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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Christmas Cards

As the ubiquitous adoption of electronic mail and text messages on smart devices has become the norm for our daily communications the practice of exchanging Christmas cards has declined enormously. It doesn't seem that long ago that mantlepieces, sideboards, desks and even office windows were crowded with festive cards. People sent cards to their friends and family, businesses to their important…

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Barkly Avenue

Surely such a grandly named boulevard would be one of the more prominent streets in Port Melbourne. Nothing could be further from the truth. Barkly Avenue is a short laneway off Garton Street, tucked in behind Crockford Street. It is named in honour of Sir Henry Barkly who was Governor of Victoria when the Borough of Sandridge gained separation from…

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Smith Street and Smith Reserve

Two streets, one in Port and one in South Melbourne, as well as a section of Port Melbourne's Railway Reserves, are named after Thomas Smith. This rare distinction reflects Smith's 'lengthy and irreproachable'1 service as Councillor and Mayor, first in South Melbourne and later in Port Melbourne. He also represented Emerald Hill in the Legislative Assembly. Smith Reserve, Rose Postcards, State Library…

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Mount Mulligan Appeal

The Cairns Post newspaper of Tuesday 20 September 1921 carried the first reports of a terrible disaster in the remote mining township of Mount Mulligan, 1,797 km north west of Brisbane. Reports at that early stage were vague and at times contradictory but it was clear that around 9am the previous day an explosion had occurred at the Mount Mulligan…

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GMH Social Centre

Former GMH Social Centre. Photograph by David Thompson. The former General Motors-Holden Social Centre is tucked away off Salmon Street. Constructed in 1945 by Richmond builder, E A Watts Ltd, the building hosted concerts, balls and all manner of GMH employee functions but, primarily, was their canteen. Typical fare in the mid-1990s included French Onion soup (70c), Beef Stroganoff ($3.50) and…

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The Mystery of Dubbeldan’s Lane

Research by David Radcliffe and David Thompson In July 2021, Allan Marshall posted a photograph of Doubledan's Lane, Port Melbourne from Building and Real Estate magazine, February 1916 (above) on the Born and Bred in Port Melbourne Facebook page stating that he had checked period maps but couldn’t find any mention of the location.   Allan posts old photographs of Port on…

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WWII Hospital Ship – MS Oranje

Hospital ship, MS Oranje, at Port Melbourne, 1940s. Photograph by Roy Liebig. PMHPS Collection. This story was sparked by a couple of images in the PMHPS Collection taken by Roy Liebig in the 1940s. Both images appear later in this story so more on those later. MS Oranje, 1940s. Photo by Roy Liebig. PMHPS Collection. The MS Oranje started life in the…

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A Young Girl’s Interests

Duke and Duchess of York outside Port Melbourne Town Hall, 11 May 1927. PMHPS Collection In 1927 the Duke and Duchess of York (future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother) visited Australia for the official opening of Parliament House in Canberra. After the ceremonies, the royal couple returned to Victoria by train alighting at Montague so…

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A Corner Shop

In the days before supermarkets and large shopping centres the people of Port Melbourne and other inner suburbs shopped every day at small local shops located cheek by jowl amongst their own houses. One such shop was located on the corner of Esplanade East and Spring Street East. PMHPS has a digital copy of a photograph album compiled…

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