The Bendigo Creek (named after a ? shepherd or miner) gave the original European name to the area. Upon the discovery of gold, it became the Bendigo Diggings. In December 1852 the junction of Bendigo Creek and Golden Gully was named Castleton, but only until January 1853 when it became Sandhurst, after the military college in Britain. In 1891 a poll was held, with the overwhelming majority of locals voting for a return to the name of Bendigo.
From the Bendigo Independant. The writer felt it would be inconvenient, and not of practical benefit to change names.
J. T. Hill Bendigo:
In 1853, along with so many others, James William Hill (1828-1898), a native of London and known as William, arrived in the colony and made his way to the goldfields. From 1867 until 1889 he worked as a hatter (he had been apprenticed as such in London) in Pall Mall, Bendigo. When he retired his son James Thomas (1855-1932) took over as J. T. Hill and continued as a hatter, outfitter and tailor until he retired to Melbourne in 1916.
A tailor mentioned recently, Horace Whitelock, had worked for the firm. He would eventually join Whitelock and Carter.
J. F. Lewis Sandhurst:
John Francis Lewis also came to the colony around 1853, reaching Sandhurst by 1858. He went into the partnership of Henry Hoad & Co. In 1865 he continued the business alone under the name of J.T. Lewis until his early death in 1885 at the age of 54 years.
Robathon & Stevens:
George Robathan (not Robathon despite what the button says!) was born in London in 1828, and came to the colony around 1533 and hence to Bendigo (Sandhurst). He was in the partnership of Cooper & Robathan from 1855 until Mr Cooper’s death in 1860. Archibald Stevens joined the new partnership of Robathan & Stevens which continued beyond Robathan’s death in 1886 until 1901, when J.Thomas & Co bought the stock. it was not until 1903 that Louis Germann took over the store in Pall Mall. Archibald moved to Melbourne in 1909 and died there the following year.
In 1908 partners Horace Egbert George Whitelock (1881-1923) and Gordon Carter (1885-1965) started tailoring at View Street, Bendigo. As greater room was needed, they moved to Pall Mall. During the war they were required to provide uniforms. In 1918 they built larger premises. Horace’s father John was working with them, as was Mr L. Makepeace. The firm was still in business after Whitelock’s death until at least 1925.
Swan Hill Guardian and Lake Boga Advocate 5th July 1915.
Rose Series Postcard c.1920 The name can be seen behind the lamp post.
R. Ramage & Son/W. D. Ramage, Bendigo:
The origin of William David Ramage tailoring was with his father’s business. Richard Ramage (1829-1912) came from Scotland to Melbourne in 1853. He moved to Bendigo around 1863, starting his own business in View Street in 1888. It became R. Ramage & Sons by 1899. He had seven sons of which at least William (1878-1954), and Robert were also tailors. In 1913 they merged with the Melbourne Tailoring Company, then in 1915 it became W. D. Ramage. Around this time (1913-1916) there was also a ‘Ramage Brothers’ tailoring firm in View Street. Perhaps some of the brothers did not partake in the merger?
Thanks to Marian for sending in more photos from her stash!
Sample card from the 1960s
Below: a box of Tecpearl shirt buttons. c late 1950s
G. Meakin Bendigo;
Sorry; the button is worn.
George Meakin was a third generation tailor. His grandfather Benjamin (1822-1909) brought the family from London to New South Wales, then to Bendigo in 1857 where he had a tailor’s shop in High Street. George’s father Reuben John (1851-1931) took over the business, then George (1876-1951), all at the same location.
In 1889 James Berriman Wilkins (1863-1937) and John James Jones (1860-1915), both late of Cahill’s tailoring, started their partnership, “The “Busy Bee”, first in High street then from 1912, Charing Cross, Bendigo.
In 1915 the partnership dissolved with Wilkins continuing as ‘J.B. Wilkins’, possibly due to health reasons, as Jones died later that year, aged 55 years. He had lived all his life, except for a short while in Echuca, in Bendigo. Wilkins was still listed as a tailor in 1936, the year before he died. He had been a native of Cornwall.
Clifford & Fulton, Bendigo:
This partnership lasted from around 1931 until 1938, at Bath Corner, Bendigo. Charleville (named after his birth place in Queensland) Clifford (1897-1955) was a draper and mercer. He was bankrupt in 1940. I cannot work out who “Fulton” was, as no draper or tailor was listed by that name in the electoral rolls.
Advocate, 12th February 1931. Charling Cross was a tram stop at the intersection of View Street and Pall Mall.
George Loudon, a native of Stirlingshire, Scotland, arrived in Victoria in 1853. He tried his luck on the goldfields before setting up as a tailor around 1888 in High Street, Eaglehawk. He was a lcal councillor, including mayor, for 27 years, and reknown as a keen and talented draughts player. He died in 1908, at the age of 75 years.
Weekly Times 11th August 1894.
M. Colgan, Bendigo:
The top 2 say ‘M. Colgan’ whilst the bottom one says ‘Colgan’s’.
Michael Colgan was born around 1837 in County Clare and came to Victoria in 1851. His father and grandfather had also been tailors. He arrived in Bendigo around 1878. Working at first for Moffatt & Kitson, then the Taylor Bros before starting ‘Star Tailors’ in 1887.
Bendigo Advertiser, 6th October 1887.
He stopped using the name Star around 1898. Michael had been a volunteer with artillery units for nearly 21 years, retiring from service in1884 with the rank of sergeant. On his death in December 1908 his sons John and Albert, who had been working with him for over 20 years, took over the business under the same name until around 1916.
These buttons do not come up often. They were only advertised from August to December 1954, when the brand seems to have been taken over by Walkers. Buttons such as the red examples look similar to Beutron Opal-glo’s or Beauclaire Moonglows; it is possible they were made by one of those companies and that Delphi were only distributors.
John C. Rowe worked for David Moyle (see post from 12th July 2019). After Mr Moyle’s untimely death in 1916, John continued on his own until at least 1927 in Sturt Street, Ballarat.
Rainbow Argus, 17th Nov 1916.
Q’land Woollen Coy:
The Queensland Woollen Company was proposed in 1874, and its mill built in Ipswich near the Bremer River in 1875. The location near the river for shipping, and also a nearby railway made the location a successful one. It was the first woollen mill built in Queensland, saving locaal producers the cost of shipping their wool to Sydney or Melbourne. Initially producing only unfinished cloth, it expanded into clothing. It would in time produce blankets and uniforms during both World Wars. (The large number of female employees meant that production did not suffer as it did for many work forces during the wars.)
Illustrated Sydney News, 30th Aug 1890.
Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 23145
Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 23141
In 1968 the company bought out the Ipswich Woollen Company, forming the Australian Fabric Manufactures ltd., producing fabric until the 1980s. The mill is now a heritage listed building.
William James Greaney Denton (1862-1936) with his brother Frederick John Denton (1864-1934) started the ‘Eclipse Tailoring’ establishment in Mitchell Street, Bendigo, in 1886. By 1890 they had a branch in Melbourne, which ran until 1912.
Ballarat Star 22 December 1920.
From the “Lost Bendigo” Facebook page.
Another brother, James Greaney (1866-1939), who had been an auctioneer in Melbourne, took over the Bendigo branch some time before 1903. His son Keith Douglas Denton (1890-1970) joined the firm. The Bendigo branch closed around 1922, and Fred moved to Melbourne to continue tailoring. James was remembered as a renown charity worker in Bendigo.
A. M.Pool, Bendigo:
In 1892 Alfred Morris Pool and J. T. Williams proudly announced they were opening, as ‘Pool & Williams’ as tailors and outfitters in the premises previously occupied by the ‘London & American Tailoring Co.” (see post on 19th July 2019) Only two years later, Williams left. Pool continued as a tailor in Bendigo until a couple of years before hid death in December, 1930 in Melbourne.
In 1910 Mr Walter Harrison Wheeler (1881-1944) came from Victoria and together with his brother Louis Winslow Wheeler (1878-1943), started a tailoring and mercery store in Grenfell Street. In 1917 they purchased the established firm of William Bros at 12 King William Street, Adelaide which seems to have been used for their ladies’ tailoring department, whilst they had men’s wear stores at North terrace and Hindley Street.
Critic, 27nd April 1921.
The Register, 15th November 1923. Despite the sale of the store, Wheeler’s continued to lease this address until around 1930-2, when they moved to Currie Street.
Critic, 25th July 1923.
In 1936 Walter was convicted and fined for tax evasion. His son Rex Harrison Wheeler (1912-2000), mercer, seems to have taken over the men’s wear business after his father’s death in 1944. When Lois died in 1943 he was remembered as a “prominent racing cyclist in his youth. He was one of South Australia’s best known iris and gladiolus growers.”