By Cathy Jones
17-19 Kingsland Road Strathfield is built on land subdivided from the grounds of ‘Ingleburn’ 13-15 Kingsland Rd Strathfield. The land was subdivided in 1939 and sold to Clarence Heathcote Cull, a merchant.
‘Hornsey’ was built in 1940 for its owner Clarence Cull and contained eleven rooms and offices. The architect was A H Dwyer, ARAIA of Killara and builders Kell & Rigby. Kell & Rigby were established in Burwood in 1910 and though primarily known for their commercial buildings, they undertook construction of private homes particularly in Strathfield in the late 1930’s and 1940’s. The estimated cost of the construction was £5548. Most houses in Strathfield at this time cost on average £800-£1000, which indicates that this was expensive development. In 1959, there were further additions to the house with addition of a rear tiled balcony and basement addition.
The house was purchased in 1954 by Harold Cottee, managing director of Cottee’s Foods, who lived at 17/19 Kingsland Rd until his death in 1973. The Cottee family were originally orchardists, who started producing soft drinks in the 1920’s with surplus crops. In 1950-51, Cottee’s established the Passiona Bottling Co. which became the largest all-Australian franchiser with 100 participating distributors, half outside the capital cities. Harold Cottee became manager in the early 1950’s, introducing innovative products such as family size drink bottles and vending machines. Cottee’s also diversified into other food production such as jelly, jams and cordials and was supplier to the Australian Army in World War II. Cottee’s defied competition, particularly from US owned Coca Cola, in becoming one of Australia’s most successful food companies. Cottee’s was taken over in 1966 by General Foods, a US conglomerate which had promoted Maxwell House coffee in Australia from 1961. In 1984, Cottee’s was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes, a multinational food company.
Harold Cottee was awarded an OBE for services to industry and commerce in 1971. Cottee was survived by his wife, two sons and five daughters. His funeral was held at the Uniting Church (then Methodist Church) Carrington Avenue Strathfield.
In August 1977, the house was sold by Cottee’s widow, Lois to Baldwin Nominees Pty Ltd for $266,500.
Cottee, Harold, Australian Awards and Citations, viewed at http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au
Cottee’s Corporate History obtained from corporate website at http://www.cottee.com.au
Department of the Valuer General NSW – Valuation List – Valuation District of Strathfield
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Kell, Alan ‘A brief history of Kell & Rigby Pty Ltd’, Strathfield District Historical Society Newsletter, Nov/Dec 1992.
Sands Sydney & Suburban Directory
Strathfield Council Building Register
Strathfield Council Valuation Lists
Wise’s Post Office Directory of Strathfield, Enfield and Homebush 1904, 1908 and 1936.