The former Lidcombe Post Office
|Property Value:||AUD $470,000 (2009)|
|Location:||14 km (9 mi) west of Sydney CBD|
Lidcombe is a suburb in western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales Australia. Lidcombe is located 14 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Auburn Council. Lidcombe is colloquially known as ‘Liddy’.
Lidcombe is located north of Rookwood Cemetery, the largest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere. Suburbs next to it are Homebush West (eastern side), Newington and Silverwater (north), Auburn (west) and Berala and Rookwood (south).
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. 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 a junction for seven railway lines:
- the Olympic Park line for Special Events services
- the Blue Mountains line to Lithgow via Katoomba
- the North Shore line to Berowra via the City and Chatswood
- the Western line to either Richmond or Emu Plains via Parramatta
- the South line to Campbelltown via Granville
- the Inner West line to Liverpool via Regents Park
- the Bankstown line to the City via Bankstown
A railway service from the Mortuary railway station, near Central railway station, once ran to a platform at the nearby cemetery, but has since closed.
Sydney Buses runs one route via Lidcombe station:
- Route 401 - to Sydney Olympic Park station via Parramatta Road, Homebush Bay, Athletic Centre, Olympic Park station,
Veolia Transport runs two routes via Lidcombe railway station:
- Route 912 - to Bankstown.
- Route 915 - to University of Sydney Cumberland Campus.
NightRide runs two routes via Lidcombe station:
- Route N50 - Between Liverpool and City (Town Hall).
- Route N60 - Between Fairfield station and City (Town Hall).
- The Juniperina Juvenile Justice Centre at 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'.
- The heritage-listed Lidcombe Hospital was closed in the 1990s. It is now being developed as a residential estate. The complex was designed by Walter Liberty Vernon, the Government Architect of the day, and built in 1906. It is now listed on the Register of the National Estate.
- The Gables is a historic home in East Street, opposite Rookwood Cemetery, that is now used as a function centre.
- Church Street is the site for the Ukrainian Youth Centre, the Ukrainian Plast (Scouts) centre, the St Andrews Ukrainian Catholic Church and its presbytery, hall, school and kindergarten, and the former Karpaty Ukrainian Credit Union. Joseph Street is the site for the Ukrainian Folk Hall, and Ukrainian Central School. Nearby is the office of "The Free Thought" newspaper.
Lidcombe has many places of worship including:
- St Joachim's Catholic Church  on John Street and Mills Street
- Sts Cyril and Methodius, a Slovak Catholic Church in Vaughan Street.
- St Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church  (Byzantine style) on Church Street
- St Stephens Anglican Church on Mark Street
- Holy Annunciation - Assumption Russian Orthodox Church on Vaughan Street
- St Ephraim Syrian Orthodox Church on Joseph Street
- Lidcombe Baptist Church on Kerrs Road
- Our Lady of the Assumption Armenian Catholic Church on John Street
- Pacific Island Christian Church on Martin Street
- Christian Church on the corner of Olympic Drive and Vaughan Street
- St Marks Presbyterian Church in Yarram Street is now closed and for sale
Lidcombe Public School, located on John Street, was established in 1879. The school has 800 students and caters for special education children with trained teachers in that field. The school provides extra-curricular education facilities such as a choir, dance group, PSSA sports team. The school holds events at the end of each year, such as Lidcombe's Got Talent and Community Celebration Day. Challenge Expo is one of their most loved events. Years 5 and 6 make DIY games for younger students to play, based on what their topic is.
St Joachim's Parish School  is a Catholic school on Mary Street. The Sisters of St Joseph founded the school in 1885 and remained active in the school until 1984. After that time the Sisters handed the Principalship over to lay staff who have continued to uphold the traditions and spirit of Blessed Mary MacKillop, who walked the playground and worked at the school, and her Josephite Sisters. The school caters for children up to Year 6.
Marist Brothers was a boys school located on Keating Street, behind St. Joachim's Catholic Church. It closed following the amalgamation of several Catholic schools in the area. The school catered for boys up to Year 6. This site is used for various Catholic Church enterprises, including the Inner Western Regional Office of the Catholic Education Office, Sydney, the Catholic Adult Education Centre and a bookstore specialising in Catholic publications ("The Mustard Seed").
Lidcombe has a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial developments. A small shopping centre is located close to Lidcombe railway station. Commercial and industrial developments are located along Parramatta Road and surrounding areas.
- Macquarie Goodman own a couple of business parks on Parramatta Road and Birnie Avenue.
- The Dairy Farmers' distribution centre is located at Birnie Avenue. Dairy Farmers is a milk co-operative and supplied most of NSW's milk before competition was opened to milk suppliers from other states.
- Masons servicing the nearby Rookwood Cemetery are located on Railway Street
- Arthur Street business park just on the border with Strathfield Municipality.
- Dooley's Lidcombe Catholic Club (there is a franchise in Silverwater too)
- McVicar's Bus Service depot was located at the corner of Joseph and James Streets. It closed in 1978.
- Phil Gilbert Toyota (Parramatta Road and Bombay Street)
- The Tooheys Brewery is located on the corner of Parramatta Road and Nyrang Street. The brewery site was bought in 1955 and the company is now part of the Lion Nathan conglomerate. The smell of the hops is noticeable around the area as it wafts through the air, especially during the night.
- The NSW Rural Fire Service headquarters is in Carter Street. Carter Street was part of Lidcombe before the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but later became part of Homebush Bay. On October 2, 2009, the suburb of Homebush Bay was dismantled into two new suburbs, Sydney Olympic Park and Wentworth Point, with Carter Street reabsorbed into Lidcombe. The Olympic site was once a stockyard and abattoir.
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 and Manly would usually draw large crowds during this era. The attendance record for the venue is 21,015 (Wests vs Parramatta, 30.7.78).
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.
Lidcombe was, up until recent years a traditional working-class suburb. Over the past decade, Lidcombe, particularly the northern part of the suburb, has experienced the processes of gentrification. Today, the suburb is cosmopolitan, reflecting the waves of immigration to post war Australia.
- John Ernest Sullivan. A longstanding member of the Australian Labor Party, he went to the Marist Brothers school (now closed, since turned into the Catholic Education Office) located on Keating Street.
- 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 100m and 200m freestyle, silver in the 800m freestyle relay and bronze in the 400m freestyle relay at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
- ^ Mitchell, pp.308–310
- ^ Pollon, p. 153
- ^ Reed, A. W. (1969)Place Names of New South Wales. Their Origins and Meanings. Sydney-Melbourne-Wellington-Auckland, p. 87
- ^ Pollon
- ^ Kass, T. (2008). "Lidcombe", on the The Dictionary of Sydney project web site.
- ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981
- ^ http://stjoachim.hankfacer.com/
- ^ http://members.optushome.com.au/standrew/
- ^ http://www.sjps.lidcombe.syd.catholic.edu.au/
- ^ http://www.carnarvongolf.com.au/carnarvonhistory/Sites.htm
- 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
- Pollen, Frances (1990) The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Angus & Robertson Publishers, Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8
- Stafford, Ted (1991) Living in Liddy Ettalong Beach, NSW ISBN 0-646-05153-9
- Lidcombe, New South Wales is at coordinates Coordinates:
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