AFTER a decorated career as a flying officer during World War II, the late Brian Southwell settled in Chatswood with his wife Maisie, and he would live there for the rest of his life.
Nearly 70 years after the young couple bought their dream home, 12 Wilfred Ave is back on the market, this time with a much higher price guide of $1.65 million.
Mr Southwell served with RAF Squadrons 148, 159, 160 and 178 during World War II, and flew Liberator Bombers on raids out of the Middle East — targeting locations such as Benghazi, Tripoli and Crete.
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After joining the RAAF in 1940, Mr Southwell was initially stationed in Great Britain, which was a three month journey by ship from Australia, via South Africa and Canada. During the passage they waited for 104 other boats to cross the Atlantic in a convoy, due to a German threat.
After settling into his Chatswood home in the late 1940s and leaving the Royal Australian Air Force, Mr Southwell continued flying as a commercial pilot with ANA and Ansett — regularly transporting famous faces including Prime Minister Robert Menzies.
The father of four daughters, eight grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren used the three-bedroom house as ground base.
“Dad was only the second owner of the house, he and mum purchased the property not long after getting married,” One of Mr Southwell’s daughters, Felicity Southwell, said.
Ms Southwell said her father loved all things aviation, and it was not uncommon for the home to have aviation mementos scattered throughout, including airline curtains.
“There were curtains where famous people like Louis Armstrong who dad met at the baggage carousel would be interviewed,” she said.
“When they changed their logo, they threw them out, so he rescued them and mum altered them to use as curtains in my bedroom.” Ms Southwell said her father also bought an airplane refreshment trolley home one day, which was later put to good use.
Mr Southwell passed away last year at 101 years old, three years after the death of his wife. Their home will go to auction next Saturday with Macartney Real Estate agents Gina Toia and Johnson Huang.
Located close to parks, bushland reserve and Chatswood Golf Club, 12 Wilfred Ave is a five-minute drive to Chatswood CBD and sits on a 690sqm corner block.
“Dad loved living in Chatswood, because it meant that he could get public transport to the airport, where he worked,” Ms Southwell said.
The home comes with a tandem garage, two bathrooms, a retro kitchen with original curved cupboards, while the lounge room has a built in cocktail bar.
Ms Toia said potential buyers have plenty of options to craft the home to their taste.
“With no heritage or conservation restrictions, this is a rare opportunity to buy into this quiet location and renovate for character and lifestyle, extend or develop your dream home,” she said.
The home goes under the hammer on Saturday at 3.15pm.