‘The Braes’, 71 Redmyre Road Strathfield, was built in c.1891 and is a Victorian Italianate house, located in the Redmyre Road Heritage Conservation Area.
Builder Robert Finch is recorded as the first owner and is likely the designer and builder of this house. Finch built a number of houses in Strathfield in the 1890s and early 1900s period including heritage items 27-39 Homebush Road Strathfield.
The house was owned by Mrs Ellen Vernon but occupied by James Boultbee (1851-1909) from c.1896 to c.1907. Ellen Vernon was the widow of early prominent resident and NSW Traffic Manager Donald Vernon. Boultbee married Vernon’s daugher, Ethel.
Boutlbee was the Superintendent of Public Watering Places and Artesian Boring, Department of Public Works in NSW.
Boultbee also served as an Alderman on Strathfield Council [1894 – 97].
From c.1906-1907, the occupant of the house was F L C Ridgeway, who called the house ‘Wrangthorn’. Other occupants included Charles Lance, Sydney Harbour Trust Commissioner (1908), Stephen Murphy PM, City Coroner (1910) and William Mullinar in 1911 and 1912, who named the house ‘Buckinbah.
From c.1913, the house was owned and occupied by members of the Beale family including Harry Beale and John Beale, who were auctioneers. The house was renamed ‘The Braes’.
In February 1948, Rosamond Beale sold the house to Arthur George Lowndes for £2400. Lowndes (1911-1994) was an economist and served as a Commisioner of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) (1956-1974), Deputy Chairman of the ABC (1971-1974), Chairman of the Institute of Political Science (1952-1966) and Member of the Sydney University Senate (1969-1976).
Lowndes was a Major in the 2nd AIF (1940-1945) during World War II, Australian Liaison officer of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) China (1945-1946) and consultant on land use in Northern Territory and other regions. He was a director of J C Ludowici & Son Ltd since 1956 and Consultant Manager of CSR Ltd Macadamia Orchards (1963-1976).
Lowndes also served as an Alderman (1948-1956) and Deputy Mayor (1951-53, 1955-56) of Strathfield Council. At the end of his Council service in 1956, Council renamed Hudson Park Oval in Arthur Street Strathfield as the Arthur G Lowndes Oval.
He was appointed CBE in 1966 for services to the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
Lowdes was still the owner in the 1970s.
‘Arthur Lowndes’,Who’s Who in Australia 1965, pp522-23;
‘Arthur Lowndes’, Who’s Who in Australia 1985, p534, The Herald & Weekly Times Ltd.
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Inglis, Kenneth (2006). This is the ABC: Australian Broadcasting Commission (1932-1983)
Jones, Cathy, ‘Arthur Lowndes’, https://strathfieldheritage.org/local-government/council/mayors-of-strathfield-council/arthur-lowndes/
Jones, Cathy, Biographical Register of Strathfield’s Alderman 1885-2010, 2010 (manuscript)
Strathfield Council building records, valuation lists and notices of transfer.
Strathfield Council Meeting Minutes 20 November 1956
Written by Cathy Jones 2011
(c) Cathy Jones 2011. Do not copy, publish or reproduce with prior permission of the author.