Arnott’s Living Pictures – Edna May McEnerney -“Adaville” – Victoria Street Erskineville

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Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate Friday, 2 June 1916

The lovely daughter of Mrs. McEnerney made her appearance as ‘An Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits Girl’ in 1916. Advertisements featuring young Edna May McEnerney appeared in newspapers around Australia from about May 1916 to May 1917 (and once more in October 1917). More than a dozen appearances have been identified. Continue reading

Posted in 1910-1919, Advertising, Arnott's, Victoria Street | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mrs. Lane’s Prize-winning Passionfruit Delight

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In 1946 Mrs. A. Lane, of 33 Rochford Street Erskineville submitted her recipe for Passionfruit Delight to a weekly competition held by the Truth newspaper within its ‘Making Good Wives Better’ section. For her efforts, Mrs. Lane came third, missing out on the £3 first prize to a recipe for Liver and Onion Pudding; and missing out on the £1 second prize to a recipe for Plum Charlotte; coming away with the admiration of the Truth readership and 10 shillings:

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Truth (Sydney) Sunday, 24 February 1946

As I have previously shown, despite not being much of a cook (nor a housewife) I hope Mrs. Lane and the Truth readership do not mind if I don the apron on this occasion and make an attempt at Mrs. Lane’s recipe.

Passionfruit Delight

Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1949, Recipes, Rochford Street, Truth Newspaper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Larrikin Disturbance at Erskineville – the Macdonaldtown Push

 ‘A rowdy gang meet their match’

Erskineville, May 1898:

The lower part of Erskineville, formerly known as Macdonaldtown, has long been troubled by a gang of larrikins known as the “Macdonaldtown Push,” says the Sydney Daily Telegraph of the 17th instant. The character of the suburban “pushes” varies a good deal, but this particular division of larrikins is described by the police as one of the worst of all.

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld) Wednesday, 25 May 1898


Reports published on Monday 16 May 1898 and in the days and weeks that followed told the story of an ‘affray with larrikins’ on the streets of Erskineville, near the railway bridge at Macdonald Street. The disturbance is reported to have occurred at half-past 11 on the evening of Saturday 14 May 1898. Constable Daniel McKelvey, newly transferred from Redfern to Newtown confronted the miscreants, and ordered them to move on. Continue reading

Posted in 1890-1899, Macdonald Street | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eden Terrace – 10 to 14 Charles Street Erskineville

Eden Terrace (10 to 14 Charles Street Erskineville) is located on the eastern side of Charles Street (known as George Street prior to 1912), between the railway line and Albert Street. Originally a row of seven two-storey terraces, three remain today. Continue reading

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

Chasing the Fox: Sly grog in 1930s Erskineville and Alexandria


On Saturday 8 October 2016 City of Sydney Historian, Dr Lisa Murray will present ‘Chasing the Fox: Sly grog in 1930s Erskineville and Alexandria’ at 2.00pm, following the City of Sydney Historical Association (COSHA) Annual General Meeting at 1.30pm at the Lord Mayor’s Reception Room, Sydney Town Hall.

From the City of Sydney Historical Association website:

The razor gangs of Surry Hills and their female figureheads – Kate Leigh and Tilley Devine – have gained notoriety in 21st century popular culture as the epitome of Sydney’s organised crime. But local crims in Erskineville and Alexandria were equally notorious and violent. City Historian Lisa Murray will share some of her latest research on gambling, sly-grog and crime in the suburbs of Erskineville and Alexandria, drawing upon the City’s oral history collection.

City of Sydney Historical Association members free, visitors $5.

More information available from the Royal Australian Historical Society here, or follow the event’s facebook page.

Posted in 1930-1939 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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:

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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

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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.


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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!

Posted in 1910-1919, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

The seventh day of September features on 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:

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Evening News (Sydney) Wednesday, 20 November 1907

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

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

Erskineville: Our Neighbourhood – Saturday 3 September 2016

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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. Continue reading

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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 , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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:

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

Continue reading

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