No one famous ever lived here


48 Colville Street

This story was written in April 2022 by Dr Ian Broinowski, who currently owns Thornycroft with his partner Philippa Walch.

Every house is in possession of its own narrative and 48 Colville Street is no exception. The land was once home to the Mouheneenner people before the British arrived. It was subsequently granted to Governor Sorell* in the 1820s.

In 1887 newlyweds Ebenezer Thomas and Emily Goulding Honey built the house and lived there until they were octogenarians. Fragments of the past reveal a glimpse into their lives: on 4th May 1908 they lost two puppies, one black and the other grey; in 1912 the outside dunny was fitted with a pull chain cistern and the night cart was no more. They had no children but in 1920 Thomas hosted a bridal breakfast for his nephew Albert. In 1930 he chased and helped apprehend a burglar and in 1927 Emily won five shillings in a National crossword competition. Thomas was a pawn broker and landlord leaving a sizable estate worth £23,758.

Chas Briggs lived here in the late 1940s and was the secretary of the Battery Point Progress Association which remains as a vibrant organisation today. Arthur Aber and his daughter Bessie owned the house for many years from the late 1950s to the 1970s.

After Arthur died in the early 1970s the property was purchased by Collin and Elaine Banks. Sadly, Elaine died in a car accident and the house was sold to Steven and Kathryn Smith in 1980. In 1985 it was transferred to Kathryn Smith and her new partner Simon Barnsley.

It was purchased by Ian Broinowski and Philippa Walch in 1991.

Each family living in this house have, in their own way, all experienced the joys and messiness of life which aptly reflects the ancient Persian adage: “This too shall pass”.

*Note: Governor Sorell is the writer’s GGG grandfather