History of Croydon Park
The suburb of Croydon Park takes its name from the land subdivision of the same name. This subdivision was named after the railway station of Croydon which was initially opened in 1875 as Five Dock but was soon renamed Croydon. The subdivision was sold in two sections. The first sold in 1878 was the northern end of Croydon Avenue. The second, larger section in 1880, and took in all land west from Croydon Avenue to Melrose Street and from Georges River Road south to Cook's River.
Two avenues one hundred feet wide were planted with shade trees and a piece of floodprone land on the river was offered to Canterbury Council as a reserve to be known as Croydon Park. Council was not prepared to accept total responsibility for the upkeep of the park, and it took five years before Croydon Park officially became the first reserve in Canterbury.
Croydon Park subdivisions sold well and were initially settled by people in the building trade, including builders, slaters, joiners and brickmakers, as well as Chinese gardeners who had market gardens on the fertile Cook's River floodplain. In 1886 Croydon Park Public School was opened to cater for the substantial number of school-aged children in the area. Three years later a police constable was stationed at Croydon Park. Road access was poor in the 1880's with the closest railway stations some distance away at Enfield or Croydon. Local residents lobbied unsuccessfully for a tram service from Ashfield to Druitt Town (now South Strathfield) via Croydon Park.
On the weekend of May 25-27, 1889, seventeen inches of rain fell in Sydney. All low-lying land was flooded, especially the river flats at Croydon Park where the Chinese market gardens were devastated.
The mains water supply was connected from 1889, and sewerage between 1910 and 1920. The Post Office was opened in 1915.
Increasing development saw increasing enrolments at the Public School, and two new classrooms were added in 1912, and a future ten in 1915. By 1918 there were nearly 1,000 students enrolled, and further classrooms were added during the 1920's and early 1930's when the enrolment reached more than 1,400. Secondary classes began at Croydon Park in 1933, and the school was designated as a Commercial Super-Primary School.
The Commerce course was replaced by a Junior Technical course for secondary boys in 1944. The school was known as Croydon Park Junior Technical School until the end of 1964 when it became Croydon Park Junior High School. But secondary numbers declined from 400 in the late 1950's to less than 200 in 1965, and in 1969 the school reverted to its former name of Croydon Park Public School.
Prepared by Canterbury City Library
© Lesley Muir, Brian Madden and Canterbury City Council.
MADDEN, Brian J. and MUIR, Lesley. Campsie's past: a history of Campsie and Croydon Park. Campsie, NSW: Canterbury Municipal Council, 1988.