Confused in the skies of Sunshine

Here I go down another rabbit hole – aerial photos on the State Library of Victoria labelled ‘Sunshine’ but which I couldn’t place the location of – and for good reason!

Railway junction at Sunshine

My first mystery

The first series of photos is from the Harold Paynting Collection, and is captioned “Aerial views of Sunshine, Victoria (between 1950 and 1960)“.

We see industry beside empty grasslands.

SLV photo H2009.95/45

A pair of gasometers.

Nissen Huts.

A creek meandering past creeping suburbia – Kororoit Creek?

SLV photo H2009.95/46

Houses as far as the eye can see.

SLV photo H2009.95/47

The buildings of the CBD in the distance.

Possibly a new Housing Commission of Victoria estate?

And a kinked dual carriageway road, located beside what looks like a racetrack.

There are enough clues there to suggest Sunshine, but things didn’t quite fit…

  • The Housing Commission estate at Maidstone is nowhere near Kororoit Creek,
  • The White City greyhound track was beside a railway,
  • I can’t remember any gasworks being in the area,
  • And none of the dual carriageway roads around around Sunshine have a kink in them – they all run dead straight.

I then turned my mind to the northern suburbs, and finally found a match – Preston!

The waterway is Darebin Creek.

Albert Street has a kink in it, next to T.W. Blake Park and the Housing Commission estate in Reservoir.

And the gasometer and Nissen huts – they were located next to what is now Northland Shopping Centre.

And another mystery

This time we have a Wolfgang Sievers photo, captioned “Myer Storage, Sunshine, Vic.” and dated 1963.

SLV photo H2003.100/592

It’s definitely Myers.

That steep hill is probably the Maribyrnong River valley.

But what is this strange looking compound?

I know – Jack’s Magazine in Footscray, next door to what is now the Edgewater Estate.

Built on the site of the Defence Explosive Factory Maribyrnong – no wonder I didn’t recognise it!

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8 Responses to “Confused in the skies of Sunshine”

  1. Andrew says:

    So did you inform the State Library of the error? 🙂

    Jack’s magazine is fascinating. If you ever get the chance to do a tour, do it! I could see you writing a whole post just on that (hint hint)

  2. Paul O'Connor says:

    yet another very interesting post. When these restrictions are lifted, I intend going to have a look at the magazine building.

  3. Andrew says:

    The good news is that Jack’s Magazines tours are not just restricted to the Open House Melbourne weekend.

    Obviously they are not running at the moment. I do recall our guide telling they are normally running tours at least every two months

  4. Andrew S says:

    I’ve corrected a photo or two incorrectly labelled over the years and they have followed up and made the correction in the description – it seems they try and guess somewhere along the line and post it online.

    TW Blake Park and its distinctive rounded-corner-square track was better known as Gower Park and was a trotting training and trial track for many years. For most of its history the Northland twin drive in theatre (opened 1964) was right next door and the shopping centre which opened in 1966 was across the road – Melbourne’s first fully enclosed airconditioned centre. The photos above predate both landmarks.

    In 1987 the drive in closed as the shopping centre had a cinema multiplex open shortly after with the homemaker centre still there today built on the site.

    Gower Park with the nearby drive in and gasometers can be glimpsed in this old film from 1:45 onwards (the footage at the start is of a long-gone track way across town in Dingley):

  5. John says:

    I emailed the library directly about this. You can inform the library directly about each error. On the page for the image, under Other links, there is an option to “Share a comment about this item”.

    Here is the full response:
    Thank you for your feedback. There is quite a lot of information.

    You are more than welcome to add any confirmed information about an image to the User comments field of the catalogue record using the ‘Share a comment about this item’ link that is on every catalogue record.

    This comment will be posted to the User comments field within 7 days and remain on the record. Cataloguers will also assess the information and decide whether or not to add it to the record proper. Note that while all staff are off site they have limited access to cataloguing resources but they will be considered at some stage once the return to the building.

    I hope this information is of assistance.

    If you have any further questions on this matter please contact me as below

    Kind regards
    David Flegg

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