your ‘sham

…but enough about me.

I’ve created this special page to house your stories. I’ll start you off with a few that have come through as comments elsewhere in the blog. Simply use the comments form below to post up your own stuff! I can’t wait to read ’em!

Cheers, Lucas


Hi there
This is a great project and you’ve chosen a fantastic suburb. We lived at 18 Jarvie Ave for 2 years before my husband got transferred to Melbourne and I’m consumed with longing to go back – best street I’ve ever lived in and its true about the Christmas parties (but we never went).
I’ve got a Petersham story for you and also a suggested activity. My Petersham story first: I am a lawyer and a trifle impatient. I called a taxi to go into work early one morning and it was taking ages and ages to arrive. Finally a taxi pulls into the street and without even noticing the branding, I stopped it in the middle of the street and jumped in, roundly abusing the hapless driver for making me late etc etc etc. We drove for about 10 minutes before he turns to me and says: You know, I am not your taxi. I am your neighbour two doors down. I was just finishing my shift and going home to get breakfast. Didn’t I feel like a shit! He then became my regular driver. He was lovely. My suggestion: go to a branch meeting of every political party that has a Petersham branch. The Petersham ALP branch that meets at the Town Hall is really nice. Best of luck. Natalie

Posted Apr 19, 9:56 AM


Hi Lucas,

My friend Tully told me about this site – it’s cool!

In fact, I use to live in the house Tully and Heather now live in. I had the room with the balcony, huge, and I could see to the horizon. I found it in February 2005, waiting for my housemates to come back from adventures in South-East Asia (Heather was one of the people, but it was Alanta, her travel buddy, who was the original housemate). 5 of us moved in, and started having lots of parties and intense discussions about law, politics and art, around chocolate on the kitchen table. (This happens when you put law students in the same house as Arts graduates, politicians and theatre directors.) We called ourselves the Petersham Tarts.
Anyway, when I went to England for a month last July, Tully stayed in my room – and never left. He liked the ’sham so much, he moved into the Lilting Houses next door, but was with us most nights. As one by one the original housemates (who were also all born in the ’80s) moved out, the house you have now was formed.
I was at the party a couple of weeks ago, by the way, and it was raucous. I was Daphne, and my boyfriend was Wesley.
I think I’m about to move back into the ’sham, however Tully informs me it is technically Stanmore, as I am on the wrong side of the street.

Yay! this is fun,


p.s. you have a ’spello’ in the story about Lucy – you wrote “an radical French bookshop”. Ta.

Posted Apr 29, 9:30 PM


6 thoughts on “your ‘sham

  1. Melissa

    Hi Lucas,

    I read about your project in the paper and have been following your blog avidly since. I think it is a fantastic project and you write really well about your experiences connecting with community and art in the ‘Sham.

    I lived in the ‘Sham for several years, on Morgan St, although I have since moved down the road to Dulwich Hill. My partner and I had a very ‘Sham romance – I was living in Morgan St and he on Fort St when we first started seeing each other. We used to go to the Livingstone Hotel sometimes, the Cock (White Cockatoo) and also to the bottle shop on New Canterbury Rd as well as walks in the park. He later moved to Brighton St and had also previously lived in Marshall St.

    I love going past the town hall on Crystal St on Saturday nights and seeing people ballroom dancing – it seems like something out of time, especially as we often have am radio on in the car as we go past! Hmm, and speaking of Crystal St some friends of mine celebrated Valentine’s Day by going to the jelly wrestling at the Oxford – they were disappointed by the jelly – they said there wasn’t enough of it and the consistency was very poor.

    I was excited to see your photos of the skating rink and pleased to hear that there are cinema plans afoot. And I am thinking of visiting the bowling club as I have never been there and have always been intrigued by it. And you may be interested to know that as a result of clicking on your link to the Cake Lady’s blog twogirls and seeing a fantastic picture of the Niagara Cafe we are planning a trip to Gundagai to see it.

    Best of luck with your project, I look forward to your next instalment.


  2. Tim Hutcho

    Hey Lucas,
    This site is awesome i love this suburb and i have lived here for over a year as a student in Railway Street. Where apparently they filmed the ABC show GP at 26 Railway Street. And fondly enoguh, i came across it on the net one day as the filming location as well, i will try and find the site. I was a bit young but i can kind of remember the show.
    When i first came across petersham on the net on Wikipedia i noticed how it mentioned the Portugese Cbicken and water tank for land marks!!! hahaha.
    And everyone i mention Petersham to, say about the chicken.
    I have jumped over the wall at the water tank to take some pics, its a good view, i don’t recommend jumping off the wall though!!!
    Keep up the work
    -Tim :)

  3. Megan M

    Hi Lucas,

    I moved to Petersham from Leichhardt in 2005 with three others. Two moved out much to the relief of us remaining two. At present, several of us live in the one big share house on Livingstone Road.

    It could be defined as a “goth” house, given that everyone who lives in our house frequents the goth clubs in the city. As with most share houses, it’s not without its dramas. Dramas aside, we’re a close-knit sharehouse (and we should maintain the status quo) and the staff at Silva’s know most of us on a first-name basis. We’ve had more than our fair share of dodgy housemates, but they’ve either moved out, skipped out on us or got kicked out. We were sad to see one go, who moved out last week.

    Nevertheless, we love Petersham, apart from the seedy pubs and the abundance of chicken shops (not that we’re complaining about that!), not to mention the fact that we have a water tank!!

  4. shortleftleg Post author

    megan – a water tank! lucky youse!
    would you say that petersham is becoming more of a destination for goths? is it a gradual seep out of newtown as it becomes increasingly expensive?

    tim – thanks for the tip off about the GP house. Tully, who lives around the corner from me, was briefly in that TV show when he was in highschool. One day recently we went looking for the specific house used in the show, but he wasn’t convinced we’d found the right one…

    melissa – thanks for your romantic story… let us know how your trip to the Niagara goes. It is indeed a lovely spot. Never woulda thought the ‘sham would lead folks to Gundagai! (When you get there, don’t forget to check out Rusconi’s marble masterpiece).

  5. Hazel

    So we’re not the onlyones who refer to our beloved suburb as the ‘Sham? Good to klnow. We are also like the ‘Ville next door.

    I live in John St in a long-running med-fed share house. I and my friends contribution to Sham culture is the making of the Petersham Quartet, four films shot, acted and set in Petersham.

    The first one was The Petersham Water Tower Disaster (dodgy cost cutting by the Council [no reflection on current Council!] results in a crack developing in local landmark water tower with disastrous results); the second was The Bitches of Petersham Place (soapie family struggle over ownership of Marrickville Metro); the third (in production) is Sayonara Petersham (martial arts flick in which evil North shore real estate agency threatens to take over Petersham) and the fourth (yet to come ) Dance, Petersham, Dance (a musical, dancin’ romance). Our film collective is called (conversely) DaVille Productions.

    We have had screenings, with other local film-makers, of these and other amateur gems from time to time at our house. Will advertise the next one, or if you are having any arts events, let us know and we would be thrilled to be involved.



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