Spit Junction memories 1950/60

Posted by
Donal Carr
c. 1950—c. 1960

The shops that I recall in Spit Road:

West side from south to north (some may be missing or misplaced)

Military Road – Greengrocer – Cake Shop – Newsagent – General Clothes store / Manchester – Menswear then Coles (at the tram stop)- Ladies Dress shop – Greengrocer – Milk Bar (with a long counter on the south side and fixed chair and table stalls on the other side) – MacIlwraiths (delicatessen)- the Masonic Club – small mens shop – Whittles Hardware – Homewares / Furnishings – Commonwealth Bank. (New Post Office came later)

East side (north to south)

Punch Street – residence – shop – shop – Postal parking area – Post Office – shop – Kings Theatre – Corner clothes shop then Clifford Street. More shops to Military Road, adjacent to the tram and bus stops.

(Just to start off the memories – corrections welcomed.)

Donal Carr · 24 August 2012

Your comment

I remember as a child in 1960 seeing a shop at spit junction which had a train set in the window which was working I spent hours watching this. I was in Australia from 1960 to 1963 we lived at 60 Spencer Road Mosman. We arrived from England on the “£10 poms scheme”.
Love to here from anyone who knew me I went to Mosman School. Particular remember John Perkis school friend. Elaine Pickering adult friend.


— Steve Ingram · 25 August 2012, 21:15 · #

Hi Steve,
I came across your posting by chance when looking up some information on Mosman history. I lived in Holt Avenue as a boy and my mother now lives in Spencer Road (#31). Very upmarket little part of Mosman these days.
The train set was at the top of Cabramatta Rd and it fascinated many a young boy. The shop was called Huckell’s Radio and the window display could be activated by pushing a button which made the train run for a couple of minutes. I believe he refused to sell out when the “Strata” hotel was built so it remained for a number of years on the corner, adjacent to an unattractive pub. It has all gone now.
You can drive down Spencer road these days remotely via Google Earth!

Marc Parmentier

— Marc · 1 October 2012, 20:18 · #

I grew up in Cabramatta Road and have many fond memories of Mr Huckle’s train display. I met my wife when we both worked at the Commonwealth Bank in Spit Junction. We now live in Tasmania but when we visit, memories come flooding back every time we drive along Military Road and Spit Road.

— Peter Hughes · 13 January 2014, 07:21 · #

The train in Mr Huckle’s radio shop was a Ferris Sydney suburban 0-gauge electric train. They were made from around 1948 – 58 in East Sydney. Ferris moved to Brookvale and made car radios with and long after the trains. I think the trains ended up with a collector, however they were very badly worn understandably. Yes I pushed that little brass button in the window center many times and added to the wear.

— David Neale · 25 September 2014, 20:32 · #

Huckell’s Radio shop was in Military Road at Cremorne Junction not Spit Junction, on the northern corner of Cabramatta Road, as remembered above. My father bought a Phillips Portable radio there for me in 1954. It had a silver metal case with a roll down cover over the station dial. It was heavy to carry because the batteries were so weighty. So sorry I gave it away.

— Donal Carr · 9 October 2016, 20:35 · #

Wow thought I’d visit this website as I too lived in Spencer Road ( with my Grand Mother) & vividly remember the train set in the window. According to my Grandmother if I went missing they knew where to find me. Was always asking people to push the button for me.

— Errilyn O'Shea · 27 January 2019, 18:48 · #

Hi…correct about Huckles, was Cremorne. There was a radio shop at SSpit Junction…trying to recall the owner’s name. Ex airforce radioman Hugh McTeague came also to work there in the 1960’s Hugh was memorable,
quiet and lived at Northbridge with his astoundingly beautiful wife. I did some electrical work for them later-on. Somewhere in the picture had been a divorce and the ‘cloud’ for a Catholic. Hughie was a good bloke…His boss was Tom ???….it will come to me. They were part of my journey to becoming an Amateur Radio Operator.

Looking at it to the radio shop’s right was Kaplin’s Dry Cleaners…then the milk bar then the theatre and on the corner pretty sure it was Miss Markham’s dress shop. She or her sister played grand-piano during intervals in the theatre. Outside their wedge shaped shop was the large green tram terminus clock, corner Clifford Street.. below which was buried a dog run over by a tram. Spit Road was largely a dirt road then. The cars dumped down Clifford Street on any day would today bring over $1M

Across Clifford Street was what later became Wynns Dry Cleaners then the huge barn which was Crossman’s Printers….around the corner was the barber, “Dick’s” fishing tackle shop the Real Estate agency…then later the (National ?) Bank, then ?? then and then Horsenell’s shoes …but I’ll stop there … I knew pretty well all the shops all the way down to Mosman Junction

To the left of the radio shop was a second hand bookshop, a dress shop…another shop then the Spit JunctionPost Office and the tram terminus… Clancy and Stedman’s woodwork factory….Mr Yeff’s glass shop ..a row of semi’s then on the corner of Punch Street, Wilson the dentist. On the opposite corner of Punch Street was an Esso Service station, workshop.

On the other side of Spit Junction if I follow Donal’ statement correctly:
Greengrocer on corner diagonally opposite Hotel and Old Wine Bar..and then butcher right on corner.

The Newsagent(was Thame’s then Condon’s) ..Line’sHaberdashery (Minty’s was around the corner) wool and threads and so on (Manchester) …a long narrow shop…Zemincheff’s Milk Bar (with a long counter on the south side and fixed chair and table stalls on the other side) Ambrose Caesars General Clothes store…The Miss James’ plant and chook food shop… then Coles (at the tram stop)- Ladies Dress shop which may have previously been Petrov’s fish and Chips…… Perry’s Greengrocer – Wynette Cake shop… the Masonic Club, then a short and narrow menswear store..Lambie’s .lollyshop…JV Clancy Furniture and Bedding, Claude Whittles Hardware…then sailmakers Miller and Whitworth …who did the hull for the Bond America’s cup …above the upstairs space in between Whittle and Clancy… accessed by a stair way between the shops…Miller it was I think who changed his name to Ben Lexen) …. JV Clancy home Furnishings…Commonwealth Bank…Real Estate Agency (Crowley)…Joe Antcliffe and Son’s Boot repairs, Mr Bruin’s general store..(biscuits etc).Mr Bruin was not well treated during the war …being German, the cardinal sin for paranoiacs and tribally disturbed minds during war..

You mentioned Mcilwraiths….that store was opposite Mosman library..there was a cake shop near it…name began with “A”….just will not emerge from the memory right now…Arcadia I think it was…then ?…heading towards Sacred Heart then the Seidlers’ milk bar then the pet shop….then the lovely residence of a doctor, later to become a ghastly hamburger shop. Behind it was Dairy…later taken over by Mosman Council. Then Norman G Booth with Colonel Clavell’s home behind it then the Sacred Hear School

Opposite the Pet shop, to the diagonal left was the removalistscorner of Cowles Road …Opposite and to the right of Cowles Road was then the Plume service station…later Ampol…then the Mosman Library, then the Wildman-Elliot second hand shop, the Japanese owned general store, then Mosman Tyre Service and then another shop was on the corner later real estate…Heading towards your greengrocer was ? then maybe a butcher …the Chemist shop…, then Minty’s then I think the Greengrocer first mentioned in your listing.

— Anthony Clancy · 25 August 2020, 08:30 · #

Those were a great Radio Donal…Mains or Portable and commonly with an RF stage …as had valve car radios of the time. A decent antenna could sometimes get you b/c stations from overseas or other states. I have a couple still kicking around. Few transistor radios had that feature.

Sometimes I would drive to Sofala….have a meal at the Flatt’s café…drive up to near Wattle Flat for a couple of hours and listen to Western Australia and some overseas stations. The RF stage (Radio Frequency Amplification) was to keep decent reception in varying terrain with the short car antenna….way under any length for broadcast band resonance. Once FM and the repeater stations arrived the emphasis went off (unfortunately) AM broadcasting and increasingly repeaters enabled pretty good reception.

— Anthony Clancy · 25 August 2020, 08:40 · #

I posted a long dissertation on Spit Junction inspired by Donal…hasn’t appeared…however mea culpa…I made some errors and one of my sisters has pulled me up. So much information she has! Anyway concerning just some of it….the Perry’s fruit shop midway along the junction became Cipris. The one on the corner opposite the pub was I think La Cava’s. Before La Cava’s ‘around the corner’ was Minty’s Kerslakes Chocolates, Chemists (Whybrow was one at the Junction …Mathis another). My sister tells me there was also a small Hamburger shop for a while there and a delicatessen . She also mentioned “Cosy Corner” and “Rose and McLeod”. The butcher shop opposite the hotel and next to the wine bar was not Noakes…she advises me.

It was apparently Psaltis not Zemenchef who had the Milk bar next to the Newsagency…but the “Z” name doesn’t go away…maybe he bought from Psaltis…I recall it being sold. I recall Tom Petrovski who wrote to the memories in 2010 and his family…if he’d like to get in touch.

The Wynette cake shop was the one around where cash converters eventually lodged. The ANZ bank was along the junction. The small men’s shop was Millers. Next to it the “Lambie” milk bar was Lambie and Rosa Diaz and their father…then Clancy (48 Spit Rd). The Cakeshop closer to the Petshop on Military was the one beginning with “A”.

Grady’s was the Radio shop on the Kings Theatre side, next heading towards Clifford Street was Hans the Optometrist then Kaplins. The old book shop was to the left then the “French Boutique’ double fronted dress shop opposite Clancy’s no 54 which was alongside the Commonwealth Bank. I’ll do the rest more completely later.

Some I was unable to bring to mind were AMOS removals corner of Cowles Road. Down past AMOS’ were several shops, Kleins Klothes Klinic, IOOF Hall, Ray’s bike shop, a small general store (Pez, Passito, Horehound….that sort of tooth rot for the school kids.) Later the corner became a sort of kitchen items shop and on the opposite corner (and to the schools also) a Doctor’s property, With some passage of time amongst myself and a couple of sisters we’ll get them all. we’ll get them all. I have some others to chase down and Robin (Horsenell family) may be able to help with a couple I am vague about, still, when I get her later in the week. I have some other names of shops but will try to tidy it up in a week or so.

Can any one tell me what happened to Daryl Finlayson from Awaba Street? I did manage to find Darcey Nelson who wrote also in 2010 asking me to contact. David Healey if still around might also recall Darcey. He left Marist Brothers in 5th Class so that’s about 1954 or thereabouts. Has anyone any idea of what happened to Dennis Tap who also vanished about that time. 5th Class was interesting. Brother Aquinas, elderly, monk-like hair…brilliant with English and parsing and analysis, copper-plate handwriting…must have been born around 1870/1880. Strict but kindly he earned or perhaps did not this questionable ditty. Children have a cruelty….
“Baldy .Baldy , Common noun
Parse him up and parse him down,
Neuter gender, hopeless case,
Governed by his ugly face.”

— Anthony Clancy · 31 August 2020, 09:25 · #

The owner of the radio shop was My great uncle Ted Huckell.

— Isabella Hargrave · 14 March 2021, 06:05 · #