History Matters

Photo: Eltham c.1900 (from the collection of EDHS)

History Matters by Jim Connor

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
          – Martin Luther King Jnr.

History matters… to our sense of place, where we are both physically and mentally, where we fit into the place where we are and how we relate to our surroundings.

History matters… when locating yourself in time, in your part of your own history, whether it is your family, your community, your culture, your lived life experiences. These all form part of our own history we carry with us and build on as we proceed on our life journey.

History matters… to the political climate of the time, what has or has not occurred and how those decisions impact on our past, current and future history.

History matters… to how we honour our own history and of those we relate to.

History matters… to how our built and natural environment evolves, how it reflects and respects the past and how it is developed or changed around us and by us.

History matters… if we think it does, if we believe it does, if we encourage others to understand it does.

History matters… to our memories that retain our history and to the memories of those around us.

History matters… to the stories we know and tell and the stories of other people.

History matters… to how we see ourself in the world.

History just matters!

Stories of history we tell not only shape our past, they shape our future as well.

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ThrowbackThursday: Eltham Art and Craft Market 1988

#ThrowbackThursday – The 1980s; big jeans, big shoulders, big hair (and short shorts, aka Stubbies, on blokes). And 1988 was probably the pinnacle of that 80s fashion.

Today we time travel back to June 1988; to the carpark between Safeway and Commercial Place, site of the  regular @Eltham Community Craft and Produce Market where all that was fashionable was available.

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. The full roll can be seen in our catalogue on Victorian Collections.

No doubt most Elthamites have at some stage or other spent time wandering around the Art and Craft market. Do you recognise anyone in these images? Do you recognise yourself? What are your memories of time spent here and purchases made?

And don’t forget to check out the backgrounds to see what has changed and what is still the same.

ThrowbackThursday: Eltham Parade 1982

#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.

An fabulous display of local flowers and veggies proudly lead the parade down Main Street, Eltham, 1982

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.

What is a parade without a fire engine to rev up the children (big and small). The Catholic Church can be seen in the background, much the same as today.
The Tasmanian Wilderness Society’s platypus float and Save the Franklin campaign, which resulted in success in 1983.
The Shire of Eltham Historical Society’s float as we used to be formally known as prior to the cessation of the Shire in late 1994.
And what parade in Eltham did not include Jock Read on his faithful mount here leading (but not seen in this image) the Horse and Pony club.
The Living and Learning Centre float
Diamond Valley Railway was founded in 1960 and commenced operations in 1961. Celebrating 21 years of passenger service.
The Victorian Police Marching Band take up the parade rear guard
The Victorian Police Marching Band standing proud in the pouring rain
The Shire of Eltham Historical Society were awarded a certificate by Rotary for the most effort by ‘locals’ in participation of the Eighth Eltham Community Festival 1982.

ThrowbackThursday: Maunder’s Licensed Foodcentre, Lower Plenty

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to the Lower Plenty shops and Maunder’s Licensed Foodcentre at the corner of Main Road and Para Road, Lower Plenty, c.1976; known today as the Lower Plenty IGA or Lower Plenty Cellars and Supermarket. And alongside, another well known favourite, Thompsons Pharmacy, still going strong over 40 years later as well as the newsagency.

As always, we’d love to hear your recollections of visiting the Foodcentre, Thompsons, the newsagency or indeed any of the shops in this local shopping precinct.

Lower Plenty shops, c.1976 (Photo: EDHS collection)

 

Lower Plenty shops, Sep 2016 (Photo: Google Street View)

 

ThrowbackThursday: Willy Wonka’s Icecream Shop

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back in four jumps to the site of 820 Main Road, Eltham;

Photograph: J. Connor 2008

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.

Source: Copy held by Eltham District Historical Society of original photograph; photographer unknown

Next leap is 40 years back to the mid 1970s when the shop was then known as Marchant’s Milk Bar.

Source: From the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection (No. 702) held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library; originally donated by Bruce Burgoyne to the former Shire of Eltham.

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.

Source: From the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection (No. 701) held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library

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.

The original Burgoynes store as seen by Google Streetview, Feb 2017

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: Ansell and Muir’s Chicken Shop, Main Rd, Eltham South

#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 South Store later Ansell & Muir c.1960 [Photo from the collection of EDHS; donated by George W. Bell]
Current site of the former Chicken shop

 

ThrowbackThursday: Research Football Club 1959 Premiers

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to the Eltham Easter Festival c.1960 and the ERSILAC parade featuring the Research Football Club float proudly flying their 1959 Premiers banner.

Who was there and can remember this?

Does anyone know what the ERSILAC parade was?

As always, we love to read your comments and learn of your memories of times gone by; both recent and distant.

Research Football Club float, ERSILAC Parade, Eltham Easter Fair c.1960.
 [From the EDHS Collection]

Our Society encourages interest in and the sharing of stories about the local history of the Eltham district in Victoria, Australia