Campbelltown Recollections: Stories From Our Past


Faces of interviewees in the Recollection series of interviews
Faces of interviewees in the Recollection series of interviews

Campbelltown Recollections is an ongoing project to record the history of the region in video interviews with residents. This project was supported through funding from the Australian Government's Your Community Heritage Program.

John Hennessey

Born in Cheltenham in March 1936, John tells the affecting story of a boy 'not expected to live.' From an orphanage in England to the Bindoon Christian Brothers institution in Perth.

John later moved to the Campbelltown area becoming deputy Mayor.

John also talks of the impact of the Granville train disaster and the tragic events at the Appin mine.

Mary Carroll

Mary spent her early childhood at a house on Camden Road near the level crossing at Campbelltown. From here she moved to “Denfield” where she has fond memories of life growing up on a dairy farm. She went on to work at Downes Department Store in Queen Street and later for Campbelltown Council.

Bryan Chrystal

Brian Chrystal arrived in Minto as a 9 year old boy in 1945. His family lived in the gatekeeper's cottage at the level crossing. He later moved to Campbelltown where he was involved in a number of sporting organisations. He worked for many years for Campbelltown Council.

Karen Houston

As the daughter of an aboriginal soldier at Ingleburn Army Camp, Karen Houston provides a fascinating account of her younger days. Her recollections of life at the camp and nearby Ingleburn are pleasant ones and she was largely accepted by the wider community. Karen retains strong emotional connections to her aboriginal heritage.

Noeline Jury

Born in 1938, Noeline grew up on a poultry farm in Kingsclare Street, Leumeah. As a young child in the 1940s, Noeline and her brother loved to explore the surrounding countryside around Campbelltown. After leaving high school, she eventually found work at Campbelltown Court House.

John McDermott

John arrived at Macquarie Fields in 1958 aged 21. His house in Alexander Crescent was one of the first built in that area. John has vivid memories of those early struggles in the mostly under-developed Macquarie Fields. He became a key figure in the development of scouting in the area.

Paul O'Loughlan

Paul has spent all of his life in his beloved Campbelltown. His first house was in Railway Street where he lived next door to Lack's Hotel. This gave him a wide knowledge of the town's characters. He began his working life as a child at Reg Hayes' cordial factory behind his home. Paul has encyclopedic knowledge of Campbelltown's past and it's people.

Kevin Rixon

Born at Milby Hospital and raised in Warby Street next to Campbelltown Showground, Kevin Rixon has a fascinating story to tell of his childhood. From spending most Saturdays at Macquarie Cinema to hunting various fauna in the surrounding hills, Kevin experienced an adventurous upbringing. After leaving school he worked on the local milk run and then found work on the Mount Erin property.

Gordon Sullivan

Gordon came to Leumeah as a small child and lived at Leumeah House on the site of today's Tim's Nursery. His youth was spent chasing rabbits near Blaxland Road and later attending dances at the town hall. Gordon owned and operated a petrol station on the corner of Queen and Broughton Streets. At 87, Gordon Sullivan is the oldest interviewee for Campbelltown Recollections.

Chris Thomson

Chris Thomson is a Campbelltown girl through and through. Her family connections (her maiden name was Vardy) have their early roots in the Campbelltown area and her family continued to be very popular throughout the community. Christine has a strong knowledge of the locals through her years of work in the bank and Catholic Club.