Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Forum Celebrating 40 Years of the NSW Heritage Act

Yamba Cottage on Camden Valley Way at Narellan has been at the centre of community concerns around heritage matters in the local area for many years (Camden Images)

Luke Foley Announces Heritage Policy

This morning at State Parliament  Opposition Leader Luke Foley made a number of announcements on heritage matters that the Labor Party will take to the next state election in 2019. Amongst the announcements from  Mr Foley were:
1. Development of a 10 year heritage strategy for NSW that will be a roadmap for heritage management;
2. Restrict the s32 provisions so that the state government cannot plead economic hardship on heritage matters like they have on the Sirius project;
3. Restrict the ability of the Minister for Heritage to ignore recommendations from the Heritage Council;
4. Strengthen the provision of the Heritage Council;
5. Move the Office of Premier and the Cabinet Office into the old Chief Secretary's building on the corner of Macquarie and Bridge Streets.
For those who want to read the speech click here




Heritage Forum Speakers at Parliament House

The forum was introduced by Shadow Minister for Heritage Penny Sharpe MLC and invited a number of speakers to reflect on the 40th anniversary of the Heritage Act passed into law by the Wran Government in 1977.

Speakers were:

1. Meredith Burgmann 

Meredith Burgmann is the former President of the NSW Legislative Council and co-author of the book Green Bans Red Union - the Saving of a City. She spoke about the history of the Green Bans in the 1970s in a legal environment where there were no legal protections for heritage matters. She went on to outline: the development of resident action groups; and the conditions that were conducive to  development of  heritage legislation in the 1970s including (a) community activism around the Vietnam War, (b) Anti-Aparheid, (c) environmental issues and (d) anti-discrimination legislation.

2. Reece McDougall 

Reece McDougall is the former CEO of GML Heritage Consultants and Executive Director of the NSW Heritage Office from 2006 to 2008. He spoke on the history of the 1977 Heritage Act introduced by the Wran Government. He maintains that the conditions that allowed its introduction included (a) the legislation support for the National Trust in 1960, (b) international factors including travel by Australian witnessing overseas activities (c) the green bans (d) the 1976 environment and planning legislation by the Askin Government that was just window dressing. He also outlined the 1998 amendments to the Heritage Act that introduced the State Heritage Register and the advantages of having a separate heritage office in the state government.

Gilbulla is the house built in the late 1890s by JW Macarthur Onslow at Menangle built in the Arts and Crafts style  (Gilbulla)


3. Shaun Carter 

Shaun Carter is the immediate past president of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. He has organised a crowd funding effort and taken the state government to court over the decision to demolish the Sirius building in The Rocks. He spoke about the benefits to the community of retaining its built heritage including (a) acting as a marker that allows stories to remember (b) containing cultural heritage (c) we need to know who we were to know who we are. He bemoaned the loss of the best of 20th century buildings and many are not even listed on local heritage registers.


4. Paul Connell 

Paul Connell is the organiser for the Public Sector for the CFMEU who led the campaign to save the NSW Heritage group within Public Works from privatisation. That is saving the stoneyard at St Peters which is the home of the stonemasons who look after the maintenance of the state governments stock of sandstone buildings.  The stoneyard also has heritage roofing plumbers and carpenters who until the Baird Government used to work with the Government Architect. The stoneyard is the site of (a) apprentice training in traditional trades, (b) stockpiles of Sydney yellow sandstone and (c) centre of WHS.

Former 1940s Stuckey Bakery building in Argyle Street Camden is an example of Camden Modernism (IWillis)



Friday, 14 April 2017

Macarthur author researches the stories of local diggers from the First World War

Cover of Book by Lauren Hokin (L Hokin)

A local Macarthur author Lauren Hokin has just finished a major research and writing project on the First World War Anzacs of the Macarther region. 

Lauren Hokin writes about the First World War

Lauren writes about the impact of the First World War on the our region and why she decided to write about it:

The First World War devastated many communities throughout the country. And this was no different for the small rural population of what is now the Macarthur Region. The Great War was one of the most momentous incidences of recorded history, and a catalyst for much of the events of the 20th Century.
Thus, it has become an integral part of Australia's national narrative. Its impact on our history, society and culture cannot be denied and must be understood if we are to know who we think we are. 
The sacrifice of so many who left for the battlefields and those who gave everything on the home front must be remembered and commemorated. However, with the passage of time, the names and stories of the countless brave men and women who served in the war and those on the home front are becoming lost. 
Back cover of Lauren Hokin's Book

The book, 'Anzacs of Macarthur: The Men and Women Who Served in the First World War,' by Lauren Hokin attempts to remedy this. The book denotes the war time narratives of each of the 1100 plus individuals from the area whom decided to serve and those who stayed behind struggling to deal with a catastrophic world crisis unaware that many of their loved ones would not return home.
So as a community, lets honour and never forget our fellow townsfolk who left for war so long ago but remain in our hearts.

Author 

Lauren Hokin 

Lauren Hokin is a local historian and author of 'Anzacs of Macarthur: The Men and Women Who Served in the First World War.' The book is  for sale for $60 and details the wartime narratives of soldiers, sailors, and nurses from the Macarthur area including Camden. 

If you   interested you can find Lauren  on Facebook Anzacs of Macarthur @macarthur.anzacs or email her at anzacsofmacarthur@gmail.com



Sunday, 26 March 2017

Camden Police Station and Court House

Camden Police Station and Residence

35 John Street
Camden 
Lot 2 DP 826795
Camden Police Station 1997 J Kooyman Camden Images


Camden Court House

33 John Street
Camden
Lot 1 DP 826795

Camden Court House 1991 CWTimes Camden Images

Camden Police Station and Residence


History and Description

 Camden Police Station is a single storey brick building typical of many official police buildings of the last quarter of the nineteenth century

Before the John Street building was constructed police used  a timber lock-up and adjoining residence (c.1844). (http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/chhistoricplaces.html)

The police barracks was built in 1878 and probably the work of the Colonial Architect James Barnet. It was originally built in 1879 as two adjacent police cottages.

Historical sources consider that the Police Sergeant lived in the west end of the building and the constable lived in the east end. The mounted constable boarded elsewhere. The police horse was kept in the non-presbyterian church area (1925-1950's). Wooden posts tethered the horse.  (NSW SHI)

Camden Police Station has a corrugated iron hipped roof and brick chimneys. The building has a paved verandah with carved timber posts and brackets. It has a four panelled timber entrance door with a highlight window and eight pane double hung windows with sandstone sills. The front fa├žade is symmetrically designed with two projecting wings and a central recessed verandah. It is sited adjacent to the courthouse. (NSW SHI)


Condition and Use

These police barracks were built in 1878
Constructed in face brickwork.
Picket fence along footpath has been removed.
The building has been restored and modernised to facilitate its continuing use as a Police Station.
Alterations and additions, 1972 1980. (NSW SHI)
The verandah was once enclosed but has been fully restored in recent times.

The building is no longer used as a police station since the new Local Area Command Police Station was opened at Narellan in 2011.  

Heritage Significance

The building retains good integrity and intactness. (NSW SHI)

The building is representative of the style of official or important early buildings in the town. The building's value lies in its relationship to the other important buildings in the John Street Group. (Australian Heritage Database)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan                       Item  44

Read more

 Phillip Haylock, The Very Sociable Policeman, Camden History, Volume 3 No 7 March 2014, pp. 256-258,
Charlotte Hemans, 'Policing Camden in the early years, Camden Police Station, 1805-1878', Camden History, Vol 2, No 8, September 2009, pp. 305-312
The District Reporter, 6 March 2017

 
Camden John Street Precinct with court house on right hand side of street before the police station was built. The police station was eventually built between Macaria and the court house in 1878.  Image is early 1870s (Camden Images)


Camden Court House


History and Description

 Camden Court House is built on land set aside for this purpose by James and William Macarthur at the time the town allotment plans were laid down. The brothers also offered £100 towards the cost of building.

The first buildings on this site were a timber lock-up and Chief Constable's residence. The present building was commenced in 1855 and completed in 1857 with cells underneath and at the rear. The building was designed during William Weaver's term as Government Architect. A new lock-up was built to replace the old one between 1859-61.


A Court of Petty Sessions at Camden was established by Proclamation on 20 July 1841 after lengthy opposition from both Campbelltown and Picton who were requesting that the Cawdor Court be removed either to Campbelltown or Picton. Until that date the Court was still at Cawdor. (http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/chhistoricplaces.html)

The first Clerk of the Bench in the area was James Pearson who was Clerk at Cawdor until his death on 13 July 1841. John Downes Wood, a nephew of Charles Cowper was appointed the first Clerk of Petty Sessions for Camden by Government Proclamation on 23 September 1841. When the new courthouse was completed the Clerk of the Bench was J.B. Martin, who retained this position for 35 years. (http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/chhistoricplaces.html)


Camden Court House is a small Italianate court building with a temple front loggia with three arches. It is a painted ashlar building with painted chimneys and a gable shingled roof. There is a circular window on the front facade, and twelve pane and two pane double hung windows on the side facades. The entrance door is a six panelled timber door. The cells were constructed underneath and at the rear. (NSW SHI)

Condition and Use

Camden Court House was built between 1855-1860.
The building is in good condition. (NSW SHI)

In 2013 the NSW Government spent $200,000 on refurbishment of Camden court house. (Camden Narellan Advertiser, 25 September 2013)


Heritage Significance

Camden courthouse, like its neighbouring police station, is of little value alone. Its value lies in its relationship to the other important buildings. It is probably the work of colonial architect Alexander Dawson. (Australian Heritage Database)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan                       Item  43
Australian Heritage Commission        Australian Heritage Database  ID 3230

Read more


Iliana Stillitano, ‘Court shut down’, Camden Narellan Advertiser, 1 July 2014


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Camden Vale Milk Depot Development Proposal v2

Camden Vale Milk Depot Development Proposal v2


11 Argyle Street

Camden

Lot 1, DP 219757

The new DA is located here



Screen shot from original plans (2016) for the new building with old milk depot to the left.

Camden Vale Milk Depot Development Proposal v2


This is the second development proposal for the former Camden Vale Milk Depot site at the entrance to the Camden Town Centre.

Screen Shot show views of differing perspectives of Camden Vale Milk Deport from Revised Plans submitted with DA (2017)
Screen Shot of Perspective from Argyle Street from revised plans of Camden Vale Milk Depot DA (2017)


The former proposal was lodged in April 2016 to a great deal of controversy and adverse publicity with objections from a number of community groups. Radio personality Alan Jones became involved in 2016 and there were many newspaper articles. There were protest meetings and general disquiet by members of the community.

The developer CMCM Holdings Pty Ltd has lodged another development application for 5 restaurants and a decked car park at the rear of the site. The restaurants range in size from 22 sq m to 504 sq m. The $8.8 million project has 79 car parking spaces provided on site, with 4 of the tenancies in the new additions. The plans have been put together by De Angelis Taylor and Associates of Liverpool.


Some concerns

It appears that the developer has listened to some of the concerns. While the development is far from ideal it is better that the first attempt which was a lazy design with little effort made to showcase the milk depot building. This design appears to feature the 1926 milk depot in a more prominent position free from unnecessary alterations to the building facade that hid the original fabric of the building.

The bulk of the new proposal still dominates the site and the visitor as they enter the town centre from Narellan. The development could be scaled back to greater enhance the original milk depot. Those approaching the town centre along Argyle will still be struck by an effective three storey building even if ameliorated by trees.

A major shortcoming of the development proposal is the lack of a conservation management plan for the milk depot building itself. This would provide greater clarity around the impact of any new proposal for the site and how the industrial depot building will be treated under the Burra Charter. The charter is the Australian measure for conservation, preservation and adaptation of heritage sites and buildings.

History

The current industrial building on the site was opened in 1926 and was a milk depot for Camden Park Estate's Camden Vale Milk Company. The plant was regarded at the time as one of the most modern for the scientific treatment of milk. The current building replaced a former timber construction that burnt down in 1926. The timber building that was originally constructed in the 1890s.

Current Exhibition Period for DA 2016/169/1

There is an exhibition period for the development proposal. Written submissions are to be sent to Camden Council by 20 April.

For further enquiries on this matter contact Miss A McGrath at Camden Council on 02 4654 7773. Miss McGrath is the Executive Planner in the Planning and Environmental Services Division of Camden Council

More reading

Camden Vale Milk Depot, History Notes  (2016)

Development at Camden Milk Depot site, History Notes, (2016)

Janice Johnson Back Then The District Reporter 1 April 2016, 8 April 2016,

Camden Vale Milk Depot, NSW State Heritage Inventory, Click here


Thursday, 16 March 2017

St Johns Church Camden NSW

St John’s Church Camden

6-22 Menangle Road, Camden, NSW 2570
Lot 1 DP 1024949
Lot 1 DP 2399467


St Johns Church Camden 2010 (I Willis)

History and Description

The St Johns Church Precinct includes the church and church grounds, and also includes the
cemetery, the Rectory and Stables, and church hall.

The church is set within a fine group of other ecclesiastical buildings that includes the Rectory
(1859) and church hall (1906), together with the cemetery in a rural landscaped environment
resplendent in native and exotic mature trees, fence lines, paths and memorials. (NSWSHI)

1874 Chancel extension complete.
Rectory built 1859. The rectory and associated lands remained in the ownership of the Macarthur family up to November 1905.
St Johns Parochial School located at the intersection of Hill and Broughton Streets was founded in 1850 as a denominational school.
Original church hall built 1906 and second hall in 1973.
The church cemetery forms part of the original Macarthur family endowment of 1841. The first burial is believed to be that of Thomas Budd of Narellan made in March 1843. (NSWSHI)


Condition and Use

Split timber shingled roof replaced with terracotta shingles in 1929.
Electric motors replaced manual winding mechanism of clock in c1950.
Tower lourves replaced in 1970.
Render of the spire removed and replaced in 1973.
The church, rectory, stables, churchyard and slopes retain good integrity and intactness. (NSWSHI)

Heritage Significance

 St John the Evangelist at Camden was the first 'archaeologically correct' Gothic church to be completed in the colony of New South Wales. It was probably designed in England by Edward Blore under instructions from the Macarthur family.   In its architectural innovation and picturesque placement in a controlled landscape, it is among the most important parish churches in Australia. (Hector Abrahams, Christian church architecture, Dictionary of Sydney, 2010)


St Johns Church is perhaps the finest example of early Picturesque Gothic Revival style church architecture in Australia. The church, with its tower and spire, is a landscape monument in the rural lands and town of Camden. It is also a monument to the pioneering pastoral Macarthur family, who built it, and has become an icon in consideration of these values. (Noel Bell Ridley Smith and Parters Pty Ltd, Conservation Management Plan Addendum 2010, St Johns Anglican Church Precinct, Camden. Sydney, p7)

The church precinct is rare in New South Wales as a complete ensemble. The church building
is complete with tower, spire, clock, stained glass and all its furniture. Its relationship to the
town and landscape are deliberate. It possesses an equally well-treated, though not grand, rectory, graveyard and originally had a church school. It can be said to be one of the most
complete church groups achieved in New South Wales in the nineteenth century. Equivalent
groups are rare. (Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners Pty. Ltd., St. John’s Anglican Church Precinct
Menangle Road, Camden, Conservation Management Plan. Sydney, 2004, pp. 43-44)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan                       Item 63
NSW State Heritage Inventory
Australian Heritage Commission        National Estate Database

Read more


Friday, 24 February 2017

Camden Town Centre Developments


This poster appeared at the Camden Community Markets this week. It is encouraging anyone who has a view to attend a community open day.

Camden Town Centre Urban Design Framework


The aim of the open day is the development of the Camden Town Centre Urban Design Framework.
At the open day you are encouraged to share your thoughts and provide local insights. This is yet another attempt by Camden Council at community engagement around the Camden town centre.

The open day is held on 4 March with two locations:
1. Camden Produce Markets from 8.00-10.00am, and
2. Outside Blooms Chemist in Argyle Street from 12.30-3.30pm.

So if you have a big idea for the town centre area you are encourged to attend and tell the hired consultants, who are Sydney architects  McGregor Coxall.  These consultants are a firm of architects who state on their website that their principle roles are landscape architects, urbanism, environment and biocity research by making cities and communities sustainable, meaningful and resilient.

This is a place making exercise that will attempt to development the concept of the Camden Town Centre Urban Design Framework. What does this mean? It means that Camden Council feels that it needs to develop or re-develop the town centre. The key concepts that McGregor Coxall are concerned with are making the town centre more sustainable, meaningful and resilient for the local community. It is all about the community's sense of place and identity.

What does this mean for you?

If you have any concerns about the town centre you should be part of the process and get involved in this process.

Camden Region Economic Taskforce (CRET)


A not unrelated matter is announcement this week by Camden Council for honorary directors and chairperson for the Camden Region Economic Taskforce (CRET).


The advertisement states that the Camden LGA has a 'unique history and rural backdrop'. The CRET is a company limited by guarantee with the express aim to 
drive and facilitate economic growth in the Camden LGA through leadership, advocacy, coordination and recognition of our unique heritage. 
The CRET is to maintain a 'balance' between economic growth while
maintaining  Camden's unique historic heritage and natural environment. 
Anyone who has any questions on the CRET they should contact Camden Council and speak to Mark Anderson  0418 864 866 or Lindy Hyam  0417 886 826.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Preservation or vandalism? Relocating an historic building.

Preservation or vandalism? 
Relocating an historic building


In February 2017 the local press advertised an 1850 sandstone cottage for sale.

The cottage had been disassembled and re-located from its original site to a new locality.

The house had been completely rebuilt in a new locality.

Former Buxton Cottage built in 1850  was re-located to Grasmere in 1973


The house in question was originally built around 1850 and originally called Buxton Cottage.


The cottage was taken apart and re-built in 1973 at Grasmere near Camden on a rural property. It was re-named Wirrinya.

The re-built and re-furbished cottage was offered for sale in a rural-lifestyle estate of Grasmere. The cottage was located on 4.68 acres and offered for sale as a 'traditional sandstone homestead'.

The cottage has Indian influences with a hipped roof-line andverandah all around. It has the simplicity and symmetry of  Georgian influences with a central door and balance by windows.

For those in the Museums and Galleries Sector the views are mixed on whether a historic building should be moved to a new location.

The Department of Environment in the Australian Government states that common arguments for moving historic buildings are:
  • To "save" the building. 
  • To "improve" the museum. 
  • To provide more space for storage or exhibition. 
  • To make the building more accessible and visible. 
  • The building provides a cheap, new space. 
  • A moved building may also exclude a museum from assistance. 
  • Some buildings are designed to be moved.  
Read more here 

Read the report here.


Friday, 27 January 2017

Pansy Old Right-of-Way at Elderslie

Vellas Fresh Produce Market Gardens
25-85 Camden Valley Way, 
Elderslie 

DA  010.2016.00001366.001 

Old Right-of-Way for Camden-Campbelltown Railway
The Old Right-of-Way for Camden-Campbelltown Railway viewed from Kirkham Lane looking towards Camden at the site of the proposed Vella Market Gardens. 2017 (I Willis)


Camden-Campbelltown  Railway Locomotive at Camden Railway Station

Pansy Locomotive on the Camden-Campbelltown Railway Branch Line in 1950s  seen here at Camden Railway Station (Camden Images)

There is a re-development of a rural property adjacent to the Cowpastures Bridge at Elderslie on the Camden Valley Way (formerly the Hume Highway) that has the old right-of-way for the Camden-Campbelltown Light Railway.

The Camden-Campbelltown Railway was an important part of local transport infrastructure from 1881 to 1963, when the New South Wales Government closed the branch line.

The Vella Markets Garden development site not only has the old right-of-way there are also culverts that still exist from the 1950s.

Old Right-Of-Way for Camden-Campbelltown Railway view from Camden Valley Way looking towards Kirkham Lane. The location of horse indicates the line of trees that marks the ROW on site for proposed Vella Market Gardens. 2017 (I Willis)


The old right-of-way is clearly identifiable by a line trees that follow it to Kirkham Lane.

It is unfortunate that the developer does not mention this old right-of-way in any of the development documents.

View of Old Right-of-Way for Camden-Campbelltown Railway view from Kirkham Lane looking towards Camden. Camden Valley Way is visible on left of image. The presence of the embankment for tracks are clearly seen in this image in proposed site for Vella Market Gardens .2017 (I Willis)

Read more about Camden-Campbelltown Railway here and here

The Camden-Campbelltown Railway has been the subject of the recently published Pictorial History of Camden & District  seen here on the back cover of the book


Read more in Camden History the journal of the Camden Historical Society and visit the
Camden Museum to view a number of artefacts from the railway days.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Cowpastures, just like an English landscape.


The Cowpastures, just like an English landscape.


The Camden Historical Sociey is hosting a talk and slides by University of Wollongong historian Dr Ian Willis at its meeting on Wednesday 8 February 2017.
The colonial settlers in the Cowpastures made the countryside look like a Little England (I Willis)


The topic of the talk is 'The Cowpastures, just like an English landscape' where he will speak about how the early colonial settlers of the Cowpastures re-shaped the Australian countryside into an English-style landscape.


Camden Historical Society

Talk and Slides

Wednesday, 8 February 2017, 7.30pm

Camden Museum, 40 John Street, Camden.

 Speaker


Topic


The Cowpastures, just like an English landscape.



Summary of talk



The early colonial European settlers in the Cowpastures were the key players in the story of creating an English-style landscape along the Nepean River. 

The settlers took possession of the countryside  from the Dharawal Aboriginal people and re-made it in their own vision of the world. 

They constructed a cultural landscape made up of an idealised vision of what they had left behind in the ‘Old Country’. 

For the European settlers the new continent, and particularly the bush, had the elements of the Gothic with its grotesque and the demonic, and the English-style landscape aesthetic they created was one attempt to counter these forces.  

Settlers used the aesthetic to assist the creation of a new story on an apparently blank slate and in the process dispossessed and displaced the Indigenous occupants. 

The new landscape was characterised by English placenames, English farming methods and English settlement patterns, with only cursory acknowledgement of Indigenous occupation. 

The early settlers had such a profound impact on the countryside that their legacy is still clearly identifiable today even after 200 years. 

Read more about colonial Camden here

Read more about the history of the Camden District here