Tag Archives: Eltham Library

ThrowbackThursday: Henry Street, west of Main Road, Eltham, 1967

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to July 1967. Eltham Shire officers from the Engineering and Planning department are about to set off from their new Shire offices at 895 Main Road to photo document Alma Road and Kett Street in Lower Plenty. Armed with a fresh roll of film they shoot off two images on the roll on to ensure all of of the exposed film leader is wound on. At the time these two images were just innocuous and possibly irrelevant to the task but today they capture a perfect time capsule of memories that are now decades gone.

Looking southwest from Eltham Shire Offices towards Shillinglaw Cottage, Henry Street and the Eltham Tip site, c.July 1967 (Photo: Shire of Eltham; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Standing at the south western corner of the Shire Offices they shot an image looking across to the south west at what would become known as Eltham Common. But in July 1967 what we see running down the hill is the western end of Henry Street, which used to run across Main Road and down to the Eltham Tip on the right of the image. At the left just beyond Henry Street is the newly relocated Shillinglaw Cottage, which was relocated from the site we are looking from to make way for the new Shire Offices. If we were to stand there today on what is now a vacant site it would be impossible to even see this view today as directly in front of us would be the new Eltham Library opened in 1994. But back then in 1967, even the old Eltham Library did not exist. That did not come till August 1971 when the southern wing extension to the Shire Offices was built.

The new Shire of Eltham Offices, opened 1965, c.July 1967 (Photo: Shire of Eltham; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Our photographer then turned to his left to shoot his second image, capturing the southern end of the new Shire Offices. You can just see Main Road, which was duplicated a year later. This view was lost when the southern wing was added in 1971 to provide a home for the Planning Department and the new/old Eltham Library.

Completing the south wing of Eltham Shire Offices for Library and Planning Departments, 1971. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Prior to 1971, the Shire operated a library initially from November 1965, serviced by the newly formed Heidelberg Regional Library Service, with a mobile library stop near the Shillinglaw trees and then from 1966 out of the converted ‘Brinkotter’ Cottage in Dudley Street staffed by the City of Heidelberg Library. A Children’s Toy Library operated from the Eltham War Memorial Building from 1952.

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ThrowbackThursday: Main Road Between Henry & York Streets, 1968-72

#ThrowbackThursday – It’s school holidays and the traffic has eased somewhat but do you remember a time when it was pretty good all the time? Today we time travel back almost 50 years to revisit Main Road between Henry and York streets. Progress had arrived at little Eltham and the planners had put in place plans to ease traffic concerns with the duplication of Main Road from Bridge Street to Elsa Court commencing in 1968.

This small selection captures some of the scenes after duplication (c.1972) between York and Henry Streets. On the east side is A.R. Warren Fuel Merchant and the Grain and Feed store on the corner with York Street, now @LePineFunerals and on the southeast corner of York Street is the old Bakery. Looking north on the west side in the distance we can see the former Shire of Eltham offices and that too underwent significant change in this period with the addition of a southern wing that housed Eltham Library and the Shire Engineers in 1971. And in the foreground is what would become Alistair Knox Park.

What else can you see in this time-capsule? What memories do they stir up within you?

Road construction equipment used in the widening and lane duplication of Main Road looking north from near York Street, the old Shire offices visible in the distance on left, c.1968. (Photographer: Hugh Fisher. From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Completing the south wing of Eltham Shire Offices for Library and Planning Departments, 1971. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Main Road looking from near Bridge street with D. Lyons house on right and the old Shire offices on the left in the distance. On other side of house was the location of Lyon’s original garage, c.1972. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Main Road looking south towards Bridge Street with A. Warren wood yard and the Grain and Stock Feed store on left, c.1972. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
A.R. Warren (Fuel Merchant) house; present day location of Le Pine Funeral Home, c.1972. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Looking across A.R. Warren (Fuel Merchant) house from the Grain store at Main Road and the parkland opposite which today are Le Pine Funerals and Alistair Knox Park, c.1972. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Old Bakery and house at the corner of York Street and Main Road, c.1972. (Photographer: Hugh Fisher. From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

February Meeting – Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photo Collection

Eltham District Historical Society Meeting

10th February at 8pm

Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham

Our Society is fortunate to have access to digitised images in the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection, through a joint project with the Yarra Plenty Regional Library, funded by a State Government Local History grant. The historic photograph collection was established by the Eltham Shire Council in 1971 and is held at the Eltham Library.

At our first Society meetings in 2014 and 2015 we received positive feedback when we presented and discussed selected images from this collection.

Hon. W.H. Everard, MLA, speaking at the opening of the Eltham Swimming Pool. Late Crs Braid and Kirkland cut the ribbon at opening ceremony of swimming pool. (1936)
Hon. W.H. Everard, MLA, speaking at the opening of the Eltham Swimming Pool. Late Crs Braid and Kirkland cut the ribbon at opening ceremony of swimming pool. (1936) – Image source YPRL

Accordingly this year for our meeting on Wednesday 10th February 2016, at 8.00pm at the Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, we will again choose a number of photographs of local interest. This time we will consider some images that are unusual or not often viewed so as to encourage comments and contributions from members and visitors.

Introduction and commentary on the pictures will be provided by Russell Yeoman and some other members. Russell has been involved with the collection since its inception when some were used in the 1971 Shire publication: Pioneers and Painters. As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.

As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.

A Virtual Eltham Literary Tour

Eltham District Historical Society Meeting

11th November 2015 at 8pm

Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham

Alan Marshall by Alan Martin; Nillumbik Shire Council Art Collection
Alan Marshall by Alan Martin; Nillumbik Shire Council Art Collection

The topic for our November meeting is inspired by a literary tour of Eltham organised by the Eltham Library a few years ago. Of course at a meeting we cannot actually visit sites associated with local writers but we will discuss their lives, writings and Eltham connections.

The starting point for this presentation was a long list of local writers, including many present day authors, with quite a few being members of our Society. To keep the presentation to a manageable length we will deal only with writers and literary figures who have passed away. The presentation by a panel of members will include a number of readings relevant to each of the subjects.

A particular feature will be the life and work of Alan Marshall who had a long association with Eltham and is our most famous and well known author. In 1971 he wrote Pioneers & Painters: One Hundred Years of Eltham and its Shire. In the chapter ‘Educationalists and Writers’ he notes that “Writers came to Eltham for the same reason as did the painters: their neighbours had similar interests and the surroundings attracted them.”

His stories about local writers have informed the preparation for this meeting.

This meeting will take place at 8.00 pm on Wednesday 11th November in the Eltham Senior Citizen’s Centre, Library Place Eltham.

As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.

Eltham Libraries

Eltham District Historical Society Meeting

13 May 2015 at 8pm

Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham

13 May 2015 Meeting

The presentation at our May meeting  will include a panel of speakers, with opportunities for other members to comment about their memories and experiences with Eltham libraries.

This meeting date was intentionally selected to coincide with the ‘21st Birthday’ of our current Eltham Library complex, which was opened on 22nd May 1994.

As this was not the first library in Eltham, we will explore earlier versions starting from the 1930’s at various locations leading up to us then looking at the development and operation of our present library, including the range of current community connections.

As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.

 EDHS meeting 13 May 2015

Photographs from the Eltham Pioneers Collection

Unveiling of the Obelisk, corner of Main Road and Bridge Street, Eltham

Eltham District Historical Society Meeting

11 February 2015 at 8pm

Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham

In 2013 our Society was involved in a project for digitisation of the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection. This was joint project with the Yarra Plenty Regional Library and was funded by a State Government Local History grant. It involved the digitisation of the historic photo collection established by Eltham Shire Council in 1971 and held at the Eltham Library. This project involved some 400 items and concluded the digitisation of the complete collection started earlier by the library. The project was co-ordinated by Liz Pidgeon from YPRL.

The agenda item for our February 2014 meeting was a presentation comprising about 40 images from this collection. For our February meeting this year we will show a further 40 or so slides. Pictures will be selected for their visual interest or for the story that they tell. They will be a representative sample from the whole of the former Shire of Eltham, extending from Lower Plenty to Kinglake.

Introduction and commentary on the pictures will be provided by Maureen Jones, Russell Yeoman and other members. Russell has been involved with the collection since its inception and Maureen has assisted with the recent project. It is hoped that the presentation will inspire comment from members on the photographs or more broadly on their subject matter.

As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.