Erskineville History Talk – Erskineville through the generations

Join historian and local resident Dr Craig Wilcox, long-time Erskineville ALP member Sean Macken, author of ‘Weight of Evidence’ Matt Murphy, and Macdonaldtown Bicycle Club blogger Michael Halloran for an exploration of Erskineville through the generations:

Saturday 31 August 2019 – 11am start
Lucy Woodcock Hall – Erskineville Public School
Free community event

Erskineville History Talk 2019.jpg

See you there!

Posted in About | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Five Ways, Erskineville

Sydney’s most famous Five Ways is a junction of streets at the heart of Paddington. It is a much referred-to locale of the Real Estate lyricist, spruiking of properties in terms such as “In the heart of the Five Ways village…”  “just a leisurely stroll from Five Ways…” or (if one were to apply a truly wonderful volumetric measure of distance) “just a breath away from…”

Several suburbs vie for the title of “the next Paddington” amongst the pages of real estate publications, the moniker applied variously to Newtown, Balmain, Surry Hills, Redfern and Marrickville. Further afield, Harris Park is pegged as ‘the Paddington of Parramatta.’

Erskineville has not escaped entirely from the association, with Shaun Stoker of Ray White Surry Hills aligning the suburb with the trajectory of Paddington house prices in the May 2012 Australian Property Investor magazine stating “Erskineville has the potential to edge closer in price to the dizzying heights of Sydney’s pricey Paddington or Surry Hills.”

However, of these suburbs, only Erskineville shares that most valued ‘pocket’ descriptor, the Five Ways…

The Five Ways still exists, but its existence and role in the community has largely been forgotten. So, where is it, and how did it come into being? Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1909, 1910-1919, 1920-1929, 1930-1939, Charles Street, Erskineville Road, George Street, Swanson Street | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Cricket Curiosities (No. 73) – Dying Cow Stops Game

In January 1930 Sydney’s The Sun newspaper and The Newcastle Sun reported the following unusual occurrence of many years prior:

Macdonaldtown Erskineville Dying cow stops cricket game

The Sun (Sydney) Tuesday, 28 January 1930

A long-lost Sydney urban myth? Or the exhausted rantings of a sports journalist over-reaching after coming up with 72 other things to find curious about cricket? Continue reading

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

Victoria-terrace – 26 to 40 Charles Street Erskineville

26-40 Charles Street Erskineville

26 to 40 Charles Street Erskineville – August 2015

This terrace row (26 to 40 Charles Street Erskineville) is comprised of eight, two-storey terraces on the eastern side of Charles Street (known as George Street prior to 1912). The terrace makes its first appearance in the 1885 edition of the Sands Directory: Continue reading

Posted in 1880-1889, 1890-1899, Charles Street, Terraces and Houses | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Educating Erskineville: Erskineville History Walk

Join historian and local resident Dr Craig Wilcox and long-time Erskineville ALP member Sean Macken for an exploration of education in Erskineville:

Saturday 5 May 2018 – 1pm start
Harry Noble Reserve (alongside Elliot Avenue)
Free community event

Erskineville History Walk 2018

Come along for a great afternoon traversing the streets of Erskineville and listen to fascinating stories from Erskineville’s past!

Posted in About | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Debility Cured by Bile Beans After Hospital Treatment Failed to Relieve – Mrs. Ellen Moore – 12 Bray Street Erskineville

Bile Beans for Biliousness


A Disordered Liver, if not attended to, very often brings in its train serious results. The stomach, the digestive organs, and the kidneys become lax in their duties. Pimples and blotches appear, and the complexion generally assumes a nasty sallow tint. All the symptoms of Liver Disorder are too numerous to mention, but the most common are pains in the back, especially after eating, difficulty in breathing, a general feeling of depression and discontent, and loss of appetite. A disordered liver needs to be corrected in a natural and easy manner, and not by taking strong purgatives, mineral salts, or other injurious preparations. The finest natural vegetable remedy known to medical science in this century is Bile Beans for Biliousness. They cure all disorders of the liver quite easily and naturally. They also cure permanently by righting first causes; and for this reason there is absolutely nothing else that is “just as good.”

Evening News (Sydney) Tuesday, 2 August 1904

The following case of Mrs. Ellen Moore, of 12 Bray-street, Erskineville, Sydney, is a fitting illustration of the marvellous efficacy of Bile Beans in curing the most severe forms of liver disorder and the multitude of ailments arising from such. This lady says:—

“Some seven years ago I was troubled with very severe pains in the small of my back, accompanied by constipation, a poor appetite, and a worn-out feeling, making me feel very miserable and entirely unfitted for my household duties, and in time my system became completely debilitated. For some time I was an out-patient at the hospital, but I was told that I could only be patched up, as I had a congested liver. It was then that I decided to give Bile Beans a trial, having heard of their great efficacy for liver disorders. The first few doses made a great improvement in my condition, and, continuing with the course, the pains quickly left me, I regained my lost appetite, and was quickly restored to health and vigor. Asthma has also fallen to my lot, but I find Bile Beans afford me great relief, and have every hope that by continuing with them I will, in time, be rid of this distressing complaint. One of my daughters suffers occasionally from Neuralgia, and I find a dose of Bile Beans speedily brings her relief. I will never be without such a valuable medicine in the house, and will always recommend Bile Beans to fellow sufferers, and will be glad at any time to answer any queries in regard to my statements which might prove of value to others.”

Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1909, Bray Street, Good for what ails you | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mrs. Carroll’s Prize-winning Marrow Honey

Making Good Wives Better - 1943.png

Sydney’s ‘Truth’ newspaper (1890 – 1958) ran a weekly competition for recipes within its ‘Making Good Wives Better’ column, offering ‘substantial cash prizes for the best recipes submitted each week.’ Mrs. G. Carroll of 25 Prospect Street, Erskineville submitted a recipe for ‘Marrow Honey’ – ‘a delicious spread for bread and butter‘ that was published in January 1943. Mrs. Carroll missed out on the generous £3 first prize but came away with second prize and £1:

Marrow Honey Recipe.png

Truth (Sydney) Sunday 31 January 1943

Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1949, Prospect Street, Recipes, Truth Newspaper | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Arnott’s Living Pictures – Alma May Taylor – Corner George and Cambrian Streets Erskineville


Alma May Taylor, aged six months, daughter of Mrs. G. Taylor, The Elite Academy, corner George and Cambrian Streets, Erskineville, near Sydney, N.S.W. fed since the age of two weeks on Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits – The Children’s Food.

Arnott's Living Pictures Alma May Taylor of Erskineville 1906.png

The North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times (Tasmania) Tuesday, 8 May 1906

Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1909, Arnott's, George Street, Victoria Street | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

A Tour of Macdonaldtown (Erskineville) in 1882

Macdonaldtown Parish of Petersham

In 1882 a series of articles appeared in Sydney’s Evening News describing several municipalities and boroughs on the outskirts of the city of Sydney. Over many weeks between July and September 1882 the boroughs and municipalities of Paddington, Waverly, Randwick, Redfern, Darlington, Waterloo, Alexandria, Macdonaldtown (Erskineville), Newtown, St. Peters, The Glebe, Camperdown, and Balmain are described in detail. Introducing the first of the localities surveyed the unknown author established their premise:

If we go outside the city proper — to which we shall advert by-and-bye — and view the environs, old and new… what do we find in the way of roads and streets, house drainage and sewage, land drainage, house building? The sub-division of portions of land, and other matters peculiar to the surrounding of that solitude so much desired by the many who do not believe, with Bryant, in dwelling,

∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ amidst the crowd,
Through the great city rolled,
With everlasting murmur deep and loud —
Choking the ways that wind,
Mongst the proud piles, and the work of human mind.

But rather, when tired of the world’s incessant noise, seek the rural bower where in reflection they would sit enjoying a calm retreat, and casting their eyes around are softened by the charmer  — nature’s silent voice.

Evening News (Sydney) Wednesday, 5 July 1882
Poem: Hymn of the City William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

Continue reading

Posted in 1880-1889, Erskineville Road, Macdonald Street, Munni Street, Railway Parade, Union Street | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Macdonaldtown Toll-bar

The Macdonaldtown Toll Bar

THE Municipal Council of Macdonaldtown are about to put into force the 179th section of the Municipalities Act of 1867, which regulates the collection of tolls, by the erection of a toll-bar on the Erskineville-road, and the collection of tolls thereat. This is a means of raising revenue not generally resorted to by the municipalities. The bylaw containing the schedule of tolls to be levied having been confirmed by his Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, is published in a supplement to the Government Gazette issued yesterday.

The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday, 18 October 1881

Continue reading

Posted in 1880-1889, 1890-1899, Erskineville Road, Railway Parade, Swanson Street | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment