Whether visiting friends who live here or relocating to live here yourself - the harbour village of Balmain gives everyone who passes through it's neighbourhoods the timeless sense of it's history. I recently learnt from a neighbour that the original site of Loyalty Square - currently lorded over by Woolworths Supermarket on Darling Street - used to sit squarely in front of my framing shop where Waterview Street meets Queens Place complete with a flagpole in front of ,what was then the first Balmain Post Office.
Officially the Business District of Balmain, this section of Darling Street also housed two Banks and , of coarse - a pub, namely the Volunteer Hotel( c1860-c1930) on the corner of Anne and Darling Streets, the arms of which are still visible today.
Sharing the neighbourhood as I do with other 'bespoke' businesses - namely a Tailor, Furniture maker and a Locksmith. I was delighted to find things hadn't changed much in this small enclave of shop fronts since the mid 18th century when bespoke artisans were abundant and served the community well. Tenures were short but Balmain was home to dressmakers, milliners, upholsterers, boot makers, confectioners and hairdressers to name just a few. That Framing Place ( c2005-2014) was built in c1855 by Waterman, Edward Glover originally as a one storey weatherboard cottage. Balmain stonemason,James Burt became the owner in 1869 letting it out from 1870-1904 to two hairdressers, an oil & colour merchant(?) , a butcher, a fishmonger, a watchmaker, a bread carter and a confectioner. From 1945-1957, Cuthbert Southern Beckett - a musician, ran an antique shop here until his death. After which Michael Bray bought the estate to use as a Printers.
Artisans and Craft makers are less visible on the main street these days. But a stroll down any side street or alley of Balmain will uncover a quiet industry of 'Makers of things' with a shingle on their door stating their name and their 'trade'.
[ Statistics available courtesy of Leichhardt Historical Journal No.21]
Having built a 30 year profession as a custom picture framer, Lynn's steady and considered approach to her other craft - Photography - now spans an impressive 35 years of dedication.