Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham
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.
#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.
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.
#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back in four jumps to the site of 820 Main Road, Eltham;
First stop is around ten years ago c.2007-2008 where we find Eltham Fine Food & Ice-cream, otherwise known locally as Willy Wonka’s given its motorised feature above the ice-cream servery. Many a child would have stood and wondered at this feature whilst waiting for their treats.
Next leap is 40 years back to the mid 1970s when the shop was then known as Marchant’s Milk Bar.
Now we jump back 77 years to 1940 where we meet the original owners, the Burgoyne family standing outside their shop. The extension with entrance to the right was a recent addition which in later years was variously modified and blocked off.
And finally back approximately one hundred years to its original version, J.N. Burgoyne’s Grocery Store and Post Office.
As always, we’d love for you to share your memories of visits to Willy Wonka’s (Eltham Fine Food & Ice-cream) or to Marchant’s Milk Bar.
Of course it is unlikely that many today will personally remember Burgoyne’s as it was back in its time but it’s great to see the heritage of our area still standing and still being used.
Back to the future and more recently, the shop was known as Sweet D Lites though has since closed. Big changes are now in store for the original building with a development application, initially refused by Nillumbik Council.
In November 2016 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approved an application to allow the redevelopment of this property to provide two shops, building and works, including part demolition, alterations and extensions to this existing heritage building and construction of a contemporary addition with three, two-bedroom dwellings, including partly above the roof level of the existing heritage building. The Eltham District Historical Society was an objector at VCAT to this application.
#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to 1960 Main Road, Eltham opposite the Lower Eltham Park, site of the current Fleur de Feliss flower stall. Many longer term residents of Eltham have fond memories of the chicken shop run by Ansell and Muir. Unfortunately the store stood within the 1934 flood zone and the property was unable to be be redeveloped. The former Shire of Eltham acquired the land and the building was subsequently demolished.
As always, we’d love to hear your recollections of visiting this store.
Eltham Lower Park has played an important part in the history of our area since the early days of European settlement when it was used by local residents as an informal racecourse. Prior to that its location at the junction of the Diamond Creek and the Yarra River made it an
important meeting place for the Wurundjeri people.
The park combines formal elements and sporting facilities with remnant bushland that is of environmental significance. It is home to sporting and horse riding clubs, popular play spaces and the Diamond Valley Miniature Railway, which attracts large numbers of visitors.
The park will be the venue for our July excursion which will comprise a walk of about 3.5 km around the park and adjacent areas. Along the way we will discuss the history and natural history of the area. The path along the creek and the river provides a pleasant and scenic walk.
The walk will start at 2pm at the Main Road car park at the front of the park. (Melway ref 21 H 10).
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.
#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to Arthur Street, Eltham in the 1940s. Site of the current Eltham Town Square and Woolworths carpark, 70 years ago it was the very distinguished home of Mr and Mrs Ernie Andrew. The house was known locally as “Cook’s Cottage” as it reminded locals of that rather more well known cottage of the same name in the Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne.
Ernie Andrew died in 1950 and sadly not long afterwards Eltham lost a very unique landmark when the house was demolished.
A few of our older members can still recall the house – does anyone else have recollections of it?
Our Society encourages interest in and the sharing of stories about the local history of the Eltham district in Victoria, Australia