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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Murray House, Scott Street, Dandenong, undated

Alf Oldham and Ian Hart were two of the doctors who had run the Murray House Private Hospital on Scott street Dandenong from long before the Public Hospital was opened in 1942.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

St James Anglican Church, 53-57 Langhorne Street, Dandenong

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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Former Signal Box, Dandenong Train Station, Undated

Former Signal Box, Dandenong Train Station, Undated

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Town Hall, Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1912.

Long before the clock face was added to the tower, When a horse and cart was the normal thing to see in the middle of Lonsdale Street.The 1890 the erection of a grand Town Hall provided a focal point for community life.

The Dandenong townsfolk built their first Mechanics Institute in 1863, a small timber building, on the corner of Lonsdale and Walker Streets, which included a library. A more elaborate structure was needed and in 1876, a new brick building was added in front. This contained the Institute and Library (with 500 volumes), as well as providing a space for Council meetings and a venue for many functions.

This in turn, after many battles, gave way to the grand new town hall complex, built in 1890. The Institute was granted the use of one whole floor in the new building. This included space for a reading room and library, which continued in that location until the 1970s.

In the late 1880s the Shire Councillors debated the question of acquiring their own civic offices. At that time there were only 647 ratepayers. Amidst bitter opposition and a ratepayers’ poll, there emerged a plan which would utilize the Mechanics Institute site, demolish their building, erect a new Town Hall, house the law courts, and provide one upper floor for the activities of the Mechanics Institute.

John Keys, shire secretary and also a local member of parliament, led the group supporting the proposal for a new town hall. The majority of ratepayers voted for the Council’s proposal to take out a loan of £4,000. The Victorian Government assisted with a contribution of £2,000, in return for including a Court Room in the plans. The builders, McCulloch and McAlpine, constructed the building at a cost of £9,269.

On the ground floor were municipal chambers, public hall, court house and caretaker’s residence. On the upper floor were public library, reading room, billiard room and club rooms. For the next 78 years the Town Hall was the home of the municipality of Dandenong. It was also the legal centre for the area, since the law court sessions continued to be held there until 1939.

In 1934 the clock was provided for the tower as an outcome of the Dandenong Jubilee celebrations held in 1933. In October 1939, the tender of Leith and Bartlett was accepted for alterations to the town hall complex, costing £10,000.

That year, law court sessions were transferred permanently to another local building, and over the next two years the complex underwent a major internal reconstruction, plus a large extension at the rear. Before the alterations, the complex ran parallel to Lonsdale Street.

Some years later,in 1968, the City of Dandenong’s municipal offices were transferred to new buildings in Clow Street. The Town Hall was again redeveloped, this time as a venue for community festivals and entertainment and a portion was used to house the Council’s historic archives.

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Ordish Brick Works, Stud Road, Dandenong, Early 1930s.

Established by W. P. Ordish, in the early 1890s, and carried on by him successfully for many years. Located east of Stud Road, north of
David Street. The fire clay was of the type required for furnaces, at a time when a great many furnaces were being built. However, better clays, capable of withstanding higher temperatures, were later in demand and the Ordish Firebrick Company began importing clay from other areas.

The business was acquired in 1922 by the Ordish Fire Brick Co. Pty. Ltd, having been established in 1894, and under the new management turned into one of the four largest industries giving employment at the time, employing up to thirty men and sending its products to every state and New Zealand.

Possessing what was at the time the largest known deposit of fireclay in the world, covering some 20 acres. . In 1930, the Ordish Firebrick
works were described as:
One of Dandenong’s valuable assets ... situated in Stud Road, about a mile and a quarter from the town, on 52 acres. The six kilns have each a capacity of 37,000 bricks, and the weekly output is 50,000 bricks and tiles, keeping 30 hands engaged (Weekly Times 12 July 1930).

In 1930 the Ordish company was supplying firebricks to Newport Railway Workshops, the SEC at Yallourn, and gas works and factories in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, according to their own designs. Later there was a demand for firebricks of a different kind of clay and the firm began importing clays from elsewhere, including overseas. The company name changed to Newbold Refractories, which finally ceased operation in 1975.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Lonsdale Street Dandenong, early 1960s

Who remembers this end of town in the early 1960s? Market Motors, Kitchener's Atlantic Service Station, Dandenong Banjo Club, and the roof lines before Coles New World supermarket was built.

Picture by Les Kitchener, Repaired by A.B. Simmins, Supplied by Cheryl Newton Simmins

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Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1913.

Looking at the west side of Lonsdale, just after the intersection of Lonsdale and Clow streets, Towards Scott street and beyond. Many of these buildings have been lost with time, but a small two storey white building, newly built at the time, remains hidden in the present line of shops, do you know which?

In the early 1900s, with around 2,000 residents, Dandenong was still a small country town, with its main focus being on Lonsdale Street and surrounding areas. The Albion hotel still had a magnificent veranda and balcony, the Bank of Australasia had not appeared in the white building about halfway up this block and Mrs Bowman still ran a cafe/coffee shop on this block.

The market was thriving on the east end of Lonsdale street near the corner of Clow, helping to bring a shopping focus to this end of town every Tuesday, at this time both the Stock and Produce Markets were in the same location. Later they would move to the present Market site before being split, seeing the Stock Market move to Chelteham road.

Photo courtesy of DDHS.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

McCrae Street, Dandenong, around 1981

Although a little blurry, this photo does show a view looking up McCrae street from near the Clow street intersection, towards where the Plaza and Encore hotel now stand.

Photo supplied by; Brad Farrell

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Minster [Westminster Carpets] Carpets Fire, corner Princes Highway and Gladstone Road, Dandenong, March 1987.

Photo supplied by: Leanne Moseley

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