Saturday, 19 August 2017

County of Mornington

Victoria is divided into 37 Counties for land administrative purposes. The Casey Cardinia region is in the County of Mornington (apart from some parts of Emerald and surrounds, more of this later) The County of Mornington, along with 12 other Counties in the Port Phillip District, was gazetted in Port Phillip Gazette of January 10, 1849. You can access this Gazette here.   The County of Mornington was 1800 square miles.

Port Phillip Gazette January 10, 1849

This is a map of the County of Mornington, as you can see, it covers the area around Western Port.
The map is from the State Library of Victoria, if you click on this link you will get a clearer copy of the map

All Counties are divided into Parishes - if you have an old land title then you will see this on your title, it might say Crown Allotment No. 31, Parish of Yallock, County of Mornington.  Mornington has 43 Parishes (I believe I counted the number correctly) including the ones that largely make up Casey Cardinia - Berwick, Narre Worran (covers modern day town of Endeavour Hills), Eumemmerring (covers Hallam) Lyndhurst, Langwarrin, Cranbourne, Sherwood (covers Tooradin), Gembrook, Pakenham, Nar Nar Goon (the town of Pakenham is split between Pakenham Parish and Nar Nar Goon Parish), Bunyip, Tonimbuk, Koo-Wee-Rup, Koo-Wee-Rup East (covers the old Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp), Yallock, Yannathan and Lang Lang.   

Some parts of the town of Emerald and it's neighbouring hill towns such as Clematis and Nangana are part of the County of Evelyn. The County of Evelyn was gazetted at the same time as the County of Mornington.

Port Phillip Gazette January 10, 1849

This is a map of the County of Evelyn. Click on this link to the map on the State Library of Victoria website for a clearer view  As you can see the Parishes of Gembrook and Narre Worran are covered by both Mornington and Evelyn.

Most people these days don't think about the County names - however they have featured in the past history of the area. I know of two hotels called the Mornington Hotel, no doubt after the Parish. In 1855, the Mornington Hotel was established on the corner of Narre Warren North Road and the Gippsland Road by J. Gardiner and later taken over by John Payne. It was dismantled in the 1880s or 1890s. The other hotel was the Mornington Hotel in Cranbourne. This Hotel (on the same site as Kelly’s Hotel) was started around 1860 by Thomas and Elizabeth Gooch. By 1912, the Hotel was known as the Motor Club Hotel and in 1919 it was taken over by the Kelly family. The existing Kelly’s hotel was built around 1926. 

Gooch's Mornington Hotel in Cranbourne, named for the County of Mornington

The other connection to the County of Mornington is the newspaper, the South Bourke and Mornington Journal, which is available on Trove from 1877 to 1920. The newspaper covered, as its name suggest, the south part of the County of Bourke (which includes part of Dandenong, Springvale etc) and the County of Mornington.

This is the mast head of the South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Amongst the towns listed that the paper covers are Dandnong, Berwick, Pakenham, Cranbourne, PhillipIsland, Hastings, Oakleigh, Templestowe, Frankston, Sorrento etc, etc, etc (yes, it does cover so many towns that they did print ect three times!)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Skateboard Park at Doveton

This article (reproduced below) about the City of Berwick skateboard track, was published in a journal in 1979. I don't know which journal,  I only have the article and not the complete issue, but  I presume a local government publication. The article is by Michael Backhouse, who was the City of Berwick Municipal Recreation Officer.  The article says that the City of Berwick has recently constructed the first municipal skateboard facility of its type in Victoria. It was located at Doveton and the cost of the project was $9,000. Mr Backhouse  wrote that the first skateboard track in Australia  built over three years ago at Albany in Western Australia is still being well used and indicates that skateboarding is more than a 'fad' This sorts of project was so rare that at the beginning of the project only limited design information was available and this only concerned the basic layout of tracks in New Zealand and a proposed track for Salisbury in South Australia, as Mr Backhouse wrote.  The design was done by Charles Nichol and Graham Long of the City Engineer's Department and the work supervised by Robert Spark. Local skateboarders had input into the design who felt that the track should be able to be used by inexperienced riders, without being so easy that experienced riders would soon tire of it due to lack of challenge.

The finished track was 28 metres long, beginning with a saucer shaped area 8 metres in diameter  which turns into a 5 metre wide half pipe ending in a bowl 8 metres in diameter and 3 metres deep. It was officially opened June 27, 1979. 

Skateboard track sticker

There is an interesting website produced by Noel Forsyth, on the history of skateboarding in Victoria,  Noel has this to say about Doveton - he has a very different perspective about the skatepark than Michael Backhouse's article.

In mid ’79, Doveton in Melbourne’s far South East was chosen as the site for the first of what proved to be numerous huge concrete skate bowls. ​Generally poorly planned, designed with little in the way of informed skater input , and often hopelessly kinked, these parks sprung up across Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs between 1979 and 1981. 

​Even when finished, Doveton still looked like the concrete top coat was yet to be laid. The surface was as rough as guts.......with the added challenge of a “sag kink” to vert throughout the whole shallow half pipe/keyhole bowl design. Despite the huge disappointment at how it turned out, Doveton immediately became the focal point of Melbourne skating, if only because it was our first purpose built park, and just barely rideable. 
The face wall in the bowl was about 10 feet deep , with maybe 2 feet of wobbly vert. By pushing straight down the guts, momentum could just about overcome gravity and the inbuilt “surface drag” to get you to the top. The opening weekend saw just about everyone trying to be first to wheel it. A virtually unknown Nunawading local , Mark Anderson was the first to do it, beating me out by a couple of runs, which I remember pissed me off, no end. Sponsored by Surf Dive n' Ski, the comp got TV coverage, some of which can be seen in Hardcore’s Tic Tac to Heelflip video. Terry Probin was the clear winner, having mastered the virtually impossible by maintaining a speed line over Doveton’s pizza-textured surface. Another local skater, “Trog” Tregillis came second, and I scraped in third, just ahead of Clinton “Ching” Quan. 

Doveton really was a pain in the arse to ride. But it certainly managed to pull a crowd, a fact not lost on many other councils who quickly initiated concrete park projects of their own. The thinking seemed to make good sense - skate bowls showed that councils were receptive to the needs of local kids, they were used virtually constantly, required no maintenance and could be built on even the least appealing plots of flood plain. 
Unfortunately, many councils apparently assumed the Doveton bowl was “the” skatepark design, and set about building copies of Doveton’s flawed layout.

City of Berwick Skateboard track article by Michael Backhouse. Click on the images to enlarge them.