Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Scots Kirk - Dr Fullerton's Church

Opposite the manse discussed in yesterday's post, is this church, specifically a Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Pitt Street, and Hay Street, in the Haymarket. The third such Presbyterian church established in Sydney Town, by Dr John Dunmore Lang, fire-breathing dragon that he was!

Nowadays, there is absolutely no evidence that a church ever existed on this site. It would have been about where that newspaper kiosk is today, where the exiting tram comes down from the upper concourse of Central Railway station. I cannot pin down an exact date for the demolition of the church, but it was between 1899 and December 1902. The State government of the day resumed everything that stood in the way of the new station, including:
the Benevolent Asylum
the old steam tram depot
a police barracks
the Convent of the Good Shepherd (built on the site of Carters' Barracks)
small domestic terraces
small retail terraces
the Scots Kirk, and
the Devonshire Street Cemetery (aka the Sandhills).

The article from the "Illustrated News" in June 1870 gives a hint that all was not well, and perhaps the manse was being leased, or even sold. By then, Dr Fullerton's family had doubled in number, and he had moved to premises in Elizabeth Street, not all that far away. The old Kerry photographic image on the right (1872) is leading us from George Street, east along Hay Street. I have added text to show both the manse and Fullerton's church.

My three shots taken at the end of June, show the disrespect that ignorance engenders. The people scurrying across Pitt St at the lights, and then up the tram exit to the railway, are just going about their business, oblivious to the history beneath their feet. Once, they get up to the rail platform, they will have no idea that the platforms lie atop an old cemetery (1819-1902).

Two more images to give colour to an unglamourous part of my city. An old 1906 shot, looking south along Pitt Street from its intersection with Campbell Street. The railway station was operational, albeit minus its clock-tower, the resumptions, and demolitions, dun'n'dusted. And on the right, my shot looking in the opposite direction, north along Pitt Street from the bend just before Eddy Avenue.

My next post will trace the life and times of Dr James Fullerton. Did he run a "marriage shop", or has he been verballed all these years?

Sunday, 5 July 2015

From Manse to ร้านรังผึ้ง

This building is situated at 461 Pitt Street South, in the suburb of Haymarket. it is on the corner of Pitt and Hat Streets. It was built in 1846, with the minister, Dr James Fullerton, and his young family moving in during 1847.

In May 1986, it had come to this. Just one derelict building in a row of derelict buildings, on the verge of demolition to make way for an office block above a cental shopping mall. The old manse is on the extreme right, with the red awning.

The significance of the site was recognised, and a determination made to preserve at least something. The Wesleyan Chapel and manse were too far gone. The Anthony Hordern building (which I showed the other day) had already burnt to the ground in a spectacular blaze, and the AGL Gas Holders had been dismantled. The entire block was subject to an archaeological review.

By the late 1980s, the manse and the old fire station had been saved, but the other shops in the row - not built until the 1890s where the stables and outbuildings had been - had been demolished to make way for Sydney Central.

The restoration work was superb, considering the state of the building in 1986. Now it is home to a Thai grocery store with the name ร้านรังผึ้ง which I think has something to do with "honeycomb".

But come with me around to the back of the old building, bend down and look through the back door, and clean out thr front door. See all the citizens scurrying across Pitt St at the lights? What was directly across there in 1846 ... tomorrow.

Saturday, 4 July 2015


I first encountered the word "floss" in combination with the word "river" in 1966, whilst studying English I at The University of Newcastle. "The Mill on the Floss" was written by George Eliot,and was set on her imaginary River Floss, somewhere deep in the dialectic-English countryside.

I next encountered floss as that sliver of nylon that is so difficult to get between my teeth, that when I do manage so to do, I split my gums in a most distressing manner.

And, all along it was just another word for tapestry thread.

Alannah and I have a hoop, some burlap, assorted floss (is this word singular AND plural?), and some lovely pastel buttons. We are going to teach ourselves embroidery. Hopefully, little blood will be drawn. I have invested $2.30 in plastic needles from Shanghai.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Then & Now - Central Railway Station (aka Sydney Station)

Central Station was under construction by April 1903 when this image was taken from the Anthony Hordern Warehouse in Parker Street. The labels start in the centre top f the image and go clockwise by alphabet:
A Price Alfred Park Exhibition Building
B The 1875 old Central Station (aka Redfern Station) fronting Devonshire Street
C Pitt Street heading south to Railway Square
D Eddy Avenue running across the Belmore Park frontage of the new station
E Elizabeth Street

A similarly aligned view last week. The cars are coming out of Eddy Avenue and turning south into Pitt Street.

Below Left: A view of the building in December 1906 when the first train departed for the countryside. Remember, at this time we are only talking about the country platforms of Central. The lines going into the CBD were only constructed in the mid-1920s.

Below Right: Taken during 1920, as the clock tower is not complete.

Standing up on the tram concourse and looking north up Pitt Street to the CBD.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Theme Day - Up-side-down - Tall ship, Enterprize (7)

Although an experienced scuba-diver, and an afficionado of marine archaeology, my friend, Diane, was hesitant about taking the one hour jaunt on "The Enterprize" on Port Phillip Bay, out of Portarlington. The weather was brewing, and this close to the heads, the waters have a treacherous reputation.

The decision made, we boarded and headed for the dead-centre of the deck to mitigate the bluster and swell as nuch as possible.I walk with a stick, and wobble precariously at times, so did not move around for the duration. I did, however, move from the vertical to the horizontal, ie, I lay down on the cabin roof, which afforded some remarkable views of the rigging.

This is my contribution to the City Daily Photo Monthly Theme Day. For further contributions to the July Theme of "Upside-Down" please visit the CDP Gallery.