Current exhibition


History of the North Shore Railway


Chatswood Station 1910

The Willoughby Historical Society’s new Exhibition, the History of the North Shore Railway will officially open at 1.00 pm on Sunday 8 September at the Willoughby Museum, 58 Johnson Street, Chatswood.


SMH 14 November 1924 p.10

The exhibition covers newspaper reports on the politics leading up to the construction of what was Sydney’s first true suburban railway in the 1880s and 1890s.

Willoughby Museum is open from 1pm to 4pm on Sundays (Feb-Nov)

General Meeting 10/8


WDHS General Meeting this Saturday afternoon starting 2pm in the Library at The Concourse.

Paul Storm (aka Mr. Willoughby) will present the story of the Blau family.

From pre WW1, interned during the war, he discusses their rich family history.
Running a general pharmaceutical supply business for a number of years from East Chatswood, they were the agents for 4711 perfume.

There will be a quantity of original historic material on display.

Excursion to Kiama

KiamaA train tour to Kiama on Wednesday 24 April to visit the tourist attractions of that interesting town.

In particular we propose to visit the Pilots Cottage Museum managed by the Kiama and District Historical Society and their Family History Centre.

The schedule for the tour will include lunch at a local restaurant. We plan to catch the 09:27 train from Central Station to Kiama, which will arrive in Kiama at 11:39am. We are seeking expressions of interest from people in participating in this  excursion, so we
would appreciate your response if you are able to join us for this event.

If this excursion is successful we plan to undertake a train journey to Katoomba in
the Spring of 2019.

Chatswood 1978 and 2018


In 1978 In architect Martin O’Donoghue took 130 photographs of buildings and activities around Chatswood as part of an architectural assignment.

In this affordable exhibition the Willoughby Museum juxtaposes Martin’s photos with those of Chatswood today, showcasing a fascinating insight into the changes that have occurred in Chatswood over the past 40 years.

End Date & Time: Sunday, 28 April 2019 4:00 pm

Address: Willoughby Museum, 58 Johnston Street, Chatswood


  • Family: $10
  • Individual: $6

Opening hours:

  • Sundays 1pm to 4pm

This event is part of the Willoughby City Council 2019 Heritage Festival program.

Contact: Event Organiser on 9410 3203 or email

Library revamp Local History

Recently the Chatswood Library made changes to the Local Studies Collection. The Library is working to make the collections more relevant and accessible to the community. To summarise:

  • The Library has reviewed the collection and removed the many items that had no relation to Willoughby or North Shore e.g. those relating to country NSW. Duplicate materials were also removed. This has helped give greater focus to the collection and made it more relevant to our community.
  • The collection was moved into a more accessible location to encourage browsing and use. Please note that the collection extends to both sides of the door to the meeting room.
  • The microfilm/microfiche readers have been relocated to the desk in the new Local Studies area.
  • The microfilm/microfiche are in the microfilm cabinets near the readers, including the Rates and Valuation microfilm
  • The Library is undertaking a substantial cataloguing project and most of the collection is now findable via the Library catalogue – i.e., online, 24/7.
  • Valuable and rare items (e.g. Council reports, artefacts, newsletters) are accessible via a request to Local Studies
  • The Library purchased two new map cabinets to improve storage of maps and plans.
  • Research files are now located in the Local Studies office. This allows:

o   Improved organisation and preservation. The files have been chronologically organised under subject headings (now in the catalogue) in appropriate interfileable folders

o   Improved security of the files.

o   Research files are now accessed through an online request to local studies staff. Files can now be read at the Information Desk under supervision.

  • In addition, the Library has increased content on the History@Willoughby page – including Indexes to Roads and Streets, Mayors & Councillors, World War 1 service men and women and Historical digital displays

Future developments include:

  • Making copies of maps available in the new local studies area for public access
  • Increased number of displays
  • Digitised Rates and Valuation books and oral histories (audio files to complement our printed transcripts) to be available via our library catalogue.

Feb. member’s meeting

Held at the Willoughby Room,
Willoughby City Library at The
Concourse, commencing at 2pm
on Saturday 9 February 2019: The
Willoughby District Historical
Society’s Annual General Meeting will be held in Room No. 4 at
the back of Willoughby Library
from 2pm.

Bob McKillop will
present Salt of the Earth, a 20
minute documentary on five
generations of the McKillop
family and their property at Narromine, produced by the Powerhouse Museum. The production
won a Silver Medal for Short
Documentaries at the New York
Film and Television Awards in