If you had to come up with an A-to Z of Botany’s history what would you choose for the letter ‘A’? Does the Airport come straight into your head or do you think of Ascot Racecourse? The track no longer exists but it was once a popular spot with its own dedicated tram line.

Joseph Joel Hammond flying his Bristol Boxkite at Ascot Racecourse, Mascot, April 1911. By Sam Hood. Courtesy of the State Library of NSW.


Yearly ticket for Ascot Racing Club, 1908. This belonged to James Coward, the first Mayor of North Botany, which later became known  as Mascot. City of Botany Bay 

Our upcoming exhibition will tell 26 stories from our city’s past. We haven’t yet decided what those stories will be, but we aim to excite your curiosity. Some will be well-known stories presented in a new light. Others will be long forgotten aspects of our past that newer residents might never have heard about.

If you have any suggestions, please email your ideas to museum@botanybay.nsw.gov.au. If you have photographs or objects to illustrate your recommendation, even better!

When it comes to the letter ‘A’ some history buffs might already be thinking of Adastra. Back in the late 1930s they were responsible for producing Australia’s first aerial photographs – some nearly 70 years before Google maps launched.

To learn more about this remarkable company check out this website dedicated to its history. You can also see its 1943 aerial imagery via Six Maps. To view them exclusively click the base maps options on the top right-hand side of their web page. If you manage to get your bearings, try looking out for the old Ascot Racecourse.

This map from Gregory’s 1934 Street Directory shows the location of Ascot Racecourse. Today its land is part of Sydney Airport.



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