SHIRE OF CORIO ORAL HISTORY
The following story is reproduced in this website with the kind permission of the Geelong Heritage Centre whose reference for this story is GRS 1437.
NAME OF INTERVIEWEE : Mrs Irene Drew
AREA OF SHIRE COVERED IN STORY : Norlane, North Shore
When I came to North Shore as it was called then in 1935, there was only 20 houses here and 15 of them were built by the State Savings Bank. It was only a dirt street with big stones in it, was very muddy when it was wet. There was no shops, the milkman, baker, butcher and grocer all came to the houses with horse and cart for many years. Then there was a smaller grocer shop started on Melbourne Road and it is still there. It was started by Mr Alan Walpole, who passed away a couple of weeks back aged 73.
The first house in Donnelly Avenue was a family by the name of Norman Lane, and he went to the 1940 war, and didn't come back. So they decided to call this part of North Shore, Norlane, after Norman Lane.
Where Labuan Square is now was just a swamp all winter time and you could have bought a block there for 10 pound. I can't remember when the housing commission came in and started to build a lot of the houses that are here now. Also there were private builders.
When I first came here I lived at No 8 Donnelly Avenue and would have bought the house there only the owner wouldn't sell it as he owned four of the same together. So until Walpole’s shop was built I had to walk to North Shore for mail, then they made a small Post Office at Walpoles and that operated till there was a Post Office in Labuan Square. Then years after that they pulled down the Post Office there.