Trafalgar Lane runs to the east of Trafalgar Street between Booth Lane to the south and Rose Lane to the north. Most of the frontages along the west side of Trafalgar Lane comprise the rear of lots on Trafalgar Street and those on the east side of the lane comprise the rear of lots along Nelson Street. However, as was common in the suburb, many of the structures along the lane have a history which is distinct from that of the buildings at the front of the lots.
Johnston Lane to the south of Booth Street was once called Trafalgar Lane. The lane now known as Trafalgar Lane was not listed in Sands until the 1920’s. Instead businesses along the lane were sometimes referred to as “at rear of” a lot along Trafalgar or Nelson Streets.
A panoramic photo which can be seen here shows that as at 1928 the area bounded by Nelson and Trafalgar Streets just north of Booth Street (incorporating the lane) was very heavily industrialised.
There are several buildings along the lane which plainly have an industrial history (No. 5 is pictured here). However, while the directories list many businesses along the lane from the late 1920’s, as with the suburb’s other lanes, it is not possible to link those businesses to specific buildings or sites along the lane.
During the 1930’s a variety of manufacturers operated along the lane, including several which would now be regarded as wholly incompatible with the adjacent housing: Australian Seagrass Furniture Co; The Australian Wood Turning Co; Trafalgar Cabinet Works; Asbestos Pack & Braiding Co. Ltd*; Byrnes & Williams, fur dryers and dressers; and Wainberg & Co, dyers and cleaners. In the 1940’s they were joined by Olympic Racquets Pty Ltd**, sports good manufacturers.
As at 1950, Colour Textiles’ dye works, Merlin Plated Products electro-plating factory, Ellis Burnell Pty Ltd’s engineers works, Australian Wood Turning Co’s works and Robertson & Lansley Pty Ltd, manufacturing engineers all lined the lane.
*Asbestos braiding involved weaving asbestos into fire proof sheaths for electrical cables.
**For some information about their products and pictures see http://tennishistory.com.au/2012/04/olympic-racquet-company/.