Carlton Community History Group

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The Stockade

The Stockade : Carlton's Forgotten Prison and the People Who Inhabited It
Jeff Atkinson

One hundred and fifty years ago, the site of what is now the Carlton North Primary School was a prison - a low security gaol for petty offenders. Known as the Collingwood Stockade (the name 'Carlton' was not yet in use) it opened in 1853 and operated for 13 years until 1866, when it became an asylum for the insane, and later a school. This book tells the story of the Collingwood Stockade and the people who inhabited it - individuals who served their sentences there breaking up stones for 'road metal', warders, some of whom gained a notorious reputation, and the Superintendents who ran the place. The book resurrects a long forgotten aspect of Carlton's past and gives a vivid picture of the penal system in Victoria at the time of the gold rush.
Carlton Girls

Carlton Girls Born and Bred : The Story of Ruth Bailey ... and Her Mother ... and Her Grandmother ... and Her Daughters
Margaret Rich

Ruth Blackburn's childhood home was a stone's throw from the Carlton Gardens. Born in 1941, she had an Anglo-Australian home life typical of the times while revelling in the cultural mix provided by her primary school, a mix ranging from newly-arrived Jewish refugees to established Chinese families from Little Bourke Street. Far from experiencing the helicopter parenting of today, she roamed freely around Carlton and into the city. Later, now Ruth Bailey, she moved into the Palmerston Street house which had been her grandparents' home and where she was to live for the rest of her life. As a young mother she sat on the veranda while bulldozers consumed the adjacent "slums", an area of historic streets, shops, pubs and terrace housing deemed no longer fit for human habitation, in order to replace them with high rise flats. From her memories, recorded in 2010 for the Carlton Community History Group, there emerges a colourful personality with impressive powers of recall who paints a vivid picture of the evolving Carlton she loved so much.
Through the Eyes of a Child

Through the Eyes of a Child : A Street in Carlton 1939-45
Paintings & Commentary by Des Norman

Des Norman (1930-2015) has been a noted artist and educator in Melbourne for over five decades. As a painter of narrative subjects, he has examined many aspects of Australian life. In this work he has returned to his childhood in World War 2 Dorrit Street Carlton, to recover and share a particularly formative Australian experience.
Walking along Rathdowne Street

Walking along Rathdowne Street : 100 years of shopping, services and stories in North Carlton
Margaret Rich

Walking along Rathdowne Street examines the changing use of the shops and some other buildings in Rathdowne Street, North Carlton, between Princes Street and Park Street, from the early 1870s. This study traces the gradual change from a vibrant shopping strip supplying the everyday needs of people who lived nearby, through the commercial doldrums of the mid 20th century and into the gentrification phase which has resulted in the Rathdowne Street of today. Stories of the lives of some of the shopkeepers are included. The study is organised by street number and a profile of some 150 buildings is provided.
John King

John King : The story of the only member of the Burke and Wills expedition to cross Australia from south to north and return to Melboure alive
Marian Turnbull

In the Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton lie the graves of Burke, Wills and King the three explorers who successfully completed the crossing of the continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1861. But John King was the only one to return alive. This book tells the story of his childhood in Ireland during the famine, his career as a soldier in the Indian Mutiny, and the meeting which brought him to Melbourne and the role as assistant in the Burke and Wills Expedition. Courageous and resourceful, he survived the disagreements, disasters and privations of the journey to the Gulf, and was found in 1861 by a relief party, ragged and emaciated, living with the Yandruwandha Aborigines near Cooper's Creek. He was feted like a celebrity on his return to Melbourne, but he never recoverd his health.
Charles Ferguson

The Troublesome American : The story of Charles Ferguson, foreman on the Burke and Wills Expedition
Jeff Atkinson

This book was published to mark the 150th anniversary of the Burke and Wills Expedition, which started and ended in Carlton. It was from Royal Park that it departed - and it is in the Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton that the remains of both Burke and Wills and the sole survivor John King lie. The book focuses on one member of the expedition, a controversial one who also happened to be American. At the time of the gold rushes in the mid nineteenth century there were several thousand Americans in Australia, most of them on the Victorian goldfields. But few were involved in more historic events than Charles Ferguson of Aurora County, Ohio, the subject of this book, who as a young man was personally involved in both the Eureka Stockade and the Burke and Wills Expedition. This book focuses primarily on the latter, and tells the story of Ferguson's role as foreman for the expedition, his difficult relationship with the expedition's leader, Robert O'Hara Burke, and the controversy that he stirred up when he returned to Melbourne after being sacked by Bourke.
Some Women of Davis Street

Some Women of Davis Street : 1891 and 2008
Judith Biddington

Why Women of Davis Street? A chapter in They Are But Women : the Road to Female Suffrage in Victoria looked at some women who lived in Davis Street and who signed a 'monster' petition in 1891 calling on the Victorian Government to grant votes to women. Women were finally granted the right to vote in 1908. So in 2008 it seemed appropriate to talk with women currently living in Davis Street and examine their attitude to the achievement of that goal. This booklet uses, and gratefully acknowledges material from They Are But Women, about the lives of some women who signed the petition and then explores the perceptions of current residents of the street about the effects of that right. It also raises the question of when we should celebrate the centenary of the granting of that right. It was November 1908 when the legislation was passed, March 1909 when it was granted Royal Assent and gazetted, yet it was not until the election of 1911 when women could first exercise that right.

PublicationCost (Australian dollars)Postage (within Australia)Postage (overseas)
The Stockade$8 per book$6 for 1-3 books (multiple copies or mixed titles)Contact us
Carlton Girls Born and Bred$7 per book$6 for 1-3 books (multiple copies or mixed titles)Contact us
Through the Eyes of a Child : A Street in Carlton 1939-45$20 per book$6 for 1-3 books (multiple copies or mixed titles)Contact us
Walking Along Rathdowne Street$10 per book$6 for 1-3 books (multiple copies or mixed titles)Contact us
John King$5 per booklet$6 for 1-3 booklets (multiple copies or mixed titles)Contact us
The Troublesome American$5 per booklet$6 for 1-3 booklets (multiple copies or mixed titles)Contact us
Some Women of Davis Street$5 per booklet$6 for 1-3 booklets (multiple copies or mixed titles)Contact us

Note: A flat postage rate of $6.00 applies for 1-3 copies or 1-3 mixed titles. Add another $6.00 postage for subsequent multiples of up to 3 copies or titles.

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Publication Sales

Priced publications can be purchased from the information desk at the Carlton Library, 667 Rathdowne Street, North Carlton.

Mail Orders (Within Australia)

Publications can also be ordered direct from the Carlton Community History Group. Payment can be made by cheque, money order or direct bank deposit in Australian dollars. Please send your payment, including the additional postage cost to:

Publication Sales
Carlton Community History Group
PO Box 148
North Carlton Vic 3054
Australia

Direct Deposit to:
Commonwealth Bank Account No: 06 3014 10198637

If paying by direct deposit, please email order details and date of deposit to CCHG.

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Mail Orders (Overseas)

Please contact us.


CCHG Newsletter

No. 1, April 2016
No. 2, July 2016Sport and Recreation in Carlton
No. 3, October 2016Trams in Carlton
No. 4, January 2017Jewish Carlton
No. 5, April 2017Crime in Carlton
No. 6, August 2017Hotels in Carlton
No. 7, November 2017The Anti-Conscription Campaign of 1917
No. 8, February 2018Carlton's Forgotten Railway Line
No. 9, May 2018State Education in Carlton

Free Downloads

Otto Jung's Bible

In August 2015 CCHG received a request for help in tracing the provenance of an 1827 French edition of the New Testament. An inscription on the inner cover suggests that it had been owned by Otto Jung since 1852 and the label of a Paris bookshop is at the back. Inside the book, where presumably it has been for a century, is a used and opened envelope posted from Lorne and addressed to Otto Jung at 1 Rathdown Street, Carlton.

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The Mystery Man of Dorrit Street

The artist Des Norman, who died on 13 September 2015, grew up in a small street in Carlton, where everyone knew each other by name. But there was one man who remained a mystery to most of the residents of Dorrit Street. As painted by Des Norman, the mystery man appeared well dressed in an overcoat and bowler hat, he was slightly stooped and he walked with a stick. Des recalled that the man lived on the east side of Dorrit Street, towards Grattan Street, and he thought that he was an exile from his homeland.

Des Norman's painting has inspired a line of research to discover the identity of the mystery man. The story begins with his birth in France, followed by migration to New Caledonia, then across the sea to Sydney, overland to the goldfields of Kalgoorlie, by ship again to Launceston in Tasmania and finally to Dorrit Street in Carlton. Along the way, the mystery man works as a cook and café proprietor, he is involved in crime (both as victim and alleged perpetrator), he gets married (at least twice) and divorced, and he ends up buried in an unmarked grave in Melbourne General Cemetery.

Free download (PDF 644 Kb)


Lucie Moy Ling : A Woman of Her Times
Susan Crowe

In Melbourne on 13 April 1874, in the Year of the Dog, a baby girl was born to James and Kim Moy Ling. Little did her parents know that their daughter, Lucie Sophia Kim Oie, would live for more than a hundred years and bear witness to times of great political, economic and social change. Lucie grew up in a loving family and was well respected by the Methodist Church community, yet she was declared an alien in the country of her birth. As a teacher in the Victorian Education Department, she was denied the same employment and retirement entitlements as her male counterparts. On a personal level, she knew the joy of being a wife and mother and also the pain of losing loved ones. This is her story.

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For King and Country : Benjamin Moy Ling
Susan Crowe

With the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914, young men from all over Australia answered the call to fight for king and country. But for Benjamin (Ben) Moy Ling, Australian born and the son of a Methodist minister, the path to war service was not an easy one. Ben made several attempts to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). However, he was rejected as unfit on the grounds that he was "not substantially of European origin & descent". Ben was finally successful in enlisting on 4 May 1917, when the embargo on his non-European origin was lifted. He was quoted as saying: "If Australia is good enough to live in, it is good enough to fight for. I hope to live in it again after the war".

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The Cuisinier From Brittany : François Moriniere
Susan Crowe

The death of Eleanor Isabelle Jessie Moriniere in 1918 marked the end of an era for land ownership in Carlton. Her father, François Moriniere, was the original owner of a crown allotment running from Station Street through to Nicholson Street, south of Princes Street. The land, together with five houses, a shop and a factory building, stayed in the Moriniere family for more than 50 years.

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The Scarlett Woman of Pitt Street
Susan Crowe

The story of Ada Scarlett, actress and publican of the Football Club Hotel in Pitt Street Carlton.

Free download (PDF 273 Kb)

A Tale of Two Terraces : Rathdowne Terrace Carlton
Susan Crowe

The story of two terraces - one a narrow laneway of small cottages and the other an opulent terrace of two-storey houses - that shared the same name "Rathdowne Terrace". This article explores the origins and history of the two terraces, who built them, who owned them and who lived there.

Free download (PDF 423 Kb)


Book Reviews

Rosetta by Alexandra Joel
Vintage Australia, 2017
Reviewed by Judith Biddington

This short review is just to encourage everyone to read an incredible book. It is a book about Rosetta Solomon, unknown to me before reading the book, and probably also unfamiliar to others. However, her experiences will ring bells for us all, as the chapters alternate between recreations of events in Rosetta's life and the author's research journey. That format itself is interesting, commanding and very clever.

It is very well written and includes details of settings in Australia and London which you will want to explore, some of which I have done. As a child I dropped pebbles from the roof of the Hotel Windsor, I also remember the incredible size of the baths in its bathrooms, on the few occasions my family stayed there, and today I know the streets of Carlton well. However the history of the First World War and of the period should probably be quite well known to most of us.

I don't want to reveal the story line but almost every situation rings true. An early admonition from Rosetta's mother that 'not everyone you meet is who they seem to be', is illustrated beautifully throughout the book. There are very well known people like Sir William Clarke, Nellie Melba and Helena Rubinstein, who feature in the book, and all are brilliantly captured in short phrases, as well are the central characters, many of whom are unlikely to be known to the reader.

But I do recommend it. The characters are fascinating and I'm making a collection of the intriguing descriptions from strands of spaghetti to 'wounded red roofs'.


People of the Risen King : A History of St. Jude's Carlton, 1866-2016
By Elizabeth Willis
Reviewed by Judith Biddington

Every time I regularly drive past St. Jude's church in Lygon Street, Carlton, I am amazed and impressed by the beauty of the building, not solid bluestone, which one might expect, but multi-coloured bricks, glowing in the light.

I will start by extensively quoting the foreword to this book written by the Reverend Dr. Chris Mulherin, recently the locum vicar. "The year 2016 was a transition year of humble achievements at St. Jude's: we lost a vicar, we have appointed another, we endured twelve months under a locum vicar, we all learned the meaning of 'sesquicentenary', and along the way we have given thanks to God for the 150 years that this church, in the heart of vibrant Carlton, has testified to the Christian faith. … It has been my privilege to occupy the vicar's (tattered, hydraulically dysfunctional) chair in this 150th year of the church's life. But despite the instability of the last year, like the Apostle Paul we do not lose heart because we know that we are people of the risen King. And it is auspicious that in its 150th year Elizabeth Willis has completed this fine history of St. Jude's."

If you read the book not only will you learn the history of St. Jude's but you will gain an insight into 'inner-northern Melbourne, our city and the world' (to quote the current St. Jude's vision statement). You will learn of the changing life and times of Carlton - its unsewered streets, the bulldozing of crowded slums, the waves of immigration, the housing estates and the Lygon Street traders - and also times of depressions and times of plenty, including the effect on the city of the world's richest gold rush. You will read of a changing Australia over generations; of the place of religion in Melbourne's life, of world wars and of denominational wars over conscription. And, of course, you will read of religion and Australian Anglicanism, of missions and evangelism, of different preaching styles, of different ministry philosophies, and of clerical attitudes and theological dispositions.

But you will also hear of the other work of an inner-city church named after the patron saint of lost causes and desperate cases. You will expect to read of a Sunday school and perhaps at the Children's Hospital and individuals who taught there, but you will be surprised at the range of other activities. The care for international students, the fluctuating attendances, shop owners shuttering their windows for the funeral procession of the first vicar, of open air services with Greek, French and Italian translation, and of people who were homeless and slept in the crypt, of soup and bread kitchens, a debt centre, mission work for the Chinese of Bourke Street, police breaking up a riot at a church meeting and the extraordinary gathering together of people who not only lived in the area, but from over one hundred different post codes.

Even as a committed atheist I have no hesitation in recommending this book, it offers so many insights into the life and times of the suburb I value so highly and it also taught me much about the church itself and the admirable work it did, and continues to do.

Dr. Judith Biddington, CCHG

People of the Risen King is available for purchase at Readings in Lygon Street, Carlton


An Unqualified Success : Alan Percy Fleming
By Peter Golding
Reviewed by Judith Biddington

What do a teacher, soldier, journalist, trade commissioner, senior bureaucrat, a parliamentary and national librarian, a spymaster, a counter terrorist and a prisoner of war have in common? It would appear that the range of skills and talents required by these activities were encompassed in a man called Allan Percy Fleming in the course of his 89 years - he lived from 1912 to 2001. According to Peter Golding's thoroughly researched book, Fleming taught for a while at his old school Scotch College, then embarked on a career in journalism, first on the Melbourne Argus and then Brisbane's Courier Mail, where he was a leader writer. At the outbreak of World War 2 he enlisted as a private in the AIF, rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, was decorated, wounded twice, captured and escaped. He went back to journalism, then got a job to reorganise Australia's defence intelligence, became a trade commissioner in Paris to represent Australian international trade negotiations and then switched to become the Commonwealth Parliamentary Librarian, then the National Librarian. After he 'retired' he set about establishing Australia's first counter terrorism organisation.

How did the son of a gripman on Melbourne's cable trams, whose broken, troubled family saw him separated from his mother and sister, and living with his father and a step-mother, and going to school at Lee Street North Carlton Primary, manage to be prepared for all his subsequent occupations? It seems he owed a lot, not just to his natural talents, but to the support of two great teachers, William Arthur Empy at Lee Street, North Carlton, and William Still Littlejohn at Scotch College.

This small exchange between the German Field Marshall Rommel and prisoner Allan Fleming, should be enough to encourage everyone to read about him.

Rommel to Fleming:
"You know you Australians are very good fighters ... But we will win the war. You will not win the war."
Fleming to Rommel:
"I'm sorry, sir, but I don't think you will win the war ... We will win the war. To help us we have a secret weapon."
Then he turned around and pointed at the XXXX bottle of beer.

I highly recommend this book. It is fascinating and informative about local conditions in North Carlton, as well as the experiences of a young boy at school and of soldiers during wartime. It is also utterly Australian.

Dr. Judith Biddington, CCHG

An Unqualified Success, by Peter Golding, was published by Rosenberg Publishing Ltd in 2013.




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