Historical information

This photograph is held in the Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute Audio Visual Collection. Please contact BMI for all print and usage inquiries.

BMI librarian Rosemary McInerney's father George Richmond ran this furnitue business on Armstrong St Nth.
Here are his reminiscences of that shoppping area from The Courier March 1st 1978


Mr George Richmond began work in Armstrong street north as a lad in knickerbockers in 1926.

He started with Hames and Woodward, a piano, music and record shop, which he took over when both Hames and Woodward died during the war.
Mr Richmond was guest speaker at an informal dinner of the Armstrong St North Traders Association held at the Victoria Hotel on Monday night.
At the meeting he was made a life member of the association, with which he had been involved since its inception in 1930.
“I can remember when a man on a bicycle with a little ladder on his backrode up the street with a long stick and turned on the gas lights under the verandahs,” he said.
“It was around that time when there used to be a little man with a broom walking up and down the street, sweeping away what was left behind by horses.
“There also used to be a bellringer who would walk up and down Armstrong street announcing a sale in a shop. He used to have a tall black hat, a large black frock coat and had a large mustache.”
“Up to 1936, there used to be regular visits by street musicians, who were usually good for a few laughs.”
“The last musicians to come through were an Italian trio, who were very good.”
Mr Richmond said the depression was a sad time for Armstrong street. “A lot of people had to put their properties up for sale, because not many people could afford to buy things like records then,” he said. Mr Richmond said Fridays were very busy then as it was market day for hundreds of farmers in the area.
“The hotels put on extra groomsmen for the stables, and standing in the store I could smell the beer and tobacco drifting down from the hotels.”