By Cathy Jones
The Cave Road precinct of Strathfield, which includes Hedges Ave, Cave Rd and Morgan Place, was built in the early 1960s on the site of the former Northcote Golf Course.
The Northcote Golf Course, built on twenty-one acres of land, was privately owned by Clara Australia Thompson. Northcote faced Liverpool Road and was accessible by Hassell Street. This street was discontinued when the Golf Course was redeveloped.
The Strathfield Golf Club, which is a private club, eventually acquired the Club from Miss Thompson but in 1955, the Club decided to close the Northcote Golf Course and sell the land.
A development application was lodged by land developers Willmore & Randell with Strathfield Council in 1957 for a large drive-in regional shopping complex. Approval was granted by Strathfield Council for a shopping centre facing Liverpool Rd with 2,500 parking spaces. However, the Club opted to develop the land for residential purposes. In May 1958, the Cumberland Country Council approved the rezoning and the land was sold in July 1958 for £70,000 for residential and commercial development.
The Cave Road shopping centre is unusual as the Strathfield Council building code, in force from 1920 to 1969, prohibited the building of corner shops outside of designated town centres or main roads. Unlike many older suburbs of Sydney, few corner shops were built within the original boundaries of Strathfield Council. An exception to the building code was made for the Cave Road shopping centre, as it was located so far from other town centres that approval was granted for the building of the shopping centre within the residential precinct.
All streets in the Cave Road precinct are named for former Mayors of Strathfield. Cave Road was named for Arthur Cave, Mayor [1952-54]. Hedges Ave was named for Stanley Hedges [1957-59]. Charles Morgan was Mayor in 1950 and 1951 but Clarence Morgan also served as an Alderman in the same period. It is said that Morgan Place was named for both Morgans.
Most of the original homes of the Cave Road precinct were red brick cottages and built by local builder George Ikin from 1960 to 1966. From 1948 to 1968, Ikin was Strathfield’s most prolific builder and built houses throughout Strathfield. Some of the streets were he built include Newton, Marion, Myrna, Bareena, Augusta, Llandilo, Highgate, Brunswick, Howard, Pemberton, Merley and Badgery.
The Chain of Ponds Reserve, which is located next to the Cooks River near Cave Road, was formerly named Cave Road Reserve. The Reserve was renamed in 1985, inspired by the description of the Cooks River in an 1923 extract of the Royal Australian Historical Society Journal, which stated that ‘The Cooks River was crossed by the Liverpool Road and was then ended by what is called the chain of ponds’.
This precinct has been located since 1892 in Strathfield Council and was contained in the Flemington Ward of Strathfield Council which covered the area from Flemington [now Homebush West] to Liverpool Road. The Council ward system was abolished in 1916.
Innes, David, The Story of Golf in New South Wales 1851-1987, New South Wales Golf Association, 1988.
Strathfield Golf Club [1931-1951], 50 year anniversary pamphlet.
© Cathy Jones 2005. This article is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without permission of the author.