Kathryn Ellem is one of the last houses to be left in Greaves Street after the bridge construction.
Kathryn Ellem is one of the last houses to be left in Greaves Street after the bridge construction. Adam Hourigan

Heritage to be lost with new bridge

TAKE a look at the streets around the Grafton bridge, and the houses that line the river, because with the construction of the new bridge moving ahead, it won't be the same for much longer.

While many people will be greatly looking forward to the new bridge and the reduced traffic congestion it will bring, residents who live, or used to live, in the area where the new bridge will be built are lamenting the change it will bring, and the change it has already brought.

"I'm going to be sad to see the houses gone, but the people too," 69-year-old Kathy Ellem said, who has been living on Greaves St for 43 years.

"The whole neighbourhood has been taken away, and so many people have been here for years."

Mrs Ellem said with all the changes to the streets and the houses, the heritage of the area will be lost as the new bridge is built.

"No-one is going to know it was any different unless there's some recording of it," she said.

"When it's all over, people will ask what as here before they started. People who used to live here and moved away for work, when they come back they'll have no recollection of what it was like before."

Mrs Ellem used an example of a plaque on jacaranda trees along the street, which were planted for Queen Elizabeth's jubilee.

"There was a purpose for them, they didn't just start growing there willy-nilly," she said.

To try and document as much of the area before the change, Pam Fysh has been trying to document the streets and houses that will be lost during the bridge construction.

"I was sorry when Grafton Shoppingworld was being built that no-one documented the houses that were there, and no-one was doing it for the new bridge," she said.

"So I took it upon myself to do it. I'm very interested in history and keeping a record of our history.

"No-one seems to be interested in the light of the people who have had to leave their homes, and nothing has been written about the demise of Pound St."

Mrs Fysh said what started as a photography project quickly escalated into something else.

"I've been talking to people and there's amazing stories of people who have lived there," she said.

"A lot of people are devastated that they're being moved out of their homes. Some of the people have been very stressed out over all of this, and there's been a lot of distressed people."



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