Raben Footwear may seem like it’s been at this Haymarket corner location for a thousand years, but in a time before Doc Martens and skinheads, the site belonged to Richard Beaumont Orchard, a watchmaker, jeweller and politician. Orchard’s original building had been demolished by the city in order to extend Quay Street to George Street, so to compensate he was given this building. Not sure whose idea it was to add the cheesy orchard-themed clock, though.
Orchard was a Sydney personality in the early 20th century; a sailor, an actor, founding Commissioner of the ABC and Federal Member for Nepean (Lib). By all accounts he seems like the kind of guy who’d have the ‘My Family’ stickers on the back of his car. His skills as a sloganeer left much to be desired, however; ‘Orchard’s: where the watches grow’. These days, you can find Orchard at Rookwood Cemetery, where he was buried after his watch stopped for good in 1942.
On the left, we have the former Delta Money Lent office, cleverly converted by Anna into her own Loan Office. Get your awning fixed, Anna.
On the right is a far more tragic story. According to various old newspapers, 312 Forest Road, Hurstville was a jeweller during the 1920s, run by a man named John B. Stewart. The clock above the awning is presumably a leftover from those days. In February 1933, Stewart filed for bankruptcy, but remained at the address through until Boxing Day, 1936, when he died. By 1941, the address had become a shoe shop. Prior to becoming the chemist, the shop was a Sushi Train restaurant.