This is an article by Julie Dawson that appeared in The Ryde Recorder, November 2002. It is about Heard’s farm in North Ryde. The farm included Heard’s cottages, still standing, at 62 Wicks Road and 505 Twin Road.
A NORTH RYDE FARM, 1902. By Julie Dawson.
In the Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrower’s Advocate on 6 November, 1902 is an editorial entitled “Our Surroundings – North Ryde. Its Orchards – Its Picturesque Spots. Frederick Bailey Heard and the Model Farm.” It is long article and tends to somewhat overblown with its lyrical descriptions of the North Ryde landscape but it does give a wonderful picture of the Heard farm at North Ryde in 1902. A pair of single storey semi-detached cottages at No 62 Wicks Road, North Ryde is known as Heard’s cottages. It is estimated to have been built about 1895 and is listed on Ryde Council’s Heritage List (No. 97). The Heard family’s other cottage on the property was that at 505 Twin Road, near the golf club, and it receives a mention in the following article:
“When standing on some coign of vantage, one sees a panorama of rocks and dells, of glittering water and the russet-and-purple hues of maturing crops, with the white-and-pink blooms of budding and flowering trees, when, at intervals, shady and green turfed glens open to view, with the towering iron-bard, spotted gum, white gum, black butt and woolly butt and the umbrageous oak standing giant sentinels, and the dim outline of mountain ranges blue and hazy in the distance, then the conscience wakes to the lessons learnt at the mother’s knees: and the comparative impotence of human knowledge and human power is borne in upon one, and the soul cries aloud for the relief born of faith and reliance in an Almighty.
With the growth and expansion of the metropolis, many places in its vicinity which would otherwise have been mere summer resorts for the wealthy, began to assume the appearance of little townships and gradually grew in importance till some of them have become centres of fairly large populations, and every day is seeing a greater and greater demand for building sites ….and were it generally known that some of the loveliest scenery in Australia is to be met with about Ryde, North Ryde, Epping, Beecroft and Pennant Hills, the demand for land … would increase in arithmetical progression
… and planted an orchard. Fortune smiled on him, and he added acre after acre to his little property until 68 acres were acquired … .Last February twelve months, Mr Henry Heard died and two out of the three sons he left behind him gained possession of the orchard … . It was in the house put up on the original four acres that Mr Fred Heard was born. He received his elementary education at the North Ryde school … Years ago, he, together with one of his brothers, undertook the management of the farm property, allowing his deceased father to rest on his oars. Eighteen months ago, some difference arising between the brothers, an agreement was come to, under which Mr Fred took over 24 acres, bounded on the north and north-east by Mr J Cox’s property, on the south and south-east by Wick’s-road, on the south-west by Twin-road. In addition to this orchard he also obtained 12 acres of bush land, which will, no doubt, some day be utilised for orcharding purposes.
… the packing shed is next inspected, and we find it a compact, well built, and well ventilated room, raised some two feet from the ground, and having a loft which holds the cases … . Still further, and going back to the entrance to the grounds in Twin-street, the chef d’oeuvre, so far as building on the place is concerned, stands – a shed 40 ft x 37 ft., … divided into a two stalled stable, hay shed, cow shed, chaff-cutting rooms, harness room and a buggy shed. The 12 acres of bush land are situated some half mile from the orchard and are thought to be an exceptionally good sample of the rich and fruitful land that environ Ryde.
After reading this ask yourself which you would prefer, North Ryde c.1902 or c.2002! It is interesting to note a number of things brought up in the article. It mentions that the “city” can be seen clearly from the farm, which today is still possible. It may also explain why North Ryde school and environs was originally called “City View” – not as easily understandable today. Another “local myth” is that Twin Road was named after the twins Laura and Mabel born to Henry Heard and his wife in 1873. However, some maps which have recently come to light show that Twin Road was actually two roads off Lane Cove Road and linked by a loop at the end – so perhaps it is more likely that the name is descriptive rather than named after the Heard twins.
Biographical Notes –
The original family member to arrive in the colony was Henry Heard. The Dunbar was wrecked on 20 August 1857 and, according to the article, Henry arrived in NSW a fortnight before. With his wife Mary Jane, he had nine children, four sons and five daughters born between 1859 and 1876. Apart from the first child, William, who was born and died in 1859 and registered in St Leonards, all the other children were registered in Ryde. Therefore, the growing Heard family must have come to the district just before 1860. Despite the fact that the newspaper article refers to Fred as Frederick, the birth register and other records give his name simply as Fred. He was the fourth son and fifth child of Henry and Mary Jane Heard and was born in 1867. In 1896 he married Ellen M Goodsir at Ryde. Ellen M Goodsir was born in Newcastle in 1874 to Alexander and Ellen Goodsir. The couple had four children, Nellie G born 1897; Roy F born 1898; Lillas M born 1901 and Mary M born 1905. Fred B died at the relatively young age of 40 in 1907 and was buried in the Anglican Section of the Field of Mars cemetery on 29 April, 1907. Ellen remarried in 1910, to Alfred Thomas Pearse, and had another daughter Helen in 1912. She died around 1952.