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Post Office, grocery, tea room, bike hire
11 Church Street
The building on the corner of Anzac Parade & Church St is probably one of Bundanoon’s earliest remaining buildings that housed shops. The exact date of the construction is not known but by mid 1905, the ‘official’ Post Office, which had been located on the corner of Erith Street and Ellsmore Road, had moved to this shop. By 1907, the building had writing over the doorway, clearly saying that this was the Post and Telegraph Office, and also agency of the Government Savings Bank.
The land on which the building stands once belonged to Sarah Elizabeth Nicholas, Public Schoolteacher. The land was transferred to Sarah in 1906 by her husband, William Augustus Nicholas, Photographer. (The Nicholas’s lived nearby and “Gus” Nicholas owned the Pill Factory.) At the time of transfer to Sarah, the site had a frontage of 115 feet to Church Street, and 108 feet 10 inches to Kareela Road as it was then known (now Anzac Parade).
In 1923, Sarah Nicholas sold the building to Edward Tooth, saw miller, of Bundanoon. Edward (Ted) and his wife Sophie (nee Gambell) ran the shop as a tearoom called ‘Monmouth Tearooms’. They advertised it as being ‘the old post office’. The Tooths also stocked fruit and vegetables, which Ted delivered by horse and cart, sweets and cigarettes. A small lending library was housed on shelves in the tearoom.
1940 – 1950s developments
Around 1940, a fibro addition was added to the rear of the stone building, which became the first hairdressing salon of Jack Hoye, who came to Bundanoon in 1944. He occupied these premises until1950.
Some extensions were added to the Church Street frontage to create a shop front in what had formerly been the front garden of the residence. It is not known when these were added, but Emily Tooth (later Rundle) is known to have run a photographic and developing business there from around 1940.
Sophie Tooth died in 1945 and Edward Tooth had died by 1946. Their daughters Lillian and Emily Tooth inherited the property from their parents, but only after the Commonwealth of Australia had acquired part of the property by compulsory acquisition in 1947. This was the irregularly shaped block on which the present Post Office now stands.
Around the early 1950s, Irene Marr (Later Angel) ran the corner shop as a tuckshop and cake shop before Emily and her husband Richard Rundle took over the running of the business. They ran a smallgoods and tearoom business and Emily continued to handle photograph processing. The shop also served as a school tuckshop.
Bicycles and bike hire
The premises were sold to 18-year old Lindsay Keith Daley in 1974, who ran a mixed business from there for a year. In 1975, Daley sold to Ronald John Foster, Sergeant of Police, and Audrey Foster. It was Audrey Foster who moved the stock of bicycles around from the old McNally’s bike shop in Railway Parade and established the bike hire business
Jack Hepher and his wife, Lily, bought the bike shop from the Fosters in 1976 and it was called Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe. A penny farthing bike was on top of the shop at that time but was removed many years later.
Cycling was a popular family holiday and the Hephers catered for the tourist trade and locals alike. They sold new bikes, repaired old ones and had 200 bikes for hire. By trading-in old bikes for new, Jack would construct one good bike from two old ones enabling them to accumulate such a large stock of bikes for hire. There were all kinds of bikes available, including tandems and bikes with seats for young children.
Jack was both a collector and restorer of old bikes and had run a bike shop in Campbelltown before he came to Bundanoon. He owned several penny farthing bikes, which he always rode in the annual Brigadoon parade.
The Hephers ran the Bicycle Shop until Jack’s retirement in1984. By 1995 the business was operating as a bike hire and a coffee shop until at least 2020.
In 2002, local artist Don Talintyre, painted a mural on the side of the building. It was sponsored by Chris Cole, cafe operator, and gives a glimpse of the history of Bundanoon. The painting includes Jack Hepher riding his penny farthing bike at Brigadoon, a steam engine and some of Bundanoon’s earliest buildings. It also shows the historical development of the bicycle from a penny farthing to the latest racing bikes.