About this blog

This blog is about the history of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and neighbouring areas, such as Pakenham, Cranbourne and Garfield, and any other historical subjects I feel like writing about. It's my own original research and writing and if you live in the area you may have read some of the stories before in the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society newsletter or the Koo-Wee-Rup township newsletter, The Blackfish, or the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator.
Heather Arnold.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Garages at Garfield

Bill Parish wrote in his short history of Garfield, which was published in the 1962 ‘Back to’ programme, that the first motor cars appeared in town in the 1910s. They were J. Barker’s T-model Ford and H. Hourigan’s Renault. Henry Hourigan, was a coach builder (according to his occupation listed in the Electoral Roll) so there is no surprise that he would be first with a motor car. John Barker was the Model T owner, his occupation was orchardist but I believe he was the Barker of Barker Reidy Co that later became Barker, Green and Parke.

Mr Parish writes that in the 1920s many local people were able to purchase their first motor cars and trucks and that horses were becoming rarer and rarer on the roads with the ever increasing number of motor cars taking their place.

In the 1940s, Mr Parish lists G. Hamm, F. Dean and J Brenchley as the garage proprietors. Francis (Frank) Antonio Dean is listed in the Electoral Roll as a Motor Mechanic at Railway Street Garfield from 1931 to 1954 and from the 1960s as a garage proprietor. Frank operated the garage near the bakers.

According to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books in May 1941 George Hamm purchased the Garfield garage from the Estate of Thomas O’Donohue and in March 1947 Leonard John Brenchley took over from George Hamm. The property at Lot 6, Garfield (on the corner of Thirteen Mile Road) had operated as a garage since 1932 with the building being owned by Thomas and Eileen O’Donohue. They presumably employed a mechanic but I have no information about that. The Brenchleys (Leonard John and Linda Frances according to the Electoral Roll)  had come to Garfield from Werribee.

Werribee Shire Banner January 9, 1947

By the 1950s there was huge choice in the area for buying motor vehicles - W.D. Hilder at Pakenham East (as Pakenham used to be called) sold Hillman Minx, Sunbeam Talbot and Humber cars and they also sold Commer trucks and Lanz tractors.  Chas. Plummer also at Pakenham East sold Austin cars and International trucks and Highway Motors in Pakenham sold Vauxhall cars.  R.F. Dusting at Koo-Wee-Rup sold Ford cars. Also in Koo-Wee-Rup Burton’s Motor Service Garage was an agent for Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick and Holden and at Colvin’s Koo-Wee-Rup Motor Garage you could purchase a Standard Vanguard. E.N. Jones at Lang Lang sold Vauxhalls and the Bayles Service Station was an agent for Morris and M.G Cars and Morris Commercial trucks.

Pakenham Gazette February 1949

The Rouse family purchased their first car from the Brenchleys, you can read about it here. The first advertisement I could find in the Pakenham Gazette for Brenchley’s garage was in February 1949 where they advertised Austin trucks (see above)  They had a  regular ad in the paper for years after that and the first advertisement in the Koo-Wee-Rup Sun was February 1950 (there would likely have been ads in the Bunyip and Garfield Express but I don’t have access to that paper) 

Koo-Wee-Rup Sun February 1950

The garage was operated by the family until recently (maybe ten years ago?). I have found some ads from 1965 when they sold BMC cars - the Morris and the Wolseley amongst others - three advertisements from the Pakenham Gazette from 1965 are shown, below.


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