Sunday, 12 February 2012

Chard Stairs


Ever had a memory that flashes in your brain, but you cannot seem to grasp it, to enable closer examination. I have a memory of this 'area'. In 1958, my paternal aunt had a bed-sit in the building on the left. It has been renovated out of recognition, but I have stalked the area, and this is the only candidate. I was 10 and television was oh so new in Sydney. My aunt had her own apartment, and in that apartment was a television. Next to the television was a floor lamp with a scarlet velvet lampshade which cast an eerie red glow. I was very impressed.


Forbes Street runs from Taylor Square in Darlinghurst, across William Street, and into Wooloomooloo where it is stopped by the Plunkett Street housing estate and school. Originally, I guess it to have ended down near the Finger Wharf, about where Harry's Cafe de Wheels stands. It was named in honour of Sir Francis Forbes, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW from 1824 to 1837.

Forbes Street consists of a number of sudden 'dips', and down onto William Street is one of those dips. William Street was widened in 1916 (by demolishing buildings along its south side, the side which now boasts these steps). The steps, built in 1925 totally cut Forbes Street and prohibit vehicular traffic. Mr W.H. Chard was a local land-holder.

13 comments:

Steffe said...

I probably have a few memories like that, but I can't remember them. Do you remember what you watched on the telly that day?

Julie said...

*grin ... let's have a fanciful remember, Steffe ... probably 'Sugarfoot' with the quirky Will Hutchins.

Jo said...

I also have memories like that one, Julie. I've moved from Kenya to Tanzania and it's been quite an upheaval: one because we brought our three cats along and two because I had no Internet for almost a week. I will return and join your Taphophile meme soon again. I really enjoy your posts and have only now been able to comment as the Internet was too slow for me to do so. Have a great weekend. Jo

Jim said...

Great post. I know these stars but had no idea they had a name.

Julie said...

Jim, see that black circle in the bottom image: that is the only information I could find! And I trawled ... lord help me ... I trawled!

Mark said...

Great memories Julie. These are the nooks and crannies of Sydney that I love.

Madge @ The View From Right Here said...

That lamp is very oriental looking...

Joan Elizabeth said...

I wonder what is today's equivalent to TV arriving on the scene. It had such an impact in our childhood. I don't know what the first show was I saw but the whole town was mesmerised by the test pattern on the tele in the shop window for a while .... we were much behind the cities in getting TV, had to wait for Darling Downs TV from Toowoomba.

Aunt's in bed sits ... goes back to an era when people took in boarders too.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I was trying to get myself oriented here Julie, the minute I read Harry's Cafe de Wheels I knew exactly where you were. Sometimes an iconic landmarks can be a huge help in finding your bearings.. well often really!!I sometimes wish I could remember much more from way back when!!

diane b said...

That must seem odd to have a set of stairs blocking the street today. Was it an early type of pedestrian mall?

Carole M. said...

I enjoyed your post and photographs around parts of Sydney I'm unfamiliar. We must be same vintage thinking to t.v. coming in at that age; black and white everyone too! How about watching the test pattern for how long before they got down to business?

NixBlog said...

Yes indeed, Julie. Memories are very strange wild creatures that we each tame in a different way...
Lovely captures - wonderful details!

Julie said...

Diane: I struggle to think of a reason why Forbes St was cut in this way. Nowadays, they make streets into cul-de-sacs to stop traffic flow into a busier street. But this was done in 1925. Hard to think that the traffic flow in William St at that time warranted this blockage.

I suspect not to make a mall either. There is one lone bench and not even a coffee cart. I think it might be a good place for an enterprising mobile coffee cart bloke.