‘Glengarth’ 15 Meredith Street Homebush

by Cathy Jones

‘Glengarth’ was built on section 13 of the 1878 Village of Homebush Estate. By 1919, the land on which this house was built was owned by James Paterson. Paterson lodged an application to build a brick bungalow of 6+rooms on August 22 1919. The estimated cost of the building was £1200.

In June1920, land was sold to Frank Low Thompson, who named the house ‘Glengarth’. Thompson was a manager of Burns, Philip & Co, but later Chairman of the Matthews Thompson Grocery stores, which was the latest grocery chain store in NSW In 1960, the 265 stores were sold to Coles, which enabled the expansion of Coles Supermarkets in NSW. Thompson was also Chairman of PLC Croydon from 1931 to 1974. Thompson continued to own this house until at least the 1960s.

References

Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield

Strathfield Council Building Register

Sands and Sydney Suburban Directory


One comment

  1. Cathy
    Thank you for the history of Glengarth which I note is now 100 years old. It is good to see a master built bungalow of the 1920s still largely in original condition. Even though a veranda has been enclosed and the eastern bay window has been replaced by an unsympathetic aluminium window it is much as it was built. For many years after their marriage in 1920 it was, as you mention, the home of Frank and Lily Thompson. Lily died in 1970 and Frank in 1980. Their daughters Betty and Marjorie spent their early lives in Meredith Street having been born respectively in 1921 and 1924. Frank was the son of John Low Thompson (1847-1900), agricultural educator and foundation principal of Hawkesbury Agricultural College, Richmond. He had a twin sister, Grace.

    https://www.plc.nsw.edu.au/microsites/alumni/spotlight-on/grace-fiaschi

    His other sisters, famed as the Misses Thompsons, founded Branxton in Strathfield. His wife Lily Thompson (née Crawford) was educated at PLC as were her daughters. After marrying they became Betty Davis and Marjorie Harley. Mrs Davis taught English at Meriden for many years and celebrates her 100th birthday in September. Mrs Harley later lived in Coventry Road, just up the hill from her parents, until she moved to Cheltenham. Marjorie died in 2017. You have mentioned the distinguished business career and church service of Frank Low Thompson. He was also distinguished in appearance and drove a large Pullman-like Mercedes Benz. In gardening circles he was the Inner-West’s equivalent of Professor Waterhouse of Eryldene. He was a camellia man and Glengarth could hardly be seen for the beautiful array of flowers in the garden. It is interesting that even though the original timber picket fence of Glangarth has been lost there are still camellias to be found in the front garden. The house is important to the history of Homebush and its residents.

    Glengarth was once neighboured by Cliefden, another fine 1920s bungalow with wide verandahs on three sides at 17 Meredith Street. That home was owned by the Alexander family and over many years was occupied Mrs Alexander and then her adult daughter and sons. Charlotte Alexander, the Aunty Lottie of my childhood in Meredith Street, was briefly married to the son of Mrs Mary Pearce of Dunkeld and then lived on The Boulevarde, Strathfield. After her divorce she returned home to care for her widowed mother and bachelor brothers. Cliefden was later demolished for a tennis court. That land now lays vacant awaiting a new house to be built. I hope that any new build on 17 Meredith Street will be respectful of the fine Edwardian era houses on the western side of the street and the Victorian Italianate houses on the eastern side. Is that too much to wish for?
    Scott

    Like

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