Historian Andrew Allen releases book of Campbelltown’s lost gems

Campbelltown is home to some of south-west Sydney’s greatest historic treasures.

But there are many more treasures that have been lost to time.

Luckily, local historian Andrew Allen has put together a collection of images and stories detailing the city’s most interesting old buildings.

More than Bricks and Mortar: Remembering Campbelltown’s Lost Buildings was published with the help of Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society.

Mr Allen said it was difficult to decide which old buildings would make the cut.

“It’s a nostalgic collection,” he said. “There’s information about who lived in each building and when it was demolished.”

Every entry is accompanied with historic photos.

Mr Allen sourced his information and imagery from the historical society’s records and collections housed at the library.

The author learnt plenty of intriguing tales and stories during the 18-month research process.

“One pub with a really interesting history was the Wheelwright Arms,” he said.

“There was a bloodstained handprint on the wall that they were apparently never able to remove. It was quite the mystery and the pub was the site for some filming in the 1950s. It was demolished in the 1960s.”

Another building with an interesting history is Ingleburn House.

“Ingleburn House was jazzed up and used as a nightclub in the Second World War,” Mr Allen said.

“It was called the Moulin Rouge and a neon sign was used to attract potential customers. It was demolished in the mid-1970s.”

Mr Allen hopes the book makes people recognise the important and lengthy history of Campbelltown’s remaining heritage buildings.

“We have a lot of history still around,” he said.

“It’s important that we save as many of these old historic buildings as we can while we still have the chance.”

More Than Bricks and Mortar: Remembering Campbelltown’s Lost Buildings will be available to purchase from Glenalvon House, Campbelltown’s HJ Daley Library (where Mr Allen works) and the Campbelltown Visitor Information Centre.

Details: 4645 4444.