Memories of Old Concord

The Concord Recorder, Thursday, July 6, 1961.

I was very interested in Mr. Stanton’s article on old Concord. I would like to add to it.

I have been waiting for an abler pen than mine. I went to Concord School 72 years ago (1889). Concord School then was a small weatherboard building on the corner facing Burwood Road (Wharf Road) about fifty yards from Crane Street. Our drinking water was a well with a pump. One part of the present building was built when I was going to school.

The head teacher was named Mr. Memis. He lived in a cottage facing Salisbury Street.

There was a dairy on the corner of Stanley Street owned by Mr. H. Hinchey, an old orchard opposite the school was owned by Mr. Downey.

On the corner of Crane and Excelsior Streets was a grocer shop owned by a family named Harris. They had a two-horse bus, which used to leave at 4 o’clock for Wynyard and back.

On the opposite corner of Salisbury Street was a two-storey house known as Noble’s House.

Further down there was a grocer’s shop on the corner of Broughton Street, owned by a Mr. Atkinson.

On the corner of the park was a water trough, much appreciated by the horses coming from the gasworks with their heavy loads.

On the opposite corner was a large house called Beaconsfield.

Now you are on the famous asphalt road. It started at Parramatta Road along Majors Bay Road then on to the gasworks. It was the only asphalt road in the district. The gas company used to supply the asphalt to repair it; Council did the work.

On the corner of Crane Street was the football ground. The reserve opposite was Jossilin’s paddock. Jossilin’s house is still there.

On the right there were no houses until you reached Wellbank Street. There were I or 9 houses there. As you turn to the right was the Council’s rubbish dump.

Half of Cabarita Road was Smith’s Brickyard. Smith’s two sons, Harry and Tommy, were noted accordion and concertina players. Smith’s house was the only house between Josty’s house and Mortlake.

On the corner of Cabarita Road was a fine orchard owned by Mr. Brown. There were four more orchards on Cabarita Road called Dadswell’s, Cox’s and McCullam’s orchards, and opposite was Garner’s orchard.

Now back to the asphalt road, towards Mortlake proper. There was a working man’s institute built by Miss Walker of Yaralla. There were two hotels in Mortlake, one at the corner before you get to the gas works – “The Palace” – the other was down by the wharf. It was called “Stewart’s Hotel”. It was a popular spot for boat pullers. They used to stay there while training.

The point that runs out to the river was called Pavilion Point. There was a dance hall and picnic ground on it. The ferries called at the wharf to pick up passengers for Sydney or Parramatta.

There were two orchards opposite the Church of England, Jackson’s and Nash’s, now Walker’s Bush. It was bounded by Majors Bay Road, Correys Avenue and Concord Road. There were about 1,000 acres of it and there were all sorts of birds, a lot of ‘possums and bandicoots and snakes. There was a cottage on the corner of Correys Avenue near the Hygienic Dairy. A family named Shackleton lived in it. Later the police took it over for a horse paddock. Mr. Merrit was the manager. When the golf club bought it the police moved down Concord Road near the hospital.

Back to Hillcrest! In addition to Boulton’s Dairy there was a dairy in Flavelle Street owned by Fred Myers. Next door was an orchard and vineyard owned by Mr. Knight, and next door to that was a Roman Catholic Cemetery.

This is a description of that part of Concord as I remember it seventy years ago.

I would like to take you along Concord Road and describe what it was like 70 years ago. It terminated at Parramatta Road. The corner was just referred to as “the corner of the road”. Where it crosses Parramatta Road towards Strathfield it was called “Murphy’s Paddock”. There was a house on the corner owned by Mr. McDonald.

On the corner of Alexander Street was a cottage owned by Mrs. Love. Alexander Street was called Cole’s Lane. Where Edward Street is was McDonald’s Cow Paddock. From there was bush to Patterson Street. Mr. Money later built a house on the site where the Wesley Church is now.

Paterson Street was known as Paterson’s Lane. On the next corner was a small orchard owned by Dr. Hanson. He lived in a cottage joining the orchard. That old two-storey house that stands next door was owned by Mr. Oatley. Next door was a very nice house named “Alton” owned by Mr. George Bray.

From there to Wellbank Street was thick bush. Wellbank Street was known as Flavelle’s Lane. Behind the shops at North Strathfield is a large house called “Belmont”, owned by Mr. Henry Bray.

Then to Correys Avenue. It was called Ward’s Lane. A family named Ward had a market garden on the corner of Flavelle Street. This is where Walker’s Bush started. The hill a little further down was called Dumer’s Hill. In wet weather the road used to get so bad that the traffic had to use the footpath so the Council put in two posts every 100 yards to keep the traffic in the middle of the road.

When it rained heavily, the water washed the water-table away so they put ti-tree poles in them to stop the wash.

Correys Avenue was the last road leading off Concord Road.

At the bottom of the hill the area was called Kelley’s Hollow. There was a wooden culvert over Kelley’s Creek. As far up as about Myall Street was a white picket fence up past The Drive. This was later replaced by a brick and iron fence. It started about Mepunga Street, up past The Drive to Coonong Road. At The Drive there was the gate-keeper’s cottage called “The Lodge”. The house is still there.

The Drive was Miss Walker’s carriage drive. The Lodge was where the Concord Golf Club started. It was the club house. There was an open paddock behind the Lodge called the Glass-house Paddock.

Opposite the Concord West School was known as “Levy’s Folly”. It was a dense bush and extended right down to the river where the Repatriation Hospital now stands.

There were all sorts of birds and animal life in this bush, including some black pheasants.

The hospital road was a private road leading to the Thomas Walker Hospital. Where the Concord Road turns to the right was known as Tim Brays Paddock. It had a paling fence around it. The road turned up to near Berger’s then down by Tulloch’s, around to Rhodes Station, then followed the railway to the river.

Where Tulloch’s is was owned by Mr. Alfred Bray. The old house is still there. It was named “Braygrove”. All that land from Rhodes Station to the river was owned by Mr. Walker, no connection with Miss Walker of Yaralla. His house was located where the flour mill is now.

Where the road goes to the traffic bridge was a dense bush called Uher’s Bush.

Returning now to the other end of the Concord Road, the left hand side where Rothwells Garage is near Parramatta Road, was vacant. There were three houses between there and Sydney Street. Sydney Street terminated there. Then there were three houses to Carrington Street, three more to Princess Avenue. Where Napier Street is was called Cox’s Paddock, owned by an old couple who lived in an old slab house set back off the road.

Near this was Morgan’s Wood-heap (more about that later). At the bottom of Cox’s Hill was called “Stockyard Hollow”. This was the start of the Walker’s estate. On this side of the road it extended to Warbrick Park on both sides of the railway. It was a cattle paddock for Pitt Son & Badgery.

Those cottages opposite the shops at North Strathfield – the first two were built by Mr. Walker; the others were build by Miss Walker as a home for ladies in reduced circumstances.

Now go along the bullock paddocks. They were known as Keen’s Bush. Where Holy Trinity Church now stands was Lovedale Estate.

The other side of Victoria Avenue was Brunswick Park.

Then there was Londrigan’s Orchard. Now you come to Concord Avenue. It was a private road then. On the left was Joe Morgan’s wood yard and orchard. Joe Morgan was well known, with his loads of firewood, drawn by his roan horse Nuggett; Also the bay mare he used to ride. He collected his wood in Uher’s bush at Rhodes and some of it in Potts Bush, Homebush. This he unloaded in Cox’s Paddock. If the road was in bad order, as so often it was, he would take half a load from home then the other half from Cox’s Paddock and deliver it to his customers.

Where the Concord West Methodist Church is was Jack Morgan’s Paddock and football ground.

The other corner of Wunda Road was a nice orchard owned by Fred Morgan; next to that was a large paddock called Brady’s. It extended to where the road turns to the right. When this paddock was cleared there was a row of trees left where the school is.

R.M.

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