Without wanting to ‘do a Bowral’ where so many places claim a connection with Don Bradman, the little blue house between Christchurch and the Brighton, slated for demolition, does have a connection with our celebrated son Orry-Kelly.
While the house isn’t on the heritage list, it is the site of a house where Orry-Kelly grew up. His family lived there after the 1899 Terralong St fire destroyed his father’s shop (about where Laconia is now). His father operated his tailor business on the ground floor of a two storey building. According to Sue Eggins of the Kiama & District Historical Society, Orrey’s autobiography describes his childhood and youth there in great detail. He lived there until he left in his late teens for the bright lights of Sydney and then Hollywood.
With the film Women He’s Undressed now on general release, it is still not clear when a screening will happen locally. Talks with the distributor continue.
A DA has been lodged to demolish the little house to build a larger dwelling, to take advantage of the views.