|"Frog Hollow" is a wee slip of land, with a massive reputation for sleeze and degradation. Although it has been updated and pasteurised by the council, it is slowly slipping back into a place one is hesitant to frequent even in broad daylight. It is on the corner of Albion and Riley Streets in Surry Hills. And yes, in the middle of the 19th century, when shacks were first appearing in this muddy hollow, the echo of frogs resounded up the slopes.|
|This area is linked with the 'razor' gangs of Sydney in the period from 1890 till close to 1940. The link is emphasised by television producers because it suits their purpose. However, looking at the old photographs and reading the local histories, it was an area of immense poverty and squalor, which leads to petty vice from many denizens. But the biggest vice is poverty, both of mind and of pocket.|
Here are two views of the new stairs - built in 2007 - leading up to the corner of Albion and Riley. The image between is from the City of Sydney archives, and shows a view from the same corner back down Albion Street. It is dated 1938. So much for all the housing being cleared in 1925. Some was, as I will show tomorrow, when we take a look at O'Hears Stairs.