Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Technical Schools in the Casey Cardinia Region

This is a short history of Technical Schools in the Casey Cardinia Region

At first local students in this region, who wanted a Technical education, had to go to either Dandenong or Warragul. This paralled the early High School years where Dandenong High or Warragul High were the only choices in this region for higher education, until Koo-Wee-Rup High opened in 1957 and then a raft of schools in the 1960s and 1970s (click here for more information)

Dandenong Technical School was established in  1954 with an initial enrolment of 272 boys. The first classes were held in the Scout Hall on the Princes Highway until the school was built  on the corner of Stud Road and Cleeland Street. It was a more rural location than it is today as according to Vision and Realisation  'frequently, cattle being driven to the sale yards broke into the grounds and were rounded up by drovers and their dogs'  In 1964 the total enrolment of all students including day students, evening class students etc  was 2,000.  In 1974, the TAFE system (Technical and Further Education) was established and by 1973 Dandenong Technical school was a TAFE college and it is now part of Chisholm. However a new Dandenong Technical School was established in 1981 at 136 Cleeland Street according to Technical Education Victoria*

Here's an interesting account from Bill Carlson about his time at Dandenong Technical School.   Bill was interviewed by the Dandenong Journal in 2013  http://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/uncategorized/2013-05-10/dandenong-tech-high-jinks-from-class-of-54/

If you lived at the eastern end (such as Bunyip) or southern end  (such as Lang Lang) of the region and wanted a Technical education then you could have gone to Warragul Technical School.
Warragul Technical School was established in 1956 according to Technical Education Victoria. However Vision and Realisation says that technical classes were instituted at Warragul High in 1953 and they separated into two buildings on the same site 1959. The 1959 enrolment was 290 students from Form 1 to Form 4 and 100 other students including senior students, apprentices and evening class students. In  1969 the total school population was 919.

In July 1971, the Bunyip and Garfield Express paper reported that the Garfield Progress Association advocated for a Technical School to be built in the town as they said that everyday 100 students catch the train to either Drouin or Warragul to further their education and there were 700 children travelling to secondary schools at this end of the Shire.   A Technical school was never established in Garfield but there was a report in February 1972 about Warragul Technical School going co-ed – there were 610 boys and 10 girls (all the girls specialised in art) The paper reported that the girls had settled into the school ‘in true women’s liberation fashion’ and ‘the order of the day is smart uniforms which contrasts pleasantly to the boys dress’ The Technical School and the High School combined in 1994 to form the Warragul Regional College.



This is the Bunyip Railway Station in the 1970s and shows the number of students travelling by train to school, as mentioned above. The train would have taken students to Drouin High, Warragul Tech and two Catholic Schools at Warragul- Marist Brothers and Our Lady of Sion, which combined in 1975 to become Marist Sion.  I put this photo on Facebook and one of the comments said that Marist Sion students were in the last carriage and the 'Tech kids' travelled in the next 2 carriages. Photo is from Call of the Bunyip: History of Bunyip, Iona and Tonimbuk by Denise Nest (Bunyip History Committee, 1990)


It is no surprise that with the establishment of the 'Big three' industries at Dandenong in the 1950s - International Harvestor, Heinz and General Motors Holden and the associated  businesses established in the area to supply parts, services and transport to these industries and thus the huge increase in population in Doveton, Hallam and Cranbourne North  that the other  Technical Schools in this region were centred at the western end.

The earliest of these was Doveton Technical School, established in  1963. Initially housed at Dandenong Tech it moved to it's permanent location in Box Street in 1964. Vision and Realisation reports that enrolments from 1963 to 1968 included students from Doveton, the area east of the Frankston-Dandenong Road, Narre Warren North, Beaconsfield, Pakenham East,  Koo-Wee-Rup, Korumburra, Lang Lang and Cranbourne.  Apart from the Doveton students they came by train to the Dandenong Railway Station and then caught a bus to the school. In 1967 the school began enrolling girls at Form One level.   Doveton Technical School later became Doveton Secondary College and it merged with Dandenong High School in 2008.



The site of Doveton North Technical College in 1968, the year before it opened.

Doveton  North Technical School opened in 1969.   Vision and Realisation  says that the school 'opened  with background sounds from croaking frogs and mooing cows, a vista of green paddocks and stately pines'! Initial enrolment was 37 (or 45 depending on sources). From 1974 it was called Endeavour Hills Technical School, then from 1990 Endeavour Hills Secondary College, then from 1993 Eumemmerring College Endeavour Hills campus, then in 2008 it changed back to Endeavour Hills Secondary College.   The school closed December 2012. You can read more about the school and see some more photos, here.

The last Technical School to open in the region was Cranbourne Meadows in 1981, this was a co-ed school however Technical Education Victoria, published in 1981, said that in 1983 the predicted enrolment would be 450 students, of which 100 would be girls, so clearly techical school education was still seen as something more boys than girls were interested in. The 1987 enrolment was 844. The school became Lyndhurst Secondary College, sometime in the 1990s.

*Technical Education Victoria 1983, published by TAFE Publications Unit, 1982.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Year Book Australia

Past editions of the Year Book Australia are now on-line from 1908 to 2009. You can access them here on the Australia Bureau of Statistics website. The 'Official Year book of the Commonwealth of Australia' as they were called at one time were produced by the Commonwealth Statistician and they have statistics on all aspects of Australian life.  You may be thinking that you can't  see the relevance of this to your local or family history research, but they have a huge rang of interesting facts that you could add to your stories about your family or local area. So here's my story with some facts from the Year Books.

I was born in 1959, one of 226, 976 babies born that year. Of these babies there just over 5,100 were twin and 66 were triplets. I was one of the 110, 735 girls born and there were just over 116, 000 boys (including three of my cousins). The Year Book also tells us that of all these babies 10, 562 were born 'ex-nuptial' or out of wedlock. These days, of course, most people are not at all concerned about whether the parents of babies are married or not, but people thought differently then. It wasn't all good news however, as sadly the same year there were 3,231 still births and 4, 489 babies died under the age of one.

In 1959 the average number of 'nuptial confinements per marriage' was 2.93 i.e the average family had 3 children. I was the second child but by mid 1960 my younger sister was born - so that made the 3! The Year Book also tells us about the age of the parents of the children born - around 68,000 were aged between 20 and 24 and 67,000 between 25 and 29 - my mother was 24 (22 when she had my elder sister and 25 when my younger sister was born. She was what was considered then a rather ancient 29 when my brother was born in 1964!)  This was about standard as most women at the time had their second child when they were aged between 25 and 29. As a matter of interest, 489 women had their 10th (or more child) in 1959 - 200 of these mothers were aged between 35 and 44 but 32 were over 45! One woman was aged between 20 and 24 when she had her 10th child!

1959 births - one of these babies was me! Female and a single birth.
Year Book Australia 1961


Fathers on the other hand tended to be  a bit older, but generally most women aged between 20 and 29 who gave birth in 1959 had a husband not older than 29. In 1959, two thirds of women who were having their first child had been married less than 2 years - my aunty was one of these when she gave birth to her first child and my own parents were married just on a year when my sister had been born.

So let's now look at 1956 the year my parents were married. There were 71,780 people married that year of which around 29,000 of the men and 31, 000 of the women were aged between 20 and 24, which includes my parents. People did tend to marry at a much earlier age than today  - over 17, 000 women under 20 were married in 1956 and 2,700 men.  The Year Book also lists 'Marriages in each denomination'  12.66% of all marriages took place in the Presbyterian Church, including my parents; around 13% were Methodist weddings, 24% Catholic and just under 30% were Church of England or Anglican. Various other Christian religions had 8% of the total and 'Hebrew' or Jewish weddings were .38%.  No real surprises there given the make-up of the population at the time. The rest of the marriages or 11.28% were 'Civil Offices' - most likely at the Registry Office, the first 'civil celebrant' as we know them today was not appointed until 1973.


1956 marriages - my parents made up part of the 12.66% of Presbyterian marriages.
Year Book Australia 1958

What else can the Year Books tell you? The average weekly  wage for males and females,  number of  private cars and how many were registered in that year;  number of houses built and of what material; what sort of dwellings people lived in (private house - the definition of which also included sheds and huts - flats, licensed hotels); how many schools there were, number of people enrolled at University; agricultural production; countries were people were born, agricultural production - the list is amazing.

Have a look at  the Year Books and see what interesting information you can find about significant years in the life of your family or your local town.  You just need to remember that if you want specific statistics for  a certain year then you will may need to look in later years, for instance it was the 1961 Year Book that contained the 1959 birth statistics.   Click here for access to the on-line Year Books.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Hallam Hotel

William and Mary Hallam purchased the 50 acres (20 hectares) of land  in 1856 on the corner of the Gippsland Road (Princes Highway) and Hallam Road. They established a store and a Post Office and the store was 'the genesis of the hotel' as Jean Uhl says in her book  Call back Yesterday: Eumemmerring Parish. I do not know when the Hallams were granted the licence but there is an article in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of May 21, 1879  when Mr W. Hallam of Eumemmerring was charged in the Dandenong Police Court with 'not having a light outside his licenced house' (you can read the article here) so it was clearly operating as a hotel then. The Hallam Hotel website says it started in 1872 and this seems to be the general consensus from newspapers articles published on the history of the hotel in 1970s and 1980s, and I am not saying that this date is incorrect, but I can't find any evidence to support it.

The Hallams sold their land to Edmund Uren, in 1885.  This is confirmed by the following two articles in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of March 11, 1885.





South Bourke and Mornington Journal   March 11, 1885

Deborah Stephan, in her booklet, Hallam 1830-1930, wrote this about Edmund Uren, who had purchased Hallam's property for 2,100 pounds - Uren was a Cornishman who arrived in Australia in 1856 and went into copper mining on the Buninyong district (Ballarat). He served three years on the Borough Council, one year as Mayor of Buninyong and three years as a member of the Ballarat Mining Board. On November 24 1886 Uren applied for a certificate authorising the issue of a victuallar's licence for premises situate at Eumemmerring, 'containing six rooms exclusive of those required for the use of my family and servants'. In June 1892 he described himself as the licensed victualler of Hallam's Hotel, Hallam Road near Dandenong, when conveying the property to his wife Elizabeth.

I don't know why  he had to apply for a victuallers licence as he already had one, but I suspect that he might have rebuilt the building as by 1886 the original premises would have been close to 30 years old.  You can see in the newspaper report, above, that the hotel was referred to as the Eumemmerring Hotel - Jean Uhl says that the hotel had  a variety of names including Hallam's Eumemmerring Hotel, Uren's Hallam Hotel, Uren's Hotel Eumemmerring and Hallam's Road Hotel.

Edmund Uren died in July 1892 and his wife, Elizabeth,  took over the licence. Elizabeth operated the hotel until June 1898 when  'Miss Clarkson was installed there' as the South Bourke and Mornington Journal said.  Ada Jane Clarkson owned the Hotel until March 1913. It then  had a succession of licensees including Eliza Bonnell, Sarah Wright and Mary Thomas who took over in 1921.


Hallam Hotel, before the 1930s remodelling

The Hotel started it's life as a one storey building and The Age reported on October 28, 1930 that existing building was to be modernised and extended.


The Age October 28 1930

The new hotel was opened in March the next year as the the Dandenong Journal of March 12, 1931 reported The new hotel has been completed; a handsome two story building, which has taken the place of the old hostel of the overlanding days.


Dandenong Journal March 12, 1931 



The Hallam Hotel in 1986


References: 
Hallam 1830-1930 by Deborah Stephan  (City of Casey Historical Pamphlet 2)
Call back yesterday: Eumemmering Parish by Jean Uhl  (Lowden Publishing 1972).

Monday, 8 May 2017

Willowdale, Cranbourne


Cranbourne Ruins, Frankston Road, taken March 22 1969.
Photographer: John T. Collins
State Library of Victoria Image H94.200/1237


This is Willowdale in Cranbourne.  We have the following information about Willowdale in our Archive. The information was supplied by Val Bourke (nee Glen) to our previous Local History Officer, Claire Sandell, in 2004.

The Glen family bought the Close property from William Close in 1938. There were around 260 acres and another 160  acres with a two storey brick house. This is where the Amstel Gold Course is located on Cranbourne Frankston Road. Part of this acreage, without the house, was over the road on the side where St Peters School is today.

The  Close Property, called Willowdale was a double story brick home, still there in the late 1960s. It is believed that the same builder had constructed Willowdale, Balla Balla and Harewood;  all local homes and Willowdale is the only one not here today. It was a rectangle Georgian design in cream brick with a slate roof. The bricks are believed to have been made on the property. Its front door was surrounded in lead light  glass - described as being a 'lovely blue' There was a main hallway and stairs to the second level. On the first level, the drawing room was on the right hand side and the two bedrooms on the left hand side. The hallway went through at the back to a meals and kitchen area. There was one chimney, which went through the downstairs bedrooms and then to upstairs.

There was a picket fence at the front of the house, later replaced by wire. Two Norfolk pines stood on the left hand side of the house.

Mrs Bourke's sister, Phyllis Kirkham, also supplied some information on the Glen family. The family, Edward and Philomena (nee Field) Glen and children,  moved from Woodside to Lyndhurst onto a property on the corner of Dandenong-Hastings Road and Thompsons Road on the Dandenong side closest to Cranbourne, in 1925. They then took up  a farm opposite the Hallam Hotel on the Highway. They then moved back to Lyndhurst and finally to Willowdale. Their mother died when Phyllis was serving in the Air Force as an eighteen year old during the Second World War. All the children had to help on the farm at Willowdale and they worked very hard. The name was changed to Willowglen and then Willowlodge by the Glen family.

At Willowglen the Glens farmed Australian Illawarra Shorthorn cattle and showed them under the name Willowlodge.

Phyllis and her late husband, Jack Kirkham, met at Hallam Primary School when they were children. You can read about the Hallam School and the Kirkham family, here.

Who were the Close family? In 1863 (the first year of the Shire of Cranbourne Rate books that we have) John Close is listed as owning 391 acres in the Parish of Lyndhurst.  Later in the 1860s a Mary Close had 316 acres  and James Close 75 acres (391 acres in total).  John Close died in Cranbourne in 1866 and he left land to his brothers James and Thomas and some assets to his wife Mary. The boys were the sons of Thomas Close and Margaret Gordon. James (who died in 1908) was married to Louisa Hall and amongst their children was a William and I presume that it was this William from whom the Glen family purchased Willowdale.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Historic Melbourne (and Victoria) on the Internet

Here are some Internet sites to access  photographs and information on Historic Melbourne and Victoria.

Information
Victorian Places    www.victorianplaces.com.au
This website has the history of many towns and suburbs in Victoria. It also has some photographs.

Melbourne Encyclopedia  www.emelbourne.net.au
Everything you want to know about greater Melbourne from history to architecture, law to literature and everything in between.

Photographs
State Library of Victoria  www.slv.vic.gov.au
Has thousands of digitized photographs and  maps of Victorian places. There is a search box on the Home page but they also have another search portal that sometimes gives different results https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/search-discover

Museums Victoria     https://museumvictoria.com.au/
The Biggest Family Album collection has 9,000 photographs from rural and regional Victoria many supplied by members of the public. Access the Biggest Family Album here  https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/articles/2876

Public Records Office of Victoria   www.prov.vic.gov.au
Has many photographs including specific collections such as the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, Public Transport photographs and School buildings. Access them here www.prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/photographic-collections

National Archives of Australia      www.naa.gov.au
Includes a large collection of Post Office photos and photographs from other Federal Government organizations.

Trove    http://trove.nla.gov.au
Trove is an aggregator and collects photographs from other sites including the  State Library of Victoria, National Library of Australia, Museums Victoria and many more.

Flickr  www.flickr.com
Flickr is a photo sharing sites and has millions of photographs supplied by individuals and Institutions. Not always easy to find what you want.

Youtube  www.youtube.com
Youtube is a video sharing site and you may discover videos of a town you are interested in. There is a great video of gliding footage taken at the Casey airfield in Berwick in 1960, which has great shots of the surrounding countryside, when Berwick was a country town. The video is called 'Queer Birds' and you can access it  here.

Historical Societies and other Historical focused websites - here are just a few
Wyndham History - Werribee, Hoppers Crossing and surrounds http://www.wyndhamhistory.net.au/
Stonnington History - Malvern and Prahran - http://www.stonnington.vic.gov.au/Discover/History
Wikinorthia - resources on the Northern suburbs - http://www.wikinorthia.net.au/
Dandenong & District Historical Society http://ddhs.com.au/ 

Railways  Here's a list of railway sites that show not only trains but have photos of  Railway Stations and sometimes photos of the towns
Mark Bau Victorian Railways  www.victorianrailways.net
Weston Langford Railway photography  www.westonlangford.com
Museum Victoria    https://museumvictoria.com.au/railways/
Public Records Office of Victoria  https://www.prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/photographs-and-film/public-transport-photo-collection

Facebook   www.facebook.com
You need to join Facebook - it's free, but once you do you can access lots of historical sites - Lost Melbourne , Lost Country Victoria, Casey Cardi nia Heritage, Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society, Ballarat History, Malvern Historical Society, Gippsland History - the list is endless. If you have an interest in a particular area then you will find a Facebook site on that area.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Where does Gippsland start?

I grew up in Cora Lynn and went to school at Pakenham Consolidated School and Koo-Wee-Rup High, so I consider I grew up in West Gippsland, which in my mind started a bit west of Pakenham and finished a bit east of Warragul, after that you get into the La Trobe Valley.  South Gippsland, on the other hand started around Loch or wherever the hills started after leaving the flat plains of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and the Lang Lang area. Koo-Wee-Rup and Lang Lang were thus not part of Gippsland at all, according to my opinion, not sure where I thought they belonged, but I associate South Gippsland with steep hills. So I thought I would find some sources of information, with varying levels of authority, to tell us where the western boundary of Gippsland is. Incidently, Gippsland was named in honour of Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales from 1838 to 1846.

The book In the wake of the Pack Tracks published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society says that Bowman's Hotel established in the early 1850s on the Cardinia Creek and the Gippsland Road,  at what is now Beaconsfield, was also known as the Gippsland Hotel because Cardinia Creek was the border between the Port Phillip District and Gippsland. When the Bunyip River was later proclaimed the boundary the hotel name was changed. It is now known as the Central Hotel. So this source puts the Gippsland Border at the Cardinia Creek and later the Bunyip River.

Charles Daley, in his book The story of Gippsland (published by Whitcombe & Tombs P/L in 1960)  has this to say about the western boundary 'the boundary on the west was the Alps and a line drawn southward to Anderson's Inlet, in proximity to the Bunyip River. Approximately this last boundary would be the present county of Mornington as the limit westward'  You can see a map of the County of Mornington, here, on the State Library of Victoria website. So if the Bunyip River is the border, then it puts all of the Casey Cardinia region outside of Gippsland.

Mr Daley has a chapter on the Gippsland Shires and Boroughs Development Association, formed in 1912 with the object of furthering the progress of Gippsland and Mornington County and both the Berwick Shire and the Cranbourne Shire are members as are the Fern Tree Gully Shire and Dandenong Shire (both of which have part of their area in the County of Mornington).  Dandenong used to promote itself as the 'gateway to Gippsland' and the history of the Casey Cardinia region is historically linked to Dandenong as it was  a service town to the a region.

A 1866 map of Gippsland, you can view it here,  has the old township of Bunyeep on the Bunyip River as the Gippsland border. So it does seem that there is a consensus (amongst some)  that the Bunyip River is the western border.

I have been doing a lot of research into soldiers in the local area for our blog Casey Cardinia Commemorating the Great War and it is interesting to see who used Gippsland as an address. As you might  expect some soldiers from Beaconsfield, Officer, Pakenham and all stops down the railway line to Bunyip used their hometown plus Gippsland as part of their address as did men from Cora Lynn, Iona  and Koo-Wee-Rup. Less expected was the information that  Sydney Eversley Ferres (SN - Service Number 194) had his address as Emerald, Gippsland as did Thomas Walker (SN 872) whose address is Macclesfield, near Emerald, Gippsland.  Robert Hill (SN 1591) and Francis Joseph Seymour (SN 2391) both have Hallam's Road, Gippsland as their address (Hallam's Road is now called Hallam)  Narre Warren and Narre Warren North are also listed as Gippsland on enrolment papers.  I am surprised that Emerald, Hallam,  Narre Warren or Narre Warren North would be considered Gippsland, but some people thought so 100 years ago.

Back to my dilemma as to where South Gipplsland starts - William Lester  Lyons (SN 655) has his address listed on his enrolment paper as Cranbourne, Gippsland and yet Arthur Bell (SN 6956) is Cranbourne, South Gippsland. There are also have examples of Clyde, Yanathan, Tooradin and Lang Lang being listed as both Gippsland and South Gippsland and one example of Dalmore being called South Gippsland.

To add to the mix there are also references to North Gippsland in the enlistment papers of soldiers - these men mostly come from Heyfield, Maffra, Fernbank region but there is  a photograph held at the State Library of Victoria called Bunnip Hotel, North Gippsland taken by Fred Kruger in the 1880s. This Hotel established by David Connor, around 1867, was on the Bunyip River and the Gippsland Road (Princes Highway) - not what I would consider to be Bunyip North, but some-one did.


Bunnip Hotel, North Gippsland c. 1880s  Photographer: Fred Kruger.
State Library of Victoria Image H41138/11


In April 1965, the Pakenham Gazette reported on the upcoming football season and the West Gippsland League included the following teams - Bunyip, Catani, Cora Lynn, Drouin, Garfield, Lang Lang, Longwarry, Koo-Wee-Rup, Nar Nar Goon,  Pakenham and Yarragon. In my mind a fairly logical range of towns to represent West Gippsland. Yet the South-West Gippsland League had the following teams - Beaconsfield, Berwick, Cranbourne, Doveton, Lyndhurst-Hampton Park, Keysborough, Narre Warren, Officer, Rythdale-Cardinia and  Tooradin-Dalmore - a far less logical name for the League as even though some of these towns could perhaps claim to be West Gippsland, they aren't even remotely South Gippsland. 

The Victorian Places website says that you could define Gippsland by water catchment areas -  From east to west the catchments comprise East Gippsland, Snowy, Tambo, Mitchell, Thomson, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Bunyip. The last one, the Bunyip catchment, consists of several streams that flow into Western Port Bay, as well as the Dandenong Creek which enters Port Phillip Bay at Carrum. With the Dandenong Creek omitted, the balance of the Bunyip catchment (ie eastwards of Cardinia Creek) includes most of Gippsland West. So now we are basically back to our original boundary, the Cardinia Creek, that we started with when we spoke about the location of the Gippsland Hotel at Beaconsfield on the Cardinia Creek.

In summary - with all this evidence coming from various sources, some authorative and some less authorative, I'm happy to go with the Cardinia Creek as the (unofficial) boundary of Gippsland.   Firstly, it was the original boundary and secondly, the fact that on a social level, many people in the Casey Cardinia region have identified as belonging to Gippsland - even if it was for something as 'trivial' as sport or on  a more serious basis, they had it recorded as their address on their World War One enlistment papers.  

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Mornington Farmers' Society or the Berwick & District Agricultural & Horticultural Society

The Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society hold an annual show at Akoonah Park in Berwick.  The Show can trace its origins back to the first event organised by the predecessor of the Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society, the Mornington Farmers' Society in 1857. The name  Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society was adopted by the Mornington Farmers' Society at the Annual General Meeting held July 25, 1918.

Here is a short history of the evolution of the Show Society. In July 1848  the Moonee Ponds Farmers' Society was established. The aims of the Society  were to encourage  a spirit of emulation amongst agriculturalists and makers and importers of agricultural implements by offering prizes to be competed for annually - for the best samples of grain and other agricultural  produce; for the best stock for agricultural, grazing and dairying purposes and for the best agricultural implements, also by offering prizes to be competed for at annual ploughing matches and for the encouragement of district farming societies. (Source: Early Days of Berwick, which has a very comprehensive chapter on the Mornington Farmers' Society and the  Berwick & District Agricultural & Horticultural Society)

The Moonee Ponds Farmers' Society wasted no time and held their first ploughing on July 28, 1848. You can read  a report in The Argus about this event here. On August 18 1848 a meeting was held and the named of the Society was changed to the Port Phillip Farmers' Society. You can read about this. once again in The Argus, here. The Port Phillip Farmers' Society had three branches - Gisborne, Bacchus Marsh and the Mornington branch, which was established in October 1856. It was named Mornington from the County of Mornington. For land administrative purposes Victoria was divided into Counties and the Mornington County took in the Mornington Peninsula, Bass Coast region, Phillip Island, Cranbourne Narre Warren and east to Bunyip and  parts of Emerald and Gembrook.

We will return to Early Days of Berwick to find out how the Mornington branch was established -  At a meeting at Bowman's Hotel on the Cardinia Creek in 1856, for the purpose of forming a  District Roads Board, Mr Alexander Patterson brought forward a proposal to form a district Pastoral and Agricultural Society as a branch of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, of which he was a district member. The idea was heartily approved by the meeting and about twenty enrolled as members. Shortly afterwards, on 6th October 1856,  a meeting was held in Dandenong, when it was resolved that a Society be established and named the Mornington Farmers' Society in accord with the title of the central society. It was further resolved that there should  be  a committee of nine member and the following were elected by ballot: Dr James Smith Adams, Dr James Bathe, Messrs Abraham Gardiner, Isaac Keys, William Lyall, Alexander Patterson, Charles Rossiter, Thomas Walton and John Wedge. Mr Patterson was elected Secretary and Treasurer.

The Mornington Farmers' Society held their first Ploughing match on Wednesday May 30, 1857 at 'Mr Walton's Farm near Dandenong' - this was Thomas Walton, who came to what is now called Narre Warren in 1852 and built Holly Green - his farm is now occupied by the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. The Early Days of Berwick has the location of this first ploughing match taking place at Cranbourne, but this report, below, from The Argus contradicts this (this not to denigrate the research published in the  Early Days of Berwick which was first published in 1948 -  we now have a huge range of resources available to us on-line that were unheard of in 1948) The second ploughing match was held at Cranbourne, you can read about it here.



The Argus May 2, 1857 You can see the full article on Trove, 
here http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7148950 and I have transcribed it, below. 



MORNINGTON PLOUGHING MATCH
The first district ploughing match of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, in the county of Mornington, took place according to advertisement on Wednesday last at Mr. Walton's farm, near Dandenong.
The ground selected proved to be admirably adapted for the match, and all the arrangements made by Alexander Patterson, Esq., a member of the society residing in the neighbourhood, were calculated to give entire satisfaction to the competitors and spectators assembled ou the occasion. 
Messrs. Thomas Miller and William Dewar attended as
judges from the central society. Mr. Charles Forrester, who had been appointed to act with them as the local judge, preferred entering the lists as a competitor, and as will be  seen from the awards subjoined, succeeded in  carrying off a second prize, thus practically showing that his appointment by the Committee
 was a judicious one.
The number of entries at the hour for starting amounted to twelve, viz.,-seven horses and five bullock teams. The quantity of ground allotted to each competitor was half an acre, and, in the majority of instances, the work was completed in excellent style. The judges expressed themselves highly pleased with the ploughing in both classes, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction to all parties interested.

The awards were as follows :
Class 1, Ploughing with Horses.
First Prize- A Gold Medal awarded to Mr. A. Patterson -ploughman John Gellie.
Second Prize -First Silver Medal, awarded to
Messsrs. J. and P. Brisbane - ploughman James Rutherford. '

Class 2, Ploughing with Bullocks.
First Prize - Gold Medal, awarded to Mr. John Mills - plough held by himself.
Second Prize - First Silver Medal, awarded to Mr. Charles Forroster - plough held by himself.
Mr. James Buchanan's ploughing highly commended.

Best Team of Mares or Geldings at work in the field - 
First Silver Medal, awarded to Mr  Isaac Keys for a pair of very superior mares.
Best team of Bullocks, at work in the field. 
First silver medal, awarded to Messrs. J. and P. Brisbane.

Although, from various causes, the number of competitors was not quite so large as expected, still, as a commencement, the meeting was a most satisfactory one.. The attendance of spectators throughout the day was numerous, and comprised all the agriculturists of note in the locality. Their previous
support of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society has been most cordial,while the spirit evinced regarding the match, coupled with the successful result of the day's proceedings, speaks favourably as to the desire for agricultural improvement existing in this rapidly rising district.

After the termination of the match, the gentlemen present sat down to a dinner, hospitably provided by Mr. Walton, and eventually separated, with the determination to support next year's ploughing match with increased spirit.

You can read about the 1858 ploughing match, here. It was held on the property of the Reverend Alexander Duff at Cranbourne.

Mornington Farmers' Society - ploughing match at Cranbourne in 1858

In another post we looked at the establishment of the Mornington Farmers' Society, which in 1918 became the Berwick and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society. This is an account of their second annual ploughing match held at 'the property of the Reverend Alexander Duff in the township of Cranbourne'  Reverend Duff owned most of the block bordered by Russell, Bakewell, Cameron and Childers Street - the site is now occupied by Cranbourne Primary School.

The following report was published in The Argus  on June 9, 1858 -  you can read the full article here on Trove,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7295876 I have transcribed the article below.

PLOUGHING MATCH.

MORNINGTON BRANCH OF THE PORT PHILLIP FARMERS' SOCIETY.

The second annual ploughing match of the Mornington branch of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society took place, according to appointment, on the property of the Rev. Alex. Duff, in the township of Cranbourne, on Friday last, and was in every respect a successful gathering of the friends of agricultural progress in that district.

The number of teams and ploughs assembled on the ground amounted to 15; viz., eight horse and seven bullock ploughs, being three in excess of last year ; and it is but justice to state, that in the display on this occasion a very decided improvement was evinced, both as to the quality of the teams and the care and skill of the workmen contesting for the prizes.


On the completion of the work allotted to the various competitors, the Judges, Messrs  Dick, Wade and Leckie, proceeded to their inspection, and handed in their awards, as follows :


PLOUGHING WITH HORSES 

First prize - Gold medal, or £6 - To John Tait, ploughman to Mr. Creighton.
Second prize - £3-To Nicholas Fowler, ploughman to Messrs C. and T. Rossiter.
Third prize - £2, or first silver medal-To George Wooff, ploughman to Mr. Cameron.

PLOUGHING WITH BULLOCKS

First prize - Gold medal, or £6 - To James Buchanan ; plough hold by himself.
Second Prize - £3 - To James Darnach, ploughman to Messrs Brisbane,
Third Prize - £2, or first silver medal - To Thomas Mitchell, ploughman to Mr. R. Patterson.

BEST TEAM OF MARES AND GELDINGS AT WORK IN THE FIELD

First Prize - First silver medal -To Messrs. C. and T. Rossiter.
Second Prize - Second silver medal-¡To Messrs Creighton.

BEST TEAM OF BULLOCKS.

First Prize - First silver medal – Mr M. M’Lelland
Second Prize-Second silver medal-Mr. J. Buchanan

Most of the leading gentry and agriculturists of the district, together with a sprinkling of the fair sex, visited the field during the progress of the match, and in the evening were hospitably entertained by the worthy proprietor.


The vice chair was occupied by A. Patterson, Esq., to whose exertions in the capacity of hon. secretary the success of the society Is in a great measure to be attributed. A variety of excellent speeches followed, in the course of which frequent allusions were made to the fact of the grain-growers of the district taking some of the principal prizes, in competition with those of Adelaide and Victoria, at the late show of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, and all present expressed their satisfaction at the results of the second annual ploughinig match of the " Mornington Branch."


You can read about the first ploughing match held at Mr Walton's farm at Narre Warren, here.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Victorian Places website

One of my favourite websites is the Victorian  Places website  http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/
We'll use the website's own words to tell you what it is all about This is a website containing the history of all the places in Victoria (Australia) that have now or once had a population over 200 at any time since the establishment of Victoria as a British colony. The project is a joint initiative of Monash University and the University of Queensland.



It's  a great website, and one of the coolest things about it is the homepage with a green Melbourne tram - the pictures in the window scroll through and the search box is the route number sign on the top right - it's a fabulous example of graphic design. 

What you find for each town is a history, any significant events, the development of the town from country town to suburb (applicable),  an entry on the town  from the 1903 Australian Handbook, population statistics,  some photos and a 'further reading' list. It'a a great resource if you want a concise history of a town that you have an interest in for family or local history purposes.

Reading the excerpts from the Australian Handbook is also interesting as it gives a snap shot of the town in 1903, even though it is a bit sad that many of these towns were better served with public transport and  services such as banks than they today. I have picked three towns from the City of Casey and three from the Cardinia Shire (and in the interests of historical municipal fairness they are also three towns from the Shire of Cranbourne and three from the Shire of Berwick) to highlight the Australian Handbook entry








Victorian Places, a great website, you can find it here   http://www.victorianplaces.com.au

Monday, 13 February 2017

Sperry New Holland Factory at Cranbourne


The Sperry New Holland building at Cranbourne, c. 1992

Sperry New Holland commenced operations in Victoria at Dandenong in 1955. They manufactured agricultural equipment including hay balers and hay bale elevators.  In 1980, they purchased a 46 hectare site (around ten times the size of their Dandenong operations) in Cranbourne-Berwick Road, Cranbourne. They built a 2 hectare factory and it opened around 1982. Initially there were over 400 people employed  but a recession hit within 18 months and there were redundancies and layoffs. In 1985 the Company was taken over by the Ford Motor Company, but continued producing machinery and also made parts for car manufacturers. 

The factory had its own spur line from the main South Gippsland Railway line, The spur line went into what is now the The Shed, a skate board facility,  so  I presume it was used a for despatch. If you are interested in railway infrastructure then there are some photographs of the old line on the Vicsig.net website, here.

The Ford  New Holland factory closed down around 1992  as  operations were shifted to New South Wales and sadly,  workers were made redundant. The entire site was sold to the Cranbourne Shire for five million dollars. The Casey Cardinia Library Corporation moved into the Administration building in 1996 and the main factory building is now the Terry Vickerman Indoor Sports Centre.

Terry Vickerman was the Cranbourne Shire Chief Executive for 22 years until he retired in December 1994, after the Council amalgamations. He was responsible for the purchase of the building, which was not without its critics. The Shire of Cranbourne Ratepayers and Residents Association threatened to stand candidates against the sitting councillors who had voted for the purchase - the gist of the complaints against the purchase were that the Council had not provided enough information on the transaction and that residents outside of the Cranbourne township would have to pay for the site but would obtain no benefit from it.


Cranbourne Sun March 16, 1992. It's  a scan of a photocopy, so it's  a fairly ordinary image, but if you click on the photo you can enlarge it and read it.

It depended on who you asked if the cost of the site at five million dollars was reasonable or not.  It does appear that many ratepayers were unhappy with not only the initial purchase price but with the money required to convert it to its new purpose - an estimated ten million dollars. However, according to a report in Hansard on May 3, 1994, the local member Gary Rowe (Liberal member for the Legislative Assembly seat of Cranbourne from 1992 to 2002) considered that the five million dollars was a  'bargain basement ' price.


Hansard May 3, 1994. Access Mr Rowe's full speech here

Either way, 25 years on, whether the five million dollars purchase price was a waste of tax payers money or  a bargain the site and its associated buildings are now a real asset to not only the Cranbourne community but further afield - there is the Cranbourne Library, the incredibly busy Casey Indoor Leisure Complex (Terry Vickerman Centre),  The Shed Skatepark, The Factory Rehearsal Centre for the Arts, the Casey RACE (Casey Recreation and Aquatic Centre) and the  Balla Balla Centre.



We found this envelope the other day in a cupboard in a store room at Cranbourne Library - it was the key cupboard,  all the keys are still there -  but we souvenired this for the Archive, as it has the Sperry New Holland logo and the Cranbourne address!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Hallam late 1950s.

These photographs were taken in the late 1950s and were donated to our Archive by Jim Alexander, a former Councillor for the City of Berwick. They show Hallam, before suburbanization when it was still mainly rural.


This is thought to have been taken in  1957 and is labelled 'From Frawley Road, looking north'


Same view as above from Frawley Road but looking north to north west, also most likely 1957.


Phil Key's new house, looking from Frawley Road, 1958. The house is now on the corner of Kilberry Crescent and Cressonierre Court, even though these streets were built later as I have a 1963 aerial photograph and the land hadn't been subdivided, so this house originally had  a driveway off Frawley Road. According to Google Earth, the house is still there. 


As above, construction of Phil Key's house in 1958.


This is Phil Key's house, looking south to south east, 1958. The white farm house, behind Mr Key's house,  is described as Frawley's house. In the top right hand corner of the photo is a two storey building, most likely the Hallam Hotel.


Labelled as 'Near Frawley road, looking north to north east'  1957


Labelled as 'Looking towards Frawley Road, 1958'

Monday, 23 January 2017

'When there were Stations' website

I have written about railways on quite  a few occasions in this blog, because I have an interest in railways from a social history point of view - the role they played in the development of towns, the freedom they gave to the local people to move about the State (or even interstate) in the days before nearly everyone owned a motor car. The other thing I like about railways is well before on-line shopping became almost the norm the whole world could be delivered to you from mail order catalogues to your local railway station - take a look at some of the old Weekly Times on Trove - and anyone from jewellers to Department stores to agricultural implement makers would send you a printed catalogue to order from.  Goods are no longer delivered to our local railway stations - most are unstaffed and the railway buildings replaced by a few open shelters but before these stations, and parcel sheds, goods sheds and Station houses disappeared forever Dave Phillips and others took lots of photos of old stations and you can see them on the  When there were Stations website  http://www.stationspast.net/

Here are some of the great local photos from When there were Stations


Bunyip Railway Station taken December 11, 1989. Photographer: Dave Phillips



Garfield Parcels shed taken January 29, 1989. Photographer: Frank Jones.


Tynong Goods Shed taken October 7, 1987. Photographer: Dave Phillips.

There are also photographs of Nar Nar Goon, Officer and Beaconsfield from the Gippsland line from the Casey Cardinia region.


Lang Lang Station, taken January 21 1990. Photographer: Dave Phillips.


Tooradin Station House, taken August 21, 1990. Photographer: Dave Phillips.

There are also photographs of Koo-Wee-Rup and Cranbourne from the South Gippsland line from the Casey Cardinia region.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Robert and Susan Bain and the Border Hotel / Berwick Inn

Robert and Susan Bain were the proprietors of the Berwick Inn also known as the Border Hotel in High Street in Berwick.

The hotel was established by Robert Hudson Bain (1831-1887) in 1857 which was four years before the town of Berwick was gazetted. Early Days of Berwick  has this to say about the name of the establishment at a very early age, possibly the late 1840's the district was marked out for Police administrative purposes embracing the Port Philip area and with its limits at Bacchus Marsh and Berwick respectively.  This theory that Berwick was the 'border' of this administrative area and thus the hotel was named the Border Hotel,  is supported by the fact that there is an historic hotel in Bacchus Marsh called the Border Inn, construction of which started in 1850. The book goes on to to say when the original Port Phillip Farmers' Society was formed [in 1848] two branches one at Berwick and one at Bacchus Marsh were formed so that district links existed between these two places. The other theory suggested by Early days of Berwick  is that Bain named it after his birth place, the  border town of Berwick-on-Tweed, however Richard Myers, author of the book, Berwick Mechanics' Institute and Free Library has dismissed this idea, as Bain was born in Falkirk in Scotland.

Robert Bain came to Australia in 1855 when he was 24 years old. He married Susan Stewart in 1859 and they had eleven children, but more about them later.


Berwick Inn in 1858

Robert was very much involved with the civic life of Berwick. He was Post Master from 1859 to1872, he was the first secretary of the Berwick Road Board which was formed in this building in 1862. He was on the board of the Berwick State School from 1862. The hotel was the venue for the first Police Court in 1865. It was also the first meeting place for the Berwick Mechanics' Institute and the Bains later donated the land upon which the Mechanics' Institute stands on. The building is one the oldest in the Casey Cardinia Region. The earliest section of the building, the triangular single storey part, dates from 1857. This is made of hand-made bricks from local clay. The two storey sections were added in 1877 and 1887.

   The Bain family owned the hotel until 1909, with Susan Bain taking over as licensee after her husband’s death on February 24, 1887 at the age of 56.  Robert Bain's obituary in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal can be read here  but it reads in part - Connected with school, with Mechanic's Institute, with Cemetery, with everything that concerned the town ship; he was always ready to do his part...... Scandal, whether to hear or to utter, was abhorrent to him. He was full of humanity toward all, ever ready. to give honor to whom honor as due, and help them who were in need.    His funeral was at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church and he is buried at the Berwick Cemetery.



The Bain family taken in the 1880s.

We know that Robert gets much deserved credit for his role in public life, but Susan was in the background raising their eleven children and when her husband died in 1887 and when her youngest child was only eight, Susan took over as the licensee of the Hotel and managed the business until just before her death at the age of 69 on June 26, 1908.   Her obituary in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal  described her as highly respected and that her many good deeds will long be remembered by residents in and around Berwick. You can read the full report here.



Death notice for Susan Bain from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of July 1, 1908

As you can see from the Death Notice, above,  by the time Susan passed away in June 1908,  only three of her eleven children were still alive and two sons had died in Janaury 1908 from a heat wave  - you can read about their sad deaths here, in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of January 22, 1908. Susan was born on December 28, 1838 in Scotland, the daughter of Robert Stewart and Catherine Campbell*,  and she arrived in Melbourne in 1857 and as we saw before, married Robert two years later. Her sister Margaret also lived in Berwick with her husband George Brown. George owned a drapers shop in the town. Margaret died July 28, 1884 at the age of 50, according to her death notice in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Her only child, George was killed in 1887 at the age of 23, accidentally hit by  a train whilst walking back to Berwick from Beaconsfield along the railway tracks. You can read the Inquest and description of his funeral here, in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of June 8, 1887. George Brown later married Mary Jane Patterson and built Inveresk in  1891, the house on the corner of High Street and Rutland Road in Berwick.

Here is  a list of Robert and Susan's children*
Catherine (born 1860 -  died October 1900 - known as Kate,  married John Murray Leggatt in 1878)
Jane Hudson (born 1861 - known as Jean,  she is the Mrs W.S Withers listed in the death notice. Jean married Walter Seward Withers in 1886, they are listed in the 1911 English Census, living in the town of Goodworth Clatford, near Andover,  in Hampshire and she died in June 1926 at Andover)
Margaret Anne Stewart (born 1863,  known as Maggie, married Charles Allen Champion in November 1889 and died in March 1891)
James (born 1865 - died January 1908)
Robert (born 1867 - died  January 1902)
Harry Wilson (born 1869 -  died April 1902)
George Alexander (born 1871 - ?)
Edwin Clarence (born 1873 - died 1875)
Susan Stewart (born 1875 -  died 1876)
McCulloch Stewart (born 1877 -  died January 1908)
Donald Stewart (born 1880 -  died January 1937)

The Berwick Inn is still functioning in the original buildings (with some extensions). After Susan Bain died, the next owner was also a woman, Helen Struth who owned the hotel from 1909 to 1948. Gordon Blackburne was the third owner from 1948-1960. During his time the Melbourne Hunt Club called in for their traditional stirrup cup before a days riding. Blackburne Square in Berwick is named after Mr Blackburne.


The Melbourne Hunt Club outside the Berwick Inn  - the riders are Alec Creswick, George Missen and Rupert Richardson.
Photo: Berwick Nostalgia: a pictorial history of Berwick published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society in 2001.



* The genealogical information is partly from Early Settlers of the Casey Cardinia District published by the Narre Warren & District Family History Group.