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Electricity Substation No. 341
Subst341.jpg
Location 60 Bundock Lane, Randwick, City of Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
Built 1929
Architectural style(s) Interwar Mediterranean
Owner Ausgrid
Official name: Substation; #341 Randwick 33Kv Zone; Canberra Street substation
Type State heritage (built)
Designated 2 April 1999
Reference no. 935
Type Electricity Transformer/Substation
Category Utilities - Electricity

The Electricity Substation No. 341 is a heritage-listed Electrical substation at 60 Bundock Lane, Randwick, City of Randwick, New South Wales, Australia. It was built in 1929. It is also known as #341 Randwick 33Kv Zone and Canberra Street substation. The property is owned by Ausgrid, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. The substation was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

History

Indigenous history

Pre-1780s the local Aboriginal people in the area used the site for fishing and cultural activities - rock engravings, grinding grooves and middens remain in evidence. In 1789 the Governor Arthur Phillip referred to "a long bay", which became known as Long Bay. Aboriginal people are believed to have inhabited the Sydney region for at least 20,000 years. The population of Aboriginal people between Palm Beach and Botany Bay in 1788 has been estimated to have been 1500. Those living south of Port Jackson to Botany Bay were the Cadigal people who spoke Dharug, while the local clan name of Maroubra people was "Muru-ora-dial". By the mid nineteenth century the traditional owners of this land had typically either moved inland in search of food and shelter, or had died as the result of European disease or confrontation with British colonisers.

Colonial history

One of the earliest land grants in this area was made in 1824 to Captain Francis Marsh, who received 12 acres bounded by the present Botany and High Streets, Alison and Belmore Roads. In 1839 William Newcombe acquired the land north-west of the present town hall in Avoca Street.

Randwick takes its name from the town of Randwick, Gloucestershire, England. The name was suggested by Simeon Pearce (1821–86) and his brother James. Simeon was born in the English Randwick and the brothers were responsible for the early development of both Randwick and its neighbour, Coogee. Simeon had come to the colony in 1841as a 21 year old surveyor. He built his Blenheim House on the 4 acres he bought from Marsh, and called his property "Randwick". The brothers bought and sold land profitably in the area and elsewhere. Simeon campaigned for construction of a road from the city to Coogee (achieved in 1853) and promoted the incorporation of the suburb. Pearce sought construction of a church modelled on the church of St. John in his birthplace. In 1857 the first St Jude's stood on the site of the present post office, at the corner of the present Alison Road and Avoca Street.

Randwick was slow to progress. The village was isolated from Sydney by swamps and sandhills, and although a horse-bus was operated by a man named Grice from the late 1850s, the journey was more a test of nerves than a pleasure jaunt. Wind blew sand over the track, and the bus sometimes became bogged, so that passengers had to get out and push it free. From its early days Randwick had a divided society. The wealthy lived elegantly in large houses built when Pearce promoted Randwick and Coogee as a fashionable area. But the market gardens, orchards and piggeries that continued alongside the large estates were the lot of the working class. Even on the later estates that became racing empires, many jockeys and stablehands lived in huts or even under canvas. An even poorer group were the immigrants who existed on the periphery of Randwick in a place called Irishtown, in the area now known as The Spot, around the junction of St.Paul's Street and Perouse Road. Here families lived in makeshift houses, taking on the most menial tasks in their struggle to survive.

In 1858 when the NSW Government passed the Municipalities Act, enabling formation of municipal districts empowered to collect rates and borrow money to improve their suburb, Randwick was the first suburb to apply for the status of a municipality. It was approved in February 1859, and its first Council was elected in March 1859.

Randwick had been the venue for sporting events, as well as duels and illegal sports, from the early days in the colony's history. Its first racecourse, the Sandy Racecourse or Old Sand Track, had been a hazardous track over hills and gullies since 1860. When a move was made in 1863 by John Tait, to establish Randwick Racecourse, Simeon Pearce was furious, especially when he heard that Tait also intended to move into Byron Lodge. Tait's venture prospered, however and he became the first person in Australia to organise racing as a commercial sport. The racecourse made a big difference to the progress of Randwick. The horse-bus gave way to trams that linked the suburb to Sydney and civilisation. Randwick soon became a prosperous and lively place, and it still retains a busy residential, professional and commercial life.

Today, some of the houses have been replaced by home units. Many European migrants have made their homes in the area, along with students and workers at the nearby University of NSW and the Prince of Wales Hospital.

Electricity supply

The Randwick substation is a purpose designed and built structure constructed in 1930. "The site was resumed in 1929 by the Municipal Council of Sydney and then over by Sydney County Council in 1935, the resumption cost 2,500. This substation was a major part of the distribution network of the Bunnerong Power station and fed all the smaller substations in the Randwick area. The building was completed in 1930 following a cost blow-out owing to the contractor receiving instructions for a wider building than shown on the original plan and the fact that it was essential to have one half of the building constructed and ready before the other half".

Historical Period: 1926–1950.

Description

The Randwick substation is a large and attractively decorated building that presents a street façade with elaborate brick decoration designed in the Interwar Mediterranean style. The façade is composed of two sections: A two-storey block comprising a high entrance door with lintel arch motifs, and three groupings of triple windows: one group with arches, another with balcony and balusters. The second part of the façade is a symmetrical arrangement with a large arched doorway flanked by pilasters and arch headed windows surmounted by an ornate identity panel. The parapets include curved roof tiles. The Randwick substation is constructed in load-bearingtuck pointed face brick. The windows appear to be metal framed multi-paned. Large plant access doors are steel roller shutter type. The architectural style is Interwar Mediterranean. Exterior materials used were face brick, rounded ceramic roof tiles, and steel roller shutter doors.

Condition

As at 10 November 2000, the condition of the substation was good.

Heritage listing

As at 15 March 2001, The Randwick substation is a rare, substantial, attractive and well detailed building of state significance, being representative of the interwar Mediterranean style. "Although a major part of the Bunnerong Power Station distribution network, the Sydney Municipal Council was still keen to provide a building worthy of a residential area."

The Electricity Substation No. 341 was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

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