The Surrey Hills Heritage Collection is a significant collection, which includes, documents, memorabilia, advertisements and ephemera relating to the history of Surrey Hills and Mont Albert. Concerned individuals began collecting material during the 1970s and from the time the Neighbourhood Centre was opened, there was a ‘History Nook’. The Centre has supported the collection ever since. It owes much to the efforts of many individuals, including Jocelyn and Ken Hall, Alan Holt, John Reaburn, Jean Boucher and Daphne Wisewold, and to the generosity of many in the community who have donated photos and other information to it.
There are over 2000 photos in the collection including many of early residents, sporting teams, shopkeepers and local primary school grades. The collection is not static; some of the photos are relatively recent and document for the future some of the many changes in the built environment of our suburb over recent decades.
During 2007, photos in the collection were scanned, so the collection now contains digital images as well as hard copies. This project was facilitated by a grant from the City of Boroondara Community Grants Scheme and additional funds from the Canterbury Surrey Hills Bendigo Bank.
The ongoing focus of work on the collection is cataloguing it and making it accessible online through the website of Victorian Collections. Cataloguing the collection is a great way to learn about the history of our area and we are always on the lookout for new volunteers with an interest in history to assist with this project.
Victorian Collections is backed by Museums Australia (Victoria) and Melbourne Museum and is used by hundreds of heritage organisations around the state. Members of the public don’t need an account to use Victorian Collections. It’s open to everyone and a boon for students, researchers and history enthusiasts. The number of objects, photos, maps and documents found on it grows daily and totals well over one hundred thousand items. It can be accessed through the following link: https://victoriancollections.net.au/
A very young looking Henry Jamieson outside his shop at 149 Union Road, which in 2015 is the site of Union Tree Thai Café.
Photographer – Ken T Hall
Mr Arthur Metzenthen’s confectionery shop, 126 Union Road, 1933
“As a family we lived behind and above the actual shop, enjoying a large backyard, ideal for playing cricket, from 1927-1942. Arthur ‘Metz’ as he was always known by, is behind the counter, ice-cream cone in hand ready to serve ice-cream. The certificates, behind the jars of sweets, were awarded to him for Professionally Dressed Window Displays when Empire Day was celebrated – [it was] dressed by chocolate manufacturers. I know that Cadbury’s was one. You will also notice an advertisement for Peters ‘Fuzz’, [it was] yellow in colour and a slightly different texture from ice-cream. It was not one of Peters’ success stories but was a favourite for many years. Arthur and Elsie made their own flavoured ice blocks until the advent of the icy pole. A range of flavourings for his well-known spiders and malted milk drinks can be seen in front of the mirror. You will also notice a hot water urn for making tea and coffee, also an advertisement for Guests biscuits – a few tins on the shelf. These were served, using brown china crockery on glass topped tables (out of the picture on left side).
Other items of interest are paper bags, peanuts, snowballs and large clocks of chocolate, scales and the cash register known as a ‘till’. A ‘halfpenny’ and ‘penny’ trays were kept in the glass display cabinet next to the refrigerator and were the children’s favourite way to spend their pocket money …”
Peters Ice-Cream was founded by Frederick Augustus Bolles Peters (1866-1937) and dates back to 1907. Peters was an American, who initially lost money in Australia, but spurred on by homesickness and craving ice-cream (which was not readily available here), he leased two rooms in an ice factory in Paddington, Sydney and set up Peters’ American Delicacy Co. Ltd on 27 August 1907. He set up a factory in Victoria in 1927.
'Spenceycroft', 654 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills.
44 Guildford Road, Surrey Hills.
Sue Barnett is the Coordinator of the Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre Heritage Collection. Sue is assisted by a small group of dedicated volunteers. New volunteers are very welcome.
Access to the collection is possible on Mondays between 10am-3pm and other times by appointment. Direct email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- are interested in volunteering for either the Heritage Collection or for the On the Street where you Live project
- have a query regarding the collection
- are willing to share aspects of your family’s history with the public through this collection
- donated material to the collection in the past – as we wish to update our records regarding past donations.