Lidcombe, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
The former Lidcombe Post Office
|Location||18 km (11 mi) west of Sydney CBD|
Lidcombe is a suburb in western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Lidcombe is located 18 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Auburn Council.
Lidcombe is one of the upcoming commercial hot spots with big retailers like Costco already present in the area.
Samuel Haslam owned various grants beside Haslams Creek from 1804. A railway station called Haslam's Creek was opened in this area in 1859, on the railway line from Sydney to Parramatta. Haslam's Creek is sometimes referred to as Haslem's Creek.
Although it had not been intended to construct a station at Haslam's Creek, the then owner of the land where the station now stands, Father John Joseph Therry, together with nearby landholders Potts and Blaxland, agreed to pay £700 to enable its construction.
Haslam's Creek was the site of the first railway disaster in New South Wales in July 1858 which resulted in two deaths.
When the necropolis opened in 1867 it was known as Haslam's Creek Cemetery. Residents disliked the association with the burial ground and in 1876 the suburb was renamed Rookwood from a title of a novel by William Harrison Ainsworth (1805–1882). The name of the railway station was changed to Rookwood in 1878 and by the 1880s shops were established in the area. In 1891, the municipality of Rookwood was incorporated. Over time, the necropolis had become known as Rookwood Cemetery and by 1898 residents were again agitated about the association of their suburb with the cemetery. In 1913, a new name was suggested to honour the previous mayor Mr Lidbury and the current mayor Mr Larcombe. Syllables from the name of each alderman (Lidbury and Larcombe) were combined to form the name Lidcombe on 1 January 1914. The municipality amalgamated with Auburn local government area in 1949.
A large number of post-WWII European migrants, including a large number of Ukrainians, settled in the area of Lidcombe, and built a number of buildings including a church, 2 halls and 2 schools. Lidcombe is still the cultural centre of the Ukrainian community in Sydney. The population dynamics changed with the influx of Middle Eastern immigrants in the 1960s and 1970s.
The two main streets are John and Joseph, named after the early colonial priest John Joseph Terry.
Lidcombe railway station is an important junction station. It is served by four suburban lines:
- the Olympic Park line to Sydney Olympic Park
- the North Shore, Northern & Western Line; east to Berowra or Hornsby via the City and Chatswood, west to either Richmond or Emu Plains via Parramatta
- the Airport, Inner West & South Line; east to the City via Strathfield, west to Campbelltown via Granville
- the Bankstown line to the City via Bankstown
Some intercity Blue Mountains line services also call at the station.
On the Northern side of the railway and Lidcombe railway station:
- Church Street is the site for the St Andrews Ukrainian Catholic Church and its presbytery, hall, school and kindergarten, and the former Karpaty Ukrainian Credit Union.
- John Street is the site of the Ukrainian Youth Association's Centre.
On the Southern side of the railway line:
- Joseph Street is the site for the Ukrainian National Hall and the Ukrainian Central School. Nearby is the office of "The Free Thought" Ukrainian newspaper.
- The Railway Hotel is an Art Deco building in Joseph Street which has a State heritage listing.
- The Gables is a historic home in East Street, opposite Rookwood Cemetery, and is now used as a function centre. The house has a State heritage listing.
- The Juniperina Juvenile Justice Centre at Rookwood Road, in the South of the suburb, is a juvenile detention centre for girls. It is the only detention facility catering for juvenile female offenders in New South Wales. The Centre was also used as a filming location for the UK-Australian TV mini series, 'The Leaving of Liverpool'.
- The heritage-listed Lidcombe Hospital was closed in the 1990s and was developed as a residential estate. The original complex was designed by Walter Liberty Vernon, the Government Architect of the day, and built in 1906. It is now listed on the Register of the National Estate.
Lidcombe has many places of worship including:
- St Joachim's Catholic Church  on John Street and Mills Street
- Sts Cyril and Methodius, a Slovak Catholic Church in Vaughan Street.
- St Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church  (Byzantine style) on Church Street
- St Stephens Anglican Church on Mark Street
- Holy Annunciation - Assumption Russian Orthodox Church on Vaughan Street
- St Ephraim Syrian Orthodox Church on Joseph Street
- Lidcombe Baptist Church on Kerrs Road
- Our Lady of the Assumption Armenian Catholic Church on John Street
- Pacific Island Christian Church on Martin Street
- Christian Church on the corner of Olympic Drive and Vaughan Street
- GracePoint Presbyterian Church, on the corner of East and James Street www.gracepoint.org.au
- St Marks Presbyterian Church in Yarram Street is now closed and for sale
Lidcombe Public School, located on John Street, was established in 1879. The school has 600 students from the Lidcombe area and also caters for special education children with trained teachers in that field. The school provides extra-curricular education facilities such as a choir, dance group and PSSA sports team. There is a before and after-school care program located within the school. 
St Joachim's Parish School  is a Catholic school on Mary Street. The Sisters of St Joseph founded the school in 1885 and remained active in the school until 1984. After that time the Sisters handed the Principalship over to lay staff who have continued to uphold the traditions and spirit of Blessed Mary MacKillop, who walked the playground and worked at the school, and her Josephite Sisters. The school caters for children up to Year 6.
Marist Brothers was a boys school located on Keating Street, behind St. Joachim's Catholic Church. It closed following the amalgamation of several Catholic schools in the area. The school catered for boys up to Year 6. This site is used for various Catholic Church enterprises, including the Inner Western Regional Office of the Catholic Education Office, Sydney, the Catholic Adult Education Centre and a bookstore specialising in Catholic publications ("The Mustard Seed").
Lidcombe has a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial developments. A small shopping centre is located close to Lidcombe railway station. Commercial and industrial developments are located along Parramatta Road and surrounding areas. The area close to the train station has a lot of restaurants mainly offering Korean food.
- Macquarie Goodman own a couple of business parks on Parramatta Road and Birnie Avenue.
- The Dairy Farmers' distribution centre is located at Birnie Avenue. Dairy Farmers is a milk co-operative and supplied most of NSW's milk before competition was opened to milk suppliers from other states.
- Masons servicing the nearby Rookwood Cemetery are located on Railway Street
- Arthur Street business park just on the border with Strathfield Municipality.
- Dooley's Lidcombe Catholic Club (there are franchises in Silverwater and Regents Park too)
- McVicar's Bus Services depot was located at the corner of Joseph and James Streets. It closed in 1978.
- The headquarters of ASX listed Nick Scali Furniture established in 1962. The company now sports furniture shops throughout all of Australia.
- Phil Gilbert Toyota (Parramatta Road and Bombay Street)
- The Tooheys Brewery is located on the corner of Parramatta Road and Nyrang Street. The brewery site was bought in 1955 and the company is now part of the Lion Nathan conglomerate. The smell of the hops is noticeable around the area as it wafts through the air, especially during the night.
- The NSW Rural Fire Service headquarters is in Carter Street. Carter Street was part of Lidcombe before the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but later became part of Homebush Bay. On 2 October 2009, the suburb of Homebush Bay was dismantled into two new suburbs, Sydney Olympic Park and Wentworth Point, with Carter Street reabsorbed into Lidcombe. The Olympic site was once a stockyard and abattoir.
Sport and recreation
Lidcombe Oval, situated in Church Street, on the northern side of the railway line, was the home ground of the Western Suburbs Magpies from 1967–1986. The playing surface is enclosed by a cycling track. The ground earned a reputation as a fortress for the home side, particularly in the late 1970s to the early 1980s when the Magpies were at their most competitive. Games against rivals Parramatta Eels and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles would usually draw large crowds during this era. The attendance record for the venue is 21,015 (Wests vs Parramatta, 30 July 1978).
Carnarvon Golf Course
Carnarvon Golf Course, located at Nottinghill Road and Joseph Street, reflects the social history of Lidcombe. The first site was in use from 1927 to 1932 and occupied an area running east and west on the northern side of Parramatta Road, Lidcombe between Wetherill Street and Hill Road in an area currently covered by the M4 Western Motorway. The "Old Course" was in an area of three paddocks north of Fariola Street in an area owned by the Newington State Hospital (now Silverwater Correctional Centre) which consisted of nine holes in the top paddock (holes one-eight and eighteen). Seven holes in the bottom paddock, now Wilson Park, and the sixteenth and seventeenth holes in a paddock leased from Lidcombe Council on the southern side of Holker Street. This course was in use from 1932 until early 1943 when the top paddock and the Clubhouse were taken over by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The Silverwater Course was used from 1942 to 1949 and was a nine-hole course where the bottom paddock held holes one-two and five-nine with the third and fourth holes in the Council paddock. The present site which originally consisted of Lidcombe Sports and Showground and the western grazing paddock of Lidcombe State Hospital was obtained in 1947 and officially opened in December, 1949.
Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre
The Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre (formerly known as the Auburn Swim Centre), located on Church Street, has indoor and outdoor swimming facilities. The Centre is named after Ruth Everuss, the Australian Olympic swimmer who won a silver medal in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. The Centre has a 9 lane outdoor 50m pool, a 6 lane heated indoor 25m pool and a children's wade pool. There is also a 20m diving pool, the diving tower has been condemned and is no longer used, but the pool is still accessible. The Centre has its own swim school, called First Splashes, but is also home to the Auburn Swimming Club and the Wests Auburn Masters Swimming Club.
Lidcombe was, up until recent years a traditional working-class suburb. Over the past decade, Lidcombe, particularly the northern part of the suburb, has experienced the processes of gentrification. Today, the suburb is cosmopolitan, reflecting the waves of immigration to post war Australia.
- John Ernest Sullivan. A longstanding member of the Australian Labor Party, he went to the Marist Brothers school (now closed, since turned into the Catholic Education Office) located on Keating Street.
- Rod Taylor. For some years after his Hollywood success, his mother still lived at a local street (reference: Schoolfriends messageboard, now inactive). He went to Parramatta High School.
- Michael Wenden. An Olympic swimmer, attended Marist Brothers Lidcombe; he won gold in the 100 m and 200 m freestyle, silver in the 800 m freestyle relay and bronze in the 400 m freestyle relay at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
- Naazmi Johnston. An Olympic and Commonwealth gymnast. Represented Australia at the 2008 Olympic Games, the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.
- The Department of Railways Research and Information Section (1966) Railway Quiz (Department of Railways) p11
- Mitchell, pp.308–310
- Pollon, p. 153
- Rookwood Necropolis: Draft Plan of Management. NSW Department of Primary Industries. 2013. p. 23.
- Reed, A. W. (1969) Place Names of New South Wales. Their Origins and Meanings. Sydney-Melbourne-Wellington-Auckland, p. 87
- Kass, T. (2008). "Lidcombe". The Dictionary of Sydney.
- State Heritage register
- State Heritage Register
- The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981
- Club history at Carnarvon Golf Club official site
- Mitchell, John (2008) 'John Joseph Therry - His Lidcombe Property' Australian Railway History, September, 2008 pp. 308–310
- NSW Parliament (2003) Legislative Assembly Hansard Full Day Transcript: Parramatta High School
- Pollen, Frances (1990) The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Angus & Robertson Publishers, Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8
- Stafford, Ted (1991) Living in Liddy Ettalong Beach, NSW ISBN 0-646-05153-9
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