Category Archives: People

ThrowbackThursday: Pryor Street, Eltham, c.1960

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to 1960 and Pryor Street, Eltham near the intersection with Main Road.

Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1960 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)

Standing about halfway on the southern side of Pryor Street looking towards Main Road, we see on the northeastern corner, the new branch of the State Savings Bank of Victoria under construction. A brickie’s cement mixer stands on the footpath beside the building and the roofing is yet to be completed. In 1980 the State Savings Bank of Victoria name was revised to the State Bank of Victoria, which was eventually sold and absorbed into the Commonwealth Bank in 1990. Given the Commonwealth Bank already had a branch in Eltham, the building was acquired by the Bank of Melbourne which itself was acquired by the Westapc Bank in 1997. Despite some modifications and extensions, the current @Westpac Eltham branch building remains very recognisable especially when viewed from Pryor Street, even 58 years later.

Next door up the hill is a white timber building, Eltham Plumbing Supplies operated by Leonard and Jeannette Patricia Whiteway. Unlike the bank, this site has seen many changes. In 1963 a  Petition for Bankruptcy was issued re Jeanette Patricia Whiteway of 88 Napoleon Street, Eltham, house duties, and carrying on a business at Pryor Street, Eltham in partnership with another as a plumber under the names Eltham Plumbing Supplies and L. & J.P. Whiteway. The Whiteways kept trading and four years later sought a notice for discharge. Eventually the building became the Eltham Bookshop including bric-a-brac items for sale.

With the development of the Eltham shopping district and Commercial Place, the building was demolished and a new cafe, the Eira Cafe and Lounge Bar replaced it and which more recently came under new ownership as the Jock and Eddie Cafe.

Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1986. Showing the State Bank of Victoria and former Eltham Plumbing Supplies, by then the Eltham Bookshop on the right (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory).
Looking northwest along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1986. Showing the State Bank of Victoria and former Eltham Plumbing Supplies, by then the Eltham Bookshop. (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)
Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, Oct 2017 (Google Street View)
Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1960 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)

In this view, the house immediately to the left was the first house built in Pryor Street. By 1964 the property was in the ownership of the Shire of Eltham and was relocated c.1965 near to the area of the currrent Barak Bushlands.

Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1960 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)
Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham, Oct 2017 (Google Street View)

 

References:

1963 ‘SEQUESTRATION ORDERS AND FIRST MEETINGS’, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National : 1901 – 1973), 12 September, p. 3259. , viewed 10 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article241015035

1967 ‘NOTICE OF ORDERS OF DISCHARGE’, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National : 1901 – 1973), 11 May, p. 2427. , viewed 10 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article241040009

@Westpac

@Jock&Eddie

Advertisements

ThrowbackThursday: Arbor Day, Eltham Town Park, 1973

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to October 10, 1973 and the location bounded by Main Road and Bridge Street, Eltham. It is Arbor Day and the school children of the Shire of Eltham are planting native trees in the newly created Eltham Town Park. This event had previously been planned to take place during the visit of Sir Rohan Delacombe to the Shire on 19th September, 1973 but was cancelled that day due to the inclement weather.

The following are four images from our collection of 24 images from that day and we invite you to review all 24 in our catalogue on @victoriancollections. In these you will see the areas allocated for Montmorency Primary School and Panton Hill Primary School. The lake in the park is still under construction.

Were you part of this Arbor Day event? Do you recognise yourself or friends in the photos? A number of teachers also feature. We would really appreciate any comments you can offer that would help identify people and other memories. Comments can easily be left against each image in our catalogue record on Victorian Collections.

ELTHAM – ARBOR DAY, 10 Oct 1973.
Alistair Knox with school children of the Shire of Eltham, Vic, planting native trees in the Town Park, 10 October 1973
(Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection, No. 783 held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library)
ELTHAM – ARBOR DAY, 10 Oct 1973.
School children of the Shire of Eltham planting trees in Eltham Town Park, later to be renamed Alistair Knox Park. Looking west along Bridge Street. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)
ELTHAM – ARBOR DAY, 10 Oct 1973.
School children of the Shire of Eltham planting trees in Eltham Town Park, later to be renamed Alistair Knox Park. Looking north along Main Road; the Eltham Shire Office visible in distance. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)
ELTHAM – ARBOR DAY, 10 Oct 1973.
School children of the Shire of Eltham planting trees in Eltham Town Park, later to be renamed Alistair Knox Park. Looking south towards Bridge Street. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society.)

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

ThrowbackThursday: Maria Street near Eltham Railway Station, c.1910

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to Main Road, Eltham, c.1910, opposite the relatively new Railway Station. At that time and up until the late 1940s, Main Road was known as Maria Street.

https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/5ad05cad21ea721b748d29d4
Looking northwest across Maria Street, Eltham towards Eltham Railway Station, c.1910. (From the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph collection No. 613, held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library.)

In this view we are standing near the northeast corner of what will become the intersection of Arthur Street and Main Road looking northwest across the road. The railway station can be seen on the left. In the centre is a small wooden shop front with H.H. Clark painted on the sides, believed to be from where Mr. Horace H. Clark conducted his estate agency and auction sales business. Further down the road to the right of picture is another shop belonging to Mr. W.J. Capewell, butcher.

https://goo.gl/maps/nD36wPp1SmE2
Looking northwest across Main Road, Eltham from the intersection with Arthur Street (Google Street View, October 2017)

The same view today.

https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/5ad05c2d21ea721b748ca5ee
Looking southwest across Maria Street, Eltham towards Eltham Railway Station, c.1910. (From the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph collection No. 609, held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library.)

And in this view we are standing near the future intersection of Pryor Street and Main Road looking to the southwest across Maria Street.  W.J. Capewell’s shop front is forefront on the right; note the Hot Water sign painted on the fence. In the distance is a larger shop, Lloyd’s General Store (later Staff’s) with Summer Drinks and Hot Water also advertised on the building’s side. This shop was located opposite to where Arthur Street is now situated. Between these two buildings can be seen H.H. Clark’s agency though you need to look closely as it is very small in size.

https://goo.gl/maps/7KK4TzKatrQ2
Looking southwest across Main Road, Eltham from near the intersection with Pryor Street (Google Street View, October 2017)

The same view today.

As can be seen, the landscape has undergone dramatic transformation over the last 100 plus years. What changes will there be in the next 100?

These photographs form part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book, “Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham” by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the ‘The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.’
It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire’s first one hundred years.

 

Ref: 1930 ‘DEATH OF MR. H. H. CLARK’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 21 March, p. 3. (AFTERNOON), viewed 26 Jun 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57762046

@YarraPlentyRegionalLibrary @therealelthamlibrary @elthamhistory @YarraPlentyLib

ThrowbackThursday: Junction of Sherbourne, Para and Simms Roads, Briar Hill, 1967

Preliminary construction work for the re-alignment of the Para Road, Simms Road and Sherbourne Road intersection prior to the replacement of the Sherbourne Road railway overpass bridge at Briar Hill, 3 November, 1967. Viewed from the western side of Para Road adjacent to Graham Body Works.
(Photo: Photostitch from multiple images on a roll of 35mm black and white negative film; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to November 3, 1967 to the intersection of Para Road and Sherbourne Road, Briar Hill; or is it? In fact, Sherbourne Road still ends at the railway overpass, in a T-intersection with Para Road and Simms Road is a T-intersection off Para Road a few yards down from the railway bridge. On the corner of Simms Road and Para Road is an older house, which belongs to Mrs Cameron. Her daughter married a man named Davey after whom Davey Street is named. But there is a bulldozer at work and a large section of land is being cleared and levelled. Work is under way to commence the realignment of Para Road and Sherbourne Road in preparation of a new railway overpass. The access to Simms Road will change significantly and Mrs Cameron’s house has its days numbered as it is about to become the site of the new Montmorency Secondary College, which will open in 1969. Where the two cars are parked is where the roundabout intersection is sited today.

Preliminary construction work for the re-alignment of the Para Road, Simms Road and Sherbourne Road intersection prior to the replacement of the Sherbourne Road railway overpass bridge at Briar Hill, 3 November, 1967. Viewed from the western side of Para Road adjacent to Graham Body Works.
(Photo: Photostitch from multiple images on a roll of 35mm black and white negative film; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Preliminary construction work for the re-alignment of the Para Road, Simms Road and Sherbourne Road intersection prior to the replacement of the Sherbourne Road railway overpass bridge at Briar Hill, 3 November, 1967. Viewed from the eastern side of Para Road opposite Graham Body Works.
(Photo: Photostitch from multiple images on a roll of 35mm black and white negative film; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Preliminary construction work for the re-alignment of the Para Road, Simms Road and Sherbourne Road intersection prior to the replacement of the Sherbourne Road railway overpass bridge at Briar Hill, 3 November, 1967. Viewed from the railway line opposite Graham Body Works.
(Photo: Photostitch from multiple images on a roll of 35mm black and white negative film; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Preliminary construction work for the re-alignment of the Para Road, Simms Road and Sherbourne Road intersection prior to the replacement of the Sherbourne Road railway overpass bridge at Briar Hill, 3 November, 1967. Viewed from the railway line opposite Graham Body Works.
(Photo: Photostitch from multiple images on a roll of 35mm black and white negative film; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Preliminary construction work for the re-alignment of the Para Road, Simms Road and Sherbourne Road intersection prior to the replacement of the Sherbourne Road railway overpass bridge at Briar Hill, 3 November, 1967. Viewed from the railway line opposite Graham Body Works.
(Photo: Photostitch from multiple images on a roll of 35mm black and white negative film; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Preliminary construction work for the re-alignment of the Para Road, Simms Road and Sherbourne Road intersection prior to the replacement of the Sherbourne Road railway overpass bridge at Briar Hill, 3 November, 1967. Viewed from the railway line opposite Graham Body Works.
(Photo: Photostitch from multiple images on a roll of 35mm black and white negative film; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

ThrowbackThursday: Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 1954

#ThrowbackThursday – “Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?I’ve been up to London to look at the queen!” Well, we are going to save you the trouble of going to London to look at the Queen because today we time travel back to 24 February 1954 and Main Road, Eltham when the Queen is visiting Eltham to look at us. A public holiday was declared to enable people to welcome Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Looking north along Main Road just south of Arthur Street; Staff’s store on left, Shire Offices on right. Preparations for the Royal Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 24 Feb 1954.
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith, donated by: Diana Bassett-Smith; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Were you present in the crowd? Or were your parents? Do you have any photos? We would love to hear about your personal stories and any photos you may have of the event you would like to share.

Looking north along Main Road near intersection of Arthur Street. Preparations for the Royal Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 24 Feb 1954.
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith, donated by: Diana Bassett-Smith; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Official welcoming party. Mr Frank Davis MHR (on far right). Preparations for the Royal Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 24 Feb 1954.
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith, donated by: Diana Bassett-Smith; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Official welcoming party. Mr Frank Davis MHR (on far right). Preparations for the Royal Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 24 Feb 1954.
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith, donated by: Diana Bassett-Smith; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Eltham Shire Offices, corner of Arthur Street and Main Road. Preparations for the Royal Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 24 Feb 1954.
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith, donated by: Diana Bassett-Smith; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Looking south along Main Road just south of Arthur Street; Staff’s store on right. Preparations for the Royal Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 24 Feb 1954.
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith, donated by: Diana Bassett-Smith; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Army Band assembled in Arthur Street. Preparations for the Royal Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 24 Feb 1954.
L-R: Mrs Arthur Bird (Dave Lyon’s sister); Bert Bredle , RSL President; Cr Griffiths; Cr Harmer; Cr Squire; Mrs Squire; Mrs Addison; Cr Stanley S. Addison
Dave Lyon’s house on north east corner of Arthur Street and Main Road now ANZ Bank site.
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith, donated by: Diana Bassett-Smith; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Councillors and others outside Eltham Shire Office and Hall (demolished 3 Nov 1970), corner of Arthur Street and Main Road. Preparations for the Royal Visit by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Eltham, 24 Feb 1954.
L to R: Mrs Frank Davis; Alf Davis; Mrs Alf Davis (head turned away); Mrs F.E. Griffith; Mrs E.P. Harmer; Mrs Ham; Mrs S.S. Addison; Mr C.G. Seear; Cr F.V. Squire; Cr E.P. Harmer; Cr S.S. Addison (Shire President, in uniform, former Bursar of the University of Melbourne and resident of Kangaroo Ground); R.J. (Dick) Ham, Shire Secretary; Cr Frederick E. Griffith (looking at camera, Australian flag at his left, died May 1979 in Queensland, formerly of ‘Banoon’, Eltham, former Shire President, buried in Eltham Cemetery
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith, donated by: Diana Bassett-Smith; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

MysteryMonday: A Boot in Time

#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