March 29, 2014

Horse 1643 - Ten Suburbs. No.14 Golden Grove 2008/2042

In my 1932 Gregory's Street Directory, the idea of definite boundaries for where suburbs lie, isn't marked. I imagine that in 1932 that street which could have been run from Parramatta to Harris Park, might very well accept mail labelled either.
In my 1967 Gregory's Street Directory, Golden Grove is a definite suburb and marked with the postcode of 2006 which it shared with Sydney University but in my 2009 Gregory's Street Directory, Golden Grove as a suburb just doesn't exist at all; with all of its former environs being claimed by either Newtown or Darlington.

Does Golden Grove even belong in Ten Suburbs? Absolutely. Golden Grove brings into question, what our notion of place actually is and the fact that I remember that it once was, means that it probably still might exist in the minds of other people too.

Golden Grove was named after one of the eleven ships which trudged its way across the ocean in the First Fleet, to dump convicts on a bit of land which the British had declared terra nullius or "empty land"; despite there being very obvious evidence to the contrary. Australia was yet another example of the British Empire stealing land by the cunning use of flags by sailing round the world and sticking a flag in something. 

I suspect that being an inner city sort of suburb, Golden Grove probably acquired something of a bad reputation at some point. The area which was once Golden Grove is built a bit like inner parts of London which terrace houses and lanes running behind the houses. This being Australia, they quickly acquired the distinctly Aussie nickname of "dunny lanes" after the night carts which would remove people's poo before the installation of proper sewerage. Maybe Golden Grove which was noted being something of a slum which is why people would rather suggest that they came from either Newtown or Darlington - I really don't know.
It could also have something to do with Sydney University gradually acquiring property in the area and extending outside its own 2006 postcode. Without houses to call its own, Golden Grove just might not have been viable as a specific locality.

Today, all that is left of Golden Grove are a few reminders of it ever having even existed including a retreat centre owned by St Andrew's Cathedral, a Bed and Breakfast hotel and the eponymous street which humiliatingly is split in twain and depending on which side of the street you're on, you're either in Newtown or Darlington.

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