MysteryMonday: Bulleen and Ringwood Skate Parks, c.1985

MYSTERY SOLVED – locations as identified in captions of photos are the Snake Run at Bulleen Skatepark and Ringwood Skatepark formerly located in Bedford Park.

Ringwood Skatepark, Bedford Park, Ringwood, c.1985 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society; photographer unknown)

#MysteryMonday – Today’s images are of a skateboard park circa 1985. We do not believe it is at the former Fayrefield Hat Factory (now Eltham Fort Knox) though the former fishponds there were used as a skateboard facility in 1977 (see “Fishpond – The Training Ground”, 1977 Pools!, Vic Skate History 1974-1986). The facility may not even be in the Eltham district as another image on the roll of film is of the then new Nunawading Skateboard Club ramp now part of Box Hill Skate Park on Canterbury Road. The pictures may have been taken as part of a study for the development of Eltham Skate Park in Susan Street.

Ringwood Skatepark, Bedford Park, Ringwood, c.1985 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society; photographer unknown)
The Snake Run, Bulleen Skatepark, Swanston Street Reserve, 96 Swantson Street, Bulleen, c.1985 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society; photographer unknown)
The Snake Run, Bulleen Skatepark, Swanston Street Reserve, 96 Swantson Street, Bulleen, c.1985 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society; photographer unknown)

Can you identify it and its location? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where it is, any stories you can tell about the area, and better still, any similar photos you can share?

Over to you . . .


Editorial: Identity Theft; Are You A Witness To It?

In March 2017, in recognition of Eltham District Historical Society’s 50th Anniversary, a small group of volunteer members commenced the immense task of digitising the Society’s collection. The purpose was two-fold; to ensure its preservation in case of disaster and  catalogue it on Victorian Collections in order to share our local history with the extended community. This has only been made possible by the generosity of a handful of members who have personally donated thousands of dollars to purchase the equipment, as well as hundreds of hours each of their own time to scan, process and catalogue the images. In just under a year, this small group have created almost 12,000 digital records and catalogued almost 6,200 items on Victorian Collections; freely available for the public to access and appreciate.

We are very much aware that as soon as you upload something to the Internet, someone will take it for their own personal use. That is the nature of the beast we deal with, especially social media where it is a two-edged sword in getting the story out but also having your work taken for granted. For this very reason, many historical societies are reluctant to share their collections. Up until now, Eltham District Historical Society has resisted the placement of watermarks on our images, as some societies do, and which was more common place a decade ago with the major museums,  the National and State Libraries.

Recently our attention was drawn to an individual who had downloaded a number of images specific to one of the districts we cover (Eltham, Eltham North, Research, Kangaroo Ground, Montmorency, Briar Hill and Lower Plenty) and who had then uploaded them to a Facebook group without any acknowledgement of the source of the images. Now we applaud that this individual clearly has an interest in our local history (why not join the Society?) but by not acknowledging the source of the images, he has denied us and the members of that group the ability to engage with each other and share more stories, helping to capture and preserve that local knowledge. In this particular instance, the images had only been catalogued and uploaded to Victorian Collections less than 24 hours earlier. One image we had been preparing for use in our popular #ThrowbackThursday post that week but this individual had stolen our ‘surprise and delight’ moment, at least for now, and a substitution had to be arranged.

The images taken were all subject to protection under Australian Copyright law. This individual and in turn Facebook via its group had breached the photographer’s copyright. Any image taken since January 1, 1955 is protected under copyright law. In the case of photos within our collection that remain in copyright, Eltham District Historical Society has either a full or limited license to use the images. This license is not transferable, so taking those images and republishing them is theft; identity theft. Even when photographs are no longer within copyright and considered to be in the public domain, Australian Copyright law still maintains that the artist/photographer is credited under the Moral Rights requirement.

Upon investigation, it was found that over the past three months, this individual had taken approximately 100 images from our collection and re-posted them. Never once did they acknowledge the source of the images, the photographer or whether they were still in copyright. People could mistakenly believe that these images were the personal property of the individual who posted them and not the result of significant efforts undertaken by a band of dedicated volunteers.

To take someone else’s images without acknowledgement is identity theft; it is immoral and in some situations a blatant breach of copyright law.

The administrator of the group was contacted and informed of this situation. We were pleased to see the offending posts were all removed within two days of notification.

Our volunteers have donated significant amounts of money and time to share these collections. To simply come along and take the images  to upload somewhere else without permission or any accreditation as to the source of the image or the photographer is disrespectful of our volunteers and their efforts as well as the donors of these images. It is disheartening and demoralising and curtails their enthusiasm to continue with this work. It also has the potential to curb future donations of material to the Society as donors may place restrictions on the use of their material and do not wish to see it posted all over the Internet without proper credit.

We are happy for our images to be shared but we want to be part of the discussion. The best way to share them is simply copy the link from our catalogue record and paste it into the Facebook post. Perhaps even tag us “@elthamhistory” in a comment. It could not be easier. Facebook automatically posts a thumbnail image for people to view and clicking on it will take you directly to the catalogue entry in Victorian Collections where more information may be found. It also helps facilitate our engagement with group members who may be interested in the image and have requests for further information.

Unfortunately, instances of this type of identity theft are still occurring. Have you witnessed examples? Have you seen posts on social media and wondered where did that image come from? Call it out and ask the person who posted it to provide the actual source of the image and the name of the photographer where possible. If you are an administrator to one of these social media groups, perhaps consider adding a group rule, pinned to the top of your page, requesting all images to have appropriate accreditation attached; source (with link where possible) and name of photographer. Many Facebook groups already have these rules in place and some even restrict images from being made public until the required information is provided.

As such, we feel that if we wish to continue sharing our collection, we have no choice but to watermark every image in future. A classic case of a few individuals spoiling it for everyone.

Please don’t steal our identity; share the link instead, and in doing so, share the love for our shared local history.

February Meeting – A stroll down Memory Lane 50 years ago; 14th Feb. 8pm

Eltham District Historical Society Meeting

Wednesday, 14th February at 8pm

Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham

Looking north along the west side of Main Road through the shopping centre, Eltham, February 1968. Shows the pedestrian crossing to the Railway Station and car parking. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

All are welcome to come along to our first meeting of the year to be held Wednesday, 14th February, 8:00 p.m. at the Senior Citizen’s Centre and our 303rd meeting since the Shire of Eltham Historical Society was formally established in October 1967.

Through the magic of Historypin we plan to travel back in time, 50 years to February 1968. Big changes to the township were afoot with the pending duplication of Main Road. A series of approximately 50 photos were taken in February 1968 by an unknown person of the section of Main Road planned for duplication, commencing at Pitt Street and traveling towards Research through the shopping centre, finishing just past Elsa Court.

These images now form our first showcase collection on Historypin, an online tool which combines with Google Street View to transition between views from ‘Then’ and ‘Now’.

At our meeting we will introduce this Historypin collection and view a number of the key images. The intention for this meeting is to provide a two-way discussion; so comments, personal recollections and corrections are most welcome as we take a Valentine Day’s walk down Main Road together.

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

MysteryMonday: Residential Street, Eltham Area, 16 May 1990

View of property at 24 Artists Hill from near 32 Piper Crescent, Eltham, 16 May 1990. Piper Crescent and Artists Hill have since been sealed. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

MYSTERY SOLVED – Piper Crescent, Eltham

#MysteryMonday – Following last Monday’s phenomenal response to our initial Mystery Monday challenge, which successfully identified the Long Gully Bridge in Panton Hill, today’s challenge may just prove a little more difficult.

Today’s images are of a residential area, possibly Research or Eltham North but frankly we leave that to you to call upon your collective expert local knowledge to decide. The pictures were taken on 16 May 1990 and are sequential on a roll of negative film. The first shot was stitched together from two frames, the second from three frames.

32 Piper Crescent, Eltham. The land to the right (behind the fenceline) is now the back of the properties at 1 to 4 Artists Hill (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

That is all that is on the negative. Perhaps the area strikes a chord with you, perhaps you even know someone who may live there. Perhaps the house is yours. It is very possible the street may now have been sealed.

Can you identify it? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where it is, any stories you can tell about the area, and better still, any similar photos you can share?

Over to you . . .

Nillumbik 2018 Community Group of the Year

2018 Community Group of the Year – Nillumbik Shire Council

Members of Eltham District Historical Society with Nillumbik Shire’s Mayor, Cr. Peter Clarke at the Nillumbik Shire Council Australia Day Awards held at Eltham Community Reception Centre, Australia Day, 26 January 2018.

The Eltham District Historical Society Incorporated is honoured to have received the 2018 Community Group of the Year Award from Nillumbik Shire Council, at the Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony in Eltham on 26th January 2018.
Eltham District Historical Society President Jim Connor said:

‘I am very pleased to accept this award on behalf of all members, past and present, who have contributed to our historical society, since it was established in 1967.’

‘Our society appreciates this recognition, especially as it follows the celebration of our 50th anniversary in 2017.’

‘Each of the significant milestones and achievements over the last 50 years have been the result of consistent efforts by dedicated and passionate believers in our local history, intent on encouraging the recognition and preservation of our valuable historical records representing activities and events that have occurred in the Eltham area. Receipt of this award is another page in the history of the Eltham District Historical Society.’

‘Stories of history we tell not only shape our past, they shape our future as well. We look forward to being an active part of Nillumbik’s future.’

ThrowbackThursday: Eltham Hardware & Timber Co., c.1952

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to the early 1950s to Main Road, Eltham, opposite the Railway Station. Specifically we are visiting the Eltham Hardware & Timber Company operated by J.N. Burgoyne and Sons.

Eltham Hardware & Timber Co., Proprietor J.N. Burgoyne and Sons, opposite the Railway Station, Main Road, Eltham, c.1952. Note that not only did the shop offer a full range of services but also available on the footpath out front is a Drinking Fountain, Mail Box, Petrol Bowser and Telephone Box. For the car aficionados, it appears to be a 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)

The Eltham Hardware and Timber Company first opened on Main Road opposite the Railway Station around late 1922. An advertisement placed in the Hurstbridge Advertiser advised that the Hardware Store had just opened with a varied stock of Saws, Hammers, Nails, Shovels, Screw Drivers, and every article required in a house or on a farm. People were also encouraged to try their Jams, Pickles, Sauces, Cups and Saucers, etc. (1).

A few months later in May 1923, William Walker, a plumber, placed an advertisement wishing to to announce that he had taken over the
ELTHAM HARDWARE STORE, and asked for the continued support of the district. He also noted that all kinds of Plumbing work was done.

Walker remained the proprietor of the Hardware Store for many years regularly advertising its services and wares up until at least 1941. The trail goes a bit quiet then but he does appear in the 1944 Electoral Roll listed as a Plumber, of Main Street, Eltham. However he is not listed in the 1949 Electoral Roll but his son, Thomas Roy Walker, also a plumber of Main Road is listed. Thomas had been on active duty overseas during the Second World War and returned at the end of 1945. It is assumed that William died sometime between 1945 and 1949.

On November 18th, 1950 the Hardware Store and residence was auctioned on site by Scarff Bros. Pty Ltd. The advertisement stated (2):


At 3 p.m.  On the property




FREEHOLD SHOP and 4-rm Dwelling and Hardware and General Agency Business, Including Petrol Reseller’s Licence, as a Going Concern. Also Freehold Lock-up Shop Adjoining. Let on a Weekly Tenancy. Land 50 x 150. This Affords Prospective Purchasers an Unequalled Opportunity to Secure a Going Concern with Unlimited Scope. Particularly as the property is Situate on a Main Arterial Road and the Petrol Sales Can be Vastly Improved with a Minimum of Expense. Trade Figures, Title Parts, &c. from the Auctioneers.


379 Collins Street, Melbourne

MB3238. After Hours WM2051

 It is presumed that this is when J.N. Burgoyne and Sons took over the business. It would have been around this time the picture of the store was taken for only three years later, in October 1953, the business and dwelling was again put up for sale, this time by Trebilcock Bros, in two separate lots (3). Coincidentally, the Hardware Store was taken over by Richard Phillip Trebilcock, an electrical engineer from Mayona Road, Montmorency (4).

SAT., OCTOBER 24.   At 3 p.m.




Two Adjoining Properties


To Be Sold In Separate Lots.


Freehold and Property, Plant, Fittings and Business; Plus Stock at Valuation. To be Sold as a Going Concern.

THE FREEHOLD PROPERTY Comprises Large Brick and Timber Shop. Well Fitted. Has Good Light. Comfortable 3-Room Dwelling and Detached Bungalow, H.W.S., Phone, Garage and Outbuildings. Situate on Large Allotment, 50 Ft. x 150 Ft. Aprox.

THE BUSINESS: Flourishing Hardware and Builders’ Supplies, Crockery, Glassware and Gifts, Dry Cleaning Agency and Petrol Reseller Licence (1 Bowser Installed), Oil Storage. Annual Turnover Aprox. £12,000. Audited Figures Available, Old-established Business Comprehensive Stock is Good, Clean and Saleable (Value Approx. £4000).

TERMS: £1000 Deposit, Balance 30 Days. VACANT POSSESSION.

LOT 2. — Superb Shop Sites. Adjoining the Above Property. Land 58 Ft. x 150 Ft. (Approx.). Erected on Land Is Old Style 4-r Timber Dwelling, Set Well Back from Footpath. Leaving Ample Apace to erect Shops. Also Small Shop Let as Agent’s Office. To Be Sold Subject to Existing Tenancies, Gross Rentals £106 12/ Per Annum. Terms: £1000 Deposit, Balance 30 days.

GENERAL: Eltham Is a Rapidly Developing Area only 12 Miles from G.P.O. Street Frontage of these Two Adjoining Properties Is 108 Feet By Depth of 150 Feet in the Heart of Expanding Shopping Centre, directly Opposite Station Entrance. Full Details and Inspection Available on Application from the Auctioneers:



Cor. Collins and Elizabeth Street.

C.1400, C. 8728. C. 4532

Richard Trebilcock announces he has taken over the Eltham Hardware & Timber Co. business, Diamond Valley Local, 24 November, 1953, p2. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)


  1. 1922 ‘Advertising’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 17 November, p. 3. (AFTERNOON), viewed 29 Nov 2017,
  2. 1950 ‘Advertising’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 18 November, p. 22. , viewed 29 Nov 2017,
  3. 1953 ‘Advertising’, The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), 3 October, p. 29. , viewed 29 Nov 2017,
  4. 1953 ‘Advertising’, “A New Deal in Harware”, Diamond Valley Local, 24 November, p.2.




ThrowbackThursday: Cnr of Brougham and Bolton Streets, Eltham, c.1950

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to around the 1950s to the corner of Brougham and Bolton streets where we find the property “Southernwood”. Built around 1891 it was originally owned by the Harbey family until purchased by the artist, Walter Withers in 1902. Withers added a studio to the property in 1903. The house was further modified in 1948 and remains essentially the same profile we see today.

Contained within the Society’s collection are two undated photographs, one of Southernwood and another looking east down Brougham Street from Bolton street, adjacent to the home.

Southernwood at the corner of Brougham and Bolton streets, c.1950. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)
Southernwood at the corner of Brougham and Bolton streets, 13 November 2017. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)

The image of the home appears to present its current profile so it reasonable to assume that both these images were taken post the 1948 additions, most likely in the 1950s.   It is also noted both Brougham and Bolton streets remain unsealed at that time.

Looking east along Brougham Street from adjacent to Southernwood at the corner of Brougham and Bolton streets, c.1950. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)
Looking east along Brougham Street from adjacent to Southernwood at the corner of Brougham and Bolton streets, 13 November 2017. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)

Of particular interest is the view looking down Brougham Street compared to today as it is apparent two of the trees present in the earlier image to the left of Brougham Street remain in place today. No doubt they probably greeted Walter Withers as he left his home and strolled down Brougham Street on his way to the railway station. What other stories could those trees tell us? At that time behind those trees was open fields, now an industrial estate. Let’s hope as progress continues its march that these trees remain as a link to our community’s heritage and days gone by.

Pre 1874 view of Eltham looking east from Bolton Street between Bridge Street and Brougham (Wellington) Street. Fenced road reserve on right is Brougham Street. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)