“Braygrove” – Tulloch’s Phoenix Iron Works Ltd photo

Following the death of Alfred Llewellyn Bray, the first Mayor of Concord, his home “Braygrove” was purchased by R. Tulloch & Company and in 1915 the Iron Works transferred from its original site at Pyrmont to Rhodes.

“Braygrove” was incorporated into the Tulloch administrative complex but fell into disrepair and was finally completely demolished in the late 1970s. Only the replicas of the original gates to the property now stand on Concord Road as a reminder of what was once a grand nineteenth century estate. The original home was considered to be the oldest home in Concord.

The founder of the company, Robert Tulloch (1851-1928), was born in the Orkney Islands north of Scotland. After working with a local blacksmith, he was apprenticed to the engineering trade and worked in Glasgow and London before migrating to Sydney in 1877.

In 1888 Tulloch’s firm received its first large contract, the manufacture of the overhead ironwork which supported the roof of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops. The company flourished and won several important contracts, particularly for the construction of railway bridges, viaducts and rolling stock.

In 1923 the company began manufacturing shovels, spades, garden tools, etc. under the “Tulloch-Phoenix” brand.

A memorial lamp post was erected in memory of Robert Tulloch in 1945 by members of his family. It stands in the Churchill Tucker Reserve opposite Rhodes Railway Station.

The large fig tree standing in the corner of this park is known as the “Strike Tree” as this is where the workers gathered to discuss the situation any time there was a strike at the factory.

The business closed in 1974. More recently this was the site of Digital.

Of the past, only Braygrove’s replica gate posts remain, standing on Concord Road.


I have had a shovel, missing its wood handle, for many years. Probably got it from my dad. Whilst now getting around to replacing the handle, I have noted the following words stamped on the metal shovel:

Bob Page

I have a Tullock Phoenix 1 spade that belonged to my mothers brother who was a concreter. The blade is a little thin now from all that work but I still use it for light jobs around the house A reminder of the high quality tools that we all thought we would never loose. But we still have brands such as Cyclone in Victoria and Mumme in SA to remind us of how lucky we are to still be able make and to buy quality Australian made tools.

Marjorie Dixon

We picked up our amazingly well made shovel branded 1915 from a garage sale in Launceston…. just by coincidence, my husband is a decendant of Lindsay Tulloch, from Shetland, so I am sure the shovel has come home to it’s “family”!

I’m currently restoring my grandfather’s shovel, pick and garden fork. The shovel says Tulloch Phoenix. I’ve been soaking them in cleaning vinegar. Works a treat. Then wire brushed etc. Still a way to go to uncover more engraving. He was a painter on the Harbour Bridge in the 1950s. Moved to Blacktown from England after WWII with his family (my mum). He passed 30+ years ago. The Tulloch Phoenix shovel is bringing back great memories of he and I.

Hayden Windsor

Excellent quality steel in these shovels. Perfect balance of hardness and flexibility. My father still has a 1956 post hole model which puts any modern implement to shame. Rolls Royce of Australian shovels.