Category Archives: MysteryMonday

MysteryMonday: A Centre of Creativity or Simply Shabby Chic, Eltham, 1989?

#MysteryMonday – Today’s images are from a roll of colour negative film, taken by a staff member from the Shire of Eltham in 1989. Other pictures on the film include staff undertaking daily duties; building inspectors on site, health inspector at Safeway and maternal health care nurse attending to vaccinations. It is suspected that these images are in Eltham; possibly even associated with the Living and Learning Centre.

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 6 strips
Fuji 100
Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 6 strips
Fuji 100
artist?
Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 6 strips
Fuji 100

Is the fellow featured an artist? Do you recognise him or do any of the buildings look familiar?  As an aside; the tin sign lying flat on the brick structure behind him says “Atlantic Ethyl”. Atlantic Ethyl was a new motor spirit introduced in August 1934 by the Atlantic Union Oil Company claiming to give better performance and cold starts. The fuel was replaced with a new leaded variety in 1940. So it would seem that the sign is dated 1934-1940.

Can you identify these? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where they are and help us catalogue these images.

Over to you . . .

1934 ‘NEW MOTOR SPIRIT.’, Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), 2 August, p. 2. (EVENING.), viewed 06 Aug 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64286445

1940 ‘Leaded Petrol To Be Available’, Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), 23 March, p. 62. , viewed 06 Aug 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225981630

Advertisements

MysteryMonday: Residential Street, Eltham District, c.1990

#MysteryMonday – Today’s image is of a residential street, possibly Eltham, c.1990. It was around the time the Shire was introducing speed humps.

Residential Street, possibly Eltham, c.1990 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Can you identify this? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where it is and help us catalogue these images.

Over to you . . .

MysteryMonday: Real Estate Sales, Eltham District, c.Nov. 1992

#MysteryMonday – Today’s images are of the first two frames from a roll of negative film. They feature two separate properties up for sale and which had been sold by November 17, 1992. The other frames on the roll of film are not related but are probably the reason the film was originall donated to us. They concern an excursion undertaken by the Society to One Tree Hill Mine  on November 20, 1992. However, these images do interest us but we have no other information other than the thousand words contained in each picture.

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 4 strips
Fuji 100 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

The first is of a deceased estate sold by Peter McDougall of The Professionals; 23 acres in size on 2 titles in a prime position, with a made road frontage and close to the Pony Club with an easy drive to Eltham, Greensborough and Melbourne – so perhaps Kangaroo Ground? Given it is a made road frontage, probably one of the main roads and the property is number 100.

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 4 strips
Fuji 100 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

The second property is number 82, sold by Peter Reid Real Estate of 126 Bolton Street, Eltham. Not giving away much at all; so you either know it or you don’t.

Can you identify these? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where they are and help us catalogue these images.

Over to you . . .

MysteryMonday: Lavender Park Road; what’s in a name?

#MysteryMonday – Have you ever wondered how the street you live on came by its name? People, places and events shape where we live and provide us with an insight into the past and what was important at the time. For instance, Lavender Park Road in Eltham was once known as New Street. Why would they change a perfectly good name for the street, when it did not need to be, or did it?

Maybe it was because on the 29th of May 1954, a local Eltham carpenter by the name of John Swallow, committed a double murder at his home on New Street. This happened on the same day as the federal election of that year.

John 48, his wife Mary 47, and step daughter Patricia 25, all went to the Eltham Courthouse on Main Road to cast their vote in the election that Saturday. After voting they returned home to their New Street house around midday.

Patricia would later recall to ambulance officers, that she was feeling unwell, and so went to lay down when she heard an argument erupt over voting between her mother Mary and step father John.

A concerned neighbour heard loud thudding noises and yelling coming from John and Mary’s house, he went to investigate. When he arrived at the house he was met by John at the front door. He would later describe John as “having a frantic look upon his face, and manic eyes”. John must have been a sight, bleeding and clutching a cut throat razor by his side. He then announced to the neighbour, “they voted commie!” before turning and going back inside. The distressed neighbour immediately raced home to call the Police.

When the police arrived, they found Mary dead on the kitchen floor from catastrophic head injuries; her daughter, Patricia, clinging to life, slumped on her bed. Both women had been attacked by the same weapon, a large hammer, or sledge hammer as reported by the newspapers. John was also discovered in the house, bleeding from self-inflicted wounds from the razor, and had attempted to ingest caustic soda.

Patricia was taken to St Vincent’s hospital, but died the following day, the 30th of May. John was also taken to St Vincent’s, where he remained under constant police guard for several months while he recovered from his injuries, at least the physical. He was eventually well enough to be taken to the City Watch House and then Pentridge Prison before his trial in October of the same year.

When it came time for John to face the courts, the Judge called a mistrial, the Crown would not prosecute on the grounds of insanity. John was led away from the dock of The Magistrates Court and taken directly to Willsmere, the Kew Mental Asylum.

Kew Mental Assylum (from the collection of Public Record Office Victoria)

On the 9th of August 1962, John Mervyn Swallow died of heart failure, he was 57. He had been a resident of Kew for four years. John’s body was returned to Eltham Cemetery and buried in the same grave as Mary. There is no mention of his name on the head stone. Patricia’s grave is next to Mary and John. A sad irony has an angel upon her grave, “its head missing”, possibly vandals or just an accident of time and events.

Eltham Cemetery

What became of the home where all of this took place on New Street shall remain a mystery but within six months of this horrific event, the street had been re-named to Lavender Park Road after the original property near the end of the road, Lavender Park.

 

Contributed by by Heather Eastman

MysteryMonday: Footpath Maintenance Work, c.1990

#MysteryMonday – Today’s images are from a roll of negative film and feature maintenance work to a footpath section linking two roads at different levels. It’s quite unique so anyone who knows it should recognise it immediately.

(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Can you identify these? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where they are and help us catalogue these images.

Over to you . . .

MysteryMonday: Sackville Street, Montmorency, c.1990

SOLVED – Sackville Street, Montmorency near Harrington’s Reserve

#MysteryMonday – Today’s image from our collection has a note suggesting it is View Mount Court. We believe this is an error and we have not been able to correlate this apparently older residential street development with View Mount Court. View Mount Court also has underground power supply whereas this street is clearly equipped with power poles. Still, we are happy to be shown where, if it is. If not, are you able to identify it for us?

Sackville Street, Montmorency, c.1990 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where they are and help us catalogue these images.

Over to you . . .

MysteryMonday: A Boot in Time [UPDATED]

#MysteryMonday – Today we present a MysteryMonday of a somewhat different ilk; rather than solving the identity of a forgotten image, what we have is a tale of a mysterious event that occurred recently within our midst. It is a story of a woman’s boot, set in Eltham Cemetery, as told by Heather Eastman.

Victorian Ladies Side Lace-up Dainty Boots, c.1860. (Image Source: 1860-1960: one hundred years of fashion and accessories)

While out walking the dog one day past Eltham Cemetery on Mount Pleasant Road, I came across a very old looking boot. It was freshly dug up, most likely by a hungry and inquisitive fox looking for something to eat. It was sitting beside a sizable hole right next to the old green caretaker’s hut.

The boot appeared to be a genuine relic of the past. All leather, including the sole; laces long since gone. It had certainly seen better days with a few holes here and there and it was full of dirt.

I had seen boots like this before in pictures from the past. At a guess, it was a hundred years old, possibly more, and its owner, female with dainty feet.

I considered it may have come from the little Bootmaker’s cottage on Main Road. The cottage is still there, but of course has not witnessed boots made for years. I imagined when it did, they probably looked like this one.

I understand, around the time boots like this were worn, people were also quite superstitious. Often burying or concealing a single boot or shoe in a wall cavity or the like, to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune.

I failed to take a photo of the boot that day, so I went back a few days later to do so. However, the boot was gone, and in its place, appeared a fresh pile of mulch. The boot provided a brief glimpse into our past, now a mystery as to how it got there and who once owned it. The above image is a good match for the boot.

Bootmaker’s cottage adjacent to Whitecloud Cottage, opposite the intersection of Dalton Street at Main Road, Eltham, 5 Jun 1990 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Do you have any tales of mysterious happenings or events in the district you would like to share? If so, we’d love to hear from you

UPDATE – 7 August 2018

It turns out that the Eltham Cemetery staff rescued the boot and have stored it in a safe place. The following are photos of the actual boot! Now . . .  wonder whose boot it was? Stay tuned as this mystery may still have some life in it to boot around …

The actual boot (Photo courtesy of Eltham Cemetery Trust)
The actual boot (Photo courtesy of Eltham Cemetery Trust)