Thursday, 16 July 2009

Pakenham in the 1980s and early 1990s.

We have many treasures in our Archive including these interesting photographs of Pakenham, taken in the 1980s to early 1990s. They are interesting because they show Pakenham when it was changing from a country town to the outer suburb of Melbourne which it is today. Our family has a connection with Pakenham over the past fifty years - we all went to Pakenham Consolidated School in the 1960s and early 1970s, we went to the Presbyterian, later Uniting, Church and did our shopping at Pakenham so I do remember Pakenham when it was a country town and have seen the development over the past twenty five years. If, like me, you knew Pakenham as a country town then these photographs will bring back memories and if you have a more recent connection to Pakenham, then these photographs will show you a part of Pakenham's 'modern' history.

Main Street in Pakenham, taken November 1985, looking south to Henty Street, the Safeways complex and the railway line. Click on the photograph to enlarge it. The roundabout is the intersection of Main Street and John Street. On the right is the old Methodist Church. This was built in 1914, though the Pakenham Methodist Home Mission Station had previously catered to the Methodist of the district from 1885. The Church was demolished around 1986-1987. Next to the Church, on the right, are the Erica Place units, apparently the first set of units built in Pakenham. They were constructed around 1982. Heading east down Main Street on the left side of John Street was N.N. Webster Real Estate Agents, pictured immediately below, taken around the same time as the aerial photograph. Continuing down Main Street we come to the Old Pakenham Post Office, with its distictive terra cotta roof, which is also pictured below.

Noel Webster's grandfather had arrived in Pakenham in 1892, and had a butchers shop in the Main Street. Noel purchased the Real Estate business from H. Hogan in 1947. According to this advertisement from the Back to Pakenham Souvenir booklet of March 1951, H. Hogan commenced his business in 1900.




The Pakenham Post Office was built in 1924 in 'Georgian revival' style. This Post Office actually began as the Pakenham East Post Office, as the original town of Pakenham was centred on the Princes Highway and Toomuc Creek and the town that developed around the Railway Station from 1877 was known as Pakenham East. It was still referred to as Pakenham East well into the 1960s. The Railway Station also contained the first Pakenham East Post Office. This Post Office building was demolished in the late 1990s.

As we wander further east down the Main Street we come to Robinsons SSW supermarket, later taken over by Safeways. This wasn't Robinson's first store, they were originally closer to John Street, and the business was also an advertiser in the Back to Pakenham Souvenir booklet of March 1951.





This aerial was also taken November 1985, looking north up Main Street. Click on photograph to enlarge it. If we turn left at the roundabout at John Street you can see the old premises of the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society (pictured below). On the northern right hand side of this intersection is the original Shire Offices, which were extended and partly concealed in a new structure in 1962. The Railway line is on left as is Safeways and the vacant land is the site of what is now Coles and Target.

The headquarters of the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society. Sadly, no amount of creative photography could make this building look attractive. The Historical Society commenced in 1962 as the Historical Society of the Berwick Shire. They moved from this building to space at the Pakenham Library (built 1991) and are now in the re-furbished and re-located Old Shire Offices on the corner of Main Street and the Princes Highway. The original Shire Offices were built in 1912 on the corner of Main Street and John Street and remained virtually intact in spite of their modernisation in 1962. The building was moved it's current location in 2004.

A general overview of the Pakenham Shopping centre area, taken around 1985. If you click on this photograph to enlarge it you will get a good view of the old Shire Offices, referred to above. In the foreground is Henty Street.


In the left foreground of this November 1985 aerial are the current Shire Offices. Behind it is the Pakenham Secondary College. Secondary education, up to Form 4 or Year 10, had been provided in Pakenham until 1966 at the Pakenham Consolidated School. When Pakenham High School was established in 1967 it continued to use the Consolidated School for accommodation, until its own premises were opened in February 1970.


The official opening of the Shire of Pakenham Municipal Offices and Council Chambers by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Brian Murray with the Shire President, Cr Austin Bastow on July 28th, 1983.



2 comments:

Jack said...

Thanks for the memories. I went to the Con school in the 60s and the High School in the 70s - attending Form 1 the very first year the new building opened. Its amazing to think Pakenham didnt have a High School at all when I started at the Con school in 1966 to what it is now. A great period of time.

Gillian A said...

I had been searching online for what happened to the old Methodist Church as mine had been the last wedding there. Having attended the Cons. School during the same period as the author of the text, I walked down memory lane and was fascinated by the included photos. As my father worked at the Gazette for many years, news of Pakenham as it expanded was regularly a topic of conversation in our home. 3 of my chikdren were birn in the old Bush Nursing Hospital and I have many happy memeries of Pakenham between the mid 60's to early 90's. I still have one brother in the area and visit my parents in the Pakenham Cemetary a few times a year. The grandchildren regularly hear my stories of riding my horse along the Princes Hwy when it was just 2 lanes, with bush along one side - now a pub, pasta and fast food outlets. Ah, the memories if our childhoods.