The area I knew and loved

Posted by
Anne Storm

I was born in 1943 at St Monans Hospital – Cremorne?

I went to Sunday School at the Congregational church in Belmont Road – now Uniting? To primary school at [then] SCEGGS Redlands.

My mother and I lived in Central Ave [my RAAF father was posted missing WW2 – still missing]. There was a milk dairy at end of Medusa St and we had an ice box with blocks of ice delivered.

We shopped at Spit Junct. in the greengrocer and grocery store where biscuits were in big tins, bought by the lb. Iced Vo Vo and milk arrowroot for example. Milk shakes for a birthday treat in the Spit J milk bar and penny icecream cones. Supermarkets came in the 1960s I think??

My father’s family had moved from Narromine to live in Muston St. nearer Mosman junction, probably 1920s. I often visited so knew and loved that area well. My aunt took me to still remembered productions of operetta and musicals at Mosman Town Hall and Legacy Christmas parties were held there for primary school age children whose fathers had died or were missing WW2. A bag of fruit and chocolates for my mother. We were entertained by a ventriloquist which I found disturbing!

I remember the Scottish bagpipe bands marching down to Mosman from Spit Junction.

In the 1950s we moved to Medusa St. when my mother remarried.

A primary school was built across the road [Beauty Point infants] which my [half] siblings attended and there was still virgin bush down the road nearer middle harbour. The greengrocer and egg man delivered.

I think the trams were still running as I remember them going to Balmoral and the Zoo. One tram went into the water at the bottom of the Zoo hill. Did trams go down to Mosman Bay ferry? The hair-raising ride in a double decker bus down to Musgrave St wharf.

I also remember the long toil up Awaba St. hill walking home after swimming at Balmoral and the steep steps up from Parriwi Rd to Spit Rd after catching a tram home from town -as we called the city.

Catching the ferry to the Quay sometimes for school [SCEGGS Darlinghurst] & College. Visiting Mosman library on saturday mornings.

Now I live in UK. I always have a ferry ride to Mosman Bay when back in Sydney which is peaceful and picturesque on the Harbour.

Anne Storm · 9 May 2012

Your comment

Hi. I also was born at St Monan’s, in 1950. We lived in Reynolds Street Cremorne and I attended Middle Harbour Primary school. We then moved to Clifton Gardens, from where I caught the bus to SCEGGS Redlands. I now live in Melbourne and just remember the trams at Mosman junction, I think they went in 1956. Of course we do still have trams here in Melbourne.

— jill · 15 February 2015, 19:48 · #

The tram that went into the water at Athol Wharf – the conductor was a Sydney Uni Engineering student & the tram waiting at the wharf while the thirsty tram slithered past was also a Sydney Uni Engineering student – what were the chances of that?
And double decker buses – the old route down to the Spit Bridge on the Manly side was a winding road, the last turn being almost a half circle to the left. Unfortunately one dd bus had its steering lock up around this turn & it went over the edge. If I remember correctly 3 people on the upper deck were killed
Michael Demoshelier lived in Medusa about half way down

— Colin Farrell · 24 July 2015, 18:41 · #

I was prompted inadvertently to Google St Monan’s Hospital. I was born here on 24 May 1954, delivered by Dr Begg. I had never seen a photo before or made a “pilgrimage” there, even though I spent a lot of my childhood and school holidays in Cremorne. We have two “family” recipes of biscuit slices that come from St Monan’s. A different home-cooked slice, biscuit or cake was served for afternoon tea each day, or so my mother used to say. My grandparents lived on Royalist Rd, so I suppose that is why I was born here, but I am not aware of the actual reason, especially as my sisters were born in larger hospitals closer to home, Glebe Point at the time. The Arts and Crafts architecture of Cremorne-Mosman-Balmoral is still my favourite.

— David Lord · 5 March 2016, 17:08 · #

I too, was born at St Monans.

It looked like a Victorian two-storey house or mansion, not like a hospital at all.

However, it was a private hospital and the sort of place that appealed to those who could afford it. Small, quiet, secure with excellent facilities and superior patient comfort. I think Mum’s doctor was Bob Day, who had rooms in North Sydney opposite the oval in Miller St. I remember going to his rooms as a kid for checkups, shots and the occasional stitch.

St Monans was at the Cremorne end of Holt Ave, just one or two houses back from Military Rd. Replaced today – of course – by a block of flats.

The border between Cremorne and Mosman is Spofforth ST, so St Monans was in Cremorne.

— John Hollands · 17 October 2016, 09:27 · #

I too was born at St Monan’s Hospital in July 1930. At the date the address given on my birth certificate is listed as Raglan Street Mosman although it could be a mistake as my parents were living in Raglan Street at the time.. I moved to Melbourne when I was a month old. If someone could send me a photo of the hospital I’d appreciate it very much.

— John White · 28 January 2017, 14:03 · #

Hi Jill, I also went to Middle Harbour around your time. One of my teachers was Mrs Hays.

— Sarah Hayse-Gregson · 21 February 2017, 14:48 · #

Hi all,
I too was born in St.Monan’s, Holt Ave, Cremorne. The private hospital was owned by my grandmother’s sister and her husband. They lived two doors down the hill in a Federation style building on a large plot of land, now units. They grew their own vegetables at the back and had a disused tennis court I think. The gentleman may have used a wheelchair. I can’t remember their names. I lived in Mosman Bay with my grandmother for about a year perhaps and attended Mosman Public School on Military Road. I think the trams did go down to Mosman Bay Wharf and the tram tracks used to be visible and maybe still are.

— MICHAEL CORRELL · 3 November 2018, 03:52 · #

I believe my Tristram family ran St. Monan’s , 146 Holt Ave. Cremorne for many years. Two sisters, Mollie and Biddy (Norah) were well known in the area.

Robyn Armitage/Clarke · 8 May 2019, 09:30 · #

Like a lot of local kids, I was born in September 1949 at St Monans Private Hospital in Holt Avenue and my sister Melinda was also born there in July 1958. We lived in Gerard Street, Cremorne, this was my grandparents house, which will forever remain my family home in my memory. I went to Middle Harbour School then onto Mosman High, not long after I finished high school my parents moved us to a brand new home in Belrose. So pleased I found out this information about St Monans, it holds a significant place in my memory.

— Robin Webber · 13 May 2019, 19:23 · #

Greetings all,
I was born at St Monan’s hospital on 4 February 1958. My birth certificate gives place of birth as Cremorne. I lived in Hector Road, Willoughby until I was 4 years old and then we moved out to Sydney’s Western Suburbs, to be closer to my father’s engineering business. My dear late mum (maiden name: Lila Eyre) never quite forgave him for bringing about such a drastic residential relocation. She had always lived on the North Shore prior to that and always regarded it as home.

— John Hughson · 19 May 2019, 03:02 · #

Hi, I was also born at St. Monans Hospital, Cremorne and I think my brother too. I was born 1960.. my brother 1962. My parents lived at Artarmon at the time.

— Morag Miller · 6 July 2020, 10:36 · #

I am another St. Monan’s baby – born March 1950. We lived in the Mosman end of Holt Avenue, so it wasn’t too far to travel. A neighbour drove Mum to the hospital, as we didn’t have a car back then. I believe it later became a nursing home, before being demolished and replaced by home units.

— Margaret Gilbert (Milford) · 18 July 2020, 17:04 · #

I was born at St Monans in April 1959. My parents lived in Mosman

— Garry · 19 July 2020, 12:54 · #

I was also born at St Monans Hospital May 22nd, 1961

— Pamela Kline · 23 July 2020, 14:59 · #

I was also born at St Monans Hospital May 22nd, 1961. My Doctor was Dr Hill. I grew up on the North Shore and more recently moved to Boston. Pam Kline

Pamela Kline · 23 July 2020, 21:51 · #

I was born St Monans Private hospital 23 December 1954. I tried to find out my time of birth but unfortunately they destroyed the records after 25 years. My family resided in Crows Nest at that time. I have lived in Melbourne since 1975 and I still miss Sydney.

— Debra Engel · 31 July 2020, 14:44 · #

I was happy to see an old black & white photo of St Monans Hospital where I was born on 29th December 1947 after a 4-day labour (according to my mother, the late Margaret Jessie Cox). Parents lived in the country near Coolah where father had a War grant to purchase a sheep property. Very lonely, no telephone, no electricity, outdoor dunny. Thank you for posting the photo – John White, 28 January 2017.

— Virginia Adlide (nee Cox) · 4 January 2021, 14:18 · #

I was born in St Monan’s hospital, 29 January 1951. I think the doctor was Dr Geoff Mutton. My parents lived in a flat in Milson Road, Cremorne at the time , but moved to Pindari Avenue, Beauty Point about 18 months later.

— Sally James · 24 January 2021, 16:28 · #

I too was born at St Monans on 17th January, 1950.
Housing was in short supply after the war and my parents shared a house in Awaba Street with another family.
Eventually they were able to buy the whole house and I lived there throughout my childhood.
I attended Beauty Point Infants School and then Queenwood.
My mother took me to school on the first day and met me when I was half way home along Spit Road in the afternoon. Thereafter I walked to and from school unaccompanied, with a penny or halfpenny to buy a rainbow ball at a little shop in a block of flats on Spit Road.
Needless to say the school dentist had holes to fill. I recall a piece of dental equipment with a whirring chain.
Whittles Hardware and Mosman Library were Saturday morning stops.
Mr Ewen delivered a box of groceries each week. His grocery shop was near Bond Street and then moved to Spit Road along from E.G. Neale, Chemist on the corner of Awaba Street.

— Julie Smiles · 10 July 2021, 08:23 · #

I’m a St Monan’s baby born 3rd October 1949. My mother’s perpetual joke each birthday was about moanings on Labour Day.
We lived in my grandmother’ s house in Countess St which my grandfather had built in 1921 and was sold about 1960. Later moved to the Illawarra where I grew up. I often take a look at the old house when I’m in the district.

— Geoff Dornan · 27 November 2021, 17:17 · #

Looked on my birth certificate today and saw that it was St Monans Hospital at Cremorne. I was born on June 1955. We leaved in Brightmore st Cremorne. I also remember later in life my mother talking about a Dr Begg.
Very interesting.

— John Roberts · 16 March 2022, 18:52 · #

I was born Dell Clayton at St. Monan’s Hospital in Cremorne on 15th November, 1940.
I have only just discovered this hospital by looking on my birth Certificate and had to get a magnifier to read the name, as I had never heard of it. In fact, I googled it and discovered all these entries, how interesting!
My parents built a house in Killarney St, before the war and I went to Queenwood Girls School. Used to walk to school, up the stairs to Spit Road and then down Awaba Street with my sister who was 6 years older than me and was always telling me to hurry up.
My brother was 4 years older than me and went to Shore School and he was my best friend when we were growing up.
My sister, brother and I also went to Sunday School at the Congregational Church in Belmont Road, and my first marriage was at this Church.
I now live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, but still hold a big spot in my heart for Mosman, Balmoral and Spit Baths. Oh, memories!!

— Dell Moore · 25 March 2022, 18:03 · #

I lived next door to St Monans Hospital in an old Federation style home, turned into bed-sits in 1942-1944. I had my tonsils out in St Monans Hospital. I live in Bundaberg Qld . My maiden name is Fitz-walter. I remember Holt Avenue, as you could see the Harbour from St Monans. I am now 83 years old. Thrilled to be able to contribute to St Monans Hospital story.

— Myrna Jean Killer · 28 April 2022, 11:09 · #

Hello I remember St Monan’s Hospital, Holt Avenue, Cremorne, as I lived next door to the hospital in a Federation style home, made in bed-sits in the years, 1942-1944.My father joined the Air Force, so mum & I moved to Sydney from North Queensland, to be with relatives. Mum was lucky to find accommodation next door to St Monans Hospital. I remember having my tonsils out there, after spending months in the Royal Sydney Hospital with a heart complaint. My mum decided to transfer me over to St Monans, where I was cared for until ready for discharge. I was very young, but can remember the experience, and someone taking me ‘home’ to next door in a wheelchair. Was thrilled to find the photo, thanks to my son recently relocated to Sydney from Brisbane. Very interested in local history of Sydney and suburbs. Cheers, and loved reading everyones’ comments about St Monans Hospital.

Myrna Jean Killer nee Fitz-Walter · 28 April 2022, 11:51 · #