Cooks River – memories project

The Cooks River Valley Assocation (CRVA) are seeking from people living along the Cooks River their memories and recollections.

Most people would be aware that it’s not safe to swim in the Cooks River these days. The NSW Government did a sanitary investigation in 2010 and confirmed this.

But many people share with the Cooks River Valley Association the desire to see the River restored to health and a return to the days when it was a place where people could swim and play and go boating.

Here’s how one local remembers the River.

In the 1930s the Cooks River was Joan Giles’ backyard and made a marvellous playground. Kids disappeared from home after breakfast. ‘Make sure you’re back by teatime’ they were told. That left the whole day for play. She remembers the River was pleasant to swim in and there were ropes and planks to make it easier getting in and out. They had adventures, made rafts out of old tin boxes and always came home wet.

Doesn’t that sound marvellous! There was even a Cooks River lifesaving club on the River at Steel Park in Marrickville in the 1930s.

Gayle Adams got involved with the CRVA because she wanted to see the Cooks River recover some of its former glory.

Gayle says:  “I’m looking for people who have happy memories of swimming or playing in the River. I often come across people who know someone in their neighbourhood or a family member who grew up around the Cooks and spent time in it. Now I’d like to collect their stories for everyone to enjoy and to motivate us towards our goal. So if you know someone with a story to tell, email me at

For more information, contact Cooks River Valley Association at or email:



Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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