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Torquay and District Historical Society Torquay, Victoria

Torquay and District Historical Society is a group dedicated to learning more about and sharing the history of Torquay. Located in the Old Police Station at 18 Price Street Torquay, you can access our collection of old maps, photos, documents and memorabilia.

Contact Information

location
18 Price Street Torquay Victoria (map)
phone
+61 +61352647275
Contact

Opening Hours

Sundays 2pm - 4 pm Other times by appointment

Entry Fee

Free, Society membership details on website.

Location

18 Price Street Torquay Victoria

View on Google Maps

In the main we collect photographic memorabilia, but we are collecting general old books, however we prefer to focus on local history. We have some items of the Scammell,a sailing ship which was wrecked off Point Danger and is a local focus of our history since 1891. We have many papers, a copy of the Bathing Box Register, the Lodgers Register from the Palace Hotel and the Newbays Guest House.

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324 items

Untitled

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Photograph (copy) - Early Torquay Beach Scene

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph.

Historical information

Photograph shows the Rotunda that once stood on Rocky Point adjacent to the Torquay back beach

Significance

The rotunda and bathing boxes were a significant feature of the pre 1950s Torquay beachfront.

Glass Object - Scammell Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Heavy plain glass drinking tumbler

Historical information

This article recovered from the wreck of the Scammell off Torquay in 1891 was purchased at an auction of the ships cargo and later donated to the Society.

Photograph (copy) - Bellbrae Cemetery Memorial Exhibition 2015

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph is a portrait of Edmund Duffield, one of the pioneers of the Bellbrae district.

Significance

In 1856, Edmund Duffield and his wife Mary with their children John and Thomas, sailed from England to Geelong on the clipper "Arthur the Great". On arrival, Edmund presented himself to the Geelong Immigration Depot and was engaged to work with Hudson and Sons of Geelong for 40 shillings a month. Edmund later moved to Jan Juc where he and Mary took up farming. In 1863 their son Willliam was born at neighbouring Iron Bark Station owned by their friends the Gundrys. In 1877 the Duffields acquired a further 60 acres of land increasing his holding to 160 acres, and their son Thomas acquired another 60 acre lot at nearby Paraparap.They also leased land from Joseph Gundry.

Copy Photo - Legacy of the storm Scammell House

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Sepia copy photo

Historical information

Family Photograph on Torquay main Beach ( note Bathing Boxes in background )

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Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

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Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Photograph (copy) - Light Horse Camp Torquay

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph shows a trooper on his horse in the dunes at Torquay

Significance

The Torquay Camp in 1939-1940 was the last Light Horse training camp in Australia

Photograph (copy) - Anzac Centenary Exhibitiion

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph shows a view of Anzac Cove with Australian soldiers bathing in the water.

Folder of Photographs - Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club 70th Anniversary Exhibition 2015

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

A collection of black and white and colour photographs

Historical information

These photographs were taken at the International Surfing Competition held at Torquay Surf Beach on 29 November 1956. The Age reported an estimated 40000 people were at the beach that day, The event coincided with Olympic Games in Melbourne that year. Photos show teams in the March Past, lines of surf boats on the beach and panoramic views of the action.

Significance

The 1956 Carnival was the largest and most representative surf competition ever held in Australia to that date.

Folder of Family Histories - Bellbrae Cemetery Memorial Exhibition 2015

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

A3 Folder

Historical information

The family histories of pioneer families in the Torquay Bellbrae area were compiled for an exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of the Bellbrae Cemetery Trust in 2015. Photographs from the exhibition are listed under Items 00026.1 to 00026.31 in our records. The brief historical information in the photograph listings is supplemented by more extensive details of the families and their historical connections with Bellbrae in this Folio (Item 00026.0) which may be viewed on request at the Society's rooms.

Significance

Pioneer family names commemorated in the compilation are Gundry, Bubb, Simmons, Cunningham, Duffield, Grossman, Berryman and Yateman.

Photograph (copy) - Anzac Centenary Exhibition

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph is of General Sir John Monash.

Significance

Monash was one of Australia's greatest war tacticians.

Photographs (copies) - Anzac Centenary Exhibition

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photographs

Historical information

Photographs show living conditions at Anzac Cove, one photo showing troops at the makeshift post office.

Pair of Tables and Speaker's rostrum

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

A pair of timber board room tables and a timber speaker's podium with the Shires insignia on the front.

Historical information

This pair of tables was made for Council offices built in Grossmans Road Torquay to accommodate the newly formed Surf Coast Shire in !980 and were used in the Council Chambers board room. The podium was also used in the board room. When the Council moved to new premises in Merrijig Drive Torquay in 2010 the furniture from the old offices was offered to local community organisations. The tables and podium were secured for the Torquay and District Historical Society and have since been housed in the Torquay Old Police Station meeting room and have been made available by the Society for use by other community groups.

Significance

These items mark the end of an era in local government when the State Government implemented a major rationalisation of municipalities in Victoria.

Inscriptions & Markings

Surfcoast Shire Council

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Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Copy photo - Torquay History Exhibition 2016

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photo.

Historical information

Photo shows the Torquay General Store in Gilbert Street.

Significance

The General Store also served as the post office before the later establishment of a dedicated post office. It was also the Cobb and Co. coach depot which places it in the early history of Torquay.

Black & white Photo - Legacy of the storm ,Scammell House

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Photo from Womens Weekly

Historical information

Scammmell house

Significance

Written story of of the ships house

Photograph - Torquay SLSC March Past 1956

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

A3 Black and White photograph

Historical information

The Torquay Surf Life Saving Club was formed in 1922. Members operated from a large bathing box on the Torquay front beach. Eventually at a meeting at the Palace Hotel in January 1946, it was resolved to form the Torquay Surf Club but the name was changed to Torquay Surf Life Saving on 20 February 1946. Building of the first clubhouse was completed in 1946. The first 50 years of the Club are chronicled in a book by Ken Pollard held by TDHS and which is catalogued under Item 00012 in this catalogue.

Significance

The formation of the Torquay Life Saving Club in 1946 and the establishment of a permanent clubhouse was the culmination of the efforts of members and friends of the Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club over the previous quarter of a century.

Copy Photos - Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club 70th Anniversary 2015

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black & White Photographs

Historical information

The Torquay Life Saving Club was formed in1922. Members operated from a large bathing box on the Torquay front beach . Eventually at a meeting at the Palace Hotel in January 1946 ,it was resolved to form the Torquay Surf Club but the name was changed to the Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club on the 20 February 1946. Building of the first clubhouse was completed in 1946. For descriptions of photographs refer to 00027.1

Significance

The formation of the Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club in 1946 and the establishment of a permanent clubhouse was the culmination of the efforts of members and friends over the previous twenty five years

Newpaper article (copy) - Scammell Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photocopy

Historical information

Newspaper article and photos detail the raising of the Scammell anchor by members of the Geelong Skindiving Club

Significance

The Scammell anchor was recovered from the wreck and is now set up on the lawns adjacent to the front beach at Torquay.

Photograph (copy)

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Copy Photo - Torquay History Exhibition 2016

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white copy photo.

Historical information

Photo shows the Palace Hotel, Bell Street, Torquay circa 1891.

Significance

The Hotel was built in 1888 by William Follett and operated as the Torquay Coffee Palace until it was licenced in 1891 and then traded as the Palace Hotel. Significantly the hotel's first licensee was Anna Rosina Follet, one of a number of female licensees in Victoria at the turn of the century. The

Photograph Copy of newspaper article - Scammel Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Extract unknown newspaper 8/5/1891 headline 'scavengers raid floating cargo

Historical information

Contempory record of shipwreck 1891

Significance

Scavengers Raid of floating Cargo

Inscriptions & Markings

Contingency record of wrecking of Joseph H Scammel

Photograph (copy) - Early Torquay Beach Scenes

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph taken on the Torquay front beach in front of the first Surf Club house.

Significance

The clubhouse on the Torquay front beach was superceded by one on the back (surf) beach.

Collection of photographs - Light Horse Camp Torquay

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

A collection of 20 photographs of Light Horse Brigade Camp Torquay 1939-1940

Historical information

Last Light Horse Camp in Australia at Torquay

Copy letter - Scammell Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photocopy

Historical information

This letter dated 23 July 1939 was written in response to an article in the Herald newspaper about the wreck of the Scammell off Torquay in 1891. The writer. Frances Gearing aged 9 years at the time, witnessed the aftermath of the wreck.

Significance

An eyewitness account of a significant event in Torquay's history.

Copy Photo - Torquay History Exhibition 2016

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photo

Historical information

Photo shows a pristine Spring Creek at Torquay with one of the district's early settlers, Edward Molyneux, on horseback, apparently looking across the creek towards the site of the present day RACV resort and golf course.

Significance

Spring Creek was a fishing spot that first brought visitors to the Torquay district. The area is now central to the residential development of Torquay and Jan Juc,

Photograph (copy) - Bellbrae Cemetery Trust Memorial Exhibition 2015

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

This photograph is a portrait of John Goodall who was one of the Bellbrae pioneer families.

Significance

John Goodall was born in 1804 and transported to Van Diemens Land in 1838 but subsequently settled in Geelong. In 1857 he purchased 101 acres on the north side of Spring Creek which became Springvale Farm. He died in 1874 aged 69 years. His wife Annie died only 15 months later at Talbot. The Goodalls were close friends of John and Joseph Gundry who were fellow pioneering farmers at Bellbrae.

Photograph (copy) - Light Horse Camp at Torquay

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph shows ranks of Lighthorsemen marching on Fishos Beach Torquay 1939-1940

Significance

The Torquay Camp was the last Light Horse training camp in Australia

Copy newspaper article & photo - Torquay wreck story lives on

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

photocopy of newspaper article; Geelong Advertiser 1996

Historical information

tells story of Scammell House Torquay

Photograph (copy) - Anzac Centenary Exhibition

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Bkack and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph shows troops disembarking at Anzac Cove.

Photographs (copies) - Anzac Centenary Exhibition

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photographs

Historical information

Photographs from Gallipoli show a sandbagged dugout and soldiers in trenches.

Significance

Evidence of the terrible conditions endured by our soldiers on the front.

Photograph (copy) - Light Horse Camp Torquay

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph shows troopers building a bridge on the Barwon River.

Significance

The Camp at Torquay in 1939-1940 was the last Light Horse training camp in Australia

Photocopy ( photo) - Legacy of the storm ,Scammell House

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Photograph

Historical information

Exterior Fretwork on Scammell house verandah

Untitled

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Iron Pin - Scammell Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

A long iron pin, now corroded from immersion.

Historical information

Object recovered from the wreck of the Scammell wrecked off Point Danger Torquay in 1891.

Significance

The wreck of the Scammell was a significant event in Torquays history.

Photograph (copy) - Light Horse Camp Torquay 1939-1940

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Black and White photograph (copy) of Light Horsemen arriving at Torquay in December 1939 en route to Torquay Camp

Significance

The Torquay Camp was the largest and final gathering of Light horsemen and horses in Australia December 1939 to June 1940

Inscriptions & Markings

nil

Copy Photo - Torquay History Exhibition 2016

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photo

Historical information

Photo is of Edward Molyneux's horse drawn drag that plied the coastal routes between Geelong, Torquay and Lorne in the early 1900's.

Significance

Exploring the South Coast was not easy before the construction of the Great Ocean Road.

Photograph Copy - Scammel Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black & White Photo

Historical information

From book entitled -Wreck of Joseph H Scammel

Significance

Photograph of Bell & owner Carleen Thoenberg

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Photograph (copy) - Scammell Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Copy black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph shows crew, customs officers and police on the beach at Torquay after the Scammell grounding.

Significance

A contemporary record of a Victorian shipwreck in 1891.

Photocopies - Scammel Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Remnants of Scammel wreck on the shore

Significance

Shipwrecks of Scammel 1891

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Photograph (copy) - Scammell Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Photograph shows locals swimming and playing around the keel of the Scammell on the beach at Torquay circa 1900

Significance

The Scammell was wrecked off Point Danger Torquay in 1891.

Untitled

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Copy photo - Torquay History Exhibition 2016

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Black and white copy photo

Historical information

Photo taken circa 1890 shows the building owned by the Torquay Improvement Association believed to have been used as Torquay's "Town Hall", and also as a school from 1899 until a new school was built in early 1900's. The building was destroyed by the devastating fire of 1940.

Significance

Torquay's first "Town Hall", an early community initiative,

Extracts from Geelong Advertiser - Legacy of the storm Scammell House

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Narrates the story of the wreck of the Scammell and fate of the Deckhouse

Historical information

Description of fate of deckhouse

framed letter

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Typed letter/testimonial with large red seal and personally signed. Located in a black frame with gold edge.

Historical information

This letter acknowledges help given to the British people by Australians after WW 11. In this case Torquay Golf Club in Victoria Australia sent its President, Mr Vary, with gifts of food to help supplement the 'somewhat restricted menus' of the people of Torquay, Devon, England.

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter to members of the Torquay Golf Club Australia expressing gratitude for 'generous assistance', such as 'food gifts', given during post war years. Seal of the Borough of Torquay, Devon, England. Signed by Mayor and Justice of the Peace for the Borough. Dated 13th July 1949.

Photograph (copy) - Anzac Centenary Exhibition

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Sepia photograph

Historical information

Photograph is of Herbert Marendaz of the 4th Australian Light Horse, standing at attention beside his horse.

Significance

Herbert Marendez was another Torquay district soldier who served his country in WW1.

Black & White Photograph - Bellbrae Cemetery MemorialExhibition 2015

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Historical information

Black and white photograph Shows Herbert and his wife Lillian with berts mother Emily and seven of the children at a family gathering .

Significance

History of Bubb family

Photograph - Scammmel Collection

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay

Rudder gudgeons of the Joseph H Scammel

Historical information

Shows surf club members Peter Wallace,Graham Bennett ,Arnold Goetzoff Point Danger

Significance

Contempory record of Shipwreck 1891

Untitled

Torquay and District Historical Society, Torquay