Real Estate

one of clontarfaes true original comes with a rich family history

Written by The ReReport

Rich history — 49-51 Cutler Rd, Clontarf.

There are not many people who can say they had dinner with a former royal and world-famous photographer, along with business leaders and prime ministers.
But when you are the children of parents who go by the honorifics Sir and Lady, it all starts to make sense.
Add to that the fact that the family has owned and lived in the same house since 1954 — one of the first stately Art Deco, P&O-style residences that formed the foundations for what was to become one of the northern beaches most exclusive, prestigious and expensive suburbs.


When Sir Walter and Lady Yvonne Leonard built their Clontarf home in 1954, there was little more than a dirt road and a smattering of modest cottages in the suburb.

Lady Yvonne Leonard and Sir Walter McEllister "Mac" LeonardSir Walter McEllister “Mac” Leonard and Lady Yvonne Leonard.

Their beautiful home.

They chose a level, 1385sqm double block at 49-51 Cutler Rd, on which to build their grand, six-bedroom P&O-style Art Deco home, in which they would raise their four children.

Formal dining.

Casual living.

The home was one of the first of its calibre in the area, son Garry Leonard said.
“Mum would tell us about how they used to have a dirt road to get there, and it was mostly fishing shacks,” he said.
“They chose their site very well — I think it’s one of the very few double blocks that are flat on Cutler Rd.”

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The pool and the view.

Outdoor living.

The ensuing decades brought massive changes to both Clontarf and the Leonard family. Sir Walter, who was knighted in 1977 for services to industry and the community, carved out a long and successful career with oil company Ampol Petroleum, including many years at its helm.
This brought impressive guest lists at the many dinners and parties he and his wife hosted at their Clontarf home. Business leaders, prime ministers and even Lord Snowdon were among them.
The late Lord Snowdon — otherwise known as Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon — was formerly married to the late Princess Margaret, and carved out a stellar career as a photographer.

Lord Snowdon, former husband of Princess Margaret. Pic Undated                      
P/RAn undated picture of Lord Snowdon, who died in 2017.

And during his photographic days. This picture was taken in Italy, in 1971.

His photographs of the Royal Family are well-known, in particular some of his photographs of Princess Diana, which have become iconic.

News/personality royals 4/8/1981 . NOT FOR SALE. Prince Charles and Lady Di Spencer official photographs.
Neg no CT-R-22822.
Picture by Lord Snowdon.
The Courier-Mailo Photo Archive.
Scanned August 2011Lord Snowdon took the official photos of Prince Charles and then Lady Diana Spencer when they announced their engagement.

Diana, Princess of Wales, holding her youngest son Prince Harry, 05/10/1984. Pic Lord Snowdon.And this stunner of Princess Diana holding her youngest son Prince Harry, in 1984.

But former royals and glittering dinner parties aside, Mr Leonard remembers an idyllic childhood, with hours spent in the pool, fishing, swimming and exploring the harbour foreshores and Castle Rock Beach.
Following the passing of both his parents, he said it was now time say farewell to their beloved home.

But not before the family had completed a big renovation to give it a fresh look inside and out.
“We’d like another family to enjoy it like we did,” he said.
The property is due to go to auction on December 1, with a price guide of $7,500,000, through Mark Griffiths, of Ray White Seaforth.

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