#7 Main Street South Audio Script

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 DW Barkly Street virtually marked the end of the retail section of the town until the 1950s with a few exceptions.
The view you can see on the information board was taken from the tower of the Grand Hotel circa 1910 looking towards the Nepean Highway. You’ll notice the empty blocks of land and only a few houses. In the distance, on the corner of Vale Street which leads to the primary school, Fosters then Gaults operated a business providing the farming community with farm tools and animal feed. When this was being built in 1900 a fierce storm hit Mornington and walls and roof were blown down.
As The Mornington Standard reported; KW Boisterous weather has been our lot these last few days and the roads are in a very heavy state as a result. Serious damage was done to the new brick building which is being erected for Mr. Foster Storekeeper. One of the sides and a portion of the roof was blown out.
DW Undaunted, the workmen continued, and the result was a substantial building with a fine deco- rative turret on the roof.
The two-storey building on the left hand corner in the photograph was a timber business started by the Grover family. William Grover and his son Joseph constructed some of the important early buildings and houses in Mornington. The timberyard was ideally situated near the railway line. The Grovers also operated an undertaking business, which could be seen as natural extension for some- one in the timber trade!
Both William and Joseph were Mornington Councillors, William was the first President of the Morn- ington Shire and a leader in other aspects of the town’s development. The Grover family lost two members in the 1892 Football Disaster.
Both of Grovers’ businesses were taken over by John Summerland during the First World War. The timber business continued for nearly 70 years.
Down Barkly Street on the left was a blacksmiths owned variously by a Mr. Cole, whose son Billy died in the Football Disaster. This was later expanded to incorporate a coachbuilding business run by a Mr. W. Ross [ad] followed by the Pitchford family. The site would later become the Guide Hall. To- day it is a carpark.
Further down Barkly Street across the railway gates, the town’s gasworks were strategically situated for the delivery of coal by goods train. Boadle’s ice works were also down in this area.
Back to the Main Street corner, on the right hand side, Tetley’s tinsmiths would later become Gomans hardware business and the shop on that corner started out as Little’s Grocery Store.
In the photograph on the right hand side you can see a huge open space. This had been a hay, corn and produce Store in the 1930s and 40s, an indication how the township serviced its rural surroundings. In the 1970s it was the scene of a spectacularly huge fire in Aler’s car showrooms.
To continue the tour, you should now cross over Main Street and travel down the street towards the beach, following the information panels. The first is at 137 Main Street.
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