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Under Coca Cola sign

Darlinghurst Road

Potts Point, NSW 2011


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Refund policy

Refund policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description
SYDNEY 1929: Tilly Devine & Kate Leigh rule the underworld. The Razor Gang Wars erupt. Blood flows. Tour their territory of RAZORHURST.

About this event

RAZORHURST Walking Tour - Kings Cross to East Sydney

You'll walk a 2-hour guided tour of RAZORHURST, which covers the historic areas of Darlinghurst, East Sydney and Kings Cross. Walk is mostly level with one set of stairs optional. We meet under the Coke sign at top of William Street. You'll then stop to view Blood Alley, where the first major battle occurred; Kellett Street where the second gang battle occurred; the lane where Guido Calletti was murdered; Phil Jeffs 50:50 Club, the hub of illegal gambling, cocaine and prostitution; the lanes of East Sydney, where Tilly's brothels were located; Tilly's house, the HQ of prostitution; the Tradesmen's Arms, where Tilly's gang drank and conspired, the Snow Queen Kate Leigh's house in Riley Street where she shot and killed Snowy Prendergast, the Strand Hotel where Frank Green shot and killed Barney Dalton and wounded Wally Tomlinson. Your tour ends corner Crown & William.

This area was referred to as RAZORHURST because in 1929, due to gun laws, the gangsters weapon of choice was a cut throat razor.

Your date and time is on your ticket. Meet under Coca Cola sign top of William Street Kings Cross. The walk is around 1.5 km, mostly flat with one slight uphill and a couple of slight downhills. We begin in Kings Cross and end in East Sydney. Wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat, block out and bring water. If wet weather is apparent please bring wet weather gear. This tour will proceed unless weather or other conditions are hazardous. We'll email two hours prior if tour is not proceeding. To check call 0418 255 440. If the tour is cancelled due to weather or other hazardous conditions you can email scarnell@bigpond.net.au to request transfer to another time and date or you'll receive a refund.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. No pets .

Any questions? Please email Stephen scarnell@bigpond.net.au or phone 0418 255 440.

COVID-19 Safety Plan: Due to regulations all patrons must be fully vaccinated and show proof (app or certificate). Otherwise you cannot join the tour and your ticket/s will be refunded. Our guides are fully vaccinated. Upon arrival please stay 1.5 metres apart from those not accompanying you, use hand sanitiser and mask as required. You'll be required to check into our QR code. Be prepared. Refer to details of our COVID-19 Safety Plan lodged with NSW Government.

PRIVATE TOURS: If you have a group of 8-12 we can schedule a private tour for you. Just email Stephen scarnell@bigpond.net.au

WEATHER POLICY: If weather is bad or looking bad we'll advise cancellation two hours or more prior to your start time. Refunds will be issued and you can rebook.

TRANSFER & CANCELLATION POLICY: To cancel your tour and receive a ticket price refund, please advise up to 24 hours prior to your tour time. To transfer email time and date of current tour and time and date of tour requested to scarnell@bigpond.net.au

DINE & DISCOVER: We cannot accept these vouchers.

YOUR GUIDES (alternating tour times & dates)

Kathryn Bendall: A Sydney , comedian, historian and experienced tour guide. As five starred Trip Advisor guide her one purpose is to ensure you have lots of “ I didn’t know that” moments!

Philip McDonald: Philip is a walking historian. His family has been native to Sydney since 1812. Thousands of people have enjoyed his tours of Sydney’s dark past.

Kyla Ward: An author and actor, Kyla is also an experienced host and researcher. You may know her as your Guide to DEADHOUSE: Tales of Sydney Morgue.

Chris Miller: Chris is a remarkable actor and voice over artist. You may know him as Lennie Lawson or Simmo from the past and coming seasons of DEADHOUSE Tales of Sydney Morgue.

COVID-19 Safety Plan: See full details of our COVID-19 Safety Plan lodged with NSW Government below.

Contact: Any questions? Please email scarnell@bigpond.net.au or phone 0418 255 440. Please don't use messenger or text (too many sources!).

Want to know more?

In the late 1920’s Sydney is a boom town for vice and criminal enterprise and policing is slack to say the least. There are enormous opportunities to build criminal empires based upon the wicked desires of the average man and woman. Because of a legal loophole, these opportunities are more readily available to women. Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine are the gals who grabbed these opportunities


Sydney in the early twentieth century is place where drinking, prostitution, guns, betting and gambling is in full swing and you can buy ‘snow’ (cocaine) over the counter. Every vice is legal or is at least being overlooked by the law. A bunch of do-gooders called Wowsers start a campaign for reforms. Then in 1916 five thousand soldiers from the infantry go on an unprecedented three day bender, rampaging and terrorizing the city. New laws are enacted to combat such behaviour, including 6pm closing of pubs, but instead of eradicating crime they actually build the legal foundations on which syndicated crime thrived. Huge wealth is up for grabs for anyone with enough ruthless ambition and the foresight to capitalize on the vices Australians love.

Rebellious KATE LEIGH runs with the wildest of men and runs her own brothel she fast becomes a prize gangster gal known for her daring spunk, good looks and sexual deviancy. Determining no man will rule over her she’s fast becoming the Queen of the Underworld with slashers and musclemen protecting her growing empire.

But another femme-fatale is rising up, English girl TILLY DEVINE nineteen years Kate’s junior. In love with glitz and glamour and looking the part. She’s the party girl of the century with 79 arrests just in her first few years. The Police Offences Amendment Act of 1908 make it illegal only for men to keep a brothel. Re-evaluating her life after a stint in gaol for slashing a man she emerges the Madam of the Bordello and bankrolls the best and biggest network of organised brothels in Sydney. Organised crime has arrived in Sydney!


Now the equilibrium snaps, trust flies out the window and vendettas start breaking out among rival gang members. With carrying guns outlawed razors honed to deathly perfection become the new weapon of choice. Not only are they easy to conceal but they are have a psychological terror all of their own. Intimidation and the promise of disfiguration gleam on every blade. Nothing compares to the personal vendettas and rivalry between Underworld Queens, Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh. Kate’s motto is to “retaliate first” and she does so with a passion and voracity. The Bloodletting begins in what quickly becomes known as Sydney’s Razor Gang Wars.

A tabloid newspaper the Truth cashes in. Being the voice of social conscience one minute and a voyeuristic capitalizing trash paper the next sales skyrocket.


Premier Thomas Bavin and law enforcer William Mackay race to bring in new laws before all hell breaks loose. Meanwhile Phil ‘the Jew’ Jeff’s starts the Battle of Blood Alley on May 7th, 1929 as a Woolloomooloo Push gang discovers he’s heavily cutting their cocaine. This battle lasts 30 minutes and Jeff’s is later found shot and near death on the front lawn of his luxurious Kensington home. Believing he is done for he squeals only to survive and turn up in court in a snazzy purple suit with a different story. The code of silence is restored.

During 28 and 29 pistol packing Kate orders the slashing of Tilly’s girls and spiteful Tilly retaliates by sending her boys to bust up Kate’s grog shops. Kate’s revenge attacks are not far behind and bodies start dropping like flies. Both women start to take advantage of the tabloids and the cat fights carry over to sell newspapers and make them the talk of the town.

On 17th July 29 Kate’s man Gaffney shoots Tilly’s top henchman Frank Green. Green hides out at Tilly and Jim’s Maroubra house. Gaffney, Tomlinson and Dalton make a beeline there to finish the job. The Devine’s are loaded to the hilt and are waiting for them. Gaffney dies and Kate’s lover Wally Tomlinson is wounded. Tilly puts on a great show in court and they all celebrate Jim’s “not guilty verdict”. Now Tilly decides to really take Kate on especially as Kate just happens to behind bars. A few days later on the 8th August Tilly’s whole gang turns up on Kellett Street at King’s Cross for a good old gang war. 40 men launch into mayhem and the butchery is horrendous. Police and media stand by and watch.

Police and public all wait in terror of the coming gangland Armageddon. The gangs stockpile weapons and on the 9th November Green and Big Jim start it off by shooting Dalton and Tomlinson outside the Strand Hotel. Now things heat up as Tomlinson surviving a bullet turns evidence against Green but not Devine. Kate’s house is hit a few times in the search for her lover then on the 27th March Kate makes good on her threats and blows one of the hit men away with her 303 whilst dressed in her nightie. The jury acquits her.


Wall Street crashes in 1929 and new laws finally come into place in 1930, both are a real kick in the guts for the gangs. The Consorting Clause gives the police a bite for once; they can arrest any criminal seen with another. The Crimes Amendment Bill gives an automatic six months for razor possession plus a flogging. The two-man Drug Bureau gets long awaited reinforcements. Frank “Bumper” Farrell creates what turns into the 21 Division. Crims now give intelligence when busted or face jail time. To top it off Australia gets one of the world’s first police women, Lillian Armfield, AKA the “Rugged Angel”

It doesn’t take Tilly long before she is in front of a judge. She strikes a clever bargain sailing to England instead of serving jail time and “saves the taxpayer the money”. Tilly throws herself some outrageous farewell parties and sets sail. All in all the gals’ empires run well with their absence. Unfortunately Tilly arrives back from London to find Jim cheating on her and in a rage she shoots him. Up on attempted murder charges Tilly forgives him before the court date, but that doesn’t save Big Jim


Phil Jeff’s has being lying low at Ettalong after being shot. He returns and starts using his wealth to buy himself a respectable life. He aims at high end customers. So he snaps up the Fifty-Fifty Club in William Street and the 400 club in Liverpool Street. In these club patrons pay to get served, to get a drink, to use the bathroom and pay five pounds just to leave. Tilly has a brothel of her finest upstairs. Crooked cops, politician, celebrities, socialites and crime lords all flock to his stylish clubs to drink champagne and dance under the chandeliers. His dream of being a kingpin and respectable man has come true.

In 1933 Nellie and another gangster girl Dulcie Markham are working for Tilly. Up on drug charges Nellie skips to Queensland with lover Frank Green. The furious Calletti chases them and the two fight it out in Woolloomooloo with 500 spectators watching. After an hour with no winner Nellie gets to choose. Calletti wins out until he next goes to gaol and Nellie returns like a yoyo to Green. Calletti marries Nellie the moment he gets out of jail.

Kate meanwhile is having a hard time. She is getting old and fat. Her beauty is long since disappeared. Up on charges she tries to pull off one of Tilly’s tricks and offers to return to her home town of Dubbo to serve out her time.

Tilly, however, is coming into her own and operates her brothels on multiple levels of quality so she can cash in on men from every walk of life. She gets her girls hooked on cocaine so they can’t leave and Big Jim is their dealer. Inspired by Hollywood movies her dream of riches and fame and a bad girl image are being realized. She is a brilliant entrepreneur. But for both gals their time is running out.


When hardnose copper William Mackay becomes police commissioner in 1936 he marches Tilly and Kate into his office with all his senior policemen. Giving an ultimatum that unless they quit their feuding and get on with more low key business arrangements he will ensure they get twenty years each as guests of her majesty. They are to act as informers in return for keeping their “businesses,” Mackay bans all slashing and shooting. The razor gals grudgingly agree to the terms. Things now go from bad to worse. Crack downs on cocaine hurt the drug arm of the gangs. Bookmaking is hit. The Truth newspaper starts embarrassing the police force by proving that dirty politicians have shares in the nightclubs and other rackets. Farrell and his hard hitting straight cops start to make head way into the underworld with a network of informants, including Tilly and Kate themselves. But nothing hits as hard as the beginning of WWII.


Things start to fall apart for Tilly. Her cheating drunk of a husband is known as a wife basher and starts living with his lovers. He pays Tilly a visit when he wants money and beats her if she refuses. She finally goes to court to get a divorce. Then she meets Eric Parsons, the barman of the Tradesman’s Arms pub across the road, and marries him. For a wedding present Kate sends her an undertaker and five fire trucks. Swell girl. Tilly and Eric fight often and he sports a bullet wound from her.

Kate also marries again but breaks up. Clubs are now licensed so her sly grog business is sinking. Jeff’s who had given up the clubs dies of a septic bullet wound in 1944 from the shooting in Blood Alley in 1929. He's the only one to actually die rich. Tilly plans a grand trip to England for the Queen’s Coronation. Kate and Tilly kiss for the press. . Meanwhile things get much worse for Nellie. Found crawling in an alleyway with a bullet wound, surgeons remove a bullet from her guts and find a hand full more in her heavily slashed body. Beautiful still she suffers from post operation depression and in 1953 puts her head in a gas oven. She is only 41.


Both Kate and Tilly live high.. Parties, charities, jewels, and furs not to mention fines and bribes and the rising costs of henchmen cut into their wealth. The newspapers estimate Tilly has the most dough and both make ten times what the prime minister does. The 50’s swing around and in true Al Capone style so does the taxman. First Kate gets hit, but she can’t pay. The government sues and panicking, her friends who have lent to her sue her too. She declares bankruptcy in 1954 faces humiliation in court. In 1955 the 6 O’clock swill finally ends and with it Kate Leigh's Empire. She is left renting out vegetable and fruit carts. Tilly fairs better with one empty house and one seedy brothel to her name.

Arthritic and destitute Kate Leigh comes off society’s radar. Living with past regrets and complaints about how she had been given a raw deal in life she suffers a stroke early in 1964 and slips into a coma. Her dogged old ticker keeps pounding away even though her brain is dead. She dies the following Tuesday. Some reports say she chokes on her own cursed tongue. Kate gets a grand farewell party.

Tilly isn’t so lucky, outliving everyone and outliving her era new crime lords Abe Saffron and Joe Borg are making names for themselves. In 1968 Borg is blown up in a car bombing in Bondi. Tilly faces threats when another bomb comes her way, possibility by the same killers. So she up and quits the crime business for good helped along by a repeal of the law that set her up in the first place. Regrets set in along with stomach cancer. In November 1970 she has a stroke and dies.

Tilly and Kate’s successors bibliography:

1950s: THE RISE OF MR SIN [Abe Saffron]

1990s: THE RISE OF THE GOLDEN BOY [John Ibrahim]

		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image

Tilly Devine ran dozens of brothels and was known as Queen of the Bordellos.

Kate Leigh ran scores of Sly Grog shops offering liquor, gambling, and cocaine, she was known as the Snow Queen.

Nellie Cameron was Tilly's star prostitute and was escorted by many notorious gangsters. Most died, so she was known as the Angel of Death.

		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan

Museums and galleries

Business details Business name Blancmange Productions. Business location (town, suburb or postcode) Potts Point, NSW. Completed by Amanda Asquith. Email address amanda@amandajanestarr.com Effective date 20 November 2020. Date completed 2 December 2020

Wellbeing of staff and customers Exclude staff, volunteers and visitors who are unwell. Staff do not conduct tours if unwell. Participants cannot attend if they are unwell. Provide staff and volunteers with information and training on COVID-19, including when to get tested, physical distancing and cleaning. Staff have information regarding physical distancing, hand washing practice and indicators for testing. Make staff aware of their leave entitlements if they are sick or required to self-isolate. Staff are aware of leave entitlements. Display conditions of entry (website, social media, venue entry). Conditions of entry are displayed on ticketing website and social media. Ensure COVID-19 Safety Plans are in place, where relevant, for: Restaurants and cafes Gyms Cinemas and theatres Corporate events (if hiring out space). Premises with an indoor gym must complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan for gyms and register this through nsw.gov.au. Premises with food or drink services must complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan for restaurants and cafes and register this through nsw.gov.au N/A. Venues taking bookings for weddings, funerals and corporate events should ensure there is a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place for the event. Bookings for significant events can be taken for future dates for a higher number of guests than permitted by the current Public Health Order, but patrons should be advised that their event will need to comply with restrictions in place at the time. N/A - tour not conducted in a venue

Physical Distancing Capacity must not exceed one visitor per 2 square metres of space (excluding staff).Tours are primarily conducted outside.

Consider a time-based booking system for popular events or exhibits. Tours must be pre-booked online. Use signage at entrances to communicate the maximum safe capacity, and consider displaying signage with arrows to direct the flow of visitors where crowding may occur. Tours are pre-booked online and participants must display their booking when they attend the tour. Tour guide directs participants throughout the tour. Move or remove tables and seating as required to comply with 1.5 metres of physical distance wherever possible. Household or other close contacts do not need to physically distance. N/A - no seating required. Tours should involve no more than 30 visitors per group. Ensure any feature pieces in exhibits that may attract crowding have arrangements in place to support physical distancing. Tours are limited to 12 participants

Reduce crowding wherever possible and promote physical distancing, for example with markers on the floor, where appropriate. Maximum number in the tour is limited to 12 participants to ensure physical distancing protocols can be followed. Where reasonably practical, ensure staff maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing at all times, including at meal breaks and in offices or meeting rooms. Only one staff member and the activity is conducted outside with no meal breaks. Staff member ensures that he maintains the 1.5m physical distancing protocol throughout the tour. Use telephone or video for essential meetings where practical. N/A. Where reasonably practical, stagger start times and breaks for staff members to COVID-19 minimise the risk of close contact. Only one staff member conducts the tour. Review regular deliveries and request contactless delivery and invoicing where practical. N/A. Have strategies in place to manage gatherings that may occur immediately outside the premises. Participants depart once tour concludes. There are no facilities or opportunity for participants to remain. Coordinate with public transport, where reasonably practical, around strategies to minimise COVID-19 risks associated with transportation to and from the venue if crowding on public transport may occur. N/A

Hygiene and cleaning Adopt good hand hygiene practices. Staff and participants encouraged to use hand-washing facilities where available and to use hand sanitiser as an alternative. Ensure bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels or hand dryers. N/A - not in a venue. Clean frequently used indoor hard surface areas at least daily with detergent or disinfectant. Clean frequently touched areas and surfaces several times per day. N/A - tours are conducted outside. Disinfectant solutions need to be maintained at an appropriate strength and used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions. N/A - no facilities to be cleaned. Staff are to wear gloves when cleaning and wash hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water.N/A - no facilities to be cleaned. Encourage contactless payment options. All bookings and payments are made online. If interactive exhibitions are open, ensure supervision to ensure visitors apply hand sanitiser before and after use, and to clean the interactive components between use. N/A. Consider removing printed museum and gallery guides, and replacing with downloadable guides or audio guides where practical. N/A. In indoor areas, increase natural ventilation by opening windows and doors where possible, and increase mechanical ventilation where possible by optimising air conditioning or other system settings (such as by maximising the intake of outside air and reducing or avoiding recirculation of air).N/A

Record keeping

Keep a record of the name, contact number and entry time for all staff, volunteers, visitors to ticketed exhibits and contractors for a period of at least 28 days. Contact details must be collected for each person using a contactless electronic method, such as a QR Code or similar. Processes must be in place to ensure that customers provide the required contact information. Records must be provided as soon as possible, but within 4 hours, upon request from an authorised officer. Note: If a person is unable to provide contact details, for example due to age or language barriers, another person may provide contact details on their behalf. If there are unexpected circumstances which prevent the use of electronic methods to collect contact details (such as an internet outage), any paper records must be entered into an electronic format such as a spreadsheet within 12 hours. Participant records are captured via the booking system. Tours are conducted at specific times. Participant records can be obtained and provided within the 4 hour limitation. Ensure records are used only for the purposes of COVID-19 contact tracing and are collected and stored confidentially and securely. When selecting and using an electronic method of record collection, take reasonably practical steps to protect privacy and ensure the records are secure. Consider the 'Customer record keeping page of nsw.gov.au. Participant records are kept securely in electronic format via the booking and e-check in system. Make your staff aware of the COVID Safe app and its benefits to support contact tracing if required.

Staff encouraged to download the COVID Safe app. Cooperate with NSW Health if contacted in relation to a positive case of COVID-19 at your workplace, and notify SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50. We will cooperate as necessary with NSW Health and notify Safework NSW should all participant or staff member advise of a positive COVID diagnosis. I agree to keep a copy of this COVID-19 Safety Plan at the business premises .Yes

At meeting point you should present proof of full vaccination. scan NSWG QR Code and complete for check in. Maintain 4 square metre social distancing.

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		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image

		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image

		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image

		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image

		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image

		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image

		RAZORHURST Walking Tour image
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Under Coca Cola sign

Darlinghurst Road

Potts Point, NSW 2011


View Map

Refund policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

{ _('Organizer Image')}

Organiser Blancmange Productions

Organiser of RAZORHURST Walking Tour

    Blancmange Productions is a creator of theatre, film and events. Founded in 2007 by lead producer Stephen Carnell, Blancmange has produced twenty stage shows, a feature film , six short films and a podcast over the past fifteen years. Our focus is upon new work, edgy themes, powerful performance and innovative design. Our current events are RAZORHURST Walking Tour every Saturday and DEADHOUSE season 3 March to April 2022.

    ABN 86 050 050 38

    Producer Stephen Carnell +61 418 255 440

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