Hello Fans of the 1911 Mural on King Street Newtown
Here’s some good news. I received it a week ago and just got permission to publish. I had been in touch with The Powerhouse Museum about this rare treasure in Australian commercial art. They passed my email and pictures on to more specialist museums…
You may be surprised to hear from us, but the info re the c1911 mural at Newtown was referred to us by the Powerhouse Museum as an item of interest. We have been to the site, measured a few critical bits, and the committee has decided to reproduce the mural in a prominent spot here at The Australian Motorlife Museum! Whilst the wall in question may not be destroyed by developers, it will almost certainly be covered by the erection of a replacement building on the burnt out site. We have access to resources which will allow us to do so authentically, and will very soon be speaking with a couple of “tame” signwriters who can do the work. All in all we trust you will see that this is about as good a result as can be managed in the circumstances. (Some of our people thought I would be up at Newtown bringing the thing here brick by brick, but of course the people in the shop whose outer wall carries this signage may not like the breeze?
A search of the tenants of this site reveal the probability that the only relevant tenant was in 1911/12.
And here’s a link to a later entry on this blog after the historic commercial artwork was vandalised with baby scribble. The comments tell the story of what readers, residents, art lovers and grafitti artists felt. (It was attacked a second time by some mushroom practicing their signature, too, but most of that’s been repaired by an unknown hand): Rare 1911 Newtown Art Work Defaced By Lame Tagger
Here’s some photos I took of the signage before it was pratted…
Feel free to comment and to email and thank The Motor Life Museum
Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadacasters – we get to play for all the best people. Every wedding we play at is warm and wonderful. Kate and Andrew’s 1930s themed wedding at Lillianfels was no exception. What a joy! Kate wrote…
“You were fantastic!!!! Before we entered the room we could hear you from outside. I said to my new husband “listen to them, our wedding is awesome!!!!” You made the party! Thank you so much for coming”
Thank you, Kate & Andrew. Below are some happy snaps of the band taken at Kate & Andrew’s wedding. Please visit our website. We look forward to adding glamorous vintage sparkle to your wedding, too!
Did you ever use one of those old photo booths tucked away in a railway station or shopping centre where you’d pull aside a curtain, crowd into the tiny booth with a pile of friends, perch on a tiny stool, and for a dollar get a rectangle of four black and white snaps? If my description doesn’t ring a bell for you quite yet, this is what one of these photo booths look like…
Incidentally, Greg Poppleton also leads, with ARIA nominated jazz trumpet festival headliner, Geoff Power, one hot Great Gatsby 1920s Dance Orchestra, The Lounge Bar Lotharios. Check them out, live at the Glen Street Theatre…
Tony can help you have the band for your occasion, too: T: 02 9567 7171 | M: 0407 941 263 | E: OzManagement
Now, to the photo booth: ‘The Original Photo Company‘ is the only business in Australia still operating these black and white photo booths with the original technology, using their own special black and white photographic formula. And they hire them out for corporate events, weddings, birthdays, parties and celebrations of all kinds
Sydney’s rarest commercial artwork, the 1911 garage hoarding unearthed on a wall in Newtown, having not seen the light of day since 1915, has been defaced by a creep
See below to see what’s been done. No technique. No talent. No artistic ability. Simply embarrassing. Even my 8 year old described it as ‘scribble’. It’s the juvenile scrawl of someone’s spoilt little brat desperately seeking attention. “Look at me, Mummy. Look at me!”
This Tuesday’s and Saturday’s Phantom Dancer features Spotlight Bands’ ‘Band of the Week’ for 31 January 1942. It’s Sammy Kaye, over the Blue Network
His best-selling record that got him the ‘Band of the Week’ gig? A ditty entitled ‘Remember Pearl Harbour’
Turns out NBC interrupted a Sammy Kaye program to break the news of Pearl Harbour being bombed, 7 December 1941. Hence the message song. And like all message songs, well – you be the judge
See the full play list for this week’s Phantom Dancer after these exciting pics
That’s right, photos. Instead of a Video of the Week, I’m posting some exciting archeological photos I took for you just a few hours ago.
There was a fire near me recently. A dry cleaners burnt to the ground. The building has been demolished. And behind a demolished wall a well-preserved painted advertisement has been revealed
I guessed by the artwork and fonts that the ad was from 1911. A quick look at the Sands Directory tells me I’m about right. The Sands Directory was an annual listing of everyone who lived in Sydney with their addresses and occupations. The last Sands was published in 1932
In 1910, according to Sands, the site of the demolished dry cleaners was the Newtown Carriage Works — Arthur Dunn, proprietor. In 1911, it became H. Phippen’s motor garage. He was a motor engineer. By 1912, Phippen had left and Arthur Dunn’s Coachbuilding business had returned. Or, perhaps, between 1911 – 1914, the site was shared between the coach building and garage businesses – new technology piggybacking on the old. By 1915 the site was occupied by an upholsterer
Because of a locked wire gate I couldn’t get a full shot of this huge, vibrant ad from the street. So below is a series of shots covering the entire wall I took from the footpath. In this first photo, note ‘Cars for Hire’ and ‘Waratah Motor Spirit’. What would have been the demand for Car hire in 1911? Was H. Phippen ahead of his time? Did low demand beat his business? It’s not listed in the Sands Directory for 1912
Waratah Motor Spirit appears to have still been around in 1925 when you could buy it from twelve outlets around Sydney, according to an ad in the Sydney Morning Herald dated 28 Jan 1925. As you can see in the bottom of the wall ad, Waratah, was a product of the Neptune Oil Company. Neptune Oil began in Australia in 1905. A motoring website says Neptune’s Waratah brand was introduced in 1917. This ad proves the motoring historian wrong. The site became an upholsterers in 1915. An upholsterer wouldn’t be putting up an all-weather sign visible to passing motorists for Motor Spirit
Perdriau Tyres? Henry Perdriau entered the rubber importing business in Sydney in 1888. His Perdriau Rubber Co. Ltd. started manufacturing rubber parts in 1904 and finally merged with Dunlop in 1929 to form Dunlop Perdriau Rubber Co. Ltd. Could this be the earliest Perdriau wall sign extant? A Perdriau glass lantern slide ad from 1924 – 29 exists in the ANU Digital Collection in Canberra
It’s hard to see in the photo below, but on site I could just make out the phone number L1905. L stood for 5 and was the area prefix for Newtown and surrounding Inner West Sydney suburbs. Sydney phone numbers used one and two letter prefixes until the mid-1960s. The code was: A = 1, B = 2, F = 3, J = 4, L = 5, M = 6, U = 7, W = 8, X = 9, Y = 0
Some more pics. The sign-writing is of an extremely high standard. The Waratah is a beautiful piece of commercial art. The amount of effort involved in sign writing such a huge space by hand is quite extraordinary, especially if they used, as my grandfather did about the same time as a house painter, individually mixed paints. My grandfather would crush blocks of pigment with a mortar & pestle and mix the powder with linseed oil and I guess some kind of fixer. I particularly like the blue used in the top band of the sign. It’s a colour you don’t see now. The uneven durability of hand-made paint is revealed in the preservation of the different colours. The green lettering for the phone number and the red fill for the Waratah are the most deteriorated
Having been protected by the sun and weather for almost a hundred years by a brick wall, this is a most amazingly intact piece of commercial pre-WWI art
A new building will be erected on the site. Will the sign survive another 100 years? After the photos you’ll see the play list for this week’s Phantom Dancer on 2SER
Here’s this week’s Phantom Dancer play list. Enjoy the show on your radio!
Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney
Sunday night is Carnival Night in the Victoria Room – music, acrobats, magicians and burlesque – all from 7 – 10pm
“What is this magical place?” I hear you ask. Well, I’ll quote from their website for you: “The Victoria Room restaurant and bar in Sydney’s Darlinghurst is an ultra smooth dining establishment. Richly decorated in British-Raj style, this exotic dining room and award-winning cocktail bar exude bon-vivant chic.”
Now see for yourself. Check out the band pics at te Victoria Room by Rick Monk…
Greg Poppleton and Bakelite Jazz played two sets for Carnival diners. First, as a duo, with Greg crooning the songs of the 1920s and 1930s backed by Grahame Conlon on guitar…
Then, later in the evening, Stan Valacos, joined in on double bass,
And just like the band’s July appearance in the Victoria Room – it was full house. That doesn’t mean crowded and uncomfortable, either. In the Victoria Room, a full house is buzzy and alive. It’s that kind of space. You feel good
You can feel good and have Greg Poppleton and Bakelite Jazz at your place, too. Or have us at your wedding, corporate function, Great Gatsby and Underbelly Razor party. You can have the band as small as a duo and as big as a sextet – and everything in between. We can even play without electricity! Simply call or email me (Greg) at the band’s official website to discuss your requirements
We look forward to enhancing the magic of your evening soon
This Melbourne Cup found Greg Poppleton’s Bakelite Trio entertaining diners on the harbour in the spectacular Manly Pavilion. The Manly Pavilion is one of Sydney’s exciting, new, top-line restaurants. You’ll find it in a beautiful 1933 deco building right on the water at Manly Cove Beach.
The Pavilion was full of happy guests dressed up for race day, enjoying the spectacular food, wines and harbour views that Manly Pavilion has to offer
Greg Poppleton’s Bakelite Trio serenaded guests after the cup was run with songs from the 1930s, since we were in a 1930s heritage building, and with requests from the era by guests. In the trio was myself as Sydney’s only authentic 1920s and 1930s singer with Peter Locke on piano and Darcy Wright, named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the world’s top ten jazz double bassists, on, well, you guessed it
Here’s a short clip of the trio playing Gus Arnheim’s 1931 hit, ‘Sweet & Lovely’ with myself crooning. I was unaware of the catwalk parade of Melbourne Cup fashions in the background while I was singing (on the TV put up to show the races on Cup Day) until I saw the film back. Voila! An instant video clip! Enjoy…
If you don’t know about Manly Pavilion yet, here’s a good, clear description I found online:
“Awarded 1 Chef’s Hat -The Age Good Food Guide 2012 – ‘Best New Restaurant’
Originally built in 1933 as a dressing room for the comfort of bathers, the heritage-listed Manly Pavilion has been restored to its original grandeur and beauty boasting soaring ceilings, an Italian marble terrazzo balcony and unrivalled views of Sydney Harbour. The modern Australian menu, created by Tony Gibson, former head chef at Astral, has a focus on local produce.” BestResturants.com.au
I can personally tell you that the food is fantastic!
I’ve also taken the liberty of posting for you a view of Manly Pavilion from the harbour, taken from the above website
Eventhough I was pushing a trolley of PA equipment across Sydney, I found it really easy and enjoyable to get to Manly Pavilion. After taking the train to Circular Quay, I hopped on the Manly Ferry for a laid-back half-hour boat ride across the harbour. This is what tourists pay thousands to do. And I was doing it to play at Manly Pavilion! So on the way back I took a happy snap of the blue Pacific in early evening as the ferry was passing South Head. What a beautiful day!
To enquire about Greg Poppleton and Bakelite Jazz for your event, wedding, corporate function and party, please visit the band’s official website at www.bakelitejazz.com. We look forward to playing for you