Sydney Metro: Waterloo Station update, April 2018
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Sydney Metro: Waterloo Station update, April 2018

October 10, 2019


We know that there are
buildings onsite by the end of the 1850s
and the early 1860s. The area is described
from the 1860s as being working class and in the 1930s
it’s described as a slum. JENNIE LINDBERGH: Their archaeology
and their history, so this is interesting
and exciting for them and it gives them an understanding
of their past. When we excavate a room,
we divide it into 1-metre squares and we excavate each square. In this way we can actually get
a picture of areas of activity where children played, where the mother might have sewed
by the back door or window, where the father might have sat
by the fire, smoking, those sorts of things, and so we get an understanding
of spatial use of the house. Most of the artefacts that we find
are under the floors and most of the houses are built before the introduction
of tongue-and-groove floorboards so the floorboards
just butt together. So the gaps in the floorboards,
things fall through. The biggest surprise was
an area that’s paved in inverted ginger beer
and stout bottles. At least one of the ginger beer
bottles has a maker’s mark which is Lambeth, London, which has to be at least before
1891. The house foundations
are sandstone block foundations with a brick superstructure. Most were dwellings
and a lot of them were shops with a residence
above and behind. That’s a traditional way
of running a business. They’re very small. The rooms are roughly
4 metres by 4 metres. The chances are really good that there are a lot of people
living in a house. There could have been more than
one family per house. People came to live here
because it was close to work. This is the area that became
very industrialised. WOMAN: Living in the area, you probably don’t know as much
about it. It used to be panelbeaters
and mechanics and things like that. MAN: I was born in the street.
I was born in ’54. My family’s been there
since about ’42, ’43, in the street. I didn’t know these were here and that’s what’s very interesting
to me. WOMAN: I was really impressed
by all the glassware, the medicine bottles,
the little blue ones. I just think it’s crazy
how things that are glass and so incredibly old
are still completely intact. JENNIE LINDBERGH: Everything will be
processed, everything will be cleaned
and analysed and then, after the project
is finished, exciting things
will be put on display.

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