ELTHAM HERITAGE TOUR
The Society excursion on 24th May 1992 was arranged by David Bick, leader of the team carrying out the Shire's heritage study. David selected a number of sites or buildings identified in the study, some of them lesser known components of the Shire's heritage. The tour commenced at the Eltham Shire Office at 10.00 am. Travel
was by private car and mini-bus with stops at about twelve locations for commentary by David.It included a short walk in Hurstbridge and lunch at Kinglake.
Highlights of the tour included:
- 10 am Leave from Shire Offices
- 3 Important Trees
- A Physical Link to Eltham's First Settlers
- Toorak Mansion Gates
- A Surviving Farm House
- An Intact Circa 1900 Main Street
- First Settlers - Gold Miners, and Timber-getters
- An Early Hotel
- A Pioneering Homestead
- Changing Eltham Shire - 20th Century
- 4 pm Afternoon Tea and Finish Tour
Extract from ELTHAM CULTURAL HERITAGE TOUR (Newsletter No. 85, July 1992, by Bettina Woodburn)
"In some respects Eltham is a 'back-water' and it has its own distinctive flavour. On the outskirts the homes date from the 1960's, 70's and 80s with a sprinkling of 'earth homes', mud-brick or pise, rammed dirt. Crossing Main Road into Beddoe Street and Thompson Crescent a very pleasant drive past pines and old fence lines, front lawns unfenced, the occasional ·old farm building, we eventually looked down on a huge circular roof of a 1992 adobe home.
Other distinctive places included the Pauline Toner Butterfly Reserve, Gordon Ford's splendid garden at Fulling in Pitt Street, cypress hedges and old houses in Bridge Street and in every direction Eltham's special feature - a totally treed horizon.
We were now in the part of the Shire closest to Melbourne - Montmorency - not on the way to anywhere, with no through road going across it, developed in the 1950's and 1960's with conventional gardens, now converted to native plants. The rail looped between Greensborough and Eltham and a shopping street (Were Street) served the area, growing up the hill from the station. It was a typical outer Melbourne suburb with lawns and roses with patches of originality. The shopping precinct still has 1950 characteristics - walls which sloped back, projecting roofs, the original shop fronts are nearly all tiled below the old windows. There's an air of past times about the School, the Dairy, the Butcher's (now a milk bar) and the Castlemaine stone face of the Commonwealth Bank.
The final stop for the tour was at the mud-brick Woodburn residence, adobe of 1949 with additions. After War Service, Bill Woodburn had commenced an Architecture course at Melbourne University and after second year in the Christmas vacation, with his wife, Betti, built the two bedroom house - with amazing saving of costs. In the three and a half months they made over 3000 bricks (external walls 18" x 12" x 4", internal walls 12" x 9" x 4"), sifted top soil for mortar and laid them, on concrete foundations and slab floor, made all the structural window frames, door frames and roof members to carry 'super six' asbestos sheets, laboured for the electrician and plumber, did all the glazing and, still without electricity, moved in in March 1949. Rooms have been added, at first with glass walls, later using concrete blocks, to accommodate three daughters and a son. The house not only grew from the earth, but also with the family."
Record of the Society's history and activities and highlighting various aspects of the Heritage Study undertaken by David Bick used to create the future heritage overlay for the Shire of Eltham and later Nillumbik Shire.
Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 4 strips
Inscriptions & markings
Kodak Gold 100 5095