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AIRPORT WEST, VIC,. AUST.

Journal by itellya

I just received another query. I might as well share the information. Unfortunately, I must write this journal off the top of my head, with a little help from trove, as I no longer have all the sources that I would have been quoting a decade ago, such as rates transcriptions, the Doutta Galla parish map, Keilor Souvenirs (1950, 1961 and 1963) etc.

Hi xxxxx,

Hope you are well. Just wondering if you know when Matthews Avenue and its associated suburb was built.

The Matthews Avenue referred to is the eastern boundary of Airport West. The western boundary of this suburb is the Albion-Jacana railway line,built in 1928,which separates Airport West from Keilor Park. The suburb was the birthplace of a company called Associated Radio. On a block fronting both Victory and Marshall Streets, the company had a big transmission tower. The company was later bought out by the Australian Broadcasting Commission which called its station 3AR; I trust you've worked out where the two letters in the station's name came from. The transmission tower was eventually replaced by one at St Albans.(Much detail in one of the three Keilor Souvenirs mentioned.)

A BROADCASTING ACTION.
WRIT FOR DAMAGES ISSUED Melbourne, September 11.
Acting on behalf of Alfred Louis Brown, of Rundle-street, Adelaide, Messrs. Madden, Butler, Elder. and Graham, to-day issued a Supreme Court writ, directed against the Associated Radio Company of Australia, of Elizabeth-street; Walter Conder, of Exhibition-street: the Victorian Broadcasting Company, of Queen-street; and J. C. Williamson, Limited, of Exhibition-street. From the Associated Radio Company, the plaintiff claims damages for a breach of several agreements, under which the plaintiff alleges that he was to have the option of purchasing the broadcasting undertakings of the defendant, including an A class broadcasting station license, and all land and buildings and appliances situated and installed on the Victory Estate at Essendon; also all other appliances used for broadcasting, for 10,000. etc. (P.19,The Advertiser, Adelaide, 12-9-1928.)

(The A.B.C. seems to have acquired 3LO from the Australian Broadcasting Co. shortly after June 1932 and 3AR from Associated Radio during 1933.Associated Radio was being sued by creditors in 1935.

ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.
The Morgan family of Niddrie - National Library of Australia
catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/1751713
Available in the National Library of Australia collection. Author: Morgan, Richard, 1917-; Format: Book; 157 p. : geneal. tables, maps, ports. ; 21 cm.

This book should be available from the Brimbank or Moonee Valley library system and contains a subdivision plan of the property. Matthews Ave was one of the streets shown but was only a short street, not a through street from Keilor Rd to the northern boundary. Treadwell Rd (part of which in the aerodrome is called Nomad Rd) extended to Bulla Rd creating the Triangular estate of small farms*, Mrs Ford's lolly shop etc. This probably accounts for the bottleneck described in the following article. In about 1943, the Tullamarine Progress Association discovered that Bulla Rd was to be closed because of Airport expansion. Matthews Ave might have been extended because of the closure of Treadwell Rd at this time as well.
(*The late Jim Hume, long-time President of the Broadmeadows Historical Society, lived on one of these farms.)

Tramway Extension.
Reference to a proposed extension of the Essendon tramway service to the aerodrome led to the shire engineer (Mr. Pullar) remarking that no official announcement had been made. He understood the extension might be along either Bulla road, Treadwell road or Matthews avenue, but that he had no definite information. Cr. Parsons considered Treadwell road to be better than Bulla road. Wherever trams went, the district extended and developed. The council should fight for Treadwell road. As long as the aerodrome was served the military did not care which route was followed. The Bulla road extension was not warranted. If Bulla road were adopted, the line should not go past the aerodrome for reasons of safety. With the existing parking trouble it would only create a death trap. The line might go up through the centre of the plantations, but not through the bottle-neck past the aerodrome. The council should use its influence to prevent that. There were enough bottle-necks in the metropolitan area already. Cr. Davis said he understood the trouble was caused by inability to get sufficient buses. Cr. Parsons: I was told the tram would be running up Bulla Road in five weeks. It was decided to write to Cr. W. Parks .(Essendon Council), local representative on the Tramways Board, asking, him to take action to prevent a line being put through the Bulla road bottle neck at the aerodrome. ((P.3,Sunshine Advocate, 7-8-1942, KEILOR COUNCIL.)

Re the following article-
If I remember correctly, Martin St was on "Niddrie", as most of the "valuable building blocks" would have been. One of the houses that would have to be removed would have been the homestead built by Sam Mansfield on his grants on section 16 Doutta Galla (near the present south-west corner of Essendon Airport (Melway 16 C9 roughly.)

KEILOR SHIRE COUNCIL. A deputation of Parliamentary and Municipal representatives of Keilor and Broadmeadows shires waited upon the Minister for Air and Civil Aviation (Hon. A: S. Drakeford), last Friday. Dec. 4. They presented a petition from 330 people directly concerned, and the plea of the ratepayers generally of the two shires, that the proposed expansion of the Essendon Aerodrome and its activities, which would be a disturbing element, be not proceeded with. The Keilor Shire contends that the proposition will be very detrimental to the shire, as many good building blocks will be used and a number of the ratepayers' houses will have to be removed. (P.4, Sunshine Advocate, 11-12-1942.)

It can safely be assumed that Matthews Ave had been made to a reasonable standard to the northern boundary of "Niddrie" by the time the tramway opened.

SOLDIERS IN NORTH WANT ACTION
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) Friday 14 May 1943 p 12 Article
... Essendon station and the aerodrome. The first tram on week days will leave Eliza- beth st at 6.13am and ... Chinese Legation in Australia. ESSENDON DROME TRAM BEGINS SUNDAY The tramway extension to Essendon aerodrome will operate from Sunday, Mr H.-JI. Bell, chairman Tramways Board, said yesterday. Trams will ... 313 words

The reason for the name of Airport West was the proliferation of industry associated with the aerodrome such as N.I.C. (National Instrument Company) which fronted Matthews Ave.




It might surprise many people that Airport West had its own hotel in the 19th Century. It was called the Travellers' Rest Hotel and sat on a nine acre block (today bounded by Matthews Ave, Dromana Ave, Louis St and a line just south of Rood St) owned by J.B.Howse. (Titles Office Volume 29 folio 783.)The Oaklands Hunt often assembled at the Travellers' Rest, four times in 1899.

The hotel was described as being in Tullamarine (as were James Sharp's "Hillside" and Maurice Crotty's "Broomfield" on the south side of Sharps Rd) because the land between the aforementioned farms and Niddrie, Spring Park and Springfield (fronting Keilor Rd and extending to the line of Spence-Fraser St) had no locality name. The Thomas family took over Hillside in about 1943 and renamed it Carinya Park,the property becoming the home of the Tullamarine Pony Club. Joe Thomas's wife, Edie, was living at 160 Matthews Ave, East Keilor in 1954, probably while Joe was extending the old Hillside homestead. I haven't time to check now but the condolences she had received were probably related to the death of their young son Barrie, after whom Barrie Rd on part of Carinya Park was named.

THOMAS - Mrs E THOMAS and Family 160 Matthews avenue Keilor East and Relatives wish to THANK friends for beautiful floral tributes letters telegrams cards and personal expressions of sympathy in their recent sad be- reavement. (P.19, Argus, 4-9-1954.)



FIRE AT TULLAMARINE.
AN HOTEL DESTROYED
A fire broke out at 23 minutes past 3 a.m. on Sunday at the Travellers' Rest Hotel Bulla road, Tullamarine of which Mr E.J. Wilson is the licensee, The building was a wood and iron structure, one- storey, and contained nine rooms. A firm hold was established by the flames, and the efforts of four hose carts and 14 men with hand pumps failed to save it from total destruction. There was no insurance on the building, which was the property of Mr J Howse. The contents, destroyed were insured for 100.(P.6, Argus, 4-12-1899.)



Somewhere I have written details of Airport West being officially so-named decades after the name came into common useage. Hopefully I'll find these details. One of the aforementioned souvenirs had a big article about Airport West.You could access these souvenirs through the Keilor Historical Society.

Luckily I had quoted part of the Airport West article in my other QUINLAN journal and I have pasted it below.

So it can be seen that this quote from the article AIRPORT WEST WAS OAT FARMS in PROCLAMATION OF THE CITY OF KEILOR 29-4-1961 was based on fact:
The 260 acre farm of Dr. Morgans father (i.e. NIDDRIE) and the farm of a neighbour, Maurice Quinlan, occupied much of what is today Airport West and the airport. (Niddrie was actually 249 acres but thats another matter.)

The part of Airport West south of Fraser St houses was originally three crown grants; heading west from Treadwell Rd, they were Niddrie, Spring Park and Springfield.

NIDDRIE.
Niddrie was crown allotment 17B of the parish of Doutta Galla, consisting of 249 acres, situated entirely on the northside of Keilor Rd between Treadwell Rd and the midline of Grange Rd and Bowes Avenue. Although this name, bestowed by Harry Stevenson, crept south to describe the present "locality" of Niddrie (Nicholson and J.P.Main's grants), both Niddrie primary and high schools used the name. My 1999 Melway shrewdly described the location of Elstone Ave as being in both Airport West and Niddrie but Cameron St as being in Airport West only.

Between 1843 and 1851, the Scottish settler, Thomas Napier (18021881) purchased the Keilor Road land covering Niddrie and Airport West. In 1869, Napier sold this 249-acre (1.01 km2) land to Henry Stevenson (18101893). By 1871, Stevenson had built a house he named Niddrie, after his birthplace of Niddrie, a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland. After his death in 1893 the property was transferred to his wife Elizabeth who sold it to Patrick Morgan eight years later.

A Keilor East Post Office opened on 1 July 1947 and was renamed Niddrie around 1956. The Niddrie North office opened in 1960, though it was known as Airport West from 1974 until 1982.[4] (Niddrie wikipedia.)

Who ever wrote this entry in wikipedia can be excused for thinking that Thomas Napier's grant straddled Keilor Rd and included the area now known as Niddrie.

SPRING PARK.
Spring Park was crown allotment 17A of the parish of Doutta Galla,consisting of 193 and 3/4 acres, adjoining the western boundary of Niddrie and extending west to the line of Olive Grove, Hansen Reserve being in its north west corner.It was granted to spirit merchants, Owen Connor and Patrick Phelan but they became insolvent. Angela Evans and colleagues told (in KEILOR PIONEERS: DEAD MEN DO TELL TALES) how Phelan's daughter had married Connor's son and Springfield (see below)evaded the creditors' clutches. Owen Connor had returned to Ireland but sent a letter written with an Irish accent! William and Sarah Connor shared with James Harrick the farming of the Keilor Park area for many decades.

CONNOR. On the 27th August, at her residence,5 Williams-road, Moonee Ponds, Sarah, relict of the late William Connor, of Keilor, aged 58 years. (P.1, Argus, 28-8-1903.)

DILLONCONNOR.On the 24th April, at St. Monica's R.C. Church, Essendon, by the Rev. Father Nolan, James, only son of James Dillon, 84 Napier-street, Essendon, to Ellen (Nelly), eldest daughter of Sarah and the late William Connor, "The Franklyn," Keilor.
So that's where William and Sarah Connor lived! The Franlyn was actually the Sir John Franklin Hotel, built by Henry Eldridge on the east corner of Keilor Rd and Collinson St, Keilor Park.

Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) Monday 14 December 1857 p 8 Family Notices
... The Funeral to move from his residence, Sir John Franklin Hotel, Keilor-road, this day, Monday, at twelve o'clock noon. JOHN DALEY, Undertaker, corner La Trobe and Spring Streets, Melbourne. ... Funeral Notices. --- THE Friends of Mr. HENRY ELDRIDGE are re- spectfully invited to follow ... 62 words



The last to farm Spring Park as an entire farm was William Johnson. The Johnson family also owned Glendewar and leased Cumberland before moving back to Glendewar(probably when Alexander McCracken's beautiful Cumberland homestead was burnt down;its ruins can be seen at Melway 178 C12.)

JOHNSON. On the 28th September 1913 at "Glendewar," Tullamarine,James Alexander,the dearly loved third son of Mrs. W. and the late William Johnson,late of "Spring Park," Essendon aged 39 years.(P.1, Argus,30-9-1913.)

The McNamara brothers had farmed Spring Farm and other parts of Airport West for many years so it is fitting that Spring Park is bisected by McNamara Ave.
Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) Thursday 23 July 1903 p 1 Family Notices
... farmer, who died at Spring-park, Essendon, 23rd July, 1901. "May her soul rest in peace." -(Inserted ... Mary E. McNamara, who died at Sping-park, Essendon, on July 23. R.I.P. (In- serted by her ... B. Ballantine, F. M. Robertson and G. B. Cabena.) McNAMARA.--In ... 636 words

Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) Thursday 29 October 1903 p 1 Family Notices
... missed (Inserted by her lov- ing husband, John T. Lee.) McNAMARA.--In sad and loving remembrance of our affectionate father, Patrick McNamara, who died at "Spring-Park," Kesendon, October 29, 1896.

An advertisement of the subdivision of the Spring Park Estate into 44 small farms appeared on page 1s of the Independent (Footscray) on 20-3-1915. The so-called plan shows Spring Park enormously out of scale, with Morgan's "Niddrie" seeming to have a twentieth of the road frontage shown for the Spring Park Estate. Edwin Roberts was the developer; hence Roberts Rd.

The sale of the Spring Park Estate caused problems for Patrick Morgan of Niddrie, who wanted to continue farming.
Mr. P. Morgan, who owns 250 acres adjoining the property recently cut up and sold by Mr. Roberts, was also in attendance to object to the assessment of his land. The land was valued by the State at 19 per acre, and he contended that the assessment was unfair and should not have been accepted as a basis for making the shire valuation. Cr. Delahey: In order to exist as a shire we were compelled to increase valuation. Mr. Morgan said the increase in his case was from 240 to 380, and the valuation was prospective. He bought the land at 14 per acre, and that was as much as it was worth to-day. The land did not return more now than when it was bought. It was simply valuing a farm as if it were cut up in building allotments. , Cr. Parr: The land adjoining has been submitted to auction and brought high prices. The question arises whether Mr. Morgan is using the land to the best advantage. Mr. Morgan contended that he was using the land to the best advantage. Cr. McFarlane: It has been publicly stated that you have refused 40 per acre for the land. Mr. Morgan: I have never received such an offer. I bought it 15 years ago at 14 per acre. It is simply farming and grazing land. Cr. Parr: The same might be said of land in Buckley Park. If Essendon annexed this territory, I wonder what the valuation would be. Mr. Morgan said that probably many of those who bought the land adjoining his property would never go through with their payments. The auctioneers told them to buy by the acre and sell by the foot. The Land was boomed, and values were inflated by its proximity to the Essendon boundary. Cr. White: And Essendon claims that our values are too low. Mr. Morgan: I do not think I could get 25 an acre cash for my land. In my opinion even the old valuation was too high. The matter was referred to committee...etc.
(P.1, Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla, and Broadmeadows Reporter, 18-1-1917.)

SPRINGFIELD.
Springfield was crown allotment 18b of the parish of Doutta Galla,consisting of 151 acres and adjoining Spring Park on the west, extending west to the corner of Keilor Rd and Roberts Rd. Thus it was part of Edwin Robert's Spring Park Estate.

NORTH OF FRASER ST.
EXTRACT FROM MY "EARLY LANDOWNERS:PARISH OF DOUTTA GALLA" (NOT A JOURNAL.)
SECTION 22.

The boundaries of section 22 are indicated by: Thomas St/Barrie Rd, Sharps Rd, Nomad Rd. and the Fraser/ King St. midline. Information regarding its occupants comes mainly from Keilor Shires rate records except for lots B and D, which were in Broadmeadows Shire.

ALLOTMENT F of 147 acres between Fraser St. And Parer Rd., was granted to early squatters, A.Wright and J.& T.Crighton in 1848 and in 1868 it was being farmed by John Commons. Its eastern boundary was the same as for allotment E.

ALLOTMENT E consisted of 128 acres and extended north to Moore Rd. In 1868 it is likely that Sam.Mansfield had lot E as well as his 56 acres in section 16 and 87 acres in 22c as another property of 130 acres is listed. At the turn of the century, Robert G.Stevenson was leasing lot F, part of St Johns between Bulla Rd and Treadwell Rd (Wirraway and Nomad Rds.), lot E (which was mistakenly called lot G) and a few small blocks between Bulla Rd. And a now-closed road*. This gave him a total of 329 acres.

(* This road left Bulla Rd. at Webb St. to run to the corner of English St. and Nomad Rd., the n.w. Corner of section 16. The 1860 survey map shows this road finishing at the north boundary of 17B. It may have been the original road to the Springs or the old Macedon Rd,which title deeds show to have cut, respectively, though section 15 and section 21.)

Rupert Percy Steele was leasing Niddrie and a memo reveals that Steele had taken over lot F and Maurice Quinlan lot E plus the s.w. Corner of St. Johns.

ALLOTMENT C, between Moore St. And Dromana Ave., granted to J.P.Fawkner, was occupied in 1868 by: Sam. Mansfield 87 acres, J.B.Howse 17 acres and Catherine Howse 9 acres and licenced house. This was the Travellers' Rest (whose location is already described in this journal.) The occupancy of 22C, which contains much of Westfield Shoppingtown, had not changed much in 1900. Sam Mansfield still had 68 acres, J.B.Howse, who now owned John Hall's "South Wait" across Bulla Rd, had 40 acres and Edmund Tucker had the 9 acres on which the Travellers' Rest had stood.

Crown allotment 22A, between Sharps Rd (now Caterpillar Drive) and Dromana Ave,mostly across the railway line from Airport West, was mainly farmed as part of Hillside/ Carinya Park. Joe Thomas sold the majority of the 87 acre block to Caterpillar prior to 1956. The Tullamarine Progress Association was concerned that the Caterpillar factory would mess up the area but Percy Hurren of Dalkeith reassured his fellow members, and he was right.

Extract from my journal MAURICE QUINLAN AND OAKLANDS RD, BULLA.
NORTH ESSENDON comprises about 26 ACRES, situated on the main Bulla road, about 1 1/4 miles from the Keilor road electric tram terminus. This property is beautifully fenced, and bordered with live hedges and groups of flourishing handsome gums. Also, about 160 acres separated by a road. It is proposed to subdivide and submit this latter block into 10 allotments, in areas of from about 9 acres to 28 acres each, thus affording persons in quest of farmlets or accommodation paddocks near the city the opportunity of participating in the distribution.
(P.3,Argus, 26-4-1919.)- RE SALE OF QUINLAN'S FREEHOLDS.

STOCK GRAZED IN RESIDENTIAL AREA At the meeting of the Keilor shire council last Saturday a letter was re- ceived from a number of ratepayers owning land in the Victory Estate, North Essendon, complaining of sheep being grazed continually in portions of the Victory Estate and stating that the practice was unhealthy and offensive. The council decided to ask for the names of the offenders with a view to taking legal action.
(P.6, Sunshine Advocate, 9-10-1936.)

SHEEP AND CATTLE. Sheep grazing on vacant land at North Essendon was referred to in a communication received from F. B. Roberts, who said 1000 acres were concerned, carrying some thousands of sheep. Differences arose between drovers, some of whom left dead sheep lying about. Drovers could not carry on with out supervision. He had bought a property to handle sheep between his place at Mickleham and the Melbourne market, and had tried to keep things shipshape in the district, to avert a crisis.(P.3, Sunshine Advocate, 12-6-1942.)
As this concerned Keilor Council, North Essendon meant on the west side of Bulla Rd, north of the Essendon boundary(which was north of Keilor Rd), so the land being grazed was probably the part of Essendon Aerodrome south west of Bulla Rd (part of which is now Wirraway Rd), and Airport West.

The un-named road separating the 160 acres from the 26 acre triangle described as North Essendon was Treadwell Rd. Both of these properties were described in detail in my earlier QUINLAN journal.

North Essendon land 220 acre
A block of 74 acres of vacant land at North Essen- don, west of the aerodrome, and about half a mile west of the tramline, was sold at auction yesterday for 220 an acre, or 10,280.(P.7,Argus, 20-11-1954.)

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-03-13 03:32:43

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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