Tag Archives: Main Road

ThrowbackThursday: Eltham Festival Parade 1978

#ThrowbackThursday – Who can’t resist a good parade? We can’t. A few weeks ago we featured the Eltham Community Festival Parade of November, 1982. Today we time travel back to August 4, 1978 just in time to catch the parade as it passes the service station on the corner of Main Road and Mount Pleasant Road opposite Wingrove Park.

This series of images of is from a recent mystery donation received in August. They were contained in an envelope dropped into our letterbox at 728 Main Road; no explanation or information about the donor. So whoever you are; we thank you and appreciate this valuable addition to our collection.

Eltham Fire Brigade, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978 (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

The photos are an example of the damage that the old-style ‘magnetic’ albums can do to your prints and it is always best to use proper archival storage materials. The images have a significant orange-red colour cast and we have attempted to restore them but the red wavelength has clearly degraded much quicker than the other primary colours, which is why we have purple fire trucks!

All these images are now included in our rapidly growing catalogue on Victorian Collections (@victoriancollections) to help preserve and share these precious moments in time.

The Shire of Eltham Historical Society (as we were known then) was involved with the Warrandyte Historical Society (@warrandytehistoricalsociety) in arranging an exhibition at the Community Centre and also provided notes and a map for a self-guided walking tour of historic buildings and locations around Eltham. The exhibition was divided into two sections. The Eltham Society displayed early photographs associated with the walking tour, whilst the Warrandyte Society showed their photographs and artifacts of the Warrandyte gold era. An outstanding feature was the large “blow-up” photos of early Warrandyte.

Does anyone remember this festival and parade? Did you or your community group participate in the parade? And who is our mystery donor? There was very little information provided other than a motion blurred image of several ladies from the Country Women’s Association Montmorency along with their names;  Edi Levi, Joyce Finster, Thelma Smith, Jean Spencer and Norma Williams.

2nd Eltham Sea Scouts, Eltham Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, August 1978.(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
2nd Eltham Sea Scouts, Eltham Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Our Ladys School, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Eltham Community Youth Club, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Country Womens Association Montmorency, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. Some of the ladies included Edi Levi, Joyce Finster, Thelma Smith, Jean Spencer and Norma Williams. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Rotary Exchange Students, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Eltham Basketball Club, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Apex, Eltham Parade, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
!st Eltham Scouts and Cubs, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Montmorency Scouts, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Wearables Yarn Wool, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Mono cyclists, Eltham Parade, Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Eltham Community Festival Parade, Main Road opposite Wingrove Park, 4 August 1978. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
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ThrowbackThursday: Main Road Shops, Eltham, 50 Yrs Ago

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back 50 years to revisit the east side of Main Road in Eltham between Dudley and Luck Streets. In February 1968, shortly after the founding of the Shire of Eltham Historical Society a few months earlier, an unknown person, possibly one of the Society’s founding members, took a walk from the Eltham Hotel on Pitt Street in a northerly direction along Main Road through the shopping centre and on to Elsa Court. They had the foresight to photo-document their walk and these photographs now provide a valuable resource in the Society’s collection. They provide us with a fascinating insight to days gone by when Eltham had less hustle and bustle. Many of you will probably recognise a number of the shops, no doubt some were even favourite haunts.

This small selection captures some of the scenes between Dudley and Luck Streets. The various businesses include the Bank of N.S.W. Browne’s Self-Service, Caltex Service Station, Chemist, Clinton’s Hardware, Commonwealth Bank, Dairy Queen, Delicatessen, Eltham Real estate, Home Heating, Mac’s Meats, Milk Bar(s), N.H. Baxter Estate Agent, Radio & TV, Thompson’s Pharmacy, Willet’s Food Centre and Wine Shop.

What else can you see in this time-capsule? Do these images provide flash-backs of sights, sounds, smells and good memories?

Main Road shops from midway between Luck and Pryor Streets, looking south along the east side. Includes Browne’s Self Service, Delicatessen, Dairy Queen, Commonwealth Bank, Mac’s Meats and Thompson’s Pharmacy, February 1968 (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Main Road shops looking north including Thompson’s Pharmacy, Radio & TV, Home Heating, Eltham Real Estate, Bank of N.S.W., Wine Shop, Chemist, etc, February 1968 (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Main Road shops looking north from Arthur Street including Thompson’s Pharmacy, Clinton’s Hardware, Eltham Real Estate, N.H. Baxter Estate Agent, Willet’s Food Centre, Bank of N.S.W., Chemist, Milk Bar, and Caltex Service Station on the corner with Luck Street, February 1968 (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
East side Main Road shops from Luck Street to Dudley Street. Includes Browne’s Self Service, Milk Bar, Delicatessen, Chemist, Mac’s Meats, Thompson’s Pharmacy, N.H. Baxter Estate Agent, February 1968 (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Looking south along Main Road from Luck Street (Google Street View, Sep 2016)

ThrowbackThursday: 1934 Diamond Creek Flood

#ThrowbackThursday – In our July 6th post on Ansell and Muir’s chicken shop, we stated that because the store stood within the 1934 flood zone, the property was unable to be redeveloped. Consequently the former Shire of Eltham acquired the land and the building was subsequently demolished. But why did 1934 become the benchmark for our modern day flood zone planning laws? Well today we time travel back to November/December 1934 where we can gain some appreciation of the devastation that flood brought to the district; to its infrastructure and the community.

In early November 1934 much damage was done around the Shire from recent rains, detailed at the Council meeting held Monday, 5th November 1934 (1).

However, worse was to come. On Thursday evening, November 29th, the rains came again, ceasing the following Saturday morning, December 1st. It was reported in the Advertiser on Friday November 30th, more than 8 inches of rain had been recorded at Eltham North that morning; 80% of the annual total and nearly five times that of the previous November (2).

1934 Diamond Creek flooding across Main Road looking towards Eltham at the intersection with Falkiner Street; a Council truck blocking Main Road; Eltham Lower Park on right; Eltham Park Tea Rooms (later Ansell and Muir) on left flooded. The bridge can just be seen on far right centre (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society, donated by the former Shire of Eltham)

The flooding was the highest level recorded in the district for over 40 years. Lower Eltham Park was under 5 feet of water which also covered Main Road  for over a mile (3).

Floodwater from Diamond Creek across Main Road in 1934 at what is present day Wingrove Park. In the distance, left of centre, is Mr. Montieth’s Ford Wagonette stranded in the floodwater near Wingrove Cottage looking up Main Road towards Eltham. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society, donated by Peter Bassett-Smith)

The Diamond Creek rose rapidly engulfing all before it; houses and shops were submerged, livestock and poultry swept away and drowned in the raging torrents, bridges severely damaged or destroyed, fences laid flat and trees uprooted. At 1pm on Friday December 1st, Main Road was under water and cut off. Early in the afternoon, Mr R. Monteith’s ‘bus became stranded near the concrete bridge. The driver and passengers escaped but the bus was stuck there till  the floods receded the following Tuesday morning. By that afternoon it was back in service and people could start returning to their homes. What they found was a six inch layer of slime, which covered floors, furniture and bedding; crockery piled up against doors and window openings, bodies of dead pets which had failed to escape. And in some cases, snakes had sought refuge in the houses. Not since 1868 had floods caused so much damage. The levels recorded were now reported as the highest in 60 years (4).

At a Special Council meeting held Wednesday, December 12th, the Shire Engineer reported that damage was estimated to be £2,000 to roads and bridges; two large bridges being completely washed away. In today’s terms, based on economic project costs that would equate to almost $4 million. A detailed breakdown of damage throughout the Shire and private property was reported. Council applied for a grant towards the cost of repairs and opened a local relief fund through the Lord Mayor of Melbourne’s Flood Relief program for those whose homes had been inundated. It was noted that whilst other districts also suffered, Eltham Shire was particularly impacted not just through the loss of livestock but also because some of the cultivated land had been totally washed away rendering it unusable in the future for further cultivation (5).

Of course over the years Eltham has seen further regular flooding, the most recent significant event occurring Christmas day, 2011. Some of our members can remember the 1934 floods but they were only very small children then. What are your experiences and memories of floods in the area? Do you have any photos to share?

Main Road looking north adjacent to Lower Eltham Park near Falkiner Street in 1986. Ansell and Muir’s Chicken Shop (former Eltham Park Tea Rooms) can be seen at centre.(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society; Photo: Marjorie North)
Main Road looking north adjacent to Lower Eltham Park near Falkiner Street, Feb 2017 (Google Street View)
Main Road looking north towards Wingrove Cottage adjacent to Wingrove Park, Feb 2017 (Google Street View)
A view of the area showing it in 1945 (Melbourne 1945)

 

References
  1. 1934 ‘Eltham Council’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 9 November, p. 6. , viewed 17 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56747061
  2. 1934 ‘DARING RESCUES AT NORTH ELTHAM’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 7 December, p. 2. , viewed 17 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56747404
  3. 1934 ‘DISTRICT’S RECORD FLOOD’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 30 November, p. 7. , viewed 17 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56747355
  4. 1934 ‘FLOODS AT ELTHAM’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 7 December, p. 1. , viewed 17 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56747374
  5. 1934 ‘SPECIAL ELTHAM COUNCIL MEETING’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 21 December, p. 2. , viewed 17 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56747561

 

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