Ted Hancock was one of Hurstville’s pioneer solicitors setting up practise in 1929. He had graduated in law with first class honours in 1924 at the age of 20. His parents lived at Campsie and he was aware of the growth in Southern Sydney.
An opportunity arose in Hurstville when a solicitor by the name of C. H. G. King found himself in trouble with the Law Society. Ted Hancock took over his office which was a one-room business on the first floor in a building beside what is now Diment Way.
“Hurstville was a different place to what we know now”, Ted is reported as saying.
“The water truck would go down Forest Road on a Friday night spraying the road with water so as to keep the dust down. Friday night shopping then was part of the weekly routine and as Forest Road was not sealed it became pretty dusty”.
Freddy Hopkins was Mr King’s clerk and he remained some short time to assist Ted Hancock and his sister Mavis in the practice. She was the sole receptionist, secretary typist and business was very quiet for some time as they had the added difficulty of trying to survive in the Depression. Ted is remembered as relating that when business was extremely quiet he would sit in the sun in Memorial Square reading the paper and wait for Mavis to call out the window if there was somebody on the telephone.
Sometime after commencing practice one of the few other solicitors in town at the time Joe McNamara was obliged to cease practice and Ted then moved into his office on the first floor of what was then Station House. The building is now owned by Washington H. Soul Pattinson.
Shortly after that Ted was instrumental in the formation of the first St George Property and Building Societies. The forerunner of the St George Building Society and now the St George Bank.
When WWII commenced Ted enlisted in the RAAF and had four years service in the Middle East. While he was away his locum Seph Hauston was shot dead in his home at Double Bay by a burglar. The practice continued with the help of Barney Gordon till Ted returned from the Middle East.
After the end of WWII Ted invited his fellow servicemen Ollie Alldis to leave his practice at Culcairn and join the firm which then became Hancock Alldis. Ollie Alldis retired from the firm in 1973 and died in 1976.
The only older firm in town was Patrick & Holle which later became Robert A. Patrick & Son which then became McKimm and Walsh. That firm came to an end and Alan McKimm, the son of Ken McKimm, continues to practice in Hurstville on his own account. Ron Walsh established his own firm which then became Walsh, Murphy Roskov and after Ron’s retirement from that firm Jim Roskov then joined with Hancock Alldis to form Hancock Alldis & Roskov the present firm.
Ted retired from active practice in 1985 and died in 1992. His son Ken is currently the Senior Partner in the firm. His partners are Chris Frazis and Jim Roskov. Richard Kitching is Consultant.