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Compiled for Darebin Heritage by Brian Membrey

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MISSION STATEMENT : This section of ozsportshistory.com adds to the history of Northcote, the history of Preston and to Darebin Heritage with a street directory of 1920.  The street directory emanates from the Melbourne printers and stationers, Norman Brothers.

The directory included Associations and Societies, Asylums and Homes, Calendar for 1918, Cemeteries, Commonwealth Government and Officer, Commonwealth Government Departments, Consuls and Trade Commissioners, Friendly Societies, Government of Victoria, Hospitals, Index to Advertisements, Index to Buildings, Chambers, &c., Index to Maps, Index to Districts, Justices of the Peace, Legal, Fixed Pay Days, Population of Cities, Towns, Boroughs and Shire, Postal and Telegraphic Information, Suburbs of Melbourne and how reached, and Victorian State Departments (The 1918 Calendar was referenced in the Contents but they managed to print the 1920 version in the body of the directory).

Perhaps a little sadly, the directory maps themselves were hand-drawn and lack the crispness and clarity of the publications in the second half of the twentieth century, but they still give us a fascinating guide as to how the suburbs that now make up Darebin looked at the time.

Fairfield and Alphington were then ridings of the Heidelberg Shire and were fairly closely settled, although quite a percentage of the streets listed under Alphington are now classified as Fairfield, indicating there may have been a change of boundary over the years.

For each of the four districts now comprising Darebin, we include the original map of the area, along with “blow-ups” showing the western and eastern sections in greater detail.

The directory also listed streets within each district in alphabetic order : these have been matched against current directories and streets which no longer exist or are known to have been re-named are annotated (there are also of courses dozens of new streets added, but due to time constraints, we have not attempted to identify these.

The City of Northcote initiated a number of street name changes between 1917-19 - the reasons for many were obvious - a plethora of”variants on “Railway” and “Station” were clarified, along with a number of other changes that extended names that were used in the more densely populated areas to the east of St. George’s Road to replace alternative names used for the same thoroughfare to the west.

Perhaps the most surprising difference from today is that St. George’s Road did not exist in Preston until the late 1930s after the opening of the Preston Technical School.

The stretch was dominated by the Yan Yean water pipe,s then aboveground - between Miller street and Murray Road, an unmade track named Frank street existed, although largely uninhabited; to the east, John street extended from Bell street to Murray Road, but at the southern end, there was no road, the land held by private owners including the Clifton Brick Company and J. C. Hutton’s.

In all four areas, there were a considerable number of streets that are regarded as part of an alternate suburb - an exodus of names from Alphington to Fairfield, from Northcote to Thornbury, and from Preston northward to Reservoir.  These are also highlighted.

There was some limited information given for Thomastown and Epping to the north and this is also included given the close links between those districts and Preston.


are also included and



1920 The Streets of Darebin