Refinery Square

Date Built: 1906

Centre of CSR operations. Administration office built 1906.

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Refinery Square

1910 - 1950

Sheds in Refinery Square Lewis Morley, Self-portrait in front of clocking-in office, from CSR Pyrmont Refinery Centenary 1978 Photography Project. Looking north-east over the refinery, circa 1904 Horse teams in Refinery Square, circa 1930s Delivery truck, circa 1960 Flatbed of McCaffery Services Pty Ltd, laden with bagged sugar, departs refinery, circa 1960

Refinery Square took shape between Bowman Street and the Tablet House (completed in 1909). CSR’s Administration Office was built there in 1906, on Bowman Street next to the gated entrance to the refinery complex.
Horse-drawn drays (and later, trucks) entered the gate here, and weighed their cargo at the weigh-station, under the eye of gatekeepers in the little guard house.
The Administration building was much bigger then than now, and accommodated offices and the carpenters’ workshop (handily close to the Cooperage). Here too, the paymaster dealt with the world through a slate-silled window at the northern end ­ several hundred workers lined up here to receive their pay. A large fig tree shaded the small open area north of the building.
At the top of the refinery itself perched a weathercock. It was made by coppersmiths (C. Marsden and G. Orpwood) to celebrate the 1900 relief of Mafeking during the Boer War. It served until the refinery was demolished, when resourceful engineers rescued it and put it to work in their bowling club.