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

Bismarck Street

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…

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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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Working at Tom Piper

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…

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Alfred Harman & Sons: Engineers of Derham Street

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…

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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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Smells

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…

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