by David Radcliffe
Around Port Melbourne there are streets, like Bain Street, that once existed but have since disappeared. There are many more streets whose name has been changed.
In April 1878, a cluster of intersecting streets in the south-western corner of the rapidly expanding Sandridge were gazetted as shown below.1 One of these was Bismarck Street.
Note the self-referential nature of…
Port Melbourne's beacons, also known as the leading lights, define the centre line of the Port Melbourne Channel. The light was visible for 14 nautical miles. Until superseded by more recent technology, the beacons guided vessels safely to the piers.
In 1923 once the new Railway Pier, later Princes Pier, was fully operational, the Melbourne Harbor Trust wrote to…
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…
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…
Damage at Port Melbourne
Aroused by a neighbour, who was on his way to work at an early hour yesterday morning, Mr M Rabinov, a pawnbroker of Bay Street, Port Melbourne, found that his back garden had been completely wrecked. There was a large gap in a wooden fence which separates the garden from a vacant allotment…
Win May (nee Smith) and Janet Bolitho worked together on this interview during lockdown in August 2021.
Where did you grow up?
My parents moved into our house in Griffin Crescent when it was brand new.
My mother, Mary, worked at Swallows before marrying.
My father, Alex, was a waterside worker who worked in gang 48 as a winch driver. He would walk…
by David Radcliffe
In the 1890s, the name ‘lagoon reserve’ applied to any part of the strip of reclaimed land, bounded by Esplanade East and Esplanade West, extending from Bridge St to Rouse St. Formed by filling in the Sandridge Lagoon, it was also known as the ‘lagoon lands’. The recreational park we know today as Lagoon Reserve, between Liardet…
by David Radcliffe
Twenty-one year old Alfred Harman is reported to have started his engineering business in 1885.1 He proudly advertised his services as an “engineer, blacksmith and brass-founder” offering “engines and machinery of every description made to order and repaired at lowest possible rates”.2 His firm, the Port Melbourne Engineering Works, which later became Alfred T Harman & Sons…
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…
Swallow & Ariell viewed from Princes St 1987 PMHPS Collection
The National Trust has argued that the smell of Vegemite, produced at Fishermans Bend, warrants recognition as part of the heritage of the place. This has prompted a post on how many Port stories are associated with smells.
The fetid Sandridge Lagoon gave rise to virtually a whole vocabulary of smells…