by Rodney Hammett in Bulletin 10 of 2020

Avid Bulletin readers would recall from Issue 5/2020 that the original Forest Lodge partially existed under No 224, prior to Munro Terrace (Nos 212-230 Bridge Rd) being constructed in 1913 by William Ross McLean Munro. That article explained the Munro family’s ownership of Forest Lodge and its curtilage from 1871. This is a story of the owners and occupants of No 224 and adds to Lyn Collingwood’s eloquent discussion of some of the people and personalities at No 224, included in Bulletin 2013/02.

224 Bridge Rd in 1977 (photo: Edwina Doe)

Firstly, the owners. In the last 107 years there have only been seven owners of No 224.

Date of purchaseOwner
Feb 1912William Ross McLean Munro of Forest Lodge, architect (site of Nos 212-230)
April 1949W Nevill & Co Limited (Nos 212-230)
August 1957Veronica Elizabeth Garvey of Glebe, married woman (No224)
Sept 1973Peter Frederick Larcombe of Darling Point, insurance representative (No224)
Nov 1975Malcolm Capp of Glen Iris, Victoria, company manager and William James Henry of Mosman, solicitor (No224)
Nov 1976Tavistock Research Centre Pty Limited (No224)
July 1979Edwina Doe of Glebe, market research consultant (No224)
Source: Certificates of Title 116-155; 6260-89; 7529-90

Veronica Elizabeth Garvey purchased No 224 from W Nevill & Co Limited, who also managed the tenants in each of the 10 terraces. Veronica and her police constable husband, John Francis Garvey, had lived here with her mother Catherine Hand on and off prior to 1957, and also at No 218. The Hand and Garvey families are discussed below.

Peter Frederick Larcombe, son of Horace Joseph (1888-1958) and Agnes Bertha Wells (1897-1974) was only 44 when he died in a skiing accident in Italy on 21 February 1975. He had purchased No 224 in September 1973 giving his occupation as an insurance representative. Electoral Rolls in 1968 and 1972 show he was a grazier at Manilla or certainly working on the land, suggesting maybe his life was in transition at this time.

Peter’s parents had married in Sydney in 1928; he from England and she from South Australia. Horace had been a merchant seaman during WW1 but in Sydney he became a seemingly successful ice manufacturer with the family living at Cronulla. Peter must have been attracted to the land because at the age of 23 he was a jackeroo and in 1958 at the age of 27 he was an overseer. Peter’s remains are at Woronora Cemetery, along with those of his parents.

Following Peter’s death, No 224 along with his other assets, were managed by the executors of his estate. For a short time, it was owned by Malcolm Capp of Glen Iris, Victoria, company manager and William James Henry of Mosman, solicitor before being sold in November 1976 to Tavistock Research Centre Pty Limited.

Tavistock Research Centre and Edwina Doe

As Edwina recalls, ‘in about October 1976 I was a partner in a very small market research company, Tavistock Research. Our office was in the spare bedroom of my flat over a butcher’s shop in Spofforth St, Cremorne. One day my business partner Ken suggested that we should buy a house instead of wasting $30 a week on rent and mentioned Glebe. I knew nothing about Glebe, so we drove there one Wednesday. I liked the streetscape immediately and saw that the houses were suitable for use as a flat above a business. The next Friday a real estate agent showed us just one house, 224 Bridge Rd.’

After a few very good years, Edwina and Ken, in 1979 decided to close the business; ‘… mainly because we were spending all the profits on long lunches in Glebe.’ Edwina then took over the mortgage, moved downstairs and found tenants for the three-bedroom flat upstairs. She has had had a succession of tenants, ‘… mostly very good …’ and continued to work in various Market Research companies until she retired in 2002. Edwina was also the editor of the Glebe Society Bulletin thrice; 1983-85, 1988 and 2003-2012. Fittingly details of her time in Glebe and her contributions to the Glebe community have been recorded in previous Bulletins, viz 2009/05, 2012/10 & 2013/02.

Occupants have been the owners, tenants and boarders. An advertisement in the Daily Telegraph of Saturday 21 November 1914, exhorts the virtue of renting at No 224; ‘B and B, airy, clean, large room, good table, quiet, suitable students’, so the terrace would have been ready for habitation in 1914.

1914- 1926          Various

Sands Directories list the heads of the household in this period ‒ Bruce Green (1916-1919), Miss Jane Brady (1920-1921, Mrs Franzeska Loops (1922-1924) and Mrs Mary Brennan in 1925. There is no listing for No 224 in 1914 or 1915 however it is likely this was Bruce Green. Bruce had been born in Calcutta in 1883 later marrying Violet (date and place unknown). In Sydney he was a music teacher. They moved to Double Bay in 1920, renting there for over 30 years before retiring to Chatswood in the mid 1950s where he died in January 1969, aged 86.

Franzeska Schacht from Germany had married Christian Loops in Sydney in 1909, she ten years his junior. They with another couple set off for a picnic at La Perouse on Sunday 29 Febuary 1920, the two men then hiring a boat to go out fishing. Tradegy struck when a storm came up and the boat capsized. The men were swept onto nearby rocks and fortunately members of the public were able to rescue them however Christian had fractured his head and never recovered, while Albert Osburg survived suffering only shock and bruising.1 After 1924 Franzeska lived in Leichhardt before marrying, in 1928, WW1 veteran Harold Edmund Milton from which came a son Alan Milton (1928-1994). She died in 1942 at the age of 50.

Forest Lodge Public School, Class 1B, 1920 Source: City of Sydney Archives; ID 088\088395

A Miss Hawkins got lucky when living here in February 1926; she won 8th prize in the Art Union raffle in aid of the Sydney Day Nurseries.2

Children living at No 224 in 1920 could have been in Class 1B at the Forest Lodge Public School.

1926-1933           Forrester Family (8 years)

Margaret Johanna Forrester was the head of the household from 1926 until 1932, the year Sands Directory ceased publication. Also in the household were husband William, a labourer, and five children, Agnes (1908-1981), Margaret (1910-?), William (1912-1973), Herbert (1914-1988) and Kathleen (1918-?). It is possible that there was also a boarder or two.

William, born in Dubbo 1883, was the son of David Forrester a carman with a successful carman and coach business in Orange. Margret, the daughter of John and Dorothy O’Brian, had been born in Molong, NSW in 1886. By 1932, her parents John, an engineer, and Dorothy were living at 14 Short St, Forest Lodge. Margaret was the second of five children; the youngest, Edmond, enlisted as a trooper for WW1 in 1915. He broke his leg in September 1916 but returned to the front before being discharged in Sydney in November 1919.

William and Margaret had married in Orange in 1907. All their children were born in Orange, including Barry, who tragically died of pneumonia aged only nine days in September 1913. This incident resulted in a complaint to the hospital and a subsequent enquiry in March of 1914; ‘… The press were excluded on Monday, because the committee considered the subject under consideration so delicate that, if the meeting was an open one, some of the statements made might be held as libelous.’3

The family moved to Redfern in 1934 then to the Liverpool area, eventually settling at Joadja Rd, Hoxton Park with a small farm. The land today is an industrial zoning squeezed between the M7 and Hoxton Park Rd, near Cabramatta Creek.

1934-1973           Hand & Garvey Families (30 years)

Main Street, Peak Hill (source: History of Peak Hill and District Facebook page)

Catherine Mary Hand (née Boles) was living at No 224 in 1934 with her son William Thomas Hand, a labourer. She had married John Hand at Peak Hill, NSW in 1904 from which came Edna Maria (1905-1957), Veronica Elizabeth Jean (1907-1988) and William Thomas (1910-?). Peak Hill became a town in about 1889 following the discovery of gold; the railway arrived in 1910 however the mining ceased in 1917, the town then becoming a centre for the local rural community. The first upright concrete wheat silo in Australia was built there in 1918.4 At the 1913 electoral rolls John was a brickmaker at Peak Hill, and this photo shows the main street at about that time.5

Edna married Edward John (Ted) Connors at the Roman Catholic Church, Peak Hill on 27 January 1927, starting a family soon thereafter. It was not long before they became one of the many thousands of families in need of support as a result of the 1930s depression so after a stint as barman in the Royal Hotel at Walgett, Ted, Edna and daughters Pamela and Lois arrived in Glebe. In 1934 they were living at 205 Bridge Rd, Ted now a labourer but later a cleaner. Living for a while at No 224 (1936-40), No 218 became their permanent home in about 1940, where Edna died aged only 52 in 1957. Ted continued to live at No 218 until his death in 1975, aged 78.

Veronica in 1930 was 23, working as a draper at Wee Waa. Here she met John Francis Garvey, a young police constable on a country posting. The next year they married in Sydney, where he had a new posting, and in 1934 they were living near others of Veronica’s family, at 222 Bridge Rd. From 1936 to 1937 they lived at No 218 with her sister’s family before John was posted to Ardlethan, NSW in 1938. Here their address was the Police Station. Newspaper reports describe the incident in November 1938 when John was severely injured by two men during an arrest, leading to both of them being sentenced to two years jail.6

Back at Forest Lodge, Catherine died at No 224 in August 1941, her funeral taking place at St James’ Church, Forest Lodge then interment at the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park. No doubt the Connors and Garvey families joined William Hand for this solemn occasion. William died in 1963 at the age of 53 and is buried at Woronora Memorial Park.

John Garvey returned to Forest Lodge where aged 37, he enlisted for WW2 in the RAAF on 9 July 1943. He became a Leading Aircraftman during the war then was discharged in May 1946. Returning to No 224, it seems there were marital problems which lead to a separation. Veronica remained at No 224, purchasing it in August 1957, then selling in September 1973. With her children Catherine (an assistant), John (a student), and Tracey (a scientific officer), Veronica moved to Kingsford where she died in 1988 aged 81. Veronica is interred at the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park.

The Hand/Garvey family had boarders at various times. One was Frances Vernon who gave No 224 as her address at the time of her husband John’s death in May 1935.7 Frances Martha Fowler, born in Goulburn NSW in 1870 was 22 when she married John Alexander Vernon in Burwood in 1892. He was not quite 15 when he joined the Department of Postmaster-General on 19 April 1883 as a letter carrier, the same job he had when he retired in 1928 aged 60. Frances and John raised five daughters and four sons, these being born between 1892 and 1911, as they moved between rental properties in Homebush, Leichhardt, Annandale, Pyrmont and Glebe. Their youngest, Leith, was only eight when he was tragically killed, falling under a motor lorry in Ross St, Glebe on 8 August 1919. Frances died aged 87 in Glebe in 1957 and is buried at the Rookwood Cemetery.

Another boarder, A McDonald in 1943, wanted to exchange some Goodyear motorcycle tyres for Dunlop tyres, but they ‘must be new’.8

Forest Lodge Public School, 1956, Class 5A. Source: City of Sydney Archives; ID 088\088303

It is possible that children from No 224 and the adjoining terraces were in Class 5A at the Forest Lodge Public School in 1956.

1973- 1976          Various

Names of those living at No 224 between 1973 and 1976 have not yet been found, however it is likely they were students from Sydney University because now the terrace was an investment property. At No 230 in 1971, Charles Jennings, part way through his science degree, had the head lease. He and his fellow students lived each day to the fullest yet survived to become prominent in their fields, now living around the world – maybe the subject of a future article?

224 Bridge Rd in 1977 (photo: Edwina Doe)

1976- now           Edwina Doe (45 years)

Edwina remembers when she first moved to Bridge Rd, she was able to park behind the house in a space bounded by Bridge Rd, Ross St, St Johns Rd and Jarocin Ave. It had been the exercise yard for tradesmen’s horses and there were still three trotting horses stabled behind Ross St. Towards the end of the 1990s the horses moved out and the owner of the space started to charge a fee for parking. Later he started to buy up surrounding properties and tried to get approval to demolish the whole area and redevelop it.

Of course he failed, but other people applied to Leichhardt Council with plans to fill the space with town houses. A group of Munro Terrace owners, led by Judge Ken Handley whose sons were owners, fought three court cases ‒ but that’s another story. There are now 17 three-storey town houses with car access from St Johns Rd. The resulting development does not overlook Munro Terrace and a right of way exists for Edwina and her neighbours to access their back gardens.

Author’s Note: featured here are two photos of classes at the Forest Lodge Public School. There are over 100 similar photos of Forest Lodge Public School dating from 1903 to 1983 in the City of Sydney archives collection waiting to be viewed. See:

Acknowledgement: Thank you to Edwina Doe for sharing her memories at No 224.

[1] Daily Telegraph; Mon 1 Mar 1920, p5; 2 Daily Telegraph; Wed 10 Feb 1926, p2; 3 Leader (Orange); Wed 4 Mar 1914, p2; 4 Peak Hill grain silo has special place in history;; 5 Peak Hill website;; 6 Cootamundra Herald; Thu 16 Feb 1939, p3; 7 SMH; Fri 24 May 1935, p10; 8 SMH; Wed 22 Dec 1943, p4