6 June – 30 August 2015, Hurstville Museum & Gallery
Can you picture what our city was like in its very early days?
In just over 100 years, Hurstville has transformed dramatically. It is hard to imagine the dense forest that once spread across the area, occasionally broken by a dirt road or a lonely general store. Passing through the now bustling CBD, it is rare to get a chance to stop and visualise the horse and carts that once rode where our cars drive today, or the quaint, family owned haberdashery shops since replaced by supermarkets and department stores.
However, traces of the past are still dotted throughout our urban landscape. Historical facades line the shopfronts along Forest Road. Suburban Hurstville is now a patchwork of both 19th century houses and modern units.
Hurstville Museum & Gallery’s newest exhibition, Hurstville Past: Present, explores this changing landscape and celebrates the heritage of Hurstville as we move into the present, through the fusion of old and new photographs.
In this exhibition, places and moments from the past are remembered and redefined by direct comparison with present day photographs of the same location. Old and new photographs merge together just as our memories of these places tend to do.
Here’s a sneak peak of some of our favourite images and stories…
Hurstville Public School
Hurstville Public School was opened in 1876, when the suburb was still a bush settlement. Attendance was initially very poor and many children had to walk to school through deep gullies and swamps. One student, Hilda Marjorie North, recalls being knee deep in mud on rainy days as she made her way to school. The school’s tuck shop, situated just down the road, sold handmade sweets such as toffee apples, butterscotch and honeycomb. Hot pies were also delivered, thanks to a clever invention by the tuckshop owner; a ‘hot box’ which could be attached to the front of a bus. Pies picked up from Sargents were stored in this hot box and heated by the warmth of the engine on the drive from Rockdale to Hurstville.
Forest Road, Hurstville
The store to the right of the Hurstville Railway Station stairs was occupied for sixty years by Barter’s, a haberdashery and ladies outfitters, which opened in 1926. Shopping in the late 1950s was a very different experience to shopping today. Many women made their own clothes, few bought them ready-made. Women therefore frequented Barter’s to buy patterns and fabrics. Shops along Forest Road had some unusual ways of advertising in the 1920s. On one occasion, hot air balloons were released from the top of the Barter’s building, each containing a key. Those who retrieved the keys where the balloon had landed were promised a prize. However, some balloons travelled miles!
Visit our ‘what’s on’ page at the LMG website for more information and to book in to events in conjunction with this exhibition!
Combined image Forest Road Hurstville, c. 1952 and 2015. Image courtesy of Hurstville City Library Museum & Gallery collection.