Quick facts for kidsLidcombe
Sydney, New South Wales
Former Lidcombe Post Office, Joseph Street
|Location||18 km (11 mi) west of Sydney CBD|
Lidcombe is a suburb in western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Lidcombe is located 18 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government areas of Cumberland Council and City of Parramatta.
Samuel Haslam owned various grants beside Haslams Creek from 1804. A railway station called Haslam's Creek was opened in this area in 1859, on the railway line from Sydney to Parramatta. Haslam's Creek is sometimes referred to as Haslem's Creek.
Although it had not been intended to construct a station at Haslam's Creek, the then owner of the land where the station now stands, Father John Joseph Therry, together with nearby landholders Potts and Blaxland, agreed to pay £700 to enable its construction.
Haslam's Creek was the site of the first railway disaster in New South Wales in July 1858 which resulted in two deaths.
When the necropolis opened in 1867 it was known as Haslam's Creek Cemetery. Residents disliked the association with the burial ground and in 1876 the suburb was renamed Rookwood from a title of a novel by William Harrison Ainsworth (1805–1882). The name of the railway station was changed to Rookwood in 1878 and by the 1880s shops were established in the area. In 1891, the municipality of Rookwood was incorporated. Over time, the necropolis had become known as Rookwood Cemetery and by 1898 residents were again agitated about the association of their suburb with the cemetery. In 1913, a new name was suggested to honour the previous mayor Mr Lidbury and the current mayor Mr Larcombe. Syllables from the name of each alderman (Lidbury and Larcombe) were combined to form the name Lidcombe on 1 January 1914. The municipality amalgamated with Auburn local government area in 1949.
A large number of post-WWII European migrants, including a large number of Ukrainians, settled in the area of Lidcombe, and built a number of buildings including a church, 2 halls and 2 schools. Lidcombe is still the cultural centre of the Ukrainian community in Sydney. The population dynamics changed with the influx of Middle Eastern immigrants in the 1960s and 1970s.
The two main streets are John and Joseph, named after the early colonial priest John Joseph Terry.
Lidcombe railway station is an important junction station. It is served by four suburban lines:
- the Olympic Park line to Sydney Olympic Park
- the North Shore, Northern & Western Line; east to Berowra or Hornsby via the City and Chatswood, west to either Richmond or Emu Plains via Parramatta
- the Airport, Inner West & South Line; east to the City via Strathfield, west to Campbelltown via Granville
- the Bankstown line to the City via Bankstown
Some intercity Blue Mountains line services also call at the station.
Sydney Buses runs one route, Transdev NSW runs three routes and NightRide runs three routes via Lidcombe station. For full details of these services see Lidcombe Station.
North of the railway line:
- Church Street is the site for the St Andrews Ukrainian Catholic Church and its presbytery, hall, school and kindergarten, and the former Karpaty Ukrainian Credit Union.
- John Street is the site of the Ukrainian Youth Association's Centre and the Armenian Catholic Church.
South of the railway line:
- Joseph Street is the site for the Ukrainian National Hall and the Ukrainian Central School. Nearby is the office of "The Free Thought" Ukrainian newspaper.
- Railway Hotel is an Art Deco building in Joseph Street which has a State heritage listing.
- Lidcombe Hotel, John Street, is heritage-listed
- Royal Oak Hotel, Railway Street, is heritage-listed
- The Gables is a historic home in East Street, now used as a function centre. The house has a state heritage listing.
- Juniperina Juvenile Justice Centre on Rookwood Road is a juvenile detention centre for girls. It is the only detention facility catering for juvenile female offenders in New South Wales. The Centre was also used as a filming location for the UK-Australian TV mini series, 'The Leaving of Liverpool'.
- Lidcombe Hospital was closed in the 1990s and was developed as a residential estate. The original complex was designed by Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect of the day, and built in 1906. It is now listed on the Register of the National Estate as well as being listed at a state level.
- Former Lidcombe Post Office, Joseph Street, is heritage-listed
Sport and recreation
Lidcombe Oval, situated in Church Street, on the northern side of the railway line, was the home ground of the Western Suburbs Magpies from 1967–1986. The playing surface is enclosed by a cycling track. The ground earned a reputation as a fortress for the home side, particularly in the late 1970s to the early 1980s when the Magpies were at their most competitive. Games against rivals Parramatta Eels and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles would usually draw large crowds during this era. The attendance record for the venue is 21,015 (Wests vs Parramatta, 30 July 1978).
Carnarvon Golf Course
Carnarvon Golf Course, located at Nottinghill Road and Joseph Street, reflects the social history of Lidcombe. The first site was in use from 1927 to 1932 and occupied an area running east and west on the northern side of Parramatta Road, Lidcombe between Wetherill Street and Hill Road in an area currently covered by the M4 Western Motorway. The "Old Course" was in an area of three paddocks north of Fariola Street in an area owned by the Newington State Hospital (now Silverwater Correctional Centre) which consisted of nine holes in the top paddock (holes one-eight and eighteen). Seven holes in the bottom paddock, now Wilson Park, and the sixteenth and seventeenth holes in a paddock leased from Lidcombe Council on the southern side of Holker Street. This course was in use from 1932 until early 1943 when the top paddock and the Clubhouse were taken over by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The Silverwater Course was used from 1942 to 1949 and was a nine-hole course where the bottom paddock held holes one-two and five-nine with the third and fourth holes in the Council paddock. The present site which originally consisted of Lidcombe Sports and Showground and the western grazing paddock of Lidcombe State Hospital was obtained in 1947 and officially opened in December, 1949.
Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre
The Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre (formerly known as the Auburn Swim Centre), located on Church Street, has indoor and outdoor swimming facilities. The centre is currently closed for major renovations and should be open again in 2017. The Centre is named after Ruth Everuss, the Australian Olympic swimmer who won a silver medal in the women's 4 × 100 m freestyle relay at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
Lidcombe was, up until recent years a traditional working-class suburb. Over the past decade, Lidcombe has experienced the processes of gentrification. Today, the suburb is cosmopolitan, reflecting the waves of immigration to post war Australia.
- Rod Taylor. For some years after his Hollywood success, his mother still lived at a local street (reference: Schoolfriends messageboard, now inactive). He went to Parramatta High School.
- Michael Wenden. An Olympic swimmer, attended Marist Brothers Lidcombe; he won gold in the 100 m and 200 m freestyle, silver in the 800 m freestyle relay and bronze in the 400 m freestyle relay at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
- Naazmi Johnston. An Olympic and Commonwealth gymnast. Represented Australia at the 2008 Olympic Games, the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.
- Mitchell, John (2008) 'John Joseph Therry - His Lidcombe Property' Australian Railway History, September, 2008 pp. 308–310
- NSW Parliament (2003) Legislative Assembly Hansard Full Day Transcript: Parramatta High School
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