© John Flatt 2015
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Jeffrey Johnson

Fyansford

post office

general store

My                                              Conundrum

I have read about the Fyansford general store under a number of banners :

Viccars' Store / Vicker's Store / Gugger's Store / Fyansford Post Office; with somewhat varied and imprecise functions, locations and images.

 

Thus, I sought to clarify the situation re:

 

Fyansford

Post Office

The Geelong Advertiser (18 Sep., 1913, p.3)

stated that the new church at Fyansford was

located, “on a site opposite the post office”.

We know the church was located on the south

corner of Fyans and High streets. Therefore,

the post office must have been situated on the north corner of Fyans and High streets.

 

 

 

Interestingly, the  National Archives of Australia posts this photo as Fyansford's post office (Ca. 1901).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maps from the period indicate the post office as being located on the corner of Fyans and High streets.

Viccars' Store

 

 Vicker's Store

I recognise the phone box ~ that style was  around when I was a kid.

      Could press one button to get your money back...

Wow! Imagine how hot it would get inside that store over summer...

I found this absolutely delightful Facebook commentary... 

(August, 2014)

"Once upon a time a very long time ago Fyansford had a general store and a phone box. Early 1900s."

  • GerryKellie Martin - I used that telephone both many times. I also collected our mail there...

  • Dianne Higgins - Was this know as Vickers general store? And I'm pretty sure it was located right at the bottom of the cement works hill on the right hand side just before Aitkens St (as you head towards Inverleigh)

  • Janine Fenwick - I remember this it was Vickers and the post office we used to collect our mail here and buy our aniseed balls from Mrs Gugger at the feed store!! Memories !!!

  • Dianne Diamond - That was where I was born, and then it was a Post Office only run by my Grandmother and her sister, Lillian and Queenie Mac Naughton.

  • Bill Boiler - Used to live next to the Gugger's grain store. Nice folks. Except for the water rats in the evening making their way to the barn. Creeped me out. Then they'd run back to the river again just before dawn.

  • Sandra Talbot - You are right Dianne, it is Vickers and it was the Post Office where we all had to collect our mail. It was on the corner of Atkins Street. Mrs Gugger had the Post Office after The cement works bought and demolished the house.

  • Anne Morell - My dad Don Gugger remembers when the Mc Naughton sisters owned the post office there before it was Vickers store. He was born, and grew up, at the Fyansford store which his family owned from early 1920's. Great to read everyone's memories of that time!

  • Peter Carter - Used to call in and get some lollies on the way home from west tech.

Thus it would seem that it should be Vickers not Viccars.

But, then there was a posting by Stephen Carroll

Stephen Carroll (30 July, 2019) I do believe with certainty (no actual proof) that it was just alongside the Cement Works. The Cement Works had it knocked down. As a teenager growing up in Bannockburn, we would sometimes ride our pushbikes to Geelong and call in and see Aunty Betty. Her Husband Norman Viccars also worked at the Cement Works. My Father can confirm it also. If Max Taylor or any of the other older members are on this site, than they should also be able to confirm the address of this shop.

So, as far as I'm concerned Stephen has the last word on the spelling: Viccars

 

In summary then:

  • The premises, later referred to as Viccars' General Store, was located on the corner of what became known as Atkins and Hyland streets.

  • It was originally a post office run by Lillian and Queenie Mac Naughton.

  • At some time it also became a general store run by someone named Viccars.

  • The Post Office / store was demolished at some stage by the cement works.

  • The postal service was then transferred to Gugger's grain store on High / Hyland street.

 
 

Premises at 60 Hyland Street

                   

                    known popularly as "Guggers Store"

Is there a post-box in today's Fyansford

According to the Victorian Heritage Database Report (16/6/2018) this building dating from Ca. 1852-53 is situated at 60 Hyland Street Fyansford. They suggest the building  “has aesthetic significance at a Regional level as a now rare example of a typical Victorian Georgian styled shop of the 1850s. The gabled form, parapet, Georgian design with prominent quoin work and decorative gable ends are particularly noteworthy and complimented by the early garden. It has historic significance at a Regional level for its early and continuous association with the commercial centre, of the important town situated at the early ford, and later, bridge crossing of the Barwon River to the Western District and Ballarat gold fields. It appears to date from circa 1852-3. It has social significance at a Local level for its long association with the Gugger family, and, for many decades, as the only store and post office at which local citizens could meet...”

The building is still standing and appears in quite good condition.

Approximate Timeline of building at 60 Hyland Street:

·         1852-3                Estimated construction date (for use as a house & shop)

·         1860s                  Appeared in a photograph of Fyansford

·         1861                    Henry Turner - owner and occupier

·         1867                    Premises extended and used as a house & shop

·         1875 – 1886       Thomas Littlewood - owner, occupier and postmaster

·         1889                    Mrs Hoggart - owner, occupier and postmistress

·         1892                    Myles Synot - owner, occupier and postmaster

·         1894                    Annie McNaughton - storekeeper, dealer and postmistress

·         1902                    Annie McNaughton became owner

·         1916 – 17            Arthur Synot - owned and occupied premises

·         1921– 22             Montague Carroll - grocer, lived and worked on premises

·         1928 – 1970        Norman Albert Gugger owned and occupied “Gugger's Store”

·         1933                    Alfred Gugger built the adjacent house (on east side)

·         1970                    Premises used as an antique and doll shop

·         2015 – 2019        Premises - non-business

·         2019                    Premises - sold. Now operating as private residence and a                                              health service business

 

It is interesting to note the claim on Wikipedia that, the population of Fyansford … "was sufficient to justify a Post Office which opened on 1 February, 1859 (closing in 1978)”.

 

All of the above is based largely on what I can find on the internet and is the result of a lot of conjecture and the tieing-together of loose ends. I have been given a couple of real-life leads which in time I will follow-up.

In the meantime I solicit comments from old Fyansfordites who might be able to offer information based on personal experience.

I invite them to respond to my blog or email me personally.

 

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