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?
#ThrowbackThursday – Who remembers the old galvanised steel garbage bin? Who still has one?
Today we time travel back to the 80s to celebrate the garbo man; a person whom we got to know and say g’day to – to a time when the garbo man left you a Xmas card and you left him a slab. None of these sanitised, oversized wheelie bins and trucks where the garbo man operates in a safe, climate controlled environment. Where’s the challenge in that when he can wrestle with a beat up old tin can or a broken plastic one on his shoulder and goodness knows what spikey, smelly things lurking in that green or black plastic bag just waiting to spill all over him. And when you ask how business is, his cheery response invariably is, “It’s picking up!”
If you would like to see more photos from our collection of around the Shire of Eltham in the 80s then make sure to drop into Eltham Library throughout June and check out the display. We welcome any feedback especially in helping identify some of the people.
Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham
We will be pleased to welcome Andrew Mackenzie OAM, a regular friend of the Eltham District Historical Society. Andrew is an Art Historian, Lecturer, Heritage Consultant, Archivist and Author of many books, including a number about the life of Walter Withers (1854-1914). At this meeting Andrew will speak about Walter Withers in Eltham.
There are a number of strong connections between the Withers family and early Eltham, which Andrew will touch on. Not only did Withers establish his home in Eltham from 1902, he painted a number of his significant paintings around Eltham and the local area.
He even captured William Capewell, the local Eltham butcher, in his famous painting ‘The Drover’.
As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.
#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to the 1960s and the scene of disaster in every child’s eyes; a fire in the local Milk Bar. Who remembers this Milk Bar on Main Road near Arthur Street, and the fire? Do you recall what happened and did the business recover from the fire? Was it your hang-out after school? What was your favourite treat there? Please share your stories and let us know what your memories are of this local Aussie institution and the people that patronised it.
#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to 1999 and the building of the new Coles store in the Eltham Village Shopping Centre at the corner of Main Road and Arthur Street, Eltham. This site has seen a fair number of changes over the years but this would have to be the biggest and deepest cut of all.
Our Society encourages interest in and the sharing of stories about the local history of the Eltham district in Victoria, Australia