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A blog about the history of the former Melbourne municipality of Collingwood.

01 June 2008

Plaques project a winner!

Yesterday was 31 May 2008 and the Awards Ceremony for the 2008 Victorian Community History Awards. This was also a celebration for the 10th anniversary of the Victorian Community History Awards, so we celebrated with a large birthday cake, though not the balloons and bread with 100s and 1000s that prize-giver, Judy Maddigan, would have liked.

As mentioned in a previous post, Collingwood Historical Society entered the Plaques project in the Collaborative/Community category. There were three short-listed projects and Collingwood Historical Society was winner in our category! Frances Ilyine and Virginia Dods accepted the certificate and prize of $1,000 from Judy Maddigan, Member for Essendon, and Frances gave a thank-you speech on the Society’s behalf! Pictured below after the ceremony are from left to right: Judy Maddigan, Anne Holmes, Virginia Dods and Frances Ilyine.

Congratulations to Janet Taylor who steered this project from beginning to end, and to other members of the society who were involved in the two stages of the project: Virgina Dods, Peter Hogan, Anne Holmes, Frances Ilyine, Emma Russell and Barbara Selvay. We are grateful to the City of Yarra for providing a grant to assist in this work and also to the members of the community and businesses that have allowed us to place plaques on their buildings.

A link to details of the plaques can be found on the news section on the side bar of the web-site.

14 May 2008

Collingwood Plaques Project short-listed for award!

Collingwood Historical Society has just been informed that our Plaques Project has been short-listed for the Victorian Community History Awards 2008!

The Victorian Community History Awards are co-ordinated by Information Victoria with assistance and judging provided by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. The annual award seeks to encourage works that contribute to the development and appreciation of the history of Victoria.

The Award carries a major overall prize with six prizes for the following categories:

  • Best Collaborative / Community Work
  • Best Print / Publication
  • Best Audio - Visual / Multimedia
  • Best Exhibit / Display
  • Best Walk / Tour
  • Best Community Research, Register and Records
The Victorian Community History Awards recognise excellence in historical method. The various award categories also acknowledge that history can be told in many and varied formats with the aim of reaching and enriching all Victorians. Entries are judged on content and presentation with a view to encouraging innovative ways of recording community history across the state.

At a ceremony at Parliament House on Saturday 31 May 2008 we will discover if we have won in our category or overall. But just being short-listed is a great achievement!

20 April 2008

CARA Open Houses

Today was the CARA (Collingwood and Abbotsford Residents Association) Open Houses day. Some members of the Collingwood Historical Society enjoyed visiting five very different houses. The highlight for me was being able to visit one which was a former hotel and is being researched for our updated publication and website on hotels of Collingwood.

The Village Belle in Abbotsford Street, Abbotford, started out life in about 1875 with publican and grocer Jonathan Falkingham in charge and was delicensed in 1918. It had several women publicans, including Margaret Price and Nellie Hayes. However, it is likely that it was trading as a hotel before this time. In 1868 it is listed on the ratebooks as a wood hotel of six rooms, and between 1869 and 1872, though listed as a shop, it probably operated as a hotel as the occupants were publicans according to Andrew Ward and Associates.

The photograph shows the Abbotsford Street frontage of the property which is significant for retaining its original window and timber-posted verandah, a fairly unique circumstance in Collingwood but also in other municipalities where verandahs were demolished to make parking easier for the horseless carriage.

If anyone reading this blog has any memories of the Village Belle, we would love to hear from you. Please send us your comments here.

13 April 2008

Lovely, Joy, Good, Shovelbottom?

What do the words Lovely, Joy, Good and Shovelbottom conjure up for you? What do these words, in fact these names, have in common? These names are all the names of people who between 1856 and 1919 conducted private schools in the area of Collingwood, namely Collingwood, Abbotsford and Clifton Hill. During that period over 100 private schools were conducted in houses in the area. These schools varied dramatically in size, from a small number of students in a house to schools which started in a small way and went on to prepare students for matriculation.

Karen Cummings from the Collingwood Historical Society is writing a comprehensive history of schools and education in Collingwood which will be published by the Society later this year. If you have any questions about the schools or reminiscences about your experiences here is the place to share them!

The picture above shows a group of Collingwood children outside a house which provided their schooling in the 1880s. The specific location is unknown but one of the girls was resident in Turner Street, Collingwood, so the school was probably fairly close to this location. Was this a typical number of students for a private school? Is the teacher typical for the time? Watch out for the CHS publication where you can follow up all of these questions and more!

01 March 2008

Hotels of Collingwood

One of the exciting projects that the Collingwood Historical Society is currently working on is updating information that we published in Hotels of Collingwood a number of years ago. We have identified about 97 hotels that have a history in Collingwood (i.e. Collingwood, Abbotsford and Clifton Hill). The reason I say "about" is that we have recently found a couple more ;>).

These hotels vary substantially in their history. The Grace Darling in Smith Street, for example, has existed continuously on the same site and with the same name since 1854. However, the Good Woman Hotel (formerly the Old Gold-diggers Hotel) in Sackville Street seems only to have operated from 1865 to 1867. Some hotels operated under a number of names. The Brandon Hotel, formerly in Smith Street, was previously called the City of Norwich, Gray's, the London, Our Boys, and Flying Squadron before being called the Brandon from 1897 to 1914 when it was delicensed. Some hotels are still operating; some buildings survive but are used for other things and a number have been demolished such as the Victoria Hotel pictured above on the right of the photo. The Victoria (later the Town Hall) operated in Hoddle Street from 1858 until it was demolished for the Hoddle Street widening in 1972.

If you have any stories you would like to share about Collingwood hotels and have any questions about the hotels, this is the place to comment. We look forward to hearing your stories.

24 February 2008

Welcome to the Collingwood Historical Society blog!

We've set up a blog which will be regularly updated to let you know all the news from the Collingwood Historical Society. We hope you use and enjoy it.

Feel free to make comments under any of the blog entries by clicking the comments button.

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