The following facts have been chosen at random from ‘Fitzroy – Melbourne’s First Suburb.’
I have a copy and highly recommend this detailed, researched book about Fitzroy.
It’s been very handy when I need to do research for my memoir.
- Childhood in Fitzroy was for many a time of closeness as well as deprivation.
- The Aborigines who had lived in the area before white settlement were roughly dispossessed …
- Typical of the Fitzroy larrikin was Alexander McQuirk, arrested in 1882 on a street corner where he had been ‘blocking up the footpath and making use of obscene, filthy and disgusting language.’
- The 1850s saw thirty-three new liquor licenses granted for Fitzroy …
- In 1967 the Fitzroy Football Club left the Brunswick Street Oval – and with it went more that eighty years of Saturdays.
- Brunswick Street was proclaimed for its full length between Victoria Parade and Reilly Street (Alexander Parade).
- Council could not control vermin. Rats continued to plague Fitzroy well into the twentieth century
- In 1870 council raised a £25,000 loan to build a town hall … James Nation and Company erected the new town hall, from a design by William Ellis, at a cost of £11,000.
- Atherton estate was built on the land bounded by Brunswick, Gertrude, Napier, and King William streets … to provide accommodation for 3000 people, where 600 had lived before. Between 1970 and 1972, four twenty-storey towers were erected.
- For most of the past one hundred and fifty years immigrants, first of all from the British Isles and then from continental Europe, have shaped and reshaped the suburb …
As an aside, I discovered this book in the Fitzroy Library when I was researching my memoir several years ago. I decided to buy a copy and searched several Fitzroy bookshops for one. I did find one copy, but it was priced at about $300, because it was out of print. I didn’t buy it!
Imagine my surprise, when later I found it had been reprinted and was available at the Fitzroy library for $55.
At that moment I reached for my credit card in record-breaking time and bought a copy – a saving of $245!