Friday, 16 May 2014

Narre Warren Railway Station - the early years

The Narre Warren Railway station was opened on March 10 1882. When the Gippsland line was established in stages from 1877 to 1879 the only stations between Dandenong and Bunyip were Berwick and Pakenham.

Narre Warren Railway Station, circa 1900 to 1910.
State Library of Victoria Image H2012.171/340. Max Thomson collection.
Photographer Michael J. Drew

Sidney Webb, of Holly Green, Narre Warren agitated for the establishment of  a railway station near his property and his shops - Holly Green is located  where the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre is now and Webb's shops were on the corner of the Princes Highway and what is now Webb street.

Once the Station was opened Sidney Webb agitated again, this time for a a road to be put through to connect 'the township' with the Station (see excerpt, above, from Early days of Berwick)   In reality the 'township' did, I believe, pretty much consist of shops that Webb had an interest in. According to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books, in 1888 and 1889 a number of businesses were established in Narre Warren -  Albert Raduchel, a blacksmith; Thomas Woodley, a baker; Thomas Stones, a butcher and James Middleton, a storekeeper. They all leased their premises from Sidney Webb. 

Shire of Berwick Minutes from the meeting held April 1, 1882.

As we can see from the Shire of Berwick Minutes, Captain Wauchope, requested that the new road to the station be called Roseneath Road.  The Council did agree at the time. I don't know what happened to Roseneath Road, is it now Webb Street?.

Shire of Berwick Minutes from the meeting held April 29, 1882.

The name Narre Warren originally referred to the township of Narre Warren North. George Rae established a store at Narre Warren North, in the corner of John Troup’s paddock in 1857 and the town was surveyed around  1860. I don't know the exact date when the decision was made to call this new station Narre Warren but it appears that the Shire of Berwick had  role in the naming of the station, as it was mentioned  in the minutes of the April 29, 1882 meeting that the name for the new station had been 'noted'. (see above) Sadly, that's all I can find of this issue, it would be interesting to know if any other names had been suggested.

Shire of Berwick Minutes from the meeting held May 27, 1882.

This entry from the Shire of Berwick Minutes of May 27, 1882 (reproduced above) is the first mention I can find of the Narre Warren Railway station, actually referred to by that name.  It also talks about the formation of the new road and the fact that the Council had accepted a tender of 39 pounds from Rumph Brothers (of Harkaway) for the metalling of the new Roseneath Road. 

This is from the State Government Gazette of  May 11, 1883 where there is a list of works approved by the Governor in Council that the undermentioned services be preformed without tenders being advertised. The works, costing 200 pounds, were  to construct the new road to the Narre Warren Railway Station and Walton's Road. Is this  another road to the Station and not Roseneath road,  which going by the evidence above  was finished a year earlier in 1882?. The State Government Gazette also mentions Walton's Road. I presume that this has a connection to Thomas and Eliza Walton. Thomas & Eliza arrived in Narre Warren  1852 and built Holly Green. They left in 1877 and Sidney Webb purchased Holly Green in 1880. 

The Argus  February 13, 1883, page 10 

An article in The Argus of February 13, 1883 lists a schedule of railway works which have been undertaken and completed or partially completed since July 9, 1881 when Mr Bent took office as Minister for Railways. As you can see it includes the Narre Warren siding and platform.

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