Houses by Street – Wandeen Ave

Wandeen Avenue, Beecroft 

Until 1891, this land formed part of the Field of Mars Common. It comprises portions 677, 678 and 679. Portion 678 sold first, at an auction on 20 June 1891 to Henry Salwey of Sydney, Solicitor, for two hundred and thirty eight pounds seventeen shillings and five pence. It was 4 acres 1 rood and 5 perches. He also purchased portion 679. Portion 677 was not sold by auction until 28 September 1898. It was purchased by Emily Lutherburrow, wife of John Lutherburrow of Beecroft, fencer.

Henry Salwey sold his land in February 1894 to Alfred Salwey of Burwood, gentleman.

In 1904 three members of one family (Louisa Little of Wallendbeen widow and Henry John Little and William Augustus Little both of Sydney, auctioneers) purchased all three lots. The Little family combined the parcels and eventually subdivided the combined estate. They did this by changing the primary frontage of the land away from Sutherland Road so that instead it fronted a new road that travelled along the same ridge that contains Malton Road. The lots on the southern side then went from this road down to a creek. The sale of these lots created by this reconfiguration and fresh subdivision of ‘Wandeen Estate’ was then delayed so that despite an initial sale in 1913 [1], the last lot was not sold until 1921. In emphasising the healthy nature of the locality the lots were advertised as being “445 ft above Sea Level”.

The western end of the street comprised the original Wandeen Estate subdivision. The eastern end was the result of later subdivisions.

[1]    The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate 9 August 1913 advertised the sale of the cottage and 13 allotments

Southern (or evenly numbered) side

2,   Wandeen Cottage

Wandeen Cottage exhibits strong Arts and Crafts influence and is the work of architect George Sydney Jones, who also designed Lorne on Beecroft Road. The home appears to have been built between 1904 and 1906. Following the subdivision the gently sloping front yard was terraced so as to allow for the land to be built up to permit the construction of the flat expanse of the road and footpath.

The Cottage was the home of Louisa Little and such of her children who were unmarried. Following the death of her husband, Louisa had re-located to this property from the family home in Glebe. Some of her sons were already living in Beecroft [1]. These sons, like Louisa’s husband, were auctioneers and real estate agents who initially had their own firm but which became part of Richardson & Wrench. In addition to this home in Beecroft, Louisa also had a property at Wallendbeen in the Southern Highlands. She retired to that property where she lived until her death. She was buried next to her husband in Rookwood necropolis.  

On the sale of Wandeen the contents that were auctioned included a ‘valuable Estey pianoforte’, an upright concert grand and a ‘lady’s phaeton’ [2].

Following the subdivision of ‘Wandeen Estate’, the first lot sold was the one upon which Wandeen Cottage was already built. This lot was sold to Horatio William Smith of Cheltenham, builder, in 1913. His neighbours, according to the Sands Directory, along Sutherland Road in 1913 were Charles G Derkenne at The Bungalow and Harry Gordon Vernon a dentist at Cranebrook, corner Malton Road.

While Mr Smith initially leased Wandeen [3] and then sold it in 1915 to Ada Mary Burns (wife of James Burns of Blacktown, gentleman) he appears to have continued living there until 1917 at which time the property is again sold – this time to John Bunce of Botany, a master tanner. The neighbouring lots (2 and 3) in the subdivision had been purchased in 1919 by Ada Emmeline Nixon [4], wife of William Mark Nixon of Beecroft architect, but she sold them after only a matter of months to John Bunce who consolidated them into his holding. The ownership of the land by firstly Mrs Burns and then Mrs Nixon, especially when combined with the length of their ownership, presumably indicates that the land was being traded for investment purposes (and capital gain) rather than with any intent of residing there.

John Bunce was born in Campbelltown in 1849. His father died when he was only 4 years of age and he went to live successively in Sydney and on farms on the Hawkesbury and at Wilde’s Meadow in the Southern Highlands. He worked on these farms, never having attended school. At the age of 26 years he went to work for R Hamilton, a tanner at St Marys. While living at St Mary’s he married Harriet (born 4 November 1846), the daughter of the local postmaster at St Marys, William Denett Woodland) [5]. Leaving St Marys, John Bunce became a journeyman and then a manager for Cobcroft of Windsor. In 1887 he became partners with Messrs Pausey and Woodland as tanners in Underwood Avenue, Botany. By 1898 he became the sole proprietor, before taking into the partnership his sons Henry Walter, Clifford and eventually Frederick. He retired to Beecroft as his sons assumed greater responsibility in the affairs of the business [6].

Following the death of John Bunce, of a heart attack late at night, on 15 February 1920, Wandeen Cottage remains the home of his widow Mrs Harriet Bunce. John Bunce was buried in Botany Cemetery: with “some hundreds of relations, business associates and personal friends journey(ing) in thirty-five motor cars, which constituted one of the most imposing tributes we have ever witnessed” [7]. His two eldest sons (Henry Walter Bunce and Clifford Bunce) who like their father are also tanners, become registered as proprietors. In 1937, all three lots are transferred into the name of Mabel Ann Bunce of Beecroft, spinster. She and her sister continue to live in Wandeen Cottage until her death in 1962 – although she sells off lots 2 and 3 in 1954 and a small strip neighbouring lot 2 also in 1954. Upon her death Wandeen Cottage passes to Frederick Henry Bunce of Bellevue Hill, managing director. He does not live in the home but sells the property later that same year to Pearl Wong Pty Limited. The house becomes the residence of a doctor with a large family of children before becoming the home of Dr Jarrett and his family. The property was purchased in 2002 when it was extensively restored and then sold in 2010.

While Wandeen Cottage is on the corner with Sutherland Road for its early years Sutherland Road was broken by the creek at the bottom of the property and there was no through road. During the 1930s this area was awash in bright colours being a field of nasturtiums [8].

The house is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

[1]        Henry Little built a timber cottage Glenbower in 1907 at 52C Beecroft Road Beecroft.

[2]        Sydney Morning Herald, 11 April 1913 p6

[3]        Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 15 January 1915

[4]        for more information on Ada Emmeline Fox and William Mark Nixon see the separate articles on Lynwood, Malton Road under Houses and under People.

[5]  history/williamwoodland (1844-1851) accessed 11 June 2006.

[6]        Obituary, The Australian Leather Journal, 15 March 1920, p 784

[7]        Obituary, The Australian Leather Journal, 15 March 1920, p 784

[8]        Conversation of R Best with Mary Vernon, 11 June 2006

4, Gumeracha     This land was purchased in 1954 by Raymond Zani de Ferranti and his wife, Gladys May. Within the same year of their purchase, they also acquired a few extra feet of land from their neighbour, Miss Mabel Bunce. Mr de Ferranti, was a Belgian migrant who was admitted as a solicitor in 1929. He had a practice in neighbouring Pennant Hills but primarily worked in a law firm which at various times was located at 129, 92, 91 and 51 Pitt Street Sydney. He was on the Council of the Law Society of NSW and was its President between 1950 and 1952. In that capacity he was instrumental in the official recognition of regional law societies, and encompassing their efforts within the broader work of the Society as a whole. Speaking at the Jubilee Law Convention of 1951 he controversially suggested that a divided legal profession best provided complete and speedy legal advice [1].

Mr and Mrs de Ferranti built their home in 1954 on this land using a popular North Shore architect, Mr Lyndsay Little. The home incorporates a number of features of the fifties including a use of chrome and strong geometric lines. The house was estimated to have cost 8,000 pounds to be built [2]. Within this home Mr and Mrs de Ferranti raised their family until Mr de Ferranti dies in 1969. His widow remained in the property until her death in 1995. Their son, Barry Zani de Ferranti sold the property on his mother’s death to Robert and Carol Hussey.

The son, Barry, spent his later adolescent years in this home and went to Sydney University where he graduated in physics. He was part of the team that built SILLIAC which was initially one of the fastest computers on the plant. He then went to work in London and New York for Ferranti Ltd a major engineering and computer corporation. After his retirement he worked with Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre translational gerontology project to develop an app to help anticipate and avert the elderly falling [3]. Coincidentally a later owner of the same house, Louise Baur, was a founding Professor at the Charles Perkins Centre.

Robert and Carol Hussey gave the home the name Gumeracha after a town located in the Adelaide Hills. Mr and Mrs Hussey had for a period lived in South Australia. Their family had largely grown up by the time they purchased the property. They made extensive renovations and extended the home with the addition of large living and kitchen areas at the rear of the home before proceeding to subdivide the property and erect two townhouses (4A and 4B) at the rear of the property. They sold both the home Gumeracha and each of the townhouses in 2004. This house was sold to Roderick Charles Best and Louise Alison Baur [4]. Best was a President of the Civic Trust, an elder of the local Presbyterian Church and Chair of the Beecroft Cheltenham History Group. He was a lawyer working in the field of child abuse and protection.

[1]        Sydney Morning Herald 15 August 1951 p2.

[2]        Construction 25 August 1954 p8

[3]        Obituary of “Barry de Ferranti (1928-2019): Pioneer helped shape computing” Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April 2019 p38

[4]        For more information on Baur see elsewhere on this website under People.

6,  was purchased in 1954 by Roy Francis Carrigy a draughtsman of Earlwood and his wife Valma June. Approval for a Cape Cod roof conversion was granted by Council in 1967. Mrs Carrigy died in 1986. The Lim family then lived here until they sold in 2021 after 26 years. This land was subdivided with 6A built at the rear. House 6A has been successively sold in 2002, 2009, 2013 and most recently in 2020.

8, Wulfruna, was originally dealt with as a combination of Lots 4 and 5 which were purchased by Thomas Kenyon, a law stationer of 150 Beecroft Road, Cheltenham, in 1917. In the next year he transferred title to both blocks to his wife Minnie Lavinia Kenyon. She sold the land in 1924 to John Tudor Davies a builder of Lane Cove. Mr Davies built a home for himself and his family on the western (ie no. 8) lot and moved into this home in 1926. His son, Tudor Davies, was a talented pianist as a boy [1]. Tudor was however also tragically involved in a shooting accident at Cheltenham in 1939 when aged 19 years when he accidentally shot his friend Leslie Kendall, 18 years of Pittwater Road St Ives, while loading his rifle [2].

Both the home and the neighbouring land were sold in 1941 to a zoologist, Frederick William Shaw Mayer of Concord. Mr Mayer sold the property in 1946 to Regis Coates bank manager, of Summer Hill and his wife Gladys Eileen Coates. They stay until 1955 when they sell to Denis Leo Cowley a teacher of Punchbowl and his wife Maude Merle Cowley. Mrs Cowley died in 1984 and the next year her husband died. Their children, Margaret June Hafer and Robert Leo Crowley, sell the two lots separately in 1986. 8, was bought by Murray Gerard Horan and his wife Lee Mardon Horan. The lot was again sold in 2004 at which time the land was subdivided and a new home built on 8A. The creation of 8A has resulted in each of the lots fronting Wandeen Avenue now having at least one other home being built, down the hill and adjacent to the creek. The use of the land, now only comprises family homes (without any investment properties) but is a far more intensive development of the land than the far gentler course of building over the first 60 years after the initial subdivision. 

[1]        Conversation of R Best with Mary Vernon, 11 June 2006

[2]        Daily News 11 April 1939 p5; Maitland Daily Mercury 11 April 1939.

 10,   was bought in 1986 by James Edward Read and his wife Aileen Read.

12,  was purchased in 1919 by Albert Isles Boutcher a chemist of Beecroft. The property then quite rapidly changed hands initially to Frances Amy Meadmore, wife of Clement Meadmore of Beecroft, commercial traveller, and then to Mr Meadmore himself. Then in 1924 it was sold to Eric Arthur Somerville a real estate agent of Burwood. He sold it in 1928 to Cecil Aubrey Green of Croydon, builder. He retained the land for a lengthy period as he did not sell the land until 1947 when it was purchased by Leslie Norman Kiefer a technical teacher of Beecroft. In 1951 a portion of the land on the street frontage is transferred to Council to permit a slight lengthening of the road and the balance of the land is sold to Andrew Henry Etherden of Ashfield, company secretary. It is Mr Etherden who arranges for the current home to be built. The home was then owned by Brian and Angela McGill who sell the home in 2001. The property is purchased by IGS Developments – a company owned by Mr Ian Smith. Mr Smith subdivides number 12 so that its rear 1,000 square metres is consolidated with the land upon which his home (being part of the “Holme Lacey Estate of Copeland Road East) is built. Having completed this subdivision he then sells the home block of 1500 square metres fronting Wandeen Avenue in April 2002 [1].

[1]        Email of 15 May 2006 to R Best from Janine Dunne.

14,       was built in 1971 for the owner P. Winder [1].

[1]        Hornsby Shire Council Building Application Street Register 1956-1974

Northern (or odd numbered) side

1,  was sold in 1916 to Rosetta Dorothea Marrett, wife of Lawrence Beauchamp Marrett. She sells in 1918 to James Thomas Horton of Forest Lodge, builder, He is presumably the builder of the substantial and imposing home on the property. It has an impressive double storey verandah in brick piers. He is living in the house from at least 1922. Upon his death in 1938 the property passed to James Thomas Horton of Ryde carrier and Rose Caroline Sevia Claydon of Annandale. They sell the property in that same year to Russell George Williamson, of Beecroft, retired civil servant. He sells in 1946 to Daniel John Glannon of Annandale, hotel proprietor and his wife Edna May Glannon. The property was transferred into the sole name of Edna May Glannon in 1948.   

This was the address of R Lamb for membership of the Civic Trust between 1989 and 1996.

The house is listed on the Hornsby Shire Council Heritage Register which comprises Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage) of the Hornsby Local Environment Plan 2013.

3 Wandeen Ave

3, Braeholme. This lot and lot 13 were sold to Louisa Harper of Beecroft, widow in 1917 although she appears to have commenced living on a home on the property (together with her husband R W Harper) from at least 1916 as he died in the house in February 1916 [1]. She sells the property to Thomas Herbert Templeton JP, a grazier from Cargellico in 1918 and Arthur Templeton lives in the property from 1918 to 1920. The owner assumes occupation from 1921 and remains there until the property is transferred to Annie Digby Templeton and Hazel Templeton in 1929. The heritage garden probably dates from their ownership. The Templetons lease the home to Samuel and Grace Higgins [2] between 1929 and 1931. They sell to Gordon Taylor in 1942. He advertised to purchase a cruiser and a Plymouth Coupe during his residency [3]. He sells Braeholme to Reginald Ernest Wherrett of Sydney, medical practitioner in 1950. After his death in 1967 the property was transferred to his widow, Jean Alma Maud Wherrett.

Dr Wherrett was the uncle of Peter and Richard Wherrett (motoring journalist and theatrical director respectively) who speak in their combined autobiography of how they lived in West Ryde but their uncle, being a doctor, “lived up the hill” in “the far more ritzy suburb of … Beecroft” and had “a big grand house.” They also describe how “all five Wherrett brothers had a problem with alcohol. Reg died in a car crash, driving drunk” [4].

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]        Sydney Morning Herald, 19 February 1916

[2]        For further information on the Higgins refer to separate articles on them under People and Changing Times Commerce Retail, particular shops.

[3]        Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 1946; 12 April 1947

[4]        P & R Wherrett, Desirelines (Hodder, Sydney, 1997) pp 37, 39 & 54

7, Strathmore, was sold in 1914 to Constance Helena Butcher widow and Bertram Haymet Butcher of Sydney surveyor in the Railway Department. Perhaps the proximity of the Wandeen Estate to the railway line drew his attention to this land and his mother assisted him in making the investment. They sold the land in 1919 to Owen Lloyd White. He is recorded as living on this land, in a home called Strathmore, from 1921. Mr White sold Strathmore to Eva Burstall, wife of Thomas Philip Cumings Burstall of Parramatta, retired bank manager. Upon their deaths, James Evan Robert Burstall of Beecroft, radio engineer of Beecroft became the owner in 1959. He was a ham radio operator who also had an interest in racing cars [1]. He sold the property in 1970 to Nicoll & Moran Pty Limited. The company sold the property in 1975. This was the address of Mr G McLean for membership of the Civic Trust in 1989.

[1]        Conversation of R Best with Mary Vernon, 11 June 2006

9,   was sold in 1921 to Dorothy Vernon Stanton-Cook, wife of Arthur Everett Stanton-Cook of Beecroft, an electrician. She sold the land in 1922 to Alice Mary Dobbie, wife of Charles Archibald Dobbie of Sydney, company manager [1]. Charles Martyn of Beecroft, retired glazier, purchased the land in 1927. He died in 1940 and his daughters sold the property the following year to Drusilla Cobcroft, a single woman of Mosman. She sold the property in 1961 to Clarice Coote Weaver of Beecroft. The next sale in 1981 was to XCBG Pty Limited. The company retained it for 4 years selling in 1985 to Antoliz Cork and Cherie Lynette Cork. They sold it in 1989 to Allan David Dickinson and Maryanne Catherine Dickson. The property was sold again in 2017.

It can be seen that lot 1, lots 4 to10 and lots 12 to14 were all purchased earlier in their history by people residing elsewhere in Beecroft or Cheltenham.

[1]        Alice and Charles Dobbie had also purchased subdivided land in 1901 from Thomas Henry Brown Skellett of ‘Chetwynd” Copeland Road East Beecroft.

11.       As with 15, this house was built for Brigadier James Heane in the 1950s [1]. This was the address of C Burke for membership of the Civic Trust between 1986 and 1989.

[1]        Conversation of R Best with Mary Vernon, 11 June 2006

15.  This was built in the 1950s by built by the builder Barnewell for Brigadier James Heane. Brigadier Heane served at Gallipoli as the major commanding ‘D’ Company where he earnt his nickname ‘Cast Iron Jimmy’. As a result of that campaign he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and seven mentions in dispatches. He was awarded the CMG for his services at Pozieres. After the war, he was awarded for his services a CB, the Belgian Croix de Guerre and was mentioned in dispatches 5 more times.

Following Brigadier Heane’s return he married Edna Dulcie Martyn in St John’s Anglican Church on 4 April 1923 and had a large citrus orchard in West Pennant Hills. In 1931 he held overall command of the Sydney based Old Guard. He was president of the Fruitgrowers Federation of NSW between 1922-41. He died in 1954 – survived by his wife and two daughters [1].

This house was purchased in 1962 by Mary Vernon who, as a young girl grew up in the family home Cranbrook on the corner of Malton and Sutherland Roads. She lived that home upon the death of her father in 1939. During her working life she worked for 49 years in the firm of Norths Stockbrokers. When she retired, she was the last person with a familial connection still working in that firm [2]. She sold the home to move into a retirement village and nursing home where she died a few years later.

[1]        J G Williams “James Heane (1874-1954)” Australian Dictionary of Biography Vol 9. Also see K Amos The New Guard Movement 1931-35 (Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1976) p 17

[2]  For more information on Vernon see elsewhere on this web site under People.

17   was built by Mr & Mrs Spark in 1957. In 1966 they were members of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust [1].

[1]        Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust folder in the archives of the Beecroft Cheltenham History Group; Hornsby Shire Council Building Application Street Register 1956-1974

Lots 7, 8 and 9 were sold in 1917 to John George North of Beecroft a stock and share broker [1]. When he died in 1942 his medical practitioner sons Robert Bell North and Alan Lindsay North became registered proprietors for the purposes of selling lot 7 in 1944 and transferring (in that same year) lots 8 and 9 to John Alfred North. These lots were purchased to increase the landholding of the North’s home facing Malton Road [2]. With this aggregation of land holdings and the large number of people holding the land for investment purposes, one consequence is that the street continues to be largely undeveloped for many decades.

[1]        See earlier discussion about the North family in relation to the sale of land associated with Wandeen Cottage.

[2]        Conversation of R Best with Mary Vernon, 11 June 2006

19,       Robert North gives number 19 to his niece [1].  In 1966 Mr & Mrs R J S Potter lived in number 19 and were members of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust [2].

[1]        Conversation of R Best with Mary Vernon 11 June 2006; Hornsby Shire Council Building Application Street Register 1956-1974

[2]        Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust folder in the archives of the Beecroft Cheltenham History Group

21,       Robert North gives this property to his daughter Judith, upon her marriage to David Nathan (who built in 1962).