By Cathy Jones
Knight Street Homebush was formerly known as Rochester Street but was renamed Knight Street by Strathfield Council in 1949, in honour of George Robert Knight, a former Mayor and Alderman of Homebush Council.
Knight Street is located between the railway line and Parramatta Road. The street features the Horse and Jockey Hotel and a 1920s style shop, both facing Parramatta Road.
This street was one of the first areas to allow apartments to be built in Homebush in the mid-1930s, however this type of flat is reasonably rare in the Strathfield and Homebush areas due to the restrictive building codes of the day, which only permitted flat development in specific locations, usually near the railway. The few examples in Homebush are/were located in The Crescent, Station Street and Knight Street Homebush, though many are currently being redeveloped into higher density units.
The ‘Windsor Flats’ (featured in photo above) are located on the corner of Loftus Crescent and Knight Street (formerly Rochester Street) Homebush. The flats were built in 1937 and are located opposite Homebush Rail Station on Loftus Crescent and behind the Horse & Jockey Hotel on Knight Street
One of the more prominent are the ‘Windsor Flats’, which were constructed in 1937 by Michael Barry, a Strathfield based owner/builder at an estimated value of £7500. The ‘Windsor Flats’ are located on the corner of Loftus Crescent and Knight Street Homebush, which is opposite Homebush Rail Station on Loftus Crescent and behind the Horse & Jockey Hotel on Knight Street.
The 12 units and garages had a single owner and were rented. Barry was directed by Homebush Council to construct an air raid shelter for persons living at ‘Windsor Flats (Government Gazette No. 108 of 22nd August, 1941), however by the time the notice was served Barry had died. The Council resolved not to continue to demand the construction of the shelters. By 1954, ownership transferred to Dr Michael Barry (presumably son of the original owner) and by 1958, ownership transferred to Windsor Flats Pty Ltd. The flats would have been later strata titled which permitted separate ownership of individual flats.