Letter: Cootamundra's blast from the past: The Wallendoon Street Barber Shop

Your perspective matters...

OVER the past two weeks, the vacant retail shop at 109 Wallendoon Street has been a point of interest for community members here in Cootamundra.

The Cootamundra Herald is delighted to provide coverage, publishing news articles related to this historic building on July 2 and July 9.

We’re just scratching the surface, and would like to invite members of the public to share their stories.

Whether you were a patron of the Wallendoon Street Barber Shop, or you know any of the people mentioned in our coverage, we would like to hear from you.

Please contact Bec via email: rebecca.fist@fairfaxmedia.com.au or call (02) 6942 1488.

Michael and Geoff Wilcock are restoring the building and all are welcome to visit them at work.


By Patricia Caskie - Queen Street, Cootamundra. 

It is wonderful to know that the Wilcock family is restoring the lovely old premises and not simply tearing down a slice of Cootamundra’s history.

Who signed the wall?

Milton Mutch was a barber, who ran his own Parker Street shop in later years.

Ern Fitzgerald, who signed his name in 1948, appears in a photograph of the interior of the Ballard shop held by Cootamundra Local History Society Inc.

Other names from 1948 appear to be builders and carpenters:

Claude Fuller served his builder’s apprenticeship with Mitchell’s and opened his own master builder business in Hovell Street during the late 1940s.

Gordon Fenning served in the Australian Army during WWII, then earned his carpenter and joiner’s qualifications under a Commonwealth Government scheme that taught various trades to ex-servicemen.

C Trinder known as ‘Pop’, is a carpenter who worked for many years as Claude Fuller’s foreman.

R Meale is unknown, although Meale is a local name going back many years.

The property - past and present

No. 109 is one of three shops constructed as the Norfolk Buildings in 1899 for jeweller and optician RG Burgess.

Plans for the building were drawn up by his brother in law, architect TD Morrow.

Mr Burgess purchased the land on which the shops stand from the then Bank of Australasia (now Custom Accounting).

The construction was completed in October of 1899, with locally-sourced labour carrying out the majority of the work.

Falconer Bros made the bricks and they were laid by Ford Bros (although the contractors were named as Sorenson & Ramburg of Sydney).

McBeath & Co supplied the timber.

Plasterer was Mr Grinrod and T Fisher did the painting, while GH Bundock asphalted the front footpath.

Mr Burgess utilised the shop on the lane for his jewellery business.

Other jewellers who followed him into the premises include names Cootamundra people will remember – Joe Moore and HB Kittelty (before he moved to Parker Street).

No 109 was a barber shop for more than 90 years, starting with Jack Deal.

The closest date for the start of Mr Deal’s tenure is 1903, when a note in the ‘Cootamundra Herald’ of that year stated he had introduced the sale of phonographs and records to his hairdressing saloon.

Jack was the father of Les Deal, who conducted Deal’s Garage – now Palmer Ford premises – from the early 1930s until 1981.

Others who followed Jack Deal (some were barbers, some owners of the premises who employed staff) included:

1914 Les Aspland, following Mr Deal’s retirement.

1919 Norman McCullough.

1920 Jock Bruce (employed a hairdresser).

1922 Leo Dove, to whom Os Ballard was apprenticed.

The Cootamundra Herald has recently published details from that time on.


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