Stuff you never knew, but are now glad you do!

 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%)    

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 5 ¾ miles, fares 5½d and 4½d.  Population : 496 (680, 37%)

EPPING – Agricultural and dairying district of Darebin creek with post office, two hotels, two State and denominational schools, three churches, public library (over 400 vols), shire hall, police station and cemetery. Railway – 13 miles, fares 11d and 81/2. Population, 605 (not given in 1919).

THOMASTOWN – Agricultural township on Epping Road, with State school, two churches, post office and hotel.  Railway – 11 miles, fares 9d and 7d.     Population, 104 (283, 175%)

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

Were you one of tens of thousands that strutted their stuff in the Preston District Junior Football Association?

Click the image above for an on-going discussion on the history of this remarkable organisation which at one stage had claims to being the largest junior sporting competition in Australia.

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UPDATED November, 2016

Compiled for Darebin Heritage by Brian Membrey

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