Queen Mother’s visit to Strathfield

On 24 February 1958, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother visited Australia which included visitations to recent Government Housing projects including the Strathfield South Housing Project which was built in the 1950s.

Housing Estate near Liverpool Road 1962
Housing Estate near Liverpool Road 1962

Following WWII, Sydney experienced significant housing shortages.  The NSW Government estimated that 80,000 homes were not built due to the Depression and another 80,000 were not built due to the War.  It was estimated that Sydney had a shortfall of 90,000 houses and return of ex-servicemen exacerbated the demand for housing.  After the enabling of the 1941 Housing Act, the NSW Government identified sites suitable for development of new housing throughout Sydney.  During the 1947 State election, the Labor Party leader James McGirr (future Premier and resident of Strathfield) promised that a Labor Government would provide 90,000 homes. By 1956, the Housing Commission had constructed over 23,000 dwellings in Sydney and suburbs, which accounted for one-fifth of all houses and flats in NSW.

The Strathfield South Housing Project was developed in the early 1950s from land that owned by the Ebenenzer Ford Estate.  The Ford estate had been developed in the 1920s laying out streets such as High Street, Mintaro Ave, Amaroo Ave, Marcathur Avenue and Noble Avenue, but due to Great Depression and then WWII, sales of residential land did not eventuate and by the 1950s the land had not been developed.  The housing project involved 108 housing and the dedication of a park, Edwards Park in 1955.  A library was built on High Street in 1956.

The Queen Mother’s visit to Strathfield South included a drive through the streets of the housing development and past the new High Street Library and Edwards Park waving to local schoolchildren who lined the streets.  To commemorate this visit, Strathfield Council laid out new gardens outside the Branch Library, erected flagpoles in Edwards Park, planted shrubs in a traffic island at the intersection of Mintaro and Noble Avenues and a sign on Liverpool Road and The Boulevarde ‘The Citizens of Strathfield welcome Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s