Compiled for OzSportsHistory by Brian Membrey


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Darebin : Tall Tales and True!

 From the Municipal Directory : 1914

NORTHCOTE – A flourishing city on Merri Merri creek with post, telegraph and money order offices and court of sessions   New “Carnegie” public and free lending library (5,200 vols) costing £3,590, maintained by Council   Six hotels, agencies of insurance companies, branches of three banks, two State and four private schools, patent brickworks, twelve churches, savings bank and home of Little Sisters of the Poor   Two bowling greens and cricket grounds   Picturesque views obtained from the hill   Railway – Melbourne to Heidelberg via Collingwood passes through Northcote; with stations to Westgarth, 3 3/4 miles, fares 3d  and 2d, close to local cable tramway   Melbourne to Preston and Whittlesea passes midway between St  George's Road and High Street   Stations, viz : Merri, 4 ½ miles, Northcote, 4 3/4 miles, fares both stations 3d and 2d , Croxton 5¼ miles, fares 3½d  and 2½d , Thornbury 6 miles, fares 4d  and 3d     Tramway – Melbourne Tram Co , two cable lines, fare 3d, by ticket 2d, also section from Johnston Street to Merri Creek, fare 1d Municipal tramway – Property of Council, from the terminus of Clifton Hill tram line to northern boundary of Northcote, fares (two sections), from City end to Separation Street, or from the Town Hall to terminus, either way 1d , through fare, 2d   Population : 21,167 (26,394, 24 7%)

PRESTON - Industrial and horticultural township between the Merri and Darebin creeks, with post and money order office, telegraph station, savings bank, State school, court-house, police stations, police station, eight churches, free library, six hotels, agencies of insurance companies, branch of bank, Bradford and Rechabite halls, fire brigade, brickworks, soap works, pottery, four ham and bacon curing works and six tanneries   Electric light and municipal quarries   Fruits and flowers grown extensively for market   Three public gardens; well-kept bowling green; cricket, football, tennis, rifle and two cycle clubs   Masonic, A N A , Rechabite, Orange and I O O F  lodges   Reservoir at Preston in connection with Yan Yean metropolitan water supply   Railway – stations at Bell, 5 3/4 miles, fares, 4d  and 3d; Preston, 6 ¼ miles, fares 4½d  and 3½d; Regent, 7 miles, fares 5d  and 4d; and Reservoir 7 3/4 miles, fares 5¼d  and 4½d; also via Fitzroy to Whittlesea.   Population : 6,297  (7,901, 25 4%)

Why 1914?

This was my first site page published around 2004-5 with links to In Memoriam Rolls providing a background to those from today’s Darebin that gave their lives in the services of King and Country during the Great War of 1914-1918, although we have extended the later date to include dozens that died later as a result of war service (just under 900 entries as at January, 2019, see DOWNLOADS PAGE

This represented today’s “Darebin” as it existed at the time.  Fairfield was a separate Riding in Heidelberg Shire and elected its own representatives, Alphington was part of the Ivanhoe Riding of the same shire.

Regardless of the political boundaries, the citizens of both of the eastern districts gravitated much more towards Northcote, adopting the logical and geographic division of the Darebin Creek.  Certainly in terms of Great War news, they would have headed for the Northcote Leader which included news and casualties from both areas – their "local", the Heidelberg News carried little on the conflict after the initial burst of fighting in the Dardanelle.

In 1951, a poll of Fairfield and Alphington ratepayers voted a nearly two-thirds majority in favour of a separate city of Ivanhoe, but the State Government, at the time was pressing for larger local government entities and ignored the results of the poll.

The two suburbs remained as part of Heidelberg until August, 1962, when pressure from ratepayers saw the area come under the control of the City of Northcote as from October of that year, adding 2.2 square miles, 12,342 new residents, 2,614 dwellings (along with substantial numbers of shops, offices and factories) and landmarks in the Yarra Bend Park, the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital and the Fairlea Women’s Prison.   The area became the new South East Ward of the City Of Northcote.

For the record, the entries for the two “wanna-be’s” of 1914 were    

FAIRFIELD - Improving township with telegraph and money-order office, telephone bureau, State school, three churches, Rechabite hall, branch of bank, hospital, public park, recreation reserve and hotel   Flat tableland, overlying basalt   Railway - 5 miles, fare 3½d and 2d.   Population 3,632 (4,985, 37 3%)

ALPHINGTON - Horticultural township with State school, three churches, post and telegraph office, branch of bank, police station public hall, tennis club, gasometer, three hotels and public park  Stone crushing works  Rail 5¾ miles, fares 5½d and 4½d.   Population : 496 (680, 37%)


O.K. Who are we to argue with the erstwhi





#top

The figures shown in parentheses are the population as shown in the 1919 directory and the growth percentage since 1914.

Epping was an independent  Shire and included Thomastown, but in 1915, rate revenue had fallen to the extent that the Government demanded its merger into the Shire of Whittlesea, which prior to the merger included Arthur's Creek, Bruce's Creek, Bundoora, Doreen, Eden Park, Epping (population 625), Mernda, South Yan Yean (700), Merriang, Morang (South, 725), Nutfield, Scrubby Creek (sadly renamed to boring Humevale in 1925), Tanck's Corner (now Yarrambat), Thomastown (283), Whittlesea (800), Woollert, Woodstock (275) and Yan Yean.

 

Now Read On …

Febraury, 2019

New!

Darebin’s Transport

A new stream with a number of snapshots from the three PDF documents outlining the history of public transport in Darebin : trains, cable trams, electric trams …

 1912-20 - Never a Paying Customer

The story of the Fitzroy, Northcote and Preston Tramways Trust, established in 1915 to construct the East and West Preston Lines vya St, George’s-road to link with a city cable tram at Barkly-street, North Fitzroy. It took three years of political manoeuvring to even have the Trust created by an Act of Parliament and another years before the routes and all the sundry bits ‘n pieces were finally ready for the opening on 1 April, 1920, by which time the Trust had been absorbed into the new Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Trust without the Trust every collecting a single penny section fare The third and last of our Trifecta on the battles to establish public transport within today’s City of Darebin.

Updated!

1888 : Fares Please! The Story of Northcote’s Cable Trams (PDF)

A rollicking history of Northcote’s “On Again, Off Again” tramway, the only cable tramway to be constructed in Melbourne by a private syndicate and then after many hiccups, operated by the Council itself.

Darebin’s Transport : Tall Tales and True

January, 2019

New!

1889 : The Railway Cometh

 

Drifting a little northwards from our base of Darebin, this month’s release is 1911-26 - The Kinglake Connection (PDF)

A background of the efforts to establish a rail network across the outer northern areas from the existing terminus stations at Whittlesea and Hurstbridge. Possible connections included Arthur's Creek, Scrubby Creek (now Humevale), Flowerdale, Strathewen, Glenburn and Castella, Toolangi, Kangaroo Ground, Christmas Hills, and a couple little-known today, Mitton's Bridge and Rushy Flat.

 


 

Our photo shows station staff at Whittlesea station, circa 1890, but don’t keep your fingers (or other personal appendages) crossed in anticipation of photos from Mitton’s Bridge or Rushy Flat!Drifting a little northwards from our base of Darebin, this month’s release is 1911-26 - The Kinglake Connection?, a background of the efforts to establish a rail network across the outer northern areas from the existing terminus stations at Whittlesea and Hurstbridge.

Towns other than Kinglake mentioned during the Standing Committee hearings included Arthur's Creek, Scrubby Creek (now Humevale), Flowerdale, Strathewen, Glenburn and Castella, Toolangi, Kangaroo Ground, Christmas Hills, and a couple little-known today, Mitton's Bridge and Rushy Flat.

Our photo shows station staff at Whittlesea station, circa 1890, but don’t keep your fingers (or other personal appendages) crossed in anticipation of photos from Mitton’s Bridge or Rushy Flat!

Drifting a little northwards from our base of Darebin, this month’s release is 1911-26 - The Kinglake Connection?, a background of the efforts to establish a rail network across the outer northern areas from the existing terminus stations at Whittlesea and Hurstbridge.

Towns other than Kinglake mentioned during the Standing Committee hearings included Arthur's Creek, Scrubby Creek (now Humevale), Flowerdale, Strathewen, Glenburn and Castella, Toolangi, Kangaroo Ground, Christmas Hills, and a couple little-known today, Mitton's Bridge and Rushy Flat.

Our photo shows station staff at Whittlesea station, circa 1890, but don’t keep your fingers (or other personal appendages) crossed in anticipation of photos from Mitton’s Bridge or Rushy Flat!

Last Updated January 2019 with an ongoing history of Northcote’s Cable Trams.












This remains Work In Progress while I further complete research into a companion document. the 1914-1920 Fitzroy - Northcote - Preston electric tram lines, a brief preview below.











 




Last updated : February, 2019