Slingsby, Arthur

Arthur Slingsby was a building contractor of Redfern, and periodically worked in the city with architect William Nixon on private residences.[1]

In 1904 the Slingsby family moved from Redfern to Beecroft and leased a house there until 1906. Arthur then purchased about two acres of land on the southern side of Copeland Road and built a house on it to the west of the present Bowling Club. In the same year that the Slingsby family came to Beecroft William Nixon left his Ashfield home and purchased land in Malton Road on which he built his first family home in Beecroft.[2]

Arthur and Susanna Slingsby had two children, Gertrude (born 1879) and Robert (who was much younger), both attending Beecroft Public School. Arthur became actively involved in civic affairs in his new suburb and appears to have been an office holder in all the civic and social societies. He also played chess and cricket. It is no wonder that he appeared at times to be overcome by his social life.

‘The other evening the Argus representative called on Mr A. Slingsby. He was at home on the couch with his boots off and a ‘churchwarden’ in close proximity. ‘I’m on strike’, he said, ‘too many entertainments in Beecroft. I can’t keep up with them. I’m having a rest.’ And he looked as though he needed it. However he was a sick man.[3]
Susanna Slingsby was one of the organisers of the 1907 Matrons’ Ball. Gertrude Slingsby was an active member of the Beecroft Musical and Dramatic Society, often taking a leading role in operettas. Just before her marriage to Robert Quodling in 1910, the society presented her with a silver-mounted oak tray.[4]

Because of Arthur’s poor health, Mr and Mrs Slingsby and their daughter Gertrude Quodling holidayed in the mountains in January 1913. In July of that year Arthur Slingsby died at his Beecroft home. At the next meeting of the School of Arts committee the generous services rendered by him to the community were recorded. Less than four months later his widow, Susanna, died at the home of Gertrude and Robert Quodling.[5]

Gertrude brother, Robert, lived with her and her husband after their parents deaths. Robert enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force during World War I and served overseas.[6]  In 1926 he married Norah McKern of Hannah Street, Beecroft.

 [1] The Building, Engineering and Mining Journal, 4 March 1902, 2 August 1904.

 [2] LTO 1705/215, 1155/39, 1548/85. 

 [3] Cumberland Argus, 25 September 1909. ‘Churchwarden’ was probably a large pipe.  

 [4] Cumberland Argus, 11 May 1907, 10 September 1910.   

[5] Cumberland Argus, 25 January, 19 July, 16 August, 1 November 1913.   

[6] Cumberland Argus, 13 May 1916.