While we’re on the subject of Hurstville, here’s a place a little bit further down Forest Road.
When I look at a place like this, I wonder what the butcher would think if he was transported from his time to Hurstville as it exists today. Would he shed a tear at two money lent shops replacing his life’s work? Would he conclude from the existence of two money lents side by side that today’s economy ain’t what it used to be? That the world has gotten so bad that we’re now cavalierly profiting from human misfortune more than animal? Or would he just think they were modern day banks (in which case he wouldn’t be far off)?
Also, there’s something about that font that chills me. I’m not talking about the Cashman font (terrifying as it is), I mean the ‘Butcher’ font. It almost makes you forget the brutality of the word itself. Gee, this was all a bit downbeat, wasn’t it? The countdown continues next time.
First of all, dear readers, Happy New Year and all that. For Past/Lives, all this means is that the glory days of our subjects are buried under yet another year. There’s plenty coming up, including something fun for the blog’s first anniversary in March (where did the time go?), but for now…
Byers beware! At least, anyone with the intention of buying meat from this long-defunct butchery along Darling Street, Rozelle. What started life as a bootmaker’s shop came into possession of butcher Hugh Byers in 1918, who hawked dead animals from this location while leasing out the shop next door, which he also owned. This tradition carried on for the next 87 years, until the Byers family sold up to Balmain Leagues in 2005. Balmain Leagues…doesn’t that ring a bell?
Anyone familiar with the surrounding area and an interest in this sort of thing (all three of you) would have noticed the decaying Balmain Leagues Club on Victoria Road. If you don’t know it, don’t worry – we’ll take a closer look soon. The impending development of that site will include the Byers building as well as a fair few others along Darling Street when they finally get around to it. Unless of course it turns into another CBD Metro debacle, which left Rozelle with some mighty blue balls.
Butchers are kind of like morgues for livestock. Why don’t we think of them as being as grisly as human morgues? Back when Tom’s Butcher on Botany Road was still around, anyone who dared to proclaim they didn’t eat meat would have been subject to ridicule, abuse and worse. The side of this former butcher provides us with a perfect example:
I think vegetarians should feel proud that society’s now at a point where old butcheries are now units, old abattoirs are now Olympic stadiums, and old rib joints are now selling coverings for the floor of your unit or stadium. I’d like to think the animals feel pretty good about that too.