Monday, 1 February 2010

Narre Warren - the growth of a suburb

Narre Warren's origins as a country town have now been largely obscured by housing developments and suburbanisation, so I was interested to come across these land sale advertisements in the Pakenham Gazette. They are from 1959. We have the Pakenham Gazette and it's predecessor, the Berwick Shire News, from 1909 to 1965 on DVD at Cranbourne, Emerald, Narre Warren and Pakenham Libraries.

Pakenham Gazette, December 11 1959 page 9

Pakenham Gazette, October 2 1959, page 7

An aerial view of Narre Warren taken December 1963 (click on image to enlarge it)

We have a great collection of aerial photographs in the Archive, and this one is of Narre Warren. The oval is the old Narre Warren Recreation Reserve, on the corner of the Princes Highway and Narre Warren North Road. If we follow the Princes Highway, towards the top left of the photo we come to the future site of the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. The house surrounded by trees is Brechin, which was built on the site of Holly Green, formerly owned by Sidney Webb. There will be more about Brechin in the next blog post. You can see Webb Street, crossing the Princes Highway and intersecting with Narre Warren North Road. South of the highway (on the west side of Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road) is the start of the subdivision which includes Western Way, Meadow Wood Walk and Valley Fair Drive. On the other side of Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road you can see the sub-division which includes Stewart Avenue, Moran Street and Sweeney Drive.

We are lucky enough to have original copies of the Community newsletter, Narre Warren News, in our Archive. We have the second issue (the banner is reproduced above) from October 1971 and various issues to 1980. They include local events , news from Community Groups such the Progress Association, Sporting Clubs, Fire Brigade and Kindergarten. Each issue also included some history of the area and Council news.

One of the most interesting features of these Newsletters is the 'New Residents' column. It certainly harks back to a time when privacy wasn't an issue and when, even though Narre Warren was expanding, it still had a small town community feel. This list comes from Issue 3, Volume 1, 1971. You could probably identify some of the houses these residents moved into from the 1972 aerial below. I wonder if any of these people still live at the same address?

An aerial view of Narre Warren taken January 1972 (click on image to enlarge it)

You will see there are many more houses in the sub-division which includes Western Way, Meadow Wood Walk and Valley Fair Drive, though given the Estate was established in 1963, there are not as many houses as I would have expected. On the north of the Princes Highway is the start of the Fountain Gate Estate, and there will be more on this in the next blog post.

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