1916 Erskineville Date Pudding and Snowballs – Economical, tasty and wholesome

The Sydney newspaper The Sun (1910-1954) encouraged the housewives of Sydney to submit their recipes for consideration by ‘Dinah’ (an experienced and economical cook) and inclusion in the Sunday edition’s Women’s Page recipes. On this day 100 years ago, an Erskineville resident known only as ‘I.S.’ had two of their recipies chosen for publication. Following five recipes submitted by a Neutral Bay resident for rabbit (Rabbit Loaf, Baked Rabbit, Rabbit Pie, Broiled Rabbit, and Rabbit Pudding), I.S. of Erskineville’s Date Pudding and Snowballs recipes provided a welcome departure. Here is an extract of the article:

Tried recipes - Date Pudding and Snowballs.png

The Sun Sunday, 24 September 1916

Not being much of a cook (nor a housewife for that matter) I have nonetheless given these recipes a crack. Whilst on first review these are pretty simple recipes, there are some details missing that make these a little less than straight forward.

For each recipe in what order should the ingredients be combined? Just bung everything together? When it comes to the snowballs, how much flour? Bake for how long? What temperature?

Date Pudding

Erskineville Date Pudding.png

When it came to the date pudding there were modern recipes for sticky date pudding and Christmas pudding from which additional details could be gleaned. Here’s the approach taken:

230 grams of dates, roughly chopped
1 cup of self-raising flour
1/2 a cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of beef dripping
1/2 a cup of boiling water
1/2 a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1. Grease a pudding basin with butter and line with baking paper.
2. Place dates and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
3. Combine self-raising flour and sugar in a separate bowl. Add date mixture and softened dripping.
4. Using a wooden spoon, fold through date mixture and flour until well combined.
5. Spoon mixture into the prepared pudding basin.
6. Place pudding basin into a large saucepan. Pour in enough boiling water to combine halfway up the side of the pan. Place over medium heat and bring to the boil. Cook, covered, topping up with extra boiling water if necessary, for 2 hours.
7. Remove pudding basin from saucepan, and set aside for 10 minutes before turning onto a serving plate.

A trap for the novice: Tempting as it may be to lick the spoon after mixing, it will taste mainly of beef fat. Not good.


Erskineville Snowballs.png

As far as I can tell these are basically pancakes cooked in a muffin pan, as shown by this modern recipe for ‘Perfect Pancake Muffins.’ The 1916 recipe does not provide any advice as to the amount of flour, or cooking time or duration. Here’s the approach taken:

4 egg whites
1/2 a cup of sugar
1 cup of milk
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 cups of flour

1. Preheat oven to 200º Celsius. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray with butter or olive oil spray. Set aside.
2. In a bowl beat egg whites using an egg-beater. Slowly add sugar, then milk while beating to combine well.
3. In a bowl sift together flour and baking powder.
4. Add flour to egg-white mixture. Continue mixing with an egg-beater to create a smooth and lump-free batter.
5. Divide the batter between the muffing tray cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Have you tried these recipes? Got any tips? Let me know!

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Sausages and Brawn – An Erskineville Factory – Shocking State of Affairs

The seventh day of September features on daysoftheyear.com as Salami Day, encouraging everyone to explore the world of salami by trying new and adventurous types of salami, and enjoying salami with friends at salami-themed parties. So with this in mind and in the spirit of adventure here follows the story of Erskineville’s very own manufacturer of butchers’ smallgoods, Mr. E. J. Dalton and the unwholesome conditions of his premises:

Sausages and Brawn.png

Evening News (Sydney) Wednesday, 20 November 1907

Well, at least we know the horse wasn’t going hungry…

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald the following day covered much of the same details, (pointing out that the floor was swarming with maggots, not insects). The same day the Adelaide Evening Journal reported much the same. A report appearing on 22 November 1907 (here) made it as far afield as The Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle, but given little importance, following articles about the peculiarities of Japan and a declaration that South Australian Emus could no longer be exterminated.

On 23 November 1907 the public relations machine had swung into action, with an association of leading manufacturers of smallgoods ‘emphatically disassociating‘ themselves from the reports.

Tantalisingly, the Wagga Wagga Worker, a little late to the party on 28 November 1907 made a connection between Mr. Dalton and Black Brothers as the offending firm, however having been caught napping confused reports of the Erskineville premises with a butcher located in Kalgoorlie.

Mr. Edward J. Dalton can be identified from the 1903 to 1908 editions of the Sands Directories as residing at 119 Railway Parade (known as Erskineville Road until 1903). The row of houses has sine been demolished and the site is now the location of the Sydney Unit of the State Emergency Services (SES) (Google Maps link). Here is the premises as it appeared in a map published in 1894:

119 Railway.png

Sheet 3 – City of Sydney Section Erskineville 1894

In the 1907 Annual Report compiled by medical officer of health Dr. W. G. Armstrong reporting on the sanitation of Sydney the Erskineville butchers’ smallgoods premises receives a special mention. An extract of an article follows, and reveals the cause of Mr. Dalton’s undoing:


Evening News Friday, 25 September 1908

It would appear also from this article that Mr. Dalton, having taken fright at the proceedings and having disappeared from the district had not been tracked down by the Police since!

Posted in 1900-1909, Industry, Railway Parade, Random Erskineville | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Erskineville: Our Neighbourhood – Saturday 3 September 2016

Erskineville - Our Neighbourhood - Header.png

A celebration of Erskineville to kick off History Week on Saturday 3 September 2016 from 10:00am. There will be kids activities, history tours and talks, film screenings, great food, a display of Erskineville history and much more.

Hosted by the History of Erskineville Public School group, come along for a fascinating trip through time including the early days of convict labour, doing it tough in the depression, local Indigenous history and even how the natural landscape has shaped Erskineville’s past and present.

Discover local heroes, including pioneering activist Lucy Woodcock (Girls Headmistress 1933-1955), an early spokesperson for womens’ rights.

Eveleigh Blacksmiths will be on site all day and will hold live demonstrations at 11:30am and 1:30pm.

History walking tour at 12:30pm, repeated at 2:00pm.

Bush Tucker walking tour at 1:00pm, repeated at 2:30pm.

Speakers start from 11:00am and include:
Dr Heather Goodall – Erskineville hero Lucy Woodcock
Aunty Norma Ingram – Indigenous Erskinevillians
Matt Murphy – author of Weight of Evidence – colonial history of Erskineville
Dr Paul Munro – environmental history of Erskineville
Dr Sandie Wong & Dr Frances Press – history of the Lady Gowrie Child Centre in Erskineville

Films start from 1:00pm and include:
‘Saving of Erskineville School’
‘Erskineville Stories’
‘Binning Street’

All who love Erskineville are invited! For more details and to keep up with updates check out the Erskineville: Our Neighbourhood event page.

Erskineville - Our Neighbourhood - Program.png

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Doan’s Backache and Kidney Pills – Mr. John Loaney – A permanent cure after three years’ suffering

Doan’s Pills cure aching back, rheumatic pains, gravel, swelling of the limbs,
impure blood, dizzy spells, sleeplessness, irregular heart, and counteract
the harmful effects of beer, spirits and tea

Doan’s Backache and Kidney Pills brought peace and health to Mr. John Loaney of Swanson Street Erskineville, who attributed a remarkable return from death’s door to the wonders of Doan’s Pills – a special medicine for the kidneys and bladder. Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1909, 1910-1919, Advertising, Good for what ails you, Swanson Street | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arnott’s Living Pictures – Milton King – 19 Malcolm Street Erskineville

Milton King, (Son of Mrs. F. V. King) aged seven months of 19 Malcolm Street Erskineville first appeared in an advertisement for Arnott’s in about October 1900 and appeared regularly in newspapers across the country for the duration of 1901 and into 1902. The advertisements were reprised briefly in late 1904. In all, young Milton made well over 40 appearances. Here is an early version from December 1900:

Milton King 1900.png

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate Friday, 14 December 1900

Early advertisements featured the testimonial of Mrs. F. V. King, but these did not appear for long, or seemed to have been replaced with the testimonial of George Harrison of Montefiores Street, Wellington NSW, with the additional claim that his child had been brought up on nothing else but Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits!

Geo Harrison.png

Queanbeyan Age Saturday, 2 March 1901

Around the same time, courtesy of the Temora Star came the additional indignity of the imposter baby:

Temora Star.png

Temora Star (NSW) Wednesday, 27 February 1901

Avoid imitations! The picture is actually of Rita Dulcie London (daughter of Mrs. London), aged three months and three weeks, of Marsden and Crimea Streets South Parramatta.

A check of the Sands Directories shows Thomas King – baker, residing at 19 Malcolm street from 1898 to 1906. A check of the NSW registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages shows Milton King was born to Thomas V. and Elizabeth King in the District of Newtown in 1900.

19 Malcolm Street Erskineville.png

19 Malcolm Street Erskineville

This extract of a map published in 1894 shows the location of number 19 Malcolm Street has remained unchanged:

Malcolm Street 1894.png

1984 – City of Sydney Section Erskineville – Sheets 5 & 7

The Arnott’s celebrates 150 years website describes the ‘Living Pictures’ advertising campaign as running from 1892 until the 1950s and involving tens of thousands of proud mums sending in testimonials with portraits and photographs of their well–fed babies. The lucky few would have portraits of their children featured in print.

Posted in 1900-1909, Arnott's, Malcolm Street | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Macdonaldtown Station Picasso

Macdonaldtown station commuters.png

Tragedy and the suffering inflicted upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians
(and Picasso’s Guernica)
(article: News Local Friday, 4 December 2015).

Poor Macdonaldtown Station. It really has copped some flak over the years.

On the opening day of the Macdonald Town platform on 28 March 1878 the Sydney Morning Herald lamented the potential inconvenience of the new station arising from the loss of time inflicted on others for the convenience of the residents of Redfern, Waterloo and Macdonald Town:

New Railway Platform - Macdonaldtown.png

Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, 28 March 1878
(The advertisement referred to detailing the 17 services a day is available here).

Within a month, further complaint had been raised in the letters section in relation to the useless and miserably small platform:

McDonald Town Platform 1878.png

Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday, 17 April 1878

By 1885 it was described as a ‘shanty’ and ‘not fit for dogs:’

Macdonaldtown Station Not Fit For Dogs

Evening News Wednesday, 15 April 1885

With the Railway Duplication and Quadruplication works of 1891-2 the platform was relocated from its original location (depicted in this map of 1886)  to its present location on Burren Street:

Macdonaldtown Station.png

Macdonaldtown Railway Station – State Library of NSW d1_09202
(prior to the sextupling of the main suburban line in 1925)

Sadly the relocation did nothing to improve Macdonaldtown Station’s lot.

On 19 February 1947 police officers used Macdonaldtown Station to set a trap to recapture two escapees from the Redfern Police Station, with an unnamed ‘high police officer’ quoted as saying “Macdonaldtown is the loneliest railway station near the city:”

Escapees Recaptured in Police Trap.png

Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, 20 February 1947

And more recently? Well, little has changed, with Macdonaldtown Station continuing to be on the receiving end of derogatory comments:

I'm getting off at Macdonaldtown Station.png

Facebook: Marrickville 2204 v Republic of Newtown

Fear not! For thirty years ago something wonderful happened to the platform at Macdonaldtown Station. In the words of the artist/vandal (depending on your position)  the ‘large grey scar on the landscape in  the middle of an even larger scar, an immense industrial wasteland’ had been ‘enhanced.’

On Sunday 13 July 1986 travellers arrived for their morning journeys to find the platform of Macdonaldtown Station had been painted pink. Whilst the perpetrator initially escaped the clutches of railway police, he later handed himself in for questioning by railway detectives. Two months later on 18 September 1986 the station Picasso appeared on a charge of ‘maliciously injuring railway property’ at Macdonaldtown station:

Victory for John, station Picasso 1986.png

Sydney Morning Herald Friday, 19 September 1986

Consider the planning involved! Pre-painted chairs, a table, a pot plant and an accomplice! And the outcome – the prosecuting Sergeant questioning the size of the compensation claim, and the magistrate acknowledging that the paint job ‘may have created something which was more aesthetically pleasant that what it replaced.’

Discharged! Without a conviction!

Rumours have circulated ever since as to the perpetrators, timing and even the colour of the repainting of the station:

SOMEONE has doctored police signs near Sydney University and Homebush, so that instead of SEATBELTS, or SPEED, they read, in Dayglo:
POLICE are targeting
AN anonymous fax we’ve received claims this is the work of a group calling itself The New Extremists. They accept responsibility for painting Macdonaldtown station purple three years ago “to pacify the alarmingly aggressive and ill-tempered Sydney public using pastel shades”. Now, the fax says, “Sydney faces a far greater threat … wigs and hairpieces are one of the vilest means by which the temple of humanity can be desecrated and we firmly believe they should be outlawed. People must learn to accept and cherish their own identity, instead of attempting to conform to the expectations of magazine editors and television producers.”

Sydney Morning Herald 9 August 1996

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Rob and Skindog, 26 November 2003

Macdonaldtown Station comments

Comments section – Stay in Touch blog Sydney Morning Herald 13 March 2007

Macdonaldtown why does that station exist

Twitter – 14 March 2013

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Memoirs of a Go-Go Dancer (2014), by Justin Sheedy

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Oxford Street Rainbow crossing lamentations – 2013; 2015.
(My Darling Darlinghurst Blog)

Brilliant and hilarious indeed.

In the words of the Macdonaldtown Picasso, ‘I think the SRA should paint Macdonaldtown Station pink again.’  Please, Sydney Trains?

Pink and Grey

Posted in 1870-1879, 1880-1889, 1890-1899, 1940-1949, Burren Street, Charles Street, Random Erskineville | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weymouth Terrace – 60, 62, 66 and 68 Albert Street Erskineville

Weymouth Terrace Erskineville 2016

Weymouth Terrace
North side of Albert Street – Number 60 on left

Weymouth Terrace (60, 62, 66 and 68 Albert Street Erskineville) is a row of four, two-storey terraces on the northern side of Albert Street. Working backwards from the 1884 edition of the Sands Directory, which places Weymouth Terrace between the residences of Charles Ingram and Isabella Orrock (1880: Isabella ‘Harricks’), the first appearance of Weymouth Terrace might be in the 1880 edition:

Weymouth Terrace 1880 1882 1883 1884.png

Weymouth Terrace, Albert Street Macdonaldtown 1880; 1882; 1883; & 1884
(there was no 1881 edition of the Sands Directory)

Whether the fruiterer John James was a resident of Weymouth Terrace in 1880 and 1882 cannot be known for certain from the Sands Directories alone. However, this early reference from the Sydney Morning Herald provides some certainty that Weymouth Terrace was completed prior to April 1880:

Weymouth Terrace Macdonaldtown 1880

Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, 8 April 1880

Weymouth Terrace continued to be referred to in the 1885; 1886; and 1887 editions of the Sands Directory. The name was not included in subsequent directories, and street numbering appeared from 1891 onwards in Macdonaldtown in place of the names of houses.

Weymouth Terrace Macdonaldtown 1885 1886 1887

Weymouth Terrace, Albert Street Macdonaldtown 1885; 1886; 1887

This extract of the Sands Directory from 1891 published with street numbering for Macdonaldtown for the first time; and a map published in 1894 shows Weymouth Terrace as it is numbered today: 60, 62, 66 and 68:

Macdonaldtown Sands Directory extract 1891

Albert Street – North Side 1891

1894 City of Sydney section Erskineville Sheet 10.png

1894 – City of Sydney section Erskineville – Sheet 10

The Weymouth Terrace name appears to have continued on for some time. The terrace was offered for sale in 1923 following the death in August 1922 of its owner (Mrs. Hannah Todd of Hurlstone Park ). The sales notice also connects the original terrace name to the modern day street numbering :

Weymouth Terrace Erskineville 1923.png

Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday, 11 April 1923
(also appearing Saturday 14 April 1923)

Weymouth Terrace Erskineville.png

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