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TULLAMARINE RHYMES, BROADMEADOWS NESTLES, (JOHN HENRY COOPER'S TWO DEATHS.)

Journal by itellya

Cooper's Hill Drive was once known as Black St (after Neil Black, the Western District squatter granted* the 777 acre part of Gladstone Park north of Koonalda Rd)but was renamed because of confusion with the other part of the street. Mark Cooper owned much of the land between Coopers Hill Drive and Forman St. John Henry Cooper was without doubt his father. According to "Broadmeadows: A Forgotten History" John Henry Cooper was originally a saddler, but he probably snapped up land forfeited during the 1890's depression and was described as a farmer in 1908 when his wife or widow applied for administration of his estate. Alma Koch, Mark Cooper's daughter (and granddaughter of Charles Nash of Fairview) told me all about her father but nothing about Grandfather Cooper. Alma probably never saw him.I bet the township's gossips had a field day when the complete story appeared on page 9 of The Argus of 22-5-1911!
* The name of George Russell appears on the Tullamarine parish map as grantee of "Stewarton" (Section 5) but he had purchased it on behalf of Black who was acting as agent for his father and other syndicate members including Stewart and Gladstone (the Prime Minister's cousin.)The farm's name changed from "Stewarton" to "Gladstone" in assessments shortly after John Cock leased it in 1892.



BROADMEADOWS NESTLES.
'Twas known as Broadmeadows till the days of the trains
In a picturesque valley cut through the plains.
The ancient St Pauls upon the hill
Looks down on the township which slumbers still.

Kingshott and Ted Wright made their anvils sing;
The Broady and Franklins for having a fling!
Jack Hoctor brought bread and Cargill the meat,
While Boundy's sold a range of goods very complete.

Mark Cooper had much land south of the creek.
When babies were due, Nurse Mitchell we'd seek.
Jim Ahearn was the man who kept peace in the town;
Albert Cook, Shire Secretary of well-won renown.

Up the hill going Greenvale way
Were the Orrs on Kia Ora growing hay:
The Campbells, Hatty, Attwood and Harry Swain
And Bob Jefferies' farm past Dench's Lane.

The monument stands where the windmill once stood.
Our boys went to war to prove their manhood
But grief came to parents, son or daughter;
At Gallipoli they were led like lambs to the slaughter.

On the tops of the hills, subdivisions grow fast,
But the township retains the charms of the past.

Broadmeadows Township was declared in 1850. It fulfilled what I presume were the two requirements for township sites: being on well-used routes and having a good supply of water. In the early 1870's the Government bought the failed Essendon railway and extended it to Sydney as the North Eastern Railway. The nearest station was at Campbellfield but that area became known as East Broadmeadows and finally Broadmeadows, which meant that, to avoid confusion, the old township became known as West Meadows. Just like Keilor whose nearest station was Keilor Road Station (later renamed Sydenham), Broadmeadows Township became a sleepy hollow. Both were service centres for local farmers, providing farm hands and goods but hardly self-sustaining.St Pauls was built in 1850 and served as a school for a while. The vicarage across Raleigh St was built later.

John Kingshott and his (brother?) operated smithies over the road from each other. Ted Wright took over the one on the garage site (I'd better say the east corner of Coopers Hill Drive, formerly Black St, and Fawkner St because of the way that service stations are disappearing today)and operated as a wheelwright. (George?)Kingshott had his forge on the site of the fruit Mart across Fawkner St. Once when a customer had left a horse to be shod the next morning, George was taken aback to discover it had changed colour overnight, courtesy of some local rascals and their whitewash. John Kingshott was appointed to the school committee so that it would not consist entirely of Presbyterians.

The Broadmeadows Hotel was on the present site with the Victoria Hotel a few yards further up the Ardlie St hill. The latter burnt down in about 1870 and Henry Franklin, the baker, built the Franklins Hotel on the west corner of Fawkner and Bent Sts. Jack Hoctor mistakenly believed that this was named after Sir John Franklin. This hotel also burnt down and the bluestone was used to build the vestry at St Pauls. When town houses were being built on the Bent St corner, the owner discovered the bluestone blocks lining the hotel's cellar; they are still there!

Jack Hoctor was the township's lamplighter and delivered bread for Anderson's bakery between the Oddfellows' Hall and the historic (1869?) bluestone bridge. Anderson's bakery and the old Coach House on the Broad St corner (where Jack was born) remain as reminders of the quiet village. Bob Cargill was the son of one of the township's original butchers. He lived on the north side of Raleigh St near St Pauls and his Victorian house remains. Like all butchers, he had a gum branch to swish flies away from his cutting cart. The death of Bob's young son caused great sadness in the town but he was buried at Bulla! It was assumed in the early days that if you lived near Broadmeadows you were a Scot and as far as I know, the Will Will Rook cemetery (Melway 7 B9)had no sections for each denomination as was the norm. For this reason, many Catholics from Broadmeadows were buried at Keilor or Bulla. The boy was killed when another boy's gun discharged accidentally on a rabbit hunt. The other boy's family (Gra--) felt so uncomfortable that they moved to near the site of the E.J.Whitten bridge.

Boundy's store was where the milk bar operates near the bridge and bike track. As well as cash trade, they operated a barter system whereby a local could, for example, supply eggs to buy goods.(George?) later expanded to Keilor Rd.

Mark Cooper's pioneering endeavours are recalled by Coopers Hill Drive. He was a farmer and related to the family of Charles Nash of Fairview (Melway 5 F6.). Nurse Mitchell was one tough lady. Once she entered the house and rolled up her sleeves, the most domineering husband became a compliant assistant or quickly disappeared, whichever was required. Jim Ahearn was the old-fashioned type of policeman who saved the time of busy magistrates by applying his boot to the backside of any youths who were getting out of hand; and those same rascals loved him for putting them on the right path.
Albert Cook was not only a much respected and long-serving shire secretary of Broadmeadows; he and his wife
brought up Norm Woods who won similar regard as secretary of Keilor Shire. They lived in a residence attached to the Old Shire Hall, another relic remaining in the township. When a more central hall was built on Glenallan (present site), Albert moved to Cook's Cottage (probably Peck's Wannaeue)which was on the Red Rooster site, across Pascoe Vale Rd from the east end of Mascoma St, Strathmore.

See my comment under RHYMES OF OLD TIMES IN TULLAMARINE about the Hatty website for details of the Orrs etc north of the township. Dench's Lane, named after a prominent butchering family, is across Mickleham Rd from Swain St which are both part of the boundary between the parishes of Will Will Rook and Yuroke.The next farm north of Bob Jefferies' was Hugh Williamson's Dunvegan which went to the Somerton Rd corner. Hughie was highly regarded as an amateur vet by local farmers.

There was a plantation just east of the bridge at the junction of Ardlie St and Raleigh St. In the old days there was no problem going around the war memorial and gas-lamp pole but by the 1950's when W.V.Murphy bought on Ray Loft's subdivision of "Broombank", the memorial had become a traffic hazard.Some townsfolk were upset when the monument was moved to its present site by Major Murphy. The town's water supply originally came from
the creek and that is why the early butchers were kept on their toes regarding pollution. "Lambs to the slaughter" is a direct quotation of Jack Hoctor's words. The poem was written in 1989 but much charm does still remain in 2012.
SOURCES: Jack Hoctor, Harry Heaps, Olive Nash, "Broadmeadows: A Forgotten History", Sid Lloyd, George Lloyd's "Mickleham Road: 1920-1952".

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-02-01 01:32:53

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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