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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lomsdale Street, Dandenong, 1960s.

The 1960s were were looking like prosperous times when this article was published in the Dandenong Journal on the 19th of January 1949.

Ideal Locate At Junction Of Two Highways PROJECT WILL EMPLOY 300-400 MEN IN TWO YEARS WORK FOR 1,000—1,200 MEN BY 1960
A BIG ENGINEERING concern is negotiating for a 30-acre factory site at the junction of the Princes Highway and the South Gippsland Highway on the outskirts of Dandenong. The land is bordered on one side by the Princes Highway and on the other by the Gippsland railway line, and extends back to the Eumemmering Creek. Proximity to the main highways, the railway and the town make the site an ideal one for the purpose. By 1960 the factory will have a pay-roll of between 1,000 and 1,200 and it should be a great asset to the town. •Strangely enough, although situated almost in Dandenong, the site is in the Berwick and Cranbourne Shires.
The proposal has been “in the air” -for quite a time, having been mentioned at a meeting of the Dandenong* Chamber of Commerce some months ago, but first concrete information was contained in the following letter from Phillip R. Claridge, Hassell and Mc-Connell, architects, of Adelaide, which came before the Berwick Council on Monday: “This letter is confirmation of our concerning the establishing of a factory in Section 25, Crown Allotment 15,.. discussions of the 10th January last Cranibourne Riding, in the Shire of Cranbourne, and C.A. 16 and 18 Berwick Riding in the Shire of Berwick. The undertaking will be of an engineering nature and will ultimately employ, in 1960, between 1,000 and 1,200 workers. However, an inital staff of approximately one-third of' the ultimate, is anticipated in two years The proposed buildings will be constructed in accordance with the local rand Uniform Building Regulations. The industry is not of a noxious nature.
Our clients are anxious to finalise purchase of the land and would appreciate written assurance .by January 20th, that your shire approves of the land being used for industrial purposes.” *“It “It should be a jolly good thing,” remarked Engineer Ron Chambers. “We will get the rates and Dandenong gets the services.” Crs. G. Rae and Greaves moved that the necessary approval be given subject to the -industry not being of a" noxious nature. ANOTHER FACTORY OPPOSITE? Cr. G. Rae said that he had heard that another concern had bought land on the opposite side of the Highway for a factory. The engineer pointed out that with the establishment of these new industries in their territory they should have a good case to put up to the Housing Commission for the erection of houses along the high land bordering the highway on the road to Hallam.
Dandenong Journal, on 19th of January 1949 , found on Trove.

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Private Hospital, Mason Street, Dandenong, September 1969.

Before the opening of the Public Hospital in the early 1940s, Dandenong relied on the services offered by their local G.P. or one of the handful of privately-owned and operated hospitals such as this one on Mason Street, Dandenong. Medicine varied with each Doctor or Hospital in this period, often being made for the patient specifically.

This particular private hospital was constructed on part of the property formally known as Trimby Homestead and Gardens. Trimby Homestead had been an 18sqm brick home with gardens that was a family home prior to 1967 and had been demolished sometime in 1968-1969.

The freehold of the property had been purchased by a Dromana businessman and initial construction of the 34 bed Private Hospital had begun in September 1968. The hospital was built with the intention of catering for all age groups including convalescents.

Upon opening it was known as Dandenong Private Hospital. It was leased by a Mr & Mrs A. Haworth, with Mrs Haworth holding the position of Matron. The building was there for over 30 years surviving through until 2001 when the 'Revitalizing Central Dandenong' initiative took effect resulting in the removal of multiple buildings in the surrounding area including the former Private Hospital.

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Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, undated.

Before the Railway connected us to Melbourne, the centre of Dandenong was Lonsdale Street. But before the Main route to Gippsland was selected, early planners had other ideas on where it should be placed.
With early plans suggesting for the Highway to go up McCrae Street, leading towards the Highway in a more direct route. Influential land holders lobbied for it to travel along Lonsdale Street, leading to the present route.
When the Highway was duplicated, land taken from the Dandenong Park side of the Highway, as it continues from Foster Street, past the creek towards Webster Street, was used for the extra lanes.
At this time when duplicating the Dandenong Creek Bridge, the park facing wall of the Peace Memorial Bridge (still standing as in-bound carriageway. Railway side of bridge) was removed, as the extra bridge/carriageway was added on the Park side creating the present bridge.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Old Brick Post Office, Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, undated

Victoria’s first official postal service involved two people associated with the Greater Dandenong area. This was in 1837 when the New South Wales government gave Joseph Hawdon the "Melbourne to Yass" overland mail contract, which began on 1 January 1838. The actual ‘postman’ who carried that first official mail delivery, with many adventures, was John Conway Bourke. He was an employee of Joseph Hawdon’s and worked in the Dandenong area for some years. The carrying of messages and parcels was often a personal and individual operation in those days
Hotels or stores were the first collecting and delivery points for mail. Dunbar’s Hotel in Dandenong was an early postal base. In 1856, the post office in the hotel was ‘the last one this side of the Melbourne PO’. A mail contractor, Patrick Mulcare, carried mail between Melbourne and Dandenong, as a weekly service in 1855. In 1862 the stage coach had the contract. Dandenong was the postal centre for a large district for many years and had the designation ‘Post Town’ in the Victorian Municipal Directory for 1875.

In October 1877, A public meeting was held in the Mechanics Institute, to consider the desirability of making application to Government for the construction of a Post and Telegraph office.In September 1879 the foundation stone was laid by Mr. J. B. Patterson, Postmaster General, for the Stone and Brick post office building pictured. Tenders for Additions and Modifications were sought in February 1921, as demand outgrew the small building constructed about 40 years earlier.

In 1954, Council considered relocating the Post Office to a new location, Utilizing the present site for Town Hall extensions to accommodate Council offices. By the late 1950s/early 1960s, the present three story building was constructed alongside the Town Hall, the Post Office originally occupying the entire ground floor. As demand for postal services reduced, and technology replaced other needs, the Post Office was reduced back to a small portion, with the remainder being leased to other pennants.

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Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, possibly 1950s.

With Coles under construction, possibly late 1950s, hard to confirm without hunting records. This view gives a never before seen view of Lonsdale Street from the eyes of another.
Taken from the former National Bank, now ANZ and Deakin, the 1960s Coles store was under construction, located at its original Lonsdale Street location next to Woolworths

Photo supplied by: Beverley Dobson

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Old Army Drill Hall, Princes Hwy, Dandenong, mid 2000s.

Dandenong Drill Hall, a timber-framed, corrugated iron clad building with iron roof and trusses built 1915-1916, was one of about forty timber and iron drill halls built in Victoria from 1912-1916. The building was comprised of a major hall space with a number of smaller rooms leading from the main hall including a kitchen, offices, storage room and mess rooms. The floors were of concrete in the hall with timber floors in the surrounding rooms. There were three small sheds at the rear of the hall and a large vehicle shed adjacent to the hall.

From as early as 1877 Dandenong had a volunteer corps, the Light Horse Troop and by 1888 The Victorian Rangers had a local unit at Dandenong of which eleven men served in Sth Africa in 1899. By 1913 the need for Dandenong to have a Drill Hall had become quite apparent as there were approx. 170 members of the different corps in training in the area. In July 1913 a Sergeant Manners MacFarlane advised in a memo the then Minister for Defense W.H. Irvine that suitable land could be excised from the Government reserve known as Dandenong Park. This purchase was gazetted on September 11th 1915, with the building being constructed and put to much needed use.

In 1938 substantial additions were made to the building including an Officers' Mess, Sergeants' Mess, Lecture room and a Cloak Room, followed by a private residence, a gun park and garages. All were much needed additions as Dandenong had recently become the headquarters of the new 52nd Battalion (the Gippsland Regiment) and required extra facilities, in particular mess facilities, for officers and other ranks, woo traveled long distances for functions, conferences, lectures and other activities. The hall was also used as a recruitment centre during WW1 and WW2.

In 1947 the hall was allocated to 5th Infantry Battalion as a depot for for the training of the Support Company, then in 1949 some minor alterations involving partitioning, new fireplaces and a Recreation room at the rear took place. In 1951 land adjacent to the Training Depot was acquired to garage 15 vehicles, then in 1957 the hall became the home of the 15th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, a 200 strong citizen military force unit.

The Drill Hall for the entirety of it's existence was an integral part of Dandenong and surrounds both for military and socially. From its earliest days it was used as the venue for monthly community dances and other activities, for many years it even had the Dandenong Baths next to it. In 1945 the Dandenong Community Youth Centre moved there after having previously called the Pavilion at the Showgrounds (next to the Market) home. Between 1948-1954 the Scottish Regiment was proud to also call the Drill Hall home.

In the early years the regular drills could be used by many for keeping track of the time. With the loss of the regular gun shots, people lost interest, increasingly people relied on their own time pieces, leaving the Drill Hall to fade into memory along with its local architectural significance as an example of the many timber and iron drill halls built between 1912-1916.

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First Showgrounds, Walker Street, Dandenong, Between 1904-1906.

Before the Agricultural Society took complete control of the Dandy Show, it was a community affair. This show from 1904-1906, gives a glimpse of the first Showgrounds. People would display their wares and enjoy a day of fun family activities, from nothing more than a tent, often bringing a packed lunch to enjoy upon the grass. Located off Walker street, behind the Royal Hotel (at this time run by Tuff).

On Saturday 27th May 1871, a meeting was held at Dunbars Hotel on Lonsdale Street, Dandenong to discuss the launch of an Agricultural Show. Barely three days later at the Dandenong Market, the "Dandenong and South Bourke Agricultural Association" was born due to the hard work and determination of a group of men and thus began the beginnings of what we know as the Dandenong Show.

The first show was held at the Dandenong Market site, which was then located in the area bounded by Foster, Thomas, Mason and Walker Streets. In November 1877 two half-acre allotments adjoining the Society’s showyards were bought from John Hemmings and in 1878 the Minister for Railways allowed special trains, with excursion tickets, to run from the suburbs of Melbourne to the Show.

In 1888 a new exhibition hall was built. The building was wooden with a galvanized iron roof with a total area of 285ft. The hall was lit with gas, a large chandelier containing about 30 burners fixed in the centre with a smaller one at each end, and a water tank built at the rear. The building was a major achievement not only for the Society, but for the community, because it provided a larger meeting place than the Mechanics Institute as the Town Hall would not be built until 1890.

With the show continuing to grow in size and popularity, it was decided to sell the old showground and have a new set-up at the Clow Street/Market Reserve as this would be most advantageous for the community and all concerned. In 1907 the show was held at the new site with a 10 year lease from the council. In 1936 the show was changed from the traditional Thursday to the second Saturday of November which carries through to present day.

1967 saw the first show held at Greaves Reserve, which was named after the late William Greaves who donated a portion of the land. It was a record breaking event with 4175 entries and an impressive $4234 total made at the gate. Two brand new toilet blocks had also been erected along with new drainage and other things before the show to allow for the expected large crowds.

Over the next few years the show gained enough momentum that In 1973, an additional 8 acres of land west of the creek near Hanna Street was obtained on licence from the CRB (Country Roads Board). In November 1986, four lighting towers were erected around the main arena to allow proper lighting of it for Saturday night attractions.

2002 saw the completion of the three year project, the Historic Cattle Ring Complex, built to house the Milker Ring that had been saved and restored when the Dandenong Stock Market had been closed and dismantled. The Dandenong Show that we all know and love today is indeed immensely rich in history and is very much an integral part of the Dandenong life and culture.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dandenong Fire Station, 120 Princes Hwy, Dandenong, 1986.

From the earliest days of the local Fire Crew, in the late 1800s, they committed themselves to the challenge of protecting who and what they could from the destruction of fire. Using little more than Horse and Person drawn hose reels/carriages, the local station established itself as a vital part of the community. 

In early 1910, a new station building was opened at the Walker street site, facing Walker street, with a lookout/training tower located along side. By the early 1940s, another new building, (or severe modifications) was built on the site. By this time the local fire crew had a Dodge and International hose carriage (truck).

This improved their ability to meet local needs, but demand continued to grow, resulting in their move to 120 Princes Hwy, in 1986. The Motel next-door had not yet been built. On this site, they also had a new Lookout and Training tower, taller and stronger. With the construction of low rise buildings, such as the former Tax Office, Dandenong needed a tall training tower.

About June/July 2015, the local station was again moved to a larger upgraded premises further up the highway (just past Gladstone road). The former Walker street site now serves as the local Art Gallery, the building undergoing modifications.

UPDATE: Recently, the former site at 120 Princes Hwy was put up for auction in the coming month.
**As of 1st April the auction has been canceled.

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Australia Day Parade, McCrae Street, Dandenong, in 1998.

Taken after the Encore Hotel had been built opposite the Dandenong Plaza (Capital Centre), the Polish, still facing the persecution of anti immigration extremist local elements, had sadly still not found acceptance. It wouldn't be until another major immigration due to war that they would be forgotten. Dandenongs' acceptance of those fleeing war, even from the earlier wars, cemented the towns place as a home for everyone.

Dandenong has a long and proud history of Parades, the biggest being the Proclamation of the City of Dandenong in 1959. The parade held for this occasion, was one of the biggest, drawing the towns spirit, resulting in the largest crowd to watch any parade in Dandenong. Some more formal events, such as Remembrance Day, still encourage people to walk the streets on their special days.

Dandenong is fortunate to be very rich in multiculturalism from it's very beginnings and this still applies today, with many local communities within Greater Dandenong and surrounds having festivals or parades each year to celebrate their special occasions and culture. We have Australia Day in Dandenong Park, the Luna New Year Festival in Springvale each year, the Albanian Festival at Dandenong Park, EID each year in Dandenong Park and many more.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Aerial, Sandown Park, 1945-2010s

Worth noting the completely different track layouts of the original (pre 1931) and current (post 1965) Sandown racecourses. The former remained in place in 1945 unused to make a comparison. The original didn't go all the way to Dandenong Road with the Springvale Cemetery railway passing through this area crossing Dandenong Road over a small bridge approximately where the 7-Eleven petrol station now stands. Corrigan's (Corrigan) Road ended at present-day Racecourse Road which is now a dead end residential street (access blocked off in the 1980s)

It would be interesting if there are any pictures of the electrified sidings at the original Sandown station. You can see the original island platform was alongside the DOWN track only with a pair of sidings on the northern side existing in 1909.'09.htm

Photo and information supplied by: Andrew Scanlon

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Train Station, Sandown Park, photo undated

Beginning in 1888, Sandown was at the time known as Oakleigh Park and was privately owned by William Cullen. Cullen was a Brighton publican who used it for horse races, he'd even erected stables, two grandstands,a saddling paddock and more, all of which was surrounded by trees and flower beds.

By 1891 the entire area was under the control of Samual Wills, David Boyd and Charles Heape who, between them, ran the Victorian Trotting Club, they then changed the name to Sandown in 1892. A railway station had been built at the current location and another short line ran through the north end of the property to the Springvale Crematorium.

During the 1900-1904 period, motor vehicles were becoming popular and the Automobile Club of Victoria was formed. The inaugural honorary secretary and founding father was one Harry James, regarded by many as the father of Australian Motor Sport and also Peter Brock's great uncle.

The Commercial Travelers' Association's annual picnic was scheduled for March 12th 1904 so their committee approached the Automobile Club to hold car races there as part of the activities on the day. The offer was accepted with Harry and other committee members checking the grounds, finding them suitable compared to other venues, this together with politicians and police being against racing on public roads ensured the picnic and supervised races went ahead at Sandown.

On March 12th 1904, some 1400 visitors traveled by rail to Sandown with a further 140 travelling by varying motor vehicle as part of the Automobile Club's Sandown activities from the corner of Alexandra Avenue and St Kilda Road for the 15 mile drive over various road surfaces to the venue, for three races and two motor vehicle displays.

Sandown celebrated it's 100 anniversary on March 12th 2004. 58 years after that first race event, racing again returned to Sandown on March 11th and 12th 1962, with horse racing also finally returning 3 years later in 1965 so that Sandown was once again complete.

Of interest is the fact that in the 1904 races Mr Otto Schumacher drove a 3.5hp De Dion while Mr Jas Moffat drove a 8hp De Dion to win first prize in the category for "cars most suitable for travelers not carrying samples". The Sandown that we know today is indeed rich in history.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Oakenfulls Garage, 151 Stud Road, Dandenong, late 1960s

Pictured after having the new front put on the old garage which started out as a plumbers shop. In their time at this site they were a Ford affiliated garage. They later moved to a site in Plunkett Road, Dandenong. More recently all reference has been removed from the Plunket street site, as National Towing slowly rebrands it to their signage.

Dandenong has had a proud history with the motor industry. From early repair shops, through to having played home to a G.H.H. plant for decades, as a result a lot of cars in the 60s and 70s had become locally made Holdens. Oakenfulls defied the trend for a long time servicing those who had Fords.

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