Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Charles Bertie Photograph Albums – Gloucester Street 1901

This series of 1901 photographs features Gloucester Street, The Rocks. Charles Bertie (1875−1952), then the Sydney Council librarian and a prominent member of the Royal Australian Historical Society collected these photographs taken by the NSW Government photographer John Degotardi.

The photos documented what were considered some of the more run-down parts of Sydney, prior to their proposed demolition after the outbreak of the bubonic plague.

They provide a wonderful insight into life in The Rocks over one hundred years ago; a time when domestic life was not confined behind closed doors, washing was strung up to flap between buildings, animals roamed the streets, and scores of barefoot kids played in the dust in middle of the road.

Gloucester Street has been realigned since 1901. The bridge over the Argyle Cut was demolished and replaced with a larger bridge over Cumberland Street in 1911−12, effectively cutting Gloucester Street in half. In 1914 the northern end of the street was realigned where it meets George Street and in 1956 Gloucester Street was again severed when the Cahill Expressway was constructed. In 1989 the northern end of Gloucester Street between the Argyle Cut and George Street was closed to traffic and became known as Gloucester Walk.

Click on the images below to enlarge: