Collins Street, particularly east of Johnston Street, was the focus of early and, in several instances, quite grand, residential development soon after the acquisition of much of Annandale by the Sydney Freehold, Land Building & Investment Company Ltd in the late 1870’s. It was prominent in the company’s plans to develop a “gentleman's suburb”. Several sites were also dedicated to religious institutions. However, this did not exclude the presence of commercial activity from its earliest days. Several of those commercial concerns, though on Collins Street, have addresses on cross streets such as Wells Street and so are not listed here.
Nos. 39-41 NE Cnr Young Street
These two sites are dealt with together as they are physically joined and have some common history.
No. 39 is of particular interest as it is occupied by one of the last surviving grocery / mixed businesses which were once so common in the suburb. That building may date from the late 1890’s.
A green grocer has occupied one of the two sites (most probably No. 39) since 1898 when Mr W Bugg established the first such business at this location.
Mr William Carless was a long time owner of the grocers at No. 39 from about 1902 until the mid 1920’s*. After that time the business at No. 39 was converted into a fruit shop by Italian owners (“Angelo” or “Angela” – the Sands listings vary - Molino) and remained so under a series of proprietors until about 1940 when it became the mixed business it is today.
By 1905 a butcher’s shop was operating at what is now No. 41. The present building probably dates from that year. No. 41 was occupied by a butcher’s shop with a series of owners from 1905 until the late 1940’s when it underwent a radical change of use and was occupied by Cameron Electroplating Co. who remained there until the 1950’s. It now houses what is probably the last of the suburb's many small mixed businesses.
*During the same period he also traded at a shop in Johnston Street.
This small store sits near the intersection with Nelson Street. A grocery has operated here 1887 when John Cowling set up shop. He remained here until 1905 and was succeeded by a series of proprietors including Alfred Ferrier who ran the shop from around 1915 into the 1940’s.
The present industrial facade probably dates from the 1920’s when the site was occupied by a series of engineers. It may have been built, replacing an earlier dwelling, by W Wilkinson, a general engineer who was at the site in the mid 1920’s or by one of his successors Ellis Ives & Co.*, gear specialists or Brain & Co. general engineers who seem to have shared the site from the late 1920’s.
However, the site’s industrial history possibly precedes its engineering use. A brewery operated in Collins Street in this vicinity for some years from about 1887. However, it is not clear if it occupied this precise lot.
*Who at one time had premises nearby in Nelson Street.