Beecroft-Cheltenham History Group


Wandeen Avenue

This land formed portions 677-679 of the Field of Mars Common. Portion 678 sold first, at an auction on 20 June 1891 to Henry Salwey of Sydney, Solicitor. He also purchased portion 679. Portion 677 was not sold by auction until 28 September 1898. It was purchased by Emily Lutherburrow, wife of John Lutherburrow of Beecroft, fencer. Henry Salwey sold his land in February 1894 to Alfred Salwey of Burwood, gentleman.In 1904 three members of one family (Louisa Little of Wallendbeen widow and Henry John Little and William Augustus Little both of Sydney, auctioneers) purchased all three portions. The Little family combined the parcels and eventually subdivided the combined estate. They did this by changing the primary frontage of the land away from Sutherland Road so that instead it fronted a new road that travelled along the same ridge that contains Malton Road. The lots on the southern side then went from this road down to a creek. The sale of these lots created by this reconfiguration and fresh subdivision was then delayed so that despite an initial sale in 1913, the last lot was not sold until 1921. In emphasising the healthy nature of the locality the lots were advertised as being “445 ft above Sea Level”.

These lots comprised the Wandeen Estate.

The name of the street takes its name from the original home – “Wandeen Cottage”.

2 – “Wandeen”

The first lot sold was the one upon which “Wandeen Cottage” was already built. This lot was sold to Horatio William Smith of Cheltenham, builder, in 1913. ‘Wandeen Cottage’ exhibits strong Arts and Crafts influence
and is representative of the work of architect George Sydney Jones. The home appears to have been built between 1904 and 1906. Following the subdivision the gently sloping front yard has terraced so as to allow for the land to be built up to permit the construction of the flat expanse of the road and footpath.

The Cottage was the home of Louisa Little and such of her children who were unmarried. Following the death of her husband, Louisa had re-located to this property from the family home in Glebe. Some of her sons were already living in Beecroft.[1] These sons, like Louisa’s husband, were auctioneers and real estate agents who initially had their own firm but which became part of Richardson & Wrench. In addition to this home in Beecroft, Louisa also had a property at Wallendbeen in the Southern Highlands. She retired to that property where she lived until her death. She was buried next to her husband in Rookwood necropolis.  

While Mr Smith sold “Wandeen” in 1915 to Ada Mary Burns (wife of James Burns of Blacktown, gentleman) he appears to have continued living there until 1917 at which time the property is again sold – this time to John Bunce of Botany, a master tanner. The neighbouring lots (2 and 3) had been purchased in 1919 by Ada Emmeline Nixon[2], wife of William Mark Nixon of Beecroft architect, but she sold them after only a matter of months to John Bunce who consolidated them into his holding. The ownership of the land by firstly Mrs Burns and then Mrs Nixon, especially when combined with the length of their ownership, presumably indicates that the land was being traded for investment purposes (and capital gain) rather than with any intent of residing there.

John Bunce was born in Campbelltown in 1849. His father died when he was only 4 years of age and he went to live successively in Sydney and on farms on the Hawkesbury and at Wilde’s Meadow in the Southern  Highlands. He worked on these farms, never having attended school. At the age of 26 years he went to work for R Hamilton, a tanner at St Marys. While living at St Mary’s he married Harriet (born 4 November 1846), the daughter of the local postmaster at St Marys, William Denett Woodland).[3] Leaving St Marys, John Bunce became a journeyman and then a manager for Cobcroft of Windsor. In 1887 he became partners with Messrs Pausey and Woodland as tanners in Underwood Avenue, Botany. By 1898 he became the sole proprietor, before taking into the partnership his sons Henry Walter, Clifford and eventually Frederick. He retired to Beecroft as his sons assumed greater responsibility in the affairs of the business.[4]

Following the death of John Bunce, of a heart attack late at night, on 15 February 1920, “Wandeen” remains the home of his widow Mrs Harriet Bunce. John Bunce was buried in Botany Cemetery: with “some hundreds of relations, business associates and personal friends journey(ing) in thirty-five motor cars, which constituted one of the most imposing tributes we have ever witnessed.”[5] His two eldest sons (Henry Walter Bunce and Clifford Bunce) who like their father are also tanners, become registered as proprietors. In 1937, all three lots are transferred into the name of Mabel Ann Bunce of Beecroft, spinster. She and her sister continue to live in “Wandeen” until her death in 1962 – although she sells off lots 2 and 3 in 1954 and a small strip neighbouring lot 2 and 3 also in 1954. Upon her death “Wandeen” passes to Frederick Henry Bunce of Bellevue Hill, managing director. He does not live in the home but sells the property later that same year to Pearl Wong Pty Limited. The house becomes the residence of a doctor with a large family of children before becoming the home of the Jarrett family. The property was purchased by the current owners in 2002.

While “Wandeen” is on the corner with Sutherland   Road for its early years Sutherland Road was broken by the creek at the bottom of the property and there was no through road. During the 1930s this area was awash in bright colours - being a field of nasturiums.[6]

4- “Gumeracha”

Lot 2 was purchased in 1954 by Raymond Zani de Ferranti and his wife, Gladys May. Within the same year of their purchase by also acquired a few extra feet of land from their neighbour, Miss Mabel Bunce. Mr de Ferranti, was a solicitor having been admitted in 1929. He had a practice in neighbouring Pennant Hills but primarily worked in a law firm which at various times was located at 129, 92, 91 and 51 Pitt Street Sydney. He was on the Council of the Law Society of NSW and was its President between 1950 and 1952. In that capacity he was instrumental in the official recognition of regional law societies, and encompassing their efforts within the broader
work of the Society as a whole.  Mr and Mrs de Ferranti built their home on this land using a popular North Shore architect, Mr Lyndsay Little. The home incorporates a number of features of the fifties including a use of chrome and strong geometric lines. Within this home Mr and Mrs de Ferranti raised their family until Mr de Ferranti dies in 1969. His widow remained in the property until her death in 1995. Their son, Barry Zani de Ferranti sold the property on his mother’s death to Robert and Carol Hussey.

Robert and Carol Hussey gave the home the name “Gumeracha” after a town located in the Adelaide Hills. Mr and Mrs Hussey had for a period lived in South Australia. Their family had largely grown up by the time they purchased the property. They made extensive renovations and extended the home with the addition of large living and kitchen areas at the rear of the home before proceeding to subdivide the property and erect two townhouses (4A and 4B) at the rear of the property. They sold both the home “Gumeracha” and each of the townhouses in 2004. 


Lot 3 was purchased in 1954 by Roy Francis Carrigy a draughtsman of Earlwood and his wife Valma June. Mrs Carrigy died in 1986. This land was subdivided with 6A built at the rear. 


Lots 4 and 5 were purchased by Thomas Kenyon, a law stationer of Cheltenham, in 1917. In the next year he transferred title to the land to his wife Munnie Lavinia Kenyon. She sold the land in 1924 to John Tudor Davies a builder of Lane Cove in 1924. Mr Davies built a home for himself and his family on the western lot and moved into this home in 1926. His son, Tudor Davies, was a talented pianist as a boy.[7] Both the home and the neighbouring land were sold in 1941 to a zoologist, Frederick William Shaw Mayer of Concord. Mr Mayer sold the property in 1946 to Regis Coates bank manager, of Summer Hill and his wife Gladys Eileen Coates. They stay until 1955 when they sell to Denis Leo Cowley a teacher of Punchbowl and his wife Maude Merle Cowley. Mrs Cowley died in 1984 and the next year her husband died. Their children, Margaret June Hafer and Robert Leo Crowley, sell the two lots separately in 1986. Lot 4 was bought by Murray Gerard Horan and his wife Lee Mardon Horan. The lot was again sold in 2004 at which time the land was subdivided and a new home built on 8A. The creation of 8A has resulted in each of the lots fronting Wandeen   Avenue now having at least one other home being built, down the hill and adjacent to the creek. The use of the land, now only comprises family homes (without any investment properties) but is a far more intensive development of the land than the far gentler course of building over the first 60 years after the initial subdivision.  


Lot 5 was bought in 1986 by James Edward Read and his wife Aileen Read. 


Lot 6 was purchased in 1919 by Albert Isles Boutcher a chemist of Beecroft. The property then quite rapidly changed hands initially to Frances Amy Meadmore, wife of Clement Meadmore of Beecroft, commercial traveller, and then to Mr Meadmore himself. Then in 1924 it was sold to Eric Arthur Somerville a real estate agent of Burwood. He sold it in 1928 to Cecil Aubrey Green of Croydon, builder. He retained the land for a lengthy period as he did not sell the land until 1947 when it was purchased by Leslie Norman Kiefer a technical teacher of Beecroft. In 1951 a portion of the land on the street frontage is transferred to Council to permit a slight lengthening of the road and the balance of the land is sold to Andrew Henry Etherden of Ashfield, company secretary. It is Mr Etherden who arranges for the current home to be built. The home was then owned by Brian and Angela McGill who sell the home in 2001. The property is purchased by IGS Developments – a company owned by Mr Ian Smith. Mr Smith subdivides number 12 so that its rear 1,000 square metres is consolidated with the land upon which his home (being part of the “Holme Lacey” Estate of Copeland Road East) is built. Having completed this subdivision he then sells the home block of 1500 square metres fronting Wandeen Avenue in April 2002 to the current owners.[8]  

Lots 7, 8 and 9 were sold in 1917 to John George North of Beecroft a stock and share broker. When he died in 1942 his medical practitioner sons Robert Bell North and Alan Lindsay North became registered proprietors for the purposes of selling lot 7 in 1944 and transferring (in that same year) lots 8 and 9 to John Alfred North.[9] These lots were purchased to increase the landholding of the North’s home facing Malton Road.[10] With this aggregation of land holdings and the large number of people holding the land for investment purposes, one consequence is that the street continues to be largely undeveloped for many decades. 


Lot 14 was sold in 1916 to Rosetta Dorothea Marrett, wife of Lawrence Beauchamp Marrett. She sells in 1918 to James Thomas Horton of Forest Lodge, builder, He is presumably the builder of the substantial and imposing home on the property. It has an impressive double storey verandah in brick piers. He is living in the house from at least 1922 Upon his death in 1939 the property passed to James Thomas Horton of Ryde carrier and Rose Caroline Sevia Claydon of Annandale. They realise the estate by selling  the property in the same year to Russell George Williamson, of Beecroft, retired civil servant. He sells in 1946 to Daniel John Glannon of Annandale, hotel proprietor and his wife Edna May Glannon. The property was transferred into the sole name of Edna May Glannon in 1948.  

3 – “Braeholme” 

Lots 12 and 13 were sold to Louisa Harper of Beecroft, widow in 1917 although she appears to have commenced living on a home on the property (together with her husband R W Harper) from at least 1916. She sells the property to Thomas Herbert Templeton JP, a grazier from Cargellico in 1918 and Arthur Templeton lives in the property from 1918 to 1920. The owner assumes occupation from 1921 and remains there until the property is transferred to Annie Digby Templeton and Hazel Templeton in 1929. The heritage garden probably dates from their ownership. They sell to Gordon Taylor in 1942. He sells ‘Braeholme’ to Reginald Ernest Wherrett of Sydney, medical practitioner in 1950. After his death in 1967 the property was transferred to his widow, Jean Alma Maud Wherrett.  

Dr Wherrett was the uncle of Peter and Richard Wherrett (motoring journalist and theatrical director respectively) who speak in their combined autobiography of how they lived in West Ryde but their uncle, being a doctor, “lived up the hill” in “the far more ritzy suburbs of … Beecroft” and had “a big grand house.” They also describe how “all five Wherrett brothers had a problem with alcohol .. Reg died in a car crash, driving drunk.”[11]  


Lot 11 was sold in 1914 to Constance Helena Butcher widow and Bertram Haymet Butcher of Sydney surveyor in the Railway Department. Perhaps the proximity of the ‘Wandeen Estate’ to the railway line drew his attention to this land and his mother assisted him in making the investment. They sold the land in 1919 to Owen Lloyd White. He is recorded as living on this land, in a home called ‘Strathmore’, from 1921. Mr White sold ‘Strathmore’ to Eva Burstall, wife of Thomas Philip Cumings Burstall of Parramatta, retired bank manager. Upon their deaths, James Evan Robert Burstall of Beecroft, radio engineer of Beecroft became the owner in 1959. He was a ham
radio operator who also had an interest in racing cars.[12] He sold the property in 1970 to Nicoll & Moran Pty Limited. The company sold the property to the current owners in 1975. 


Lot 10 was sold in 1921 to Dorothy Vernon Stanton-Cook, wife of Arthur Everett Stanton-Cook of Beecroft electrician. She sold the land in 1922 to Alice Mary Dobbie, wife of Charles Archibald Dobbie of Sydney company manager[13]. Charles Martyn of Beecroft, retired glazier, purchased the land in 1927. He died in 1940 and his daughters sold the property the following year to Drusilla Cobcroft, a single woman of Mosman. She sold the property in 1961 to Clarice Coote Weaver of Beecroft. The next sale in 1981 was to XCBG Pty Limited. The company retained it for 4 years selling in 1985 to Antoliz Cork and Cherie Lynette Cork. They sold it in 1989 to Allan David Dickinson and Maryanne Catherine Dickson.  

It can be seen that lot 1, lots 4 to10 and lots 12 to14 were all purchased earlier in their history by people residing elsewhere in Beecroft or Cheltenham.  


In 1966 Mr & Mrs W E Spark lived in number 17 and were members of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust.[14]  

House numbers 11, 15 and 17 (there never being a number 13) were all built at the one time in the late 1950’s by the same builder.  


Robert North gives property number 21 to his daughter Judith upon her marriage to David Nathan and then gives number 19 to his niece the daughter of Robert North.[15] In 1966 Mr & Mrs R J S Potter lived in number 19 and were members of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust.[16]  

York Street  

This street was named after the county which was the birth place of both wives of Sir Henry Copeland. 

Corner with Hannah Street – Sheen[17] 

This house was built by Lesley George Herring on land which he had given as part of a marriage settlement on his wife at the time of their marriage. His wife was Kate Emily Tucker, the sister of Charles C Tucker of ‘Rockleigh’, Murray Road.[18] Herring was a wool broker and a director of Mort’s Dock. Also on the same estate, Herring built a timber cottage for the manager of his property facing Hannah Street and another timber cottage facing Chapman   Avenue for his gardener-handyman. Herring leased the home to Robert Vicars while Vicars was building (1916-1917) his home, ‘Yallambee,’ which was located on the site of the present day Cheltenham Girls  High School.  

This property was sold in 1924 and became the Twilight House for Aged Gentlewomen. The property was subsequently renamed Jameson House. 



16 Sutherland Road Cheltenham

16 sutherland page12 image3

  This house containing essential elements of the streamlined arte modern style of art deco architecture is a significant Cheltenham link to the 1920s and 1930s modern art deco glamour of film and cinema.

Built by Roy Brown Barmby just prior to the Second World War it links this era with his connection with the Greater Union Theatre Company. At various times Mr Brown Barmby was Chief Film Buyer, Managing Director and member of the Board of Management of Greater Union – then conducting one of the largest cinema chains and production outlets in Sydney. Cinemas from this era are represented by the Hayden Orpheum in Military Road Cremorne, the Metro Theatre Potts Point, The Randwick Ritz and the Greater Union owned State Theatre in Market Street Sydney.

Cedric Gibbons, Head of the Art Department for Metro Goldwyn Mayer built a stylish art deco home in the Santa Monica hills and so did Brown Barmby in Cheltenham.  Here Roy and his wife Gwendoline entertained the leaders of the Australian film industry at this critical time of its development.

Originally living in 171 Ryedale Road West Ryde, the Barmbys first lived in Cheltenham in 134 Beecroft Road. This was their base when they built on the vacant land they purchased at 16 Sutherland Road in 1938.  The home they built represented the glamorous while practical style of the cinema world they inhabited. There are numerous newspaper articles on a wide range of activities associated with movies. These included extensive charity work, cinema launches and numerous sporting events.


They attended the opening of the State Theatre on 2 April 1938. Locally they were members of the Cheltenham Recreation Club and were active participants in local sporting events.  The marriage of their daughter, Mollie, to a local son of the Rutings family of 158 Beecroft Road Cheltenham was also featured in the Sydney Morning Herald


Amongst other photographs of their glamorous lifestyle, there is one take in 1950 of Mr Barmby on one of his trips to California where he was meeting with  Walt Disney.


 Rosemary Reid, a granddaughter of Roy and  Gwendoline recalled staying at the house:

“I lived at this house for a period after my grandfather died [in 1967] so that Mum could take care of her mother. I will always remember the steam trains as they struggled up the hill towards Beecroft as I was so scared of the noise in the night. I had the left hand front top room. My grandparents bedroom was also on the second floor on the right with its own balcony, something quite unique. As kids we played on the stairs and hid in the room underneath. Many days we sat around the kitchen table where my Pop (Roy Barmby) would cook up sardines on toast. It was his specialty along with vegemite and tomato on toast. They always had a big garden with greenhouses and my grandmother (Timmy as she was known) was very proud of her garden. For many years she had an old foreign man do the garden. He could not understand us and we could not understand him. I remember learning to drive and trying to back down that driveway onto the road it was such a trial even in the 1970s.”

Minor largely sympathetic changes to the front of the house since it was built include it having been rendered, the basement garage being extended and the upstairs balcony having its wrought iron balustrade replaced with brick as has been the supporting column. The front garden design retains significant features.  



16 sutherland page12 image6edit


 Subsequent owners included the Lipsky and de Vries families.


The Boulevard

 The name of the street was given by William Chorley after the name of a street in his birthplace, Cheltenham, England.  “Rosemount” (also known as Rosmon”)[1] The land was purchased in 1900 by William Chorley. He sold it in 1912 to Rosabelle Irene Trigg the wife of Ernest Samuel Trigg (1872-1963). Trigg was General Manager. Meadowbank Manufacturing Co which made rolling stock and agricultural machinery. It was sold in 1920 to Charles Potts a grain and produce merchant. The house was possibly designed by William Nixon. It is in the Arts and Crafts style. It was built in 1914. Its name is possibly based upon that of its first owner Rosabelle Trigg.  “Boambee”
 Built in 1914 for Clarence Hardie Gorman of Hardie
& Gorman Real Estate it was sold in 1916 to Thomas Irons who was a co-director and chief engineer of Clyde Engineering Co. He purchased the property to be nearer to his daughter (Nell Nossiter) after two of his sons (Ralph and David) died in 1916. He died in 1918 where upon his widow sold the property and commenced living with her daughter Nell.


 The land was purchased in 1893 by William Chorley. He sold it in 1912 to Thomas Bailey Nossiter (1873-1948) who was at one time the accountant to the Peacock Jam Factory and became a director of Henry Jones Co-operative.

Thomas was a keen golfer and became the first President of the Pennant Hills Golf Club.

The house was designed by William Nixon. It was built by James Brown of Ashfield in 1914. Its
name is a portmanteau word containing elements of the names of each of the daughters of Thomas and Helen (“Nell”) Nossiter namely Jean, Nancy and Beatrice.

The Crescent


The land was originally acquired by William Gordon in 1895. In 1911 it was acquired by James
Arthur Somerville Auctioneer of Beecroft and William Joseph Donnelly of Ashfield. In 1915 it was acquired by Ellen Bruton and Helena Bourke both of Darlinghurst who speculated in land. They sold in 1921 to William Crane Cooper who sold in 1925 to Aubrey William Lofts.

Mr Lofts built a small home on the land in 1926. In 1929 he sold the home to Garfield Edward Barwick who was at that stage a young barrister. Barwick had married Norma Mountier Symonds in March 1929. As he had only been at the Bar for two years they had to finance the purchase with a first and second mortgage. As a consequence of his going guarantor for his two younger brothers buying into a petrol station, and the business failing, Barwick was bankrupted. The second mortgagee foreclosed and the Barwicks had to repurchase their home.[2] Building upon the original home, the Barwick’s designed and built a far more extensive property in the English Tudor style.   Above the fireplace,  where the family's coat of arms would normally be carved, the yet to be knighted Barwick had carved the crest of   Fort  Street High School. The name of the house is an Aboriginal word meaning 'only two'. 
94Crescent1x         94CrescentChel1               94CrescentChel3x
 In 1955 the Barwicks moved to a new home in Maher’s Road (subsequently demolished for the motorway) and sold the property to Lindsay Aynsley an accountant.      

[1] H Barker
Houses of Hornsby Shire Vol 2
(Hornsby, 1998) pp 64-68

[2] G Barwick
A Radical Tory (Sydney, 1995) pp 26-27

[1] H Barker
Houses of Hornsby Shire Vol 2
(Hornsby, 1998) pp 43-46


[1] H Barker
Houses of Hornsby Shire Vol 2
(Hornsby, 1998) pp 47-50

[1] Henry Little built a timber cottage ‘Glenbower’ in 1907 at 52C Beecroft Road

[2] Ada Emmeline Fox was born in Tumut and married an architect William Mark Nixon in
1886. Following their marriage they lived in Ashfield however decided to move
to a healthier climate because of the asthma suffered by their youngest son,
Alan. William designed their new home “Lynwood” in Malton Road on land
purchased in 1904. The house was named after the town where his parents lived
in England. They sold this home in 1911, once their sons left home, to Mary Bell North,
wife of John George North, stockbroker. Mr & Mrs Nixon moved into smaller homes as their children left home - on the other side of Malton Road (designed by either William or their son Charles) at numbers 11 and then 7 until each died in 1931 and when Mrs Nixon was 80. Source: H Barker & M Elven Houses of Hornsby Shire Vol 1 (Hornsby, 1989)

[3] history/williamwoodland (1844-1851) accessed 11 June 2006.

[4] Obituary, The Australian Leather Journal, 15 March 1920, p 784

[5] Obituary, The Australian Leather Journal, 15 March 1920, p 784

[6] Conversation of the author with Mary Vernon 11 June 2006

[7] Conversation of the author with Mary Vernon 11 June 2006

[8] Email of 15 May 2006 to the author from Janine Dunne.

[9] John Alfred North lived in ‘Mindaribba’ Malton Road Beecroft which he had purchased
in 1934. Source: H Barker & M Elven Houses of Hornsby Shire Vol 1 (Hornsby. 1989)

[10] Conversation of the author with Mary Vernon 11 June 2006

[11] P & R Wherrett Desirelines (Hodder, Sydney, 1997) pp 37, 39 & 54

[12] Conversation of the author with Mary Vernon 11 June 2006

[13] Alice and Charles Dobbie had also purchased subdivided land in 1901 from Thomas Henry
Brown Skellett of ‘Chetwynd” Copeland   Road East Beecroft.

[14] Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust folder in the archives of the Beecroft Cheltenham History Group

[15] Conversation of the author with Mary Vernon 11 June 2006

[16] Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust folder in the archives of the Beecroft Cheltenham History Group

[17] H Barker & M Elven Houses of Hornsby Shire Vol 1 (Hornsby, 1989) pp 49-51

[18] For more information on C C Tucker refer to the section on people in Beecroft/Cheltenham

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