Parker Close

This was a subdivision of the grounds surrounding the home Oaklands.
The land had originally been purchased by Alfred George Biden in 1888 and he formed an orchard on the land and built a weatherboard cottage. Charles Churchill Tucker and his wife Mary bought the biden land and some surrounding blocks in 1893, 1894 and 1898. The weatherboard cottage was called Rockleigh [1].
In 1906 The Tuckers moved the weatherboard cottage to Wellham Street and built a large new home which they called Oakleigh. Following the death of Charles Tucker Mrs Tucker leased the house in 1916-1917 to Frank W Brennan and his family and then from 1919 and then sold it to Rev Talbot Vivian Grey who used it for Cheltenham College [2]. In 1924 it became Oaklands Guest House.
After 1924 the property became the home of the family of John McDowell until 1937. John McDowell was a draper who was apprenticed at the age of 15 years to Kelk & Alford in George Street Sydney near Market Street. He was paid 10 shillings per week to work from 8.00 am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and then again from 8,00 am to 10.00 pm on Saturdays. When he was almost 37 years of age he went out into his own partnership until he founded and became the chair of Dowells Pty Ltd a company that specialised in retailing soft furnishings and clothe. At his death in 1936 it had over 600 employees. He had 5 sons and 2 daughters. His hobbies were gardening and bowls – and with the latter he played in the Australian team and with clubs in both Beecroft and Ashfield [3].
From at least 1934 this was also the home of Norman Ives and family. Norman was the son-in-law of John McDowell. He worked in the family business and rose to become the company secretary [4].
In 1961 Oaklands was demolished and Parker Close was built – named after the then owners of the land, the Badgery-Parker family.
5 – This home was owned by Joan Ross until 2009 at which time she transferred it to her daughter Kate and son-in-law Stephen Stewart. In 2012 Kate and Stewart sold the property. Stewart had won bronze in the mens eight at the 2004 Athens Games with brothers Geoffrey and James and he came 6th in the 2008 Beijing Games [5]. He became the rowing coach at Sydney Grammar [6].

[1] For more information on the Tucker family see under People on this website.
[2] For more information on Cheltenham College see under Schools on this web site.
[3] Sydney Morning Herald, 2 April 1935 p 10, 11 April 1936 p 16 and 11 February 1937 p 15.
[4] Sydney Morning Herald, 14 September 1934 p 10.
[5] Sun Herald, 5 August 2012.[6] Northern District Times, 22 August 2012 p.3