1930s Our Campbelltown

Our Campbelltown 1930s


Harley James Daley

Appointed as Town Clerk in 1931, Harley James Daley ran the Council with a velvet fist and watched over Campbelltown as it grew from 8000 people into a city of more than 130 000. The only break in his term came with World War II when he joined the ill-fated 8th Division, was captured by the Japanese, and spent three and a half years in Changi Prison. The Campbelltown Agricultural Society, Lions Club, Golf Club, RSL, Masonic Lodge, regional hospitals and countless sporting groups can tell tales of his involvement, and in 1961 he was awarded the MBE for his services. Harley admitted to being 'the proudest man in Campbelltown' on his retirement in 1971 when the Council named the new city library in his honour. He died in 1987. The position of Town Clerk is now known as General Manager - Harley James Daley was Town Clerk for a whopping 41 years!

A portrait of H J Daley

Photograph of H J Daley
(Images sourced from Campbelltown City Council Public Relations Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

Lily Triglone

Lily Triglone led the way for career women in the 1930s as a local newspaper reporter. She later served as a nurse in World War II, married local digger Jack Hepher, and in the 1950s she was a founder of Campbelltown Theatre Group.

A portrait of Lily Triglone as a young woman
(Sourced from Hepher Family Collection)

Unemployed men during the Great Depression

A group of local unemployed men doing relief work in early years of the Great Depression, building a culvert and bridge for the railway line. Alf Longhurst of East Minto is standing fifth from right.

Unemployed men assisting with building projects during the Depression
(Sourced from Jessie Newham collection)

Jack O'loughlan- Local Taxi Service

Jack O'Loughlan of Railway Street, who ran a local taxi and hire care business during the Depression.

A well dressed gentleman leaning on his car
(Image sourced from O'Loughlan family collection)

Campbelltown Cricket Players

Campbelltown B Grade Premiers in the Country Cricket comp, 1933. Jack Campion A 'Serious' Posty is photographed standing in the back row on the far left with the suit and bow tie.

A Cricket Team photo
(Image sourced from Walker Family Collection)

Local teenagers

Campbelltown teenagers playing near the water race in the late 1930s – Jean Pratt and her brothers Bruce and John. John would later be killed in the air force in World War II.

3 teenagers sitting on a large water pipe over a canal
(Image sourced from Ponsonby family collection)


Naming of Mawson Park

The site of Mawson Park is as old as Campbelltown itself. In January 1938 the park was officially named Mawson Park in honour of Dr William Mawson, a highly regarded doctor for 28 years in the town and brother to explorer Douglas Mawson. A pergola, shelter shed and entrance were erected at this time with two plaques on the pergola commemorating the event. This is an early image of Mawson Park, Queen Street & Railway Street, with the Courthouse and Federal Hotel.

An early photograph of Mawson Park
(Image sourced from Clissold Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

The Club Hotel

The Club Hotel on the corner of Queen and Cordeaux Streets. It promoted itself as being "for tourists" – note the NRMA banner hanging at front. Because of laws that forbade people to drink beer in a hotel on Sunday unless they were weary travellers who had trekked more than 25 miles, the Club and other Campbelltown hotels – 32 miles from Sydney – were popular targets of "the drunks' express". This was a train of thirsty Sydneysiders who arrived and filled the hotels four-deep at the bar.

A photo of The Club Hotel from the street view
(Image sourced from Clayton family collection, Campbelltown & Airds Historical Society)

The creation of Ingleburn Pony Club

Springmead Stud Farm was originally established at Ingleburn as an agistment property for Mr Edward Hirst's horses when he joined the Light Horse. The stud principally bred ponies during its formative years and the Hirst family also imported the famous Arabian stallions Rakib and Rikham. Edward and Marjory Hirst were the founders of the Ingleburn Pony Club in 1939 – the first Pony Club in Australia. Their aim was "Education and Entertainment" with Horsemastership being as important as Horsemanship, and that no matter how broken down the horse, how bad the saddle or rider, we welcome them all." Australia has the largest Pony Club membership in the world with just under 40,000 financial members. In Australia, there are approximately 850 clubs spread over the seven states and territories.

Marjory Hirst and her hackney stallion Brightstar – 1st President of Ingleburn PC.

A lady riding a horse in Competition
(Image sourced from www.ponyclubvic.org.au)

Keith Brown – Hon. Secretary of Ingleburn PC.

Photo of Keith Brown riding a horse
(Image sourced from Campbelltown City Library, Local Studies Collection)

Ingleburn Council Chambers Opens

The opening of a purpose-built Ingleburn Council chambers in October 1936, built by relief workers. After Ingleburn Council merged with Campbelltown in 1949 it became a baby health centre, with dental rooms at front.

The Ingleburn Council building in 1930
(Image sourced from Gleam Daley collection)


Maryfields and Via Crucis

Maryfields Franciscan Novitiate celebrated its first "Via Crucis" or "Way of the Cross" on Good Friday in 1936. The service depicts Christ's journey to Calvary, and consists of the 14 stations of the cross, culminating in the preaching of the Passion sermon from the final station. It was believed to be the first open air celebration of the Via Crucis in Australia, following examples from Europe and the United States. On the day itself, reportedly more than 30,000 people were in attendance. Over the years, with the closing of the Campbelltown-Camden railway in 1963, and the relocation of the Novitiate in 1983, numbers dwindled. In 1990, after two years of cancellations due to bad weather, the Stations were no longer held on Good Friday. Since 2000, there has been a resurgence of interest, and in 2010, more than 2000 people observed Good Friday at Maryfields. The following year the Friars marked the 75th Anniversary of the first "Via Crucis" at Maryfields. The Stations of the Cross(PDF, 571KB) have Historical, Cultural and Social significance - they have played part of an important religious ceremony for Campbelltown – especially so for Catholics, and are on the Local Heritage Register.

The image below shows a group of unidentified monks holding crosses during Via Crucis - The Way of the Cross, "Maryfields", Narellan Road, Campbelltown in 1936.

Image of the Stations of the Cross being inacted

Crowds taking part in the Way of the Cross service. In the 1930s, the old Rudd family estate off Narellan Road – Maryfields – was donated by Sarah Mary Keane to the Catholic Franciscan Fathers. In 1937, they launched the first "Stations of the Cross" event, pictured here, which drew massive crowds that poured across the paddock from the Camden railway.

Crowds watching the Stations of the Cross
(Images sourced from Franciscan Provincial Office Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

Beverley Park

In 1938 a crowd of about 900 gathered for the opening of the Beverley Park Home for Crippled Children. The mansion was generously given as a gift to the New South Wales Society for Crippled Children by Mr and Mrs Herbert Yates. Who gave the house and its 30 acres of land to the Society to be used as it saw fit. An enormous amount of voluntary labour was given to organise and prepare the home. It was envisaged as a centre for the rehabilitation of crippled children undergoing treatment. Locals rallied around the home and their activities in fund raising with various social events were always in the news. By 1939, a total of 169 children enjoyed rest and holiday care at Beverley Park. Today Beverley Park School delivers quality educational programs for students from Kindergarten to Year 12, with a moderate or severe intellectual disability. Most students have additional or multiple disabilities which may include physical disabilities, sensory impairment, autism and complex needs.

Beverley Park House, An iconic property
(Image sourced from Bruce Hatfield Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

Sunnyside Tennis Court

Hazel Rutter of Campbelltown at the private ‘Sunnyside' tennis court erected on the Routley farm off Macquarie Avenue in the 1920s. In the more desperate Depression era of the 1930s, it became a cheap and popular source of recreation for locals.

A young woman in tennis clothes from the 1930s era waiting next to the court
(Image sourced from Pam Bonomini Collection)

Farming in Macquarie Ave

Arthur Routley ploughing his family farm on the high point of Macquarie Avenue near Broughton Street. In the background, across the valley, is the "Soldiers' Settler" farms along Waminda Avenue and the Smiths Creek bushland behind.

A man ploughing a field with a horse drawn plough
(Sourced from Pam Bonomini collection)

Campbelltown Railway Station Goods Yard

A truck on the weighbridge at Campbelltown railway station(PDF, 312KB) goods yard in the 1930s, near the present-day site of Campbelltown Council. Note the classic KB lager billboard.

A full truck on a weighbridge
(Image sourced from Kidson Family Collection)

Visits to Cataract Dam

Young Campbelltonians visiting Cataract Dam in the 1930s.

Young people gathering near Cataract Dam
(Image sourced from Nash Family Collection)

Family picnic

The McGill family enjoying a picnic own the bush near present-day Simmos Beach in the 1930s. At left is their relative, Alan Roberts, an Ingleburn farmer who occasionally hired a young bloke called Greg Percival to pick pea crops on his farm – the same Greg Percival that Ingleburn Library is now named after.

A family enjoying a picnic in bushland
(Image sourced from McGill Family Collection)