags” or former convicts were such undesirable partners that they had few opportunities to form a family. There was no one to support them in old age. The substantial legacy of large institutional buildings held by the government after the end of the convict era enabled it to establish homes for the aged. Parramatta was the base for two Homes for Old Men, one in George Street and the other in Macquarie Street. Both sites may have some archaeological potential. Women were not well catered for. However, the government acquired Newington House and its grounds in 1879. It became an asylum for aged and feeble women, who lacked any means of financial support. Additional buildings were erected in 1886 costing £8,000 to house 300 inmates. The former convict hospital at Liverpool also became an Old Men’s asylum. By the 1890s as the number of aged men unable to survive on their own during the depression increased markedly, a boys' reformatory that had been designed and completed at Rookwood was taken over in 1893 and opened as a home for old men. Former Newington Asylum Former Rookwood Asylum Private charity was not absent from the care of the aged. The Parramatta Benevolent Society had opened the Traveller's Rest in O'Connell Street offering sustenance for bona fide travellers and provided food and accommodation. The institution of the Old Age Pension by the NSW government in August 1901 considerably reduced the need for the aged poor to enter asylums. It permitted the aged to live independently out of institutions and prevented married couples


being split up. It was a major influence on reducing calls upon the resources of the state for institutional care and increased the number of aged people able to live within the community. Travellers’ Rest Group, O’Connell Street, Parramatta Charitable care for the aged expanded. The largest expansion occurred after the Second World War, when nursing homes, retirement hostels and villages grew. Many were established in western Sydney such as Melrose village at Bungaree Road, Pendle Hill, or the Grand United Centenary Centre on Hammers Road, Northmead built by the Grand United Order of Oddfellows. The first aged couple took possession their cottage in the Grand United Centenary Centre on 9 August 1947. At Hammondville, aged self-care cottages for the aged were opened in 1951, followed by a nursing home. Aged care facilities of a wide range are now a part of settlement across western Sydney. Welfare included the dole or unemployment relief handed out to the unemployed through official channels. During the 1930s, dole stations were located at all police stations, where the unemployed could collect their rations before being moved on again. Relief was also doled out at officially sanctioned stores where dole coupons could be exchanged for goods. In the 1930s there was active competition between shopkeepers to be the store appointed to exchange dole coupons. In July 1930, Granville Town Hall was made a depot for the issue of food relief ("dole") coupons on local shopkeepers, rather than sending them to Parramatta after Granville Council argued that "as the [unemployed] in normal times supported local tradespeople, it is considered to be only fair that these tradespeople should receive the orders for the goods". Granville Town Hall, Carlton Street, Granville Institutional care for the handicapped, such as the mildly mentally defective or mildly physically handicapped has rejected institutional care. They are now living in the community. In order to give them an income and a role in life, sheltered workshops have been set up to utilise their labour power.


Volume 8 Australian Historical Theme: Developing Australia’s Cultural Life Australians are more likely to express their sense of identity in terms of a way of life rather than allegiance to an abstract patriotic ideal. One of the achievements of this society has been the creation of a rich existence away from the workplace. While some of the activities encompassed in this theme are pursed for profit – horse racing and cinema, for instance – their reason for being is the sheer enjoyment of spectators. While many people could not pursue careers in art, literature, science, entertainment or the church without being paid, those activities do not fit easily into the categories of economy or workplace. (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 31: NSW Historical Theme: Creative Endeavour Creativity has no formal boundary. The professionally creative, such as the architect, the theatre or film director or the dancer rated creativity as a foundation for their life’s calling. The amateur, on the other hand, simply derives pleasure and kudos from their efforts. The Dharuk and Gandangara did not recognise such a divide. All were amateurs and all were professionals. Creativity was applied where appropriate and could relate as much to a cultural practice as to formal applications of technology. The early convict years are normally seen as a cultural desert, but it should not be forgotten that a thriving live theatre with convicts as the players operated at the Emu Plains convict station. Architectural professionals who have made their mark in western Sydney are varied. Many Sydney-based practitioners are represented as well as the various government architects, as they are across the state. As the first part of the colony to be intensively settled, western Sydney was the first place where colonists had to grapple with the problem of intense summer heat and exasperating dryness. The application of Indian bungalow design to the conditions of the colony in buildings such as Linnwood and Hambledon Cottage at Parramatta constituted a creative response to the environment. Noted private architects also left their work across western Sydney. Sir John Sulman lived at Parramatta for some years and designed the Boer War Monument in Parramatta Park in 1904. Linnwood Hambedon Cottage The impact of conscious landscape design is seen in urban parks and other landscapes such as in cemeteries. The old section of Rookwood cemetery was purposely designed as a Picturesque layout in keeping with landscape fashions that were then current. Notable landscape designers had their impact particularly 97

in the Blue Mountains where Sorenson’s Nursery Garden, at Leura as well as the Everglades at Leura are notable created gardens. Everglades, Leura Sorenson Nursery, 8-10 Herbert Street, Leura A number of significant literary figures have associated with the region. Norman Lindsay, artist, novelist, ship modeller and sculptor found his retreat from the distractions of Sydney at Springwood where he built his cottage, now in National Trust ownership. There are numerous other authors and poets associated with the area, some with a long intimate association, others with a more transient relationship. The early colonial poet Charles Harpur was born at Windsor. Another early colonial poet, Charles Tompson, author of Wild Notes from the Lyre of a Native Minstrel, grew up on the Hawkesbury near Castlereagh an experience that was reflected in many of his works. Norman Lindsay Gallery, Springwood The old established towns attracted some authors, with few drawn to the suburbs, though Henry Lawson lived for a short time at Granville in the 1880s where he was an apprentice. Parramatta High School was the alma mater of Donald Horne in the 1930s. Parramatta itself was the subject of a series of short stories published in the 1950s by Ethel Anderson. Her Jane Austenish sense of nuance and consequence slotted into a rosy hued convict Parramatta were historically inaccurate but somehow managed to capture the magic of Parramatta at the peak of orcharding when the heady scent of blossoms and ripening fruit filled the air. The Blue Mountains attracted more than their share of novelists and artists drawn by the dramatic quality of the landscape. Eleanor Dark lived at Katoomba for many years. Her Timeless Land series of novels about the early convict years were largely set on the Cumberland Plain, including western Sydney. It still attracts authors such as noted children’s author Emily Rodda. Hesba Brinsmead grew up near her birthplace at Bilpin and set a number of her children’s stories in the Blue Mountains. These were stories in which a brooding sense of the original occupation of the land by the Aborigine was latent. The Varuna Writers' centre established at Katoomba in Eleanor Dark’s former home continues to support budding authors. Despite his somewhat Olympian disdain for suburbia, Patrick White had a wide experience of western Sydney, spending some of his childhood at Mount Wilson, and he lived briefly at Kellyville. It was his house in Castle Hill though, with which he was long associated. The same area has had a noted influence on the arts of painting and drawing. The effect of the Blue Mountains and the wide expanse of the Hawkesbury had a significant impact on the emergence of national consciousness in the 1880s into the 1920s. It may be said that from deserts the prophets come but there can be no doubt that it was the Hawkesbury that the myth-makers claimed as their own. Artists who drew their inspiration included Charles Conder, who produced Springtime, Richmond in 1888, Arthur Streeton whose Fire’s On, Lapstone Tunnel of 1891 became one of the best know and influential paintings. Arthur


Streeton’s The Purple Noon’s Transparent Might, a view of the Hawkesbury from Agnes Banks from high above the river, bathed in a purple haze on a hot summer’s day, has become one of the iconic paintings of the Australian consciousness. Hawkesbury Council has recognised the importance of these by the creation of an Artist’s Trail around key locations associated with the iconic paintings in the district. The architect William Hardy Wilson, both mythologized western Sydney through his work The Cowpasture Road, and directed attention to its rich heritage of fine Georgian buildings through his sketches and publications. The birth of photography and the accessibility of the plains of the west as well as the Blue Mountains to Sydney meant that many notable early photographers made early images of the district. The sub-tropical rainforests of the mountain valleys with their cool ferny glades were the subjects of many early photographs. Harry Phillips, based at Katoomba, published a number of photographic works, most notably, “The Cloud” often seen as a dark herald of the impending Great War. Works such as these and later publication established his reputation as well as promoted the Mountains as tourist destinations. There have been a number of films associated with western Sydney. The 1945 epic film about the life of Charles Kingsford-Smith titled Smithy was filmed at the Menangle landing ground built on the site of the Menangle racetrack as a wartime emergency landing strip. The early classic film, The Kid Stakes, of 1927, included one sequence filmed at the Thornton Park speedway at Penrith. The suburbs were not neglected either. The film They’re A Weird Mob, detailed the misadventures of Italian immigrant Nino oscillating between the magic of the Harbour and the ocean and Bankstown where he took a labouring job, digging the foundations for a cottage. The labouring sequences were filmed in Bankstown as were a number other sequences involving his work career and his love interest. Domestic and amateur crafts have also been well represented in western Sydney. The creations of quilters, knitters and the adherents of crochet are often seen. Enthusiastic model builders, particularly those impassioned by railways, assemble and display their finely crafted and often highly accurate works everywhere.


Chapter 32: NSW Historical Theme: Domestic Life The term “Domestic life” conjures up images of bliss centred on the home, with its familial associations and its modes of production and relaxation. Yet such elements are not integral to all domestic arrangements. Masculine working accommodation is often far less genteel and arrangements in lodging and boarding houses do not quite fit this stereotype. Living arrangements in early western Sydney were heavily influenced by the presence of convicts. They usually had to house themselves as best they could. Only later were they housed in barrack style accommodation, which separated men from women and ensured some control. Soldiers were housed in barracks and private individuals or officials had to locate their own accommodation. Domestic arrangements reflect these different forms of accommodation, which can sometimes be detected in the archaeological record. Elizabeth Farm, Harris Park Belgenny Farm, Camden Camden Park Estate On the other hand, except for specific gender or age-based activities, the Dharuk and Gandangara lived, worked, played and slept in kinship groups. As free settlement proceeded, family centred domestic arrangements became more common. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the ideology, which insisted on the “separation of spheres”, was becoming more pressing. It insisted that men worked and went into the wider world to battle for the family’s prosperity, whilst women managed the domestic sphere, ensuring that it was a haven from the troubled world outside. Such an ideal was rarely achieved. But it was a powerful influence and was especially important for the middle classes. Even for them, it often remained an ideal rather than a reality. The lower middle class wife married to a shopkeeper or innkeeper was heavily involved with her husband’s business. Hambledon Cottage, Parramatta The domestic skills of the publican’s wife were an essential element in transforming the pub for drinking into the hotel providing high-class accommodation for travellers. Walker’s Red Cow Inn was famed for its hospitality, as was the Black Horse Inn at Richmond. In both cases, it was the women involved who ensured success. At Parramatta, Hannah Beans had been successively wife of Joseph Ward and then of Charles Walker before becoming a widow again in June 1826. She was the constant, which made the hotel work. Much of her success derived from the good food, the long clubhouse let for meetings and functions, the careful attentive service and the front garden lavishly planted with flowers. Margaret Seymour and then Sophia Sly were the factors that made Richmond’s Black Horse Inn so notable.


Farmer’s wives were also a part of the family economy and domestic work was only one of their many responsibilities. The ideology of “separate spheres” exerted its influence on all classes in society but was most effectively implemented by the wealthy. In combination with the passion for new types of ornamentation, the result was the fussy domestic interiors of late nineteenth century, which were dust-traps and could be managed only with a servant. Family-focussed daily routines also emerged with family bible readings, taking the sacraments together and other routines, which strengthened the Christian family focus. For workers, the ideal could be achieved but it was always woman’s achievement. Since so many employment opportunities were temporary, families moved frequently, following mining or seasonal employment. A more settled lifestyle even for workers in the twentieth century meant that a more sustained effort could be made successfully to create an ideal domestic interior. Subsequently, the increasingly child centred lifestyles of most families resulted in further evolution of domestic arrangements during the twentieth century. More emphasis was placed on open space, and an absence of clutter and the creation of specialised rooms for children. Old Government House, Parramatta Construction camps for major public works or construction projects were originally a matter for private provision, but employers later provided barrack accommodation such as for the erection of Warragamba Dam. A variation on the barrack style of accommodation was the military barracks, which mushroomed in many places in World War Two to serve the army encampments and RAAF training bases. Their interiors with their serried ranks of carefully placed beds, and the limited space available to each man were a sharp contrast to the domestic ideal. At war’s end, the conversion of these camps into migrant camps transformed their Spartan domestic interiors. Whilst ethnic difference is often noted in the construction or usage of different buildings, it is in the domestic sphere that the differences are most acutely displayed. The business interior of the suburban café of the 1950s was heavily influenced by its chrome and glass surfaces all in the latest Art Deco style. It was a marked contrast to the rear of the shop where the family lived, with images of the homeland and religious icons denoting their adherence to traditional mores of Greek Orthodox custom. The religious imagery of the Roman Catholic house was markedly different to that of the Chinese but though the religious practice was different, the underlying impulse was the same. Whilst the interior of the dwelling was one aspect of the domestic sphere of the individual and family, the garden and the use of other buildings on the allotment was another integral element of their lifestyle. Food was traditionally produced in back gardens whilst the front was for display purposes, but even here, the element of choice was paramount once there was time to devote to such


pursuits. Variations in planting and layout emerged from personal preference and taste as much as from family needs. Garden edging in specially produced ceramic tiles, bricks, or found stone or beer bottles gave a particular character to the individual garden, some of which are now repositories of rare plant cultivars.


Chapter 33: NSW Historical Theme: Leisure Many people derive their pleasures not from an active in involvement in competitive sport, but from individual activities. Some amuse themselves by watching sport or a cultural performance or by indulging in a hobby. Leisure for the Dharuk and Gandangara was bound up with cultural practices, marking certain milestones, as well as regular participation in group activities, such as corroborees. Play for children was often just that, a simple activity which fostered hand-eye co-ordination, developed the body and gave pleasure. Soon, however, it became increasingly like training for subsistence, moving along a continuum from play towards food gathering, and the honing of essential skills. Active pursuits such as bushwalking, hunting or fishing, or simply walking in urban parks, going bowling are examples of leisure pursuits. Early settlers participated in quiet pursuits such as walking as well as more active ones such as hunting. Various crazes enlivened leisure time. Apart from the established forms of sport, and gambling, changing technology gave them new outlets. The invention of the bicycle was followed by a craze for bicycling, not just as transport, or as a sporting medium but also for the simple pleasure of riding free and unfettered to where you could. The emergence of bushwalking as a leisure pursuit grew markedly in the 1930s, and the creation of National Parks has fostered the activity. Hotels were often the established focus for any leisure activity. Hotel licensees arranged the boxing bouts, the footraces, horse races as well as serving as the meeting place for many clubs before there were public buildings such as Schools of Arts in many centres. The emergence of clubs in the early 1950s enabled other social and cultural activities to boom. After the Royal Commission into Liquor Laws in 1954 recommended the freeing up of liquor licences and the opening of more clubs as a family friendly way of offering entertainment, clubs boomed across western Sydney. The Fairfield RSL had purchased the old Butterfly Hall in 1944. The inaugural meeting of the new club was held on 31 August 1954. The City of Parramatta Ex-servicemen's Club opened its new buildings on 16 August 1958 in Macquarie Street, Parramatta. Leisure was not a twentieth century invention. There was time for relaxation in the nineteenth century. Some, of it was spent in riotous assembly around the hotel where tests of strength and drinking and other male activities were focussed. By the late nineteenth century the age and associations of the early convict towns such as Parramatta, Liverpool, and Windsor were attracting holidaymakers. Liverpool was recommended as a place for sightseeing in the 1880s by Cyrus Fuller in his County of Cumberland Guide. Both Parramatta and Richmond attracted honeymooning couples as much from the presence of good hotels as from their old historical associations.


The Mulgoa Valley attracted many seeking leisure from the 1890s through to the 1930s. The area evolved as a recreation area, with older houses turned into guesthouses. Wallacia became a tourist spot renowned for its closeness to the river and other attractions such as Bent’s Basin. Glenmore became the clubhouse for a golf course. The railway not only brought coalmining to Katoomba and the Blue Mountains. It also brought sightseers, picnickers, and finally customers for guesthouses. After a decline the Blue Mountains guesthouse trade has revived strongly and now ever more guesthouse style buildings are opening as well as those offering a much greater range of leisure accommodation, such as eco-tourism lodges. The Blue Mountains would not be what it was without its bush walking tracks. Bent’s Basin Carrington Hotel, Katoomba More active pursuits include horse racing which was being pursued at tracks at Rosehill, Warwick Farm, Menangle Park and Hawkesbury by the 1910s. Needless to say, they involved many who were there as mere spectators and those willing to watch and make a bet. Speed car racing commenced at various locations such as Penrith, and Warwick Farm where a track operated from 1960 onwards. There were a number of other venues across western Sydney even including historic Parramatta Park. Water sports had its enthusiasts too, but were more involved with active participation than simply watching. The Hawkesbury River attracted many water sport enthusiasts, as did places such as the Thirlmere Lakes and Prospect Reservoir? Traditionally, the pursuit of reading was probably the most common leisure activity, undertaken by early settlers. There were few ways to acquire books but the creation of cultural institutions such as Schools of Arts, and libraries by municipal councils provided for their needs. Cultural performances were also major ways of entertainment. Touring opera companies, circuses, musicians, magicians and a host of other performance based activities. Most performances commonly took place in halls, or Schools of Arts. By the late nineteenth century, the formation of bands was popular, particularly amongst workers and the lower middle class. In an era with no pre-recorded music, the bands were the only way in which most people could experience music. Bands gave young men an outlet for their energies and also enabled them to earn a little money casually. Many municipalities subsidised local bands. It was for them that the band halls and bandstands in many parks were erected. It is notable that the Salvation Army took up the band as one of the elements of their street preaching. Fine dining was another leisure pursuit that has become increasingly popular in the past twenty years. Yet it too has a long tradition. The Paragon Café, started


in Katoomba by Zacharias Simos served fine meals and sold its selection of handmade chocolates from 1916 onwards. Paragon Café, Katoomba Cinema emerged as a major form of entertainment in the early twentieth century, initially through the efforts of travelling film exhibitors, and then by the erection of open-air cinemas and finally by the erection of purpose built cinemas. Even small towns and villages were provided with their own cinema. Many of these former cinemas remain, mostly converted to some other use such as retail store or supermarket, but some are still in use. Parramatta was the home of the Art Deco Roxy Cinema opened on 6 February 1930. Smaller suburbs and villages were served by more basic screening venues, but they still served a local need. The Orion Cinema operated in Dunmore Street Wentworthville from 1919 until the 1940s. The need to build cinemas cheaply and rapidly ensured that there were companies that were willing to try innovative techniques. Both the Crest Cinema in Granville as well as the former Hoyts Castle Cinema in South Street Granville were built in the late 1940s utilising a Quonset design emerging from wartime construction methods, Roxy Cinema, Parramatta. Crest Cinema, Blaxcell Street, Granville Former Hoyts Castle Cinema, 61 South Street, Granville Entertainment became more attuned to electronic methods of dissemination as the twentieth century wore on. The provision of radio broadcasting from the 1920s onwards provided a new entertainment medium. It was followed by television from the 1950s onwards and then by other forms of electronic entertainment, such as video and DVD. Radio has been an entertainment medium for years. The Channel 7 Television studios have operated from Mobbs Lane, Epping ever since the station commenced transmission in 1956. Channel 7 Studios, Mobbs Lane, Epping Despite the attraction of video games and handheld computer games, child’s play can still be as simple as an invigorating session on a swing or a very fast spin on the merry-go-round. Many councils have removed older metal playground equipment from their parks for fear of litigation. The removal of such equipment from Memorial Park at Blackheath drew opposition from residents especially since the items were a hand-made and uniquely quirky collection fashioned from steel tubing and other shapes, into rockets, pirate ships, aeroplanes and so on. Gradually these items seem to be reinstated in the park as they once were. With such inspiration, the young imagination takes wings. Play equipment, Memorial Park, Blackheath


Chapter 34: NSW Historical Theme: Religion Belief for the Dharuk and Gandangara did not compartmentalise secular and religious matters. They were closely interwoven into all aspects of life. The new white settlers were adept at keeping the two in separate compartments. Convicts who comprised the earliest major group of white settlers were even less attached to religion. Strenuous efforts were made by the government and early chaplains to bring convicts to a closer appreciation of their God, but to little avail. Some of the new settlers who arrived as free men and women were deeply religious and all that they did was infused by a deep religious sensibility. Amongst the most notable of these was the group who had arrived in 1802 on the Coromandel. Though not all were Presbyterian, a number began to attend services held under a tree at Ebenezer. A few years later, a stone church was commenced at Ebenezer in 1808. Along with the tree under which the services were held the church, the schoolhouse and its churchyard, are one of the earliest church groups still in active use in Australia. For the bulk of settlers, though, religion was a matter for dealing with at an appropriate time. Ebenezer church group The main towns such as Windsor, Parramatta, Liverpool and Picton developed as early church centres, where the earliest services were held, though in rural areas, the first were often held in the open, in barns or any suitable building by travelling priests such as the Anglican Rowland Hassall, or the Catholic priest, John Joseph Therry. Therry had hoped to create a Catholic axis in western Sydney with its end-points anchored at South Strathfield (in Strathfield Municipality) and Haslem’s Creek (now Lidcombe) but his scheme did not come to fruition. Both Hassall and Therry left a number of sites associated with them but their impact was in the hearts and minds of men rather than in extant buildings. Churches were established across western Sydney, some to wither and some to thrive. Many churches were set inside churchyards with tombstones, but what was left illustrates the varying fortunes of their districts. At Castlereagh, only the general cemetery survives, but not the chapel and schoolhouse conducted by Reverend Henry Fulton. On the other hand, St Bartholomew’s Church at Prospect stands resplendent within its churchyard. Its position adjacent to the busy M4 motorway demonstrates to the busy streams of commuter traffic that western Sydney has both a long history and one that was often magnificent. St Bartholomew’s, Prospect Cathedrals were established in major towns such as Parramatta where St John’s Anglican Church was elevated to cathedral status. St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Chapel was first completed at Parramatta in 1837, and was later raised to cathedral status. The building was subsequently replaced by later buildings one of which is now nearing completion after the destruction of the 1936 cathedral by


fire. It was at St Patrick's that the first nun was professed in Australia on 9 March 1839. St Johns Anglican Church, Parramatta The white man did not bring a unified religious outlook to the Colony. There were deep divisions of belief, most particularly between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Everywhere there were settlers there was a contest between the different faiths. In some places, competition was muted, where the Roman Catholics were given substantial support and assistance by non-Catholic believers. In many areas, the Anglican persuasion was dominant due to its association with the more powerful members of society, as well as official promotion. Catholics became a significant power in the Airds district. Campbelltown was long a focus for Catholic activity. The non-conformist Protestant faiths, of which Methodism was the major example, were prone to fracture into many small sects. The Methodists were a prominent example, with Wesleyan Methodists and Primitive Methodists often vying for adherents in the same town. Smaller sects, such as the Church of Christ, Unitarians and others eventually found their congregations were not viable and merged with the others. These mergers caused constant flux in religion throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists eventually merged. The major merger of the nonconformists occurred on 22 June 1977 when the Methodist Church, some Presbyterian and Congregational Church congregations merged creating the Uniting Church. The merger ensured that there were many churches surplus to the needs of the combined church. The creation of new faiths countered the trend towards amalgamation. As the evangelicals of the Anglican Church mellowed and as the radical features of the Methodists were diffused, newer faiths, passionate in their belief and full of the fervour to proselytise arose. The Salvation Army emerged in Sydney in December 1882. Branches emerged in many suburbs and towns. Apart from the Dharuk and Gandangara, who retained some of their traditional beliefs despite the missionary onslaught, there were other non-Christians. Until the late twentieth century, these groups such as the Chinese and Moslems made little impact unlike their role in country centres west of the mountains where temples and mosques were established in some towns. However, the post-World War Two influx of migrants has meant that an array of religious buildings has been erected for non-Christian believers. Buddhist temples in Fairfield and mosques in Auburn demonstrate the impact of wider religious belief across western Sydney. Religion has long been strongly associated with education. As the elite religion favoured by the government, Anglicanism did well. Kings School was strongly associated with Anglicanism, but other denominations such as Methodism


opened schools such as their school in Newington House, which became Newington College whilst Roman Catholicism was always seeking to open a parochial school wherever possible to keep their flock within the fold. The Moore Theological College operated at Liverpool from 1856 until 1889 when it moved to Newtown Religion was also strongly associated with charity, which has been dealt with under another theme, but its role should not be ignored as an element of religion. Apart from the government, religious groups were the other major force involved with pastoral care and charity provision for all classes of people.


Chapter 35: NSW Historical Theme: Social Institutions Apart from their kin and wider language group, the Dharuk and Gandangara lacked formal institutions. Two broad categories define social institutions – those created to provide some mutual benefit for members and those created to service a common interest. Prior to the inauguration of some modest social welfare by the government in the early twentieth century, the individual or the family had to provide relief in time of crisis. To extend this safety net, people established mutual benefit societies, to provide aid in time of sickness, injury, unemployment or old age. Friendly societies, as they were called were often part of a wider network, such as the Oddfellows, or they were part of church-based networks such as the HABCS, the Hibernian Australian Catholic Benefit Society. By the early twentieth century, many of them arranged to mutually support a United Friendly Society pharmacy in their locality such as in Parramatta and Granville, which dispensed medicine to members at cheaper rates than to non-members. The Freemasons formed an active network across the colony and were often successful in erecting their halls in many towns and suburbs, such as Liverpool and Penrith. A concern for self-improvement underlay the movement to establish mechanics institutes or Schools of Arts. Often the impulse came from society’s “betters” seeking to open opportunity to the lower orders, though in many cases, workingmen were also part of the movement towards creating local societies. In many areas, the initial aim of the society was the initiation of a scheme of improving activities, whether they were lectures on the role of the tragic hero in Shakespeare’s plays, a series of debates on current issues or vocational training. The erection of premises to house such activities was an important aim and was achieved in many areas. Many towns boasted a School of Arts or Mechanics Institute in various states of prosperity, and some still retain the buildings. During the twentieth century, other bodies emerged to cater for the thirst for selfimprovement, through something other than schools. Educational galleries were opened, some such as historical societies, catalogued the past of the district, whilst others, such as natural history museums looked into the environmental background to life. School of Arts, West Market and March Street, Richmond Former Granville School of Arts, Good Street, Granville Hawkesbury Museum, Thompson Square, Windsor Hambledon Cottage, Parramatta Arms of Australia Inn, Emu Plains Clubs had been formed for specialist groups in the nineteenth century. From the 1920s onwards, a new group of prominent clubs emerged with the formation of returned servicemen's organizations in many towns, villages and suburbs. Often they commenced operating on a shoestring budget but such was their appeal to many returned men that these clubs continued to grow albeit slowly. It was not


until after the Second World War, that they boomed. The 1954 Royal Commission into the Liquor Laws recommended the issue of additional club licences to break the liquor monopoly with special priority for ex-servicemen’s clubs. Hence, the number of clubs expanded due to changes in the liquor and the gaming laws. The returned service clubs were major beneficiaries, but other clubs, sporting, social or special purpose in aim also benefited, until the club lifestyle acquired a momentum of its own. Many of these clubs also provide social benefits to their community, sponsoring sporting clubs, social activities, and some welfare. Other clubs were also opened such as the Club Marconi, opened in Fairfield in 1958. Hobby groups have boomed in the twentieth century. Some were active outdoor organisations, such as bushwalking clubs. Others were a mix of indoor craft and outdoor competition such as those clubs making model aeroplanes or boats. Many of these utilised existing public buildings, often made available through local councils. Another institution which also mixed the craft and the outdoor but which has left a legacy of buildings across the state was the scouting movement. Starting in the 1900s, it encouraged the creation of troops in many localities, both for boys and girls. The two earliest troops appear to have been those formed at Mosman and Toongabbie about 1908 or 1909. A troop started in Granville in 1911. By the 1920s, there were buildings in Glen Street being used by the local Boy Scout group. Scout halls dot the landscape of many towns and suburbs. Scout Hall Group, Glen Street, Granville Two of the most important social institutions for heritage are situated within western Sydney. The main archival collections of NSW State Records have now been consolidated at its repository at Kingswood, in western Sydney. It is a key source for all history pertaining to NSW not just to physical heritage or to western Sydney. Similarly, the NSW repository for the National Archives of Australia is at Chester Hill. Though it stores records generated by Commonwealth government agencies, it also has numerous records of enduring importance for the same reasons.


Chapter 36: NSW Historical Theme: Sport Tests of skill, strength and endurance occupied the Dharuk and Gandangara at certain times. Occasionally, it was a structured activity, but it could emerge on an informal basis. Western Sydney possesses a rich heritage of sport. The original spread of population had meant that each centre needed to make its own arrangements for local sporting events. Additionally, there were large expanses of open ground highly suitable for activities, which needed either isolation, or large areas of land such as golfing or hunting. Horseracing came early to the district and became the basis for some of the earliest and most popular sporting activities, whether a spontaneous race or specially organised race events which might occupy days of the annual rural calendar. Most early races were undertaken on rough courses. Later, racing clubs were formed. Racetracks operated on informal sites such as on the properties of landowners. Eventually, the formal racing clubs obtained their own tracks. Grandstands, stables and other facilities followed. Major racetracks in the area included Rosehill, Warwick Farm Menangle Park. Hunting, especially of kangaroos and wallabies, often on horseback was another highly popular activity. The question whether it was sport or vermin control was unclear. Indeed, did it matter? The Parramatta Hunt Club formed in May 1833 sought to rid the district of its many dingoes as well as to provide some English style sport for its members. Indeed, the original name of Woodville Road was the Dog Trap Road. As the landscape became more closely settled and crisscrossed by roads, fences, fields of grain and houses, such opportunities were diminished, but the appeal of hunting, fishing, and shooting was not. Other forms of animal based contest arose, such as greyhound racing, trotting and the racing of pigeons. Walter Lamb instituted greyhound racing at Rooty Hill. In June 1879, he introduced the "New Plumpton" method of coursing from England, which involved the use of a live hare. The locality Plumpton took its name from the track. Boxing was a popular sport. Toby Ryan wrote of how matches were organised in remote locations near the Nepean River in the nineteenth century in order to escape the control of the forces of law and order. Increasing leisure brought the opportunity for regular sports activity, usually focused on the rubber or leather ball. That most English game - cricket - was usually the first team game to be played and was pursued in all the major centres. When Prince Alfred visited Parramatta in 1868, a cricket game was played in his honour in Parramatta Park. Subsequently, the Alfred Cricket Club


was formed as a tribute to him. Central Cumberland was the home of many noted nineteenth and early twentieth century cricketers. Various forms of football, tennis, and baseball later challenged its appeal. The emergence of the Saturday half-holiday enabled regular teams to form, so that by the late nineteenth century, town and district newspapers were devoting considerable space to the exploits of their local teams. Sports fields emerged, often just a flat cleared space, but by the twentieth century, the construction of such fields was a major element of municipal investment for leisure. Some fields were acquired from the Crown such as by the take-over of land set aside or reserved for purposes such as recreation in the gazetted townships. In other cases, land was purchased or donated for the purpose. Golf, which needed large areas of open land, resulted in the establishment of many courses across western Sydney. Some of them were quite distant from established centres. Glenmore House became the centre for a golf course in the early 1930s, which operated into the 1980s. Other tests of skill, fitness or endurance emerged, based on walking (“pedestrianism”) which had a strong following in the nineteenth century. The sport of running also appealed, as did track and field events, such as discus, hurdling etc. Contests of sawing or using the axe also emerged. The Heckenberg family from the Liverpool area produced a number of fine axemen. Wheeled transport brought about a progressive widening of the differing forms of sport. The bicycle quickly attained a devoted following, not only for the mobility which it gave workers previously conditioned to getting there by foot, but also for its competitive possibilities. Leagues of Wheelmen emerged in many places, only to wither and then die as the motor cycle attracted the most active wheelmen followed by the motor car as they became ever more accessible in price. While they lasted cycling competitions attracted huge followings, racing from places such as Parramatta to Smithfield. Motorcycle races also emerged. During the 1910s and 1920s, the ownership of motorcycles soared, as they were a more affordable means of transport for young men willing to learn what could sometimes be a risky mode of travel. But it was not all danger. As one motorcyclist, Robert Magill wrote, it had its benefits: By buying a motor cycle you immediately become very popular. No end of girls you've never heard of will make you presents of cushions to stick on the back and cover up the ugly carrier. The idea is than that if you want something really beautiful as a mascot on the back, you'll stick the girl on top of the cushion. Remember to tie the girl on tightly. Nothing looks worse than to end up a spin by saying sweetly, 'Hold on here, dear, while I shove the brakes on', to an empty cushion. (Nepean Times, 17 Jan 1925)


At Thornton Park, Penrith, a speedway track was developed where a number of noted races were held, with motorcycles, cars and even aeroplanes competed. It was there on 13 June 1938, that a racing car competing in a race ran off the track and killed a grandmother plus her two small grandchildren, as well as injuring ten others. This event was captured on film, so that the full horror of the crash was experienced by many viewers across Australia. Aerial contests emerged. Some were held at Thornton Park as noted, but other landing fields were developed. The Aero Club of New South Wales constructed an airfield for their members at a site later named Hargrave Park, which opened in 1930. After the Second World War, there were numerous ex-military landing grounds, some of which were taken over by clubs and operated for flying purposes. Boating or racing has appealed to many. The Hawkesbury-Nepean system and the Georges River provided ample scope for such pursuits. The GPS school “Head of The River” contest was long held on a section of the Nepean near Penrith. The Penrith Lakes scheme, which has profoundly altered the historic Castlereagh landscape, has developed a number of venues for sporting including a rowing course. This is now the venue for the Head of the River and was the venue for many of the rowing events of the 2000 Olympics. Swimming was always popular in Australia, due to its climate. In time, many noted swimmers came from the antipodean colonies. Most centres had a swimming hole. In places such as these, the rising generations learned to swim. One author remembered that in his childhood in the 1870s that, The creeks at the north and south sides of the north and south sides of he school house contained some reasonably capacious pools which were utilised as baths by the pupils, an unwritten law allotting the creek on the south side to the boys and that on the northern side to the girls. …. [In] the creeks in the vicinity of that old school was imbibed that love of natation which gave to Australia the magnificently organised system of swimming and life-saving which is our proud boast today. (J J Moloney, Early Menangle, 1929 pp 12-13) Later swimming pools were erected particularly from 1930 onwards using unemployment relief money, such as at Bankstown and Granville. Granville Swimming Pool, Enid Avenue, Granville Many of these activities created their own special facilities, as well as sites of commemoration where notable victories were won, though these are often lodged in people’s memories rather than on official plaques. Venues to cater for special skill based sports were also needed such as acrobatics.


Not all sports were for the young and active. Lawn bowls had adherents in many suburbs, often drawing its recruits from the more elderly members of the community, though even this is rumoured to be changing. Parramatta has long been regarded as the home of lawn bowls in Australia. The first organised game of bowls took place at the Woolpack Inn, in 1868, which had resulted in the formation of a club by 1870. The bowling club with its carefully guarded turf is as distinctive a feature of many suburbs as the war memorial or the RSL club. Tenpin bowling alleys have also been erected in some locations. The 2000 Olympics was largely held in western Sydney. As well as the main arenas at Homebush Bay, the swimming, equestrian, cycling and rowing events were all held at venues in western Sydney. In time, these too will be regarded as significant heritage items.


Volume 9 Australian Historical Theme:

Marking the Phases of Life

Although much of the experience of growing up and growing old does not readily relate to particular heritage sites, there are places that can illustrate this important theme. Most of the phases of life … are universal experiences. (Australian Historic Themes, AHC, Canberra 2001) Chapter 37: NSW Historical Theme: Birth and Death Birth and death are two of the physical certainties of human life. They mark the beginning and the end of personal experience, but also mark points of both continuity and disruption within families and societies. The term ‘birth’ involves giving birth, but also conception and contraception, the stages of pregnancy and antenatal and post-natal care, and shades into death through miscarriage, termination and infant death. Places associated with such events include maternity hospitals, public hospitals and once upon a time, they almost certainly meant private homes, where the bulk of children were traditionally born. Associated with these places were Baby Health Clinics where mothers went to obtain post-natal care and advice, though in the 1950s and 1960s, they also attended pre-natal classes, where expectant mothers were prepared for the ordeal to come. Birth and death customs amongst the Dharuk and Gandangara were defined precisely by their cultural background. Little has survived of burial places, due to the impact of white European settlement across western Sydney as much as from the depredations of white souvenir hunters, scientific enquirers and just plain vandals. The term ‘death’ involves not only the point of dying, but also methods of death from accidental to murderous to natural, the disposal of the dead through funeral rituals and burial procedures, and the meanings of death as illustrated in memorials and graveyards. Memorials to the dead in the wars in which Australian men and women participated are many, but there are few to those who died on both sides in the black-white conflicts of the frontier when it was on the Hawkesbury and Georges Rivers, though there was a massacre site at the Cataract Gorge in 1816. The range of places, which apply to death, are many. They include the churchyards where people were often interred in small communities, or small graveyards nominally attached to the church and include some such as St Matthew’s Windsor. There were some formally laid out cemeteries such as Rookwood and St Patrick’s cemetery in North Parramatta. The pace of development has largely obliterated isolated graves across western Sydney. There are some small family cemeteries, which still remain such as the Pearce 115

Family Cemetery, in Baulkham Hills shire. The layout of cemeteries ranges from the formal rows of churchyards, such as St John's Parramatta, to the Picturesque landscaping of Rookwood. Pearce Family Cemetery, in Baulkham Hills shire


Chapter 38: NSW Historical Theme: Persons Knowledge of named persons who were influential or famous in past society is known and remembered. Early pastoral families and their properties are often remembered and commemorated and included some sites as Veteran Hall associated with William Lawson where the buildings have been removed to Newington House associated with his co-explorer John Blaxland, which is still extant Places can be significant for their associations with particular persons. The extent of the association of persons with a place range from a close and intimate association through to a state where there is little evidence of the impact of that person or no surviving remnants of their association. In that case, their association falls largely in the mind rather than in physical evidence, such as the contrast between the two homes of William Lawson and John Blaxland. Other properties which have been altered but in which the name and their associations with someone is important include Raby a noted property of Alexander Riley. More direct evidence of the impact of notable people can be seen in the Hawkesbury where the Observatory of John Tebbutt still stands and the scenes depicted by the artists of the 1880s through to the 1930s are still observable, even down to the same house as painted in a view. The gardens designed by Paul Sorensen are still to be seen in the Blue Mountains are the buildings together with other structures designed by notable architects. Recognition of important men or women does not simply mean a monument in a cemetery. The Avenue of Oaks, at Faulconbridge celebrates the prime ministers of Australia.




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