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DW This coach and stables business was built in 1906. Being so near to the railway station the loca- tion was ideal for picking up passengers and goods from the train to be transported further down the Peninsula. There were holding yards at the rear for the horses and this was where the Fire Brigade pump was kept.
Local historian Michael Collins continues . .
MC As with many Mornington enterprises, ownership changed regularly. This business was various- ly run in the early years by Probert, Ead, Doherty, Daw, Dorling and Swift, most of whom played a role in the development of the township.
In 1924 an advert in The Peninsula Post refers to the business as Hallums Peninsula Motor Garage. By the 1920s the motor car was growing in popularity and subsequently there were many flourishing new garage businesses. Livery stables often became hire car services. Blacksmiths turned their hand to coach building and produced rudimentary motorised lorries.
A produce and grain store was built by Mr. Grover next door to the stables for Mr. Alex McLellan in 1908. This was subsequently purchased by Mr. Blacker of Royal Commission notoriety whom you heard about back at the courthouse.
At No. 65 Bill Pratt opened his first self-service grocery store In Mornington in the early 1950s, fol- lowing the success of his Frankston store. The shop was the forerunner to the Safeway (now Wool- worths) supermarket chain. In his book, Bill Pratt wrote:
KW I found an old unlined dirt floor plumber’s store room, almost in the middle of town….I was concerned whether self service would work in Mornington given the firm opinions of most local people….Nevertheless (having transformed the store) we opened (in 1951) with our cut prices…and within three months we had proved that we were part of the main street trading and here to stay.
MC And so began the journey that led to Pratts establishing the Safeway chain of supermarkets including the Mornington supermarket in the 1960s on the other side of the street.
DW As you travel further down Main Street you will notice some little shops built during the 1920s and 30s. Many still have the brass surrounding the windows and set back doorways, typical of the era. Some still have decorative ceilings. The shop with the gateway beside was MacDonald’s the chemist. The family lived at the rear and above and this gate was their front entrance. Young Fergus MacDonald has written about the great view of the arrival of the trains he had from his bedroom window. Next stop is at the corner.