Monday, 23 April 2012

A pub called Tea

Did you know that the suburb of Bondi used to be called Tea Gardens, after a pub of the same name which was erected in 1854 close to the intersection of Cowper Street (later renamed Bronte Road) and Oxford Street? This remained the case until the early 1880s when so many tram lines intersected the area that it was called 'the junction' and Bondi was tagged on because it meant water breaking on rocks and had been used to name the area immediately in front of the nearby beach.

Here are two views of that intersection: Bronte Road and Oxford Street. The top one taken in about 1902 when the tram line was electrified. The next one taken yesterday. What a difference 110 years makes! Duh!!

In the 1902 image The Tea Gardens Hotel is on the right in the background, the tall corner building. Two coupled E class tram cars have just turned from Oxford Street into Bronte Street. They will go past the Tea Gardens Hotel and continue on to Waverley. Coming through that same intersection, but remaining on Oxford Street is a dairy cart. Keep this dairy cart in mind for tomorrow.

So what has changed - other than everything! For starters, Oxford Street is a mall (in which I stood in the sleet to take the photograph). Down the centre of the mall are fake tram tracks. It is hard to recognise the old pub although the shape bears a resemblance being on the corner like that. The awning that trumpets 'Soul Pattison & Co' and 'Hardie & Gorman' is all gone gone gone. Soul Pattison is a pharmacy which is still in operation but not just there. Hardie & Gorman were auctioneers who no longer trade. However, they were instrumental in the sale of estates which converted Bondi into a residential suburb.

Once again, some of the iconic pub images from the '30s adorn the walls of the Tea Gardens Hotel, indicating that Bondi was a working man's suburb. Note the rugby league game is between the Eastern Suburbs Tricolours and the Newtown Blue-bags. Nowadays, the pub is the haunt of a myriad of backpackers from NZ, the UK and Ireland.

10 comments:

Victor said...

There is still a news agency in almost the same position as the news advertising shown in the top photo.

Julie said...

I think you might be right, Victor. There is that yukky shoe shop on the corner in front of which buskers 'play' Then there is a cafe and I show a little of its neon lighting. Then the newsagency.

BJ is such a hodge podge. I await with interest (but little 'excitement') the rebuilding of the corner at my back in this photograph.

I remember, in the late 50s and early 60s walking the ribbon development of BJ along Oxford St with my grandmother. I know it is age talking when I tell you how much more I prefered that sort of shopping strip.

Kay L. Davies said...

I agree with you about the shopping, Julie. It was much more fun in the 50s and 60s.
K

Carole M. said...

well there's some history and no I didn't know that Bondi had been known as Tea Gardens at one time

Ann said...

Shame they didn't keep the old pub building. have only heard of Tea Gardens in Port Stephens.

Mark said...

Great post Julie, I love now and then shots.

Steffe said...

Just a tad different.

Victor said...

Julie, we and our grandmothers may well have passed each other in those 1950s/1960s days! My grandmother lived in Allens Parade and I spent my school holidays with her. My grandmother shopped every weekday in the Junction with me by her side.

NixBlog said...

I love these "then" and "now" photos, Julie. Yes, a century does make a difference :-)

Joan Elizabeth said...

I am finding lots of places have changed their names as I explore the 100 towns. The post office seemed to want places to have unique names.