#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 – Today we time travel back in four jumps to the site of 820 Main Road, Eltham;
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.
Next leap is 40 years back to the mid 1970s when the shop was then known as Marchant’s Milk Bar.
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.
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.
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 – Today we time travel back to the 1960s and the scene of disaster in every child’s eyes; a fire in the local Milk Bar. Who remembers this Milk Bar on Main Road near Arthur Street, and the fire? Do you recall what happened and did the business recover from the fire? Was it your hang-out after school? What was your favourite treat there? Please share your stories and let us know what your memories are of this local Aussie institution and the people that patronised it.
At the Movies by Maureen Jones was first published in our November 2014 newsletter.
Our Society has very little on movie theatres in Eltham and we are looking for members and friends to help us out with this.
The Advertiser of 21st March 1930 described a travelling picture company which entertained an audience in the Eltham public hall with two dramas and a comedy. The chief drama “The Freedom of the Press” emphasized to what personal sacrifice proprietors and editors had to undergo to maintain the duty a newspaper owed to its readers and the general public. Sound familiar? The article goes on ‘It is a strange thing that at Eltham most picture shows, although many of them present quite good programmes, are as a rule poorly patronized. Perhaps this is accountable for by the comparative proximity of the city and suburban theatres.’
This was the time when Kooringarama Films, then the only amateur moving picture company in Australia, and which took its name from the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Boake (York Street), were busily engaged in making their second film. Their first film was “Borrowed Plumes.” Mr. E. Lyall, a local resident was the cameraman and many of the principals and actors were known locally.
The Cinema and Theatre Historical Society of Australia (CATHS) was able to tell us that there were movies in the Plaza from 1943-1965 and they ceased sometime between 1966 and 1968. The Plaza was probably another name for the Shire Hall facilities. Charles Plowman was the theatre licensee 1943 -1957, L. Riley 1961-1964 and E.H. Gibson in 1965. From our own resources we have this photograph of the Hall. From our own members we know that Charlie Plowman lived in Lavender Park Road and for all car buffs he drove a 1937-38 era Crossley motor vehicle. Albie Parsons volunteered as a doorman, Jim Crick was the projectionist with Tom Williams as his assistant.
CATHS have evidence that films were shown in Montmorency at the Public Hall and it was registered for 120 seats. ‘Exhibitors’ were F. Daley (1949-50), H. Murphy (1950-1951), D.W. Griggs (1951- 1954) and W.J. Mogridge 1954-1955 to 1959-1960). The theatre name was shown in Film Weekly as ‘Public Hall’ until 1955-56 then it was called ‘Mechanics’ for three years then reverted to ‘Public Hall’ until 1959-1960. At one time it was called the Morency theatre. It was listed as a country theatre in late 1950s.
In 1975 the idea of having a dedicated movie theatre was generated by Eltham Rotary with an eye to using a disused building in Montmorency. Because of the scale of the project Rotary invited Eltham Apex to become a partner. A management committee was formed and a co-operative finance scheme approved. By combining the two names the Rotex Cinema was named. An architect from Clarke Hopkins and Clarke Pty. Ltd. was engaged and shareholders were drawn from the community. The award winning project involved leasing the disused supermarket in Were Street and renovating it in such a way as to enhance the streetscape and provide a theatre especially for the young and families in the area. This was to be achieved in a straightforward and ecological way designed to make maximum use of voluntary and unskilled labour. From the initial idea to opening took about 18 months. The auditorium seated 200. The decor of curtains, drapes, carpets and seats was in various shades of purple. The theatre opened in August 1976. Mr. Les Clarke won an award for the conversion.
Later the theatre was taken over by local commercial interests and renamed the Were Street Theatre. In 1988 the property sold at auction for $625,000 and had its final screening on 12th October, 1988.
Further to the publication of “At the Movies” in our November 2014 Newsletter, the Society was able to acquire some stills from the movie “Borrowed Plumes” from the National Library of Australia. An update was subsequently published in our March 2015 Newsletter.
Additional research has unearthed details of the interesting family surrounding Kooringarama Films. The movie was filmed by amateur enthusiast Eric Lyall. Eric Cecil Lyall was born in Tooradin in the Westernport District in 1904. His mother Cecile Garnet Warburton (nee Carr) Lyall died in childbirth.
Eric was raised by his maternal aunt Ethel May Geraldine (nee Carr) Boake and his uncle Alfred Hogarth Boake. The Boakes lived at Kooringarama in York Street, Eltham. The house, later owned by Alistair Knox, still exists. Eric was the grandson of William Lyall, born in Foveran, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, who had followed his father John Lyall a farmer who had migrated to Van Diemen’s Land in 1832. In 1847 his son William moved to the Port Phillip District and began trading in fat bullocks for the Tasmanian market. In 1851 in partnership with John Mickle and John Bakewell he acquired Tooradin Station in Westernport adjacent to the Kooweerup swamp. The partnership also acquired Yallock, Monomeith, Tobin Yallock Swamp and Red Bluff. He built his substantial homestead Harewood at Tooradin which is now open for tourists. Apart from his farming interest William was a local Councillor, and became a Member of the Lower House of the Victorian Parliament in 1859. Following on from the making of “Borrowed Plumes” Eric Lyall went on to make another film for the Eltham Fire Brigade, and it appears that he may have made one for the local Anglican Church. No trace of these films has been found.
In 1929 a four reel, one hour film was produced locally with the title “As Ye Sow”. The principals in the cast were Jack Cornwall, Norman D’Arcy, Marie Bucknell and Gwen Pritchard. The film was directed by Mr. Stanley Walpole of St. Kilda who had had considerable experience in motion picture work in Hollywood, U.S.A. Eric Lyall was one of the photographers. No copies exist of this film either. Eric married one of the “movie stars”, Marie Bucknell in 1930. Eric became a radiographer and was the manager of a company providing tuberculosis screening for servicemen during the Second World War. He died in 1944 at 29 The Ridge, Canterbury, aged 40.
His aunt, Ethel Boake, along with Miss Florence Garner operated Kooringarama as a guest house and at one time it was a convalescent home for tuberculosis sufferers. Eric’s uncle Alfred Hogarth Boake died in Eltham in 1940 and it appears that soon after Ethel Boake left the district. She died at Camberwell in 1954 and with her husband Alfred and nephew Eric is buried at Fawkner Cemetery.
This photograph from the collection of the National Library of Australia depicts a dramatic scene from the movie “Borrowed Plumes”. With Doug Orford’s expertise we have narrowed the car down to a Jowett “Short 7 1924”; 7 hp 907cc side valve flat twin engine. 11,444 vehicles were produced (including both Short and Long 7s) between 1919 and 1930. It was a 2 door fabric saloon, with a three speed gearbox. Jowett’s was founded in 1901 by brothers Benjamin and William Jowett with Arthur V. Lamb. They started in the cycle business and went on to make V – twin engines. In 1904 they became the Jowett Motor Manufacturing Company based in Bradford, Yorkshire and their first Jowett car was produced in February 1906.
Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham
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.
The Hurstbridge Memorial Park interpretative signage was launched today by Mr Andrew Giles MP, Federal Member for Scullin with Nillumbik Shire Council Mayor, Cr. Helen Coleman.
The Hurstbridge Avenue of Honour plaque was also dedicated to local soldiers by Cr. Coleman.
Local students from the Hurstbridge Learning co-operative and Hurstbridge Primary School read the poem and story behind “In Flanders Field”. One student, Mia read out a poem she had written herself “Lest We Forget”. The audience were told about the recent Anzac Day commemorations at the Primary School which included crafting poppies and planting an Oak Tree – a descendant from a tree at Gallipoli.
The Memorial park was originally developed by the community’s horticultural group and consisted of 50 trees, three of which still remain. Only 26 names were registered.
Today’s event follows the launch last month of the markers at the historic entrance to the Eltham Gateway and site of the original Avenue of Honour where about 100 trees were planted and cared for by the local community following World War One.
These Anzac Centenary Projects were funded by Federal and State government funds. It is hoped that these new projects not only honour – but create conversations about – local WW1 enlistments, and the communities on the home front and indeed those who worked tirelessly to first build memorials and plant avenues of honour so that Lest we Forget.
According to a correspondent in ‘The Argus’ on Saturday residents of the Eltham district are desirous that the morning trains from Eltham should arrive at Melbourne an hour earlier. It is also contended that the time occupied on the journey on weekdays should be reduced to about the same as that taken on Sundays. It is stated by railway officials that some time ago a number of residents requested that the train which was due to leave Eltham at 7.33 a.m. should be started an hour earlier. Regular travelers who had made their business arrangements in connection with this train were consulted by the department, but as the majority of them were strongly opposed to any alteration of the time-table no further action was taken. On Sundays trains ran through to Eltham, and, as there was no transference of passengers at Heidelberg, the journey was naturally covered in a quicker time than on week days. When the new station at Heidelberg was built however, there would be very little detention.