Rock Push

The Rock Push were a notorious gang which haunted The Rocks during the late 1800's.  During this time The Rocks area of Sydney was more like a slum than suburb. Bad folk walked the streets. Sailors, Prostitutes and gangs roamed the poorly lit streets in search of trouble. It wasn't surprising that the area would be struck down with the plague.

During the 1870's to the 1890's, a notorious gang of thugs , known as The Push, ruled The Rocks area . The gang  was widely feared. Rival gangs such as the Glebe Push, Argyle Cut Push and the Forty thieves (from Surry Hills) would often pick fights with The Push, fighting over territory.

The Push made life more unpleasant stealing from and beating up pedestrians. It wasn't just excluded to the men either, female members of the gang would often prey on the drunk seamen luring them into the dark alleys to be met by members of the gang.

The most famous haunt of the gang was Harrington Street aka Suez canal. The Suez Canal was the most feared area of the Rocks.

Convicts which were released from Hyde Park Barracks would eventually find themselves at The Rocks
where mayhem ruled. The rocks was virtually the commercial hub of the city. Merchants built their Bond Stores, respectable families lived there and even Mother Mary MacKillop and her nuns ran a providence on Cumberland Street in the 1800's. So where did it all go wrong? Being a thriving port area it attracted many sailors and undesirables into the area.Pubs sprang up to meet the sailors demands. Noise and polution from the industrial activity lead many of the well to do to move out of the area seeking quieter refuges.

Mr Arthur Paine wharf worker at The Rocks, was the first to be struck down by the dreaded plaque. The response by the government was to quarrantine The Rocks area. In 1902 a report  stated there was over 2,500 rats and 1000 cats in The Rocks area.