Timeless Wollongong: Noting the history of dollars and cents

Wollongong has a fascinating history and each week the Advertiser brings you a story from Its rich past.

In 1965, then Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, the most famous of all monarchists, chose to have the name of our currency changed to the “Royal”. Other names thrown into the hat ring were austral, the oz, the boomer, the roo, the kanga, the emu, the digger and even the slang variation of the pound – the “quid”.
Another shot at the Prime Minister was the “Ming”, Sir Robert’s nickname. The chosen name of the “royal” became very unpopular; common sense prevailed and the name of the new currency settled on was the dollar.
Gordon Andrews, born in 1914 in Sydney, was chosen to design the new currency notes. Andrews was the first Australian to become a Fellow of the UK Society of Industrial Artists and Designers in 1955. He had been awarded a membership of the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry.

Above and below: Old currency: The 10 shillings note was replaced by the $1 note in Australia in 1966 while the £1 note was replaced by the Australian $2 note.

In his lifetime he designed, among many other items, furniture and cookware. During World War fi he worked in design at the DeHavilland company. During post war years he worked closely with many Government agencies.Who can forget the catchy jingle sung to the tune of Click Go the Shears:

“In come the dollars, in come the cents,
To replace the pounds and the shillings and the pence.
Be prepared for the changes when the coins begin to mix,
On the 14th February, 1966.”

This tune was constantly played on radio and television preparing Australians for the changeover from imperial currency to decimal currency. Gordon Andrews’ new brightly coloured decimal notes were not only printed on paper, they became the envy of many countries.
The notes only came in denominations of $1, $, $10 and $20. The Government held back the release of any new note until 1967 to prevent confusion as there was ‘no note to replace that value in the old currency.
The $5 note was released in 1967 and it was also an Andrews design. Other notes issued were the $50 note in 1973 and $100 note in 1984. It was in 1973 with the release of the $50 that the wording on top of tile note changed from ‘Commonwealth of Australia’ to ‘Australia’.

The inclusion of a metallic thread in the notes took place from 1974 on to make forging more difficult. The $10 note was the most popular to forge and it seems ironic that this note has the image of convicted forger Francis Greenway who also designed many of the early colonial buildings. The lower paper denominational notes had a short lifespan due to wear. The Government decided in 1984 to replace the $1 note with the $1 coin. This was followed in 1988 by the $2 note which was replaced by the $2 coin.
In 1988, a $10 note of polymer material was manufactured to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet.Between 1993 and 1996 all paper notes were replaced with polymer ones. When the paper notes were in circulation Australians only looked at the value of the currency, very seldom at the fine artwork of the artist Gordon Andrews.

Timeless Wollongong is published weekly by the Wollongong Advertiser and is written by Carol Herben , Historian, president of the Illawarra Historical Society, and manager of the Illawarra Museum.
Information: Visit the Illawarra Museum’s website

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

or Facebook page

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

Timeless Wollongong: Uncorking the bottle’s precious past

Wollongong has a fascinating history and each week the Advertiser brings you a story from Its rich past.

For centuries, people have enjoyed the contents of bottles.
Today, plastic bottles can be found littering streets, parks, waterways and many end up in the ocean. Not so long ago bottles were refundable and children enjoyed cashing them in at the corner store for pocket money to buy Jollies or ice blocks. Bottle-os walked the streets pushing carts collecting household bottles. Pharmacists dispensed medicines in brightly coloured bottles usually with raised lettering on the sides stating “poison” and the pharmacist’s name.
Then there were those with trademarked names stamped on the side of earthenware bottles from ginger beer, fine cordial or spirit producers. Three or more factories in Sydney manufactured bottles, in various sizes, shapes, with names and trademarks.

Old tipple: J. Parkinson earthenware ginger beer bottle circa 1910-1920.

The Illawarra Historical Society has collected bottles from early cordial manufacturers and dispensers in Illawarra such as Thomas Ball of Bulli who purchased the cordial factory of J. Pallier.
Mr Ball trademarked his cordial bottles with a side view of a bull’s head. He brewed ginger beer and initially sold them in earthenware “dump” bottles from around 1890. The glass “codd” bottle, with a marble in the neck, came into use around 1900.

T. Ball advertised in 1897 for a young lad as a bottle-washer for a wage of 12 shillings per week including board and lodgings. Around 1915, T. Ball handed over the business to his son Sydney Ball and from then on the bottles carried the same trademark bulls head but with the name of S. M. Ball.
In the early 1880s James Parkinson opened his cordial factory on the northern side of Bode’s Hotel (North Wollongong Hotel) before moving into Wollongong around 1898.
He sold ginger beer in a champagne style earthenware bottle. Parkinson’s trademark was the initials J. P. within a circle. The company produced cordials and sold them in bottles with a marble stopper in the neck.

Wheeldon & Marks champagne shape (right) with Crown Seal 1925-1930.

Another bottle in the collection is a Wheeldon and Marks cordial bottle. Edwin Richard Wheeldon was a late starter in Wollongong around the time of World War I. The firm operated from Keira Street, North Wollongong. The trade• mark was the initials W & M surrounded by a diamond shape. When E.R. Wheeldon died in 1932, he was still referred to as a cordial manufacturer of Keira Street. The bottles used by W & M were capped with the steel tops , with a cork lining and opened with a can opener.

Mario Borgo earthenware flagon with name on rim. Used from 1930.

Later, Italian immigrants established themselves in Wollongong and sold their wines in trademarked flagons. On the southern side of Crown Street, Wollongong, Lorenzo Filippi established his wine cellar selling wines in earthenware flagons. In the 1930s the business was sold to Mario Borgo who sold wine in the same style earthenware flagons before changing over to glass ones.
In 1903 the Crown Corporation introduced a new corking system.
Many bottlers attended a demonstration and were impressed with the simple method. A small metal cap, lined with a thin layer of cork, was positioned over the mouth of the bottle and when pressed either by a hand lever or machine pressure the cork would firmly seal the bottle. To open the bottle, one needed a metal-shaped hook known as a bottle opener. This system is still used today but over the past decade this style of lid has been phased out and replaced by a screw cap.

Timeless Wollongong is published weekly by the Wollongong Advertiser and is written by Carol Herben , Historian, president of the Illawarra Historical Society, and manager of the Illawarra Museum.
Information: Visit the Illawarra Museum’s website

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

or Facebook page

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

Timeless Wollongong: Flinders Street hospital dedicated to Prince

Wollongong has a fascinating history and each week the Advertiser brings you a story from Its rich past.

Prince Albert, Consort to Queen Victoria, died on December 14, 1861 , at Windsor Castle.
The cause of death was recorded as typhoid fever and congestion of the lungs. Movements around Australia discussed erecting statues in Prince Albert’s memory. Thomas Hale of Bulli Colliery advertised that a meeting was to be held at the Court House on Tuesday, April l 5, 1862. The Hale meeting seems to have fallen through and the Mayor of Wollongong called a meeting at the Queens Hotel, Market Street, on April 23 to consider the erection of a statue in Wollongong.
Dr George Prowd Lambert moved: “That it is the opinion of this meeting the best way of perpetuating the memory of the late Prince Consort would be the establishment of a hospital in Wollongong and naming it ‘The Albert Memorial Hospital.'”

Thanks: The wooden mallet is inscribed: Presented to Miss Jenkins of Berkeley on the occasion of her laying the foundation stone of The Albert Memorial Hospital on the 25th June 1863.

A committee was formed and almost immediately, the search for a site commenced. Charles Throsby Smith offered to donate half an acre of land on Fairy Meadow Road (Princes Highway) which was accepted. Negotiations for the land went nowhere with C. T. Smith. The financial records of the hospital showed that the purchase of land was £165. The committee approved the plans of Wollongong architect Mr J. Backhouse on November 14, 1862.
The site of the hospital is in present-day Flinders Street, where the Collegians Club carpark is now located. The Illawarra Express of November 19, 1862, gives the following description:
“The building is of brick, on a stone foundation . There are two wing facades decorated with cement cornices. The plan embraces a centre building and two wings, which as wards will suffice for the accommodation of about twenty patients. The front is to be erected first, and when the central building is completed, then the wings are to be added. Tenders will shortly be called for the erection of the first part. The portion of the building to be first erected will consist of waiting room, corridor, two six-bedded wards, store, pantry and linen closet, parlour, bed-room and kitchen . The future additions will consist of two extensive wards, external kitchen, deadhouse (morgue), etc. The area of the complete building will be 66 feet by 55 feet with total height of 22 feet. The style will be the modem Italian “.

Gone: The former Albert Memorial Hospital in Wollongong on Flinders Street. The building was demolished in the 1960s.

Miss Jenkins of Berkeley laid the foundation stone on June 25, 1863. She received a wooden mallet with an engraved silver disc inscribed• “Presented to Miss Jenkins of Berkeley on the occasion of her laying the foundation stone of The Albert Memorial Hospital on the 25th June 1863″. The gift cost £3.
Advertisements appeared for the position of matron and warder. From the five applications received, Mr and Mrs Weller were accepted. The salary per annum for the couple was then £40.
The hospital was officially opened on September 2?, 1864, without any formalities or fanfare. Just a month later on October 24, 1864, the first patient was admitted.
The hospital closed in 1908 and was demolished in the 1960s.

Timeless Wollongong is published weekly by the Wollongong Advertiser and is written by Carol Herben , Historian, president of the Illawarra Historical Society, and manager of the Illawarra Museum.

Information: Visit the Illawarra Museum’s website

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

or Facebook page

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

Timeless Wollongong: Kembla Grange marks 100 years of racing

Wollongong has a fascinating history and each week the Advertiser brings you a story from Its rich past.

This year marks a century since Kembla Grange Racecourse was opened.
This week we look at some highlights of the first 28 years. Kembla Grange Racecourse Limited was set up in June 1911 with a capital of £15,000 in shares of £1 each.
Plans were to acquire land from Sir Joseph Carruthers, J. T. Toohey and H. Garratt. The secretary of the Kembla Grange Racecourse Ltd announced at the shareholders meeting on June 27, 1911 , that the whole of the first issue of 11 ,500 shares was duly allotted to the various applicants. The architect firm of Messrs Robertson and Marks drew up plans with A. E. Gould selected as the builder.
Work commenced in September 1911.

“The Directors wanted to run the sport on lines equal to any course in the metropolis. “The distance of the course is the same as at Randwick with the turns based on calculations made by a leading civil engineer. The bulk of the races are six furlongs, and it is essential that the distance should be as safe as possible.

Superior sport: Dignitaries at Kembla Grange Racecourse for the running of the Centenary of Local Government Cup in 1959. Racing’s history in the Illawarra dates back to 1835.

The official opening took place on Monday April 22, 1912, at a banquet held in the main pavilion. Despite inclement weather, the function was well attended by prominent sportsmen. An area of 300 acres, with one-and-a-half miles of water frontage to Mullet Creek, had been turned into a racecourse at a cost of £17,000.
Sir Joseph Carruthers, the principal speaker at the function, gave a general idea of what the course was like. “The Directors of the company recognised that to make a success of the ‘king of sports’ it was necessary to do the thing properly regardless of expense.

Old grandstand: The Kembla Grange Racecourse was built in 1912. It was still there in 1981 when th1s photo was taken.

“There are two beautiful straights.
“Taking all the arrangements of the course, it can be said without contradiction that there are only two others in Australia equal to Kembla Grange and none are superior.
“The width at the narrowest part is 50 feet, and it widens out at the turn to 120 feet. “The main track is 1 mile 3 furlongs, with the inside training track over I ¼ miles long and 66 feet wide.
“In addition to ordinary racing, it is also proposed to lay down a steeplechase and hurdle racecourse. “This would practically make it a cross-country racecourse.” Trotting events were introduced in July 1915.
In September 1915, while Australian troops were fighting in the First World War, a question was raised in the NSW Legislative Assembly if Kembla Grange Racecourse employed a German as a caretaker. Sir Joseph Carruthers jumped up to defend the racecourse and its groundkeeper by saying that E. Schuman, the caretaker, was born at Kogarah about 50 years ago and resided there until 1912. His father immigrated to Australia in the early part of last century and had been dead for many years.
On August 20, 1932, to celebrate the Moss Vale to Port Kembla railway completion. the Dapto A & H society held a race meeting at Kembla.

Timeless Wollongong is published weekly by the Wollongong Advertiser and is written by Carol Herben , Historian, president of the Illawarra Historical Society, and manager of the Illawarra Museum.

Information: Visit the Illawarra Museum’s website

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

or Facebook page

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

Timeless Wollongong: The troubled life of Illawarra’s news pioneer

Wollongong has a fascinating history and each week the Advertiser brings you a story from Its rich past.

The establishment of a permanent newspaper in the town of Wollongong was the brainchild of one man, Thomas Garrett. Mr Garrett was born in July 1830 at Liverpool England, the son of John and Sarah Garrett. The family of seven arrived in NSW in November 1840. At the age of 10 years, Thomas was apprenticed to a Sydney printer. Unhappy, he ran away to sea. His father, furious, marched the boy home.
On completion of his apprenticeship, Thomas settled down to work at the Goulburn Herald. The lure of the goldfields attracted him to move to Victoria. With no success in prospecting, he returned to Sydney and gained work at the Government Printing Office. His father had moved the family to Wollongong. joining his family, Thomas noticed the town had no newspaper. In 1855, he set up the Illawarra Mercury in a building on the corner of Crown and Corrimal streets where the very first edition was printed and put into circulation on October 8, 1855.

Mercury man: Thomas Garrett founded the Illawarra Mercury before spending more than 30 years in Parliament.

It is interesting to read what The Maitland Mercury editorial said of the first edition of the Illawarra Mercury. “We have received the first number of The Illawarra Mercury, published at Wollongong on Monday last. It is an excellent first number, well printed and got up, and the contents exhibiting diligence and skill in selecting news for publication. It is a large paper for a first essay, containing eight closely printed pages in demy folio. The journals of the colony have greatly increased in number this year.”
Thomas left the Mercury, embarking on a political career. The newspaper was then placed in the hands of his father, John, to run. In the early days, Market Street was Wollongong’s town centre and by 1857 the newspaper had moved to the corner of Market Street and Market Place. The building was originally the Wollongong Hotel and it contained four large sitting rooms, 10 bedrooms in addition to six other rooms as well as stables to house 10 horses.

Early days: The Illawarra Mercury’s Market Place offices, where the colonial paper operated from 1857 to 1876. In those early days Market Place was Wollongong’s town centre.

Thomas entered Parliament in December 1860 and spent just over 30 years as a parliamentary representative. Overworked by being a member and chairing a number of committees, he began to drink heavily. It is most likely that alcoholism forced his resignation as Secretary for Lands in 1888, a position he had held on and off for almost 13 years.
The cause of his death in November 1891 , aged 61, was given as “softening of the brain”. Thomas was married three times. He was first married in September 1856 to Mary Ann, daughter of Edward Creagan of Braidwood. Mary Garrett died in December 1870 leaving Thomas with four children aged between 4 and 12 years. His second marriage in March 1871 was to Annie Maria, second daughter of James Turner Grocott of Sydney. At the time of her death in July 1881, she left him a three-year- old son. The third marriage in September 1882 was to Elizabeth, youngest daughter of James McPhillamy. When Thomas died, his seven children of three marriages were aged between three and 29 years. Thomas left an estate valued at £14,816.

Timeless Wollongong is published weekly by the Wollongong Advertiser and is written by Carol Herben , Historian, president of the Illawarra Historical Society, and manager of the Illawarra Museum.

Information: Visit the Illawarra Museum’s website

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

or Facebook page

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

Illawarra General Stores and the Lloyd Token

Some images of the very rare token issued by Messrs. W. F. & D. L. Lloyd, accompany a new article published to Scribd today – so it seemed fitting to post them here. This Scribd document from an Illawarra Historical Society bulletin of early 1962, outlines some of the background of the The Lloyds – who had been in business in Wollongong from Tuesday, 12th April, 1859,  to Tuesday, 23rd April, 1861, when their closing auction began.

Over time we have had the foresight to save some images of this infrequently seen item (not from the Illawarra Historical Society collection). These tokens were sometimes issued in colonial times during periods when coins were in short circulation; but also likely serving the dual purpose free advertising promotion for businesses. Today they are a sought-after item in the coin collecting world.

You can read some of the history on the token and the business here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/104030577/Illawarra-General-Stores-and-the-Lloyd-Token-Feb-1962

and also historian Lisa Truttman writes on tokens here, if you’re looking for more.

http://timespanner.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/token-history.html

Timeless Wollongong: Little shopping lane once an attractive park

Wollongong has a fascinating history and each week the Advertiser brings you a story from Its rich past.

The GPT Group which manages Wollongong Central shopping centre has plans to revitalise Globe Lane. The area where Globe Lane is situated did not develop over the years as the city had. The land was once part of a 40-acre (16 hectare) grant to Edmund Bourke on March 31, 1821. Then on the western side of Church Street in the same area George Brown was given l 0 acres of land on January 1, 1827. This land of George Brown covers the area now known as MacCabe Park. The Government Gazette of January 11, 1927, and August 30, 1929, shows that the council of the Municipality of Wollongong resumed these lands. The small laneway, known as Globe Lane, was opened up after the land was resumed and named William Street. As Keiraville already had a William Street, the council decided to rename it Globe Street after the Globe Club at the entrance to Globe Lane Picture Theatre that stood on the site of David Jones car park.

Charmed: A 1960 photo of the Savoy Theatre on Church Street, Wollongong, next to the RSL and on the site of the present David Jones car park.

In 1929 the council decided that there would be a car parking lot to ease traffic congestion in that part of the city. However, by 1935 a council committee resolved that the area be turned into a rest park. Harvey Ennis Gale, the council’s health inspector, drew up plans for a rest park. The development of the park was carried out under the Emergency Relief Scheme at a cost of £1231. Over 500 people attended the official opening and naming of Wollongong Rest Park by Hon E. S. Spooner, Minister for Local Government, on September 28, 1935. It turned out a very attractive little park with stonewalls of similar design and height as those presently surrounding Pioneer Park in Kembla Street, circular paths winding through the park amongst a number of cypress trees to Burelli Street. In 1936, crowds would mill around the rest park on Friday nights to listen to the Steel Works Band. Harvey Gale then designed the North Beach Bathers Pavilion before drawing up plans for the CWA rooms in the park. The rooms were located on the eastern boundary and contained a toilet block where an attendant was on duty and a woman who maintained the toilets for only one penny per person. There was also a CWA tearoom in the building.

Serene spot: Wollongong Rest Park opened in 1935. It sits on the land now occupied by Globe Lane.

On fine sunny days the park would be filled by shoppers and workers having lunch. Over time, the park began to take shape with more paths and trees as well as memorials. First was the Mt Kembla Mine Disaster Memorial that stood originally at the intersection of Crown Street and Crown Lane and had been unveiled in August 1905. In July 1937, the memorial was relocated from the Crown Street site to the centre of Wollongong Rest Park. The second memorial – a sundial was in honour of Stephen Best, the first Secretary of the South Coast Trades and Labour Council. Then the Andrews Fountain Memorial, originally on the comer of Crown and Kembla Streets in front of the Wollongong Town Hall and unveiled in June 1902, was transferred to the park. The memorial was dedicated to the Trooper Frank Andrews, killed during the Boer War at Ottoshoop, South Africa, in August 1900 at only 20 years of age. Such a popular place was this Wollongong Rest Park. yet, it was sacrificed to make way for the Gateway Shopping Centre and it was then that Globe Lane lost its charm.

Timeless Wollongong is written by Carol Herben , Historian, president of the Illawarra Historical Society, and manager of the Illawarra Museum.

Information: Visit the Illawarra Museum’s website

http://www.illawarramuseum.com/

or Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Illawarra-Museum/210888025686553

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