Having been here all of my life, it is about time I wrote a little about South Blackburn, and what you will find if you come and visit our little suburb. We are bordered by Box Hill South, Blackburn, Forest Hill and East Burwood. All in all, it is a great place to live, far enough from the busy parts of town, but not far enough to isolate you. It is a pleasant place to live with (mostly) friendly people surrounding you, and a fair sense of Community. One thing I am proud of is that we have managed to earn ourselves a Community Bank from Bendigo Bank. A few Melbourne Suburbs have tried and failed, but the South Blackburn one is going strong!
South Blackburn or Blackburn South? In these suburbs with two word names, sometimes there is disagreement with which way the name should be said. This is the case in South Blackburn, where some call it South Blackburn, the other half, Blackburn South. The Post Office and Local Council seem to have ruled in favor of Blackburn South, so I guess they are correct. My modified street sign is incorrect then, as they too display "BLACKBURN SOUTH" along the bottom!
However, I have known our suburb as South Blackburn since childhood, and use South Blackburn on my mail! Computers in some firms "auto-correct" my mail to Blackburn South. As for the bus service, disagreement again! The DOI (responsible for bus contracts) calls it South Blackburn, but Ventura (the operator) use Blackburn South on the destination signs (well some of them anyway!). Let's agree to disagree! I will keep calling it South Blackburn!
Melway Reference Melway is Melbourne's famous street directory, and yes, you can find South Blackburn on Map 61 and 62 in the upper middle of the map. Local Politics (and Power, the electric kind!) South Blackburn is in Melbourne's Eastern Suburbs in the City of Whitehorse. It once was on the border of the City of Nunawading and on the other side, the City of Box Hill. The former Cities of Nunawading and Box Hill shared a Municipal run Power Supply in those days, so we were quite close in that regard! When the councils merged, we ended up joining to form Whitehorse. Quite an appropriate name, as both Council Offices can be found on Whitehorse Road, in Box Hill and Nunawading (the latter being the main office).
Blackburn South Hall
Parks and Community Facilities Wurundjeri Walk's Parklands line Fulton Road where a Freeway was to go through. It is now a nice area with walking tracks, a creek, etc. Eley Park can be found on Eley Road, and is the suburbs main sporting area, with the main football and cricket oval, tennis club and a Community Centre. Scouts and Guides also have their halls here, and one or the other acts as a "Polling Booth" for elections, among other places. Many other smaller parks can be found dotted around the suburb, many with tracks cut through them. Blackburn South Hall can be found on Fulton Road, near the corner of Canterbury Road.
Schools As for schools, we used to have Warrawong Primary in Richmond St and Blackburn South Primary on Canterbury Road. Both have gone, and I guess most of our suburb's kids now go to Orchard Grove Primary (formally Mirabooka Primary) or Laburnum Primary in Blackburn itself, both of which have been renovated. We also used to have Blackburn South High School, whose site is now to be taken by a school for Deaf Kids, which is now starting to take shape. If you are Catholic, you would go to St. Luke's Primary in Orchard Grove, where I spent my early time at school.
Orchard Grove Primary School
Churches We have a few Churches around South Blackburn, with Catholic, Anglican, Uniting and Chinese churches among them. The Chinese Church used to meet in the little Blackburn South Hall on Fulton Road, but took over the Blackburn Baptist Church when it moved to Burwood East (and now known as "Crossway Baptist").
Shopping Strips South Blackburn has a couple of shopping strips, with quite a few of the shops being offices for various useful services. Our Post Office can be found on Canterbury Road (on the South Blackburn side!). While the shopping strip is known as Blackburn South Shopping Centre, we actually share it with Blackburn proper, with half the shops (and the Safeway) being in Blackburn itself. Other small shopping strips can be found along Indra Road, Eley Road, Vicki St & Middleborough Road (at both ends of the suburb). The main Shopping Strip once had 3 (maybe more) banks, all since have closed. The suburb also has a Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank in the main Canterbury Road strip. Houston shopping strip is close by to South Blackburn, over the other side of Middleborough Rd in Box Hill South. The old Bunnings at the famous address of 321 Middleborough Rd has closed after being open for as long as I can remember (see below)
Indra Road Shops
Blackburn South Post Office
Canterbury Rd Shops
Service Stations Service stations can be found on the corner of Canterbury Road and Vicki St (with a 7-11), Canterbury Rd and Middleborough Rd (Mobil Quix)
Alpha Petroleum, which often had the lowest fuel prices in Melbourne, on the corner of Middleborough Rd and Fulton Road has now been taken over by United. That's good, I can now get my PLUS ULP near home! Alpha now has a station in Mitcham.
Indra Road Roundabouts (x3)
Inala Village Inala Village, the former Salvation Army village for the aged can be found on Middleborough Road. It is still an aged care facility, but in new hands.
Main Roads Main Roads through our suburb are Middleborough Road and Canterbury Roads (the boundaries) and Blackburn Road. Fulton Road, Holland Road, Eley Road and Indra Road get a fair bit of use, as do other local streets around the place. Nunawading Council used to love Roundabouts and "Raised Pavements" (Speed Humps but longer!). Examples of both can be found in the suburb. Plenty of the humps are on Eley Road. Indra Road has a row of three roundabouts, two built by Nunawading Council, the other built to Box Hill's design by the City of Whitehorse.
One of our many "humps"!
Public Transport South Blackburn has Ventura Buses, mainly running on the edges of the suburb. Middleborough Road, Canterbury Road and Blackburn Road are the main bus roads for the suburb. The suburb's name was carried on bus 735 from Box Hill to South Blackburn (now extended to Nunawading) and this runs down Middleborough Road, Fulton Road and Eley Road through our suburb. Transport to the City is by catching a bus to either Blackburn or Box Hill stations, or you could also catch the 735 bus to either the East Burwood Tram on Burwood Highway. Middleborough Road and Blackburn Rd buses will also take you to the East Burwood tram. From the Eley Road end of the suburb, the tram can be walked to in 15 minutes or so. Once the buses stop, this is the best option for getting to that end, even though the ride takes 1 hour plus from the City!
Ventura Bus on route 735
Ah yes, we even have our local branch of the evil ABC Learning Centres empire (since taken over by Goodstart) This one was acquired through the buyout of "Kids Campus", and prior to that was someone's small business. Shame it couldn't stay that way!
Bus Stop - Fulton Road
Old Bunnings (former Lloyds, Mitre 10, BBC Hardware)
Goodbye Lloyds Recently Bunnings opened their new warehouse on the old Crawfords site which sadly meant the end of the store I first knew as "Lloyds". It is sad to see the store closed, it has been open all my life, and was always our first stop for hardware, even after the Bunnings opened in Nunawading. The new warehouse is even closer, but I'll still miss the old store.
My first memory of the store was their logo in the shape of a long red sawblade. As a kid, I always managed to get one of their paper bags with this logo all over it! Later the store became Mitre 10. It was in this period I took my first Solo Bus Ride in 1983. When there with Dad I saw a Mitre 10 colouring book. Being always afraid to ask for things, I didn't get one. Three weeks later, the brochure announcing the new fare system for Public Transport arrived, and I found out what to ask for when getting on the bus. I took the walk up the hill and caught the bus to Mitre 10 to get the book, crossed the road and caught the bus home (without telling my parents I did same!). The store then passed to BBC Hardware, and with the buyout of Hardwarehouse and BBC Hardware by Bunnings (which I still feel should not have been allowed to happen by the way), it became a mini Bunnings.
The old store had creaky floors, it wasn't always easy to find stuff, and it had a long staircase in the middle to walk down. Still it's sad to see it go This is but one story of what happens though takeovers and mergers, and I can't even begin to think of all of them that have happened in the area. I hope the old store finds a great new use soon!
UPDATE: The front half of this store was recently knocked down, to be replaced with a pre-fab concrete building, which will be the home of a Gym.
The back half of the store was kept and done up as another building for lease. The old timber area has another new building on it now too. Three buildings out of one!
The following is going off the track a bit, but it shows a couple of places of interest in my two passions, Public Transport and TV/Video! Public Transport Items of Interest close by! Driving up Middleborough Road to Doncaster Road and turning right, you will find the former Doncaster Government Bus Depot, now run by National Bus / Ventura.
Doncaster Bus Depot when it was a Government Bus Depot (1994)
TV Places of Interest close by! The former site of Crawford Productions was recently knocked down and is now the site of yet another Bunnings Warehouse!. A short distance away in Forest Hill (not Nunawading!) is the former studios of ATV 10, still in use to produce "Neighbours"