Monday, 30 January 2017

Hallam late 1950s.

These photographs were taken in the late 1950s and were donated to our Archive by Jim Alexander, a former Councillor for the City of Berwick. They show Hallam, before suburbanization when it was still mainly rural.

This is thought to have been taken in  1957 and is labelled 'From Frawley Road, looking north'

Same view as above from Frawley Road but looking north to north west, also most likely 1957.

Phil Key's new house, looking from Frawley Road, 1958. The house is now on the corner of Kilberry Crescent and Cressonierre Court, even though these streets were built later as I have a 1963 aerial photograph and the land hadn't been subdivided, so this house originally had  a driveway off Frawley Road. According to Google Earth, the house is still there. 

As above, construction of Phil Key's house in 1958.

This is Phil Key's house, looking south to south east, 1958. The white farm house, behind Mr Key's house,  is described as Frawley's house. In the top right hand corner of the photo is a two storey building, most likely the Hallam Hotel.

Labelled as 'Near Frawley road, looking north to north east'  1957

Labelled as 'Looking towards Frawley Road, 1958'

Monday, 23 January 2017

'When there were Stations' website

I have written about railways on quite  a few occasions in this blog, because I have an interest in railways from a social history point of view - the role they played in the development of towns, the freedom they gave to the local people to move about the State (or even interstate) in the days before nearly everyone owned a motor car. The other thing I like about railways is well before on-line shopping became almost the norm the whole world could be delivered to you from mail order catalogues to your local railway station - take a look at some of the old Weekly Times on Trove - and anyone from jewellers to Department stores to agricultural implement makers would send you a printed catalogue to order from.  Goods are no longer delivered to our local railway stations - most are unstaffed and the railway buildings replaced by a few open shelters but before these stations, and parcel sheds, goods sheds and Station houses disappeared forever Dave Phillips and others took lots of photos of old stations and you can see them on the  When there were Stations website

Here are some of the great local photos from When there were Stations

Bunyip Railway Station taken December 11, 1989. Photographer: Dave Phillips

Garfield Parcels shed taken January 29, 1989. Photographer: Frank Jones.

Tynong Goods Shed taken October 7, 1987. Photographer: Dave Phillips.

There are also photographs of Nar Nar Goon, Officer and Beaconsfield from the Gippsland line from the Casey Cardinia region.

Lang Lang Station, taken January 21 1990. Photographer: Dave Phillips.

Tooradin Station House, taken August 21, 1990. Photographer: Dave Phillips.

There are also photographs of Koo-Wee-Rup and Cranbourne from the South Gippsland line from the Casey Cardinia region.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Robert and Susan Bain and the Border Hotel / Berwick Inn

Robert and Susan Bain were the proprietors of the Berwick Inn also known as the Border Hotel in High Street in Berwick.

The hotel was established by Robert Hudson Bain (1831-1887) in 1857 which was four years before the town of Berwick was gazetted. Early Days of Berwick  has this to say about the name of the establishment at a very early age, possibly the late 1840's the district was marked out for Police administrative purposes embracing the Port Philip area and with its limits at Bacchus Marsh and Berwick respectively.  This theory that Berwick was the 'border' of this administrative area and thus the hotel was named the Border Hotel,  is supported by the fact that there is an historic hotel in Bacchus Marsh called the Border Inn, construction of which started in 1850. The book goes on to to say when the original Port Phillip Farmers' Society was formed [in 1848] two branches one at Berwick and one at Bacchus Marsh were formed so that district links existed between these two places. The other theory suggested by Early days of Berwick  is that Bain named it after his birth place, the  border town of Berwick-on-Tweed, however Richard Myers, author of the book, Berwick Mechanics' Institute and Free Library has dismissed this idea, as Bain was born in Falkirk in Scotland.

Robert Bain came to Australia in 1855 when he was 24 years old. He married Susan Stewart in 1859 and they had eleven children, but more about them later.

Berwick Inn in 1858

Robert was very much involved with the civic life of Berwick. He was Post Master from 1859 to1872, he was the first secretary of the Berwick Road Board which was formed in this building in 1862. He was on the board of the Berwick State School from 1862. The hotel was the venue for the first Police Court in 1865. It was also the first meeting place for the Berwick Mechanics' Institute and the Bains later donated the land upon which the Mechanics' Institute stands on. The building is one the oldest in the Casey Cardinia Region. The earliest section of the building, the triangular single storey part, dates from 1857. This is made of hand-made bricks from local clay. The two storey sections were added in 1877 and 1887.

   The Bain family owned the hotel until 1909, with Susan Bain taking over as licensee after her husband’s death on February 24, 1887 at the age of 56.  Robert Bain's obituary in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal can be read here  but it reads in part - Connected with school, with Mechanic's Institute, with Cemetery, with everything that concerned the town ship; he was always ready to do his part...... Scandal, whether to hear or to utter, was abhorrent to him. He was full of humanity toward all, ever ready. to give honor to whom honor as due, and help them who were in need.    His funeral was at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church and he is buried at the Berwick Cemetery.

The Bain family taken in the 1880s.

We know that Robert gets much deserved credit for his role in public life, but Susan was in the background raising their eleven children and when her husband died in 1887 and when her youngest child was only eight, Susan took over as the licensee of the Hotel and managed the business until just before her death at the age of 69 on June 26, 1908.   Her obituary in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal  described her as highly respected and that her many good deeds will long be remembered by residents in and around Berwick. You can read the full report here.

Death notice for Susan Bain from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of July 1, 1908

As you can see from the Death Notice, above,  by the time Susan passed away in June 1908,  only three of her eleven children were still alive and two sons had died in Janaury 1908 from a heat wave  - you can read about their sad deaths here, in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of January 22, 1908. Susan was born on December 28, 1838 in Scotland, the daughter of Robert Stewart and Catherine Campbell*,  and she arrived in Melbourne in 1857 and as we saw before, married Robert two years later. Her sister Margaret also lived in Berwick with her husband George Brown. George owned a drapers shop in the town. Margaret died July 28, 1884 at the age of 50, according to her death notice in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Her only child, George was killed in 1887 at the age of 23, accidentally hit by  a train whilst walking back to Berwick from Beaconsfield along the railway tracks. You can read the Inquest and description of his funeral here, in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of June 8, 1887. George Brown later married Mary Jane Patterson and built Inveresk in  1891, the house on the corner of High Street and Rutland Road in Berwick.

Here is  a list of Robert and Susan's children*
Catherine (born 1860 -  died October 1900 - known as Kate,  married John Murray Leggatt in 1878)
Jane Hudson (born 1861 - known as Jean,  she is the Mrs W.S Withers listed in the death notice. Jean married Walter Seward Withers in 1886, they are listed in the 1911 English Census, living in the town of Goodworth Clatford, near Andover,  in Hampshire and she died in June 1926 at Andover)
Margaret Anne Stewart (born 1863,  known as Maggie, married Charles Allen Champion in November 1889 and died in March 1891)
James (born 1865 - died January 1908)
Robert (born 1867 - died  January 1902)
Harry Wilson (born 1869 -  died April 1902)
George Alexander (born 1871 - ?)
Edwin Clarence (born 1873 - died 1875)
Susan Stewart (born 1875 -  died 1876)
McCulloch Stewart (born 1877 -  died January 1908)
Donald Stewart (born 1880 -  died January 1937)

The Berwick Inn is still functioning in the original buildings (with some extensions). After Susan Bain died, the next owner was also a woman, Helen Struth who owned the hotel from 1909 to 1948. Gordon Blackburne was the third owner from 1948-1960. During his time the Melbourne Hunt Club called in for their traditional stirrup cup before a days riding. Blackburne Square in Berwick is named after Mr Blackburne.

The Melbourne Hunt Club outside the Berwick Inn  - the riders are Alec Creswick, George Missen and Rupert Richardson.
Photo: Berwick Nostalgia: a pictorial history of Berwick published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society in 2001.

* The genealogical information is partly from Early Settlers of the Casey Cardinia District published by the Narre Warren & District Family History Group.