Victorian Era Victoria Street Flemington
Victoria Street, Flemington has had a chequered history with much of the original housing having been lost in the 1950's and 60's. This project is an attempt to document the early history of the street, its occupants and their lives and the tramline that traversed the full length of the street. Much of the history of the street has been lost and its future is under threat from development proposals like those found in the Melbourne 2030 planning schemes. This is a project that will document the street as it was and as it is now before all is lost. This is an onging research project and will develop over time as the Archives give up their secrets!
In 2012 the easterly, even numbered side of Victoria Street has only one building remaining from the Victorian era and its technically not a Victoria Street, Flemington address. The former CRICKET CLUB HOTEL faced into Mt Alexander Road, however its owner and licensee in 1903, William August Cole and his wife, lived at 137 Victoria Street. The east side in 2012 features the western edge of Debney's Park, the Debney Meadows Primary School, low rise Ministry of Housing flats and the Hopetoun Children's Centre.
The western side of the street was developed in patches over the late 1800's and early 1900's and almost all of the original housing shown on the MMBW 1895 maps for the area still exist. Some of the housing built after 1905 has been lost to development as there are now several blocks of flats, Ministry of Housing complexes and modern two story "terraces" sandwiched between the Victorian (and Edwardian) era houses.
The City of Melbourne commissioned a Heritage Study of Flemington in 1984 which led to the granting of an overlay over the Flemington Hill area but despite many of the houses in Victoria Street being "D" Classifed, the street was not included in the heritage area. This omission has not helped with the retention of original housing stock nor has it meant that complementary and sympathetic development has been approved since.
Despite inspecting every hole that has been dug in the street over the past 30 years or so, one keen resident has not been able to find physical evidence of the tram line that ran down the centre of the street yet it did exist! Help in locating photographs would be greatly appreciated.
Debney Meadows Primary School
Debney Meadows Primary School first opened its doors to pupils in 1975. The school is located on the east side of Victoria Street. It was located on parkland administered by City of Melbourne Parks and Gardens that was created after the removal of housing cleared under the Slum Housing and Reclamation Act 1938.
The siting of the school was subject to some controversy as it was originally proposed to be located near the corner of Victoria Street and Mount Alexander Road. This would have involved further resumption of properties under the auspices of the Slum Reclamation Act 1938 and was the subject of litigation by the owner of the Cricket Club Hotel.
Research by Robbie Stockfeld