By Cathy Jones
Water Street crosses the Cooks River, which divides the suburb of Strathfield South (at north) from Belfield (at south). It is likely that street name was derived from its proximity to the Cooks River.
Water Street Strathfield South is located on the Redmire Estate. The street was first laid out in the subdivision of the Redmire Estate (DP 35) in 1867 and is one of the oldest streets in the Strathfield district. The Redmire Estate is bordered by Redmyre Road at north and Cooks River at south. A substantial portion of the suburbs of Strathfield and Strathfield South are located on this estate. This section on the Redmire Estate connects with Dean Street at the north and finishes at the Cooks River. James Street, The Causeway and WIlliam Street intersect with Water Street.
The second stage of Water Street was laid out in the subdivision of the Clareville Estate c.1906. This section extended Water Street from the Cooks River to Punchbowl Road. The two sections were initially connected by a wooden bridge which was swept away in a storm in the 1930’s and replaced by a concrete bridge that supports both vehicle and pedestrian access.
In the 19th century, two large brickworks were established the Cooks River. The Strathfield and Enfield Steam Brick Works were located in Water Street and The Western Suburbs Brick and Tile Company was located in Dean Street. The Dean Street Brickworks was later redeveloped into Dunlop Street industrial precinct in the late 1950’s. Part of the brickworks site was used as a tip to fill and level the site. This was developed into the a park, Dean Reserve. The former brickworks located on Water Street are now occupied by various industrial developments.
Most of Water Street is occupied by residential development, though there were other commercial developments located on Water Street. A Pizza Hut restaurant was located on the eastern corner of Water Street and Punchbowl Road. It opened on 22 April 1970 and closed in 1998. The site is now a unit block. A large service station was located on the western corner of Water Street and Punchbowl Road. A car and wreckers yard was located on Water Street between The Causeway and James Street, which is now 2 storey units. The below photos from 1947 shows some past land uses of the street.
James Smith was elected Mayor of Strathfield Council. Smith was the first Labor Party (ALP) Mayor in Strathfield. He served as an Alderman from 1965-1974.
Greta’ 36 Water Street Belfield
’Burrawang’ 43 Water Street Belfield