Tornado Hits Marrickville

I decided to see if I could find any more about the “World’s Largest Xmas Cake” in my previous post, with little success.

I did however find out a tornado hit the area outside the Enmore Theatre the day before the cake was due to be served!

Our own mini version of Cyclone Tracey hit the suburbs around Marrickville on Friday 23 December, 1938 at 2.30pm.

The majority of the £200,000 damage reported at the time was in a one mile square area bounded by Wemyss Street, Addison Road, Stanmore Road and Victoria Road. At least 140 homes and factories were either unroofed or smashed down by the wind which was estimated to have exceeded 100 miles an hour. The papers reported the area looked as “if the area had been bombed. Sheets of iron were wrapped around telegraph poles like sheets of paper”.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), Wednesday 28 December 1938, page 7

Many people were trapped or knocked down by flying missiles. 18 persons were injured, one young boy, Noel Russell, 9 of Marrickville was struck in the head and critically suffered a depressed skull. Over 100 families had to leave their homes as they were deemed unsafe.

Local residents described the tornado descending on the area “with a roar … like a thunderbolt”.

In Enmore Road, Newtown, the premises of Labour Funerals, Mrs Howard’s library and Mr Merrick’s hairdressing saloon were battered to pieces. Two motor hearses worth about £1000 were buried under bricks, iron, and timber.

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld) 24 December 1938, p 7

1 thought on “Tornado Hits Marrickville”

  1. What a tragic incident! Let us hope it will never ever happen again. Although we can't stop tornadoes and other forces of nature from coming and savaging our homes and other architectural structure, we can prevent it from taking lives by being preventive. In my opinion, having a safe room in your home in case of panic is a must. This way, we have a safe place to run in case of unfortunate incidents.

    Edwina Sybert


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