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lost in time ...

Anchor 1

Maskell's Farm


Located on the river flats east of Moorabool River 

(between the river and Hyland Street)

Anchor 2


  • Who lived there?  The Maskell family

  • What sort of farm was it?   Dairy

  • What happened to it?  Sold to cement works

  • Can you tell us anything about it?

  • Do you know of any other photos of the farm?

Detail from selected early photographs...

Location of Maskell's farm

Luke never quite made it...

Anchor 3

My question is, "Who was Luke?"

He may well have been a chippy at the cementies...

But, why him?

Why was he chosen to have a street named after him?


Surely, there must be someone. Someone who ...

  • who knew him,

  • who knew what he did,

  • who knew why he was selected to have his own street name... 


I feel a degree of sadness to think (for whatever reason)

he has been denied his moment in the sun... 


Can you help?

For more info - See Luke Street...

Can anyone add to this collection of clues?

Rail line 

from Batesford quarry to Fyansford cement works


Anchor 4

Maps of rail line connecting

Batesford limestone quarries to Fyansford cement works

Source: Rail Geelong

The Fyansford cement rail line was the focus of recent a message to  In his message ‘David’ posed a range of questions re the narrow gauge rail line that ran to/from the limestone quarry...

Rail line 1993.jpg
Rail line 1965.jpg

Initially locomotives shunted wagons filled with limestone to a crusher on the quarry floor and then across country to the cement works.

In the late 1920s, when work commenced on a new quarry, the tunnel down into the quarry was constructed; one which branched off the main line near the Moorabool River trestle bridge.

To cope with smoke-accumulation problems in the tunnel four ventilation shafts were installed.

The line ceased operation in April 1966; replaced by a crushing plant on the quarry floor and an aerial beltway connecting the quarry with the Fyansford cement works until its closure in 2001.

Reading the sources below makes fascinating reading, but what remains to be seen today?

In my younger days, I would not have hesitated to revisit these sites.

Now I have to rely on others.

I'd love to hear from anyone with recent experience of visiting the former rail line, trestle bridge, ventilation shafts or tunnel entry / exit.

Better still, does anyone have any contemporary photographs of these sites? 

Where exactly... 

was the old trestle bridge and the tunnel entry?


Anchor 5

"I looked. But, I couldn't find a trace of either…"

So, Steve asked me where they were...

For me, in the old days, it was simple ~ head to the top of Church street (which in winter was pretty bare apart from some isolated houses and muddy roads), go over the crest and head downhill in a NNW direction and there they were.

But, with the Geelong ring-road and a multitude of changes…

I checked my library of photos but nothing remotely recent. Perhaps, Google Earth or some the old maps might help. 

Well, this is what I think. (Co-ordinates 38°07'07.7"S 144°18'49.7"E)

I was recently asked about the new Hamilton Hwy. roundabout

and whether Atkins St will feed into it (by an editor for WAZE).

Enquiries to Gen Fyansford resulted in an email

from Michael (assistant project manager) who confirmed that,

“Atkins St. has been discontinued and the ‘stub’ of the roundabout will connect with the future stage 2A adjacent to stage 2”


This lead me to thinking:

1.      Where will the new road be (considering that it connects the ‘stub’ with a              road leading from a future Gen Fyansford release (stage 2A)

2.      What would this new road be called?


Atkins Street!
What Atkins Street?

Anchor 6

An examination of  Gen Fyansford documents

strongly hints at the new-road layout.

1 Gen Fyansford Master plan.jpg
3 The Big Picture (Model).jpg
2 New Road.JPG

Detail from Gen Fyansford Master Plan


4 The Big Picture (Model) 1 (2).jpg

Well, we now know

So, what will this new road be called?

9 New road 4 1931.JPG

Back in 1931 it was Fyans Street

Then it became Atkins Street

So, what's next?

8 New Road2.JPG

Though un-named on this Gen Fyansford document, it would be logical that the new street would be called Monier Way...

As viewed from the roundabout...

So, what do we know?

  • Atkins Street will disappear with the property being absorbed

into the future Gen Fyansford stage 2A (adjacent to stage 2).

  • A new road will connect to the stub at the new Hamilton highway roundabout

and lead through to the present Monier Way.

  • This new road will run parallel to the present Atkins Street on the length of property currently on the Fyansford side of the present Atkins Street.

  • It is logical that this new road would be called Monier Way.

  • Thus, Monier Way will form a connection between the Hamilton Highway

and Church Street in Herne Hill running through Gen Fyansford 

and The Heights


Why might parishoners of St Luke's church be so surprised? Hmmm!

Of course,

all this is just a personal opinion.

Pure speculation...


Now, of course, it's not speculation..

It's fact!

New Road 2.JPG
Anchor 7

Viccars' Store!

Gugger's Store! 

The old post office!

I just love comments generated by old photos.
More interesting (at times) than what I get from TROVE.  And, much more likely
to distract me from what it is I'm currently working on...

I have
for quite a while
been investigating this store. See: My Post Office Conundrum

Title .png

Every now and then a little bit more information re the photo comes to light.


On 1st August, 2019, I was excited to read Stephen Carroll's  suggestion that it was ..."... Fyansford General Store which was right next door to the cement Works and also run by my late Aunty betty Viccars for some years."

I responded, "Thanks for your input. Could you confirm the address of your aunt’s general store? Cheers!"

Stephen replied, "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 in 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".

This was followed by a suggestion from Dianne Higgins, "The shop address was Cnr Aitkins St & Hyland St., Fyansford. This was the Post Office and had a phone box out the front. The Guggers General Store was at 60 Hyland St."

Thus, I can now confirm:

  • Viccars' Store was located on the N-corner of Atkins and Hyland Streets

  • Gugger's General Store was located at 60 Hyland Street














The maps below should I think help clarify the situation: 


60 HYland Street2.jpg

Gugger's General Store

Title .png

Viccars' Store

Approximate locations.jpg
Approx. locations.jpg
By Glenn McLean2.jpg

Contemporary photo of Gugger's Store

Courtesy: Glenn McLean

Gugger's Garage.jpg

Fyansford 1932.

A.J (Alf) Gugger’s Garage (next to the grocer’s)
Built by Bill McEwen
Closed in 1945 – House is still there.


Photo posted by Evert van Dreven‎ on

Geelong In Historical Pictures (30 July, 2019)


Gugger Receipt.jpg

A Fyansford Store receipt dated 8 December, 1949, provided by Dave Keellings.
Signed by Zita Gugger (Courtesy Bill Busbridge)

Anchor 8

Peceli & Wendy's

words under scrutiny

I have long appreciated the artistic and verbal contributions made by Wendy and her partner, Peceli  (now deceased), in their gently-warming blog, “Geelong Visual Diary”, thinking their comments well thought out and carefully considered. See:

Hence, I take seriously remarks made in their 2010 blog – A kind of Brigadoon near Geelong.

Brigadoon 2.jpg
Brigadoon .jpg

I didn’t question the ‘three hotels’. But, three schools and two churches….!

Got me thinking...

Click image to enlarge and arrows to view

I guess the churches and second / third schools might as well have never existed

for all we know about them.

Can anyone throw light on the any of the now non-existent churches / schools?

It has been suggested that the sites may haver been allocated but never acted upon...

Anchor 9
1a From Phil Fenton Ca 1870.jpg

Southern Star Hotel

Southern Star.jpg

This photo was given to me around a year ago.

Who took the photo? When was it taken? Who made the notation?


In the photo is the picture of a building located opposite the toll-house and behind it a garden in the shape of a star.

I cannot find any reference to the Southern Star Hotel or the star-shaped garden.  I'd love to know who built it, when and why. 

It would seem the building was erected Ca late-1850s

Whether it was a pub at that time isn't known.

This 1857 map (unknown origin)

show a hotel/house on the site.

1857 map.jpg

Hectic times...

1843          Fyanstown (Swan) Inn west of the Moorabool 

1854          Balmoral Inn east of the Moorabool 

1854(!)      Friend in Hand Hotel north-west of Fyansford

1854-55    Fyans' Ford Hotel east of the Moorabool 

1855          Fair View Hotel on top of Fyansford hill 

    Southern Star Hotel would make this a very high-density drinking zone... 

Anchor 10

Fyans Ford

A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by a wading pedestrian or a vehicle prepared to get its lower parts wet. A ford may occur naturally or be constructed and though much cheaper than a bridge, the ford may become impassable after heavy rain or during flood conditions. A ford is therefore normally only suitable for minor roads (and for paths intended for walkers and horse riders etc.).

Belperroud's Ford.jpg

The Barwon River begins in the Otway Ranges and flows through Geelong on its 160-kilometre journey to the sea at Barwon Heads. Just 5km west of Geelong the Moorabool River which flows from the Central Highlands between Ballarat and Ballan joins with the Barwon. A steep escarpment rises almost immediately to the east of the Moorabool and Barwon rivers making the journey from the Western District to Geelong particularly arduous. Fortunately, a mere two hundred metres up the Moorabool from the confluence of these two rivers there is a naturally occurring ford.


In 1837 Captain Foster Fyans, a police magistrate, camped by the Moorabool river adjacent to the ford. Hence the locality later became known as Fyans Ford.


Because of the terrain the ford crossing the Moorabool River was critical in providing access to the south-west coast region of Victoria and as a watering hole for bullock teams carrying produce to and from the early settlers. Because of its increasingly constant use by wagons and bullock teams the condition of the ford and the much-used track deteriorated.  


The Geelong Advertiser expressed concern for the situation in 1842 stating that "unless something be speedily done towards the repair of this, the principal crossing place on the Great Western Road, a serious difficulty will be found to exist in bringing down the present clip of wool to market". John Atkins, builder and owner of the nearby Swan Inn, subsequently upgraded the ford.

An 1847 painting by Charles Norton features the ford at Fyans Ford.












The Great Western Road in 1847, though little more than a  bullock track, was still the only route from Geelong. As the ford provided a convenient crossing-place, the small Fyans Ford settlement became an important stopping point for pastoralists and others travelling from Geelong to Ballarat or Hamilton.


The ford sustained increasingly heavy use during the gold rush of the early 1850s.

In 1854 the first bridge, of wooden construction, was built across the Moorabool several hundred metres downstream from the ford by the Corio and Bannockburn Shire councils. The bridge was tolled until 1877.

Surprisingly there is no contemporary signage to indicate the location of this historical land mark.

Fyans ford, 1846 Charles Norton p.jpg

1890 map

1890 Map of Fyansford.jpg
1837 Survey plan.jpg

1837 map

Foster Fyans states in his book, "Memoirs recorded at Geelong, Victoria, Australia by Captain Foster Fyans”

(1790-1870). Published by The Geelong Advertiser

".... we struck work immediately, proceeding to the junction of the river(s) Moorabool and Barrawon, a distance of three miles, to one of the most beautiful valleys in the world, ever after known as Fyans Ford. The change put our party to considerable trouble and labor lost; but we are not to grumble, and to work we went, cutting, sawing, and working. So anxious were the men to get housed that in a short time the huts were in progress ..... for about two years and a half I resided in this beautiful valley. The hut afforded good accommodation; had two rooms, not very large, only ten feet square each, but sufficiently so for the times. The chimney was prodigious: on the old Sydney plan, made of wood, with a remarkably graceful bend thrown from the building. This was my home, and how happy and comfortable people by prudence can make themselves, by attending timely to wants!” 

Unfortunately, nowhere is the location of his hut detailed. Or, in fact, how close to the ford it was located. But, I suggest, due to the location of Fyans Street and its proximity to the ford, that its location could fairly be assumed to be on the left-hand side of Fyans Street a mere 100m from the ford. See: LINK

Anchor 11

Just my imaginings...

                               while out walking with Archie

Views from the bottom end of Monier Drive

Make a wish -6.jpg

fading shadows

here  yesterday,

going today,

gone tomorrow

fading memories.jpg
Anchor 13
Fyans Street.jpg

Enjoying a stroll

Take me there

Atkins Street

The Parade


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