During a recent trip to Sydney I stumbled by chance upon the Nutcote House, which was the home of May Gibbs (1877 – 1969) – one of Australia’s foremost children’s authors and illustrators – for 44 years. May is best known for the story ‘The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’. May has a special connection to South Perth, having migrated from Kent, England to South Perth, Western Australia at age 10 (after briefly living in South Australia). The City of South Perth owns a collection of paintings by May.
At age 23, May returned to England to pursue her art studies but returned home to Perth shortly after. From 1904-1909 May wrote articles and provided illustrations and cartoons for the Western Mail newspaper, before deciding to return to England in 1909.
May returned to Australia in 1913, finally settling in Sydney, New South Wales. In 1919 May married Bertram Kelly, and employed architect BJ Waterhouse to design a house, Nutcote, on the shores of Neutral Bay Sydney. The restored house and gardens were a pleasure to walk through and are open to visitors throughout the year.