Malcolm Moore Pty Ltd

Only a fragment of the presence of the massive engineering firm of Malcolm Moore Pty Ltd survives in Bertie St, Port Melbourne.

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Remnant of the extensive Malcolm Moore factory in Bertie St – note the logo at top right

Malcolm Moore set up his firm’s manufacturing centre in Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne in 1927. Branches were later opened in every State capital and several provincial centres.

The firm specialised in the design and manufacture of mechanical-handling and construction equipment.

Malcolm Moore advertised regularly in the Port of Melbourne Quarterly, published by the Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners from 1948. The full page advertisements give a sense of the scale and scope of the manufacturing operations at Williamstown Road.

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Equipment manufactured by Malcolm Moore can be found in far flung parts of Victoria and the rest of Australia. Closer to home, a Malcolm Moore crane awaits restoration as part of the redevelopment of No 5 North Wharf.

Malcolm Moore crane at North Wharf

Malcolm Moore crane at North Wharf

Moore believed in the development of institutions for vocational and management education and supported them very generously. The Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award was set up through a perpetual bequest to RMIT to support industry partnered research.

He was also instrumental in setting up the organisation which later became the Australian Institute of Management (AIM). In researching for this post, it struck me that there are interesting commonalities between the logos of Malcolm Moore and the AIM.

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Malcolm Moore was also active in the Australian Inland Mission’s aerial medical service and in establishing the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia in 1942.

The PMHPS would be very glad to hear from former employees of Malcolm Moore who have memories of their working lives to relate, or photographs showing the presence of this impressive firm in Port Melbourne. The Society has only one photograph of  the  factory and that is of the factory being demolished in 1987.

More

Moore, Malcolm Stewart (1888–1969)

 

Comments

  1. Hi, this is not a story per se, but more of a question. I have worked in Bertie Street Port Melbourne since 2008, in the “new” complex just up from Fennell Street. I am wondering what industry was previously at that area (I believe, or think, AMI / Toyota) before it was demolished and refurbished and the main production facility for Toyota moved elsewhere. However, I am also interested in what industry was there before that .

    Regards, Peter Dietzel

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Hi Peter
      Do you mean what was there before AMI/Toyota? I think it may have been the extended premises of Felton Grimwade but I’m not certain. If you learn anything more, please let us know.

  2. robyn butson says

    I started work as Office Junior at Malcolm Moore in Williamstown Road when I left school at 15 yrs. A great company who taught me lots, very fond memories of the four years I worked there.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Great to hear from you Robyn – sounds like a very positive start to work

    • I was also a office junior at 15 in 1966 I remember having the responsibilities of handling little brown pay packets and delivering them through the factory to the worker, I then went on over to Moore hydraulics many happy memories .

    • Graham Wallis says

      Hi Robyn , my name is Graham Wallis , I think you worked in the office the same time I worked there . Alf Amery was the office manager . I worked for John Van Hees . I worked there from approx 1968 to 1974 before moving to Qld where I still live . Look forward to hearing from other people who worked there during this time .
      Graham

      • Hi Graham,
        This is amazing, I worked for John Van Hees and sat next to you, Ian Maurer, Kevin Kellett Michael Phillips.
        I know Robyn, and my surname was WOOD, Cheryl, married Winstanley, living in Vic.
        Look forward to hearing from you, and anyone else from that time, I did transfer across to Moore Hydraulics.

        • Janet Bolitho says

          Hi Cheryl – for those of us who know little about Malcolm Moore, it would be great to learn more about the work you did, the things that were made, and a bit more about life at work.

        • Graham Wallis says

          Hi Cheryl, Glad to hear from you . Didn’t my wife and I have tea at you place when I worked there ? A “mild indian curry ” ? . Ian Maurer I saw many years ago he used to drive the two Stoke Saab car , probably worth a fortune now ! . As well as those people you mentioned we worked with Jan Sorenson ( the tall thin blonde ) , the Carter brothers Terry & Ross , Geoff Locke who had the club foot . Alf Amery ( office manager ) I met his son in Qld in the ’80’s . Do you remember Les Watson ? He occasionally use to drive me home . He died 30 years ago from a aneurism. I tell the people at work that when I worked at Malcolm Moore I use to have to get a slip signed by the company secretary to get a photo copy ! Were you there when it snowed ? That was the only time I remember snow in Port Melbourne ! . I have just turned 65 and haven’t finished work as yet . I sell Toyotas for a living . Kathy and I have 3 kids and 5 grandchildren. We have been married 43 years and my going away present from Malcolm Moore was a wooden chess set which is sitting on our coffee table . Well that’s enough from me . Tell me about you what has happened over all these years .
          Regards
          Graham Wallis

          • Graham Wallis says

            I don’t know if I put my reply in the right section Cheryl ? But you will find it . Graham Wallis

          • Hi Graham, great to hear back from you, yes I remember you guys coming over to our apartment in Westgarth, must have been a curry of course.
            Well we met Ian a few days ago after so many years, sadly it was at Michael Philips funeral, he made it to 81 yrs.
            I mentioned writing to you and asked him to do the same, he is still a fun loving guy, has grandkids.
            We have 3 grandkids, married 46 years, both retired early and have travelled a bit.
            Do you remember Kelvin Kellett, Michael Phillips, Carol, Valerie, they used to process the punch cards. It was a great place to start work and make friends. Michael introduced me to Stuart.
            Cheers
            Cheryl

          • Graham Wallis says

            Hi Cheryl , yep I remember those people , I use to play chess with Kelvin Kellet he is a very good player and he always beat me . I have caught up many times with Michael Wearne . When he left Malcolm Moore he joined the police force ( he is retired or about to retire ) and he lives at Narre Warren and also has a nice new beach house at Phillip Island . Sad to hear about Michael Phillips , he was a quiet person from what I remember. I suppose a lot of people have passed away that we worked with . I remember Charlie Smith and Mary Moss in the service Dept. Was it Harley the paymaster ( a big bloke ) . What was the other girl’s name in the punch room she sat to the right of John Van Hees ? Remember Owen Rees who was the credit manager who was always going to court because they caught him stealing from the bank as a bank manager . There was also John Rae the county guy from northern Victoria . Malcolm Moore was agents for Mack Trucks , Ford Tractors , Poclain machinery from Canada . This was a huge company when we worked for it . I remember I use to write up the bank deposit slips and some days there was millions of dollars ie tens of millions for conveyor belt sales to mining company’s . Having read other people’s comments on this site I just remember who John Bruce was he did the off site servicing around Victoria & Southern NSW . At least my memory hasn’t failed me as yet . LOL Good to hear from you again . I would like to hear from Ian Maurer again .
            Regards
            Graham

        • Lee Powell says

          Hi Cheryl, i worked in the purchasing dept and it was my first job and i believe you were bridesmaid at my wedding 🙂 .

  3. Dennis Bruce says

    I worked at Moore Hydraulics from approximately 1962 until 1985. I believe I was one of the last few to be made redundant before the company closed (to the best of my knowledge/memory) at that time, I was handling the purchasing and distribution of Mitsubishi Excavators and Graders until Caterpillar took over Mitsubishi Graders. I had a break for 3 years (1964 to 1967) to pursue my music with The John Gordon Trio. I went back under Ken Dobson, manager at that time. From there, I worked with Greg Barnes and Greg Pittard at Integrated Hydraulics, followed by Linak Australia, owned by Greg Pittard.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Hi Dennis,
      So interesting to learn more about Malcolm Moore since so little remains of their presence in Port. Could you expand a little on when they closed, and what the circumstances were at the time?

  4. Ross Matheson says

    I commenced work for Macolm Moore in Sydney as an apprentice in 1969. After the takeover by David Haines in mid 1980’s the company was then taken over by BTR towards the late 80’s and then broken apart. I was one of the lucky ones to be made redundant in 1989. It was a great company to work for and the staff were more like a big family. Ross

    • David Thompson says

      Thanks for the information Ross.

      • Julie gellatly says

        My dad was the last person to close the workshop after serving the company for over 30 years he did not get paid anything as they said they went bust. It was a sad day for him. For those who remember Robert Gatt.

        • Janet Bolitho says

          Hi Julie
          What a sad day for your dad – closing the workshop for the last time. Do you have any further information to share about his working life at Malcolm Moore? We’d love to know more.

  5. Ross Matheson says

    Good afternoon
    Just a bit of info following on from Dennis Bruce, in Sydney the Mitsubishi Excavators went Caterpillars way in 1988, and the Grader stock and parts all went to the Ditch Witch dealership at Girraween. Other people would know better, but I think this split was due to the two machines being made in different Japanese factories, with the excavator being a joint venture Caterpillar operation.
    regards Ross

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Thanks Ross – that builds the picture. It would be great to hear from people who worked at the Port Melbourne factories.

  6. Ross Matheson says

    Hello all, I have two Malcolm Moore publications, one is a “Moore Golden Jubilee” publication [24 pages] and a “Moore 60 years leadership in Australian Engineering” It has some interesting photos and history of the company. If you don’t have a copies I could scan them and email to you.

    regards, Ross

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Thank you Ross – that would be appreciated – especially if there is material relating to the company’s operations in Port Melbourne.

    • Michael Menzies says

      Hello Ross, Is it possible to obtain a scanned copy of the documents that you mention? I have been researching some of their tractor based locomotives. A family friend was Ep Spreadborough and he dug a bit of technical details up for me back about 1980? Does anyone know if any Company records survive anywhere, or was it all ‘skipped’?

  7. I am co-writing the memoirs of a Cypriot immigrant, Harry Theodossi, who worked at Malcolm Moore from 1951 (?) to 1982 when he retired. He was a 1st class machinist and worked on drills and the lathe. He was very happy working there, he told me.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      That’s so interesting Susan. If Harry has further detail about his time at Malcolm Moore, we’d be glad to hear about it.

    • Richard "Dick" Williams says

      Good evening Susan, I worked with “Theo” at Moores and went to his home in Brunswick a couple of times. I would like to know more about his book.

      • Janet Bolitho says

        Thank you for your comment Richard
        Can you let us know more about the work you did at Moores to help us build a picture of this firm?

  8. Geoff Robinson says

    My dad (Norm Robinson) worked at Malcolm Moore in the crane shop for many many years, right up to when it closed.
    I have very fond memories of the Christmas party put on every year for us kids. It was a great chance to have a tour of the factories and see all the massive machines.

    • David Thompson says

      Thanks Geoff,
      The Christmas parties put on by the various companies are common memories for many Port families. Great to hear that Malcolm Moore were part of that tradition.

  9. Geoff Robinson says

    Further to my previous comments. I have found lots of photos in Dads albums dating from 1953. I will send them to PMHPS.

    • David Thompson says

      That would be brilliant Geoff. Industrial heritage isn’t often recorded so it will be great to see Malcolm Moore in the 1950s!

  10. Ross Matheson says

    Hello
    can you please advise a email address that I can forward a photo of Malcolm Moore products to.

    Also, are you aware that Malcolm Moore were the Mack Truck distributors

    regards, Ross

    • David Thompson says

      Hi Ross,

      I certainly wasn’t aware that MM were a Mack Truck distributor, other may be. Thanks for that nice piece of info.

      Please send your Malcolm Moore photos to pmhps@pmhps.org.au.

      Thanks, we look forward to seeing your pictures.
      David Thompson

  11. Lorraine Shackleton says

    My Dad, Frank Caulfield worked @ Malcolm Moore’s for quite a few tears from the early 60’s until the late 70’s. He worked in the dispatch department with Howard Gault, Billy Flynn & a few others whos names escape me. The Christmas partys & bush picnics were the highlights of our years growing up. Touring around the factory & office was heaps of fun for us. I have some pics of our family at the xmas partys. When we left Sth Melbourne & moved to Reservoir in 1964 my Dad, who didn’t drive, would walk to the station every day, rain, hail or shine & get the train to the city & then would get the train to Graham station & walk to the factory. He always spoke highly of the company until new ownership took over in the 70’s.
    We also knew a fitter, Mr.Lehtinen, he was Finnish man who designed alot of products for Moore’s. His son Vic did his electrical maintenance apprenticeship @ Malcolm Moore’s as well in the 70’s. I have lots of mental pics of the buildings but iunfortunately no actual pics.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Such interesting recollections Lorraine that give a sense of the working environment fostered by Malcolm Moore that inspired such loyalty.

    • Anyone that worked in Melbourne plant in late 70’s remember a man Gilbert parker?

  12. My first job as an Admin working in the accounting area. I remember the canteen, the paymaster with his yellow envelopes and he made sure your 21st pay packet buldged with notes. The females had two seperate lunch rooms adjoining the ladies toilets with metal lockers, there was a tea lady a gentle soul, and a sick Bay Area a Nurse was on duty.
    I recall the disaster and heard the crash when a supportive column of the Westgate Bridge collapsed, we were all saddened and some of us drove over to view the damages.
    The Mail room was managed by Mrs Ferguson , the wooden wide stairs were most impressive leading up to the top floor, we used to get extra time on Fridays for shopping not sure if it was every Friday, as it was a fair walk to Bay Street.
    The Commonweath Bank used to send 2 employees over so we could continue depositing into a Christmas club Account. Mr Massey was Mgr Sales. I gained experience & made a long time friend who introduced me to my husband.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Thanks Carol – this is interesting! Could you describe how the admin and accounting side of the business related to the manufacturing part of the business?

  13. Hi Janet, I began work as an apprentice electrician in the crane shop in Feb 1975 and left in April 1982. My immediate boss was Jack Sparrow and the leading hand was Joe Aikas. I also remember Norm Robinson. It was a really good environment and had some fun times.
    Obviously a lot of fellow employees were Port locals who loved their local footy team and were fiercely loyal. We produced high quality machines.

    Thanks

  14. Ian Grieve says

    Hi, My name is Ian Grieve, in 1968- 1971 I worked in the Central purchasing office under the guidance of Vic McGowan and Ralp Matthews, in those days there were several divisions, Moore Hydraulics, Moore Conveyors, Moore Cranes, Moore Road Machinery. Moore Tooling. In those days employed a lot of people. I left MM to further my work experience. But returned several years later as Purchsing Manager.in this me David Haines had purchased the business, overall the Time iworked at MM I experienced many changes, and was there almost to the end. It was a memorable experience. (Some other names I remember. Bob Tilley, Mary Atkinson, David Morris. Ron Crammond.

  15. Julie McLean says

    Names I remember : Mr. Spreadborough, Bob Tilley, John Coliver, Bill Knowles, Howard Gault, Bruce Lewis, Frank Dillizzo, Mr. Perrin, Gavin Duffy, Bob McLaren,
    Jim Holmes, Mrs. McGowan, Don King, Harley Bickerton (pay office), Frank Baker (pay office) Stuart Tillotson, Mr. Bill Dick. Hope these names trigger lots of memories.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Hi Julie, an array of names of former colleagues. It would be great to learn more from you about the work you did at Malcolm Moore’s and the range of occupations filled by these people. It all adds to the picture.

    • Hi Julie , do you remember Graham Lee , I think Bruce Lewis and Dad went into business together
      Geoff Lee

  16. Barry Jones says

    My name is Barry Jones, I joined Moore Road Machinery (Tas) P/L in 1960 from City Motors (1933) P/L Ford car/truck and tractor Dealer in Hobart also agents for M.R.M. Products.
    At that time Mr. Paul Hope was State manager with Greg Sproul and myself as Sales Reps.
    Lionel (Charlie) Churchill Spare parts Manager and three or four mechanics in the Service Dept.
    In those days we had a Material Handling Machines such as MM Road Grader. Scoopmobile 4WD Front- end loaders with center- pin steering and oscillation of front axle to rear axle for stability and ultimately safety. These large machines came in Models LD3/LD5 and LD7 manufactured under license to the U.S. manufacturer. In addition we had 2WD MM Front- end loaders, Track Marshall tracked Tractors.UK
    On the Agricultural scene we had the State Franchise for Ford tractor range and the German Claas combine grain harvesters in South Tasmania only.
    Sorry about this; being on the sales management side of the business I have lost sight of personnel aspect.
    I knew John Massey the Sales Manager Victoria; Sid Hill in Spare parts, Bill Dick Company Secretary, Russel…? General manager my memory at 82 yrs fails me.
    Some years later around 1980 I met up with the Manufacturing Manager (unable to recall his name) at a Lions Convention whom related the story of the financial Group that took over the whole Malcolm Moore group and sold off all the individual Companies…..a sad time. I had nearly ten years with MRM (Tas) it was a great time for me.
    I ultimately joined Repco Bearing Company based in Tas. where I spent 23 years ending up as Marketing Manager after almost 10 years travelling many parts of the world as Export Manager,,,,retired in 1992. So there you have it ? My time with Malcolm Moores. I hope this is of interest another aspect to the MM story

    • Hi Barry , I am not sure but did you work with my dad , Graham Lee . Dad has fond memories of working at Moore’s . Not sure if you knew Dad passed away in 2015 he was just shy of 92 . There was Bruce Lewis and Ron Lipold that worked for Dad when he started Oilways . My brother John has just retired now , all getting older Anyway hopes this jogs a memory or 2
      Geoff Lee

    • Joy Thompson says

      Hi Barry Jones and Geoff Lee. You both should remember my Dad Kel Sutherland who ran the Launceston branch of Moore Road Machinery. I remember Paul Hope, our family would sometimes holiday at his holiday house at Spring Beach, near Orford. Dad originally started at MM in Victoria before being transferred permanently to Launceston.
      Joy Thompson (nee Sutherland)

    • Joy Thompson says

      Barry Jones and Geoff Lee ….. you may not have heard, but Greg Sproule passed away recently … I think about a month ago. I have met his nephew here in Victoria ….. its a small world.

  17. David Roze says

    My Dad John Roze worked there in Port Melbourne for many years. He is still with us @ 92 years of age. Did any of you work with him?

    • I knew a bloke name of West who started his apprenticeship there in 1943 and worked till 1951. I would love to chat with him about photos of a gang who might be apprentices.

  18. David Roze says

    My Dad John Roze worked there in Port Melbourne for many years. He is still with us @ 92 years of age. Did any of you work with him?

  19. Andrew Roze says

    id anyone here of Malcolm Moore ripping off their workers who had been there many years their Superannuation payments. My father (John Roze) worked there for over 20 years and when Malcolm Moore’s ceased operations, I heard a lot of their faithful employees lost their Superannuation. My dad walked out with only $5,000 where he should of by memory should of been $150k from his time served and Super. I believe to that the owner of Malcolm Moores at the time was the Co-owner of the racehorse Kingston Town, and if memory serves me correctly it was David Haynes. Totally wrong what happened in the end.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      That is regrettable.
      It would be interesting to learn more about what work your father did at Malcolm Moore.

    • Jo Patman says

      Hi Andrew, my father retired from MM I think 1973/74 because of work related emphysema, he died in 1977 he was 63, after which my mother waged a battle for his Super over a 7 year period, he had been with the company about 20 years also. Don’t know if that had anything to do with MM or the Super company.

  20. Richard Bullock says

    Some memories of Moore Road Machinery in Western Australia.
    I was employed in Perth,from 1972 to 1980,as a construction equipment representative. During this time,our main offering was the range of Ford industrial equipment, namely two wheel drive loaders,and tractor loader backhoe,we also sold County tractors,and Ford agricultural tractors,into local government.
    Other products, were Scoopmobile,Warner and Swasey Gradalls,Wayne street sweepers, the Moore multi tyred roller.
    Later,Ford briefly entered the construction equipment market,with the French Richier excavator, the A62,A64,and the A66 4wd loaders,and a skid steer loader.
    Previously we sold the French manufactured Poclain excavator range,the first high pressure excavators sold in Australia. Then at the end of the 70s,Mitsubishi small wheel loaders,excavators, and graders,until they became absorbed into Caterpillar.
    In the West Moore’s,also sold huge numbers of Mack trucks,at that time and previously it was regarded as the only truck to survive the harsh climate of North Western Australia.,
    Very many pleasant memories of working for a great company,sad to see it’s demise.
    RICHARD BULLOCK

    • Michael Lane says

      Hi Richard
      They also sold Marshall tractors as my dad bought a MP6 Marshall from there and drove it to our farm at Hyden and is still here today.
      Cheers Mick

  21. Hugh A Scott-Mackenzie says

    My father, Ewen Scott-Mackenzie, worked for Malcolm Moore Hydraulics for many years in the 1950s and 1960s. I recall visiting his office on one or two occasions. And I remember well the Christmas parties. Otherwise, I regret I know little about the company. Dad did attempt to install a hydraulic device to open and close our front gates in Hawthorn. It didn’t work!

    • Joy Thompson says

      Re Hugh Scott-Mackenzie entry ….. I remember my dad installed a hydraulic clothes line in our back yard in Launceston, Tas. Turn the tap on for line to go up ….. not sure what happened then …. did one turn it off for it to stay-up/go down … or what.

  22. My father worked at Malcolm Moore hydraulics from 1970 to around 1980. My Dad was Graham Lee , sadly he passsed away in 2015 at nearly 92. My brother John worked there for a while as well , Dad really enjoyed his time there and when he started his own business -( Oilways ) – a few engineers went with Dad, he was at hydraulics services in Sydney before Moore’s. It’s sad to see that the buildings gone as that was the reason we moved to Melbourne . I think Bruce Lewis and Ron Lipold were 2 engineers that worked for Dad. I think my Dad was s a pretty good engineer from what I have heard . Anyway hope this jogs someone memory

    Geoff Lee

  23. Lindsay Smith says

    Greetings
    Ross
    A few names that might awaken old memories Jack Knight, Jim Gosbee, Murray Lunnis, Reg Carrick , Leo Bogaard

    Regards Lindsay Smith

  24. Bill Davidson says

    Bill Davidson here. I was fortunate in joining Malcolm Moor Hydraulics in October 1978 as a sales representative in the hydraulics division. Dennis Simmons was the Sales Director, (filling in as Branch Manager) a position to be later taken over by Les Collins. Peter Bridgeland was the Hydraulics Sales Manager. Robert Holmes, Wayne Barnett, Fred Van Essen, Gavan Duffy, Bill Knowles, Barry Perryman were all part of the Hydraulics Sales Team. Angelo Flego, Paul Husquin and David Dukes were part of the Service Department Team at that time.
    I met and worked with some great people in Bertie Street, which was the Victoria Branch office, on the ground floor. National was upstairs, Les Barnett, Dennis Bruce, Bill Healy, (MD) and Teresa Amore operated there. Kevin Goss occupied an office near the main entrance on the ground floor. He was Chairman of Directors at Malcolm Moore and also worked with David Haines at Portland House Group, who had acquired MM in the early /mid seventies.
    Dennis Strahan became Branch Manager, around 1981 and the branch relocated to the Kelvinator building, next to the main MM factory in Williamstown Road. Ilma Basila, Ellen Otterspaw and Debbie Venturato were in administration and Bill Vesti joined the Hydraulics Team along with Vince Delgrosso and Nick Linderboom around that time.
    I worked in Marketing for a while, David Anderson, Ian Rowe and Mike Strachan were among others there, I enjoyed liaising with Eric Brotherton and Jack Lesberg, in Manufacturing.
    Heber Perrin was Engineering Director, he and John Hart Davies were an amazing lead in the Hydraulics Division at MM. At Heber’s retirement, in 1982, he noted that manufacture was changing and that the investment required in order to maintain the factory modern was inordinate, considering the Australian market. MM was moving toward importing more and more product, to replace that manufactured in Port Melbourne. Interesting to note that a replacement for Heber’s Series 55 DCV was never found.
    By the mid eighties numbers employed had dropped from 1600 at the peak to just 150 Australia wide. I was sad to part company with MM in June 1985. A year later and BTR had picked up the pieces; they sold on to a New Zealand based company in early 1988. Tim Jenke, from the Adelaide Branch of MM went to Melbourne and was involved in selling off the remainder of Hydraulics stocks and equipment to the industry.
    I was indeed fortunate to have been involved with such a company as part of my career.

  25. Trudy Maher says

    I started working in 1980 as a junior clerk in the inventory Card dept and helped with the transition of all those cards onto computer a few years later. When the main Williamstown rd office closed, I moved over to the Bettie st office and then not long after that MM was sold and I moved out to Clayton with BTR – didn’t stay long after that. I was with MM/BTR for about 7 years all up
    I remember Les collins Martin Massey Teresa Amor Kim Nicholson Sharon Attard Brian Chrimes Brian from the warehouse but not too many others
    Was Trudy Kelly back then (Maher now) and still love in Port

  26. Darlene Bonnett says

    I started working here as my first full time job after leaving school at 15. Long time ago now but I remember quite a few names that people have listed above. My fondest memory is of Joan on the switch board she was such a lovely lady and worked there for many years. I also remember Stephen Peach, Frank Scarimgi and Paul Whelan from the spare parts. I rennember getting taught the telex machine and switch board and the banking machines none of which are around today. Trudy Kelly was and still is my closest friend who stayed on long after I left. Some fond memories and a good start to working life close to home.

  27. Ross Matheson says

    Hello Lindsay
    The good times we remember. The last I knew of Jack Knight he had retired to Gerroa after I would expect some very successful business ventures. Reg Carrick still lives in the same house at Blacktown, I see him once or twice a year, the sad one you would remember is Ray Hargreaves, the last time I saw him a couple of years ago age was certainly not being kind to him, he was living at Berkshire park.
    regards, Ross

  28. Ross Matheson says

    Ah,, Les Collins, even though working in Sydney I had a lot to do with Les, a genuine gentleman. He once told me he was a goal umpire for Aussie Rlues. Anyone else aware of this. Regards Ross

  29. Ian Maurer says

    I was told about this page by a couple of friends who I worked with many years ago at Malcolm Moore. The past year has been quite difficult as I delivered the eulogies for Michael Phillips and more recently Kelvin Kellet. Both had remained friends of mine and I miss them both greatly. I thought that there may be former employees who knew these gentlemen and as such would want to be informed.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      So sorry you have lost your former friends and colleagues from Malcolm Moore days. Glad if this website helps people to stay in touch.

  30. Ross Matheson says

    Hello, does the Port Melbourne Historical Society have a museum of any kind. I have a quantity of Malcolm Moore / Moore Road Machinery brochures. Including Scoopmobile loaders, Multi Tyred Rollers, Graders, County Tractors, Track Marshalls, Push Tractors, Timberjacks and a few of the “Moore” stickers. I would happily send these to the “pmhs” if they were going to be displayed in a museum or public place for other people to enjoy seeing the past history of Australian industry.

  31. Stephen voyer says

    Hi my name is Stephen voyer l work at Malcolm Moore’s from 1975 – 1984 it was a great place to work

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Glad to hear that Stephen. It would be great to find out more about the work you did at Malcolm Moore.

  32. David Anderson says

    Worked at at Malcolm Moore’s 77-82.. Bert Webster was my 1st boss in the HydraulicsWorkshop. Gem of a man, patient and encouraging. Had almost 18 months with Bert doing jig and tool design before Heber Perrin gave me an opportunity in the Drawing Office. Loved working with Heber, John Hart Davies and Roy Park. After 2 years Denis Simmons gave me an opportunity in marketing with Bill Davidson (fellow Geordie) , Mike Strahan and Denis Bruce. Great experience which set me up for almost 40 Years in Sales, Marketing and Management. Would not have missed it for quids.

  33. Graeme Johnson says

    Well a lot of names that I recognise in this list.
    I remember well the great hydraulic ranges, the cranes, the conveyers, the machines, the people and the factory. Remember when the company installed the computer that linked all the branches and those mysterious people in white coats behind the glass wall
    I had the pleasure of working for the Port Melbourne company for 12 years first in parts with Sid Hill as a very raw counter support assisting with all the then items Ford, County, Gradall, Scoopmobile, Mack and Timberjack parts. Was never sure if I was allowed to handle the Mack parts a Mike (surname not remembered) did not like it but customers always appeared at his lunch. I know I sold the last box of Marshall starter cartridge’s. A Scottish guy Harry helped on the counter. There was a Jack Bullock that spent the day working the goods in and out books and card file system Yes I remember the pay packets you talk about.
    I was moved across to the sales team under Les Collins and Norm Beraldson, and Jon Croskill and a David Gibson My job the used equipment and it was great time.
    Was promoted to timberjack sales and got to know well Archie (Steinhof I think) and John Bruce and others in service. A number of years running around the Vic and southern NSW region for the company selling the range. Ford Poclain, the last LD 7 the company produced. I still know and have contact with some customers today in the logging game that I met 35 years ago
    I cannot remember the phone number (was it 6451111) but around twice a day reverse charge call to company and always will remember Joan taking the call and accepting the charges and saying “how are you lovey” before reporting in.
    Had the pleasure of going overseas to learn and work with, then sell the Mitsubishi group of products. Ray Hargreaves and I spent 7 to 10 days together in Japan. Was overseas with Kevin Goss on a few trips to these companies and got to know David Haines quite well. Remember the Lamborghini Tractors from Italy that we had to sell when a horse was bought over for the stud.
    As David Haines bought the company there was lots of union turmoil throughout Australia and manufacturing was undergoing significant changes and the company contracted. Drove home Dennis Simmons and Mike Straun as they left the business but also took home Bill Healy on his “retirement “at the time of the move in of David Haines
    Another salesman Graham Colliver came into sales at a later time and we became great friends.
    I left prior to it completely being disbanded but it was a great training for my own business career. I have only worked for two operations throughout my life one Malcolm Moore and then my own business
    What memories these posts bring back but how sad is it that these businesses have gone from Australia.
    I still see with pride every so often that blue logo Moore on items that are around Australia

  34. Scott Blair says

    Hi
    I started my apprenticeship 7.7.1980 until the workshop closed 1982 I was the last to go. I would have stayed working there for free if I could. I was the third of my family to work there. My mother ( Valire Stevens ) and my uncle ( Terry Stevens ) . Malcolm Moores set me up for the rest of my working life . I still miss being part of the Moore Family.

    • Scott Blair says

      Hi
      Reading some of the comments I can remember some of the names. Like Graeme Johnson in sales and alot of the people in spares and hydraulics service. I myself worked in service on the tractors and road machines ,I’m still working on tractors and farming equipment. I’m now 56 years old still loving the work. My boss at that time was Dick Hill , he was a good boss to have as a first boss . I’ve been very lucky to have people to work for all my trade. I’ve got a couple of customers that have tractors they got form Moore’s. Like I said before I miss the MM family!

      • Janet Bolitho says

        Thanks Scott. It’s hard to imagine now that tractors were coming out of Fishermans Bend. So very urban now.

  35. Damian Harte says

    My first full time job was working at Malcolm Moore. I worked in the Store for 18 months as store man and packer in between leaving school and commencing my university studies. I worked there from roughly October 1980 until February 1982. My uncle was actually Bill Healy, though he had no hand in me working there.

    Even by the time I was working there you could see that the company was probably only a shadow of its former self. I recall there being large areas of the factory that were no longer operational which hinted at the fact that the company was past its hey day. I don’t think it was all that long after I left in 1982 that the company ceased to operate as Malcolm Moore, My uncle Bill (Healy) passed away around the same time after a very brief battle with cancer.

    When I started Ray Smith was running the Store, and I worked with a bunch of lads all of whom were roughly around the same age; Wayne Mueller, Trevor Rankin, Ken Wilson and Daryl Rodda were some of the guys that I remember. There was also a couple of much older gents that we worked with too though there names escape me now. I look back on that time very fondly and on the friendships that were built back during that time. The company was owned by David Haines back then, though I saw a comment above stating that he took it over in the mid-80s which is not correct. I actually recall his son working in the store one summer, before commencing or re-commencing his studies. I get very nostalgic when I very occasionally travel down Williamstown Road and pass by Bertie Street. The memories of the factory are still vivid.

    Really pleased to have found this forum, Thanks.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Thank you for adding your memories and associations of working at Malcolm Moore which contribute to our understanding of that once great firm in Port.

  36. Bob Campbell says

    Did someone say Malcolm Moore Industries? I worked there in 1963 and can tell you a lot about Moores, the machines, history and more drop me a line!

    • Noel Howard says

      Hi Bob did you know a Frank Sherwood who worked at MM in Melbourne and was involved with installation of conveyors in mines in northern Australia?

  37. Toyota / AMI Port Melbourne produced / assembled Rambler cars Triumph cars, Fiat 1100, Mercedes cars, Ferguson tractors, Fiat Tractors and lots more.

  38. Brian Taylor says

    I worked at Moore Road Machinery in Perth in 1972-3. We were installing Dowty Mining Equipment’s speed control system (Retarders) at W.A Govt. Railways Forrestfield hump type marshaling yard. Great fun ‘playing’ with real trains during commisioning!

  39. I arrived in Australia in 1979 and my first job was At Malcolm Moore in the Overhead crane manufacturing workshop, as a boilermaker. There were three divisions in that shop, machine shop run by Norm Robinson and Bobby Gatt, fabrication run by Colin Colussi and the electrical section run by Jack Sparrow. Most components for the cranes were made in-house, from crane wheels, steel girders and control electrics. My first job was manufacturing crane girders for Loy Yang A power station, followed by a few cranes for Boyne Smelter and a couple of ingot handling cranes for the Geelong smelter. We also manufactured underground mine haulers and quite a few mine head winches. I remember a couple senior managers, Bill Healy and Jack Lesberg. Finished working there around 1982 when it closed down. Enjoyed my time working there, learned a lot from the older tradesmen and still working in the same industry running my own business.

  40. Bruce Prosser says

    My father, Jack Prosser, worked as an inspector at Malcolm Moore until his death in 1968. I remember the Christmas parties at the factory, and the daily routine of his early departure to catch a train from Mont Albert to Port Melbourne, and my mother picking him up every evening at the station. Malcolm Moore stands out now as a shining example of Australian self-sufficiency and capability in manufacturing, which hopefully will be the story of our future after COVID-19 rather than just our past.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Interesting observations Bruce about manufacturing then and the possibilities in future.
      Do you know what his work as an inspector involved?

      • Bruce Prosser says

        I assume it was quality control – testing completed manufactures and detecting any faults – someone who worked there would know more about the role. I remember as a child that he organised for a grader to be ‘tested’ at the local school, and the result was a football oval that Mont Albert Primary School (then a central school) enjoys to this day.

      • Bruce Prosser says

        I assume it was a quality control role – former MM workers would know more about it. As a child I remember my father organising to test a grader at the local central school (grades P to 8), now Mont Albert Primary, which enjoys a football oval to this day as a result.

  41. Gerard Timmermans says

    I was employed as an apprentice Boilermaker in the crane shop in early 1982 with another lad. We both would have been the last apprentices employed by Malcolm Moore.
    I was only there for approx 9 months as Portland Smelter had put a hold on current orders for over head cranes, I was transferred to Johns and Waygood to continue my trade.
    I remember in the Crane Shop foreman Leigh Sturrock and Paul Kelly was factory manager.
    Being there for only 9 months I vaguely remember some really tough guys but don’t remember their names.
    The canteen at the machine shop was also a great memory, plenty of nice food for a growing 17 year old.

  42. Jo Patman says

    Hi, I worked for MM I think about 1968 in the drafting office in Woodruff St. Can’t recall how long I was there, but my father (Charlie Hockley) worked there for many years in the conveyor section, he was a boiler maker and I’d been told that he was often used on specialised jobs because he had a high standard of work. I don’t know the truth of this but every time we passed the conveyor outside of Yallourn Power Station, Dad would say he made it. In those days the factory took up the whole block between Bertie & Bridge and back as far at least to Woodruff St.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Fascinating Jo. So many different roles to bring those great engineering jobs to completion. How did your father get to work? Was he local or from further away?

    • Reinhard Glatzel says

      Hi Jo, I worked in the drawing office around 1978 as a contract draftsman for around 18 months. They moved me around quite a bit .They used me whenever there was someone needed. The only people I can remember are Rex and John.
      Rex was quite involved with horse racing .

  43. Howard Gault says

    My name is Howard Gault , mentioned in previous posts.
    Sending this to see if it goes through and if so, can add to the memories.

  44. Howard Gault says

    Recently reading up on the history of International Harvester in Australia which was where I started work in 1954 in South Melbourne.
    This set me on a train to read up on Moore Hydraulcs who were a supplier to IHC and was really surprised to see my name mentioned by Lorraine and Julie.About 1965 I was recruited by Ken Dobson, Hydraulics Manager, to start up their Spare Parts Dept. This was the start of a very enjoyable period of my life until the takeover by David Haines and his Portland House group in the mid 70,s.
    They were an investment company that specialized in taking over ailing companies,breaking them up and selling off the assets.
    Moores were well respected in the industry but to be fair had probably declined a bit by that time. Having said that, it was still a great place to work with the annual picnics and christmas parties being highlights.
    Massey Ferguson were easily Hydraulics biggest customers but they dealt with a diverse range of people, I remember the Service Dept being involved in ships hydraulics.
    The Hydraulics building in Bertie St was the most modern building in the Moore group, a really good looking office building.Our Spares counter was a little hole in the was in the factory area but we painted it out and installed metal racks and shelving and instituted stock control and ordering procedures which were quite novel and strange to a lot of people used to being equipment suppliers only and letting spares fly by the seat of its pants, it was all very exciting.
    All of the names mentioned in the 60,s and 70,s are familiar to me so won,t list them all again, however some that I worked closely with were Bob McLaren office manager,Mike Walker sales manager, Bill Knowles was the sales engineer who looked after Massey Ferg before becoming Service and Spares manager (eventually
    my boss),Frank Caulfield and Bill Flynn were good mates as was Graeme Fletcher, a young Viet vet who went on to much bigger and better things. There are too many to list here but all were good people.
    The takeover happened overnight on the stock exchange and came as a shock. All the most senior people were dispensed with immediately and over the following weeks it was sad to watch the parade of people getting sacked after years and years of service.I didn,t get fired but Hydraulics as a seperate entity died off and I finished up picking parts for orders over at MRM. I can still visualise our impressive office building full of desks, drawing boards and equipment waiting to be sold.
    I waited it out until another opportunity presented itself and left about 1976 to take up a position with Uncle Toby,s
    I am now 81 years old andI could go on for pages but it has been fun remembering
    those days and good people, very nostalgic about the Borough period in my life

  45. Bruce Lewis says

    I left the RAN in January 1975 and joined Malcolm Moore the day after I became a civilian.
    I had been trained as a hydraulic/electrical tradesman and the position of Service Technician was a newly created identity. I worked as an onsite trouble shooter a a very broad range of industrial equipment.
    My boss was Bill Knowles and after approx 2 years he retired and I became Service Manager.
    When David Haynes acquired the company it became a very interesting place to work but as he began to sell it off, Graham Lee, who was the Hydraulic Sales Manager, and I decided to start a new company, Oilways P/L, which we operated for a number of years.
    I left Oilways in about 1973 and after a short while I moved to Orbost and was involved with the operation, design and maintenance of a large sawmill.
    Returned to Melbourne in 1999 and spent a few years in the hydraulic industry at Berendsen.
    Started up Fluidforce P/L in 2007 with a few other guys and remained there until I retired to Hobart in 2013.
    Just a little more history Eh?.

    • Janet Bolitho says

      That’s very interesting Bruce. Could you say more about what kinds of equipment you worked on as a service engineer?
      We’re always keen to learn more about the operations at Malcolm Moore.

  46. Bruce Lewis says

    The work varied and that made it interesting.

    Hydraulic Presses, large 200 Tonne, and small, maybe 2 to 5 tonne.
    It was interesting because of my navy training in electrics and hydraulics which enabled me to identify problems that effected to correct operation of the gear.
    Did a lot of work at Vulcan Heaters in Burwood and also Goodyear Belting.

    I was involved with the Spirit of Tasmania which had a bit of a tricky hydraulic steering system. Went to investigate a problem one morning and ended up doing 4 nights cruising Bass Strait to satisfy the crew that all was back to normal.

    Designed, built installed and maintained a fair amount of sawmilling equipment. It was that which got me involved with Smith Bros. in Orbost where we went from green timber milling to kiln drying and machining of high quality timber.

    There was an amount of Agricultural Equipment but the work was mainly Industrial.

    • Howard Gault says

      G,day Bruce, interested to see that you took over from Bill Knowles, he was a good bloke and easy to work with.
      I went to his funeral at Eltham, can,t be precise but it would have been at a dozen years ago. Sadly his son Warren passed away at a young age not long after him.
      I recall when you worked on the Spirit with your tall Navy mate (David?)
      You mentioned teaming up with Graham Lee in your own business which nudged my memory of Graham Fletcher who also went on to bigger and better things.
      He contacted me last year after seeing a newspaper article about my 60th wedding anniversary.
      You have obviously had an interesting life, good to relive some memories of so long ago.
      Regards. Howard

  47. John Coldwell says

    Hello Folks. My grandfather on my mothers side was an engineer and i beleive a director of the company for many years through the 1920s 30s and 40s. His name was Albert Longoni. Apparenty a very clever engineer and very hard worker for the company. H was based in Melbourne. Unfortunatley he died in the early 50s from cancer. (everyone smoked in those days) . Not sure if any of you would heard of him as was well before your time. I believe that he was responsible for a lot of the success of the company in those early years. From the accounts of have read above it was a great place to work, I have found a lot of information regarding my grandfather using TROVE.
    Cheers
    John Coldwell

  48. Peter Amery says

    Hi all. I’ve just been talking to my father, Alf Amery about this site. Nice to see he is mentioned in some comments. My fond memory as a child was going to the Christmas parties. I can still remember walking excitedly through the factory, with the large machinery and that oily smell . Regards, Peter Amery

    • Janet Bolitho says

      Hi Peter
      Best wishes to your father Alf. It would be excellent if you could find out more from him about the actual work he did, what role he played, which machinery he worked on. Let us know.

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