RESIDENTS IN NORTH SHORE IN THE 1920s, 30s, 40s and beyond
By Bryan Power
with the assistance of Alan Guy, John Way, Malcolm Berry, Mary Sturrock (nee Bickerton), Jack Power, Peter Bliss, Peter Doyle, Allen & Shirley Wilson, Dale Jennings and Bob Barclay and many others. Also with the help of the stories in Ferg Hamilton’s book The Lights of Norlane
The following document is expanding as more information comes to light.
It covers the North Shore area to the east of the railway line, street by street and home by home up to (and sometimes beyond) the mid 1950s.
It covers the western side up until the time it became Norlane and before the explosion of growth of the Housing Commission development.
I’d be pleased to have your additions and corrections.
Bryan Power (03) 5428 2795 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 1 January 2015.
PHOSPHATE ROAD (previously SEAVIEW PARADE)
We (the Power family) lived at No 7 with empty blocks on both sides of us in the 1930s and 40s. Joe and Tas Power's six children were Kevin, Valerie, Bryan, Vernon (Jack), Jenny and Shirley.
The Nelsons, Bill & Lorna with children Bill, Margaret and Joan, lived at No 3 in a fibro cement sheet house built and owned by Jim Allen. The Nelsons moved out in the late 1940s and Sam and Lil Martin moved in with their son, Roger. Their second son Brian was born a couple of years later.
No 5 was an empty block between our houses. In the 1950s a brick house was built on that block and Bob and Lorna Ingles moved in. We were disappointed to find that they had no children but Bob would often play cricket with us and he proved himself to be a very smart wicket keeper. Bob was the manager of the Sailors Rest at the bottom of Moorabool Street in Geelong. Geoff Barker boarded with the Ingles for many years.
Also in the 1950s the two empty blocks on our northern side (Nos 9 and 11) were built on. Our immediate neighbours were Harold and Teddie Young. Harold Young had a successful floor sanding business that seemed to keep him busy seven days a week. The Youngs had no children. They later moved to The Esplanade.
When the Youngs moved out Kelvyn & Beatrice Lloyd and their five children came and later again, Damien Drum, the Geelong footballer (who became the coach of the Fremantle Dockers and then, later again, a National Party MLC), lived there with his wife and children.
Next to Youngs at No 11 a young married couple, Neil & Dierdre Webb, with son Peter and daughter Judith, lived in a house built by Pivot on the corner of Myrtle Grove. A succession of Phossie employees followed: the Galliardi family, Neil and Pauline Coulter with two daughters, Wali and Monte Chin, also with two daughters. Phil Nixon, a draughtsman at Pivot, lived there later.
On the opposite corner at No 13 were George and Mary Evans. This house was owned by the Hunters and had first been occupied by the Guy family in 1931. Alfred and Alice Guy had four children: Alan, Merle, Lauris and Ken. Later George and Rosetta Whalley lived there for a while before moving to Sydney. George was an engineer. He sold Dad (Joe Power) his full size billiard table that dominated our lounge room for a couple of years. George and Mary Evans who had no children lived there for many years before moving to 10 Myrtle Grove.
Next door to the Evans at No 15 were Ewan and Ellen Weston and daughter Joan. Ewan was an electrician at the Phossie. I think that a family named Monkivich were living there before the Westons. Percy and Katherine Monkivitch (who was Pat Hole’s sister) had Nellie, Percy and Gilbert.
The next house, at No 17, was built in the early 1950s for Shannon and Gertrude Donovan. The Donovan children were Margaret, Gerald and Patricia. Shannon and Gertrude have passed away and Margaret now lives there. Gerald lives in New Zealand and Patricia (Mrs Knight) in Hamlyn Heights. Flats were built on the next two vacant blocks in the late 50s by Mrs Borilla.
SEA BREEZE PARADE was possibly named Pivot Point Road in the 1930s
Phosphate Road ended at Pivot (or "the Phossie" as it was called locally then). During the war, air raid shelters were dug on the north‑west corner of this intersection but they were refilled after hostilities ceased and several army huts were moved onto the site in the late 1940s to accommodate the “Balts” (as the post‑war European refugees were commonly called). The truth was that the men who came to live there were not from the Baltic states at all but from eastern European countries, particularly Hungary. They were generally well‑educated young men who had chosen to give up their university studies and flee to Australia when the communists took over in eastern Europe in 1948.
The huts were miserable places, unlined and unheated, with only hessian screens separating one sleeping space from another. Two of the men I remember well were Alda Petrass and George Szerch (?), two terrific sportsmen who coached us in basketball.
The North Shore footy team used one of the former migrant workers' huts as a change room during 1953-57 when their home games were played on the Phossie ground located alongside Phosphate Road.
Opposite the Phossie railway yards heading west there were only three houses in the 1940s, the first, No 53, occupied by Mr and Mrs Flett and their son John. Mrs Flett was “Ferg” (the shortened form of the unusual Christian name Ferguson) to her friends.
Further along Sea Breeze Parade Bill Nicholl's house (now No 33) was about opposite the asphalt tennis court where we practised basketball and played occasional games of indifferent tennis. Bill and Mrs Nicholls’ children were Fay, Stuart and Julie.
Bill had grown up in this house with his sisters, Isobel (Mrs Hole) and Alvina (Mrs Knight), as his parents Bill and Florence had owned it previously.
Jim and Eleanor Allen lived further along. Their daughters were Bessie (Mrs George Thompson) and Margaret (Mrs Bill Clark).
In later years there were six other houses in Seebreeze Pde. Syd and Mrs Maiden and daughter Valerie (Mrs Charlston) lived near the corner of Phosphate Rd. Syd died and Mrs Maiden married his brother.
Next to Maidens lived Allan and Jean King with children Allan, Wayne, Wendy, Margaret, Malcolm and one other.
Ken Balding, a carpenter, lived beside Fletts. Ken worked for Jim Murray the builder and managed Murray’s building yard on the corner of Seabeach Pde and Walchs Rd, next to Reg Kings’ home. Ken had two sons, Doug and Bob.
Teddy Gibbons and his family moved from his house at the eastern end of Cox Road to a brick home next door to the Baldings.
The block surrounded now by prickly pear was originally owned, it is believed, by Alex Popescue, one of Geelong’s wealthiest men.
Stan Rae lived a little further along. Stan was a foreman with the British Phosphate Commission.
A family named Pill lived in a house between Nicholls and Allens. They had a son named Nicky.
Alf and Mrs Riley lived about one block back from Seabeach Pde. Alf was a foreman with the SEC in Geelong.
On the south east corner with Seabeach Pde lived Claude and Irene Bicknell with six children: Jennie, Rhonda, Lorraine, Graeme, Noel and Ian.
Sea Breeze Parade continued for a short distance across Seabeach Parade. Six houses (four of which were Phossie workmen's cottages) were located there, four on the north and two on the south of the cul‑de‑sac.
The four on the north side had previously been sited on “Elcho”, a property on the Bacchus Marsh Road at Lara. At the end of 1923 “Elcho” was taken over by the Closer Settlement Board for use as a training farm for British immigrant farmers. When this scheme was wound up in the early 1930s the three-roomed houses at Elcho were available for removal at a cost of 50 pounds each and the four-roomed ones for 75 pounds. Gus Wolskel, the Chairman of Pivot, bought four of them and had them moved to Seabeach Parade on horse-drawn drays.
Of the four on the north side I recall the Wildman family living in the one closest to Seabeach Parade, No 8. Phil and Maud Wildman moved from Walchs Rd when these cottages became available. Phil Wildman senior was the foreman of the bagging floor at the Phossie. The Wildman children were Isobel, Phil, Wally, Denise, Valma, Coral, Roslyn and Joyce.
In the next house (No 6) were Keith and Myrtle Robinson with their children Alan, Carlene and Ian and then, in No 4, Harry and Gladys Walsh, one of the Phossie engineers. Their address on the 1939 electoral roll was 39 Pivot Point Road.
Next to Harry at No 2 were Cliff and Mrs Carter and their daughter Thelma. Cliff worked as a fitter at the Phossie. Don and Margaret Parker with children Ricky, Michelle and Leanne also lived at No 2 at some stage.
One of the Phossie houses on the south side was the residence of Harry and Doris Trethowan with son Harry. They had previously lived in a house on a track that ran east from Walchs Rd and to the west of the Pivot long shed.
There was also a house near the south‑west corner that was occupied by Alec and Cora Smith. Their children were June, Keith, John, Gwen and Ron. The Smiths had previously lived in a house surrounded by box thorns just north of the Phossie railway line, opposite the Presbyterian church. The house had previously been lived in by the Potter family (Cora was a Potter). Her brothers were Alan and Neil who later became very good cricketers for North Shore. Alan was Phil Wildman’s foreman in the bagging floor at the Phossie. He married Dot Walker and moved to Norlane. Neil Potter also moved to Norlane after marrying Joyce Beckley. Before the Potters were there the house was the home of the Cother family. Eric and Mrs Cother’s children were Latrice, Elora and Lloyd.
This house was later moved up to the corner of Seabeach Parade and Sparks Road and was occupied by Keith and Margaret Cantwell who had five children, two of whom were Evan and Rosanna. Margaret was the eldest daughter of Theo Evans. Later the Canny family lived there.
Myrtle Grove runs between Seabeach Parade and Phosphate Road and in those days was a gravel road. There were no houses at the Seabeach Parade end of Myrtle Grove in the 1940s. The Presbyterian Church was moved from north of the Phossie railway line to its present location on the corner of Myrtle Grove and Seabeach Parade in the 1950s.
The post office was on the western side of Seabeach Parade directly opposite Myrtle Grove. It was a small room with a counter and was attached to a residence. Myrtle and Jean Smith were the postmistresses. In the 1950s the post office business was transferred to a new brick building at No 9 Seabeach Pde.
There was a cluster of houses in Myrtle Grove about 60 metres from Seabeach Parade.
On the south side there were three houses.
Bill and Sophie Steel lived at No 4 in a house owned by Thomson. They had a son, Jim, who served as a WW2 pilot in Britain, and a daughter, Sophie, who married Noel Bliss. Bill Steel was a fitter and turner who at one stage worked at the Phossie.
Ferg and Thea Hamilton moved from Walchs Rd to No 6 in 1937 and after them came John and Margaret Scott who were, appropriately, a Scottish couple. Agnes Scott (John’s mother?) lived with them. Later, Boyd and Marj Tomkins lived at No 6. The house was owned by Marj’s father, Stan Thompson. Boyd was the brother of Bob Barclay’s wife, Gwenda.
Tom and Rita Finch moved from Walchs Rd to live at No 8. They had one child, Peter. Mrs Finch worked at the Geelong Grammar School at Corio.
Later in the 1950s George and Mary Evans built at No 10 and moved there from their previous home at 13 Phosphate Rd.
Jim Murray built at No 12. Jim was a builder who became a committee member of the North Shore Football Club when it was revived in 1953. The Murray children were Faye and Stan. The Murrays moved from No 62 Donnelly Ave. Jim Murray and Stan Rowe were partners in a building company, Murray and Rowe, that was kept very busy during the Norlane building boom.
Opposite there, in the 1940s were four houses occupied by the Dean (No 3), Sherlock (No 5), Hole (No 7) and Way (No 9) families.
Tom and May Dean had four boys: Bill, Cliff, Max and Brian. Bill Manners boarded with the Deans. Prior to the Deans, Stan Clarke and then the Scotts had previously lived at No 3.
The five children of Tom and Alma Sherlock were Bill, Norm, Mervyn, Evelyn and Graham. Bill Sherlock was the scorer for the North Shore Cricket team. Norm Sherlock worked part‑time for Teddy Smith on the milk round. Before moving to No 5 the Sherlocks had lived in a house in Seabreeze Parade owned by Jim Allen. That house was located beside a lane that ran up the side of No 3 Myrtle Grove to Seabreeze Pde. The Sherlocks moved to Waitara Grove in Norlane. Before the Sherlocks, a family named Webb had lived at No 5 (their daughter was Mavis) and they moved to live near the brickworks in North Geelong. The Timney family with children Molly and Jack also lived there for a time before moving to one of the Distillery cottages. In the 60s Mal and June Leszczynski bought the property from Carl Schacke. Mal and June later bought the Dean’s home at No 3 also.
Pat and Bella Hole (Bella had been Bella Nicholls and had previously lived with her family in Seabreeze Parade) had two children, Barry and Shirley. As well, Bob and Brian Lawrie, boys about Barry's age, and their sister Joyce later lived with the family. This house burnt down in the 1960s. Mal Leszczynski bought the block and built a kit home on it for his father, Jan. In the 1930s the Bickerton family had lived at No 7. Bill Bickerton had worked on the construction of the Ford factory and later worked there in the trim department. He then worked at the Phossie where he and my father, Joe Power, became good friends. In 1936 Bill and Mary Bickerton moved their family to Rowville where he became a successful dairy farmer. Their children were Mary, Bill, Alec and Lorna. Molly Cullen recalls that a family named Caddy also lived in this house for a time.
At No 9 Johnny Way was the only child of Harry and Kitty Way. Harry Way was Mrs Nell Thompson’s brother. Harry bought the house from Stan Thompson for 750 pounds. Before them the Taylor and Cook families had lived at No 9. A Scottish couple, Jim and Morven Campbell, also were there before they moved to North Geelong
The empty paddock opposite the Way home was a favourite sports ground and lots of kids' cricket and football games were played there. Johnny Way enjoyed taking on the rest of us in football. Even if there were three or four of us making up the opposing team, he could run us ragged with his boundless energy and endurance. In the long summer evenings the adults would come out to join us in a game of cricket.
Next to Ways, John and Nell Morrison built at No 11 in the late 40s. They had a boy and a girl. John Morrison had a beautiful tenor voice but had the unfortunate habit of forgetting his lines when he was half way through a song. From 1953 a Polish family, Wally & Danuta Kozaczek and son Roman lived there. Roman became a teacher and later a school principal. Wally worked at the Phossie for 38 years before he retired. He and Danuta then moved to Leopold where Danuta died in 1999. Stuart Crowther was a later owner after the Kozaczeks moved to Leopold.
At No 13 the Clarkes built in the early 50s. Clarke had been a sailor with the R.A.N.
Noel and Sophie Bliss lived at No 14 and at No 15 were Harold and Winifred Miller who moved from Murtoa. Their daughter Rosemary married Adrian Sherlock.
Dick Portenski built at No 16. Dick was Polish and was a good friend of the father of Pope John-Paul II.
Moving down Myrtle Grove there was a big gap to the next houses in the 1940s.
The Thompson family had lived there in a house on the south side in the 1930s.
Several new houses were built in the 1950s and 60s.
Andy and Rose Maher lived at No 15. They had two daughters.
At No 17 Ricky and Dorothy Payne and children Steven and Kim lived in a house built in the 1960s.
Andy Maher owned a white stucco house at No 19.
At No 18 lived the McCready family. Dan and Grace McCready’s children were Heather, Scott and Daniel. Grace’s mother, Mrs Maitland, lived with the family. She was an organist at the Presbyterian Church for many years.
Joe Keating lived at No 20.
Also on the south side Alan and Sheila Guy built at No 22. Their son was Shane.
Next to them at No 24 Frank and Kathleen Steele built. Their son was Noel. Frank was originally from Yarram where his parents owned a hire car business. Frank worked for Dodge in Melbourne and became Mr Wolskel’s driver. He eventually came to work at the Phossie.
The house at No 28 was built by Charlie McKenna himself in the 1950s. Charlie was a labourer at the Phossie. Charlie was married to Claire and they had three sons: Denis, John and Gerard.
On the north side, the blocks at No 21 and 23 were owned by the Howard family with their home located at No 23. Gordon and Ruby Howard had two children, Kevin and Lorraine.
Next door at No 25 lived Bill and Margaret Clark. Mrs Clark was a tiny woman. They owned a pair of Scottie dogs. Bill, a Scot, was a chemist at the Phossie. Margaret Clark was a daughter of Jim Allen. They had no children.
At No 29 was the house that my parents, Joe and Tas Power, had lived in briefly in the early 1930s when they first came to North Shore. After them it was the home of Eric and Winifred Lock whose children were Arthur, Shirley, Beth and Winifred. Shirley Lock married Allen Wilson whose father had a hairdressing business in North Geelong. About opposite No 29 a line of closely planted pencil pines ran right through to Pine Ave. Perhaps that’s how Pine Ave was given its name.
At No 31 lived Bob Martin, a step-brother of Ricky Payne. Ricky and his wife Dot also lived at No 31 before moving to No 17.
and at No 33 were Vern and Pauline Glover in a house built in 1954. They had two daughters, Cheryl and Christine.
Opposite them the home at No 34 was originally owned by John McColl, a fitter at the Phossie. The house was built in about 1955. John married Patty Dean. After Patty died John’s mother and sister migrated from Scotland to live with him. John and Patty’s children were Ian, Jeanette and Pearl.
At No 36 in the 1930s and during the war were Bill and Ettie Hunter in a house built by Jim Allen. Bill Hunter worked at Fords and rode a motorbike to work each day. Mrs Hunter haunted the auctions in Geelong and her house was full of intriguing ornaments and knickknacks. The Hunters moved to Belmont after the war. George and Bessie Thompson (Bessie was Jim Allen’s daughter) had lived there before the Hunters. After the Hunters, Sam and Lil Martin lived there for a short time before moving to replace the Nelsons at 3 Phosphate Road. Mr and Mrs Kapolice with Stephen, Julie and one other daughter lived at No 36 in later years.
Russell and Betty Allen lived at No 38 with daughters Susan and Rhonda. This block was created by cutting off the large back yards of Nos 9 and 11 Phosphate Rd. Russ was an electrician at the Phossie. His wife Betty died and he later married Margaret, Des White’s widow.
Pine Avenue was also just a gravel track and had only a few houses in it in the 1940s.
There were no houses on the corner of Pine Ave and Seabeach Parade. In the late 50s a house was built by Rylands at No 2 on the south side (behind No 6 Seabeach Parade) and occupied by Ron and Enid Guy and their (at that stage) four children, Carol, Russell, Ronald and John who arrived from Newcastle in August 1956. Neil was born in 1957 and Bruce in 1960. The Guys lived there until 1966. Initially Ron thought he would be transferred back to Newcastle, but as Rylands Geelong grew and expanded this became increasingly unlikely, so Ron and Enid bought a block of land in Highton and built a new (larger) Bell & Fulton house. Ron retired from Rylands in the mid 1970s.
On the north corner of Pine Ave was the home of the Young family that was relocated from opposite the Corio Shire Hotel on Melbourne Road in the 1950s. This block was numbered No 8 Seabeach Parade
Arthur and Mrs Finnegan’s family lived at No 3. Their children were Alvie, Thelma, Edna, Arthur, Merle and Percy. After they left and went to Wallingford, Kevin and Moya Taylor moved in. They had two sons, Kevin and Michael. Mrs Taylor's younger brother, Mick Ryan, lived with the family. Mick later became a powder monkey with the Country Roads Board.
Rylands second house in Pine Ave was at No. 4. It was home to Jack and Pat Ryan and their two children Suzanne and Dennis from the mid 1950s.
At No 6 there was a Polish family named Kalocenko. It was said that Mr Kalocenko was burnt when the still he had made to produce vodka exploded. His luck was better later when he won Tatts and bought himself a fishing boat.
Len and Eliza Everett were at No 5. They had no children.
At No 7 were Carl and Sylvia Schache. Carl was the chief chemist at the Phossie. He was born in Murtoa in the Wimmera and came to the Phossie from the Electrolytic Zinc Co. of Risdon, Tasmania. The Schaches had no children. Carl and Sylvia were great gardeners and when they moved to a house on the corner of Melbourne Road and Lunan Ave, Drumcondra they created a lovely garden there too. The Stephensons with their only child, Julie, followed them at No 7.
Dicky and Elizabeth Lee's house was at No 9. Their daughter Joan went to school at Morongo. We boys learned not to give Joan any cheek – she could more than hold her own if we tried to tease her. Joan later became a nurse and went to live in Perth. When Dicky retired he moved to Perth to be near Joan. (His wife had died before he left North Shore.) I remember once attending a fete (or a “bazaar” as they were called then) run in the empty block next to Lees’ place. It was held in aid of some church charity, I think. The block was still empty in 2005.
Old Mrs Spitty had a house built at No 18 in the 1950s. It was occupied by a Polish family named Hess. At No 16 there was a Russian family who won Tatts.
At No 20 there was a small home occupied by Mrs Em Rawlings and her daughter, Muriel. At one time two brothers who were apprentices at the International, Bill and Luke Young, boarded with Mrs Rawlings. Bill played in the North Shore Cricket team that were premiers in season 1947-48.
In the early 1950s, two Irish families, the Ramseys and McDowells, built identical brick homes at Nos 22 and No 24 respectively. The first time I met Mr Ramsey was my first encounter with Irish humour when he told me, with a perfectly straight face, that the best way to kill a snake was to cut off its tail. “Of course,” he added, “you must be sure to cut the tail as close to the head as possible.”
Tom Ramsey and Harry McDowell, boys of my age, were keen fisherman. Tom and Harry later played with us in the revived North Shore footy team and Harry became a stalwart of the team over many years.
Tom became a butcher's apprentice but before long he gave that up to become a copy boy at the Geelong Advertiser where he had the initiative to commence a record review column. Tom later went on to make a successful career in sports journalism, particularly in his favourite sport ‑ golf. Tom had a younger brother, Bill. The other McDowell children were Marcus, Mavis and Nancy.
Opposite Ramseys at No 23 there was a Polish family named Leszczynski. The parents were Jan and Jozefa and the children Wanda, Sophia and Malcolm. Mal was a great friend of my younger brother, Jack Power. Mal and his wife June moved to Tura Beach NSW where Mal died in September 2015.
At No 25 were the Looney family. Mrs Looney had the brick post office and residence built at 9 Seabeach Parade. She and her husband Ray sold up and moved to Adelaide where Mrs Looney nursed Mrs Goodyear in her old age.
Next door at No 27 were Bill and Merle Gillette whose house was the original Phossie despatch office that was relocated to Pine Avenue from its site due west of the Pivot's long shed. Bill and Merle experienced the great sadness of having three children die shortly after birth. Merle was one of Alan Guy’s sisters.
In the '50s Stuart and Mrs Holwell with daughter Heather came to live next door to the McDowells at No26 and beside them, at No 28, Percy Luke who had married Patty O'Brien, built a home using Mount Gambier stone. Their daughter was Karen. As a young man, Percy was a very good footballer with Geelong West. He worked at Shell and Pilkingtons but suffered chronic ill health in later life.
The last building fronting Pine Avenue down towards the Phosphate Road end was not a house but the barn‑like garage used by the Webb, Pope and Goodyear families whose homes faced onto The Esplanade.
Mr Curran, who was the Ford test driver, regularly pulled up at the roadside there to tick off a check list for the car he was testing.
Opposite at No 31 a family named McNamara lived in a house built in the 1960s.
THE ESPLANADE (Formerly SEAVIEW AVENUE)
With its great views across Corio Bay to the city of Geelong, The Esplanade was the best street in North Shore and therefore the one with the most homes.
On the corner with Phosphate Road (at No 63) was the large residence of the Pivot manager, Bob and Edith Goodyear. They had no children. Prior to the Goodyears, Trevor Davies, the first manager, had lived at No 63. In the 1960s the house was demolished to make room for a brick home for Geoff Pullen when he became manager. He had four children: John, Roberta and two others.
A new home was built on part of the western end of the property (now No 61) to accommodate the new assistant manager, Dick Willis, his wife Peggy and very young children Gail and Kathy in the early 1950s. Later Bob and Pat Richards and sons Chris and ?? were there and then Bill and Dianne Eckhardt.
Next door at No 59 was the home of Ian and Jesse Pope. Ian Pope was one of the Phossie engineers and the home was another residence provided by the Phossie. The Pope girls, Joan and Faye, attended Morongo. Later Graeme & Mrs Lewis with children Jane and ?? lived there.
At No 57 was the home of Jack and Ethel Webb (no relation to the Webb family in Phosphate Road). Old Jack Webb was the senior engineer at the Phossie. The Webbs had one daughter, Beatrice, a nurse, but she had left home when we were kids. Mr and Mary Broekman with children Francis, Teresa and ?? lived there later.
Reg and Mrs Reid lived at No 55. Reg was also a fitter and turner at the Phossie. The Reids had one daughter, Betty, a large, cheerful girl. When she was a young teenager Betty spent a lot of time at our house after her father remarried and his new wife, Lady Lorna Young, gave birth to twins, Max and Gwen. Later a Scot couple, Mr and Mrs Clacker lived here. A later family to live in this house were the Higgins with one daughter Dawn. After the Higgins the house was occupied by the Floyd family with children Michael, Leanne, Mary, Michelle and Rodney.
Beside them were Harry and Emily O’Brien at No 53. The children were Ron, Patty, Carol and Wilma. In the mid 1950s Wilma and my sister Valerie sailed off to New Zealand on a working holiday. As well as finding work they both found husbands in NZ and settled and raised their Kiwi families in Wellington. Carol married Tom Lawlor and with their four children they went to Queensland to live. One of their sons lost a leg while surfing when attacked by a shark at Newcastle. Tom and Carol’s marriage broke up and she returned to North Shore and married an old sweetheart, Paul ??? After Paul’s death Carol returned to Queensland.
Next door to the O’Briens were two cream brick houses. No 51 was owned by Peter and Margaret Hawker who had one girl, Jeanette. Mrs Hawker’s sister, Jean Smith, lived with the family.
No 49 was owned by Roger and Myrtle Hall who had no children. Myrtle and Margaret Hawker were sisters and their maiden name was Smith. Their brother Alec lived in Seabeach Parade. Other siblings were Ivy, Gordon, Lucie, Marjorie, John, Duncan, Gordon and Jean. Jean and Margaret were the postmistresses in the old post office in Seabeach Parade. The Hawkers’ home had previously been owned by people called Melville. Roger Hall worked at E J Brockman & Sons in North Geelong. Peter Hawker worked at Hawkes Bros in North Geelong and walked to and from work every day.
At 47 lived Roy and Connie Austin with two sons, Alan and one other boy. Later Steve and Di Becker lived there. Maurie and Mrs Abraham with children Barbara and Tom also lived there at some stage.
At 45 and 43 there was a pair of maisonettes on a single block with Miss O’Neill living on one side and Mrs Young on the other. I believe that these two numbers on the one block were part of a later numbering system and that the earlier No 43 was the next door block.
If I am correct then the earlier No 43 was the site of an old home named ‘Murrayville’ or ‘Milduraville’ where the Pope family had lived before moving to No 59. Many years later the house was removed to the Fyans Park Estate near Highton. Pivot had another house constructed on the site and it was occupied by an English family with a daughter who went to the Hermitage. I think that they were Tony and Mrs Todd and daughter Felicity. After them it was occupied by the family of a Phossie engineer, Harry Chesterman. Harry and Betty Chesterman had two sons, Scott and Ian. During their time there a fire damaged the house.
Allen and Shirley Wilson (nee Lock) lived at No 41. Shirley had grown up at No 29 Myrtle Grove. Allen and Shirley’s children are Ian, Eric and Linda.
Jack and Rene Hosford and children John, Jan, Helen and Susan were at No 39 and Bob and Alice Johnstone built at No 37 in the 1950s. Their son Graeme became a lawyer and later the state coroner. He married Carol Guy from Pine Ave and they were later divorced. Many years later he married my sister, Shirley Power who had grown up in Phosphate Road and who had been widowed when her husband, Brad Doak, was killed in a car accident in Katoomba in 1974.
Alan and Alma Hillman lived at No 35 in a house that they had moved from the seafront at Oyster Cove near the end of Walchs Road. Mr Hillman had a large vegetable garden that extended right through to Pine Ave. Later Fred and Betty Sillitoe lived there.
Harold and Teddie Young moved from Phosphate Road to No 33 in the '50s and later this house was owned by Mr Van Wees, a Dutch smallgoods manufacturer. There were seven daughters: Mary, Kitty, Monica, Juget and three others.
In the large weatherboard home with the wide verandahs at No 31 lived another Dutch family, the Scheelings, with a family of ten children: Helena, Jan, Ben, Matt, Nell, Pieter, Janny, Andre, Menny and Frank. This home had been built in the late 1930s by S E Dickins, the grocer, whose first shop was in Drumcondra. He was an elder of the Presbyterian Church at North Shore. The Dickens’ children were James, Neil, Joy and Marie. After the Dickens moved out in about 1940 the Farrell family lived there. They had a daughter, Ruby.
At No 29 was a home that had been built for Mrs Stella Silletoe who was the daughter-in-law of Fred and Betty Silletoe. Fred was an Englishman who had worked at the Phossie before the war. Fred returned to England where he suffered the tragedy of losing his son who was an RAF pilot killed in the Battle of Britain. Fred came back to Australia with his son’s widow, Stella. Her only son, Jim, became a doctor. Mrs Silletoe jnr later married Les Lynch and their children were Christine and Laurie.
Brockenshire, the Geelong optician, built the house at No 27 in the 1930s. It was later bought by the Phossie and was occupied by their accountant, Mr Berwick. Hedley and Bertha Berwick had no children. After the Berwicks left, the house was lived in by Tom and Marjory Hardley with children Rosemary and Brian, and then Wally and Monte Chin, and later Steve and Dianne Bekker with children Greg and Naomi moved along from 47 The Esplanade to live there. All of the men were Phossie engineers.
At No 25, on the corner of The Esplanade and Seabeach Parade, stood North Shore's only double storey house owned by a Scots couple, Andrew and Ann Davie, who lived there with their only son, Iain. Andy was an engineer (and, later, the manager) at Corio Distillery. Mrs Davie's father, Matthew Young, had come from Scotland to build the distillery. The Davies had lived in Donnelly Avenue before moving to this home on the Esplanade.
The house had been built by Geelong builders for a Canadian named Patrick Moloney who married a Geelong girl, Dorothy Drysdale.
Ann Davie and Ferg Flett (who had both been nurses) were members of Red Cross and during the war they wore military style khaki uniforms when on Red Cross duties.
On the sea front opposite the Davies, about 50 metres from the beach, a homeless family named Jones with three children established themselves in a tent for several months during, I think, 1946. In those immediate post‑war years there were severe shortages of everything, including houses. Mrs Davie invited the children to come up to her home for a weekly bath.
After the Davies left in 1959, the home was owned by Dr Harold Day and his wife Moira. until 1965. Their children were Doug, Jill, Jonathan and Richard. From 1965 No 25 has been owned by Dale and Kay Jennings. Their children are Kim and Steven. Dale is a former editor of the Geelong News.
On the corner opposite the Davie home was the North Shore Hall, built by John and Mary Hinksman in 1936, and the focus of all community activities in the village. It was a large timber building with a very good dancing floor and was in constant use. During the war there were regular well-attended dances and my sister Val and I joined the many kids who went along with their parents. Just before supper the kids formed a circle to play ‘jump the mat’. Supper was a grand affair during that austere period of rationing with lots of sandwiches and cakes and plenty of milk coffee poured from big kettles.
Dancing classes were run there by Min Harrington on Saturday mornings. As well as teaching us tap dancing, Min prepared us for at least two junior debutante balls that I can remember. Occasional concerts and singalongs were held on Sunday nights.
After the war, Ron Evans senior, Harry O’Brien and Frank Burns started up a boys’ club on Thursday nights in the hall. The boys’ club was strongly focused on boxing but there were also gymnastics and plenty of rough‑house games like poison ball and hoppo bumpo.
The 1st Norlane Scout Group started their weekly parades in the hall too before moving up to an ex-wartime hut in Plume St, Norlane. It had actually been a crate for an aeroplane fuselage and had been obtained for the scouts by Ernie Harris.
To everyone’s amazement, the owner of the North Shore hall, Teddy Smith, sold it for removal to Grovedale in the late 1940s. A later owner of the shop, Jack Wilson, built a house for himself on the site of the departed hall at No 23.
Tom Hardley, a Phossie engineer, lived at No 21 or No 19. The house on the corner of Seaforth Street was No 17 and there were no other houses west of it on The Esplanade. Ted Handley, who was captain-coach of the revived North Shore Football Club in 1953, may have lived in one of these houses at some stage. Ian and Georgie McKee and daughter Katherine also lived in one of these houses at some time.
Seaforth St was constructed in the 1950s and the only homes were along its eastern side. The Bellperouds moved their home to No 12, Bill Evans moved his house from Walchs Rd to No 10, next door to the home of George and Della (nee Evans) Twardoski with children Geoffrey, Greg, Brett and Ross at No 8.
People named Coops lived at No 6. Also at No 6 George and Nan Powell and children Bill and Jane lived for a time.
Dave and Val Gibbons and children David, Debbie and Gaye live at No 36 Seaforth St.
The western side of Seaforth Street became an industrial area.
Seaforth Street traverses what had been the home ground of the North Shore Cricket Club in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Between 1940 and 1945 it had been part of the landing field for the air force base stationed at the International Harvester Company's buildings.
Next to the hall was the North Shore Store run by the Hinksman family during the 1930s and 40s. The Hinksman children attended St John’s School in North Geelong. They were, I think, Don, Molly and Billy. The Hinksmans sold the business to the Andersons at the end of the war. The Andersons were only there for a short time before they sold to Ted Smith, who was well known in Geelong as the drummer in the band that played at the Saturday night dances at the Palais.
Teddy Smith bought at the right time because it was shortly after he took over the shop that the large number of refugee workers arrived at North Shore to work in the local factories. Every night the shop was filled with these men who were happy to escape their bleak accommodation to spend time (and their money) in the cheery atmosphere that Ted created. The next owners were Jack and Mrs Wilson who set up a section of the shop as a beauty parlour for their daughter. Gordon and Nancy Blake family were the next owners. They had one daughter, Barbara. After them the owners were Jake and Mrs Posthuma with Greg, Donna and two other children.
The next house along from the shop at No 5 was the home of Charlie Ward who worked with my father at the Phossie. He kept his large wooden fishing boat in the empty block between his house and the shop. His second wife, Mrs Olive Ward, suffered from a condition known as St Vitus Dance and we felt sorry for her when we saw her constantly twitching. Charlie Ward had one daughter, Robyn, from his first marriage. After Olive's death Robyn returned to the home with her husband and children Pamela, Deborah, Peter and Roderick.
Opposite at Nos 4 & 6 were two homes built by Rylands in the early 1950s. Rylands built four company houses in a row at 4 Seabeach Parade, 6 Seabeach Parade (which was on the corner of Pine Avenue), and around the corner at 2 Pine Avenue and 4 Pine Avenue to house senior management and their families, most of whom were transferred to Geelong from head office in Newcastle.
4 Seabeach Parade was occupied by Allan Hartcher and his wife. He was the company Accountant. Sadly his wife became ill and died in the late 1950s and he continued to live there alone.
In 1956, 6 Seabeach Parade was home to Gordon and Joy Henderson and their two daughters ? and Sondra. They returned to Newcastle and were replaced by Lawrie and Rene Banks and their three daughters Lynette, Anne and Margaret Banks. They were followed in the early 1960s by Rex and Connie Inglis and their three young daughters.
Schillings and later Mr H C Baxter lived at No 4.
Across Pine Ave at No 8 Seabeach Parade in the 1950s was Eric Young’s old home relocated from the east side of Melbourne Road opposite the Corio Shire Hotel where he had been the licencee. Next to him on a double block (Nos 10 & 12) was an old sprawling timber home that had been occupied by the Angus family, then by people named Fazacherley and later again possibly by the Habey family and later perhaps, Pennells. It is also believed that Tommy Dean lived there at one time.
The North Shore Post Office business was transferred to a new building at No 9 in the 50s.
At No 11 was a home built in the 1940s for Maurie Garrett who was the electrician at the Phossie. Mrs Berna Garrett was a friendly, sociable person. Their children were Barbara and Roy. Later, Alec and Dot Berry lived in this house with their children, Ronald and Heather.
Tom and Linda Eastwood with Tom, Jane and one other child lived at No 15.
At No 17 were Stan and Nellie Thompson and daughter Marjorie. Nellie was a sister of Harry Way. Stan was a boiler attendant at the Grammar School. Later Ron and Helen Longmuir with Janet, David and Joy lived at No 17
Alec and Cora Smith with their five children: June, Keith, John, Gwen and Ron lived at No 19. Alec drove trucks with Ford. Keith and Ron did apprenticeships at the Harvester.
No 21 or No 23 was the home of the Chausou family.
The house at No 23 (now gone) was once occupied by the Phossie manager who replaced Bob Goodyear. He and his family then moved to 63 The Esplanade after the Goodyears moved out. Alex and Kathy Chausou later lived in this house with their son Andre.
To go back to the eastern side of the road, the house at No 16 was built by the Phossie for their chief electrician. Bill Eckhardt, a Phossie manager, was the last to live there with his wife Penny and children Jamie and Tiffany. Later they moved to No 61 The Esplanade. Tiffany married Dave Steele.
At No 20 one of the Phossie engineers built a house.
Across Myrtle Grove, the block at No 22 became the new site for the Presbyterian Church in the 1950s and the block at No 24 became the site for the church hall. Bill and Mrs Dunbar and daughter Glenda lived at about No 26.
Opposite at No 25 was the old site of the post office. Smiths lived there. Duncan and his wife Lucie had ten children: Ivy, Gordon, Lucie, Marjorie, John, Myrtle, Duncan, Alec, Margaret, and Jean.
Later, a Scottish family, Johnson and Grace McLean and son Kenneth, lived there for a short time. Grace’s mother Margaret Sudden and Grace’s brother Ron Sudden stayed with them for a while before moving into a caravan beside the church when Margaret became the cleaner there. Margaret and Ron then moved to Cox Road and later to Station Street. They both worked at International Harvester, Ron in the office and Margaret as a cleaner. Ron became a well known entertainer in Geelong.
A carpenter at the Phossie, Bill Allison, built at No 27 and lived in this house. He had two sons, Graham and Colin.
Harold and Margaret Woods with Robert and Heather were at No 31, Maurie Abraham at No 35 and a Polish worker at the Phossie lived at No 37.
Further up the road over the Phossie railway line on the east side there once stood the Presbyterian Church with Alec Smith's house opposite it until it was later moved up to Sparks Road. This was the only house in a short track known as Coane Street. The house was surrounded by box thorn bushes. John and Alice Dumbrell with children David, Graeme and Janet lived there in 1956-7.
At the back of the church there was a rough sports ground where I can recall playing cricket. I think that the Pivot Cricket Club used it for their home ground.
The young English sisters, Kathleen and Rosemary Hill, lived in Seabeach Parade in the early 1950s but I don’t know in which house. Kathleen married Cliff Barrand.
WALCHS ROAD (Formerly SPARKS ROAD) The next road crossing Seabeach Parade was Sparks Road (now known as Walchs Road). It only extended a short distance to the west and the only house there in the 1940s was occupied by the King family. Reg and Elsie King had two children, Miriam and Jon. Previously the Browns and then the Penglazes had lived there.
The home of the Spitty family was in Seabeach Pde near the Walchs Rd corner.
On the north-east corner of the intersection there were the remains of a house that Norm Spitty and Fergie Hamilton thought had been the home of the Walch family.
In the 1950s the Bliss family moved their house from further east in Walchs Road and relocated it opposite the Kings’ home. Jack and Nell Bliss had five children: Tony, Barbara, Peter, Bernard and John.
At the other end of Walchs Road, behind the Phossie sheds, there were five homes. The first, standing some distance to the west from the other four, was owned by George and Margaret Evans who ran a dairy farm there that went back to Madden Ave. George and Margaret had a large family: Bill, Ron, Alan, Ernie, Ethel, Myrtle, Muriel and Elsie.
George owned four timber houses about 150 metres to the east in Walchs Road and in 1935 they were occupied (from the western end) by the following families: Hamilton,
Monkivitch, Evans (Bill) and Wildman.
When he was an old man George Evans took his own life and Margaret, who was bedridden, was unable to look after herself let alone the farm. Ron Evans, one of George and Margaret's four sons, moved into the home with his wife Della and four children - two who were also named Ron and Della - plus Peggy and Jacqueline. Ron and Della had previously lived in the first of the group of four homes. (These houses were workmen's cottages owned by George Evans.) When Ron and Della moved out, Rita and Tom Finch moved in. Later the Finchs moved to No 8 Myrtle Grove and Norm and Peg Hilcke with children Helen, Gary, Graham and Bill replaced them.
The next house was occupied by the Bliss family mentioned above.
Beside the Blisses was one of Ron Evans’ three brothers, Bill. Bill and Maggie Evans lived there with their four children: Lila, Gwen, Ivan and Max.
Ron and Bill Evans’ other two brothers were Ernie and Alan. Alan was killed during World War Two. Bill enlisted in the army too but returned safely after the war. Bill and Ron were not related to George Evans who lived in Phosphate Road or to Theo Evans who lived along from Hillmans on the beachfront at Oyster Cove.
The last of the group of four cottages was occupied by Don and Margaret Parker. They had no children. Mrs Parker was a sister of Mrs Ward.
When Rylands acquired the land north of the Phossie the householders were given the opportunity of buying the houses and moving them elsewhere. Ron and Della sold their property to Rylands and moved their house up to beside the home of the North Shore Railway Station Mistress, Mrs McClure. It is now at No 11 in Station Street. Bill and Maggie Evans moved their house to No 10 Seaforth St. The Parkers moved their house up to behind Buckleys’ garage on the Melbourne Road opposite the Ford Motor Company.
A track went north from beside Parker's cottage to a house some distance away in the paddock. This house was occupied by Jack and Mary Belperroud and daughters Marlene and Margaret and later by Cyril Dean who had the house moved at the time of the Rylands acquisition to a site in Seaside Parade.
To the east of Cyril's house (before it was moved) and standing close to the waterfront was a house occupied by the Hillman family, which was moved, following the Ryland’s acquisition, to No 35 The Esplanade. There were two Hillman children, Marj and a boy.
Another Evans family lived in a large rambling house on the beachfront to the north of Hillman’s home. Theo and Frances Evans had four daughters: Margaret, Frances, Monica and Noreen. Theo and the family moved west up Walchs Road to be next door to the new location of the Bliss home with the Spitty family on the other side. Bill Spitty’s son was Norm. Keith and Margaret Cantwell later lived in Theo Evans’ home. (Margaret was Theo’s oldest daughter.)
Jim and Margaret (“Peg”) Canny and their family: Kevin, Lorraine and Brian later replaced the Cantwells there. Peg’s father, “Pop” Toll, sister, Kathleen Toll and brother, John (“Uncle”) Toll, also lived with them. Peg ran her home as a boarding house for workers from John Holland Constructions who were building King’s Wharf as an extension of Lascelles Wharf. In 1956 Kathleen married the boy from across the road, Jon King.
The next road along was Madden Avenue that had only one home, the residence of the Gamble family. Theo Gamble worked at Fords and every afternoon he caught the bus at the corner of Melbourne Road and North Shore Road. I remember, as a boy, marvelling at Theo's ability to conduct a conversation with the busdriver with a roll-your-own cigarette constantly hanging from the corner of his mouth. Theo and Amy Gamble’s children were Phyllis, Basil, Maureen and Pat. Phyllis married Ned McIntosh and their teenage son Robbie was tragically killed in a car accident.
Dave Moore had lived in that house before the Gambles. Dave’s son and daughter-in-law, Archie and Alma, were living with him there in 1939.
Back to SEABEACH PARADE (NORTH) Further along Seabeach Parade (heading north on the east side) was a group of three houses. The first was occupied by the Mackie family, the Pilgrims were next and the third was the home of Frank and Ada Berry.
Mrs Mackie was a widow with two sons, John and Bill. Their home had previously been occupied by the Hooper family with children Dorothy, Lorna, Jean and “Digger”.
Stan and Alice Pilgrim’s children were Julia, Trevor and Nicky. Their home was another ex-Elcho house. Previous to the Pilgrims, Eric and Winifred Lock lived there until 1943 with Arthur, Shirley and Beth. Their fourth child Winifred was born after the family had moved to Myrtle Grove. After the Pilgrims moved on, Mrs Dent lived there with her two sons Kevin and Neil.
Frank and Ada Berry had emigrated from Edinburgh to Adelaide in 1928 with their children Alex, Gordon and Jessie. Their fourth child, Malcolm, was born in Australia in 1930. They bought their home from Bill and Edith Meeke. Eventually Gordon and Malcolm also became coopers at the distillery. The boys were all good sportsman and Malcolm captained three North Shore teams at various times: football, cricket and basketball.
Around the corner from them, in Greta Street, lived the Burns family. Frank and Mrs Burns’ children were Jack, Keith, Norma, June and Clive. Norma married Gordon Berry. There were two houses at the bottom of St Georges Road to the east of the intersection with Seabeach Parade. The Burns family moved from down there to live in Greta Street. Later the house in Greta St was occupied by a returned serviceman, “Gunny” Brooks and his wife. An elderly couple, Tom and Mrs Ward lived next to Teddy Gibbons and his family in the two houses at the bottom of St Georges Road. Later the Gibbons moved to a brick home in Seabreeze Pde, next door to Ken Balding.
COTTAGES AT THE CORIO DISTILLERY
The next houses were workers’ cottages along the front of the distillery. The family I can clearly recall living there were the Donnellys. Jock Donnelly was another Scot and worked as a brewer. The Donnelly children were Kath, Mary, Betty and John. Jock Timney and his wife with children Jack and Molly also lived in one of the distillery houses.
Bob and Hazel Loveday and daughters Roberta and Pam occupied one of the cottages as did the Swan family. Bob Loveday was the brother of Jim Loveday who was a very popular bus driver with Benders. Jim drove the North Shore route for many years.
Charlie Martin, a distillery employee, and his family lived next door to Bob Loveday.
Mr Swan was an excise officer. His son Don was one of North Shore’s best footballers and cricketers in the 1940s. Mr Irving was another excise officer.
On the north side of the Distillery’s main gate was a manager’s residence that was later converted to offices. Bill Stewart, a Scot, was the first manager to live in that residence. Mr Ballantyne was a later manager and lived there with his wife Elizabeth..
THE WESTERN AREA OF NORTH SHORE
(With the considerable assistance of Bob Barclay)
That was the extent of the housing east of the Melbourne‑Geelong train line. The area west of the line was, of course, still North Shore in the 1940s up until the time of the huge growth in houses activated by the Housing Commission. From about 1947 the name of this western area became Norlane in honour of Norman Lane, a Donnelly Avenue resident who had died in a Japanese POW camp during the war. Bob Barclay explained to me that the residents on the western side of North Shore had requested that a post office be established. The Post Office agreed to this but would not accept North Shore West as a suitable name so the name Norlane was put forward and accepted. My memory of that area during the 1940s is not so clear but I'll record as best I can what I do remember but mainly rely on the memories of Bob Barclay and Fergie Hamilton who both lived on Melbourne Road.
I recall that as you went west up St Georges Road and crossed the railway line there was, on the right hand side, a humpy about 100 yards back from the road. This was the “home” of old Tom and Annie Moore who lived there for several years. Tom was a pleasant old man who rode his bike around the district.
I don't think that there were any homes in St Georges Road in the 1940s. This was the route the school bus followed each day and I think that our first stop was at the Melbourne Road corner where the Thomas children from a house on the south-west corner caught the bus. Mr Thomas built this house very slowly over many years. The paddock behind the Thomas home was owned by the Andersons. There were 12 children in the family, six girls and six boys: Basil, Alan, George, Huey, Stuart, Jack, Grace, May, Jessie, Margaret, Mary, Annie
MELBOURNE ROAD (to Sparks Rd)
The bus proceeded south along the Melbourne Road, passing, on the west side the homes of the Mapleson and Walker families and on the east Charlie Dean and William and Alice Mitchell and John and Eilie Donnelly. (John was the son of Jock Donnelly and also worked at the Distillery.) Across the road from the Mitchells, Wally Walker had a wood yard. The next stop was at the corner with Sparks Road where a few kids got off to walk down to North Shore State School. (However, most of the kids from the east side of North Shore simply walked across the paddocks each day to and from the school.) The Heffernan girls got on at this stop to come with us to St John's in North Geelong.
William and Alice Mitchell’s children were Alan, Colin and Rhoda. Alan married Dot and Rhoda married Andy Doyle. Colin played football for North Melbourne.
The Mapleson children were Ron, Ruth, Stuart and John; the Walkers’ kids were Doreen, Patty and John. Jim and Mrs Heffernan had several children two of whom were Merle and Aileen.
The Moore family lived on the north-east corner with Melbourne Rd, the King sisters on the south-east and the Andersons on the north-west with children Heather, Beverley and Glen. In Melbourne Road to the north of the Andersons there was another house but Bob could not recall who lived there. On the western side of Melbourne Road, Sparks Rd continued for a short distance as a gravel track and in the three houses there on the south side lived the Heffernan, Gourley and Foot families. Cecil and Ivy Foot’s children were Arthur, Arnold, Norma and Leone. Bruce Gourley is recorded as a garage attendant in the 1939 electoral roll. A dirt track continued west from there across the empty paddocks to what was the North Shore football ground up until 1948 when the club won the premiership and then disbanded. It was a completely bare area with not a tree in sight and on windy days the ground was almost impossible to play at.
Sparks Road to the east was, like Melbourne Road (as far as No 66), a concrete road. Some distance from the corner there was a group of four houses, three on the north occupied by Philip and Bertha Singleton, the Gladman and an unknown family and on the south side were the Gillespies. Well east of that there was another house occupied, possibly, by wilf and Frances McFetrich.
North Shore State School was out in the paddock north of the eastern end of the concrete Sparks Rd.
The next bus stop was at Donnelly Avenue, North Shore's most densely populated street where Bob Swindells, Arthur Adcock and Peter Tudor joined us in the ride to St John's and Bob and Norma Barclay to North Geelong State School. (Our next‑door neighbours in Phosphate Rd, the Nelsons, were also regulars on the bus as they also attended North Geelong State.)
Between Sparks Road and Donnelly Ave, one road (Wendover Ave) went off to the east with only one house, that of Bob and Sylvia Cahir Mrs Cahir's maiden name was Spitty. Bob was one of four brothers (the others being Pat, Vince and ??) who gave great service to the North Shore Football Club. Bob’s elder son, Harold, continued that tradition, and was a fine performer for the club over many seasons. Bob’s younger son was Robert. Further down Wendover Ave were the two courts of the North Shore Tennis Club. There was an isolated house, I think, near the tennis courts, at No 25 Wendover Ave. I think that the Hamiltons may have lived in this house at one stage.
MELBOURNE RD (between Wendover Ave and Donnelly Ave)
From the corner with Wendover Ave the houses running along the east side of Melbourne Rd to the corner with Donnelly Ave were owned or occupied by the Baxter, Rumble, Beach, Barclay and Woodfull families. Two of the Baxter children were Betty and Rae. There was also one other daughter.
Bill Barclay worked with my father in the acid plant at the Phossie and was once seriously injured, losing a finger when splashed with acid. Mrs Barclay was a good tennis player and played on the courts located in Wendover Avenue. Their children were Bob and Norma.
Harry and Alma Woodfull’s home was on the corner with Donnelly Ave. Their daughter was Diane.
On the north side of Donnelly Ave down to Plume Street the Swindells were at No 1,
No 3 Rachinger, No 5 Riddle, No 7 Tudor, No 9 Morrison, No 11 Raynor and No 13 Martin. John and Annie Swindells had three children Ted, Bob and Elsie. Ted Swindells and Tony Bliss formed a good pair of opening batsmen for the North Shore Cricket Club during the late ‘40s. Bob Swindles became a Christian Brother but died as a young man.
Norman and Thelma Rachinger had a son, Norm. They are registered on the 1939 electoral roll as living at No 3 Donnelly Ave.
Four of the Tudor children were Peter, Brian, Dorothe and Margaret.
After their marriage, Ray and Marg Beckley lived in a house on the north side of Donnelly Ave, possibly No 15. Their home was located on the corner of Plume St. The parish priest of St Thomas’s, Fr Payne, also lived on the north side of Donnelly Ave in the early 1950s.
Harold and Veronica Adcock also lived in Donnelly Ave with their son Arthur
On the south side on the corner with Melbourne Road was an empty block. Norman Lane’s family was at No 2 then No 4 Riddle, No 6 Rotherham, No 8 Adcock, No 10 Ray and Doris Martin, No 12 Stan Rowe, No 14 Foote.
Norman Lane had one daughter, Isabel. Norman Lane died in a Japanese POW camp and when the people west of the railway line pushed for the establishment of a post office the postal authorities agreed but asked for a name other than North Shore West. To honour Norman Lane the name Norlane was proposed and accepted in about 1947.
Henry and Gwen Riddell lived at No 5. Henry was the 1st Norlane Scout Group leader and his son John was the senior scout. Mr Riddell was a cook at the Grammar School. Ray & Doris Martin’s children were Cynthia and Noel. They were very involved in foot racing and later Ray and Doris moved to Stawell. Stan Rowe and Jim Murray formed a building company that operated successfully during the rapid expansion of the Norlane area. Stan Rowe later went to Camperdown and Jim Murray eventually became a councillor. The Murray children were Faye and Stan.
East of Plume Street on the north side were these families: at No 15 Frank and Alma Meyrick, No 17 Jim and Mabel Murray, No 19 Parson, No 21 Unknown, No 23 Old Mrs Frost, No 25 Unknown, No 27 Poustie, No 29 Brown, No 31 Culliver and No 33 Eastwood. On the south side were No 16 Vin and Clarice Cahir, No 18 Empty block, No 20 Don & Mrs Grant, No 22 Dettleson, No 24 Ernie & Florrie Harris, No 26 Moodie, Nos 28and 30 Reuben and Doris Beckley, No 32 Yelland, No 34 Maddock, No 36 Empty block, No 38 Breen.
Frank and Alma Meyrick’s children were Mervyn, Neil and Irene. Cliff Poustie married May Anderson. The Grant children were Don (“Grandpa”), Irene and Gladys. Ernie Harris had an important role at Ford in charge of transport . He was involved in the scouts as was Mr Riddle and a Mr Dunstan. The Harris children were Andy, Florence and Yvonne.
The Beckley family made a great contribution to life in North Shore. Reuben was a long time President of the football club and his elder son Ray occupied the same position with the cricket club for many years. Reuben was a Corio Shire councillor and, after his death, Ray was elected to replace him. Ray later became the president of Corio Shire Council. Ray also became involved in trotting and Beckley Park was so named to honour his contribution to the sport in Geelong. The other Beckley children were Lois, Joyce, Dossie and Max. Beckley's band, with Reuben on piano and Ray on drums, provided the music for the North Shore dances.
One memorable effort in North Shore was the support for Joyce Beckley who was entered as the North Shore candidate in the Geelong Popular Girl Competition in about 1947. The North Shore committee under Ruebe’s leadership raised over 5,000 pounds, an enormous amount of money in those days, to see Joyce become the easy winner of the crown. All proceeds of the competition went to the Bethany Babies’ Home. However, a year later, when a crisis confronted North Shore, everyone was still too exhausted to launch upon another major fund raising effort. The crisis was the imminent sale of the North Shore hall which was privately owned by Teddy Smith. The outcome was that no one was prepared to put in the effort to retain the hall so it was sold and moved to Grovedale. I can remember riding my bike, bewildered and angry, behind the low loader as the hall was driven up North Shore Road.
In those days there were only a few houses on the side of the track that was Plume St and they were occupied (from the Donnelly Ave end) by the Swanson, Green, Faulkner, Dunstan and Lee families.
Lindsay Swanson played cricket for North Shore. He was killed in a motor bike accident.
He had a brother named Bobby who worked as a watchman.
Roy and Mavis Green’s children were Peggy and Bevan. Roy played with the North Shore football and cricket clubs. Three members of the Lee family were Ivan, Helen and James.
I think that Alan Potter also lived in Plume St. Alan was married to Dot Walker, the sister of Ray Beckley’s wife Marg. Alan and his brother Neil were good cricketers with the North Shore team. Alan was the captain and the opening bowler (with Gordon Berry). Alan was Phil Wildman’s assistant on the bagging floor at the Phossie. Neil worked at International but after he married Joyce Beckley he joined the expanding Beckley transport business and became their manager in Sydney. Their two daughters are Laureen and Kerrie.
In about 1947 an ex wartime hut was located opposite these houses and used as a hall by the 1st Norlane Scouts. The first scoutmaster was Mr Dunstan who lived opposite the hut. Mr Riddell was the next scoutmaster.
MELBOURNE RD (from Donnelly Ave to North Shore Rd)
There was a scattering of houses along Melbourne Road between Donnelly Ave and North Shore Rd. On the east side Edward, Catherine and Mary McCarthy were next to the empty block on the Donnelly Ave corner and next to them were Edward and Phyllis Cotter. There was quite a gap down to the Newmans, Shaws, Buckleys and Kirks. Between the Cotters and the Newmans a track (later to become Spruhan Ave) went east to the Baptist Church. Four Newmans are registered in the 1939 electoral roll: Len & Maisie and William & Ethel.
Further along were the Hamiltons, Walpoles (who had the shop), Ritters, Doyles and Youngs.
The Newman and Walpole children caught the bus to North Geelong: the Newmans to the state school and the Walpoles to St John’s.
Len Newman was the licencee of the Corio Shire Hotel after he had worked as a boilermaker at the Phossie. Len and Maisie Newman had two boys, Noel and Graeme.
Norm Shaw had the garage on the Melbourne Rd at Corio.
The Buckley family lived here until they took over the garage opposite Ford.
The house at No 26 Melbourne Rd was to become the final home of the Hamilton family after several moves around North Shore. The Ritters were musicians.
Andy and Rhoda Doyle had Peter, Kathy and Helen. Rhoda was the daughter of William and Alice Mitchell who lived north of Sparks Road on the Melbourne Road.
Eric and Hilda Young moved their home down to the corner of Pine Ave and Seabeach Pde when the Norlane Hotel was about to be built.
On the west side of Melbourne Rd on a track opposite Donnelly Ave (now Takoma Crt), there was a single house occupied by the Bowman family.
Going south along Melbourne Rd from there were the isolated houses lived in by the Pollock, Lang, Bennett, Thistlewaite and Whiteside families. Over to the west of them, about where Yooringa Avenue now is, was Colville's saw mill. The Colville family members on the 1939 electoral roll are Walter, Lucy, Louisa and Elsie. Their address is shown as Geraldine Ave. An isolated house occupied by Paul and Georgina Haby was to the south of the mill. Later the first Norlane Police Station in Denver Street was built beside the Haby home. The Bennett boys were Don and Alan. Lance Porter lived over near the mill also.
The Corio Shire Hotel, managed by the Young family, (later by Bert Reikle and later again by Len Newman), was directly opposite the site of the present Norlane Hotel. The old Corio Shire Hotel was demolished when the road became a four‑lane highway.
Eric and Hilda Young’s children were Betty, Max, Elaine, Paddy and Noreen. Max (“Stabs”) Young was my sparring partner at the North Shore Boys’ Club.
To the north of the Corio Shire Hotel was an oval used by the North Shore Football Club until it was taken over when Ford built the ‘annexe’ in that area during the war.
To the west of the annexe, in the area of the present day location of the Thompson Rd/ The Boulevard roundabout, Tom Wise, the bus proprietor, had a horse stud. Two good racehorses from there in the late 1940s were Bright Lass and Pratting.
There were also a few houses on the western side of Melbourne Road opposite the Ford Motor Company and behind the roadside garage. The garage was nothing like a modern service station. The pumps, each one containing a different brand of petrol, were lined up along the kerb so drivers pulled up on the edge of the roadside beside the bowser with the brand they wanted. The garage was run by the Buckley family.
On a track (now Baldwin Ave) were the homes of the Minns, Parker, Simpson, Quick and Emery families.
Elizabeth Minns was part of the gang of North Shore teenagers who regularly attended the Cats’ home games at Kardinia Park. Elizabeth had a brother Alan and a sister Margaret.
Don and Margaret Parker lived in the house they had moved from Walchs Road.
Albert and Charlie Simpson gave their address as Baldwin St, Fordtown on the 1939 electoral roll.
I remember Ian Quick, the son of Bill and Jane Quick, selling Heralds when Ford knocked off. He was a very good slow bowler and later played cricket for Victoria and Australia.
As you drove south along Melbourne Rd from Ford, the road dipped down to Cowies Creek and as you came back up the hill to the right was a track now known as Cowie St.
Dearnleys lived on the corner of Cowie St and Melbourne Rd
Other families to live along this gravel track were: Edwin and Lorna Lockwood, Norah Simpson, Cole, McIntosh, Bill and Jack Short and Hoffman
NORTH SHORE RD
On the corner of Melbourne Road on the site of the present Norlane Hotel there was a large air raid shelter during the war. Behind Eric Young’s home near the air raid shelter was a row of huts for the Air Raid Wardens. Each hut had a steel helmet and a gas mask hanging on the front wall.
Coming east along North Shore Road I can only recall two houses until the Housing Commission “explosion” in the post WW2 years. The first house was not far from the Melbourne Road corner and was occupied by the Martins. In the 1930s it had been a general store managed by people named Lorimer and then a butcher’s shop run by a Mr Vigar. Jimmy Spitty also had run a butcher's business there for a while. The property was owned by Cr Thompson. Next to it there was a Band of Hope hall and Ray Beckley said that it was the first place where dances were held in North Shore. Later, the Gibbons family whose children were David, Marina, Phyllis and Bobby, lived there. The other house was far away down towards the railway line.
There were only three houses in the vicinity of the North Shore Railway Station and they were occupied by Ray and Betty Phipps, Brown and Dave & Elizabeth Myrtle McClure.
Dave McClure worked in the signal box in the North Geelong railway yards opposite Pilkingtons. He and his wife Myrtle had Audrey, Betty, Lily and a son(?). You had to go to Mrs McClure’s home to buy train tickets and she would then walk across with you to the station to flag the train down. Later, Ron and Della Evans moved their home in Walchs Road up to beside Mrs McClure’s house. About that time in the 1950s Station St was constructed.
Out in the paddocks between North Shore Rd and Donnelly Ave were two isolated houses occupied by the Frost family and John & Margaret Kelly. A track ran across the paddock from Donnelly Ave to the railway crossing in North Shore Rd. This track had been made by Reub Beckley’s truck as he took a short cut down to the eastern side of North Shore with his deliveries.
After the war Cyril and Gladys Dean had their old house moved up from near Walchs Road to a block in a track later to become Seaside Parade and while refurbishing it Cyril suffered a serious eye injury. I remember being part of a large group of locals who conducted a working bee to complete the refurbishments for Cyril and Gladys and their family of eight children: Joyce, Cyril, June, Mavis (May), Pam, Sylvia, Hazel and Trevor.
Seaside Parade and its parallel streets, Seabright and Seaforth Streets, later became an industrial area.