Monday, 27 January 2020

Remember This? Gerry Harvey returns to Arncliffe (1992)

In 1961, Gerry Harvey and his business partner Ian Norman opened an electrical and furniture store on the Princes Highway at Arncliffe that would evolve into the now defunct Norman Ross Discounts.

Through Norman Ross, Harvey remained connected with the Arncliffe Store until he was sacked in 1982 following its takeover from Bond-Waltons.

His sacking led to him starting a new chain of electrical and furniture stores - Harvey Norman and evolved to become one of the biggest retailers in Australia.

In 1992, Norman Ross collapsed. For Harvey it presented an opportunity to acquire some of the former Norman Ross stores and convert them into Harvey Norman stores including Arncliffe.

For Harvey, it meant that the site that began his career in retailing was back in his hands and could reconnect with the people of the St George region that he had served for decades. It was also where he would experiment with extended trading hours on Saturdays and Sundays. He identified loopholes in legislation and risked prosecution for breaching trading laws.  However, he would set a precedent for the trading hours that shape shopping in 21st Century Sydney.

Harvey Norman would trade at Arncliffe for several years before it was closed (along with their Westfield Miranda store) when a new store at Caringbah opened.

Below is an advertisement for Harvey Norman at Arncliffe as published in the March 26, 1992 edition of The St George and Sutherland Leader.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Remember This? Sydney Ferries Ocean Cruises (1989)

In 1988, the Collaroy was added to the Manly Ferry Fleet. Unlike the other three ferries in the fleet, it was designed to operate ocean cruises. Also, it had outdoor decks on the upper level at each end (they were eventually added to the other Manly Ferries).

Ocean Cruises were provided for decades on Sundays by the old steamers, but had stopped. By the end of the 1980's, an attempt was made to revive the cruises.

The cruises were provided between 1988 and 1991. They were discounted as crew demanded a "spew allowance" to deal with cleaning up after those who were seasick.

The coastal cruises would commence at Circular Quay and proceed north along the Northern Beaches to the Hawkesbury River, exploring its lower reaches before returning back to Circular Quay by the same route.

For our readers, should the cruises be revived?

Below is an advertisement from 1989.

Source: Sydney Ferries. 1989. "Run away to sea for a day on a Sunday Coastal Cruise" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, February 28: 43. 

Monday, 13 January 2020

Remember This? Luna Park reopens (1995)

January 1995 was a month for openings e.g. Sydney International Aquatic Centre.

Luna Park has been part of Sydney life since 1935, but its history has included periods of closure to the public.

Following a fire on the Ghost Train in 1979 that killed six people, Luna Park was closed until 1982. Six years later (1988), it was then closed a second time for "renovations".

On January 20 1995, it reopened to the public. Below is an advertisement to promote its reopening.

Source: Anon. 1995. "Luna Park" (Advertisement). The Sunday Telegraph, January 15:7.

Below is a report from opening day. Not even the rain would detract people from visiting the park.

Source: Anon. 1995. "Luna Park spirit beats the rain". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, January 21:17. 

The reopening also led to the installation of a new face at its iconic entrance. This was the eighth face in its history and is the current face.

Source: Knowles, L. 1995. "All smiles as a famous face comes home again". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, January 9:14.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) monitored noise levels in areas around the park after concerns about noise being emitted from the park (especially The Big Dipper) would disturb local residents.

Source: Ryan, R. 1995. "EPA sounds a warning over Luna Park noise". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, January 12: 15. 

Sadly, it had a very short run. Financial problems led to its third closure the following year (1996) after local residents won a legal challenge against the noise of The Big Dipper, which had its trading hours restricted.

Eight years later (2004), a redeveloped Luna Park minus The Big Dipper reopened and continues to trade to this day.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Remember This? Sydney International Aquatic Centre Officially Opens (1995)

Did you know that this month is 25 years since the Sydney International Aquatic Centre at Sydney Olympic Park was officially opened?

It was officially opened by NSW Premier John Fahey on January 21 1995, three months after opening to the public in October 1994. 

Below is a feature article from the January 14, 1995 edition of The Daily Telegraph Mirror. In addition, swimming legend Murray Rose, provided some of his insights.