June 10 - 16, 2018: Issue 363

The Roads And Tracks Of Yesterday: How The Avalon Beach Subdivisions Changed The Green Valley Tracks


f.110 Mount Saint Patrick road to Broken Bay.: Image No.: a5894118h from album: Volume 1: Sketches of N. S. [New South] Wales, 1857-1888 / by H. Grant Lloyd, courtesy Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales - Mount Saint Patrick was the name for what we now call Bangalley Head - Mount Saint Mary, opposite, is where Stapleton Park now sits atop this hill/'mount'. Visit John Collins of Avalon and Careel Bay Jetty and Boatshed

AVALON.
Pearling waves that cream milk-white,
Sun-drenched sands and skies of blue
Linger in my memory -
Avalon, my heart's with you!
DOROTHEA DOWLING.

AVALON. (1935, May 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17151649

To celebrate the access to new and unseen photographs as part of the Avalon Beach Historic Society's 9th Great Historical Photographic Exhibition a few items about the Valley of Avalon. 

Avalon Beach itself was originally known as part of 'Priest's Flat' and was one of the earliest beach sites to be dedicated for all for all time in Pittwater, a dedication due solely to the vision and aspirations of a gentleman, the Rev. John Joseph Therry, who had received 1200 acres, including the valley of Avalon, in 1833. 

Warringah Items.
It was unanimously decided to place the seal of the council to a document from the trustees of the late Father Terrey's Estate, dedicating to the council a 20 acre reserve, including the whole of the beach on "Priest's Flat," Barrenjoey Peninsula. This land was left for a reserve some 25 years ago, when the Pittwater Estate was being cut up, but was never dedicated, and the Registrar-General would not recognise it as such. After considerable trouble the dedication was arrangedwithout expense to the council, and the shire deserves congratulation on the result of their negotiations.

A numerously signed petition was received for transmission to the Department asking that 10 acres, known as the Oaks Picnic grounds, and owned by the Salvation Army, be resumed for a recreation reserve. Decided to forward the document to its destination with the council's endorsement.

It was decided that the Fisheries Board be asked to erect poles in the mouth of the Deewhy Lagoon, in order to prevent illegal net fishing. It was stated that this was a parti-cular prawning ground, but it is being frequently invaded by net fishers, who decimated the prawns.

Decided to request the PostmasterGeneral to instal slot telephones at all the post offices in the shire.

Warringah Items. (1912, March 8). The Land (Sydney, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article102916271



Avalon subdivision plans, September 1912. Image No.: c027560011h, courtesy State Library of New South Wales


KNIGHTLEY ESTATE Advertising (1912, November 4). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 8. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117687749

What we now call Avalon Beach and its valley looked a lot different in earliest times to what we see now - as shown in St. Michael’s Arch, Avalon 1864 To 1962, a landmark now gone, and St Michael's Cave, now closed due to rockfalls, or even 2017's headland rockfall

ST. MICHAEL'S ARCH.

This beautiful Arch is situated on the estate of the late Very Reverend J. J. Therry, about three miles south of Broken Bay. As the scenery along. the coast from Manly Beach to the Bay is of the loveliest description, we advise all lovers of the picturesque to hire a spring cart from Mr. Miles - who lives about half a mile from the Pier Hotel - and proceed, early in the morning, to Mr. Collins' house, about thirteen miles distance, so as to be able to inspect this extraordinary specimen of natural architecture, and to return to Manly the same day if necessary.

As this excursion may gradually become fashionable, we quote a description of the places on the road from the late Postmaster- General Raymond's valuable work, the "Post Office Directory for 1855."

"Seven and a half miles from North Harbour, - Jenkins' house; the road for the last mile along a level sandy beach. On the left is Narabeen lagoon. Mr. Jenkins has a snug house here, and much land in cultivation, which is an agreeable prospect from the sea. Eleven and a half miles from North Harbour -Hut on the sea shore. The path from the Pennant Hills Road reaches the sea, and joins this coast road at the farm of one Foley - a tenant of. Mr. Wentworth's; the distance from thence being twelve miles. About half a mile further on is the south-east arm of Pitt Water, on which there are some small cultivated farms. The head of Pitt Water as seen from the heights along which the road or path leads, is equal to any lake scenery, and there are many romantic spots, with good land, on its banks, which might be converted into good farms. Thirteen miles from North Harbour - Several farms and cottages. Fourteen miles- The Rev. Mr. Therry has a grant here. Fourteen and three-quarter miles - The Hole-in-the-Wall, being a rocky projection forming a rude archway with the shore."

The arch mentioned by Mr. Raymond is about twenty-two feet across the inside, and between thirty and forty feet high underneath. The rocks, of which it forms a part, are seventy feet in height - the colours of these rocks are exceedingly beautiful. At low water the visitor can pass through the arch.


Ascending the cliffs, a view of Pitt Water is beheld, being the harbour belonging to this estate. If an arrangement were madeto have a small steamer plying along the beautifully wooded, lofty, and precipitous shores of the Hawkesbury River, parties of travellers could meet it at this spot, avoiding the disagreeable sea voyage by coming from Manly by land. The steamer could convey them from Mr. Collins' house to Windsor, and the trainwould take them back to Sydney - it being understood that the Windsor railway will shortly be completed.

Illustration: ST. MICHAEL'S ARCH.  

ST. MICHAEL'S ARCH. (1864, October 15). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63512130 


W.H. Raworth (Brit./Aust./NZ, c1821-1904). St Michael’s Arch, NSW [Avalon] c1860s. Watercolour, signed lower left, obscured title in colour pencil verso, 34.2 x 56.5cm. Tear to left portion of image, slight scuffs and foxing to upper portion.  Price (AUD): $2,900.00  at:https://www.joseflebovicgallery.com/pages/books/CL181-53/w-h-raworth-c-brit-aust-nz/st-michaels-arch-nsw-avalon 

St. Michael's Arch 1867 - The storm that turned an arch into a pedestal:

BROKEN BAY.

[FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT] 

June 24 – We have had tremendous weather, but, as far as Pitt Water is concerned, no damage has been done with the exception to one of our picturesque curiosities, St. Michael’s Arch. It has at length to the too mighty elements and the destroying influence of time, that which was the admiration of all who have beheld it is now almost baseless fabric-there is only about one half of the outer support left, looking at it at a distance it has the resemblance of a coloured pillar. In its fall it carried a large portion of the overhanging rock with it, a thousand tons of gigantic boulders, and in such masses that I think it will stop the ingress from that part to the cave, but at yet we have had no close inspection for the rollers are dashing to the height of the stupendous rocks. The only idea I can give of the gale is that the froth of (not spray) the sea came over Mount St. Joseph, opposite the house, half a foot in size, and spread itself down to the dam, at times shading the heights of the mountain,-its resemblance was that of an overwhelming snow storm.

The sea at Barranjoey washed away the flower garden in front of the Chinamen's huts, taking soil and all, so that the beach comes close up to their door. There must have been awful havoc in the Hawkesbury, for all the beaches from Barranjoey to the Long Beach are strewn with fragments of houses, boxes, chairs, door frames, dead pigs, hay, wheat, broken bedsteads, weather-board sides of houses, oranges with large branches, pumpkins, melons, corn cobs, and other debris, that scarcely any portion of the beaches can be seen. Mr. Conolly picked up a workbox, in which was contained a number of receipts and letters directed to Mr. Moss, Windsor. The beaches on which are the debris is Barrenjoey, Whale Beach, Collins's Beach, Mick's Hollow Beach, Farrell's Beach, Mona Beach, and Long Beach, so it may be imagined the great extent of destruction. BROKEN BAY. (1867, June 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13144304 

Another version published two days later:

BROKEN BAY[From the Herald's Correspondents.]

June 24. — We have had tremendous weather, but, as far as Pitt Water is concerned, no damage has been done, with the exception to one of our picturesque curiosities, St. Michael's Arch. It has at length yielded to the too mighty elements and the destroying influence of time,— that which, was the admiration of all who have beheld it is now almost a baseless fabric,— there is only about one half of the outer support left, looking at it at a distance it has the resemblance of a colossal pillar. In its fall it carried a large portion of the overhanging rock with it, a thousand tons of gigantic boulders, and in such masses that I think it will stop the ingress from that part to the cave, but as yet we have had no close inspection, for the rollers are dashing to the height of the stupendous rocks. The only idea I can give of the gale is, that the froth of (not spray) the sea came over Mount St. Joseph, opposite the house, half a foot in size, and spread itself down to the dam, at times shading the heights of the mountain, — its resemblance was that of an overwhelming snow storm. The sea at Barranjoey washed away the flower garden in front of the Chinamen's huts, taking soil and all, so that the beach comes close up to their door. There must have been awful havoc in the Hawkesbury, for all the beaches from Barrenjoey to the Long Reach are strewed with fragments of houses, boxes, chairs, doorframes, dead pigs, hay, wheat, broken bedsteads, weatherboard sides of houses, oranges with large branches, pumpkins, melons, corn cobs, and other debris, that scarcely any portion of the beaches can be seen. Mr. Conolly picked up a workbox, in which was contained a number of receipts and letters directed to Mr. Moss, Windsor. The beaches on which are the debris is Barrenjoey, Whale Beach,  Collins's Beach, Mick's Hollow Beach, Farrell's Beach, Mona Beach, and Long Reach, so it may be imagined the great extent of destruction. BROKEN BAY. (1867, June 29). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1860 - 1871), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166799304

Many resident historians are fairly certain that the above was written by then resident in this region John Collins, or his brother Frank, who worked occasionally at the Broken Bay Customs Station, Barrenjoey headland during these years. Mr. Conolly, who is also mentioned, became a relative by marrying one of the Collin's daughters.


circa 1900 when 'the Pedestal'


The Stone Woman. Avalon Beach photo by Rex Hazlewood, circa 1921. Image Courtesy The Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, No.:c046220004h

In fact the place, alike every place, is constantly changing and has shifted from being a place occupied by aboriginal peoples to a refuge for settlers where shells were gathered to make cement and cows milked to make butter to becoming a health resort via A J Small's 1920's vision to a place that was affordable for families during the post WWII frugality and 1950's and safe for their children to roam about in and play.

Apart from the changes Nature has wrought it is those imposed on the landscape by those who sought a home beside the seaside, or a place to get away to, that changed an open semi-rural valley to a suburb of a city. 

IMPROVING AVALON. ROADSIDE TREES PLANTED

Since the sale of Avalon Beach Estate at Christmas additions and improvements have been effected on the estate. 

The rock pool baths at the southern end of the beach have been extended 18ft., and are now 57ft. long, with a smooth bottom. Ladies' dressing sheds have been erected immediately at the rear, on a spot once occupied by a jumble of rocks, and a general store and refreshment room of original design has been built close to the beach. 

Several landowners are already building homes on their lots. A new, wide road has been constructed, giving the land direct access to the beach, and at the side of all the roads, trees, of eight different varieties, chosen as specially suitable for the land and atmosphere, have been planted. One of these is the Illawarra Flame Tree, which carries blooms of fire color.

IMPROVING AVALON (1922, March 22). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 10 (FINAL RACING). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225222882



The bathing pool Avalon Beach  photos by Rex Hazlewood, circa 1920-1929 Images Courtesy The Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, No.: c046220002h and c046220014h Visit; Pittwater's Ocean Beach Rock Pools: Southern Corners Of Bliss - A History

Some of these tree plantings during their formation seasons may be seen in many of the wonderful panoramas held by the National Library of Australia which illustrated the development of the Avalon Beach Golf Course:

 

Panorama of Avalon with Avalon Beach in the background, New South Wales, 1930, 3 PIC/8140/3 LOC Album 1059 Album 1059 from Prospectus photographs of Avalon, 1930. Courtesy National Library of Australia.  nla.obj-147287739-1 and enlarged sections from. 


That 1921 sale of land slogan that has been taken up with a passion by the Creative Creatures film Festival:

Cronulla was, Palm Beach is, and Avalon Beach will be. This is the catch slogan which has been adopted by the vendor of the Palmgrove Estate at Avalon, which is to be sold by Messrs. H. W. Horning and Co., on Boxing Day. Judging by the beautiful panoramic views which appear in an attractive booklet, and which also occupy a conspicuous position in Messrs. Horning and Co.'s windows, Martin-place, the scenery surrounding the estate must be exceptionally beautiful. Avalon is the new sea side resort between Newport and Palm Beach. 

The Palmgrove Estate is on the main Barrenjoey-road, and is right at the beach. The owner has evidently had the public good in mind, as the estate has been well planted with Ornamental shade trees, while a section of it known as the Palm Grove, has been presented as a park. This is a remarkable beauty spot, with a wealth of graceful palms, maidenhair, burrawang, and other ferns. The estate is in every respect a most attractive proposition to those looking  for week-end and holiday sites. REAL ESTATE NEWS. (1921, December 11). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article123241058


Advertising (1921, December 24). Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 20. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article234270570




Avalon subdivision plans, Image no.; c027560002h, courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

The State Library of NSW is gradually digitising many of the subdivision maps and posters it holds. Some may also be found online through the National Library of Australia. The one associated with the Palmgrove Estate also allows us some snapshots of the valley of then:






Avalon Beach, Palmgrove Estate; 26-Dec-21, Subdivisions maps and sections from. Images No.: c027560016h, c027560017h  and c027560018h, courtesy State Library of New South Wales.

Compare this version from a few years later;


(1930). [House, Avalon, New South Wales, 1930, 2] Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-147288137 from album Prospectus photographs of Avalon, 1930, courtesy National Library of Australia

Another version:

The foundation meeting - on the steps stand Dr. Sydney dentist, Arthur Cecil Hanson with A J Small (second from left in white trousers) on his right, Stan Wickham (3.) and Bert Paddon (also white trousers - born 1906) to his left.  Also among these founders of Avalon Beach is A G (Tom) Hanson - verandah, and Small’s son Geoff is on the far right of the verandah, who was also in the first squad. Third boy from left in balcony bay alcove is Neville Fox, gentleman without collar back row of those on steps looks like Mr. Henry Fox while the tall lad beside him looks like Vincent. If you compare the faces in this picture with those of the Fox-Williams wedding picture and that of the Pittwater rowers at Parramatta in 1935 further down the page, a few faces are definitely the same. 


Vincent Fox and Bert Paddon were both in the first successful bronze medallion squad of 31 January 1926 - (Geoff Searl) Above image courtesy Rod Hanson - Hanson Family 

Another subdivision map example from a few months later was that shared during the weeks preceding the new Avalon Beach SLSC Clubhouse when the various clubhouses were explored. This second subdivision of the careel Ocean Beach Estate was also preceded by a few other versions of the same name. From Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club: The First Clubhouse:

Sale of Ocean Water Frontages. One of the attractions of the New Year with big advantages attached by reason of the rarity of the opportunity is the auction sale, January 26, of ocean water frontages on a beautiful surf beach at Careel Bay, Pittwater, just above. Manly.No better way to spend Anniversary Day could be found than to visit the spot, for which every provision will be made, as may be gathered from the advertisements. The land for sale is the Careel Ocean Beach Estate, which is only three-quarters of a mile from Clareville Wharf at Pittwater. There are hundreds of splendid deep blocks fronting a beautiful ocean beach and intersected by a fine wide marine parade. Only £3 deposit is required for each £50 purchase, and the balance, in easy installments over a term of seven years. The auctioneers are Messrs. Stanton and Son, Pitt-street, and Messrs. Hanson, Strong and Robey, Manly. The solicitors to the Estate are Messrs. Bowman and Mackenzie, George-street, Sydney. Sale of Ocean Water Frontages. (1914, January 17). The Newsletter: an Australian Paper for Australian People (Sydney, NSW : 1900 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116942799

Stanton and Son, Ltd, report lots 63 and 89, Careel Ocean Beach Estate, £65;REAL ESTATE. (1917, April 29). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article122793415

Stanton and Son, Ltd, report, 15 lots in the Careel Ocean Beach Estate, with frontages of in all of 752 feet to Marine Parade for atotal of £6781REAL ESTATE. (1919, January 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15819701

Stanton & Son. Careel Ocean Beach estate [cartographic material] : "The hole in the wall", 2nd subdivision, 1922. MAP Folder 37, LFSP 499. Part 1. and Stanton & Son. Careel Ocean Beach estate [cartographic material] : "The hole in the wall", 2nd subdivision 1922. MAP Folder 37, LFSP 499. Part 2., courtesy National Library of Australia.


This one is great as it allows you to see who owned what structure: 


Avalon Beach Estate, Image No.: c027560001, courtesy State Library of New South Wales. Zoomable here

Younger readers may not be aware that what they call 'Old Barrenjoey Road' was originally the way to head north - there was no road along the ocean side;

Panorama of Avalon Beach, New South Wales, ca. 1925 [picture] / EB Studios. PIC P865/212/2 PIC P865 LOC photographs in Hurley Stack 52/4-Enemark collection of panoramic photographs and sections from enlarged - nla.obj-162503612-1. Courtesy National Library of Australia

While on that Avalon Beach road - did you know that when plans were made in mid 1926 to make new roads, and a deviation int Avalon, A. J. Small negotiating with the council to allow them to resume some blocks of land to make this possible, a suggestion was made by the Avalon Beach Estate (2.11.26.) 'suggesting that the opening of Barrenjoey Road deviations be treated as an important public event, that the name "De Chair Drive" be given the deviations, and submitting a proposal for tree planting along the deviations.

That didn't happen - as younger readers know:

SEASIDE GOLF
Links at Avalon
People Interested in the attractiveness of seaside resorts are beginning to realise the value of golf links. The latest proposal is to establish a course at Avalon Beach. Avalon is a favorite holiday and week-end resort of the motorist, who enjoys a short run, and when links are in playing order Its popularity, will; increase. The course will be laid out on a sheltered pocket on the Manly side of the beach. The main road to Palm Reach will form its western boundary, so that there will be no question of its accessibility. 

The course will be of nine holes to commence with, and a beautiful site has been reserved for the clubhouse, within one minute of the beach and swimming pool. The ground at present is mostly covered with ti-tree, but clearing it will not be expensive or difficult. Patches have already been cleared, and are well grassed, the soil being sandy and most suitable for golf. The work of laying out the course and getting It In order will be taken In hand almost Immediately, and an effort made to get the links in playing order by next summer. SEASIDE GOLF (1923, February 27). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), , p. 5 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223446089 


Grass with sign reading Avalon Golf Links in preparation - photo by Rex Hazlewood, circa 1920-1929 Image Courtesy The Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, No.:c046220009h

As can be seen in the first panorama above, and enlarged sections from, there was no road hugging the coast in this Enemark photograph of around 1925 and although the land has been cleared for a golf course, no greens are as yet in place, nor are there any sheds.

Above: Motor cars driving along road, Avalon, New South Wales, 1930 Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-147289886 - courtesy National Library of Australia

N AVALON'S VALLEY - SUBDIVISION OPENED
Buyers Interested in the Pride of Avalon Estate, Avalon, will be motored to Inspect it by Messrs. McLaughlin and Co., of 72 Pitt-street, city, the managing agents.
This recently-opened subdivision is within the shelter of Avalon valley, handily situated to beach, swimming pool, golf course, and the calm waters of Careel Bay, on the other side of the Barrenjoey Peninsular. It Is just off the main road, and sheltered from boisterous winds, while its elevation affords fine views across the green plain which stretches from the ocean to Pittwater. This estate is being offered on easy terms, .which allow purchasers five years to pay. IN AVALON'S VALLEY (1929, March 15). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), , p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222706455 

Old Barrenjoey Road how named and when:

Street Names Resolved (Crs Hope, Hitchcock) - That the deviations of Barrenjoey Road be called "Barrenjoey Road", and that the old road in the same section be called "Old Barrenjoey Road." 19/03/1928 Warringah Shire Council Minutes

Panorama of Avalon with Avalon Beach in the background, New South Wales, 1930, 2 - PIC/8140/2 LOC Album 1059 from Prospectus photographs of Avalon, 1930. Courtesy National Library of Australia. nla.obj-147287084-1 and enlarged sections from. 




See how there is no tar on the road - just dirt, or dust, and stones.


As soon as structures such as homes and shops began to appear on the Avalon valley floor the fact that the place is threaded with creeks created problems every time it rained and drainage problems featured in the then Warringah Shire Council Notices and warranted the state government getting involved in 'unhealthy land' at Avalon due to poor drainage - from Warringah Shire council's Minutes of Meetings we garner and insight into a problem that still hasn't been fixed:

30/4/1928: 40.,Garland, Seaborn & Abbott 13/4/28 Suggesting certain drainage improvements at Avalon Beach to prevent damage to A J Small's property. Resolved Crs. Hitchcock, That the Engineer furnish an estimate of the cost, and the work of cutting the drain be put in hand immediately the transfer is finalised. 

62. Garland. Seaborn & Abbott. 29/6/28. Again requesting that the Shire Engineer confer with the green-keeper of Avalon Beach golf links in regard to defective drainage. Referred to the Overseer for attention. 

18. Main Roads Board. 16/7/28. Advising that the length of Barrenjoey Road which is proposed to be proclaimed a main road is that extending from Newport to the end of the last at deviation at Avalon. Resolved: (Crs. Hitchcock, Atkins) - That an application be made to have the whole length of Barrenjoey Road proclaimed a main road. 20. H.E. Fry. 12/7/28. Requesting a garage approach to 57, Avalon Beach Estate. Referred to the Overseer for report. 

23/7/1928: 45. Garland. Seaborn & Abbott. 10/7/28. Suggesting, as a temporary measure to relieve the drainage trouble at Avalon Beach, that a drain be cut from the junction of Barrenjoey Road deviation and Avalon Parade to the 25-ft.easement opposite the tennis courts. Left with the Engineer to deal with

'THEY LEFT A DOME AT AVALON'
But Position is All Wrong, Say Drivers
Motorists using the road to Palm Beach have narrowly escaped serious accident from time to time by driving their cars over a traffic dome at the corner of Barrenjoey-road and Avalon Parade, Avalon, owing to the dome being in a position not suspected by those unfamiliar with the locality. The N.R.M.A. recently took the matter up with the Warringah Shire Council, and suggested a new location for the dome. The Council has now advised the Association that the present position of the dome was selected by the road authorities, but that the Council, endorsing the N.R.M.A. contention, was communicating with the department in order to have the potential danger removed. "THEY LEFT A DOME AT AVALON" (1929, September 29). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131622034 

24. B. Kenny & Son. 6/2/29. Submitting, for affixing of Council's Seal, D.P. of part of  Avalon Beach  Estate, fronting "The Crescent" and "The Serpentine," and assuring the Council that the complete fencing and culverts will be each completed within the next month. Resolved (Cr. Hitchcock, state Cr. Robertson) that authority be given for the affixing of the Council's Seal to the plan, upon receipt of £250 to be paid into the Council's Trust Fund as a guarantee for the completion of the work on the subdivision, and upon the Engineer certifying that permanent marks and drainage easements have been correctly provided. 25. Same. 6/2/29. requesting the Council to consider the question of tarring the roads in Avalon Beach Estate subdivision, including Plateau Road, the company being prepared to make a reasonable contribution towards the cost of the works. Resolved (Or. Hitchcock, Cr. Austin) That if the Co. will tar the first 30 chains of Plateau Road the Council will give it a second coat and maintain it.

16/12/1929: 25. Perkins Stevenson & Co. 29. Requesting that the matter of attention to Bilgola Creek at Mrs. Maclurcan's  property be reconsidered, and holding Council responsible should any further damage result. Resolved (Crs. Hitchcock Robertson) - That the Council without prejudice, that it cannot see its way to more than it has already offered, 26. E. Kenny & Son:  4/12/29 Submitting copies of Deposited Pans of western subdivision of Avalon Beach Estate for council’s approval offering monetary guarantee for duecompletion of roadwork, and an under-taking that the road drainage, etc. will be finished within one month from date. (Dealt with. in Engineer's report to this meeting)

Frank A. Nook, 7/1/30. Applying for permission to gather shell grit from the ocean at Avalon Beach. To be informed that the Council has no objection provided the Department of Mine's permission is obtained, and it is understood Council will withdraw permission at any time if thought fit. (Crs. Corkery, Austin.) 26. Avalon Beach Progress Assoc, 4.1.30 Stating that if Council will provide three more garbage receptacles for Avalon Beach, with suitable notices placed on them, the Association will place them in position, (2) on the need for sanitary conveniences at Taylor's Point Reserve, (3) drawing attention to the "appalling condition" of Clareville wharf. Decisions:- (1) Resolved The Association be asked whether it is in a position to arrange for the emptying and cleaning of the receptacles, (2) referred to the Inspector for report.

10/2/1930: That the Overseer's report respecting the removal of grit from Avalon Beach Reserve be adopted, and the Inspector investigate the each matter of the bag structures erected on the reserve.

33.Avalon Beach Progress Aesop. 4/11/30. Requesting that Avalon Beach reserve and beach frontage be put in order, and that the Council apply to the Unemployment Relief Council for a grant of about £100 for the purpose. Resolved, - The Association be informed of the number of applications already made to the Unemployment Relief Council, and the disappointing result of same. (Crs. Greenwood, Hitchcock) 34.4/11/30. Requesting that the southern corner of the Central Road-Barrenjoey, Road junction be rounded off, scrub cleared from both corners, and the Central Road graded Central Road back for a distance of about 50 yards from Barrenjoey Road. Resolved, - That work be carried out by the maintenance men as recommended by the Overseer. (Crs. Robertson, Austin)

25. A. J. Small, 23/7/31, drawing attention to: the "inadequate methods of drainage provided for the area in  the neighbourhood of Wickham's Store at Avalon Beach ", explaining that are, in his opinion, the causes of the trouble, and notifying the Council he holds it responsible for the damage done in Wickham's Store during the last heavy rain storm, Referred to A. Riding Councillors. 7. Bobbie & Poxall, Licensed Surveyor, 5/8/31 requesting Council to reconsider its decision in regard to the damage done to Mrs Macluron's property at Bilgola Beach by storm water. Resolved, - That the Council's previous decision be adhered to: (Crs. Campbell, Austin) 8. Reynolds, … & Co., 31/7/31, giving notice of intention to issue a writ for £50 in respect of damage to Mrs. Metcalf's property in Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach  Resolved, - That the Councils previous decision be adhered to, 94 Creagh & Creagh, Solicitors, 7/7/31, respecting damage to A E Hordern's property at Palm Beach by stormwater: Resolved, That the President and Engineer go into the matter. (Crs Austin. McPaul) Avalon drainage in vicinity of Bayview Avenue and Palmgrove Road - re Ruskin Rowe letter Resolved, - That the report be adopted. (C) Clareville drainage at Beach Parade 

Avalon Beach General Store owned by Stan Wickham, on Avalon Parade, New South Wales, 1930, Image No.:nla.pic-an24768496, courtesy NLA from album Prospectus photographs of Avalon, 1930 

Stan Wickham, famous Wallaby three-quarter, has been appointed postmaster at the new office at Avalon Beach. His was a glittering football career, and, in more sedate pursuits, he is as popular as ever. Remember, All Are For The State (1933, May 31). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 3 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228892621

Alison Bosley stands beside a photograph of her Great aunt, Grace Wickham. Grace was the wife of Stan Wickham, a rugby giant during his younger days.



Grace came to Avalon in 1924 with Stan and their two young children to take up tenancy of A. J. Small’s General Store. 

In 1934 the Wickham’s had built their own store on the diagonally opposite corner, where the wine store now stands. While Stan was out making deliveries Grace would run the store, including the Post Office within the store, redirected telephone calls, handled holiday lettings for the cottages and homes as they sprang up, raised her children and as a nurse, acted as the local GP until a doctor had settled in the valley of Avalon.

On a tragic note, she also took the telegram which informed her of her son being shot down over Germany in 1939 whilst a flier for the Royal Air Force.

66 CASUALTIES
The R.A.F. casualty list includes Pilot Officer S. M. Wickham, of Avalon Beach, New South Wales, and acting-Flight Lieutenant E. J. Heatherington, of Timaru, New Zealand. Both were killed on active service. The sixteenth casualty list contains 66 names. Details are :
Killed in action 5. NAZIS LOSE TWO 'PLANES IN RAID (1940, January 3). Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101492779 

Wickham Lane, running beside the Post Office’s present site is named after the Wickhams.

Alison Bosley explains that this was the path they used to use to go to the shop and later the tea rooms beside it.

“They lived in Central Road and that was the path they walked along to go to work”


View along Avalon Parade in 1930's
This classic photo shows the commercial area of Avalon Beach in the 1930s. ‘Avalon Beach Store’ was built by Stan Wickham in 1934 and in the same year, the ‘Avalon Service Station’ and the neighbouring NRMA Patrol Hut were built by A.J. Small. J.T. Stapleton’s huge real estate advertising sign and agency has been erected on the northwest corner of Avalon Parade and Old Barrenjoey Road (the old Westpac site). Note the condition of the surface of Avalon Parade, especially as it begins to climb the headland. ABHS photo
View along Avalon Parade in May 2018

(10) Avalon Beach Progress Association, 4/5/50, asking the Council to urgently arrange kerbing and guttering adjacent to the new school to be opened within the next few weeks at the corner of Old Barrenjoey Road and Sanders Lane. Resolved, - The Association be informed that as the Council has such a long kerbing and guttering programme for this year, where it is urgently necessary for drainage purposes, it cannot give consideration to this request at present. (Cr. McKay) (11) Same, 4/5/502 informing Council that the Association is dissatisfied with the Council's apparent inability to provide adequate maintenance, construction and drainage in the locality, Avalon that the majority of roads and footpaths are in a deplorable condition, and if necessary improvements cannot be carried out by the Council's staff, the construction work, if possible, be immediately let out by private contract; and contending that rates and services are on the increase without any apparent benefit to the ratepayers. Resolved, - The Association be informed of the large amount of work to be done throughout the Shire, and that such work is held up owing to the acute position in regard to labour and materials.  - Warringah Shire Council records

A report dated May 30th, 1950 from the then council records indicates the safety of those driving on what were old sand and dirt roads within this growing suburb was negated again, while a June 1950 report explains why it floods around Avalon Parade when it rains. Known prior to the early 1920's development's as 'Priest's Flat, the area had been described as 'swampy flat lands' even though this provided good fodder for cattle and dairy farms prior to the changes becoming a holiday destination brought :

Reporting that the estimated cost of giving attention to Avalon, Careel Road and Marine Parade, North Avalon, is £800 regarding gravelling being necessary: Resolved, - That this work be listed for consideration in next years works programme. (Crs. McKay, Bayliss)

Local Government Department, 26/6/50, stating that  Avalon representations have been made to the Department by H. Thornhill concerning drainage in the vicinity of his property at Avalon  Parade, Avalon, and requesting to be supplied with the Council's comments thereon.Resolved, - That the Department be informed of the Engineer's report that these houses are built on a swampy flat taking all the stormwater from near hills during heavy rains, and that there is considerable flooding of the flat area. (Cr. Butcher) 

Avalon flat near the shops flooded then as it still can on occasion now. When there was still a camping ground behind the dunes some storms, and the rain rushing through Careel Creek to Careel Bay, flooded those who were living there, some permanently due to post WWII shortages, and they were sheltered in the surf club.

THEY SUFFERED DISCOMFORT FROM THE RAIN: Mr. Syd Forrester, of Leichhardt, digging a trench during heavy rain in an effort to prevent the flooding of his tent at the Avalon camping ground yesterday. 


The occupants of six of the 90 tents on the reserve left for home. THEY SUFFERED DISCOMFORT FROM THE RAIN. (1948, January 15). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18057497

Freak Storm Hits Avalon: Drives Out Tent Dwellers

A freak hailstorm yesterday flooded many parts of Avalon, doing hundreds of pounds' worth of damage. Scores of people living in the camping area at Avalon were forced to leave their bornes. Tents were torn to-shreds and the roofs of caravans severely damaged. Several tents and the furniture inside them were washed out to sea by floodwaters. Most of the families living in the camping area were given shelter for the night in the Avalon surf shed.

Mrs. Joyce Andries, of the Avalon Fire Station, said last night that immediately residents realised the floodwaters were rising, volunteers raced to the camping area to help to evacuate the children. The children were carried to safety through the racing water. Most of them were taken to the Avalon surf sheds, and the remainder were taken to the homes of relatives and friends.

Among the worst sufferers in the camping area were Mr. and Mrs. V. Harrington, who estimated their losses at about £.250. Their tent was not washed away, but damage to the roofing, sides and floor coverings was "enormous," said Mr. Harrington. The roof of Harrington’s tent was torn to shreds by the hailstones while water roared over the floor, destroying floor coverings and food supplies. Mr. Harrington had to use a suction pump to clear the water from the tent. He said he had only just cleaned up and repaired the damage done by last Saturday morning's floods. The storm began shortly after 2 p.m. and lasted for nearly three and a half hours.

Hailstones, measuring almost two and a half inches across, rained on the shopping and camping centres. Stormwater, in places three feet deep, raced through the shopping centre, flooding shops and homes. Hundreds of pounds' worth of stock in the shops was destroyed. Road traffic from Palm Beach and Sydney was dislocated. Vehicles were unable to pass Avalon.

The tent on the left, owned by Mr D. Needham, was completely capsized by the rushing waters. 


One of the shops which suffered most damage was Le Clercq's general merchandise store in Avalon Parade. Mr. Le Clercq, the owner, bored holes in the floorboards in an attempt to drain away the two feet of water which was damaging his goods. 

He said he had only just cleaned up the debris from a flood which occurred on Friday. He had suffered more than £250 worth of damage in that flood. The rush of water through Avalon Parade was so great at one stage that several cars were almost submerged. The swirling flood carried one car almost 200 yards before dumping it on the pavement.Freak Storm Hits Avalon: Drives Out Tent Dwellers. (1953, May 7). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 1. Retrieved February 1, 2012, fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18372783

For more visit Avalon Camping Grounds

Cows seem to have been a problem to some and part of the landscape to others. As the subdivisions progressed what was the Clairville or Clareville road had become Avalon Parade - this wonderful ABHS image from the early 1920's shows how that road looked:


NOISES IN THE NIGHT

IT is no easy task to pick out all the noises that come out of the night, when one is the bush. I am writing this in a camp near Avalon Beach, and while for an instant it might seem that the night is still but for the roar and restless beat of the waves on the sand, and the rise and fall of the wind In the trees, yet a little attention brings a myriad night-noises to the ear. 

There is the chorused chirp of distant crickets; there is the rustle of the leaves; there is the drip, drip of some mysterious moisture falling from the tent-fly to the j ground; there is the strain and tiny groan of the 'guys;' there is the 'plop' of a stray frog, and croaks of others from far off. A dog barks intermittently. Now and again the sound of a distant motorhorn pierces the wall of trees. Every little while some forest-thing makes a noise like the faint chop of an axe, but it is more resonant. A bird is whimpering , a low 'caw' at times. There are small whisperings and movements in the grass and amid j the bushes. Some wandering horse or cow too, is cropping at the grass— first a slight tug- and then a soft crunch, and its hooves stumble unevenly over the broken ground. Suddenly the earth seems to respond with a rumble to the heavy passage of a motor-'bus on its way to or from Narrabeen; and, finally the shrill cry of a boy, or the deep note from the throat of a man, comes up, imperiously, from the beach. —WARREN GRAVES.

NOISES IN THE NIGHT (1926, February 27). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 4. Retrieved June 7, 2018, fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126129866

PINNED BY HORSE

While rounding up stray cows at Avalon yesterday, William Easton, 43, a poundkeeper. was pinned by his horse and critically Injured. The horse slipped on the bitumen roadway and fell on the rider. Easton, who resides In Pittwater Road, Dee Why, had his skull, pelvis, right, thigh, and right ; ankle fractured. PINNED BY HORSE (1939, June 7). Daily News (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1940), p. 2. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article236293584

GARDENING
By " BORONIA "
Sydney Red Gum A National Tree

THERE is an ever-increasing interest in the sanctuary area at Avalon, which has been set aside for the maintenance of the flora and fauna representing the tilings so essentially Australian. The Wild Life Preservation Society has done a wonderfully patriotic service to unborn generations in its laudable effort of preserving to the people of to-day and to-morrow the greatest example of the so-called Sydney red gum, Angophora lanceolate, as a national monument. This tree, the oldest known to exist of the smooth bark apple, is for the term of its natural life safe in its beautiful wild setting of picturesque Avalon, and a cordial welcome is offered by the society to nature lovers to visit what it has appropriately called The Angophora Reserve. This area, besides featuring our native flora in ideal surroundings . of Hawkesbury sandstone and Narrabeen shale, considered in some respects the most remarkable geological formations in the world, holds a wealth of interest for bird and insect students. It is quite on the cards that a native bear may be on view In the leafy branches of one of the lovely spotted gums standing on guard around the giant of the tribe. What the exact age of this huge Angophora is has not been stated, but present Investigations into the structure and rate of growth of euca-lypts leads one to infer that this great patriarch may have numbered anything up to a thousand years. With scientific care in its feeding, non-interference with the root system, and efficiency in tree surgery over broken or decayed limbs, this old-timer may see hundreds of summer dawns break over the blue Pacific. The Wild Life Preservation Society should commend Itself and its aims to all true lovers of their homeland— a movement going far towards the goal aimed at by all workers for wild life conservation. A glimpse of the Great Angophora in its forest' setting of Scribbly gums should make a nation-wide appeal and add materially to the membership roll of the national tree monument at Avalon. 

GARDENING (1938, May 15). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 23 (THE SUNDAY SUN MAGAZINE). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article231031184

Another charmed by the views on the way to the Valley of Avalon. Niya Becke was the youngest daughter of Louis becke and younger sister of Alreme Becke - although the girls did spend time when younger at a school in Manly this drive to Palm Beach would have conincided with Niya and her mother's return to Australia from England and when they were going to spend time with Niya's sister - Visit: Early Pittwater Surfers Palm Beach I - Alrema Becke: Queen of Palm Beach

A COASTAL DRIVE
Vale of Avalon 
BAYS OF BLUE AND GOLD 
(By NIYA BECKE.)

Entering the scrub-fringed French's Forest Road, our purring car swung through open, softly, undulating spaces, giving way in the distance to mist softened glimpses of low-lying, plum-purple mountains. Under a clear horizon of pale turquoise, it wended past tended orchards, where apple and peach trees blossomed, pink and white, to, the ardor of the southern sun, against a mellow glow of light green camphor laurels, shadowed with sombre sorrel-and-grey gums. We met with partly-cleared, grass-grown dingles, spangled with shimmering lakes of sunlight, and gemmed with clear, calm pools. We passed down a leafy vale, lovely as a country lane of Old England (only the white and delicate purple violets, wild roses, and primroses were not there), on to a terra-cotta colored highway, between ' smiling fields, richly carpeted in spring green, where calves, brown, black, and piebald lay dreamily, basking in the warmth of the sun-flooded clay. A straight run down a long grey hill, over a stretch of ochre red road, and then, suddenly, afar.. came a flash of intense color, a blazing streak of blue fire. Sensing the promise of the beauty of the sea, we sped onward to the coast. 

Over the bridge at Narrabeen. where a solitary pelican paddled placidly, above mysterious, muddy depths, by fields, and more fields, and by cottage colonies clustered in bowl-round hollows, and emerald-covered clearings. On to the blue bay, where stands the travellers' inn of La Corniche with its curiously modelled Interior arches, like those of some prince's pictured palace in a fable of the East. Up a gentle Incline, and we were abreast the little brown-castle of Bungan Head, perched on the extreme edge of the cliff, facing the Peri-guarded gates of dawn, and the everlasting sea. 

THE BLUE, BLUE WATERS. 

From this point the outlook south towards Manly, and northward to Barrenjoey, revealed, a chain of blue bays, some evenly scalloped, others jagged-edged, broken in one place by a ledge of indigo and reddish-brown rocks jutting in a foam-silvered peninsula, through ultramarine waters. Blue bay after blue bay, and curving beach upon curving beach of fine yellow or coarse red-gold sun-dappled sand, and grass-tufted, wind-ridged dunes. Here cerise-clawed. seabirds paddled .through lambent amber and almond green ripples on the ocean brink. They pressed wave-powdered shells in intricate, marquetry into the shining strand, which the rising tide .would laughingly sweep away to pave 'hidden'  paths, deep down in measureless' marine gardens, where Leviathan looms with swordfish and shark, above rotting Chinese junks, a nu sunken galleons from sun-kissed Spain. 

We climbed another whale backed hillock by Bungan Castle, which called to mind, so weird, and- cloud-Wrapped, and remote it was, Keats's line — 

. . magic casements, opening on the foam .

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn." 

For from here there is a gorgeously fantastic view of violet-and-green veined waters, flecked with stars of flame fallen from the crimson coronal of the Sringod of the South. Those who listen intently may hear by these charmed shores, sou-sylphs singing those ballads, sailor men love. On we went again, down a steep declivity to beautiful Bilgola. whose rustling palm grove whispers of Arabs, and camels, and the music of the desert wind at dawn! over the mount at the northern end of the beach, which bears a bright green crest of fresh glass, pendant, in a still cascade, over the cliff-edge, and glistening purple-blue rocks below. We stopped here a moment, and looked on the' sparkling Pacific unrolled in a mighty plain of that inimitable shade to which- may be likened only the radiant -tints of the skies, whence it purloins its magic hue. An we pondered on the glory of a golden springtime day,. "By- the long wash of Australasian shores." Onward, once more, and then, behold! 

The Vale of Avalon! 

"LOVELY AND LONELY." 

The land rises and shelters this gracious valley on the seaward frontage, from the strength of the wind, and it is scrub-surrounded, and denizened by happy-hearted birds. Wild flowers hide amid the guardian lulls of the lonely, lovely Vale of Avalon. Further afield we followed the twisted road, where the valley winds gently down. Rich, kingfisher blue flashes of water glowed to the left, through closely-spaced gums, like a liquid opal bursting the brown husk of the land. A strip of bracken-grown wayside lay parallel with a fair beach of fine, white sand, where upturned fisher-boats offered rounded cheeks to the fires of the sun. The sea, outward from the shoreline, toned from a transparent sheet of opalescent jade, to azure, and sunlit, lapis lazuli. Round a sharp curve to the right, up one hill and down another, under, a canopy of leaves, and Palm Beach was reached, and the end of the road. 

We rested awhile on the grass-fringed shore, and watched the great waves swell, and break in a splendor of foam, and ride landward. 

To Palm Beach, following the coast, is a bewitching highway to traverse. There stands no angel with a flaming sword before this Eden under southern skies.

A COASTAL DRIVE (1923, October 2). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245994803


(1930). [Grove of palm trees, Avalon, New South Wales, 1930] Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-147289482


Popular Motoring District Near Sydney — The road to Palm Beach and Barrenjoey. The view was taken at Avalon, looking back along the road towards Manly. The trip from Sydney to Palm Beach and Barrenjoey is now an easy one by way of the Harbour Bridge and the Spit Bridge. Motoring: Search for Petrol Substitutes (1932, August 24). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 44. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166225233

SCENIC DRIVE.
Avalon to Palm Beach.
The Minister for Works and Local Government (Mr. Spooner) stated at Palm Beach on Saturday that a marine drive connecting Palm Beach, Whale Beach, and Avalon would be one of the public works to be considered by the Government next year.

Mr. Spooner said he hoped to have the co-operation of the shire council in this project, which would open up some of the finest views along the coast, and bring Whale Beach into more convenient access for the public. It would add still further to the tourist attractions of the shire.

The Minister's proposal would practically link up with the projects already in hand by the Warringah Shire Council, which will even-tually provide a marine drive from Barrenjoey to Queenscliff, where it will link up with the ocean front at Manly, and thence continue along the plateau to North Head, at the har-bour gateway. On the other side of the Heads projects are being considered by the eastern suburbs councils, which would continue the marine roadway to Botany Bay.

SCENIC DRIVE. (1936, December 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17293524

There were debates about what would be best to do in some situations - there's always 'debates'!:
ROAD DANGERS
Sir,-The Main Roads Department apparently waits for events to happen rather than anticipate them.
A start has been made to remove the bump in the Sydney Road at Balgowlah after the recent bus accident had occurred there.
A commencement has been made to deviate the main road at Avalon Beach across the mouth of the public reserve and the main access to the beach and bisecting the best portion of the public reserve and children's playground. This deviation is against the oft-expressed wishes of the Warringah Shire Council and the residents, and is contrary to the expressed views of the new town-planning authority and the Cumberland County Council's chief engineer.
Must this deviation be proceeded with and accidents occur before the Main Roads Department will belatedly acknowledge that there is another logical route for the main road other than the one now commencing, with its deliberate destruction of a recreation area and the creation of a potential death-trap?
If the Main Roads Department will consult the Warringah Shire Council, a better route will be indicated and ultimate economy and safety achieved.
(COUNCILLOR) G. K. DUNBAR. Sydney. ROAD DANGERS (1947, May 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18025323 

ROAD DANGERS
Sir,-Councillor Dunbar's letter on the road deviation at Avalon Beach attacks the well-considered plan of the Main Roads Department to by-pass the Avalon business centre and avoid two dangerous right-angle turns therein. The new traffic deviation will preserve a well-planned district lay out and appears to be the only practical solution
The Main Roads Department stated as far back as 1938 in a letter to the late E Lloyd Sanders, M L A , that after full investigation of alternatives and all circumstances, the route now criticised by Councillor Dunbar should be adopted The land was resumed by the Department in 1939 and formally accepted as a public road by the Warringah Shire Council early in 1946
In view of the many serious accidents which have occurred and the near capsize of two buses recently at the existing road junction, the Avalon Ratepayers' Association, which strongly supports the Commissioner's plan, has urged its carlv comple lion in the interest of public safety
The deviation will provide a much safer road and will certainly not create the potential death trap imagined by your correspondent
ARTHUR .J. SMALL President, 
Avalon District Ratepayers' Association. Sydney. ROAD DANGERS (1947, May 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18026153 

Known in early days as 'Six Ways' and then 'five ways' junction, from as early as February 1933 the Avalon Beach & District Progress Association were sending regular requests to the then Warringah Shire Council - ' that danger sign be erected at the  Six Ways junction at .the top of the hill between Bilgola and Avalon . Resolved, - That the Association be informed there is no money available' - letter dated 17/2/1933 and response in Minutes of Meetings.

1933 is known as the year that was really bad in Australia during the Depression - there would definitely have been very little, if any, funds available for much of anything. This was underlined in the same association requesting wire netting in this same letter for Clareville baths and repairs to Clareville wharf - both refused on the same lack of funds. An earlier February 15th, 1933 request 'that the Council endeavour to secure a grant from the Unemployment Relief Council for the building of proper dressing sheds on Avalon Beach; (b) that provision be made for the erection of a Clubhouse, in Avalon in conjunction with the surf sheds, the Council to provide the material, the Association the labour; also pointing out that the Association is paying for a life saver. ' was answered with a request to submit plans showing what they require, and that the Council might make application on those plans to the Unemployment Relief Council. 

A letter dated March 18th, 1955 from the Avalon Beach Progress Assoc., 'suggesting that the corners at what is known as "The  Five Ways" be rounded off to minimise the danger at that spot.' shows that the several directions, of the Serpentine, Bilgola, coming from south and east, the Bilgola Bends heading north or south and Barrenjoey road continuing, the Plateau road up the hill to Bilgola, Old Barrenjoey road out of Avalon,  may have given rise to this name and also that 'six' has become five.


         AVALON GOLF COURSE circa 1938 . Image No.: a2802001h, courtesy State Library of NSW - and enlarged section from to show junction



Others, integral in many other early developments in Avalon Beach such as the first clubhouse for surf life savers, made suggestions too:

Main Road to Palm Beach. 
It was resolved that a plan prepared by the President, Mr. Ford, be approved and sent on to the Main Roads Department.. The plan provides for regrading old Barrenjoey Road between Bilgola and Avalon underpassing Barrenjoey Road at the six ways intersection, and providing a clover leaf junction at this point to link up the old and new roads. Present: Those present at the September meeting included the President. Mr. Bertram Ford, in the chair, Messrs. H. F. Halloran, G. Roster Lee, W. McLelland, R. M. Duncan, G. Cooper, Fred Parkinson, Mrs. B. W. Ford and Miss Mary TOWN PLANNING ASSOCIATION OF NEW SOUTH WALES (1949, October 12).Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222883488 

Such fanciful notions were eventually resolved by simply turning what we still call 'Kamikaze Corner' into:

On the motion of Messrs. B. W. Ford and G. W. Cooper, it was resolved to protest against the closing of part of Barrenjoey Road at Avalon and to again urge the adoption of this Association's plan for an underpass at five ways junction between Bilgola and Avalon, taking the old Barrenjoey Road under the new road. Town Planning Association of N.S.W. (1953, November 4). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222899104 


This great old photo shows the Serpentine running just below the bends. Geoff Searl (President of ABHS) dates this as being early in the 1930's.

While on the Bilgola Bends - that concave tucked on the south side before you come out of the bends heading south to Newport was once actually a quarry. Although it wasn't thgere for too long, it did change the way that little valley looks today:

NARRABEEN LAKES. Mr. H. P. Fitzsimons (Honorary Minister)will receive a deputation on Tuesday from the Town Planning Association and kindred bodies, which will ask for the cancellation of the dredging lease in Narrabeen Lakes and protest against the Main Roads Board's quarry in Barrenjoey-road, near Bilgola Beach. NARRABEEN LAKES. (1934, December 10). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17130700

There are also the people behind the building of the first Avalon Beach SLSC Clubhouse and development f Avalon involved here as well as the folk behind Australia's first flight, see First to Fly in Australia at North Narrabeenand Narrabeen's Ocean House and Billabong  :

NARRABEEN LAKE. Protest Against Dredging Lease. A deputation yesterday protested to the Assistant Minister (Mr. Fitzsimons) against the proposal to grant a shell-dredging lease for Narrabeen Lake. Mr. A. E. Reid, M.L.A.. who Introduced the deputation, said it sought protection of the public's playgrounds against commercial exploitation. It was contended that the lease applied for at the lake entrance, would permit the lessee to turn a salt water lake into a fresh water lake, as the terms of the lease permitted the erection of tide gates.

Mr. B. W. Ford, president of the Town Planning Association, said that Narrabeen Lake was one of the most beautiful and popular recreation areas around Sydney. If dredging for shell was permitted the lake would be spoiled. He understood it was proposed to establish cement works with shell-dredging, but the locality should not be commercialised. If dredging was necessary it should be done under Government control and expert supervision.

Mr. A. J. Small, acting president of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement, said that the Mines Department was not required to consult any other body or department. The Lands Department would not have granted such a lease. The lessee's proposals would, result in the dredging of a channel 20 feet deep, while the spoil from the lake bottom, if deposited on the bank, would create a public nuisance.

Dr. Bean, secretary of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement, said the Warringah Shire Council had made a mistake when it approved the lease. The destruction of one of the most beautiful natural playgrounds should not be risked for the sake of one private enterprise. Mrs. Florence Taylor supported the protest.

The deputation also protested against the opening by the Main Roads Department of a quarry on the main road above Bilgoela Beach.

Mr. Fitzsimons, in reply, said that the problem of the dredging lease seemed to be difficult, as the lease had been approved and a company had been formed to operate under it. All he could do was to bring the representations before the Cabinet. The quarry question also was difficult. The Main Roads Department was autonomous, and the arrangement it had made with the shire council was one within its powers. He was sure the Main Roads Commissioner would give sympathetic consideration to the protest. He would bring the matter before the Minister for Transport.  NARRABEEN LAKE. (1934, December 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 21. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17124456

The movement's protest against the opening of a quarry at Bilgola was mentioned. The honorary secretary (Dr. C. E. W. Bean) announced that he had received advice from the Premier that the Main Roads Commissioner (Mr. H. H. Newell) would visit Bilgola with representatives of the movement on March 30 to see the effect which the quarry was having on the natural scenery.

Mr. A. J. Small, who presided, said that they had the Premier's assurance that the preservation of the State's natural scenery would at all times receive the fullest consideration. SHARK MENACE. (1935, March 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17171400

Barrenjoey Road looking south: north of quarry, Bilgola - 10/3/1938, Image No.: Government Printing Office 1 - 21340, d1_21340, courtesy State Library of NSW

TOWN PLANNING. Criticism of Bilgola Quarry.

The action of the Main Roads Department in establishing a quarry and roadmakers' camp at Bilgola on the Palm Beach-road was described by Mr A J Small at a meeting of the Town Planning Association oí New South Wales yesterday as a permanent blot on the administration of the department" He declared that the work was damaging to the interests of the State especially to tourist traffic as wonderful scenery had been spoiled.

The association decided to arrange a deputation to the Premier (Mr Stevens) with the object of having the work stopped. Dr C E W Bean advocated action with a view lo giving local councils greater control over the building of flats He said that the practice of building a block of flats on the whole of an area of ground without providing adequate space for gardens or yards was an evil which was bound to result in the creation of slum areas... TOWN PLANNING. (1935, May 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17145002

BILGOLA QUARRYAs a result of a promise by the Premier the Main Roads Commissioner (Mr Newell)on Saturday conferred with objectors to the quarry opened by the Main Roads Department between Newport and Avalon, near Bilgola Beach. It was pointed out that the quarry would spoil the beautiful scenic road. It was suggested that the department's operations should be transferred to the Shire Council's quarry. Mr Newell promised consideration of the request, and said he would give a decision as soon as possible. THE SUBURBS. (1935, April 2). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17149458

But over a year later, with dust still rising in clouds that may have been making relief workers ill, to say nothing of hat it would have been doing to the Bilgola gardens and creeks....:

Dr. Badham, of the Health Department, paid a visit of inspection to the quarry and crusher at Bilgola last week, but as the machinery had been laid aside for a week pending repairs, it will be necessary for the doctor to make a further inspection later on, and at an early date.THE BUSHWORKERS' BUDGET. (1936, August 5). The Australian Worker (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1950), p. 17. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146017700

SOUTH COAST ROAD JOBS. ORGANISER T. DALTON'S REPORT. Last week. I visited Main Roads job On the South Coast, the first, visited being Cockwhy Creek. Alf Martin was appointed Rep. of J. Milligan's gang, it is anticipated that this gang will shortly be transferred to other gangs along the coast. Single unemployed men from Sydney, it is expected, will be sent by the Department to Cockwhy to work for a whole 24 hours per week. If this proves to be the case it will be further proof of the starvation policy of the present Government as regardsrelief work.

In company with Mr. H. Court I also visited last week the Bilgola Quarry,' where Mr. Badham made an inspection of the crushing plant in relation to the dust arising there from. Tests were made of dust taken, and I have no doubt that the doctor will recommend an alteration of the conditions that exist there. TOM DALTON. SOUTH COAST ROAD JOBS. (1936, October 14). The Australian Worker (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1950), p. 17. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146021562

M.R.B. BILGOLA QUARRY AND PRE -MIXING PLANT. This job is being carried out by the Department of Main Roads. All told there are 28 men employed. At the quarry Ted Keating is still holding down the position of Rep., and reports all matters from a Union point of view as being highly satisfactory. In Hallagan's tar gang Rep. John Dicken is attending to the industrial interests of the members. In every section throughout the job I am pleased to be able to report a 100 per cent, membership. This creditable condition of affairs is due solely to the efforts of Rep. Ted Keating and John Dicken, who since the commencement of this job have been active in ensuring that award conditions were carried out. The matter relating to the pre-mixing plant has been handed to Secretary Jack McNeill, who will advise the seven members concerned. I have to add that this matter was not previously brought to the notice of Secretary Jack McNeill as members believed. PRESIDENT DALTON'S REPORT. (1936, May 13). The Australian Worker (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1950), p. 17. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146019509

Then, as now, keeping these roads open was a community work. This great old ABHS photo of people working to keep the edges of Hilltop Road at Bilgola underlines those who lived here permanently, or spent months here during Summer, worked as one team:


The 9th ABHS Great Historic Photographic Exhibition is open today and tomorrow - don't miss it. A Huge amount of effort has gone into bringing some wonderful insights into the valley of Avalon Beach, along with many adjacent valleys. Better still, join the society and enjoy all the future treasures Mr. Searl and his great team will bring you.

One final insight before we commence a round of sharing the people behind 'Where the streets Have Your Name':

ROADS OF TODAY TALES OF YESTERDAY
By JAMIE and JANE
PALM BEACH (ii.)
No. XXVI

THE Powder Works Road branches off to the left just after crossing Narrabeen Bridge. Thereby hangs a tale. Baron von Beiren was a Dutch American who settled in the district during the 'eighties. He was a chemist and built not only a fine home, Ingleside House, but a powder works.

In the year 1924 a sensational article appeared in a Sydney newspaper saying that von Beiren, a German spy, had built in a secret gorge a mysterious building Old residents treated the story with scorn. They will tell that they knew the Baron and his wife as Dutch Americans, and that the lady put £5000 of her own money into the company known as the Australian Gunpowder and Explosive Manufacturing Company. The company failed, largely because the Government condemned the iron cylinders as being dangerous; they should have been constructed of copper.. Von Beiren was ultimately sentenced as a fraudulent bankrupt to two years and ten months' imprisonment, and died in prison. The remains of his old powder works can still be seen. 

We drove on through the cutting which cleaves through Sheep Station Hill, past numerous glasshouses in which the cult of the tomato is a thriving industry, to the Rock Lily Hotel. The Rock Lily Hotel is an old and ancient hostelry, and was noted for its French chef, whose skill and originality in devising new dishes caused him to win an easy supremacy over the unimaginative colonial cooks of the day. 

A ROAD branches off to the left to St. Ives, and a second one a few hundred yards farther on leads to Bayview and Church Point. We took this turn and drove along the charming road which runs beside the waterfront. Houses big and small, pretentious and unpretentious, come down to the water's edge, boats and yachts all shapes and sizes ride at anchor in little bays, and gum trees, fall and dignified here, grow amidst bangalow palms, pine trees, and vivid coral trees. The old church at Church Point has almost disappeared, but we noticed, across the water, the historic Scotland Island. Andrew Thompson, famous emancipist, successful farmer, merchant, brewer, and magistrate, received Scotland Island as a grant in the early days of the century. He established an extensive salt works there, farmed the land, and, at the time of his death, a vessel, the Geordy, was in the process of being built. 

Arnbrof Josef Diercknecht, a Belgian, took over the island soon afterwards. He was called locally "Joe Benns," and the abbreviation is excusable. He rebuilt Thompson's house with the able assistance of an old bullock. The language Joe used to his bullock was atrocious, but their understanding was complete. Mrs. Benns was known as the "Queen of Scotland island." She was a little dark woman of gentle manners, a great kindness of heart, but with a certain regal bearing. Her jewellery befitted her "royal" rank. She wore a set of pink coral and gold with eardrops hanging to her shoulders and a magnificent necklet, There is a story that, before her death, she buried her necklace somewhere on the island. Nor is this the only legendary treasure buried on the island. A three-legged pot full of holey dollars is said to have been hidden there by two men in a stolen boat full of stolen treasure in Andrew Thompson's time. 

We retraced our wheel marks to the main road and cruised on slowly to New port. We turned off to the left to visit the older part of Newport, because it is a pleasant, secluded little spot where yachts lie at anchor and trees come down in close conclave to the water's edge. 

THE district of Newport had a nasty reputation at one period. Witness the case of Farmer Foley, a reputable man who occupied Robert Campbell's original grant at Mona Vale. He experienced considerable success, and Mrs. Foley's butter always topped the , market in Sydney and was the pride of the district. His success caused jealousy and he was continually subjected to thefts and petty annoyances. Finally he informed the police and an arrest was made. On the day before the matter was brought to court Foley was shot dead near Black Swamp, and the prosecution had to be abandoned. Mona Vale farm remained empty for some years until taken over by James Therry, nephew of Rev. J. J. Therry. But the place seemed under an evil spell. Therry's house was burnt, his cows and calves were shot and his horses stolen, all within the space of a few years. Sergeant McGlone, who had captured Gardiner, was sent there to investigate, and soon made an arrest. These outrages gained the district a bad reputation. The "Sydney Morning Herald" of March, 1867, comments thus: "The history of the Mona Vale case reveals a condition of Society within a few miles of Sydney that might well defer persons from settling there, and though the arm of the law fell on some of the evildoers there is now too much reason to fear that similar outrages will again disturb the district." Crime continued to stain the fair name of Pittwater for some years, and detectives were often on the watch. Six, it is said, were camped on Sheep Station Hill for some time. 

THE road from Newport climbs steeply up a head-land and runs along the cliff-face, to dip down again towards the beautiful little Bilgola Beach. The Right Hon. W. B. Dalley (the first Australian to become a Privy Councillor) used the beach as a week - end resort; it bore his name for a few years. It was also known locally as Cranky Alice's Beach and Mad Mick's Hollow, owing to the personal peculiarities of some of Dalley's neighbours or predecessors. It is as snug, secluded, and as beautiful as that other perfect little beach, Stanwell Park, near Bulli. 

We took the Serpentine Road leading round Bilgola Head, because the view down the coast is a majestic one of black headlands rising sheer from the sea. And so past Avalon Beach and across to Careel Bay. 

ARCHPRIEST J. J. Therry played a prominent part in the history of Pittwater. He owned land, some 1200 acres, extending from Careel Bay across to Bilgola Head; a portion of it is still known as Priest's Flat. Father Therry was a man of energy and outlook, both of which (from the agricultural viewpoint) were misplaced. He farmed vigorously, hoped to found a town to be called Josephton, and mined for coal on Bilgola Head. He had a theory that the coal seams of Newcastle ran beneath the Pittwater district, and so on down the coast to outcrop at Bulli. He was probably right, but the coal (if any) was a long way down and he never reached it. On the coast midway between South Head and Bilgola is a cave known as Monk's Cave. A track guided by a fingerpost leads off the main road, down over the cliff-side, and then two hundred yards south to a giant cave, in which, quite erroneously, services are said to have been held. Therry called it St. Michael's Cave and planned to build a church on the headland above it. Jane and I clambered down somewhat painfully and stood inside the cave and listened to the sea roaring beneath. It was rather like a trip to the under-world. Every moment we expected the head of a ferocious dragon to appear suddenly, breathing fire and smoke and roaring enough to drown the sound of the sea. The road crosses Priest's Flat and runs alongside Careel Bay, where boat building was carried on in the early days. 

STOKES, after whom Stokes Point is named, built several sloops here. Stokes was a fine old man who lived a secluded life on his little promontory across the bay. He was trans-ported for being found in a crowd with a stolen hand-kerchief in his possession. He always protested his innocence, saying that the handkerchief had been planted on him by a pick-pocket; his subsequent con-duct certainly bore witness to his good character. He had been a ladies' shoe-maker in London, and his neatness and tidiness were in keeping with the refinement of his early profession. His manner was courteous, his hands were well kept despite his arduous employment, and on Sunday he was a magnificent sight in a tight bottle-green coat with large buttons, a very tall hat, and a stock which might have belonged to Beau Brummell himself. Fashions came and fashions went but the bottle-green coat remained as a bril-liant speck of colour in that colourful district. 

Stokes was "a magnificent sight in a tight bottle-green coat with large buttons, a very tall hat, and a stock which might have belonged to Beau Brummell himself."

The road runs on and swings across to Palm Beach some hundreds of yards short of the Barrenjoey Headland. Barrenjoey, too, has its history. Smugglers came into Broken Bay and discharged their cargo. On one occasion the Pair Bar-barian landed a large cargo successfully free of all duty. A Customs House was established to cope with the problem. Mr. Ross, one of the early officers, constructed the large effigy of a soldier and placed it in front of a cave. There stood the soldier, erect and stately, drawn sword in hand; his white trousers, red coat, tall helmet with magnificent plume could be seen by potential smugglers miles away, for he was eight feet tall. This magnificent "scarecrow" became rather unpopular when the kindly captain of a ship, taking the drawn sword as a signal of distress, put in to investigate. 


"The kindly captain of a ship, taking the drawn sword as a signal distress, put in to investigate."

WE drove on round to Palm Beach, of great but recent popularity, and followed the road which, bearing left, climbs up the hillside and leads on to Whale Beach. The view from the top, looking back towards Barrenjoey, is truly magnificent, the deep golden beach with its fringe of surf and a blue Pittwater shimmering in the sunshine. The road we followed through Whale Beach, twisting up to Careel Head, then I quickly down to the main road, was a parade of beauty. We returned to Mona Vale, where the road leads off, past Tumbledown Dick Hill and Davidson Park, to St. Ives, and thence to Sydney. Reluctantly we climbed away from that lovely coastline of lagoons and beaches, of black headlands shouldering their way into the sea and stamping the waves to silver, of the surf singing its long song of frustration. (Concluded.)
ROADS OF TO-DAY—TALES OF YESTERDAY (1937, August 25). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 43. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160498911
General View - Avalon, circa 1928 - Image No.: a1470004, from Album - Samuel Wood - postcard photonegatives of Avalon, Bilgola and Newport, circa. 1928 – on – courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales