With a splish and a splash…

Man in overcoat and souwester, possibly at South Head Fort, October 1933 by Thomas Lennon, Powerhouse Museum 94/63/166/3

Windswept and bedraggled as we are, we thought we’d have a look at some other soggy Sydneysiders:

Dreary city scene in pouring rain c1932, by Sam Hood SLNSW hood_01320

Dreary as it may be to get around, Sydney can look beautiful in wet weather. Photographers have known this for a long time, notably Harold Cazneaux, who especially loved rainy and misty conditions.

King Street in the rain, c1900 by Frederick Danvers Power, SLNSW a422001 / ON 225, 14

North Sydney Post Office, by Harold Cazneaux c1927-31, SLNSW a089710/SPF / 710

Angel Place, 1930s by Sam Hood, SLNSW a215017 / PXE 789 (v.14), 27

Too much rain though causes havoc and disaster (and not just to public transport). Windsor suffered dreadful flooding when the Hawkesbury burst its banks (not for the last time)  in 1816. The Sydney Gazette reported that ‘a watery waste presented itself on every side’.

Sketch of the Inundation in the Neighborhood of Windsor taken on Sunday the 2nd of June 1816, SLNSW PX*D 264

Rain in the city centre was always a problem, especially around unpaved areas on reclaimed tidal flats:

'Circular Quay Mud: Look Out for Rainy Weather - A hint to the Authorities', Sydney Punch, October 13, 1866 p164

Residents in the Tramvale estate near Sydenham had to be rescued from their houses in 1889 after five days of heavy rain caused flooding in the Cooks River:

'The Inundations at Marrickville: Rescuing the Homeless', Illustrated Sydney News, 6 June 1889 p 14

But Sydneysiders have always been able to rise above the weather.

'Aerial Communication: This is a Beautiful Flight of Fancy', Sydney Punch, October 14, 1865, p580

Stay dry!

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2 Responses to With a splish and a splash…

  1. Emma says:

    More great flood shots in the State Library of NSW’s Flickr collection. Sydney, Narrabeen, Maitland, Newcastle, Bourke… http://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryofnsw/sets/72157625678729859/with/5362143655/

  2. megan says:

    I’ve remarked before on this blog how much I love rainy day photographs. I think it’s because the rain gives the city an extra sheen, and because, reflected in the pavement there’s another, shiny, distorted streetscape. Thanks very much for pulling out these lovely photographs, Linda.

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