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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Denny's, Princes Highway, Dandenong, early 1980s.

Denny's being built on the old Windsor Site, up next to the old Scout Hall (now The Castle), Dandenong, in the early 1980s. Later when Denny's faded into the past this site would become home to The Keg, and eventually The Pavilion which still resides here.

Image Supplied By: Brad Farrell

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Friday, March 25, 2016

From the early 1900s all the way through to the 1960s.

 Lads at Dandenong Market, Lonsdale Street, Early 1900s

Lads enjoying Mums at Dandenong Market, Present Site, 1960s

Images courtesy of the Dandenong Market

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Westwood, Walker Steeet, Dandenong, 1886

Late last year Chris Simmins wrote:
'Westwood', the 'grand home' featured in a 1930's Dandenong aerial photograph. The subject of the photo (once zoomed in), caused some discussion locally and far afield.

Westwood was built in Walker Street, Dandenong, for Mr Herbert Turner Esq Solicitor. Turner was a born 1856 and married a Miss Annie Moss Dunn in 1885. They had 5 children, Maggie who was born Dandenong 1893, Doris May born 1897 in Brighton, Herbert Keith born 1899 in Brighton, Marg Eillen born 1900, and Alf Brian born 1901.

Turner features in various 'Trove archives ' of old newspapers, but is most notable as Chairman of the Board of Nurses, from its inception in 1924, and also as a board member of the Royal Melbourne Hospital from 1918-1935. His affiliation with the medical scene was a long and treasured one.

Old Dandenong Adds:
In later years Westwood became home to the Local R.S.L, which had been a private home until around the 1930s., with a few modifications and paint coats, the building survived into the 1990s.

In the 1990s the present Dandenong RSL premises were built on the corner of Clow street and Stud road (realigned end of Foster street), resulting in the demolition of Westwood, along with other houses, as Capital Cenrre was extended across walker street, connecting to the Myer building.

As a result the Plaza carpark was extended, covering the site of Westwood with bitchumen. Walker street now ends near the rear of the building extensions, becoming nothing more than a carpark and loading bay entrance.

The former Rudock street was removed (now the boundry line between the RSL and Plazza carpark), In recent years, the street running through the Dandenong Station bus interchange, up to George street was named Rudock street.

Photo of Westwood House , courtesy of Dandenong Historical Society Photo Archives.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, Undated.

From the moment Mr Dunbar’s first hotel at 231 – 235 Lonsdale St 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 Dandenong’s 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 a 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 former 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 St – that was said to provide Dandenong’s first building with its own water supply.
In the 1860’s Mr Dunbar was also responsible for the first property to be built at 221 – 229 Lonsdale St. It was 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 and was the site of the Boomerang Theatre that opened in 1924. In 1950 it became known as the Mayfair Theatre and was demolished in 1968.
In 1869 Dandenong welcomed another important building at 209 - 211 Lonsdale St. Separated from Dunbar’s Hotel with vacant treed land, the imposing and ornate Commercial Bank was built. The Commercial Bank also remained with its original façade until 1964 when it was demolished for retail development. Its replacement was a two storey brown brick building typical of architecture in the 1960’s.

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Thomas Street, from Walker Street, Dandenong, around 1989

In 1914, a private company, "The India Rubber Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Pty. Ltd", acquired the rights to supply electricity to the town of Dandenong and built a power house in Clow Street. In 1921, the Shire Council bought all the assets of the company, in turn transferring these to the State Electricity Commission in 1923, which, by that time was operating large new power stations in the La Trobe Valley.

The cheap and ample supply of electricity close by was one of the factors attracting new industries to the area. In December 1924, electricity came to Springvale and Noble Park. Springvale initially had 110 consumers and by 1928 there were 50 subscribers in Noble Park. The electrification of the railway line between Melbourne and Dandenong was completed by 1924, though a sub-station was not built at Springvale until some years later.

Driven by the rapid industrialisation of the area between Oakleigh and Dandenong in the early 1950s, the Education Department decided to establish Dandenong Technical School for boys in 1954. A new technical school in the Westall area, initially called Westall Technical School was to be built in 1957. This latter school, built instead in Noble Park, at the corner of Douglas and Thomas Streets (1958-9), eventually became Noble Park Technical School.

Apprentice education was a feature of the Dandenong and Noble Park technical schools during their early years. The workplace training role of these two sites continued as part of the development of Dandenong’s College of Advanced Education, later Casey Institute of TAFE and now Chisholm Institute of TAFE. However, the portions providing apprenticeship training were separated from the general secondary education sections of their original institutions.

Photo supplied by Brad Farrell.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Corner of Lonsdale, Foster and Pultney Streets, Dandenong, 1934 flood

The 1934 flood was one of the worst to hit Dandenong. Occurring long before the creek was channeled and straightened with concrete, the original Dandenong Creek alignmemt was the result of natural water flow. Frequently flooding into the open plains bellow and flowing slowly onto the Carum Swamps. 

During excessively heavy rains, the water would flow down a natural depression roughly following Lonsdale street, passing down Pultney Street, and through Dandenong Park, making the journey to the Creek below. Natural low points can still be found along the journey to the attentive seeker.

Note the modestly country Electricity Sub Station on the right. Placed at one of the lowest points, only a few hundred metres from the creek, someone forgot the necessity to use raised elevation. Leaves us curious how many lost power as a result of the 1934 floods.

Park Motors occupied this site for some time becoming a locally recognized name. Some time later this site became known as BP island, during this time a BP Service Station/Centre occupied the entire triangle bordered by Pultney, Foster and Lonsdale Streets. Presently the site is occupied by Doctors/Chemist and Cheesecake shop. Such a fine pair they make.

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Savings Bank, 217 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1912

By the 1890s, an extensive row of shops, many of them two storey and of brick, lined Melbourne Road (in the area now known as Lonsdale Street). One of the most elaborate was Caffin and Caffin’s Dandenong Cash Store, built in 1893.

In a photo taken about fifty years later, in 1945, the roof line and general appearance of the line of shops hardly seems to have changed. The main visible change is the number of motor vehicles parked in the street and the increased number of shops and businesses.

A few surviving buildings, such as the Cosy Corner Café, with corner tower and cupola (former Arkana buiding), are a reminder of the Dandenong shopping precinct as it was in the early years of the 20th century. By 1939, chain stores such as Williams the Shoeman and Crofts had arrived.

By 1950, more chain stores such as Woolworths and Moran and Cato were here, and even an American Hamburger Bar. There were some shops in Foster Street and a few in Langhorne Street, at the town hall end. Within the next thirty-five years, drastic changes occurred and the whole character of the shopping precinct altered dramatically.

In 1962, a visiting journalist noted ‘the brashly modern shops of glass and steel with spruikers shouting into microphones to lure customers in. He commented, "The influence of migrant ways and tastes is evident in the Dandenong shops, in the exotically named foods on display, in sharp-toed shoes and the expresso machines in milk bars".

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dandenong Coach Factory, Pultney Street, Dandenong, 1880s/1890s

The Greaves brothers were well known and respected in the local community, not just as industrious entrepreneurs, but as active people in helping shape the town that would follow.

Back in the late 1800s they were operating the Dandenong Coach Factory, with Hemmings Wheelright having been the predecessor. Hemmings served the local community from early days supplying cart wheels and preforming minor repairs.

Having allowed Hemmings street to be built free of charge through his property, Hemmings gained himself a place in Dandenongs' history with the naming of Hemmings Street, in honour of his many contributions to Dandenong.

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Town Hall, Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1954

In the early years, the honorary magistrates, local citizens of some standing, presided at the Dandenong Court of Petty Sessions, which met each fortnight in the Town Hall. 

In a sense, they complemented the work of the police force of the day. The significance of their work, was possibly a factor in influencing the Victorian Government to allocate £2,000 towards the new Town Hall built in 1890, which, at the time, was to include a Courtroom.

This location was in use for fifty years before, in 1939-40, the court moved to a site on the corner of Langhorne and Wilson Streets, Dandenong, where now stands the Police Station car park. In 1960, a new courthouse was built in Windsor Avenue, Springvale.

In the 1990s, the present Dandenong Law Courts were built in Foster Street, Dandenong, on land which was formerly occupied by the Presbyterian church, that had been demolished in 1987, and the Hall of the 2nd Scout Troop of Dandenong.

The 1990s court complex on Foster street, replaced all of the smaller courts in Dandenong, Springvale and Oakleigh and is now one of the busiest court complexes within the greater Melbourne region.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Former R.S.L. (Westwood), Walker Street, Dandenong, 1980s.

Dandenong R.S.L. "Westwood" in Walker Street before it made way for the shopping centre.
Supplied by Bill Farrell

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Rear view of Southern Aurora, near Dandenong Railway Station, undated photo (1960s?)

Southern Aurora Hotel Motel (‘K’s Dandenong Hotel P/L.), it's owners were Mr and Mrs Karnhauser. Built on railway property the hotel adopted a name, which was synonymous with the railways' (Southern Aurora express). It was believed to be the first privately owned, licensed premises, with residential accommodation to be built on railway property and was next to the Dandenong Station

The original Lounge and Function rooms had the names Observation Lounge, Pullman Grill, Club Car Lounge, Tunnel Room and Express Bar.

Nearby Kayes Lane is named after the former owners of Southern Aurora. It was demolished during the 1990's, the space is now part of the bus interchange and car parking adjacent.

Image supplied by: Brad Farrell

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dandenong Steam Turntable, undated photo

The Dandenong station was officially opened in 1881, some two years after completion of the line to Melbourne. It served as a vital link to Gippsland, replacing the need for livestock and produce to be taken by land and sea to Melbourne. Dandenong now acted as the terminus between country and city.

By the early 1880s, Springvale also 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 at Yarraman in 1976.

Lonsdale Street had traditionally acted as Dandenong’s front door, its only entry point to visitors, but with the success of the railway station (by 1889 it had become the third busiest in Victoria), Dandenong now had a side door, drawing a growing number of visitors to this new point of entry to the town and exposing the need for infrastructure to support the Foster Street region with its increase in pedestrian traffic.

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