Mudcat Café message #2406286 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113225   Message #2406286
Posted By: Bruce from Bathurst
06-Aug-08 - 02:15 AM
Thread Name: Oz Rent Strike Song from 30's
Subject: RE: Oz Rent Strike Song from 30's
Alistair Hulett definitely lived in Union Street for a while, and I think it could have been around the time he composed 'The Siege of Union Street'.

He's talked about *his* Union Street as being in Newtown, because it was so close to the Newtown shops and services (including the Sandringham Hotel!) However, I wouldn't argue with Bob's Dad's 4th edition Gregory's, so I agree it's probably really in Erskineville. Hulett places his song in Erskineville ('Erko'), so there you go.

Eviction riots and sieges were not uncommon in the early 1930s in that part of Sydney, as well as further north around Newcastle. Hulett's liner notes refer to a similar situation in Victoria. The NSW Premier at the time, Jack Lang, pushed through a few pieces of legislation to try to protect low (or no) income tenants during the Depression, but after Lang was dismissed in 1932 things pretty much went back to where they were.

Some strong songs have come out of those hard times.