Monday, 23 March 2015

Casey Cardinia Heritage Festival May 17, 2015

The Casey Cardinia Heritage Festival Sunday, May 17 2015.


The Casey Cardinia region has a rich heritage with many treasures waiting to be discovered. Delve into the history of the area through the displays and artefacts provided by local heritage and historical groups and find answers to your local family history or town questions. 

Who will be there?   Beaconsfield History Group, Berwick Mechanics' Institute, Berwick Pakenham Historical society, Casey Cardinia Branch of the National Trust, Casey Cardinia Library Corporation, Cranbourne Shire Historical Society, Dandenong High School History Group, Edrington History Research Group, Narre Warren Mechanics' Institute, The Narre Warren & District Family History Group will also be there to help to locate information on local World War 1 service personnel.

Free, Activities for all  the family. This Festival is part of the National Trust Heritage Festival, for more activities visit their website www.nationaltrustfestival.org.au

Monday, 2 March 2015

Coastal guide to nature and history 2: Mornington Peninsula's ocean shore, Western Port, Phillip Island & French Island

Graham Patterson has recently published his second Coastal Guide Book and this one covers Western Port, Phillip Island, French Island and Mornington's Peninsula ocean shore. Graham has walked the entire 320 kilometre shoreline from Port Phillip Heads to San Remo then Phillip Island and French Island and this naturally includes parts of the City of Casey and the Cardinia Shire. The local section starts at Quail Island, covers the coastal towns of Cannons Creek, Warneet, Blind Bight, Tooradin then around the Bay to Lang Lang and Jam Jerrup.

Graham covers local history, coastal fauna and flora and land forms. You don't need to actually walk the 320 kilometres to get the most of this book - there are maps to get to places of interest. It's a great book - lots of illustrations, maps and information and well worth reading if you have an interest in the local and natural history of the Western Port region.

It's called Coastal guide to nature and history 2 : Mornington Peninsula's ocean shore, Western Port, Phillip Island & French Island and is a companion volume to Coastal guide to nature and history : Port Phillip Bay ,

This is Graham's website, www.coastalguidebooks.net.au if you want to purchase a copy. other wise click on the titles above and it will take you to our catalogue. Graham is an electrical engineer and has taught science at a secondary school level and is a keen bush walker.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Pakenham Telephone Directory from 1973

In the last post I put up some pages for Cranbourne from an Interim Telephone Directory, produced when the new automatic exchanges were installed.  Click here to read this post. I have since been provided with some images from the Pakenham Gazette of June 20, 1973 showing the last days of the Pakenham Manual Exchange. The staff at the manual exchange consisted of fifteen 'girls' and the Officer-in-charge. Three of the staff were to be re-deployed and the rest retrenched. 


Last day of the manual telephone exchange at Pakenham, from the Pakenham Gazette of  June 20, 1973.  Featured in the photo are - Post Master Ray Wallis, Monitor Mrs S. Mitchell and some of the'girls' on the old exchange Mrs C. Nicholls, Mrs D. Stone, Mrs S. Cameron, Miss P. Methven and Mrs M. Lowe.  Image courtesy of  Andrew Trotter. 


Sunday is National STD day - that was Sunday June 24, 1973. This was the day telephone subscribers from Bayles, Beaconsfield Upper, Koo-Wee-Rup, Lang Lang, Nar Nar Goon, Nar Nar Goon North, Officer, Pakenham, Pakenham South, Pakenham Upper, The Gurdies and Yannathan South would be able to 'dial their own calls to many Victorian and Interstate centres just as easily as they dial local calls'.  Image courtesy of Andrew Trotter, from the Pakenham Gazette of June 20, 1973.



Here are the Pakenham pages from the Interim Telephone Directory produced in 1973 - about 1,000 subscribers in all. Click to enlarge images.





If you want to look at the pages from the Interim Telephone Directory for Cranbourne, click here

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Cranbourne Telephone Directory from 1973..

I came across an 'Interim Telephone Directory' for the local area  from 1973.  It covers part of the 59 area - Lang Lang  to Cranbourne, Officer to Nar Nar Goon and  was produced when the new automatic telephone exchanges and STD (Subscriber Truck Dialling) came in. Here are the pages from Cranbourne - it's just over 3 pages long - about 800 subscribers. I wonder how many telephones there are in Cranbourne now?  There is more information about the introduction of the automatic telephone exchanges and a list of Pakenham subscribers here



Click on each image to enlarge them.








Here are the instructions, so you know how to make STD calls!

For more information about the introduction of the automatic telephone exchanges and a list of Pakenham subscribers here.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Railways - some interesting resources

I have written about railways quite a few times in this blog  - my interest doesn't lie in  rolling stock, signalling or railway memorabilia,  I am interested in the social history of railways,  the influence of railways in the development of settlement patterns (you can read about the influence of the railways in the Casey Cardinia area here) and the Victorian Railways (VR) as a government department or institution.

This paragraph, taken from the Victorian Museum website tells you the extent of the railways in Victoria - The construction of Victoria's railway system has required one of the State's largest and most sustained investments in public infrastructure. Flushed with the tremendous wealth generated by the goldfields, the Victorian government invested £9 million over the first decade of railway development between 1854 and 1864 to build just 254 miles (409 km) of railway, while private railway companies invested another £1.8 million. Over the next sixty years the railway system continued to expand rapidly reaching 2,900 route miles (4,670 km) by 1891 and 4,700 miles (7,565 km) in 1931, representing a total investment of almost £50 million. By this time, every town in Victoria with a population of over 500 boasted its own railway station.  



The number of people that were employed by the Railways was huge - and it is no wonder that they built such a grand headquarters in Spencer Street  in 1893 (shown in the photograph* left) and later, in 1909, the equally wonderful Flinders Street Station.  However, Railway Station staff and other rail workers were employed all throughout Victoria and these people played a real role in the life of the towns that they were appointed to.

If you haven't read Patsy Adam Smith's book Hear the train blow then you should borrow it from your local library! Her mother was the Station Mistress and Post Mistress at various stations, including Monomeith where they lived in the station house, and her father was a fettler. There are no signs of the railway buildings at Monomeith anymore, but Patsy makes the small town and the other towns she lived in, come alive.

I have done some research on the 29 men listed on the Narre Warren War Memorial and seven of them had lived in Narre Warren as their fathers were railway employees. Only one of the seven were living in the area when they enlisted as their dads had been appointed to other towns and yet they were all remembered fondly enough by the Narre Warren Community that they were honoured by having their name on the War Memorial.

Interesting Railway websites
One of the interesting Railway websites is Victorian Railway Resources website - www.vrhistory.com  It has a history of some Railway Stations (the only two from this area are Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon) and it has a great section on Victorian Railway maps from 1860 to 2000 - there is a map every decade showing the extent of railways in Victoria. It's  a great resource

This is part of the 1930 map - showing the railway lines and stations in this area and further on to Gippsland and The Dandenongs.
Source: Victorian Railway resources website www.vrhistory.com

Another interesting railway website is vicsig.net  www.vicsig.net. This has lots of current railway information and it also includes a very short history of Railway Stations (Under Infrastructure, then locations) So if we look up Pakenham we find that it opened on October 8, 1877, the line was electrified on July 21, 1954 and duplicated on February 25, 1955; there is also information about signals.


This is the Pakenham Railway Station in 1912


The Victorian Museum website also has a section on railways. It looks at the tracks, the stations, staff,  rolling stock and disasters. It also has photographs.     http://museumvictoria.com.au/railways/

Photograph sources
As well as the Victoria Museum website (mentioned above) another good source of railway photographs is the Public Records Office of Victoria -  Photographic Collection of Railway Negatives. It is available on the Public Records Office of Victoria website www.prov.vic.gov.au. Click here to search this collection. You can see some of local photographs here.
The State Library of Victoria www.slv.vic.gov.au also has an extensive photograph collection  and has many railway related photographs.

I must tell you that apart from travelling on trains, my only personal connection to the Victorian Railways was that my grandma had the same initials, VR and she was always thrilled, as a girl, that every train and carriage had her initials on the side!

*  The Photograph of the Spencer Street Railway building is from the State Library of Victoria, www.slv.vic.gov.au   Image H29753/71. 

Monday, 29 December 2014

Thompsons Road and Patrick Thompson

Thompsons Road runs from Patterson Lakes, through Carrum Downs, Cranbourne and Clyde nearly to the Cardinia Creek, so essentially all the way east to west across the old Shire of Cranbourne. It was named for Patrick Thompson, early land owner and member of the Cranbourne Road Board.  

According to the Cranbourne Shire Rate Books, Patrick Thompson owned 308 acres, Lots 19 and 22 in the Parish of Lyndhurst – the land was on either side of what is now Thompson’s Road. The land was originally owned by members of the Wedge Brothers. Various of the Wedge Brothers, John, Charles, Richard and Henry Wedge held the Banyan Waterholes Run (based around the Carrum Swamp) from 1839 to 1852 and the Corhanwarrabul Run near Dandenong from 1845, plus they had obviously purchased land after the Government land sales of the early 1850s as you can see from the Lyndhurst Parish Plan, below.

Part of the Parish Plan of Lyndhurst. The Thompson Property, Lots 19 & 22, is outlined in red. 
On the map it was still owned by C & R Wedge. Click on image to enlarge it.

I don't know very much about Patrick, I know nothing about his personal life at all and this is what I have found out about his public life.

In 1856, Thompson was listed in the State Government  Gazette as being appointed a Trustee of  the land set aside for the Presbyterian Church. 



Thompson was also appointed as a Trustee of the Cranbourne Cemetery on December 11, 1857. This was also listed in the State Government Gazette.



From 1860 to 1863,  Thompson was a member of the Cranbourne Road Board. Gunson in The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire book says that his property was called Oaklands.

Thompson left the area in 1863 according to this advertisement (below) which appeared in The Argus of April 8, 1863. I have no information as to where he went to.



The Argus April 8, 1863


Another advertisement appeared in The Argus of May 22, 1863, leasing Oaklands.


1863 is the first  year we have of the Cranbourne Shire Rate Books and James Sloan is listed as leasing Lots 19 and 22 from Patrick Thompson. This is the only mention of Thompson in the Rate Books, though James Sloan is listed until 1867. From 1864 to 1866 there is no owner listed – so we can’t tell if Sloan actually is leasing the farm or owns it. In 1867, Sloan is still listed as the Rate payer, however the owner is listed as Atkinson. There is an advertisement in The Argus of April 18, 1868 advising that Sloan is selling all his dairy stock and farm produce.  

Also in 1868, William Cameron is listed as the Rate Payer of Lots 19 and 22 and the owner is still listed as Atkinson. There is an advertisement in The Argus of October 5, 1868 from William Cameron of Oaklands in Lyndhurst requesting that some horses be removed from his paddock, so this confirms again that Lots 19 and 22 were the same property as Thompson's Oaklands.

Incidentally, also in The Argus of April 18, 1868 directly underneath the Sloan advertisement is another, advertising the sale of a Mr Thompson’s property Mt Tabor at Lyndhurst. Is this the same Mr Thompson? If so it doesn’t tally with the information in the 1863 advertisement that he had left the district. It may be a completely different person.

 I cannot tell exactly where his house was – his block bordered Evans Road as well as being either side of Thompson Road, so it would be interesting to know which road he was on. He had a ‘whole of the household of furniture’ which he sold at the sale advertised in The Argus of April 8, 1863 – so you would have to assume it was more than just a one room shack. 

If you are related to Patrick Thompson, then I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Berwick Nostalgia: a pictorial history of Berwick

One of my main sources of photographs for Berwick is the book Berwick Nostalgia: a pictorial history of Berwick. It was published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society in 2001, It really is a great book and is the first place to go for historical photographs of Berwick.

The book is a companion volume to North of the Line and Oak Trees and Hedges: a pictorial history of Narre Warren, Narre Warren North and Harkaway.

It is available from the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society and the National Trust Shop in Pioneer Park.  Here are three of my favourite photographs from Berwick Nostalgia.


Hay stacks at The Springs, Greaves Road, Berwick.


Original members of the Berwick Red Cross Unit, 1914.


Richardson's Abattoirs - boiling down works