Thursday Doors – Carriageworks, Sydney.

Welcome Back to Another Thursday Doors after quite a lengthy breather, while I grapple with the heavy research load which has seriously exceeded expectations on the book project.



So, may I offer my humble apologies. Our visit to Carriageworks, Sydney is a bit overdue. I was there a few weeks ago for the Sydney Writers’ Festival and I took advantage of the trip to photograph a few doors and that’s what I was doing when a strange robotic voice started  chiming: “Evacuate” in a tone which sounded all too much like the Dalek’s “Exterminate”. That must’ve been a false alarm, but they evacuated the entire building, disrupting our sacred sessions and emptying about a thousand dazed and confused people onto the footpath. Apparently, there was one woman who refused to leave her session: “I’ve paid for this.” A lot of good that’s going to be when you’re dead…not that I’m catastrophising. When I’m told to get out, I get out. You can ask questions later.

Old Carriageworks

A Historic look at the Everleigh Carriage Workshops

Carriageworks started out as the Everleigh Carriage Workshops which were built  between 1880 and 1889. This was where train carriages for Sydney’s rail network were built and maintained, including the Royal Carriages constructed specifically for the Governor General of Australia and visiting Royalty, the first electric carriage, and the first air-conditioned train in Australia. From 1973 productivity at the site declined due to its inefficient older buildings, restrictive union practices and increased privatization of carriage construction and the site was closed in 1988.  In June 2002, the NSW Ministry for the Arts completed the purchase of the Carriage and Blacksmith Workshops at the Eveleigh Rail Yards site. Soon after, a construction project on the site commenced under the name of Carriageworks. Adaptive reuse of the workshop site began in 2003 with the housing of numerous contemporary arts practitioners, and Carriageworks was officially opened in 2007.

Everywhere you look you experience the building’s railway past. The buildings are massive and clearly big enough to park a few trains and there’s still track in situ just in case you had any doubts about the building’s past life. My husband’s a train nerd and our son was also smitten when he was young. So, we’ve been to quite a few railway sites over the years and caught a few steam trains as well. However, probably what struck me most was the sense of all those people who worked there over the years and an entire way of life which has moved on. I lived in the area in 1988 while I was at Sydney University and I do have a vague memory of hundreds, maybe a thousand workers spilling onto the streets. Or, perhaps I’m just making it up. Sometimes, when you wind back the clock, your recollections wouldn’t stand up in a court of law. That’s where you’re better off becoming a creative writer or yarn spinner than a historian or eye witness.

Door 3

This door had my immediate attention. What don’t they want us to see??




This is what we writers aspire to…entry into the writers’ lounge. I actually made it inside once when my aunt presented a paper. 

My apologies because although the site itself was quite interesting, the doors weren’t weren’t the sort to set your heart racing and fill your head with rapturous poetry. However, the doors do form part of the overall structure which is intriguing and particularly appealing to anyone interested in industrial architecture.


You have to be pretty short to peer through this keyhole. 

This is another contribution to Thursday Doors hosted by Norm 2.0. While you might not have thought much about doors before, you’d be amazed at how they can launch a story and I really enjoy connecting with people from around the world and sharing where we live and where we’ve been.

Best wishes,


12 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Carriageworks, Sydney.

  1. New Journey

    ‘s and then the end down-under I am the one who has been absent!! I can not believe how fast a week can go by. I just went through your post and was amazed at the beautiful pictures. I love the candle like cone, beautiful. I once had a beige valiant. I loved her, but she was a money pit. LOL And let me tell you I would be lost without google maps. When we were in the RV I always used a paper map and wrote out our plan, and my husband always used the GPS navigator however they sometimes take you the long way. LOL Looks like you have been busy as always. What a lovely mums day, I spent mine wishing I lived closer to my kids. Well since I have written, I have been getting back into tiles. I love the talavera tiles they have here and can find lots of places to use them. My son was just here for 3 days and we got a lot done, changed 3 lights out for brighter fixtures and he repaired a light outside that was taken down when the roof was done. And then just last Friday I lost my mind and went and picked up a puppy. A queens land heel mix with border collie. What on earth was I thinking. She will me 4 months on the 5th of June. Jenny is her name and is she ever headstrong!! SO I am back to no sleep and on high alert to squatting. LOL she is lots of fun and I am counting the days till she house broke! Life is good here in Arizona. Its just starting to get warm, will be in the 90’s and the 100’s by next week for the next 3 months. Glad to hear you made it to your writes convention. And really happy to hear your feeling good and have lot’s of energy. Sending warm hugs to you and letting you know I am thinking of you. XX kat Picture of Jenny over on the blog.

  2. Junieper2

    Rowena – I missed you, and of course I didn’t have your url, but wrote it down now! Carriage works looks like a worthy place to visit – especially for doors!
    I can see you as a writer, thinking of the posts you did before, and also can imagine you did lots of research! Probably because I had to do so much research for my doctorate, I try to avoid it as much as possible, haha.
    Meanwhile, a lot happened at my house too. Major changes, hubby had a surgery, now a month ago, and finally can get on with life, lifting things and continue the remodel the bathroom which is now an empty box! Because he started feeling unwell in March I began to kiit socks, a sweater, etc. so I could be in the same room with him most of the time. Also, I went back with writing (a novel) and am still at the first arch:):)
    Hope everyone at your house is doing well!

  3. Prior...

    That last door really does have so much to explore! And best wishes on sorting through your research and doing your writing 😊☀️

  4. sustainabilitea

    I’m laughing to myself as I hear the voice in my head saying, “Evacuate.” I’d also get out and worry about whether I’d paid for the session later! Fat lot of good it would do to have paid if you were dead. 🙂


  5. Norm 2.0

    Glad you were able to join us this week Rowena, it sounds like things are rather hectic lately 🙂
    Sometimes life pulls us in so many different directions it’s impossible to do everything. In cases like that social media & blogging time is the first place I cut to make time for more important things.
    As for this post I’m rather partial to that lovely door within a door in that last shot.

  6. Rowena Post author

    Thank, Norm. I try to have some kind of routine but it’s not always achievable and flexibility is also a virtue.
    That door within a door also appealed to me. With its railway history, it would be interesting to know more about what it was used for.
    Best wishes,

  7. Rowena Post author

    It was interesting what was going through my mind at the time, because it was a public place with a crowd and it could have been a terrorist threat. I did ask why we were being evacuated because threat would determine my response. Do I hide under something or run like the wind and get out? There were no gun shots, explosions, screams, smoke or any indications of serious harm, which could explain why the crowd was lethargic. It was quite an interesting experience.
    Best wishes,

  8. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. I absolutely love my research and it’s so intriguing but I also have to keep bringing it back to the writing.
    Best wishes,

  9. Rowena Post author

    So many questions to ask you after your comment. How is hubby going? Sorry to hear about his surgery and hope he’s recovering well. It’s clearly been very comforting for both of you to be able to knit and be together. I don’t knit myself but imagine it could be quite cqalming and therapeutic.
    What did you do your doctorate in? I did honour in history and had to write a thesis for that which was very intense at the time but nothing like a doctorate.
    I wrote a series of motivational quotes for getting through writing a novel, which might encourage you:
    Hope you have a great weekend. We’ve had a cold snap here and everyone I speak to is in denial. It’s the first day of Winter tomorrow but we’re still thinking it’s early Autumn.
    Best wishes,

  10. Dan Antion

    Great doors, and I appreciate the history and your way of presenting it. The tiny little door cut into the large door is neat, but I’m always a little sad when I see people do that.

  11. Junieper2

    Yes, therapy was my business, and the reason why I wanted to study in the USA, so I have a Psy.D, but am retired now. Hubs is doing very well, he has picked his work before his health problems to give ourselves a new bathroom – as an investment, so it looks like a master bathroom.
    Another time I’ll ask you more about your writing:) Keep warm!

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