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.




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