I really enjoyed listening to and remembering the historical aspects of the speakers memories. It also reminds me of how doomed we are to repeat history – some of these stories, we are still struggling with the same issues today – housing, corruption, indigenous issues, the right to be different sexuality/gender.

Heritage industries – the industries that have disappeared from the city – I still remember the smell of hops from the brewery in Zetland. These smells and others, now gone, like the smells of central station when it was busy with country trains pulling in and out, and the smell of hot pies baked on the platform. The smell of railway tunnels; the air being pushed from outside and mixing with an amalgam of train and people smells. In particular the train going between Waverton and Wollstonecraft and the smell of steel wheels on metal, and the fumes from the grease that lubricated the wheels in the heat and the pressure of the machinery.

These are smells that now only live in the memories of those who hold them; and are no longer present in the Sydney of today, and so are not accessible to new residents.


Hot pies, hops, warm train wheel grease, the smell of metal grinding on metal, an amalgam of dank heavy tunnel air and industrial metallic, fetid air, and human sweat.