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A look around Canberra – Charnwood

By Alexandra Craig 8 May 2015 31

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Charny. Charnwood. Everyone’s heard of it, some people refuse to go there. Others say it’s their favourite part of Canberra.

Located in the Belconnen region, Charnwood was established in 1971 and boasts a population of 3068. Unlike many other suburbs in Canberra, Charnwood is not named after a Prime Minister but rather a forest in England; the Forest of Charnwood – how grand! It sounds like something out of an Enid Blyton novel.

Charnwood can sometimes have a negative reputation as crime levels used to be quite high, with the most recent big scale crime in 2008 when a woman stabbed her former friend to death outside a chicken takeaway shop.

While we’re on the subject of chicken in Charnwood, I’ve heard from numerous people that Regal Chicken has the best BBQ chicken in all of Canberra! Many also spoke highly of the store Charnie’s Noodles and Dumplings.

While some believe Charnwood to be the ‘dodgy’ end of town and they’d never allow their kids to play outside there, many Charny residents (past and present!) are so incredibly proud of the area they grew up in. One person I spoke to reminisced on the parties that used to be held up Mt Rogers, learning to drive their beat up Datsuns and Geminis on Old Charnwood Road (which is now Dunlop). He did mention there was the odd epic punch up behind the shops, often between the ‘boonahs’ – which he described as dudes in ugh boots and Metallica t-shirts – and the skaters.

Each year a fun event called the Charny Carny is held. And yep, you guessed it, it’s a carnival of sorts. Unfortunately I’ve never had the opportunity to attend but it looks like an awesome community day out. The most recent Carny even had dodgem cars!

Charny has its moments, good and bad, however I think it’s redeemed itself from the bad. The pros definitely outweigh the cons and I’m already planning a trip to Regal Chicken…

Did you grow up in Charnwood? Or maybe you were a participant in the boonahs versus skaters punch ups?


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31 Responses to
A look around Canberra – Charnwood
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Felix the Cat 2:07 pm 15 May 15

ozmaniac said :

Charming shopping centre. Wasn’t someone stabbed to death there recently?

http://the-riotact.com/tag/charnwood-murder

Evilomlap 10:25 am 15 May 15

Sad to say that though I wasn’t raised in Charny, I was present at a few of the ‘skaters’ vs ‘boonahs’ punch ups. A few clarifications: it wasn’t skaters, it was ‘bombers’ and it wasn’t boonahs, it was ‘booners’. And they didn’t wear ugh boots, the footwear of choice was steel-capped black boots or Doc Martens. Weapons of choice were usually just fists, but on one rare occasion I attended there were lengths of wood and chains involved, a knife brandished but thankfully not used. After that one the cops had had enough and I don’t recall another one happening. But yes, they were epic.

Masquara 7:41 pm 14 May 15

Oh – I thought the name must have been derived from “charnel house” somehow …

wottaway 7:41 pm 14 May 15

Radburn was first used in Curtin in the early 60’s and at the time they seemed like they were worth a try.When they were used extensively in Housing Commission areas of Campbelltown,NSW,they were a disaster and many have been bulldozed.

ozmaniac 4:32 pm 14 May 15

Charming shopping centre. Wasn’t someone stabbed to death there recently?

Alexandra Craig 11:22 am 11 May 15

blandone said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Settle down, why are you so defensive? I didn’t misrepresent anything.

Yes you did, and you’re contradicting your own research. The suburb is named after Charnwood – the homestead, the homestead is named after Charnwood – the forest.

Alexandra Craig said :

creative_canberran said :

It’s not named after a forest in Britain.

According to the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate it is.

http://www.planning.act.gov.au/tools_resources/place_search

“Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District; Henry Hall obtained a grant of 3492 acres of land which he named `Charnwood’, 1833; named after the Forest of Charnwood in England.”

Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District – Seems pretty clear to me.

What I mean was that I didn’t intentionally misrepresent anything. The original commenter is acting as if the Forest of Charnwood has nothing to do with anything when it does. I know the suburb was named after a homestead which was named after a forest (and yes, I made a mistake when I submitted the article), but my point still stands – if the forest was irrelevant to the story it wouldn’t be included on the Directorate’s website.

blandone 9:29 am 11 May 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Settle down, why are you so defensive? I didn’t misrepresent anything.

Yes you did, and you’re contradicting your own research. The suburb is named after Charnwood – the homestead, the homestead is named after Charnwood – the forest.

Alexandra Craig said :

creative_canberran said :

It’s not named after a forest in Britain.

According to the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate it is.

http://www.planning.act.gov.au/tools_resources/place_search

“Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District; Henry Hall obtained a grant of 3492 acres of land which he named `Charnwood’, 1833; named after the Forest of Charnwood in England.”

Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District – Seems pretty clear to me.

Bennop 9:05 am 11 May 15

Alexandra Craig said :

creative_canberran said :

Alexandra Craig said :

creative_canberran said :

It’s not named after a forest in Britain.

According to the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate it is.

http://www.planning.act.gov.au/tools_resources/place_search

“Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District; Henry Hall obtained a grant of 3492 acres of land which he named `Charnwood’, 1833; named after the Forest of Charnwood in England.”

I’m glad you linked to that, because it confirms what I said, thank you.

Charnwood was named after the property belonging to one of the pioneers of the Canberra region. That the pioneer is believed to have taken the name from a British forest over a century earlier is irrelevent and by writing what you did, you misrepresented what the suburb was named to honour.

Settle down, why are you so defensive? I didn’t misrepresent anything.

If the fact that the name was taken from a British forest was irrelevant, why would it be on the Directorate’s website? It’s part of the story. It’s origin is relevant. If you have a problem with it, contact the Directorate and tell them you want it to say ‘Charnwood was named after someone’s property’

I love it when people don’t understand what they are arguing about 🙂

Alexandra Craig 10:13 pm 10 May 15

creative_canberran said :

Alexandra Craig said :

creative_canberran said :

It’s not named after a forest in Britain.

According to the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate it is.

http://www.planning.act.gov.au/tools_resources/place_search

“Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District; Henry Hall obtained a grant of 3492 acres of land which he named `Charnwood’, 1833; named after the Forest of Charnwood in England.”

I’m glad you linked to that, because it confirms what I said, thank you.

Charnwood was named after the property belonging to one of the pioneers of the Canberra region. That the pioneer is believed to have taken the name from a British forest over a century earlier is irrelevent and by writing what you did, you misrepresented what the suburb was named to honour.

Settle down, why are you so defensive? I didn’t misrepresent anything.

If the fact that the name was taken from a British forest was irrelevant, why would it be on the Directorate’s website? It’s part of the story. It’s origin is relevant. If you have a problem with it, contact the Directorate and tell them you want it to say ‘Charnwood was named after someone’s property’

JC 9:04 pm 10 May 15

Kippax said :

One of the most interesting things you could write about, is “what is Charnwood missing?” What needs doing in the area, by the ACT government? Sometimes areas are neglected by governments, and other areas are given priority. What does Charnwood need? What does West Belconnen need? How about an analytical study of what is missing? And who will get it done- which MLA/Politician will do anything for this are?. There’s a challenge for your site. Good luck.

As someone who has lived in west Belconnen most of my life (save for few years in Sydney and overseas) I would say west Belconnen doesn’t really lack much at all really. Cannot think of what other have that we don’t or would need.

Good roads, good shops. Schools maybe not the best but the population has aged from the time I went to school (when they were great) so just reflecting the democratic.

Your not by any chance the person that hijacks Canberra times articles rabbiting on about pools and doctors are you? If so please don’t start here. There is a perfectly good pool in the town centre where it belongs and there are doctors all around. If your not that person pleas ignore.

creative_canberran 12:34 am 10 May 15

Alexandra Craig said :

creative_canberran said :

It’s not named after a forest in Britain.

According to the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate it is.

http://www.planning.act.gov.au/tools_resources/place_search

“Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District; Henry Hall obtained a grant of 3492 acres of land which he named `Charnwood’, 1833; named after the Forest of Charnwood in England.”

I’m glad you linked to that, because it confirms what I said, thank you.

Charnwood was named after the property belonging to one of the pioneers of the Canberra region. That the pioneer is believed to have taken the name from a British forest over a century earlier is irrelevent and by writing what you did, you misrepresented what the suburb was named to honour.

JC 7:58 pm 09 May 15

scarecrow said :

JC said :

Just two thee things Charny carny is a church carnival (think related to Hill Song so not exactly mainstream Christianity)

Ah no, the Carny is run by the 2 local schools (1 government & 1 private religious) and 1 local scout group with the aim of raising money for the 3 associations. The only link to a local church is the use of the grounds.

If you’re going to bag it out, at least do it accurately.

Wasn’t bagging it, but stand corrected.

RB78 7:31 pm 09 May 15

The shops are pretty decent, especially now that the Woolies was extended and refurbished into a proper store. A couple of years ago it was a dingy little ex-IGA. The Turkish Pide place does a great Pide – huge for the price and delicious. I notice Red Rooster is opening soon behind Maccas (because evidently Maccas, Subway, Crust, Turkish, Thai, Charcoal Chicken, Malaysian etc isn’t enough for the one centre)

Alexandra Craig said :

creative_canberran said :

It’s not named after a forest in Britain.

According to the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate it is.

http://www.planning.act.gov.au/tools_resources/place_search

“Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District; Henry Hall obtained a grant of 3492 acres of land which he named `Charnwood’, 1833; named after the Forest of Charnwood in England.”

I’d say that creative_canberran’s post was referring to to the fact that the suburb is named for the homestead, not the forest that the homestead was named after.

Alexandra Craig 7:18 pm 09 May 15

creative_canberran said :

It’s not named after a forest in Britain.

According to the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate it is.

http://www.planning.act.gov.au/tools_resources/place_search

“Origin: A former homestead in the Belconnen District; Henry Hall obtained a grant of 3492 acres of land which he named `Charnwood’, 1833; named after the Forest of Charnwood in England.”

Darkfalz 12:55 pm 09 May 15

Oh and who could forget the video game arcade on top of the “new” development building run by some guy (Al?) – spent many weekend and school holiday mornings waiting there for it to open!

bearlikesbeer 12:53 pm 09 May 15

According to “Canberra’s Suburb And Street Names – History, Origins and Meanings” produced in 1992 by the Dept of Environment, Land and Planning, Charnwood is “the name of a former Homestead in the Belconnen District. In 1833 Henry Hall obtained a grant of 3492 acres of land which he named ‘Charnwood'”.

Henry Hall may have named his homestead after a forest in England, but it appears the suburb of Charnwood is named after Henry Hall’s homestead.

Darkfalz 12:51 pm 09 May 15

I grew up in Charnwood, in public housing. I’m glad I got out. It’s interesting though – I remember having neighbours who were “rich” (poor kid code ultimately for an in-tact family with one or more parents employed) and in some ways I feel bad for them that they had to live right next door to public housing. There was a house across that road from us that a nice man lived in for many years with his dogs – he eventually moved up north, the house was purchased by DHCS, and given to a family of Aborigines to live in. The house was unlivable within 6 months (smashed windows, gaping holes in walls etc.) and I suppose the “tenants” were evicted. The places in “Struggle Street” had nothing on the condition of that place. I’m glad he never got to see what became of it. Speaking of Regal, I remember when they first arrived, causing much rivalry at the previous existing takeaway. I think Regal put them under. Must have been the videogames in the back. But we were patrons of the other takeaway. Other fond memories were the $1 fresh bread of the Vietnamese bakery, and the old Chinese restaurant near the Video Ezy that we only got to have once or twice a year as Chinese food was “expensive” compared to our standard fare of chicken and chips. I took a stroll around Charnwood a few years ago and it’s funny how distances and scale have changed as I left while I was still a young teen. What seemed like a journey “down the shops” is a mere four blocks away now. I suppose there’s still a lot of Charnwood in me, despite living in a million dollar house and not having a criminal record. I wouldn’t want to raise kids there though.

Southmouth 12:27 pm 09 May 15

I moved to Canberra when i was 19 and rented a house in Rouse pl behind the (then) high school. Private rental, best land lady of my life. My street was great. The one to the west had a street party at Christmas and shared out all their church/charity food hampers i recall. They had lots of advice on how to score the best ones. Never any problems in the time i was there.

Kippax 12:11 pm 09 May 15

One of the most interesting things you could write about, is “what is Charnwood missing?” What needs doing in the area, by the ACT government? Sometimes areas are neglected by governments, and other areas are given priority. What does Charnwood need? What does West Belconnen need? How about an analytical study of what is missing? And who will get it done- which MLA/Politician will do anything for this are?. There’s a challenge for your site. Good luck.

dazzab 9:37 am 09 May 15

Regal Chicken has to be the friendliest place I’ve ever been too. Angelo and the staff there are fantastic! Sometimes I think they must feed half of Charnwood as it’s incredibly popular and always busy. The food is fresh and they have a wide variety of salads that I just love.

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