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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mike Leydon - 1965 video by his Dad of Dandenong

video
This wonderful and rare little video from 1965 shows some of the landmarks of Dandenong, Including a section of the west side of Lonsdale Street. With the rarity of video footage of Dandenong for this era we are thankful to Mike Leydon for sharing it with the wider Old Dandenong community.

Mike Leydon - Hope this works! Dad's (Kevin) new toy - an 8mm movie camera. Apologies for the quality, but it was 1965. Hopefully you can still pick out a place or two that you recognise.

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Foster & Lonsdale Streets, Dandenong, Pre 1900s.

Looking up Foster Street as it crosses Lonsdale Street. On the right side is Dandenong park, Foster street sweeps left and up the hill as it passes the fence on the left You can see the Protestant Church beyond the empty space that would later be home to the 2nd Scout Hall, and presently the Court House. Pultney street swings up the back of the park with Langhorne street just after the church. The original Catholic Church is just out of focus further up the hill.

The lady on the left corner looks familiar with an old time resident, but without a name we must hesitate from naming her for certainty. A gas lamp still looks over the intersection, it would be some time before electricity started to take over.


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Friday, March 4, 2016

Crump General Store, 224 or 226 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong.

This undated photo shows the store in the early days when John Crump still ran the business.

Crump opened the Crump General Store in 1904 and sold everything from groceries, crockery, linen and hardware to stock feed and farm supplies. Although the prominent Dandenong business’s store front was in Lonsdale Street, the lane was a bustling hub of activity where goods were loaded and unloaded at the rear of the store.

Customers would come up the laneway and park their horse and buggy in stables. The lane accommodated many businesses, including one of the early coach-building businesses and the mortuary of J.W. Garnar’s undertakers.

Crump’s delivered grocery orders around the district via a horse-drawn lorry and when customers unpacked their box there would always be a free paper cornet filled with boiled lollies.

Right on the corner of Walker and Langhorne streets was the slip rail to the farrier’s shop and forge, and in the other end of the Langhorne Street frontage was the blacksmith’s forge and wheelwright’s shop.
Young children could be seen standing at the slip rail to watch in fascination as the farrier forged the shoes and shod the horses.

Crump’s prided itself on being the ‘popular store’ with exceptional quality of goods. After John Crump’s death, his son Albert Crump operated the store with the help of wife Hazel. In those days there was no cash register and no refrigeration – butter and other perishables were stored in a cellar.

A large billboard once adorned the wall at the entrance to Crump Lane – it advertised films at the local Boomerang Theatre and notified people of events taking place at the Dandenong Town Hall opposite.
The site occupied by the Crump General Store later became the McEwans hardware store.

Info courtesy of "Dandenong and District Historical Society"


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Dandenong Railway Station, About 1890

Until the coming of the railway,the Greater Dandenong area was virtually on the frontier of settlement. Construction started at the Sale end and reached Oakleigh in 1877. After some delay,the link was made with Melbourne and the line officially opened in 1879,amidst great celebrations.

By the early 1880s,Springvale had a station, consisting of a platform and open shed. The first train to stop at Noble Park was about 1915. Electrification of the line between Oakleigh and Dandenong was completed in 1922. The line between Dandenong and Warragul was electrified by 1954. New stations were opened at Sandown in 1965 and Yarraman in 1976.

The railway was a factor in attracting people and industries to settle in the area. Workers could commute to the City. Farmers and market gardeners could send their produce to Melbourne by train. Railway access was convenient for firms such as Kelly and Lewis,which had its own railway siding,and for the Dandenong Market. General Motors Holden gained its own railway station.

When the railway age began,it tended to deflect government spending away from expenditure on roads. In more recent times, the reverse has applied and Government policy has focused on the building of freeways. The City of Greater Dandenong has examples of both these aspects of progress.

Apart from the railway itself, the oldest structures representing the railway age were probably the station and signal box at Springvale which was removed we grade separation happened at Springvale Road in the early 2010s. The substantial station complex at Dandenong,on the other hand,symbolizes a modern attempt to affirm Dandenong’s role as a dynamic regional centre.

Image Courtesy of D.D.H.S.


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Thursday, March 3, 2016

St James Anglican Church, 53-57 Langhorne Street, Dandenong, Late 1800's.

The Rev. J. H. Gregory conducted Dandenong’s first Anglican service on 21 July 1850. Although a committee was formed to obtain appropriate premises for subsequent services, it was not until the mid-1850s with the arrival of Mr R. C. Walker, that thi quest was partly realized. Walker was renting a large property, The Grange, north of the present Kidd’s Road, within a short time, services were being conducted there in a slab hut newly built for the purpose.

In July they applied to the government for a grant of land to establish a school, a site of two acres had was reserved for such purposes on the corner of Langhorne and Wilson Streets, extending to McCrae Street. The school house was built on the site facing Wilson Street. The brick building was completed by August 1857 and opened. Enlarged in 1865, the school house stood until 1905.

Still without a church building, a public meeting was held with on 3 March 1860 for the purpose of instructing an architect and arranging for the collection of the necessary funds. At another public meeting held in May 1861 it was decided that the services of a clergyman would be obtained if sufficient residents from Dandenong, Berwick and Cranbourne could fill a subscription list. It was not until 1863 that a clergyman, the Rev. Whitmore Carr, was appointed, and within a month of his arrival, the building of a church was firmly back on the agenda

Plans and specifications were drawn up by Diocesan architect, Leonard Terry who called for tenders in The Argus on 13 June. The foundation stone was laid on the 5 July by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Darling who was presented with a silver trowel for the ceremony.

By 1866, the church was paid for, and attention turned to building a parsonage as well as providing further decoration for the church interior. The Trustees reported that they had received promises of handsome shrubs from the government nursery. In 1867, a public meeting was held calling for contributions, but sufficient funds weren’t obtained until January 1870 when a smaller version of the parsonage proposed by Terry was built, building commenced in August and was completed in November. Some years later, in 1877, tenders were called to cement the exterior walls of the church building.

As the congregation grew, it was decided to complete the church as originally designed, Tenders were called for construction of transepts, chancel, vestry and new seating on 15 November 1883. The work was undertaken in 1886 with over a £1000 donated by the congregation. Other additions to the church during this period include, a baptismal font (1884), and a new pulpit (1885) crafted from part of the pulpit removed from the former St Paul’s Church, corner Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne. Three extra rooms were also added to the parsonage. The church was consecrated on Thursday 25 August 188.

A ‘War Memorial Porch’ dedicated to those who served in WWII was added to the church in 1953. The bricks were reclaimed from the old railway bridge that crossed Princes Highway to the Springvale Crematorium. The elms are believed to have been planted in about 1900.


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David Street, Dandenong. December 1960.

New Weatherboard Houses in David Street, on the left are the gates to the Council Tip (former quarry for the Ordish Brickworks) In the background, the hills were to become part of the future Endeavour Hills Suburb.
Image supplied by  Bill Farrell

The Grange was the name of the property owned by the navy’s Captain David Ross in 1866. The estate ran from the Princes Highway along Clow Street/Kidds Road down to the Dandenong Creek and it followed the creek up to Heatherton Road.
I have it on good authority that the first home was situated off what became Ross and Lebanon streets and the second more grand home was built in Stud Road, near where May Court runs in off Ingrid Street.
Captain Ross’s youngest son, Herbert, married Ann Ross (no connection). When the property was later subdivided, Herbert named numerous streets in Dandenong after his wife, family and friends.
Ann Street was named after his wife, and Bruce, David, Herbert and Robert after his sons. Melbe Crescent was named after his sister and Margaret and Olive for his daughters.
Stewart Street was named in honour of an old friend of the Ross family, and Cleeland and King after the executors of his father’s will. The second home was demolished in 1964.
Captain Ross allowed access on his property and that track became Stud Road.
Stud Road was named after the police horse stud in the Police Paddocks.
Police Road was named after the police depot, also at the Police Paddocks. Clow Street was named after the Reverend James Clow, who settled in Dandenong in 1838.
This fascinating list was put together by Jenny Ferguson of the South Eastern Historical Association

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dandenong Hospital around 1942, Not long after it was completed.

In 1939, as World War II broke out and Dandenong was beset by fires and other upheavals, a committee took a unanimous decision that was backed by local doctors. Their mandate was to buy five acres in Cleeland Street for a hospital.

The land, part of the Ross estate, cost £300 and many people said the site was ideal. And so the Dandenong and District Hospital was set up, a place to go if one needed healing.

Before the Dandenong and District Hospital was built, Alf Oldham and Ian Hart were two of the doctors who had run the Murray House Private Hospital at the corner of Scott and Thomas streets.

On the corner of Wilson and Langhorne streets, near St James Anglican Church another private hospital operated from Merlin House, which still stands today.


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Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1920.

Interestingly there is a sole Palm Tree reserve in the centre, The Town Hall stands proud to the left, From a time when all the shops still had verandas and some country charm, with a population between 3,000 and 4,000 it very much was still a village/town.

Well before the streets of Dandenong became synonymous with the sounds of bellowing cattle, cracking whips and barking dogs the district was alive with an enviable mixture of natural resources. Red gums and She oaks, flowing water, rich soil for agriculture and great potential for dairy farming, added to its proximity to Melbourne, helped define the tiny township’s support role in helping to build booming Melbourne.

Although first settled in the 1840’s it wasn’t until the 1850’s that the signs of organized industry began to emerge as dray load after dray load of felled red gums made their way to Melbourne with much needed timber to establish wharves, timber street pavers and railway lines.

Supporting this industry was a small labour force and, along with a handful of bold settlers, they laid the foundations of the bustling town that continues over 160 years later to draw people, business and industry into it boarders.

Dandenong’s proximity to Gippsland also meant that it soon became known as “The Gateway to Gippsland” as it was perfectly placed with road, and later, railway links to Gippsland’s own network of, once considered, inexhaustible natural resources.

In 1865, when Dandenong had a population of 250, the then Minister for Lands described Dandenong as “The most picturesque little town he had ever seen”. In 1868 the first cattle market opened. The shanty town was now a market town and Dandenong had found its thumping heart.


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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Police Paddock & Residence, Back in 1925

This photo from 1925 shows the former Police Paddocks residence, The residence is long gone and images of it are hard to find, There is evidence on the ground still of the former buildings, which were demolished in 1956, but nothing substantial remains to mark this part of local history. At over 120 years old they were a loss even then.

Site of the first Native Police Headquarters (1839), Westernport Aboriginal Protectorate Station (1840-42) and the third Native Police Headquarters (1843-1853), it also functioned as the Police Stud Depot until 1931 and a farm until around1959.

Now perhaps only one third to one quarter of the size of the original Police Reserve surveyed in 1851 for the Native Police Corps. Prior to this first survey, the land was used for three Aboriginal/European institutions. The 1837 Corps of Native Police under Superintendent Christiaan Ludolph Johannes de Villiers, the Westernport Aboriginal Protectorate under Assistant Protector William Thomas, and the 1842 Corps of Native Police under Commandant Henry Edmund Pulteney Dana.

History documents the joint Aboriginal/European institutional use of the site from the early contact period until 1852 when Commandant Henry Dana died. Shortly before his death in November 1852, Henry Dana was appointed Commandant of the Mounted Patrol, a European force consisting of two Divisions (one of which was commanded by his brother William) raised for the protection of the roads from the goldfields to Melbourne. The Native Police Corps had ceased to exist as an institution, though there were still Aboriginal troopers who served. After the disintegration of this Corps, the site was taken over by the Mounted Division of the Victorian Police and used as their stud depot until the 1930s.


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Minster (Westminster) Carpets, Corner Gladstone Road and Princes Hwy, Dandenong, Mid 1970's.

Looking from the roof of the house which became The Pancake Parlor, on the corner of Jones Road and Princes Highway towards Minster Carpet (formerly West Minster Carpets).

The pictured building was partially destroyed by fire around early March 1987. The remaining operations moving to Tottnam in about 2001.

Englishman Jack Dewes established Westminster Carpets at Dandenong, Victoria in 1948-49. The company initially produced low priced rubber bonded carpet for the floors of motor cars, but quickly adopted for use in homes and offices.

The manufacturing process produced carpet directly from carded wool, eliminating the spinning and weaving processes. Its 'Westminster' brand was a haircord floor covering initially made from 80% goat hair and 20% highland wool on a rubberised hessian backing, and produced in a large range of single colours. In 1954 the factory also released carpet tiles, 10 inches (25cm) square, in a similar colour range.

By 1965, Westminster carpets were being produced in 26 different single colours on 40 inch wide rolls, and were being made from a combination of goats hair and man-made fibres like nylon and Evlan.

The site is now occupied by a Bunnings store stands. By pure coincidence, Bunnings sells a Minster carpet brand.

Pancake Parlor opened around 1987, The modified house was variously owned by the Ryans (who also owned a hotel in central Dandenong) and then the Castricum's before becoming a Steak House, and in 1987 it's present occupant.

Photo Taken/Provided by: Paul Castricum



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Monday, February 29, 2016

Aerial view of Dandenong in the 1930's.

There is nearly an uncountable number of changes since this aerial was taken, but some buildings do remain, can you spot them?

Below Except From: "Reminiscences Of Early Dandenong"

In 1858 the Government undertook the formation of a road from Melbourne to Sale, and made an allocation of £30,000 for the section from Melbourne to Bunyip. This road started from the old Star Hotel, Windsor, which was then a celebrated hostelry, and gradually it crept through the bush on its way to far-off Gippsland. Messrs. Cox and Bennett were the contractors, and a first-class job they made of it.

I remember well the piece from the (now) intersection of the Cranbourne and Berwick roads towards Hallam. It was an atrocious quagmire in winter, and an appalling gridiron in summer. The countless droves of bullocks from Gippsland had made ridges across the track, and these in time had become so deep that the cattle had to step high negotiating them. Vehicular traffic, represented by bullock drays, could not travel over it, but had to make other tracks through the adjacent bush. Tho difficulties that the contractors had to face and overcome were stupendous. But surmount them they did, and the road-bed, as it shows up in places to this day, testifies to the thoroughness of (the work of these pioneer road-malcers.

But this is getting on too fast.

When the squatting runs which embraced Dandenong and district were cut up and thrown open to the selectors, the question of a main road through to Gippsland was one of much talk and of great Importance. Even so early in the History of the colony as this (1854) there was that procedure which was then inelegantly termed "duck-shoving,” meaning that underground influence was brought to boar on the question of running the line of road along the course most favored by, and of most benefit to, the persons who had the power to so direct it. That applied to the road through the township.

There were three routes surveyed from Melbourne as far as Dandenong. One went through Brighton, and is that now known yet as the “Brighton road," the existing line being almost identical with that of the original survey. In those days Brighton was regarded as a sort of semi-terminus to the road from Melbourne, in the direction of Gippsland.

Tho second track took ‘‘the route of the hills,” by way of Prahan and Caulfield, and then diverged through the flats between the latter place and Dandenong. But this was soon abandoned, on account of the heavy, sticky country through which it led, it being literally a series of glue pots.

The third was a continuation of the hill route, diverging from the “glue pots” at Caulfield, and so on through Oakleigh and Springvale, and is the main Gippsland road to-day.

The intention at that time of the surveyors, and the wish of' those who had axes to apply to the grindstone, was that the main road should go to Gippsland straight along McCrae street; and, anyone coming into the town from Melbourne will see at once the fitness of that decision; but the wire-pullers got to work, and, instead of a straight and good road over suitable and firm country, the track was swerved around the corner opposite the market, past the hotels, through a swamp from Walker street to the creek, and so on to the intersection of the Berwick and Cranbourne roads.

The swampy ground was filled in at enormous cost, and which fact possibly in small measure contributed to the crushing burden which our beautiful little town has carried since its infancy, and is still carrying.

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State Electricity Commission, 195 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, Early 1930s.

Few people who walk down the brightly lighted streets of Dandenong on the weekly shopping night, or notice the humming activity of the township’s many factories, pause to consider how it's been since the first electric lamp shed its brightness in the district.

Only a few months before the beginning of the first world war did Dandenong enjoy the advantages of its first electric service. In March, 1914, this was established by the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Co. Ltd, who secured the rights to generate and distribute electricity within the township.

The generating station consisted of two 50 h.p. suction gas engines which were erected in a power house in Clow street, Which b 1933 was being used as a Garage. Seven years later, in June, 1921, the Shire Council purchased all rights of the undertaking from the company, and continued to generate it's own requirements until November, 1922, when electricity was purchased in bulk from the State Electricity Commission. On October 1, 1923, the Council handed over control and distribution of Electricity to the Commission.

Since this date the development and use of electricity in Dandenong was very rapid, and the township became one of the most important distribution and administrative centres in the electrical network of the state. By 1925 the expansion of the Electricity Commission's system east of Melbourne required the establishment of an Eastern Metropolitan District, and by virtue of it's geographical position Dandenong was selected as the District Administrative Centre.

With temporary offices being secured in the Boomerang Buildings. To provide accommodation for its staff, and facilities for handling of its stores and equipment, the Commission, in 1928 was obliged to build its own premises at 195 Lonsdale Street. By 1933 seven sub-stations in the township were necessary to reduce the electrical pressure of the main transmission lines to a voltage suitable to requirements of consumers within the townships boundaries, The main switching station being on Frankston Road (now Frankston-Dandenong Road).


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