Stories from the neighbourhood

Images from a display illustrating anecdotes of early local resident James Arthur Dowling and others as part of the 2011 Heritage Festival.

Old South Head Road - 200th anniversary

The 200th anniversary of the building of the Old South Head Road was commemorated on 6 June 2011 at Watsons Bay. The construction of the road to South Head commenced on 25 March 1811 and was undertaken by 21 soldiers of Lachlan Macquarie's 73rd Regiment. The road followed the approximate route of an earlier track cleared to the look-out post (later site of the Signal Station) and was completed in ten weeks.

Initially referred to as the South Head Road, it became known as the Old South Head Road to distinguish it from the New South Head Road built along the Harbour's edge from 1831. Part of the road, from Paddington to Bondi Junction, was gradually renamed Oxford Street from 1875. A stone obelisk marking the road's completion stands near Robertson Park, Watsons Bay.

Dressing the part

Dressing-up is an age-old, universal amusement. These images from our collection showcases the joys of dressing up, whether for a fancy dress carnival, for the school play or for the local team.

Sydney's White City amusement park, which forms a backdrop to a number of these images, operated seasonally between 1913 and 1917, occupying for the summer months some 10 acres of ground at Rushcutters Bay. This temporary world of artificial lakes and mountains, novelty rides and themed attractions drew Sydney revellers by the thousands.