Monday 31 October 2016

Taking the edge off homelessness

Darlinghurst is full of fantastic caf├ęs, restaurants and bars, beautiful terraces and boutique shops. But if you are interested in seeing another side and getting away from the hip and the glam, you need go no further than Rough Edges, a lounge room for street people that offers a place to be safe, to be secure, to meet with friends - to watch TV, read the paper, drink coffee or play chess. 

Next time you are walking past pop in and share lives for a bit. We have had many an enlightening, enriching and enjoyable conversation with the Rough Edge-ees. These people are doing it so tough and experiencing hardships that few of us thankfully ever have or will experience and their stories are fascinating, raw, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny but always memorable. Be part of the change towards a better society where inclusiveness and involvement are fostered. And if you have the time and want to be rewarded in a deeply satisfying way, volunteer. Rough Edges can only operate through the involvement of volunteers. There are opportunities to work during the day, at night and in the garden at the weekend.

Rough Edges is run by St Johns Anglican Church and is nestled between the church driveway and The Victoria Room on Victoria Street. For more information or to volunteer please visit

We love supporting locals.

Thursday 6 October 2016

Annandale…. where history lives on

Architecturally, Annandale is an incredibly interesting suburb from an historical perspective. It is home to some of the first houses in Sydney and is a canvas for the unexpected. Nestled quite startlingly amid some of Sydney’s earliest architectural history lies the Ann & Dale, a striking example of the quintessential linear, large-windowed retro 70s building.

Original sandstone facade
The Ann & Dale Apartments

The suburb of Annandale itself has one of the longest histories of any Sydney suburb. When Major George Johnston (1764–1823) arrived on the First Fleet ship Lady Penrhyn, he was granted 100 acres of land that he named Annandale after his birthplace Annan in Scotland. His name is remembered in Johnston Street itself. He sold his property in 1877 to John Young, who was a businessman, architect and mayor. Young began to turn the Johnston estate into an attractive suburb by building a number of picturesque houses. One of those houses was Kenilworth, with its "witch's cap" style of roof common to that period of architecture. Other houses in the group were the striking ‘Abbey’, ‘Oybin’, ‘Greba’, ‘Hockingdon’, ‘Highroyd and ‘Rozelle’ which was demolished and is in fact the site of The Ann and Dale. Some of these houses are still popularly known as "witches houses" because their towers. Of the various houses in this group, The Ann & Dale’s closest neighbour, The Abbey, has been described as a stone Gothic Revival mansion, modelled on Scottish manors.
Johnston Street, Annandale, circa 1880s showing The Abbey

The Witches Hat Home today
The Witches Hat Home circa 1880

Annandale has many more heritage listed buildings but the Witches Houses are the most famous. Come and see them for yourself from The Ann & Dale Real Thing Apartments...