Jane Dean and her brother David Pickering at the family at 20 The Boulevard, Cheltenham. Picture: AAP/Adam Yip
INFORMED by a colleague that Cheltenham was a good suburb for families, ophthalmologist Peter Pickering moved his own family there in the late 1960s.
According to his son, David, Dr Pickering convinced the owner of a property in The Boulevard to sell his tennis court for $18,000.
In 1968, a five-bedroom brick house was built on the 1113sq m block of land in a street that showcases some of the suburb’s more spectacular stately homes.
David Pickering was a toddler when his father and mother Joan settled there in 1969.
He and his three siblings grew up at number 20 The Boulevard in a house he described as “classic ranch style” that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s in Sydney.
Although the Pickerings led busy lives, Dr Pickering still managed to find the time to become involved in the P and C at Beecroft Public School and to play a major role in the local Boy Scouts while Mrs Pickering was a Brownie leader for 15 years.
Mr Pickering recalled a childhood without fences.
20 The Boulevard, Cheltenham.
“There were a lot of families in the street and the children ran rampant,” Mr Pickering said.
It turned out that Dr Pickering had received good advice about the quiet family-friendly suburb.
“Our street was an open friendly street and the children played in each other’s backyards,” Mr Pickering said.
Mr Pickering recalled that the local children were allowed to play in the enormous backyard of the Beecroft Rd corner property belonging to war hero and philanthropist TG Milner and his wife Mary (nee Pattinson – daughter of the founder of the Washington H. Soul Pattinson pharmacy empire).
Mrs Pickering kept a pristine house and it still shows today. A fresh lick of paint has further enhanced bright light interiors.
A fresh lick of paint and polished floorboards have enhanced the home’s quality finishes.
Growing up, Mr Pickering and his two brothers and younger sister attended the local schools.
After completing primary school at Beecroft Public School, the boys headed off to Epping Boys High School and Mr Pickering’s sister Jane attended Cheltenham Girls High School.
“You would catch the train everywhere,” Mr Pickering said.
Although two of his brothers have moved out of the area, Mr Pickering and his sister Jane Dean still live locally.
“I’m just amazed at how many people I know who grew up in this suburb and still live here or who came back to bring their children up here,” Mr Pickering said.
“It is a lovely place to grow up.”
20 The Boulevard, Cheltenham, was built in the classic ranch style popular in the 1960s and ’70s.
The property is a five-minute walk to Cheltenham railway station; Cheltenham Girls High School is a six-minute stroll and it is a three-minute drive to Beecroft village.
It goes to auction on Saturday, December 1, with a price guide of $2.75 million, through Kevin Dearlove and James Ramsay at Stone Real Estate Beecroft.