History of Ashford, NSW, remembering the village in flashback in time

Albury Street:  This photo dated 1957, shows the Commercial Hotel, built by Ronald Johnston before 1905 and extensively renovated for licensee Mr Gobbert in 1935.

Albury Street: This photo dated 1957, shows the Commercial Hotel, built by Ronald Johnston before 1905 and extensively renovated for licensee Mr Gobbert in 1935.

The village of Ashford was first known as Frazer’s Creek, after the nearby station taken up in 1840.

One of the earliest known buildings in the vicinity was the Squatters Home Inn.  

By 1851 a reserve for a village had been created and a second inn built to accommodate travellers heading north.

In 1860 the village was surveyed and officially named Ashford.

Four years later the first policeman was appointed and the following year a court house built.

A Union Church was built for use by all denominations and services were conducted by travelling Ministers.

Although progress was slow, the village grew, several businesses opened and a school started.

Race meetings and cricket matches were popular social events in the district.

Following the formation of Shire Councils in NSW during 1906, the town became the headquarters of the Ashford Shire Council.

With this came more employment, improved roads and better access for residents.

A brick built shire council office opened in 1912 followed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1913 and the telephone exchange in 1914.

About 1912 a Bush Nursing Service was established. During the 1930s the community raised funds to help build a cottage hospital which provided a home for the nurse and one emergency bed.

This photo of Albury Street, dated 1957, shows the Commercial Hotel, built by Ronald Johnston before 1905 and extensively renovated for Licensee Mr. Gobbert in 1935. 

The timber alterations, designed by Inverell architect F.J. O’Connor, included a new kitchen and dining room and a second floor with 18 bedrooms.

Next door was McRae’s General Store, operating by 1927, and further down the street was the Strand Café. 

Near the Café was the hall, remodelled in 1935 to include a picture theatre, fitted with padded seats, the latest machinery for ‘talkie’ movies, heating for winter and fans for summer.

The theatre was opened in November 1935 with the screening of the mystery film ‘Murder in a Private Car’ and ‘Fra Diavolo’, a Laurel and Hardy comedy feature.

The theatre opened in November 1935 with the screening of the mystery film ‘Murder in a Private Car’.

This building was also used for community meetings, fund raising events, concerts and Anzac Day services until the opening of the new memorial hall. 

The street view in the photograph is recognisable today.