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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, 1937

A view looking up Lonsdale Street in 1937, looking towards where it intersects with Scott street, There were a few interesting shops in this section, one remembered more than others by locals who would frequent it for a tasty bite, or one of the lesser mentioned services, Can you name it?

Bellow is an excerpt from Reminiscences of the early days of Dandenong published in the Journal during the 1930s.

From about 1S58 coaches were the main link between Melbourne and
Dandenong, prior to the railway opening, coach was the method
cf travelling. There were many vehicles eventually on the road, in fact
each hotel ran a line at one time in the very early days. One connected with "Dunbar’s” Hotel, another with the “Bridge,” and so on. Dave
Bowden drove one coach, Thomas Dallimore another, and “Old George” drove for Cobb & Co.

There were coaches running from Dandenong to Cranbourne and the Bass; others to Berwick, and so on. These latter ran after the main road was made, as before that time horsemen carried the mail, the driving of a trap being an impossibility. Tom Murray, Tom McMahon, and other drivers, drove coaches, but they did not properly come within the range of the early-day drivers.

In 185S Messrs. Cobb & Co. built stables and offices at the corner of
the main and Pultney streets, and the large underground tank still remained in 1930 as a memento of the old coaching days. When Mr. Peter Evans bought the building, which he converted into a boot-making shop, it was often remarked upon why such a small establishment required such a large tank, but those who inquired were not aware that that large tank was not more than sufficiently large to water a big string of horses required for the coaches.

The coach from Dandenong to Bass ran three times weekly. Its original driver was George Wright ("Old George.”) He was followed by J. Moorehouse, after whom came W. Smiley, and the last driver of that line was Charlie Wilson. In 1S73 Cobb & Co’s coach left the Albion Hotel, Bourke street, for Dandenong, the fare each way being four shillings. Mrs. Dunbar ran a line cf coaches between Melbourne and Brandy Creek, and also between Melbourne and Tooradin, in 1876,

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Corner of Mason amd Walker Streets, Dandenong, late 1980s

The Church of Christ was still located in the building on the left (as their first timber building had been on Robinson Street). Nowadays this is the Cornerstone Contact Centre, offering regular meals and a variety of other services to the areas homeless and those in need.

Photos kindly supplied to page by Brad Farrell

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

1934 Floods, Lonsdale Street from Foster Street, Dandenong.

Looking down Lonsdale Street from Foster Street towards Dandenong Park during the 1934 floods, It can be hard to imagine such a wide area of Dandenong being under water.

In Dandenong's early days, the creek was always a problem. It was just a shallow meandering stream that would always flood the southern part of the town. It is hard to believe that from this point all the way down to the Cranbourne turn-off could at times be up to five feet under water.

The original crossing point of the creek was a further 50 to 60 feet towards the town centre, about in-line where the (Former) Dandenong Bowling Club is located. The area south of Walker Street was once very swampy and it took a lot of effort and cost to rectify it. The amount of filling needed on both sides was enormous.

Crossing the creek back in the early 1840's was at first negotiated by foot passengers by means of piles driven well into the ground, topped with a single plank and guarded by a hand rail. A primitive type wooden bridge was soon constructed and only lasted to the end of the decade. A new wooden bridge was built of more grander proportions but this too was destroyed by flooding waters.

A new stone bridge with two single arches was constructed in 1866 and lasted until 1919, also undermined by floods. This bridge was located at today's present bridge site. By this time the Dandenong Creek south of Clow Street had been converted in parts into a more drain like appearance.

This allowed water to flow more freely and quickly through the southern part of the township but it didn't stop the disastrous floods back in December 1934. Today, the Dandenong Creek through this area has been straightened and channeled as an urban stream and flooding is a rare occurrence.

Above text quoted from a Past 2 Present post:

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Noble Park Railway Station, 1918-1930s

The Oakleigh to Gippsland railway line had stations at Springvale and Dandenong and as land near the Springvale station underwent subdivision into small farm holdings, owners down the line subdivided their land. In 1909 several holdings in the area later to be known as Noble Park were cut up for market gardens. One of the vendors was Allan Buckley, who is chiefly recognised as the founder of Noble Park, as it is named after one of his six children, Noble Buckley.

His other children’s names were given to streets, including Douglas Street where the shopping centre is located. The Buckley family school was opened in 1911, an Anglican church in 1912 and a railway office/stopping place in 1913. A public hall was built in the same year, which under the management of locally elected trustees, has occupied a strong position in the community.

Until the years after World War II Noble Park was mainly a farming community concentrated on market gardens, dairying and poultry. Small amounts of industry were near the railway station, along with housing. The town had six shops in 1923, and the 1933 census recorded 1507 persons.

Until May 1955, Noble Park was in the Dandenong shire. Severance was warmly greeted by Noble Park residents who thought that Dandenong shire had neglected their needs, and the severed shire was named Springvale and Noble Park. When the municipality was made a city in 1961 it became City of Springvale.

The present station was opened in the late 1960s after the original buildings were destroyed by an arsonist. A row of shops now occupies the site of the first station, of which no trace remains today. As part of the EastLink project, minor upgrade works were carried out, including improved shelter, carpark upgrades, and a security upgrade including brighter lighting and better CCTV coverage.

In 2015 the Level Crossing Removal Authority announced the Grade separation of nearby Heatherton Road with construction scheduled to start in 2016. The proposal will see the new station being elevated and moved closer to where the public restrooms presently stand.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Webster Street Level Crossing, Dandenong, 1970s/1980s

An old V-Line passenger train (with the outwards opening doors) crossing the Dandenong Creek, heading towards the station.

The Webster Street level crossing is visible in the right side, looking towards the trees Princes Highway.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Royal Hotel, Corner Lonsdale and Walker Street, Dandenong, undated.

From the moment Mr Dunbar’s first hotel at 231–235 Lonsdale Street was completed in the early 1850’s it acted as the social headquarters for residents and visitors to Dandenong. It served as meeting rooms, held Dandenongs first court sessions, served as the early post office and rested teams of Cobb & Co horses in its stables. By 1877 (after he’d built another hotel next door) Mr Dunbar converted this original hotel into banking premises and a shop

These renovations were demolished nine years later by new owners to make way for the construction of this second hotel (The Royal) that would remain on that site for the next 80 years. The Royal was demolished in the early 1960’s to make way for the four storey AMP building which itself became a first in Lonsdale St, the likes of which had never been seen before.

At the time of demolition two deep wells (made from handmade bricks) were uncovered under 231–235 Lonsdale Street, that was said to provide
Dandenongs first building with its own water supply. The AMP building itself saw demolition as the new Civic Centre and Library was build on this and the former Mayfair site.

In the 1860’s Mr Dunbar was also responsible for the first property to be built at 221–229 Lonsdale Street. A two storey hotel that remained intact until 1922 when the hotel was replaced with an arcade and shops later known as the Mayfair shops. The rear of this property facing Thomas Street was subdivided, becoming the Boomerang Theatre that opened in 1924. In 1950 it became known as the Mayfair Theatre and was demolished in 1968.

Image source: Dandenong & District Historical Society

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