By Phil Jarratt
Alderly Terrace, Little Cove
Alderly Terrace, one of Little Cove’s dress circle streets, offering beautiful glimpses of Laguna Bay through the canopy of trees, gets its name from the whimsical dream of a couple of World War II veterans to create a Tudor village on the slopes of Noosa’s south head.
There are many strange aspects to this story, one of which is that Alderly Cottage, the last surviving part of the Tudor village begun by Harold Davis and Juan Carl Grummette (known as Jack) in the 1940s, is actually in adjacent Mitti Street. Another is that army buddies Harry and Jack originally named their Tudor houses “Alderley”, after the Alderley Arms Hotel in Brisbane, where over a few hundred beers they came up with the idea, rather than after Alderley Edge in Cheshire, England, which is home to many of the real Tudors. But then Jack supposedly had a spiritual conversation with some old bloke who told him that a woman named Jane Alderly had been shipwrecked in Little Cove, so he dropped the “e”.
Anyway, Harry and Jack had a good partnership going in which Jack had plenty of ideas and Harry had plenty of money, so in 1946 the two mates moved to Noosa and started building on seven acres at Little Cove that Harry had bought two years earlier, working around the four huge army tents that housed Harry and his young family, Harry’s parents, Jack and a vast mess tent. Having blazed a track wide enough to get materials out to the property, the lads practiced their mock Tudor 16th century building techniques (replacing thatched roofing for shingles in deference to the climate) on two cottages, “Tudor House” and “Tudor Cottage”, before beginning “Alderly”.
Once ensconced in the first of the houses, Harry’s mum Mary set up a Devonshire tea room on her terrace and served tea and scones to passing bushwalkers and beachgoers. While this provided a bit of beer money for Harry and Jack, the real game was to build and sell spec Tudors, but the dream of discovering a mock Tudor cottage in an Australian bushland setting apparently wasn’t shared by many, particularly as they were in stark contrast to the environmentally sympathetic houses which were starting to be built in the neighbourhood by the young Brisbane architects Aubrey Job and Robert Froud, whose trademarks were breezeways and big verandas, rather than hearths and fireplaces. Harry ended up subdividing and flogging bare blocks.
This wouldn’t be the last quirky real estate development to fall over in Noosa, but it was almost certainly the first. Tudor House and Tudor Cottage were both knocked down by new wave developers in the 1980s, but Alderly Cottage, significantly renovated on several occasions, however still with a certain je ne sais quoi (as they used to say in Olde England) is still with us and available for holiday rental.
Above the fireplace the word “Resurgam” is engraved. Latin for “I shall rise again”, this could possibly be a message from Jack Grummette.