Houses by Street – Albert Rd

29B – designed by Professor Leslie Wilkinson [1] for Mrs Irene Joan Pym. Mrs and her husband, John, formerly lived at 44 Chapman Avenue. Captain Julius (John) Tindal Pym had served in the English armed forces (in both the army and air force) during World War 1 (and married Irene in 1916 in Dover) and then owned, and was a director of, an export brokerage business J Pym & Co which he voluntarily wound up in 1944 [2]. He died on 17 March 1957. Following his retirement and prior to his death, Mrs Pym purchased this land and commissioned Professor Wilkinson to build the house. After a number of iterations of plans this design was agreed and built in 1954.
The original entry to the house was via a wooden bridge from Albert Road across Devlins Creek. The house is a single storey layout with a full length pergola covered north facing terrace – a common feature of the work of Professor Wilkinson.
Mrs Pym worked with the Swaine family of Swains nurseries to design the garden with an English theme. It comprised a large lawn with plantings of cedrus deodar, liquid amber, bougainvillea, Illawarra flame and jacaranda. There was a grove of silver birch. The front verandah was covered in wisteria and a deep red climbing rose. The front garden, including camellias, was removed in 2000.
Following Mrs Pym’s death the property was acquired in 1973 by Max and Joan McGill. Joan was a daughter of John and Irene Pym. They commenced the subdivision of the property and sold the home in 1977. During their time the grounds were especially used for community functions, especially for Beecroft Rotary and Probus Clubs.
The house and garden are listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.
[1] Corona Projects, Development Application: Heritage Impact Statement 29b Albert Road Beecroft, August 2021.
[2] NSW Government Gazette 30 June 1944 p 1162