In 1924 the Mayor, Councillor C.J.Waters, J.P. opened a Begonia Show by "wireless" at the Malvern Town Hall. The occasion was a notable one in the history of wireless transmission in Australia. The method employed to open the show was by wireless waves of telephonic sound. The Mayor declared the Begonia Show open by speaking into a wireless microphone at Ferncroft Avenue, East Malvern, in the home of Mr. Howard K.Love, the President of the Wireless Institute of Australasia. The Mayor's message was transmitted to the Town Hall. His voice was heard by those present at the show through the medium of a loud speaker. It was the first time in Australia that the wireless telephone had been used in that way.

Fancy Dress party at Malvern Town Hall c 1920



Malvern Cricket Club was formed in 1859 with the name Malvern Hill Cricket Club.

The club has always been located at its present site, the Malvern Cricket Ground. The most famous cricket match, in the history of the Malvern Cricket Club, was the two-day match in 1888 in which the then greatest cricketer in the world (W. G. Grace) played, and in which he was bowled first ball. The teams were the English Players (12) and the Malvern Team of 22 players. The Shire President (Councillor A. E. Clarke) was an influential member of the Melbourne Cricket Club. He prevailed on Lord Sheffield and Dr. Grace to make the Malvern Cricket Ground famous by allowing the English team to play on it. President Clarke claimed the game played in its charming surroundings, within the shadow of St. George's Church, would suggest a likeness to a cricket match on the outskirts of an English village.

On the first day of the match the weather was warm. Rain clouds threatened but the clouds cleared away before lunch. A fine afternoon followed. The ground reserved was well filled by the ladies of Malvern, in brightly coloured summer frocks. On the toss of the coin, Captain Daly cried "Heads," and won the toss from Dr. W. C. Grace. Daly sent the English team into the field. The local team of the Malvern Cricket Club was strengthened by the inclusion of some All Australia Eleven cricketers. In their first innings, the Malvern twenty-two made 197 runs.

The Englishmen were lucky in securing the wicket of the All Australia Eleven's captain, H. F. Boyle, for five. When the teams adjourned on the first day, lunch was served in the Shire Hall. Shire President Clarke occupied the chair, supported on his right hand by Lord Sheffield, and on his left hand by Dr. W. G. Grace. At the close of the match, on the second day, President Clarke invited both teams to the Shire Hall to share a glass of wine.

Celebration at the Malvern Cricket Ground 1901

Band Rotunda Malvern Cricket Ground c 1903


Australia’s first car was manufactured in Armadale. Herbert Thomson built the car at his engineering works in High Street. The original car is on display in the Melbourne Museum.

Thomson's Motor Works 1906


IN 1863, the "Wattle Tree Hotel" is mentioned as a location for hunting. Foxes, hares, kangaroos, dingoes, and deer were hunted. The position of the hotel, with country surrounding it, made the hotel popular with huntsmen. Even before 1861 the Glen Iris country was the scene of some early hunting runs. Judge Hickman Molesworth, was in the habit of meeting barristers, at six o'clock in the morning, to hunt anything that came along, from a dingo to a kangaroo. The Melbourne hounds were then kennelled in Dandenong Road, Armadale. A pack of beagles was hunted over Malvern, and the neighbouring country, and the huntsmen met at the "Wattle Tree" Hotel.

An account of one run which took place in 1863 can be found in the sporting paper Bell's Life in Victoria. "The deer was turned off from the 'Wattle Tree' hotel, and very natty he looked with his horns decorated with ribbons. Several well known supporters of the chase followed, cheering the hounds over a few easy fences until the Dandenong Road was reached, when the galloping became furious riding on the highway (against the Police Act) as the critter made straight for Prahran, leading hounds, and horsemen, through the streets, helter skelter, and contributing much to the joint astonishment of feminines, and cabmen."

The Melbourne Hunt Club held its successive opening meets of the season at Ranfurlie, the Malvern home of the Honourable William Knox. The first meeting at Ranfurlie took place in 1897. When the call came to move off, huntsmen and hounds started with a sharp trot towards the bridge over Gardiner's Creek. Water lay deep on the low-lying lands and the hounds succeeded in picking up the trail of a fox. The hounds crossed the Glen Iris Road and then wheeled to the right over High Street. After crossing the Outer Circle railway line where the pace was increased, the hounds worked in a south-easterly direction until they led the huntsmen to Scotchman's Creek, then down a steep hill, and up a road on the far side across Dandenong Road. After passing Boundary Road (Warrigal Road) the pack in full cry headed in the direction of Oakleigh. The fox proved to be a game one, turning and doubling on its tracks between Oakleigh and Clayton Road. The fox ran into a large paddock a mile or two from Clayton's Road Railway Station, where the kill took place in the open after a run of an hour and thirty-five minutes. The distance covered was estimated to be twelve miles.

Hunt Club at Ranfurlie c 1890

Picnic near Ranfurlie c 1900


What a road "Break Neck Road" (part of Waverley Road) must have been to travel over on a dark night. It must be remembered there was hardly a light on the roads anywhere, beyond the light at the toll gate, a light which was usually a lantern in the hands of the toll keeper. Each publican had, under the terms of his hotel licence, to keep a lamp burning in front of his house, but as there were but few hotels, and they were far apart, the light they gave to the travellers on the road was not very helpful. Later the lights on the roads were more frequent, though they were dim lights indeed, peeping through nail holes in old cans; the source of illumination being a tallow candle, when the wind did not blow it out. Lights were also attached to wood-carters' drays drawn by tired horses, driven by sleepy drivers. The wheels of the carts creaked. The horses stumbled into holes. So with creak, and stumble, they passed each night, along Malvern Road, homeward after their weary owners had hawked the loads of wood for sale throughout the day in Prahran and South Yarra.

Lewes Family, Waverley Road c1918


Under the Act for making and improving Roads in the Colony of Victoria, 1853, District Road Boards were empowered to levy tolls, after one month's public notice, and travellers who used the roads were liable to pay the toll tax. Persons in Government service, or residents going to, or returning from, public worship, or any funeral, or ministers of religion, were exempt from paying the toll. Turnpike keepers had to have their names painted on front of the toll houses in black letters, at least two inches in length. The new Gardiner Road Board was always in want of funds. The expenses of road making and bridge construction constantly exhausted the Board's modest revenue from rates and occasional Government Grants. Ratepayers petitioned for better roadways, and each group of ratepayers insisted that their road requirements were more pressing than those of other ratepayers. The power to levy toll dues had not been exercised by the Gardiner Road Board because of want of funds to build toll houses and gates.

A special meeting of the Board was held on May 11, 1864. to make a special order for levying tolls within the district of Gardiner. At that meeting it was determined to erect, and maintain, a toll house at Scotchman's Creek Road, (part of Waverley Road) and its junction with Milton's Road (Chadstone Road). In addition to this it was decided to erect, and to maintain, a toll house near the bridge over the Gardiner's Creek, leading from High Street and Commercial Road (Malvern Road) to Glen Iris. The tolls charges were

"For every sheep, lamb, pig, or goat, 4d.; for every ox or head of meat cattle, Id.; for every horse, mare. ass or mule, 3d.; for every gig. chaise, coach or chariot or other such carriage constructed on springs, if drawn by one horse, or other animal, 6d.; for every do., if drawn by two horses."

The Board went to the expense of putting up the gates and the toll house and the tollkeeper was supposed to be ready at any hour of the night. Gates were placed across roads the traveller sometimes found a broken fence which allowed him to pass by without troubling the turnpike keeper. Evasion of the toll tax was regarded, by a certain section of the travelling public, as rather good fun. Three or four carts would be driven along at the same time, towards the toll house, and their drivers, when close to the toll house, would spread out, going past, in different directions. The swearing toll keeper might catch one driver, and cart but the others would escape. Men on horseback found no difficulty in galloping by the toll house, unheeding the shouts of an angry man. Few of the toll gate keepers renewed their contracts with the Board

William Woodmason's Jersey Herd c1870's

James Ferguson Shire President 1871-1872


The famous Eight Hours Labour Movement was first brought into prominence at a meeting of the Malvern Council. One of the notable names in the list of the first Shire Councillors of Gardiner, was James Munro. Public attention was directed towards him, when he, as President of the Shire of Malvern, moved what was to become a cry of the Labour party "Eight hours' labour, eight hours' recreation, eight hours' sleep." At the time the motion was moved, 1873, it was considered, by the Conservative party, to be revolutionary. Those who were against Munro's motion saw something in the motion that was dangerous to the stability of a well-organised social system. The motion was:—

"That on and after the 1st of September, 1873, every person employed by the Shire Council of Gardiner, where the custom is to work by the day, shall be deemed to have done a day's work, if he has worked during any lawful day for a period of eight hours at any occupation, or employment. for or under the said Shire Council."

Upon being put to the vote the motion was lost.

At the Shire Council meeting held on September 21, 1876, a petition was received from the day men in the Council's employment requesting that the Council adopt eight hours as a day's labour. The day men, who were in attendance at the Council meeting to hear what was decided, thereupon informed the Council, that they had agreed not to resume work under the Council, unless their request was granted at once. The Council replied by moving a motion, that was carried unanimously;—

"That none of the men forming the deputation, be employed by this Council, and that the foreman be directed to procure other men."

It was resolved unanimously,

"that the men in the employ of the Gardiner Shire Council should be required to continue to work nine hours per day. The men's wages at this time were six shillings per day."

Mr. and Mrs. Gimmel, corner Elizabeth St and Silver St.c 1870


Thomas Robinson came to Gardiner from Wales. Robinson, who was a short stocky man, arrived in the colony in 1852 and was "stuck up" by bushrangers at Glen Iris soon after. He settled in Glen Iris as a market gardener. For twenty-five years he tilled the soil of Glen Iris valley before he retired to live in Elizabeth Street. The sunny slopes of Malvern Hill on the east side suggested to Robinson vineyards. He planted some vines, and subsequently made some wine. but he did not continue the vineyard.

Ilton's blacksmith's shop c 1880


The pure air of Malvern in the 1870’s was contaminated in a number of ways. There were at least three brick kilns and brick-making plants. Ill-kept slaughter yards in Malvern were detrimental to health conditions and offensive odours came from the vats of a boiling down establishment that dealt with the refuse from the slaughter yards. The chimney of Cawkwell's tile works poured smoke over the village. The housewives alleged that the household linen on washing days was smutted by smoke from the tile works. Of the number of nuisances in Malvern the most serious one acting as a constant menace to the health of the residents, was the depositing of night soil (waste from the old fashioned toilets), within the shire boundaries. Anyone wishing to bury night soil for the purpose of manuring land had to obtain a licence to do so from the Shire Council. The Council was not in favour of the burial of night soil in Malvern. Residents were constantly protesting, very vigorously, against the practice. The material was supposed, in keeping with the regulations, to be delivered into the Shire of Malvern after midnight. Before morning light came it was ordered that it should be completely ploughed in. These acts were not always done.

David Hyslop's workmen and night carts c 1930


It is believed that Malvern had the first bowling green in Victoria as early as the 1860’s. The Gardiner Hotel was a well known hotel. Its position, at the north-eastern corner of Dandenong and Glenferrie Roads, made it a favourite. Its licensee was a noted Melbourne cricketer, William Greaves. He popularised the hotel as a resort for huntsmen, and all-round sportsmen. Beside the hotel in Dandenong Road he formed the first successful bowling green and bowling club in the suburbs of Melbourne. In the sporting paper "Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle," under date September 6, 1862. appeared the following advertisement:

"WILLIAM GREAVES begs to thank his sporting friends for the patronage he has enjoyed during the three months he has been in the GARDINER HOTEL, MALVERN HILL and to inform them that he has at considerable expense made a very excellent bowling green which he believes to be the only one in the colony. "Every facility will be afforded gentlemen who are desirous of practice at cricket, bowls or pigeon shooting.” The Gardiner Hotel is about a mile from the Chapel Street Station, Prahran, and a good road all the way. "An excellent stock of wines and spirits & co."

Land Sales at Malvern 1888

Dandenong Road Malvern 1900

The news column contained the following paragraph: "BOWLS.—Several attempts have been made during the last two years in the suburbs of Melbourne to initiate a bowling club, but owing to the difficulty and expense of preparing a green, they have not been successful." 'As smooth as a bowling green' is a common expression in England, and without a perfection of smoothness the game cannot be played with enjoyment. We are glad to see an announcement in our advertising columns that William Greaves, the cricketer, has succeeded in making a first class 'green' in proximity to his house, the Gardiner Hotel, Malvern Hill. He has already fifteen members of a bowling club, and as his hotel is within an easy distance of the Chapel Street Station, we have no doubt but the patronage he will receive from the lovers of the gentle game during the ensuing summer will remunerate him for his outlay."


In 1937, two school friends, Jack Macalister and Neil Sloane, left Benalla Airport early one morning. As they approached Melbourne thick fog rolled in from Port Phillip Bay and obscured their view of Essendon Aerodrome. They circled the suburbs for an hour trying to find a place to land. Aviation officials and police tried to attract the pilot’s attention by lighting flares at Essendon after numerous telephone calls from residents between Kew and Malvern reporting a plane flying low. But the pilot failed to see the flares and decided to land on open space next to the Malvern Town Hall. Mr Macalister cut one engine and began descending, failing to see the church on Glenferrie Road.

Nearby residents reported hearing a loud bang when the plane struck the south transept with its wing. It then hit the bluestone wall of the church and fell into the church drive next to the Malvern Police Station. Local police arrived to find Mr Sloane walking around in a dazed state and Mr Macalister still seated in the cockpit. Both escaped with shock and minor abrasions. Mr Macalister joined the Royal Australian Air Force a year later and still held a pilot’s licence 55 years later.

St. George's Church 1888

Malvern Town Hall and Police Station c 1920


The Convent of the Good Shepherd was built in 1883 at the corner of Dandenong Road and Castlebar Road and offered academic, domestic and commercial training for girls aged 11 to 13 who were deemed by the Children's Court to be in need of care and also provided care for older girls and women.

One night, when everyone had retired to their dormitories and all was quiet, a loud thud and a noise like shuffling footsteps was heard from one of the rooms downstairs.The Sisters became alarmed thinking that someone had broken into the Convent. More loud noises like the sound of strong efforts to open the door and chairs being knocked down were heard. Two of the older girls, armed with brooms, agreed to go down to investigate. Only half of the stairs had been descended when there was another loud noise and the girls retreated frantically upstairs. When there was no further noise two of the Sisters concluded that the intruders had escaped and they descended followed by the girls. The Sisters were opening the door gently when two forms rushed from the room knocking the hand held lantern.while the girls screamed, the nuns burst into laughter as the identity of the burglars was revealed- two calves from the Convent’s farm!

Good Shepherd Convent showing orchard and Chapel c 1900

Cows grazing, Chadstone Road 1959


On one occasion, around 1890, a Sister answered the front door bell and spoke to an elderly man with a quiet voice and a respectable appearance. He was remarkably well dressed. He wore a ‘Bell-topper’, carried a silver topped umbrella, new gloves and wore an elegant suit in an up-to-date style. He wished to speak to the Mother Superior. He was conducted to the parlour to wait. The Mother Superior was not available and two of the Sisters were asked to interview the gentleman. The Sisters listened as he spoke about wishing to attend Mass in the Convent Chapel. As the conversation continued he revealed his identity. He was Harry Power the bushranger! Frightened, the Sisters excused themselves quickly and went in search of the Mother Superior. Alarmed for the safety of her convent, she hurried to the parlour, where Power shared his story and the way he had turned his life around. He was to become a frequent visitor to the Convent.

Convent of the Good Shepherd 1885


In 1861 Frenchman, Armand Auguste Fortune LaMoile opened the Malvern Hill Water-cure establishment close to present day Hopetoun Road. LaMoile offered board, including residence, treatment and bath attendance, at five guineas per week. A horse omnibus ran daily from South Yarra railway station.

The Frenchman advertised his business extensively: "[LaMoile’s] establishment is retire [sic], elevated, and commands an extensive view of the Bay and the Dandenong Ranges; the neighbourhood is richly wooded; the grounds contain many appliances for the recreation and exercise of the Patients; the air is celebrated for its purity and bracing quality.

The Domestic arrangements are conducted by Mrs LaMoile, whose experience and competency, also in the Water-cure, insure to Ladies every possible attention and comfort. After business the cure-guest might come to Malvern, in the evening take the cure, enjoy afterwards its pure and bracing air and the various amusements provided for the recreation of the body and mind; sleep at the establishment, take the cure once again in the morning and be in town by ten o’clock." LaMoile’s business closed in 1865.

Tatiara Malvern Hill Road
(Hopetown Road) c 1900

Glenferrie c 1850