Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Balmain and the ANZAC Spirit

In Loyalty Square there stands a sandstone monument called the Balmain War Memorial. It is one of Australia’s earliest war memorials, erected on 23rd April 1916, before the end of the First World War and while the battle at Gallipoli was still raging.

It is unknown why the war memorial was erected so early and why Balmain was chosen at a suitable place to commemorate the fallen. One theory is that the memorial initially commemorated those that gave their lives during the early Dardanelle/Gallipoli campaign. It is thought that nearly all the 5000 male residents eligible to enlist in World War One, did so. It's well documented that the local Balmain Rugby Union club could no longer compete in competition due to nearly all their members going off to fight in The Great War. The absence of so many male workers would have also affected Balmain's local industry.

38 local men from Balmain perished during the Gallipoli campaign and each name is etched on the monument. Two recipients of the Victoria Cross during the First World War are named on the monument, though neither were locally born.

Lance Corporal JWA Jackson, a veteran of Gallipoli, is still the youngest VC recipient and the first to receive it for his service at the Western Front. In the prelude to the Battle of the Somme in France, Jackson and his scouting party were under heavy fire when he captured an enemy soldier and returned him to the line; he then went back twice into no-mans land and rescued the remainder of his party, having his right arm blown off by a shell in the process.

Private Currey rushed and captured two German machine gun posts, killing all the crew in Peronne, France. He then volunteered to rescue a stranded force on the front line: "At 3 am when efforts to reach (a Lt Waite in an advanced position) having failed, Private Currey volunteered to make his third attempt and going out far into the disputed front he stood up and called with all his lung power. "Waitsy! Get in." The Germans turned on him every weapon they had; he was gassed and his respirator was shot through. But Waite had heard him and returned." - C.E.W. Bean.

Such acts of bravery and gallantry should always be remembered as we should with those great men and women who have given their lives for our country.

Lest we forget.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hill Plains House - 2011 Winner of the Australian Interior Design Awards

On Friday night, the who's who of Australian interior design gathered at the annual Australian Interior Design Awards. Judged by a panel of experts across a number of different categories the awards are a recognition by peers to the outstanding work Australian interior design companies are developing.

The 2011 big gong went to Wolveridge Architects of Melbourne with their design of Hill Plain House. They now carry the title as winner of the Premier Award for Interior Design Excellence and Innovation 2011.

With a new and inspired take on the Australian rural home, Hill Plains House transformed an unassuming facade into a welcoming interior with bold features. Its high ceilings, dark polished concrete floors and large windows allow light to travel horizontally through the home giving a sense of space, yet with a warm purpose. The home is also highly efficient and sustainable and makes use of these characteristics in an unassuming and unconventional way.

You can check out more winners and finalists at the Australian Interior Design Awards website

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Birch Grove House" - The dark history of Australia's 2nd oldest home

Having just aided a sale on Louisa Road and working on a new listing on the same street, I thought I'd talk about an important home that once stood on the prized street.

"Birch Grove House" was at the time of it's demolition in 1967, the second oldest home in Australia (after "Elizabeth Farm" in Parramatta). It was built by Lieutenant John Birch in 1810 and used locally quarried stone from Long Nose Point to aid its construction. He later sold the home for 480 pounds to merchant Walpole Loane who tenanted the home after a long period of vacancy where the glass and materials had been pilfered from the home. The tenants, Mr & Mrs. Bradley were later murdered in the home by thieves. Loane, himself, was know to be a man of unscrupulous character and after a series of renovations, place "Birch Grove House" for sale claiming the property possessed more land that he had rightful claim to.

In 1853, Birch Grove House came under the ownership of Henry Watson Parker for eight months, he married John Macarthur's young daughter Emmeline Emily and sold it again in 1954 to Didier Joubert for 6000 pounds. It was Joubert who is credited with founding the suburb of Birchgrove by subdividing the land around "Birch Grove House" for smaller residential housing.

As the suburb of Birchgrove grew, "Birch Grove House" fell into disrepute. In the 1870's, always giving up secrets, a enormous painting of Ceres, the goddess of nature and regeneration, was discovered beneath some wallpaper. It was believed to have been painted by a French convict.

In 1915, "Birch Grove House," sitting on considerably less land than in the days of John Birch, was sold to its final owner Mrs Lillian MacDonald for 1,150 pounds. Mrs MacDonald live in the home until her death in 1962. Leichhardt Council later sold the home to a development company who campaigned successfully for it's demolition in 1967. On Christmas 1967, despite much protest, "Birch Grove House" was demolished and a three storey unit block was built on its site taking the name "Birchgrove House."
"Birch Grove House" had been an icon in early Australian history. A place of murder, history and secrets, it is a shame that it no longer stands today. The original position of "Birch Grove House" on Louisa Road is where the unit block continues to stand at 67 Louisa Road.

ps. I apologise that I have not included any photos of Birch Grove House, the sad realisation is that there aren't any publishable photos on the property.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter in Balmain!

Have an eggsellent Easter with Sarah Lorden Real Estate!

If you want to catch the Easter Bunny hop on down to Balmain’s Loyalty Square between 10am and 2pm on Saturday the 16th of April. For good boys and girls the Easter Bunny will be packing a big bag filled with delicious chocolate eggs. He will also be bringing along a few friends who are fabulous at face painting.

The Easter Bunny is helping raise funds for the Salvos, so please give generously and enjoy an eggsellent Easter with us!
Also, when you’re looking at properties on, don’t forget to check out Sarah & Kate Lorden presenting “Balmain TV” in the left hand section of the page.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Tallest Hotel in the World

Having its official opening on May 3rd 2011 the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is set to claim the title as the "tallest hotel in the world."

Soaring 490 metres above the city, the hotel houses 312 rooms and occupies the 102nd to 118th floors of the International Commerce Centre, which dominates Hong Kong's skyline. Each room presents panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories and one night's stay begins from $745 a night.
There are six dining venues including Chinese and Italian restaurants, OZONE - the highest bar in the world, a "Chocolate Library" and a roof top pool sporting 144 ceiling-mounted TV screens to entertain backstroking swimmers.

"The overall design theme of the hotel is inspired by the city's dynamic culture," CEO Mark DeCocinis told The Wall Street Journal, "a global metropolis at the crossroads of East and West..." Once it's finished, there is no doubt that the hotel will be one of the most talked about in the world.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I've started a copywriting business!

Hi everyone!
Just to let you know that, while I'm still working in Sydney's premier real estate market, I also have a business up and running as a copywriter. The company is called "Logocracy Copywriting" and specialise in blogs, SEO, websites, brochures and any other form of advertised script or prose. I have just launched a facebook page which would be great if you could "like" it! I will be posting blogs and interesting articles on the world of copywriting and advertising.
"Like" the page at

If you are curious about the name, Logocracy comes from the Greek words "Logos" - "words" and "Kratos" - "to rule by". Therefore the name "Logocracy" means "to rule by words" hence the corny slogan "do your words rule?" and the logo which is a fountain pen with an exclamation mark, but also looks like a crown.
I'd love to hear any feedback on this blog, the articles or anything on copywriting. If you are looking for a copywriter for your business, you can contact me on the facebook page or email:

The Hitler House!

Here's something a little quirky!
A home owner in Wales has become an overnight Internet sensation when a pedestrian walking past his house noticed that the home bared an uncanny resemblance to the former Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler.
While home owner Clive Davies remained oblivious to his homes fame, the photo of the house went viral to thousands of people via Twitter. He was later told by his son and daughter-in-law after his son spotted a picture of the house in a newspaper in Kabul, Afghanistan.
"I have never noticed any similarity before and most people who pass by are so close they probably never notice." Davies told a local newspaper, "Some people say they can see images of Jesus Christ on items such as toast, and I suppose it is just a variation on a theme."
The home has been with the family for nearly half a century and is the last home in a row of terraces. Mr. Davies later commented "I don't really think it looks like Hitler."

What do you think?