Memories of life in North Melbourne since 1929

Long-time North Melbourne identity Nancy McIntosh passed away recently at the grand age of 98. The last issue of the News published a moving obituary written by her daughter June. Nancy was about eight when she arrived in North Melbourne with her family around 1929. They moved into Provost Street, the small street parallel to Queensberry and between Curzon and …

A long road to recovery for young polio patient

In the 1930s, there were strict rules about who could visit hospitals and who could not. The rules were very strict for children, the reason being that visitors only upset them and made them difficult patients. When Rae’s young relative George got polio in the 1930s, he was taken to Fairfield Hospital and for some weeks was allowed no visitors …

Abbotsford Street has a link to the Scottish Borders

Abbotsford Street runs like a spine through North and West Melbourne. Its unusual name springs from a connection with famous Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott and his home in the Scottish Borders. In about 1811 Scott bought his 100-acre Cartley Hole Farm on the river Tweed. The site had a personal significance for him as it was close to the …

Where Irish settled in Australia

Since 1791, Irish people have emigrated to Australia. Emigration initiatives such as the Earl Grey scheme for orphan girls in the 1840s, and events such as the Irish Famine in 1847, saw different waves of people arrive on Australian shores in the 1800s. Whether by choice or by situation, these pioneers went on to create a new life for themselves …

Ailsa O’Connor

This sketch of a group of houses in Chapman Street, North Melbourne, is by Ailsa O’Connor in 1972, who was a teacher at Flemington High School when it was housed at the Errol Street Primary School. Ailsa died in the early 1980s but she left behind her ideas in both her art and in her writings. Past students may not …

Mr Dott’s Glass Works in Munster Terrace

Sir, Mr Jas Cooney’s letter in “The Age” of 27th October asked whether anyone can remember Mr Dott’s glass works in Munster terrace – also the Crocketts. I knew them all for many years, as we lived in that place at the corner of Lothian and Victoria Streets, when not many houses were about. Does Mr Cooney remember Stewart’s jam …

The AGE Letters 1934

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) has some wonderful old scrapbooks of press cuttings in its collection. Long before TROVE existed some HHP members were trawling through these scrapbooks and came across a treasure trove of letters about North Melbourne. In 1934 The Age published a series of articles, The Suburbs of Melbourne: The Story of Their Growth.  Part …

Three Historical Sites

Three Historical Sites The letter of “J.H.K.” in “The Age” entitled “Three Historical Sites” is opportune, since an illustrated brochure containing an historical review of the schools that were first established in North Melbourne is at present in course of preparation by me at the request of the present committee of the Errol Street State School. This history is to …

The Early History of North Melbourne

ORIGIN OF THE TOWN. Owing to the discovery of gold in Victoria in the year 1851, thousands of people from all parts of the world hastened to Australia, buoyed up with the hope of making their fortunes by digging for the precious metal. The total population of Victoria at that time was 77,345. The following account of the origin of …

COSY COTTAGE MURAL

This mural was designed by Kaye Hopwood and painted at a North Melbourne Street party on the 27th February 1982, photo by Peter Elliott. On the left of the mural are the names of the organisations which endorsed the slogan… The names on the panel are: North Melbourne Association Curzon Children’s Centre, North Melbourne Pax Christi North Melbourne News Inner …

Walk into history.

In North Melbourne, the streets are alive with the sound of literature. We have a Byron Street, and Lothian, Dryburgh and Abbotsford streets are all echoes of Sir Walter Scott. I assumed that Arden Street was associated with the idyllic Forest of Arden in Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It. But browsing through the Hotham History Project’s latest venture …

Say ‘hello’ to Antonino when he’s out for a stroll on our streets

Antonino Misale puts on his classic cap and blazer and takes to the streets of North Melbourne. The sprightly 94-year-old offers a smile and a wave to everyone he meets. He has lived in the suburb since he arrived in Australia 68 years ago from Messignadi in Italy. “On the ship there were Italians, Greeks, Maltese. We all come for …

Opening of the Hotham Town Hall.

Just imagine how proud and accomplished the members of our local community must have felt after raising sufficient funds to design and construct the North Melbourne Town Hall (previously called the Hotham Town Hall) You may know it today as the ‘Arts House’, a centre for contemporary performance and interactive artforms. What were their lives like in 1876 when the …

St James Old Cathedral – Pioneer Service

PREFACE The attached   sermon focusing on the life and service of Canon Michael Henry Becher (1819-1883) was delivered by the current incumbent, Canon Matt Williams,   at the Annual Pioneer Service at St. James Old Cathedral on Sunday, 3rd November, 2019, a service attended amongst others by the descendants of many pioneer families with historic connections to this parish.  The fact …

North Melbourne’s Oldest House

Dear “Northern Advertiser”, – Is this the oldest house in North Melbourne? The following is an extract from National Trust Newsletter February 1971, page 5:— “1857 House Threatened.” “The simple house at 596 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne (classified ‘D’ as a picturesque cottage) is in danger of demolition unless a purchaser can be found for it. It is understood the …

Unfinished Work

A book is being published by friends of the late Ailsa O’Connor. It is entitled “Unfinished Work … articles and notes on Women and the Politics of Art“. As the name suggests, it is a collection of writings by Ailsa. It will also include some reproductions of her work. Ailsa was very well known to North Melbourne families as an …