Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey


Anyone have memories of these …

Background :

A special article on manufacturing in Between Ourselves (January, 1975) probably opened a few eyes for those used to the cosmopolitan surrounds of 598 or our interstate offices - Herald Street was probably known to most, but the others may have raised a few eyebrows.

At that time, there were manufacturing plants in  Elma Road, Bricker Street, Nellbern Road and Station Street, the first two in Cheltenham, the latter pair in Moorabbin.

The original plant in Wangara Road, Cheltenham was long since out-grown, as in fact was Herald Street at the time of the article, but CDA was forced into diverse locations simply because there was not a facility in the Cheltenham - Moorabbin area capable of housing the current operation, let alone the proposed expansion.

The original operations of 1970 producing single keyboard RIOTS for VicTab had by this time expanded to the tooling-up for five different types of ticket issuing terminals (TITs) for TABs in Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand, plus CRTs for the Taxation Office in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.

Other articles around the same time suggested a backlog of orders on the manufacturing plant of $10.6 million, said to be sufficient to extend work until at least 1978, even with plans to double production of the next two years.

Following the loss of VicTAB business, manufacturing was progressively consolidated at a single site at 2 Sullivan Street, Moorabbin, also the sales and administrative office for the Business Products Division.  See also Manufacturing : At Work

I know Rodger Taylor has many photographs that he took over five or six years with Manufacturing before moving to the TAB, not sure whether those below are his work or whether he has others.

1 Elma Road, Cheltenham was almost opposite the Herald Street plant and with an upstairs section housing a small project planning group.

The actual address did not appear in the article, but fortunately the image when zoomed is clear enough to identify the number 1 on the glass door, hence we can Google Maps today’s site - little changed, but part of 1-17 Elma Road. It is unclear whether CDA occupied the entire second floor or shared with co-tenants

6 Bricker Street, Cheltenham, also off Herald Street, used for wiring and sheet metal work.

Again, no number ever seems have been referenced, but Bricker Street is a short one, and a Google maps stroll identified the building as number 6. It was the only structure with a single-story protruding frontage and the only one of around seven that did not have a double-door loading bay in the middle.   The angled roof in the original is just off left of the Google clip.

Station Street, Moorabbin

 Somewhat isolated from the other facilities on the eastern side of Nepean Highway and leading diagonally from South Road to (surprise) Moorabbin Station, it housed a design and development engineering team in the upstairs section. The ground floor was a car sales outlet.

Again no number and not identifiable today - most of Station Street near the Station is dominated by a new high-rise apartment block which probably encompassed the old site, most of the rest is retail and none three-storey

6 Wangara Road, Cheltenham

After much digging, we can reveal that the Wangara Road facility mentioned in a couple of articles on manufacturing was number 6, but also known as Lot 7, Brixton Road and it appears the building had as much exposure along Brixton as Wangara.  

The entrance was from Wangara on the corner, shown as the extended section in the photo left which appears to have been taken from the mid-bottom left of the aerial image.

The 1974 directory still has CDA at Wangara Road and with no mention of a presence at Herald Street, somewhat in conflict with what was revealed in Between Ourselves which suggests the expansion took place late 1971.

A geographical oddity is that Wangara Road is actually the boundary between Cheltenham and Sandringham - the golf range and Cemetery are both officially classified as the latter

The building today is now number 28 Wangara Road, the image below left taken from roughly the same spot as that on the early 1970’s, although Les Randell appears to have escaped custody. The building has probably been modernised, but still shows the extended section covering the entrance on the corner.

The image right shows the building entrance and the side along Brixton Road, seemingly devoid of windows, but perhaps with a dark emergency exit door to the right of the entrance section

(Inset) Les Randall, the planner of the first production line and later Manager of Manufacturing.  This is the only image ever sighted, sometimes with Les’ head, others sans scone.

This aerial shot from the “mid-1970s” shows the the corner of Wangara and Brixton Roads and the original CDA plant.  Sands & McDougall directories can often be up to 12 months out, but the 1974 version still had CDA as the occupants and the only structure within coeee.

Top right is in the New Cheltenham  Cemetery, established 1930, bottom right was a reclaimed quarry/rubbish tip, converted late 1970's into a golf driving lane and still functioning today. Again not sure of the accuracy date-wise, but the 1971 directory still showed it as the Cheltenham/Sandringham tip,


15 Nellbern Road, Moorabbin

Upstairs housed the management team including Bill Wright, Manufacturing General Manager, downstairs a production line. This was a new building, believed to have been wholly occupied by CDA, but rather surprisingly not adorned by the corporate logo

The original image appears to have been reversed somehow – the double door faces Nellbern Road as per the current image. Both cases are deceptive – the building was not on a corner; the side view is actually a parking bay shared with next door neighbour at number 13.