Fashion sense ... the corner of Oxford and Liverpool streets at the boulevard's city end, c.1903.
Photo: William Livermore
Taylor Square late 1978
Oxford Street (wiki) the major commercial street of Darlinghurst, running from Hyde Park, through Taylor Square, Paddington, Woollahra and Bondi Junction. It was a toll road in its early years with the toll gates being located near present day Glenmore Road. Oxford Street assumed its current name in 1875. In recent years it has become reknowned for its annual Gay Mardi Gras.
Taylor Square is rich in history, the infamous Razor gangs roamed the area in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It is surrounded by the suburbs of Paddington, Darlinghurst, Kings Cross and Surry Hills. Historical buildings include: National Art School (East Sydney Technical College and formerly Darlinghurst Gaol,) Victoria Barracks, SCEGGS, Darlinghurst Court House and St Vincents Hospital.
long before the plastic yoghurts flooded the supermarkets.
My first recollection of Taylor Square was as a youngster, shopping with my mother in Oxford/Liverpool Streets. Department stores such as Winns and Buckinghams with the old shuttle lay-by systems. Smartly dressed shop assistants 'tucked' our money into a cylinder and I watching as it trolleyed off to 'heaven' and return with a docket and change.
After the harrowing experience of trying on dresses, my mother would take us to the Paris Theatre, opposite Hyde Park. One clear memory I have, is my brother screaming during the 'the rat' sequence in Lady and the Tramp.
My fondest memory comes from my trips in the 50s, to Uncle Doug Kelly's barber shop (in between the Oxford Hotel and the cake shop). I was permitted to make a choice from the delicious array of lamingtons, clices, neenish and custard tarts. I always chose the mince slice sprinkle liberally with sugar.
In the early '60s The Odeon, or West's Theatre, (cnr. Oxford and South Dowling Streets), was a regular meeting place for teeagers from the surrounding suburbs. During interval we were entertained by talent quests and yo-yo competitions. Later in the 60s The Odeon was renamed the Mandala, which screened underground movies such as Fellini's 8 1/2, Juliet of the Spirits and Satyricon. Also, the erotic Decameron and the hilarious x-rated cartoon 'Fritz the Cat'. Live bands featured there including Tully (Sea of Joy).
'August 1969 was another important month for Tully -- Fusions premiered on ABC on August 1, and on August 17 Tully headlined a (Harry M. Miller-produced) concert at Sydney Town Hall, supported by the John Sangster Quintet and The Executives. A similar show at the Mandala Theatre was also a success ... Milesago'
In the late 60s Oxford Street, was akin to Haight-Ashby, Saturday mornings, 'hippies' wandered up and down soaking in the sunshine. One could detect the scent of stained leather wafting from Frank's Cafe, combined with perfumes, oils and incense from Indian clothing bazaars displaying, trinkets and paraphenalia. At night blues and jug band music drifted from the numerous wine bars and pubs.
Does anyone recall the shop opposite the Mandala? ... vats of real yoghurt with fresh chunky fruit pieces
The punks replaced the hippies in the mid '70s, the gays replaced the punks Oxford Street remained a haven for 'crime and drugs'.