Monday, 16 December 2013

William A. Smith lace factory in Doveton

Lace Street in Eumemmerring is the only  reminder of the William A. Smith lace factory which operated there from 1949 to the 1980s.  When the factory was built it was in Power Road, however Power Road was later diverted around the Eumemmerring Creek and the small section of it, south of the Creek, was renamed Lace Street (see aerial photograph below). The factory was in an area which has gone through many changes of name - initially Eumemmerring, then Dandenong, from 1954 called Doveton and from 1981 called Eumemmerring (again)

This article was  in, of all papers, the Kalgoorlie Times of March 30 1948 and is about the establishment of the lace factory. It also appeared word for word in the Burnie Advocate.  

Maria Harding, in her book, Doveton: a brief history says that the factory was built in 1949 and started operations that year. Two managers houses were also built at this time.  Mrs Harding writes that this factory made handkerchiefs, napery and veils, no doubt using the products imported from the English factory. In 1953, another factory was built alongside the original one and this factory manufactured lace. A third managers residence was also built and eighty four people were employed. The factory operated until the 1980s when it closed as it could no longer compete with cheaper imports. The factory, which was on the west side of Lace Street was sold and has been demolished as have the three houses.

The employees of the lace factory in 1951.

There was an article in the Women's Weekly of April 22, 1959 entitled Dandenong: a symbol of industrial strength. This article looked at various factories in the Dandenong,  including the lace factory. They interviewed William Smith and he claims that his factory was the first in Dandenong. It goes on to say that at his 300 year old walnut desk, brought from England, Mr Smith sighed ' for the old days at Dandenong (1947) when not a light could be seen for miles at night'.  "Look at the bustle now', he said. A heavy stream of traffic packed the four-lane highway in from of the factory.

Women's Weekly of April 22, 1959   http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48077502
This picture accompanied the article about Dandenong and shows some of the lace factory employees.


This is a 1963 aerial of Doveton / Eumemmerring. Click on photo to enlarge it. That's the tree-lined  Eumemmerring Creek, snaking through from top right to bottom left and just to the right of the Creek, at the bottom, you can see Lace Street and the two factories on the western side, along with the three Manager's houses. Further north, the two ovals are Robinson Reserve and L.S. Reid oval. The intersection middle top is that of Frawley Road/Paperbark Street with Power Road. Follow Power Road to the bottom of the photo and it intersects with the Highway.  Power Road was diverted at this end as it would have been too expensive to build a bridge to take heavy trucks*. 

 *William Smith in an interview with Maria Harding

Friday, 13 December 2013

Harkaway - Max Thomson photograph collection at the State Library of Victoria

Historian, Mr Max Thomson, has donated his collection of historic photographs to the State Library of Victoria. Amongst the photographs are these ones of the Harkaway Hall - all taken by Michael J. Drew (1873-1943). They were all on glass negatives. Mr Thomson is the author of Little Hills, a history of Narre Warren North, published in 1977 to celebrate the centenary of the Narre Warren North State School, No.1901.

State Library of Victoria Image H2012.171/462

The Hall looks finished on the outside, so perhaps these workmen were finishing off the interior. 

State Library of Victoria  Image H2012.171/464

The Hall, completed and sign written, above.  The Hall was officially opened on June 9, 1909 by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael.  The only report of the opening which I can find  is from the Bendigo Advertiser of June 10 (see below) - I was a bit surprised that I couldn't find a local report. However, there is an account of the opening of the hall in the book Early Days of Berwick.   Mr James Curran, who wrote the chapter on Harkaway, reported that the Governor was escorted by a squadron of Australian Light Horse, the Narre Warren Troop, under the command of the late Lieutenant Alan Henry. The Troop also served as a Guard of Honour. 


Bendigo Advertiser, June 10 1909

State Library of Victoria Image H2012.171/460

The photograph, above, was taken at the opening of the hall on June 9, 1909. Mr Curran also wrote that the people associated with the establishment of the Hall were Mr G.O.Lyon, Mr W. Warby, Mr Drew, Cr W. G. A'Beckett, Cr Kerr, Cr Barr and Mesdames R. Kelly, W.H. Jarrett, E. Wanke, Miss Mackie and Miss Troupe. Perhaps some of these people are in this photograph.

State Library of Victoria Image H2012.171/498

This shows the interior of the Hall, it may be the opening day, however I can't identify any of these people in the photograph, above, and the ladies look as though they are more dressed for a summer's day rather than a June day. The man in the white suit also looks as if he is dressed for a summers day as well.  There is plenty of food, all labelled, so I believe that this is more likely to be a fete or a exhibition.

I thought I would see what I could find out about the photographer, whom the State Library lists as Michael J. Drew (1873-1943). I looked up the Indexes to the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages and there is a Michael Forestall Drew born in 1873, who died in 1943 and so I believe that he is actually the photographer. According to the Electoral Roll Drew lived in Harkaway in 1909, his occupation was 'Independent means'. He is listed in Harkaway and Berwick in the Electoral Rolls until 1942.  His other photographs at the  State Library of Victoria include a lot of nature scenes of unidentified locations and unidentified family groups. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Roads, Rates and Rubbish - 1980s

Traditionally, Councils had their main focus on the three Rs - Roads, Rates and Rubbish. I have spoken before about the Shire of Pakenham slides which I have scanned - so here a representative lot showing the three Rs in the 1980s!



 The Pakenham Shire and the City of Berwick were formed on October 1st, 1973 when the Shire of Berwick split, with the Cardinia Creek being the boundary. The Pakenham Shire became the  Cardinia Shire officially on the December 15, 1994 at 4.00pm. The Cardinia Shire consists on the old Pakenham Shire, the rural eastern parts of the Cranbourne Shire and Emerald and surrounds, which came from the Sherbrooke Shire.


I believe this was taken in 1993. The population of Pakenham was 25,648 at the 2011 Census.


Amongst the slides were these two, above and below, obviously done for a presentation, explaining the Rates notice and how the Shire spends its money - in 1981 when the slides were created  the Council budget was just over $5 million and 38% was spent on roads, streets and bridges. The Council budget is now about $93 million.



Rubbish - being collected in the old fashioned manner, where 'garbos' physically picked the bins. For Health and Safety reasons this has now been stopped.  Truck owned P.H & E.P Young, Ballarto Road, Cardinia.


Roads - Shire of Pakenham digger. 


Finally - just to prove that rate payers received other services for their rates - here is the Pakenham Library, taken in June 1981.  The Council obviously wasted no rate payer money on aesthetically  pleasing features when they built this building, utilitarian is perhaps the kindest description we could use.  The Library was opened in 1979, in John Street when it was a dead end, before Safeways and the Target shops were built.  There is an aerial photograph of the building here.  This Library was replaced by the second John Street Library in 1991.