Trafalgar Street is one of two streets to the east of Johnston Street which run the full north-south length of the suburb. The portion north of Booth Street forms part of the early subdivisions of the 1870’s. Some of Annandale’s best preserved old shops can be found along this street at Nos. 25-27, 55 and 268, complete with their 19th century awnings
This charming wooden building (actually a collection of smaller buildings), with its broad awning, has a long history. At the time of writing it is awaiting major renovation and partial demolition.
Parts of the building probably date from 1889* when Mrs EMA Carter established a grocery here. Mrs Carter remained at the site until about 1905. The proximity of the public school may have been good for business. For several years in the 1890’s she probably shared a portion of the premises with John Clayton, fruiterer. From about 1891 she converted her grocery into a newsagency. In a further change of heart, she had converted it into a confectionery by 1900. The confectionery was located at No. 25 which is presumably the portion of the building to the right in the picture above.
Edward Craig took over the confectionery in 1905. In the same year Edward Watson occupied No. 27. His occupation is not known.
No. 9B NE Cnr Albion Street
This building on a corner site was probably built in around 1912 for Reeve & Son, grocers. As will be seen below, for a period prior to 1912, George Reeve was the proprietor of the grocery store on the opposite corner at No. 18. Reeves’ occupancy of No. 9B was brief – by 1913 the grocery was being run by Thomas Christensen.
Thereafter, as was common which such stores, proprietors came and went in rapid succession, with TM Kenny in place in 1950.
The section of the east side of the street between Parramatta Road and Albion Street is now dominated by King Living’s showroom. It was almost wholly residential until the mid 1920’s when an umbrella maker and a wood and coal merchant established operations. During the 1930’s various motor trades moved to this locality.
No. 25 remained a confectioners for many years until 1935 under a succession of proprietors. David Watson, a chair caner briefly occupied No. 27. However, it seems that shortly after this point No. 27 was incorporated into the confectionery store.
By 1935 Mrs A Rushton was running the store as a mixed business. It remained a mixed business into the 1950’s.
*Raphael Simmons was running a newsagency in this vicinity in 1888. However attribution to this site is uncertain.
These modern apartments sit on the site of several former industrial concerns. In the 1930’s a box manufacturer and the Reliance iron handrail works operated here along with a timber merchant. In the 1940’s Westgate Fencing & Timber Co was at the site. In the 1950’s the Camperdown Box Factory operated here.
No. 45: The Beale Piano Factory
This is arguably Annandale’s most prominent industrial site. It certainly has a central place in the history of the suburb and for a lengthy period housed one of its major employers. Beale had ancillary operations elsewhere in the suburb including wharf facilities and timber yard at Rozelle Bay.
The Beale piano works was opened on this large site between Trafalgar and Nelson Streets in 1902 by Prime Minister Edmund Barton. Its fortunes waned after the war with the growth of alternative forms of entertainment. It finally closed in 1975.
Further information about the factory and the company which ran it can be found in da Cruz and in Lawrence & Warne*.
During the Second World War, the factory’s production capacity was turned over to the construction of the fuselages of Mosquito fighter bombers made under licence from de Havilland**. Photos of the de Havilland works can be found here, here and here.
* See da Cruz, 1920’s Annandale page 16; da Cruz, Federation Annandale, page 28; Da Cruz, 1890’s Annandale, page 13; Lawrence & Warne, Pictorial History: Balmain to Glebe, page 95.
** See Annandale on the Web at https://www.ramin.com.au/annandale/story5-1.shtml.
No. 55 SE Cnr Collins Street
This corner shop was probably built in the 1890’s by David Austin, a bootmaker. He established his business here in 1893. Alexander Hackney took over the business in 1905.
By 1915 Miss Margaret Connor had converted the store into a grocery which it remained until 1940 when, in keeping with the times, it expanded its range and became a mixed business. It remained so into the 1950’s.
No. 127 SE Cnr Booth Street
Although prominently positioned on Booth Street, this store in fact has its address on Trafalgar Street.
The site was probably used as a wood and coal depot for several years before PH Bussell set up as a grocer and fuel merchant. Bussell had operated businesses in the locality for some years before this. He probably built the current building. It is pictured, with Bussell’s signage as a “Cash Grocer”, in about 1908 in a photograph which can be seen here.
The grocery operated under several different proprietors until the early 1930’s when it became a smallgoods store run by Wright & Dawson. However, by 1935 the Bussell name returned to the site with Bussell Bros. running a grocery into the 1950’s.
This section of Trafalgar Street just north of Booth Street, presently occupied by several apartment buildings, is in small gully which runs east to Johnston Creek. The intensive industrial activity once in this area1 was described in the earlier section on Trafalgar Lane and can be seen in the historical photo here.
At various times it was the site of bulk stores owned by Taylor Bros. as an adjunct to their jam factory on Booth Street, several box making outfits, furniture factories, Novelty Confectionery Co. Ltd’s large sweets factory, several dye works and an asbestos braiding factory.
It seems that this site was vacant until about 1930 when J Keanu established a gramophone and furniture factory which no doubt occupied the building now on the site.
Artwood Furnishing Co. Ltd took over the factory in the early 1930’s. It was used by other furniture makers and upholsterers up to about 1940, after which no record of commercial or industrial use appears in the directories.
No. 261 SE Cnr Rose Lane
The house now on this site which adjoins Rose Lane appears to have been constructed to reflect the site’s industrial heritage. Between about 1925 and the early 1940’s it was probably the site of the Australian Woodturning Works’ operations which probably had additional premises along Trafalgar Lane.
This site just off Parramatta Road is principally occupied by a carpark. After parts of it were used by a marble and slate merchant from 1915 and by John Whitehead a toolmaker and blacksmith in the 1930’s, the locality became associated with the motor trade and the motor garage that has long been located on the corner of Parramatta Road. During the 1940’s a used car yard, a car and truck dealer and motor engineer could be found here.
This site has long been associated with Jolley & Brown, engineers whose signage still appears on the facade. They commenced operations here in about 1925. They had been preceded by the Marvel Toy Works which came to the site in 1918. It is possible that they constructed the building which can now be seen here.
Jolley & Brown were mechanical and general engineers and at various points they operated as brass finishers and founders. They stayed at the site until at least the 1950’s.
No. 18 SW Cnr Albion Street
George H Stevens ran a grocery here from about 1893. George A Reeve ran the grocery from about 1900 until about 1910. We have seen that at a later point he was associated with the grocery across the road at No. 9B. However the current building seems to post-date this time.
The use of the site is difficult to trace between 1910 and the early 1930’s. By the late 1920’s GE Horne had established a butcher’s shop here and it is possible that the present building dates from this time.
Thomas E Miller took over the butcher’s shop in 1935 and ran it into the 1950’s.
Nos. 20 -20a NW Cnr Albion Street
This small late Victorian residence was built in 1895. It was used as a house until about 1935 when Frederick Gaubert set up a mixed business in part of the building. The mixed business was in operation into the 1950’s.
These modern apartments incorporate part of an earlier building. That building may have housed Beale & Co’s timber and paint store in the 1930’s and then Bryden Pty Ltd, motor body builders in the 1950’s.
The current building, now a gallery and once a Masonic Lodge, dates from the 1930’s when it replaced a small Methodist chapel. The chapel had been constructed in the 1880’s*. The chapel was the home of Annandale’s Primitive Methodists. The chapel was used as a school hall and as a Sunday school from the 1890’s.
*A picture of it in 1894 is reproduced in da Cruz, 1890s Annandale at page 18.
This building can be confidently identified as Miss Susan Donnelly’s 1905 grocery shop. It may pre-date 1905 as several tea merchants and grocers occupied this part of the street from the mid 1890’s though numbering changes make any pre-1905 identification difficult.
The building continued to house a grocery, and later a mixed business, until the mid 1930’s. It seems that it reverted to residential use after that time.
No. 268A SW Cnr Rose Street
Aside possibly from briefly serving as a wood and coal depot, this site was vacant until 1925 when a house may have been constructed here. By 1932 J Brown had established his butcher’s shop here. This may have required some confidence as across the road at No. 268, a butcher’s shop had long been in business.
In any event, Brown’s butchery was a success and he remained at the site into the 1950’s.
No. 268 NW Cnr Rose Street
Along with Nos. 25-27 and 55 Trafalgar Street, this is one of the suburb’s best preserved old shops, complete with its awnings.
Although its style suggests an earlier date, its facade confirms that it was built in 1906 to house Alfred Presland’s butcher’s shop. It was only at about this time that the vacant land north of Rose street began to be developed.
By 1910 Dennis Harrington took over the butcher’s shop and ran it until the early 1930’s when perhaps it began to feel the competition from Mr Brown’s new butchery across the road at No. 268A. It seems that by 1932 he was sharing the building with a grocer, William Green. In around 1935 the butcher’s shop was converted into a grocery run by Mrs EM McCutcheon. Mr Green also remained at the site and by then was running a mixed business. Oddly, from 1940 and into the 1950’s two mixed businesses shared the site.
Along with the rest of this stretch of Trafalgar Street north of Rose Street this site was undeveloped until well after 1900. This building was constructed in around 1907 by George Morrison to house a fruit shop (though his wife Elizabeth seems to have run the store).
Charles Foster took over the store prior to 1919 and it became a grocery. Foster remained here until about 1935 when Mrs GE Whitton took over the grocery. The grocery, and later a mixed business, continued to run at the site into the 1950’s.
No. 308 SW Cnr The Crescent
John M Cochrane established a fruit shop here in 1907. By 1910 Michael Sheedy had converted it into a grocery, possibly given the competition from the fruit shop at No. 300.
It remained a grocery until 1935 before, as commonly occurred at that time, it became a mixed business offering a wider variety of products. It traded as mixed business into the 1950’s.