Tag Archives: York Street

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)

Eltham Bakehouse Secrets

The following newspaper article comes from the Diamond Valley Local, Tuesday, February 16th, 1954.

It relates to a site at the corner of York Street and Main Road, Eltham. It contained a weatherboard shop and dwelling fronting Main Road and a brick bakery at the rear fronting York Street. The shop was at various times a baker’s shop and a grocery shop. These buildings were demolished in 1979 and replaced by residential units named Bakehouse Court.

Murder Mystery-3-2


Eltham Bakehouse was the scene of a drama whose details have never been cleared. Was the woman whose body 
was found in the old well inside the back part of the home murdered by her husband? Eltham bakehouse and residence now
 occupied by Mr Jim Arnett and family is 
one of the very old residences of Eltham.
 Mr J J Burgoyne, father of J N Burgoyne, 
so long known in Eltham in connection
 with the P.O. and store took over the bakery 
in 1896. At that time mystery was at its height, 
for the baker’s wife had been found down the well.

Did she fall, or was she pushed? No one knows.

But her ghost didn’t trouble the Burgoyne family, who had plenty of work on hand. The bakehouse supplied 20 large loaves of bread a day to far-scattered pioneers. Mr Burgoyne recalls his breadcarting days, and says that roads were rough. But they had metal on them. At least that puts them a few points ahead of how they stand today. 
When the bakehouse was sold six years later it baked 200 loaves a day.
 All of this is early history stuff, now being collected by the LOCAL. It has some wonderful stories, too.

Right, or Else 

Today, the quaint old house is still giving shelter and the bakehouse is equipped with an automatic “no-hands-touch-anything” machine which forms 2,000 large loaves an hour.
 What happens inside that bakehouse is worth telling. Strong and weak flours are blended to make dough. 
Strong flour alone would provide a loaf burst everywhere and misshapen. 
Weak flour bakes into a hard, miniature loaf.
 Just the right mix has yeast food added, then a malt improver, then vitamised powdered milk, then yeast, and finally water.
 The temperature of the dough is carefully regulated. If it goes over 82F. there is trouble. Ice water keeps it back in very hot weather. 
Acid calcium phosphate is added to prevent sourness during hot spells.  A lot of trouble isn’t it? But if the dough is one degree over 82F the oven will require 15 degrees more heat.
 The huge 18ft. by 15ft. Scotch oven is fired to 550F. Its firebricks glow all over. When the dough is ready a very wet cloth is scuffled over the floor of the oven. This produces steam and temporarily cools the sole of the oven to 500F. The burn on the sole of the oven is just taken out long enough to save burning the bottoms of the loaves.

Endless Care 

Loaves stay 35 to 40 minutes in the oven. Then they are turned out on to movable wire-mesh trolleys. Old J J Burgoyne would indeed be astonished
 if he could see what has been put inside his 
old bakehouse without changing the outside appearance.
 There are some thousands of pounds’ worth of the most modern machinery very much in use inside.
 Master baker Jim Arnett is obviously a man who takes a pride in the quality of the bread he bakes. The trouble and care taken is a revelation to anyone who hasn’t thought previously of what goes to make a loaf of bread.
 Formulas are exact. Records are kept of each bake.
 On big master sheets every detail of dough temperature, outside temperature, and oven temperature are kept. 
After so much care has been taken to produce good bread, it seems a pity that bread-eaters don’t keep it as carefully as they keep milk, for example.”