The Carlton Community History Group (CCHG) was established by a committed group of people interested in the history of Carlton, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia. CCHG was incorporated in 2007 and launched at the Carlton Library in 2008.
We invite you to explore this website, find out more about us, read our newsletter, share your recollections and participate in our meetings and activities.
Have you seen our latest publication? Carlton Voices is an edited and illustrated collection of stories which reflect the immense diversity of our local history. It consists of researched articles as well as reports of interviews with people from a wide range of ages and ethnic backgrounds. Each "voice" describes its own Carlton in colourful detail. A Chinese family whose patriarch arrived here in 1855 experienced decades of discrimination which continued into World War 2. A woman who lives next door to the house where she was born almost 95 years ago remembers tearing up newspaper to use in the lavatory in the days when toilet paper was a luxury. The heyday of Italian Carlton is recalled by the children of the charismatic founder of the Australian Festival of Italian song.
Available for $15 (plus postage if applicable) from the Carlton Library and Alice's Bookshop in Rathdowne Street, North Carlton, and by mail order from CCHG. Visit the publications page for more information.
Judith Biddington (left) receiving her Award of Merit from Richard Broome
On Tuesday 21 May 2019 Dr Judith Biddington, founder and inaugural president of the Carlton Community History Group (CCHG), was presented with of an Award of Merit by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria for "meritorious service" to a historical society. Thirteen years ago, Judith identified the need for a local community history group in Carlton and set about to achieve this goal. She placed a notice in the Carlton Library and this lead to the established a pattern of monthly meetings with presentations by people with some light to shed on the experience of growing up and living and working in Carlton. Within a year the Carlton Community History Group was meeting regularly, became incorporated, and achieved affiliation to the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.
From the start her approach has been to engage with local people directly, including shopkeepers, teachers, potential speakers for meetings, long term residents, representatives of organisations like churches and our local mosque, gathering history on the ground, and most importantly, involving and enthusing people. Along with several other hard working and dedicated members, Judith began recording a series of interviews with present and former Carlton residents. These oral histories are now to be digitised and made more accessible. She also began a series of special events and regular publications produced by the CCHG, commencing with her own booklet "Some Women of Davis Street : 1891 and 2008". Judith edited Des Norman's book "Through the eyes of a child : A street in Carlton 1939-45 and contributed a chapter to CCHG's latest publication "Carlton Voices", launched in October 2018.
Judith has also written several articles and book reviews for the CCHG website and these reflect her eclectic range of interests.
The Bassos of North Carlton : A Love Story and a Full Life
Betty Burstall 1926-2013
Carlton Footballers Who Fought and Died in the Wars
A Russian Visitor : Aleksandr Leonidovich Yashchenko
The Trades Hall : Part of our History
Vale Des Norman 1930-2015
Women and War : Two Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 4 June Time: 7.30 pm Location: First Floor Meeting Room
667 Rathdowne Street
North Carlton Vic 3054
The full schedule of meetings is available on the meetings page.
CCHG will be conducting historic walks of Carlton and Melbourne General Cemetery during Seniors Week in October 2019. Dates and booking details will be posted on this website closer to the time.
Larrikin Gangs in Carlton
From the 1860s through to the early decades of the 20th century, the streets of Melbourne and its nearby suburbs were plagued by gangs of young men known as 'larrikins'. Their behaviour ranged from irreverent pranks to obscene language, larceny, hurling stones, brawling, drunkenness and assault. 'Pushes', the larrikin word for gangs, were endemic in town and in the nearby suburbs including Carlton.
In our latest newsletter, CCHG takes a look at larrikinism, how the term "larrikin" originated, what larrikins wore and where they hung out in Carlton.
Mr Liefman's Breakfast
Breakfast, we are often told, is the most important meal of the day and Coleman Liefman enjoyed his morning repast. Mr Liefman had a drapery business at 22-28 Madeline Street (now 462-466 Swanston Street) Carlton and he lived upstairs in the two-storey building that still bears his name. One morning in 1918, his breakfast was interrupted by a cacophony of noise issuing from the engineering works of Edward Campbell and Son Pty Ltd in Victoria Street. The noise continued, on and off, for the rest of the day and was having an adverse effect on both Mr Liefman's appetite and the conduct of his business. In June 1918 he took civil action in the Banco Court, claiming £100 in damages.
SUBURBAN DRAPER LOSES BREAKFAST THROUGH NOISE
ASKS INJUNCTION AND £100
Noise, constant and irritating, sufficient to make him leave his breakfast unfinished, was the complaint of Coleman Liefman, draper, of 22-28 Madeline street, Carlton, in a civil action before Mr Justice Hodges in the Banco Court today. Liefman claimed from Edward Campbell and Son Pty. Ltd., 106 Victoria street, Carlton, £100, being the amount of damages to himself and property due to the noise created in the engineering works of the firm. He also asked for an injunction to restrain the engineering firm from continuance and repetition of the offence. Mr J. R. Macfarlane, instructed by Messrs Fink, Best and Miller, appeared for Liefman, and Mr J. G. Dethridge, instructed by Mr W. S. Cook, for Campbell and Son Pty. Ltd. In the course of his evidence Liefman said he had spoken to the Campbells, senior and junior, about "the terrible noise." The hammering "nearly cut his ear." "I can hear it in my dining-room, my drawing-room, and the other rooms. I can't bear it," he insisted. "It is easiest in the drawing-room, and in the breakfast-room it is worst. I have gone down to breakfast in the morning, and that terrible noise is so bad that I have to leave my breakfast alone, and do not want to bother about anything."
Mr Dethridge: Did it really interfere with your appetite for breakfast? — Many times.
Did you ever lose your breakfast in consequence? — Yes, I have left it and started for the office.
"Why not breakfast in the dining-room? — It's not much better."
The case is proceeding.
The Herald, 10 June 1918, p. 8
Justice Hodges took the unusual step of visiting the premises of both Edward Campbell and Son Pty Ltd and Coleman Liefman to hear the noise for himself. He agreed, with some reluctance, that Mr Liefman's claims were justified. He awarded £5 in damages, with costs, and issued an injunction restraining the company from using a pneumatic riveter and a steam hammer in such a way as to be a nuisance or to cause injury to Liefman or his premises.
To find out more about Coleman Liefman and the noise dispute with his neighbour, go to the Carlton in the News page.
Nurse Basser's Hospital
Ellen Forehan sat, pen poised, and contemplated the document placed before her. Her husband Jeremiah had died a few weeks ago, on 29 November 1890, and in his will he appointed her executrix of his estate. She was now to sign an affidavit that would grant her probate of her husband’s estate, valued at £1,231, 16 shillings and one penny. An official of the Supreme Court of Victoria had read and explained the document to her, and he believed that she had fully understood the content. In his presence, Ellen made her "X" mark on the affidavit. Ellen Forehan, the woman who could not sign her own name, later went on to become matron of Rosedale House private hospital in Carlton
Read Nurse Basser's story.
The Flight of the Rosella
The iconic Australian brand name Rosella is traditionally associated with the Melbourne suburb of Richmond and the former factory site in Balmain Street, where the company's jams, sauces and preserves were manufactured until the 1980s. It may come as a surprise that Rosella had its origins in North Carlton, a decade before the Richmond factory was established in 1905. Rosella's founders Horatio McCracken, a commission agent, and Thomas Press, a grocer, began making jam as a backyard business in the 1890s. In July 1895, they registered the Rosella Preserving Company trade mark, with the familiar horseshoe shape and rosella bird image. The address of 266 Station Street, North Carlton, was originally a brick blacking factory built by James Dunster in 1880 or 1881. The factory was on a double block, measuring 36 x 100 feet, and was owned by the Royal Insurance Company from 1893 to 1898. In November 1895, the Rosella Preserving Company Limited was registered, with an office address of 134 and 136 Flinders Street, Melbourne. According to rate book records, McCracken and Press occupied the North Carlton factory site in 1896. The following year, in November 1897, the Rosella Preserving Company moved to Errol Street, North Melbourne, in premises previously occupied by King, King & Co. The next major stage of development occurred in 1905, when Rosella moved into purpose-built premises in Richmond in 1905. 1,2,3,4,5,6
Image Source: Victoria Government Gazette, 12 July 1895, p. 2650
There are several theories of how the brand name Rosella came about. The official version, from Rosella's published history, is that a flock of rosellas flew over while McCracken and Press were making jam in their backyard in Carlton. This explanation has merit as the rosella bird image appears on the trade mark, but why would McCracken and Press, neither of whom lived in Carlton, be making jam in the backyard when they had access to the factory? Another explanation is that Rosella is a compound word of "Rose" and "Ella", the names of the daughters of McCracken and Press. This family connection is unproven and no evidence of daughters with these names has been found in Victorian birth records. In any case, the female name "Rosella" was already in use in Victorian times. The third explanation is that McCracken and Press first made jam from rosella berries. The rosella plant, known by the botanical name Hibiscus sabdariffa, is a relative of the ornamental hibiscus. The flowers are attractive, though not as spectacular as the ornamental variety, and jam can be made from the outer part known as the calyx. But were rosellas available, in commercial quantities, in Melbourne in the 1890s? 7,8
Regardless of the origin of the brand name Rosella, the factory in Station Street played a small, but significant, role in the birth of an Australian icon. Following the departure of Messrs McCracken and Press and their jam making equipment, the factory served a completely difference purpose as a rabbit processing facility. Towards the end of 1898 Stephen Bishop, who lived next door at 264 Station Street, bought the factory and subdivided the land into two house blocks. He built two cottages, numbered 266 and 268 Station Street, on the site in 1899. 9,10,11
The Rosella brand was sold to Lever & Kitchen (later Unilever) in 1963, but has since been returned to Australian ownership. An updated version of the rosella image appears on the company's logo.12
Notes and References:
1 The Rosella story 1895-1963 : major events in the life of Rosella taken from early company records and the recollections of employees, 1977.
2 Victoria Government Gazette, 12 July 1895, p. 2650
3 Victoria Government Gazette, 22 November 1895, p. 3962
4 Victoria Government Gazette, 29 November 1895, p. 3999
5 Building ownership and occupancy information has been sourced from Melbourne City Council rate books and land title records.
6 North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser, 19 November 1897, p. 3
8 A description of the rosella plant and a recipe for making jam appears at: https://www.selfsufficientme.com/fruit-vegetables/how-to-grow-rosella-make-it-into-jam
9 Sands & McDougall, 1897
10 Certificate of title vol. 1087, fol. 292
11 Australian Architectural Index
For information on building and place names in Carlton, go to the Names page.
Corner of Amess and Richardson Streets, North Carlton
Note: MMBW detail plans are available online at the State Library of Victoria's website.
In the days before the advent of electricity, the streets of Carlton were illuminated with gas lighting. There were gas lamps on many street corners and several examples still remain, as truncated lamp post bases. The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) detail plans, drawn up in the late 19th and early 20th century, include codes showing the location of gas lamps (G.L.) and electric light posts (E.L.P.). The two methods of illumination co-existed for a time, but electric lighting eventually took over and the gas lamps were decommissioned. The upper portions of the lamp posts were removed, leaving the decorative bases.
There are gas lamp bases at the following locations:
- Corner of Canning and Fenwick Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Canning and O'Grady Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Nicholson and Pigdon Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Amess and Richardson Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Lygon Street and Argyle Place, Carlton ;
- Corner of Swanston and Pelham Streets, Carlton.
Corner of Nicholson and Pigdon Streets, North Carlton
The lamp post was made by "D. Niven and Co., Iron Founders, Collingwood"
Another Business Closes in Rathdowne Street
The Feathered Arbour
430 Rathdowne Street, North Carlton
The Feathered Arbour has closed in February 2019, with the expiry of the lease at its business premises. The building at 430 Rathdowne Street, North Carlton, home to the Feathered Arbour for the past six years, was once owned by motor mechanic Martin Shelley, who also operated his business at 420 and 520-522 Rathdowne Street.
The End of an Era for Community Health in Carlton
622 and 624 Lygon Street, North Carlton
Former Home of Carlton Community Health Centre
The Carlton Community Health Centre closed in November 2018, bringing to an end 39 years of community service. The centre first opened its doors on 1 October 1979 in a pair of terrace houses at 622 and 624 Lygon Street, North Carlton, near Princes Street. During the intervening years, the health centre has seen changes in the demography of its client base and the delivery of services, within the broader context of administrative, political and social changes. North Carlton was originally part of the City of Melbourne, but the reorganisation of municipal boundaries in the 1990s saw the service transferred to City of Yarra. The Carlton, Collingwood and Fitzroy Community Centres amalgamated as North Yarra Community Health (NYCH) in 1994.
As with many enforced amalgamations, the three centres did not always work together in harmony, and Carlton had its own problems with administration and internal politics. Missionaries, Radicals, Feminists, written by Hamish Townsend and published in 2012, gives a lively account of North Yarra Community Health's sometimes turbulent history. The book is available at Carlton, Collingwood and Fitzroy libraries. You can also view an e-copy at:
Our Daily Bread
Image: Courtesy of Owens Family
Bread delivery carts outside Owens & Dixon Bakery in Victoria Street, Carlton.
Dale bread was baked on the premises in 1929.
Have you ever wondered what went into a loaf of bread in the good old days before food labelling? In the 19th century, bakers had a list of permitted ingredients to choose from, as defined by the Bakers and Millers Statute of 1865.1
"All bread made for sale or sold or exposed for sale within Victoria shall be made of pure and sound flour or meal of wheat, barley, rye, oats, buckwheat, Indian corn, peas, beans, rice, or potatoes or any of them and with any common salt, pure water, eggs, milk, barm leaven, potato or other yeast and mixed in such proportions as may be thought fit, and with no other ingredient or matter whatsoever."
But not all bread was as wholesome as prescribed by the Statute. The aluminium compound "alum" was sometimes added to bread flour as a bleaching and bulking agent. The practice was illegal in Victoria and in 1871 five Carlton bakers were fined for selling bread adulterated with alum. Those fined accounted for about one third of the bakers operating in Carlton at the time.2
In 1891 Curt Frederick Reinhold Urban, a Prussian migrant baker of 352 Drummond Street, Carlton, applied for registration of a patent for "An improved manufacture of malted bread".3
LATEST NEWS in the BREAD Line.
No more Complaints of Indigestion after Eating
URBAN'S PATENTED MALTED BREAD:
What causes the indigestibility of bread is the starchy matter therein. By using malt-or better Diastase of Malt-this starchy matter is changed into a substance which saves our stomach a lot of hard work by rendering it easily digestible for those suffering from an impaired digestion. The process adopted in the manufacture of this Malted Bread answers to perfection, as following analysts shows :"The analysis of Urban's Malted Bread is as follows :-Water, 29.70; fat, 0.70; carbohydrates and gluten, 68.08; ash, consisting of phosphate of lime, magnesia and salt 1.52-100.00. C. R. Blackett, Government Analyst." Keeping a week. Delivered daily. Critiques sent on application. Sole manufacturer and patentee, C. Urban, 352 Drummond St., Carlton.
At the time, the link between the protein gluten and coeliac disease was yet to be discovered, and the starch component of bread was thought to cause digestive problems. People on gluten free or lo-carb diets would be horrified to know that Urban's malted bread contained 68.08% carbohydrates and gluten.
During the depression years many families were struggling to feed their children and in 1929 Dr John Dale, Medical Health Officer for the City of Melbourne, devised a bread recipe to ensure adequate nutrition for school lunches. The so-called "Dale bread" was baked by Owens & Dixon of Victoria Street, Carlton, and distributed locally and to regional areas in Victoria and southern New South Wales. The key ingredients were skim milk powder and wholemeal flour, in the proportions of 3½ ounces (approximately 99 grams) of milk powder to a pound (approximately 454 grams) of flour. Otto Henry Tuck, of the Universal Bakery in Grattan Street, Carlton, came up with a new version of starch reduced bread in 1936.4,5
BAKER AND PASTRYCOOK MANUFACTURER OF
The Famous NEW ERA Starch Reduced Bread
Highly nutritious, perfect in flavor, easily digested. New Era Bread is a fine source of energy and vitality.
It is one of the best and most economical foods that money can buy.
O.H. TUCK, UNIVERSAL BAKERY
20-26 Grattan Street, Carlton.
Unexpected additives sometimes found their way into a loaf of bread. In 1945, Otto Henry Tuck was charged with selling unwholesome bread that was infested with weevils. The whole consignment was withdrawn from sale and the weevil infestation was traced back to a flour sifting machine, and unhygienic conditions in the bakery. A few years later in 1951, a flour bag label was found inside a half-loaf of bread from Powers Bakery in Rathdowne Street, North Carlton. The cardboard label had somehow survived the baking process and was discovered by a customer when she sliced the loaf.6,7
Notes and References:
1 Victoria. Bakers and Millers Statute (No. CCXLIII of 1865, Section 3)
2 Weekly Times, 7 October 1871, p. 12
3 Oakleigh Leader, 12 December 1891, p. 5
4 The Herald, 16 July 1929, p. 4
5 The Herald, 4 November 1936, p. 39
6 The Herald, 13 November 1945, p. 8
7 The Herald, 19 February 1951, p. 5
For more information on bakeries in Carlton, read our November 2018 newsletter.
Farewell to Mangala
Image: Courtesy of Mangiamele Family
Dorotea Mangiamele at Mangala
The atmosphere at the recent annual production by the Mangala Studios of Yoga and Creative Dance was reassuringly familiar. The theatre was packed with family supporters looking forward to another evening of quirky entertainment. Paper lanterns were laid out in the foyer for the usual just-after-dark walk through adjacent parkland. Peter Hockey was at the microphone, ready to narrate the storyline which would draw together the dances of a wide range of age groups. The youngest dancers were still at that age where they couldn't resist the temptation to rush to the edge of the stage and peer into the audience, looking for their parents so that they could wave to them. The oldest performers, some of them 19 or 20, took an altogether cooler approach, as one would expect of veterans of, in some cases, ten such productions. But the familiarity fell away when the performance finished and Peter announced that it had been the 37th - and the last. After almost 50 years at the corner of Grattan and Lygon Streets, Mangala is leaving Carlton and restructuring. Parking and traffic problems are part of the reason. Sadly, this move comes at the same time as the loss of another local institution, the Lygon Food Store, just a few minutes away.
The success of this dance studio over so many years with students of all ages can be ascribed to its very relaxed approach. Yoga forms an integral part of the program for older students and the emphasis is on individual responses to music, not on the learning of rigid routines. No pointe shoes here! Everyone dances bare-footed. Today the studio is run by Peter and Sue Hockey and Claudia Mangiamele. Peter also offers tuition in Tai Chi. The women, now in their sixties, are daughters of Dorotea Mangiamele, who founded the school in 1970, and have been involved with it since they were teenagers. They have another important link to Carlton. Their father was Giorgio Mangiamele, a popular family photographer for Italian families in the 1960s and 1970s, but more importantly director of a number of ground-breaking films dealing with the experience of Italian migrants. The best known of these, Clay, was chosen to compete at the Cannes film festival in 1965.
Related Item: The Side Window
Vale Frank Del Monaco
20 June 1943 – 2 September 2018
Image: Courtesy of Del Monaco Family
The Del Monaco name is one long associated with the family clothing business begun in 1938, on the corner of Faraday and Lygon Streets, Carlton. The family name features, for instance, in the book Carlton: A History (ed. P. Yule), where the family also played a role in the establishment of the iconic La Mama Theatre, set up in the building behind the Del Monaco shop.
Frank worked for many years in the family business, and was heavily involved in local business and Italian community activities, remaining passionate about the history of Lygon Street, even after the end of the family business. He was a regular at CCHG meetings from its beginnings in 2006-07, until distance and poor health restricted him to occasional telephone contact with various members on topics that still engaged him.
He was devoted to his family, with his four brothers, and five chidren surviving him, having lost one son earlier.
Little but Fierce
Shakespeare Street Mural
Have you see the new mural facing the mini park in Shakespeare Street, North Carlton? The text "Little but Fierce" is taken from William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream and was suggested by a local resident. The full wording is: "And though she be but little, she is fierce". That Shakespeare Street is "little" there is no doubt. The street is narrow and runs for one block only, between Drummond and Lygon Streets. For the "fierce" side of Shakespeare Street, we need to look back in history.
Shakespeare Street was the scene of at least two shooting incidents, one fatal, in 1922 and 1944. The street was identified as a "slum pocket" by the Housing Investigation and Slum Abolition Board in 1936-37. The people of Shakespeare Street had a battle on their hands in the 1950s and 1960s, when the Housing Commission of Victoria condemned five cottages on the south side (nos. 7 to 15 inclusive) as unfit for human habitation. The cottages were demolished in January 1970, leaving a vacant space ready for development. Without doubt, the fiercest battle fought in Shakespeare Street was in the 1970s, against the inappropriate building of a block of cluster flats on the south side of the street. Residents and other concerned citizens took action, at their own expense, by cleaning up the vacant site and creating a mini park for the benefit and enjoyment of the community. They bravely put their money where their mouth was, so to speak, and entered into an agreement with the City of Melbourne to buy the land. Decades later, the mini park and its new mural remain a tribute to the power of community action.
More information on Shakespeare Street
Shooting in Shakespeare Street
The Penny Dreadful
The Munster Arms
Princes Street is the dividing line between Carlton and North Carlton, and a major thoroughfare for east-west traffic. When the lights turn red at the Canning Street intersection, few travellers could fail to notice the distinctive Edwardian building on the south west corner. The Dan O'Connell Hotel is a Carlton institution and perhaps best known for its St Patrick's Day celebrations. The present hotel building is over 100 years old and was designed by Smith & Ogg and built by C.F. Pittard in 1912. It was named after Irish political leader Daniel O'Connell (1775–1847), but the Irish connection goes back even further, to a earlier hotel on the same site.1
The Munster Arms Hotel, named after the province of Munster in the south of Ireland, was first licensed to Margaret McCrohan in 1875. Her application of 8 June was initially opposed, and the close proximity of two other hotels - the Pioneer hotel and United States Hotel - may have been a contributory factor. The application was postponed for 14 days and the licence was granted on 22 June 1875. The original building was described as a small brick hotel, with nine rooms, a bar and a cellar. Mrs McCrohan and her husband Eugene ran the hotel until 1881, when the licence was transferred to George Henry (Harry) Wallace.2,3,4
Wallace held the licence for about a year only, and ran into trouble when removing an unruly patron from his hotel in October 1881. He took legal action against Daniel Dorian (Dorien) for assault, but this case was dismissed by the City Bench. A few months later on 27 February 1882, Dorian, a bricklayer, sought the sum of £300, as damages for an assault and battery, and malicious prosecution. The civil case was heard in the Supreme Court before a judge and jury. The presentation of evidence from both parties took the greater part of the day and the judge commented that the case could have been dealt with in a lower court. After a short deliberation by the jury, Dorian, the plaintiff, was awarded £5, considerably less then the desired amount.5
By the end of the month, George Henry Wallace had transferred his licence to Annie McCanny. Mrs McCanny, former licensee of the Kensington Hotel, did not have the capital to finance her new hotel business and she entered into an arrangement, to the value of £396, with the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited. Such financial arrangements were common in the nineteenth century and enabled persons of limited financial means to go into business. The brewing company acted as a de facto bank and the hotel was "tied" to the company and required to sell its beer. The bill of sale between Annie McCanny and the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited, dated 30 March 1882, includes a detailed room-by-room inventory of the hotel contents, and this gives a fascinating snapshot of the hotel in the 1880s.6
On 24 September 1882, Annie McCanny, her niece Mary Ann Cunningham and her friend Elizabeth Vernor had a frightening experience, when four drunken men forced their way into the hotel after closing time. The men went on a rampage, chasing young Mary Ann, throwing a decanter at Elizabeth, breaking a window, smashing glasses and damaging fittings. When Thomas Henderson (alias Pangburn), James Gawthorn, Thomas Whelan and John Robinson appeared in the City Court to answer the charges, they pleaded drunkenness as an excuse, and offered to make good the damage. The magistrate, Mr Panton, took a hard line and denied drunkenness as an excuse for ruffian behaviour, and he fined the men accordingly.7
Annie McCanny died intestate on 17 June 1883, aged 33 years, and she left two young sons, James and Henry. Their father, Thomas McCanny, could not be located and there was an outstanding protection order against him for domestic violence. (Ironically, the protection order enabled Annie to obtain the hotel licence because, at the time, there were restrictions on granting licences to married women.) The Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited took possession of the hotel, as was their right, and the "two intelligent looking" boys appeared in the City Court charged with being neglected children. The magistrate, Mr Panton, was sympathetic to their plight, but Annie's estate, valued at £405, 8 shillings and 6 pence, was tied to the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited and there was no financial provision for her children. The boys were sent to St Augustine's orphanage in Geelong, and the Victoria Police Gazette later reported that the younger brother, Henry, had absconded in 1891.8,9,10
It could be said that the Munster Arms Hotel died with Annie McCanny. Once the administrative arrangements of Annie's estate were sorted out, the hotel was taken over in August 1883 by Mary Buggy, who paid £100 for the licence. It was during her time as licensee that the Munster Arms became the Dan O'Connell, with the new name first appearing in the Licensing Register in December 1883. The Dan O'Connell continues to trade in the 21st century and remains the only surviving licensed hotel south of Princes Street, between Nicholson Street and Rathdowne Street. This area of Carlton was once populated with a number of hotels, all of which have been delicensed, though some former hotel buildings still remain. The Dan O'Connell's immediate neighbours, the Pioneer Hotel and the United States Hotel, were delicensed in 1907 and 1925 respectively.11
Notes and References:
1 Building information has been sourced from the Australian Architectural Index and Melbourne City Council Rate Books
2 Hotel licensing information has been sourced from the Licensing Register (VPRS 7601) and Index to Defunct Hotel Licences (VPRS 8159)
3 The United States Hotel was on the corner of Canning and Neill Streets, Carlton. It is now the Princes Hill Gallery.
4 The Pioneer Hotel was on the corner of Station and Neill Streets, Carlton. The building no longer exists.
5 The Argus, 2 March 1882, p. 5
6 Conditional Bill of Sale 60205, Mrs McCanny to the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited, 30th March 1882 (VPRS 8350)
7 The Argus, 30 September 1882, p. 12
8 Probate File of Annie McCanny, 25-885 (VPRS 28)
9 The Argus, 7 August 1883, p. 10
10 Victoria Police Gazette, 23 September 1891, p. 270
11 The Argus, 15 August 1883, p. 11.
For more stories of Carlton pubs, read our August 2017 newsletter.
A Girl in Trouble
In her recent book For a girl : a true story of secrets, motherhood and hope, writer Mary-Rose MacColl gives an account of the time she spent at a home for unmarried pregnant girls in Carlton in the 1970s. Mary-Rose became pregnant at 18 and she travelled interstate, from her home city of Brisbane, to have her baby and give it up for adoption. While community attitudes towards single mothers were changing at the time, there was still a social stigma attached to being "a girl in trouble". In the case of Mary-Rose, she had left home and lied about the married man who had made her pregnant, in order to protect his identity and reputation. She kept her secret for years and it was only after the birth of her second child, a son, that the long-suppressed memories surfaced and she was able to embark on her painful journey of reconciliation and recovery.1
Mary-Rose's home during her pregnancy was the St Joseph's Receiving Home at 101 Grattan Street, conveniently near the Royal Women's Hospital, and run by the Sisters of St Joseph. The Receiving Home was first established in Barkly Street, Carlton, in 1902 by Margaret Goldspink, a well known charity and welfare worker. Within a few years, the home moved to the larger premises in Grattan Street, an opulent two-storey house designed by W.S. Law and built for Louisa Langley in 1890. Mrs Langley, who also owned the adjacent aerated waters factory, was declared insolvent in 1905, forcing the sale of the house and factory site to pay her creditors. The Catholic Church purchased the property, measuring 56 feet by 132 feet, for £2,000 in late 1905 and Archbishop Carr invited the Sisters of St Joseph to take over management of the Receiving Home in 1906. During World War 1 the building was extended, at a cost of £4,000 (twice the original purchase price), with a new wing and chapel that was officially opened by Coadjuter-Archbishop Daniel Mannix in February 1915. The land on the eastern side, towards Lygon Street, was later acquired and the houses of Grattan Terrace (nos. 81 to 99) were demolished in 1960 to make way for a new accommodation wing. 2,3,4,5,6,7,8
For nearly 80 years, St Joseph's Receiving Home offered shelter to thousands of pregnant women and also provided short term residential care to children considered by the courts to be neglected or "at risk". The supporting mother's benefit was introduced by the Whitlam Government in 1973, when it was acknowledged that single mothers needed support, not condemnation, to keep their babies. Rates of adoption, which was once seen as a convenient solution to a social problem, have dropped off dramatically since the 1970s, while the birth rate of ex-nuptual babies has risen steadily during the same period. These babies are now more likely to be born and raised in the community than in institutions. The Receiving Home closed in 1985, when it was merged with St Joseph's Babies Home to form the new St Joseph's Babies' & Family Service in Glenroy. The 1960s accommodation wing was demolished in the 1990s and redeveloped as a retail and residential complex. The Royal Women's Hospital, where many of the Receiving Home residents had their babies, relocated to new premises in Flemington Road, Parkville, in 2008. 9,10,11,12
Image Source: The Advocate, 27 February 1915, p. 27
Architect A.A. Fritsch's drawing of St Joseph's Receiving Home extension, officially opened in February 1915.
The original 1890 building facade was replicated in the new wing, and a chapel was added on the western boundary.
The houses of the former Receiving Home are now numbered 103 and 105 Grattan Street, Carlton.
1 The Age Good Weekend, 22 April 2017, p. 22-24
2 Mackillop Family Services
3 Land ownership and occupancy information sourced from land title records and Melbourne City Council rate books
4 Australian Architectural Index
5 The Age, 13 May 1905, p. 12
6 The Advocate, 6 January 1906, p. 16
7 The Advocate, 27 February 1915, p. 27
8 Register of Demolitions, 1945-1975 (VPRS 17292)
9 Find & Connect : History & information about Australian orphanages, children's homes & other institutions
10 Births Australia (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3301.0)
11 Australian Social Trends (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4102.0)
12 Building Application Index (VPRS 11202)
Image: State Library of Victoria
Intercolonial Handball Match
Former Loughrea Hotel
75 Elgin Street Carlton
Side Wall of Former Handball Court
22 to 24 Macarthur Place Carlton
Notes and References:
1 Evening News, 3 December 1973, p. 2
2 The Age, 24 May 1869, p. 3
3 The Argus, 16 January 1874, p. 5
4 Advocate, 17 January 1874, p. 9
5 The Argus, 20 January 1874, p. 4
6 The Argus, 23 January 1874, p. 5
7 The Age, 28 January, p. 3
8 The Tasmanian, 7 February 1874, p. 11
9 Advocate, 18 December 1874, p. 15
10 The Argus, 1 March 1875, p. 5
11 The Age, 3 June 1882, p. 6
12 Australian Dictionary of Biography
13 Index to Defunct Hotel Licences (VPRS 8159)
14 Land title records
15 Building Application Index (Melbourne City Council)
In November 1873, Victoria issued a sporting challenge to New South Wales to play Australia's first intercolonial handball match. New South Wales accepted the challenge "for either money or honour" but, in the spirit of sportsmanship, they agreed to play for honour only. The New South Wales contingent favoured their home town of Sydney for the inaugral match during the Christmas holiday period. However, Victoria won the first round by declaring that Melbourne would be a popular sporting destination at that time, owing to the visit of the All England Eleven, and the New Year's racing. 1
For Honour or Money
With the city decided, a suitable playing venue had to be found. There was a handball court in King Street, Melbourne, but Carlton, just out of the city, offered an alternative venue. The Carlton handball court, at the rear of the Loughrea (Lough Rea) Hotel in Elgin Street and backing onto Macarthur Place, was built by publicans Peter Taylor and John Curtain. The court was opened officially in May 1869 and was well patronised for both handball and racquet games. As publican of the Loughrea Hotel, Mr Taylor was able to provide a ready supply of drinks to slake the thirst of players and spectators alike. He was also credited with fostering the sport of handball, introduced into Australia by Irish immigrants in the nineteenth century. 2
The first day of play took place on Thursday 15 January 1874 and was attended by a crowd of 250 enthusiastic spectators. Hot weather conditions were trying for both players and spectators and The Argus commented: "The game is essentially a manly one, and no one with flaccid muscles or short wind can by any possibility ever hope to shine at it." Over the next three hours, the crowd was treated to a series of nine double-handed games, contested by brothers John and James Doyle for Victoria and Messrs. Dillon and Thompson for New South Wales. New South Wales was declared the winner in five out of the nine games, but it was noted that the Victorian players scored 141 points, to the New South Wales players' 137. On the second day of play, Mr Dillon, representing New South Wales, took on Victoria's James Doyle in a series of single-handed matches. Dillon triumphed and things were looking grim for Victoria. 3,4
The final day of play dawned on Monday 19 January 1874 and the Victorian team had one last chance to show their prowess in a series of three-handed games. Prior to the main event, the crowd was kept entertained by a scratch match featuring John Curtain, M.L.A, who "showed that he was no mean player." The atmosphere was electric as the players entered the court - the Doyle brothers and Mr McNamara for Victoria and Messrs. Thomson, Dillon and Gaffney for New South Wales. McNamara proved to be an asset for Victoria, while Gaffney was considered the weak point for New South Wales. Victoria succeeded in winning five games outright and was declared the winner. In the end, New South Wales won the overall competition, but Victoria won the day. 5
Intercolonial rivalry aside, the post-competition mood was good natured and the New South Wales players were treated to a dinner, courtesy of the Hon. Michael O'Grady, at the Manchester Unity Hall in Swanston Street. By special arrangement with John Curtain, M.L.A, and the Minister of Railways, the players were granted free rail travel on government lines within Victoria. On the day of their departure for Sydney via the steamer Wentworth, 27 January 1974, the players had a champagne luncheon and were driven to Sandridge (Port Melbourne) in a drag and pair of greys. The farewell party included John Curtain, members of the Victorian Intercolonial Committee and several of Victoria's leading handball players, all of whom wished the visitors bon voyage and looked forward to meeting them again next year. 6,7,8
In December 1874, while plans were being finalised for the return intercolonial handball match in Sydney, a telegram from Port Darwin announced the death of Peter Taylor. When the news was later relayed to the Carlton handball court, the matches scheduled for that day were cancelled and the court was closed as a mark of respect for the man who had done so much to establish handball as a permanent fixture on Melbourne's sporting calendar. In February 1875, the Victorian team won easily against New South Wales over three days of competition. No doubt Peter Taylor would have been proud of their achievement. 9,10
The intercolonial handball match became a regular sporting event, alternating between Melbourne and Sydney, through to the 1890s. As the sport's popularity increased, handball clubs cropped up in Melbourne suburbs and country towns. Carlton established its own handball club in June 1882, under the patronage of John Curtain. Curtain, the surviving founder of the Carlton handball court, died in 1905. 11,12
The Loughrea Hotel at 75 Elgin Street was delicensed in 1919 and this also marked the end of the Carlton handball court. The owner, Victoria Brewery Pty Ltd, had no further business interest in a hotel without a liquor licence and it was sold in 1920. The handball court was converted into a brick factory facing Macarthur Place, then subdivided from the old hotel site in 1950. In 1970, the factory building at 22 to 24 Macarthur Place was bought by architect John Mockridge and was granted a new lease of life. The brick factory was gutted, an extra storey was added and a new residence was built within the shell of the old building. The original brickwork has been uncovered in recent years and evidence of its earlier function can be seen from the Macarthur Street frontage and side laneway. 13,14,15
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