The Cumberland Argus
The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate was a local newspaper that is available at Hornsby Library and online.
When was the newspaper printed?
It was first published on 24 September 1887 and ceased publication on 24 October 1962, although it had a number of name changes during its life.
What area did it cover?
It was published in Parramatta and covered western and northwest Sydney, including parts of Hornsby Shire.
How much of the paper can be accessed at Hornsby Library?
We have microfilmed copies from 22 September 1888 through to 26 December 1935. After this date the paper’s coverage area was concentrated on the Greater Western Sydney region.
Can other copies of the newspaper be accessed elsewhere?
Yes, Hornsby Library Service has joined a consortium of other Sydney libraries to digitise copies of this important local history resource. It’s available on the National Library of Australia’s Trove website.
What stories did the paper cover from Hornsby Shire?
The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers’ Advocate was backed by the influential fruit growing industry, so its early editions had a number of stories relating to this industry. Examples include the drought in the Beecroft area in 1908, the exporting of high quality fruit from Hornsby Shire to New Zealand and the excellent fruit crop in 1911.
It also had regular features on church and sporting activities such as fundraising events, fetes, festivals and results of various sporting events. Community life such as a local bachelor’s ball, the forming of a new scout troop and the local camera club competition was also covered.
It also commented on the expansion of housing in the district before and after the First World War and the subsequent demise of fruit growing in the area. With the increase in housing we read about the expansion of schools such as Beecroft Public School in 1911.
During the First World War it reported extensively on the fate of the local boys who left the area to go and fight at Gallipoli, France and Belgium. The paper also covered the activities of Hornsby Shire Council, highlighting local issues such as the installation of gas lighting and issues that are still current today such as the state of footpaths and the removal of native trees.