ThrowbackThursday: Were St, Montmorency

#ThrowbackThursday – At last night’s Society talk, “The Shallards of Montmorency,” we heard from Margaret Deighton, daughter of Blanche and Jack Shallard, about growing up in Montmorency in the 1940s and 1950s. So in keeping with that theme; today we time travel back to Were Street in the 1940s where we shall meet a dog named Jack.

Jack, an Alsatian was owned by Mr. and Mrs Musselwhite who ran the local post office from around the mid 1930s to circa 1950. The Musselwhites had trained Jack to go down to the railway station each day about 3pm and collect the daily parcel of evening newspapers delivered by train. Jack would then carry the bundle of newspapers up Were Street to the newsagency where they would then be placed on sale for the locals.

Jack, the Alsatian, carrying the daily bundle of newspapers up Were Street to the Post Office, c.1940s. (Source: Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photo Collection, no. 402, held in conjunction with EDHS and Yarra Plenty Regional Library)

In those days (as we also heard from Margaret), Were Street was a one shop stop; very different from today’s thriving little shopping precinct.

Another view looking down Were Street towards the railway station, c.1940s (Source: Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photo Collection, no. 805, held in conjunction with EDHS and Yarra Plenty Regional Library)

Did you grow up in the same time period as Margaret? Do you recall Jack? Being an Alsatian, he would have been a very distinctive dog in those days. Or do you have more recent memories of Were Street and its growing number of shops from the 1960s on?

Montmorency Village Shopping Centre Looking south-southwest from the railway station up to the Were Street shops, Montmorency, 1986 (From the collection of EDHS)
Montmorency Village Shopping Centre Looking south-southwest from the railway station up to the Were Street shops, Montmorency, 8 Feb1986 (From the collection of EDHS)
Montmorency Village Shopping Centre, looking north along Were Street towards the railway station, 8 Feb 1986 (From the collection of EDHS)
Looking down Were Street towards the railway station, Sep 2016 (Google Street View)
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Heritage Excursion: Saturday 2nd Sept. – An Eltham South Ramble

Photo: Old Main Road Bridge over Diamond Creek, Eltham; a timber trestle bridge which was damaged in the 1924 floods and subsequently replaced in 1926 with a concrete structure. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society) – Turnaround point for this heritage excursion.

Saturday, 2nd September, 2017 at 2.00pm

This walk was originally scheduled for May but for several reasons including inclement weather it had to be postponed. We hope for better luck this time.

Early view of Main Road looking south from Brougham Street to Dalton Street; site of the Avenue of Honour in memory of the 1914-1918 War.

In the early days of our Society our excursions were usually bus trips to places of historic interest away from Eltham. For nearly 20 years our excursions have been far more local, mainly comprising walks around many parts of the Eltham district. The first such walk was a leisurely stroll through the Eltham South area.

Although that walk has been repeated several times with some variations it is considered appropriate in this our 50th year to again take a ramble visiting historic sites in Eltham South. On the way we will pass artist Percy Leason’s house “Landscape” where we will read from Margot Tasca’s recent book on Leason’s life about the construction of the house and studio. Other sites will include White Cloud Cottage, the old buildings of Eltham Primary School and teacher David Clark’s cottage, “Shoestring”. We will walk through the historic Eltham Cemetery and Wingrove Park, a site of Aboriginal significance.

This walk on Saturday 2nd September 2017 is about 3.5 km in length and will take 2 to 2.5 hours. It will start at 2pm at the Eltham Local History Centre 728 Main Road (Melway ref 21J7). Our early walks finished with a cuppa and biscuit and we will reinstate that feature for this walk.

This free walk is open to the general public as well as Society members. Dogs are not permitted on Society excursions. The phone number for contact on the day is 0409 021 063.

Photos of Percy Leason’s Residence Studio “Landscape” by David Bick from the Shire of Eltham Heritage Study 1992.

Source: RESIDENCE AND REAR CONCRETE STUDIO – “LANDSCAPE”, 60 LAVENDER PARK RD – See more at: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/63480

August Meeting – The Shallards of Montmorency

Eltham District Historical Society Meeting

9th August at 8pm

Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham

Were St., Montmorency, 08 Oct 1950
Source: Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photo Collection no. 805 held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library. Original donor-Mrs. Dandy, Montmorency

Blanche and Jack Shallard were involved in many activities in the Montmorency community throughout their lives. They observed Were Street grow from a one shop street to a bustling shopping village. Jack was a local solicitor and on the Board of the Diamond Valley Community Hospital, while Blanche was a member of the Hospital Auxiliary and the Eltham District Historical Society. They were also connected with Montmorency State School and St Faith’s Church in Montmorency.

At this meeting we are pleased to have their daughter, Professor Margaret Deighton, speak about her family and her recollections of growing up in Montmorency.

As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.

House originally owned by the Shallard family then later by F. Squire; situated off Lilicur Road, Montmorency. From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society; donated by: Deirdre Nedwell, Bulleen

History Matters

Photo: Eltham c.1900 (from the collection of EDHS)

History Matters by Jim Connor

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
          – Martin Luther King Jnr.

History matters… to our sense of place, where we are both physically and mentally, where we fit into the place where we are and how we relate to our surroundings.

History matters… when locating yourself in time, in your part of your own history, whether it is your family, your community, your culture, your lived life experiences. These all form part of our own history we carry with us and build on as we proceed on our life journey.

History matters… to the political climate of the time, what has or has not occurred and how those decisions impact on our past, current and future history.

History matters… to how we honour our own history and of those we relate to.

History matters… to how our built and natural environment evolves, how it reflects and respects the past and how it is developed or changed around us and by us.

History matters… if we think it does, if we believe it does, if we encourage others to understand it does.

History matters… to our memories that retain our history and to the memories of those around us.

History matters… to the stories we know and tell and the stories of other people.

History matters… to how we see ourself in the world.

History just matters!

Stories of history we tell not only shape our past, they shape our future as well.

ThrowbackThursday: Eltham Art and Craft Market 1988

#ThrowbackThursday – The 1980s; big jeans, big shoulders, big hair (and short shorts, aka Stubbies, on blokes). And 1988 was probably the pinnacle of that 80s fashion.

Today we time travel back to June 1988; to the carpark between Safeway and Commercial Place, site of the  regular @Eltham Community Craft and Produce Market where all that was fashionable was available.

These images are from a roll of film recently digitised as part of our 50th Birthday project to catalogue our collection on Victorian Collections to help preserve and share these precious moments in time. The full roll can be seen in our catalogue on Victorian Collections.

No doubt most Elthamites have at some stage or other spent time wandering around the Art and Craft market. Do you recognise anyone in these images? Do you recognise yourself? What are your memories of time spent here and purchases made?

And don’t forget to check out the backgrounds to see what has changed and what is still the same.

ThrowbackThursday: Eltham Parade 1982

#ThrowbackThursday – Who can’t resist a good parade? Nowadays the excitement and frequency of parades down Main Street, Eltham seems to have dwindled. Anzac Day, Eltham Spring Festival, in fact any good excuse; we just do not seem to experience them as much now but no doubt everyone can remember back to parades of the past; either participating through various school or community groups or simply watching the show and cheering the floats from the side of the road.

An fabulous display of local flowers and veggies proudly lead the parade down Main Street, Eltham, 1982

Today we time travel back to 1982 and the Eltham Parade as it progresses along Main Road past the Catholic Church heading towards Bridge Street. It was the year the Tasmanian Wilderness Society was in full force with the Save the Franklin River campaign, and Diamond Valley Railway was celebrating 21 years of passenger service.

These images are from a roll of film recently digitised as part of our 50th Birthday project to catalogue our collection on Victorian Collections to help preserve and share these precious moments in time.

Does anyone remember this parade? The time was late 1982 or early 1983; most likely Spring, 1982 and typically of that time of year, towards the end of the parade it poured with rain.

What is a parade without a fire engine to rev up the children (big and small). The Catholic Church can be seen in the background, much the same as today.
The Tasmanian Wilderness Society’s platypus float and Save the Franklin campaign, which resulted in success in 1983.
The Shire of Eltham Historical Society’s float as we used to be formally known as prior to the cessation of the Shire in late 1994.
And what parade in Eltham did not include Jock Read on his faithful mount here leading (but not seen in this image) the Horse and Pony club.
The Living and Learning Centre float
Diamond Valley Railway was founded in 1960 and commenced operations in 1961. Celebrating 21 years of passenger service.
The Victorian Police Marching Band take up the parade rear guard
The Victorian Police Marching Band standing proud in the pouring rain
The Shire of Eltham Historical Society were awarded a certificate by Rotary for the most effort by ‘locals’ in participation of the Eighth Eltham Community Festival 1982.

ThrowbackThursday: Maunder’s Licensed Foodcentre, Lower Plenty

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to the Lower Plenty shops and Maunder’s Licensed Foodcentre at the corner of Main Road and Para Road, Lower Plenty, c.1976; known today as the Lower Plenty IGA or Lower Plenty Cellars and Supermarket. And alongside, another well known favourite, Thompsons Pharmacy, still going strong over 40 years later as well as the newsagency.

As always, we’d love to hear your recollections of visiting the Foodcentre, Thompsons, the newsagency or indeed any of the shops in this local shopping precinct.

Lower Plenty shops, c.1976 (Photo: EDHS collection)

 

Lower Plenty shops, Sep 2016 (Photo: Google Street View)