ThrowbackThursday: Roadworks, Bridge Street and Main Road, Eltham, 1968

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to 1968 and the intersection of Bridge Street and Main Road. Roadworks are well under way for the widening of Main Road from Pitt Street to Elsa Court. Extensive works were being undertaken to revise the intersection of Bridge Street. As a consequence, traffic delays were an everyday occurrence.

Excavating at the corner of Main Road and Bridge Street, Eltham, 1968; Roadworks for duplication of Main Road
(Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)
Reconstruction of the corner of Bridge Street and Main Road, Eltham, 1968; Roadworks for duplication of Main Road
(Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)
Excavating at the corner of Main Road and Bridge Street, Eltham, 1968; Roadworks for duplication of Main Road
(Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)
Reconstruction of the corner of Bridge Street and Main Road, Eltham, 1968; Roadworks for duplication of Main Road
(Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)
Traffic delays at the corner of Bridge Street and Main Road, Eltham whilst surveyors check the alignment, 1968; Roadworks for duplication of Main Road
(Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)
New embankment on southeast corner of Bridge Street and Main Road, 1968; Roadworks for duplication of Main Road
(Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)
New embankment on southeast corner of Bridge Street and Main Road, 1968; Roadworks for duplication of Main Road
(Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)
Main Road duplication at intersection with Bridge Street, Eltham, 1968. Shows the Eltham Shire Office, the construction of Panther Place and the new section of Main Road which was to become the northbound lanes.
(Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)

 

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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 . . .

ThrowbackThursday: Timber Railway Trestle Bridge, Eltham, c.1913

Trestle Bridge, Eltham, c.1912; note the Catholic Church in Henry Street and Shillinglaw Cottage visible in background

(from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

#ThrowbackThursday – Eltham today is just getting busier and busier; more housing and unit developments, more people and lots more traffic. And a stroll along the Diamond Creek Trail during footy season weekends near Central Park will encounter plenty of people watching the latest game; you would be lucky to even find a car park. Next time you wander along the trail or head down to watch a game, cast your mind back a hundred years or so and ponder what it was like. To set the scene, today we time travel back to circa 1913 to a point just beside the Diamond Creek, south of Central Park. As we cast our eyes to the east we immediately see two of the iconic sights of Eltham; the timber railway trestle bridge built just over ten years earlier and Shillinglaw Cottage in its original location and the Shillinglaw trees standing proudly in front. If you look carefully beyond the trestle bridge, past where the current Eltham Library now stands, you will also see a weatherboard building standing in isolation. This is the new St Mary’s Catholic Church on Henry Street near Main Road (or Maria Street). The church site had been relocated from further south along Main Road (near Wingrove Cottage) in order to be more central to the congregation following the shifting of the township away from Little Eltham and closer to the railway station. It was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1961.

Postcard of St Mary’s Catholic Church, cnr Main Road and Henry Street, Eltham which was opened 13 October 1912 and subsequently destroyed by fire.
(Donated by: Garnet Burges; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

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 . . .

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

ThrowbackThursday: Pete’s Pool Centre, Main Road, Eltham, c.1989

Pete’s Pool Centre, 660 Main Road, Eltham, c.1989 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

#ThrowbackThursday – With all the unseasonably warm weather we have had lately, good chance people have been able to get more use out of their pools this last summer and autumn. Of course pools require a lot of maintenance and upkeep so the local pool shop becomes a trusted friend, recommending this or advising that to keep your pool in tip top condition. Where’s your favourite pool centre now? Well today we time travel back to c.1989 and to Pete’s Pool Centre situated between 660 Main Road, Eltham and the Shell Service Station on the corner of Mount Pleasant Road, opposite Wingrove Park. And check out the price of petrol; $0.579 versus $1.519 today if you fill up.

Did you ever visit Pete’s Pool Centre? What was it like? It has gone now, the property absorbed into the Service Station and Kmart Tyre and Auto Repair business; grass where the building once stood. Ten years earlier it was the presence of Alan Whitmore Estate Agent, which we caught a sight of in a previous time jump to the 1978 Eltham Festival Parade. Maybe he sold Pete’s Pool Centre?

660 Main Road, Eltham, February 2017 (Google Street View)

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