WELCOME TO MY NORWOOD PAGE.
(This page is updated to reflect current events so keep checking for any new iinformation.)
Norwood is a great place to live and I hope that I can give you some idea of the area, its history and those who live here.(Photo of the town hall (Building facing the Parade C1882 - Concert Hall rising behind C1903. Viewed from Manto's cafe). New photo taken showing restoration work on the facade which has returned some previously removed architectural features - check out the gutters on the tower roof with their "chinese like" projections!
Norwood was settled very early in the history of Adelaide as it is only 2 to 3 kilometres from the centre of the city. The colony of South Australia was formally settled by British migrants in 1836 under the auspices of the South Australian Company which sold land in London, based on a survey by Col. William Light. It considered that it had the distinction of being a non-convict settled colony. (This does not mean that convicts did not move to South Australia as they completed their sentences as my great great grandfather, Newman Emmerton did!)
The Kensington & Norwood area was settled by 1838 and some of the oldest buildings are in Kensington dating back to the 1840's. The Parade, Norwood became the commercial centre for the area and by 1853 a corporation was formed. (Photo on the right is of the Parade taken in 1896, looking towards the hills from the Osmond Terrace intersection. Both the building on the right (the Baptist Church) and the shops on the left, adjacent to the Norwood Hotel (C1903), are still there today.) Business flourished as the area consolidated its place as an alternative to the Adelaide business area. (Apparently in the early days the City of Adelaide was cut off in winter by flooding of the creeks that ran between it and Norwood which no doubt added to the need for a business and shopping area in the Eastern Suburbs) The first horse drawn tram service operated between Adelaide and Norwood, showing its importance to the new colony. An interesting book produced in 1903 for the first 50 years of the Corporation of Norwood makes very interesting reading , particularly for the colourful description of local coumcil elections!
A number of businesses still operating on the Parade were started around 1900 and a little later - Canns (Hardware and secondhand furniture - now closed but buildings still owned by family) 1896; Wards Shoes 1909 and Waites (hardware and furniture) 1920 (both of these still operated by family members). (Photo on the left is of the Institute Building C1880 situated on the parade) Another long established business is the Norwood Fish Cafe started by a Greek family in 1953. Three generations have worked in the business. Even after a devastating fire in 2000 they have rebuilt and started again (In 2011 the shop was disposed of and the business has re-opened in another suburb where they considered there were more business opportunities. May be due to the intense competition on the parade with the other fish cafes/shops. We knew some of the family members so another link to the past is broken.)
The city also has its own Symphony Orchestra which gives a number of concerts every year, usually in the Concert Hall of the Town Hall (The concert hall featured in the film "Shine" with Geoffrey Rush in the lead role of the pianist David Helfgott.) An onteresting anecdote in the making of this film - The concert hall is on the first floor and a grand piano loaned by the Australian Society of Keyboard Music of the time had to be winched up to the 1st floor loading bay at least 10 metres from the ground. It was a venerable Busendorf grand and everyone was holding their breath! Happy to report that the piano survived the loading and unloading and is back in the Pilgrim Church, Flinders Street in Adelaide CBD, where it is used for recitals each week.
The area had a large influx of migrants after WW2 and many of these still remain in the area even though their families have grown up. In fact one of the first of the Restorante type businesses was started on the Parade in the 1960's and remains there to this day. This influence has now created a cosmopolitan business/entertainment area along the Parade where there are numerous restaurants on the strip. In recent years a cinema complex was built (to replace the old Odeon Star theatre long since closed but now used for a live childrens theatre), as well as many fashion outlets and this together with a variety of other shops, hairdressers, banks, Centerlink office, supermarkets etc. mean that you never need go into the city for anything! (There is however now no electrical or white goods supplier since that closed and became another fashion outlet!)
The council area which now includes the former St. Peters and Payneham Council areas, has a population of over 30,000 people who live in a variety of houses, units and flats. Many of the houses (as in the photo on the right) are classic Adelaide bluestone villas built in the latter part of the 19th and the early 20th centuries so a great number are now near or more than 100 years old. These together with classic houses from the various architectural periods including Federation, 20's, 30's 40's and post WW2 provide a variety of styles and interest.
Home page for City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters
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