Person Sheet

Name Thomas ETHELL
Birth 1839
Death 21 Apr 1918, AT HOME. ARDWICK, JASPAR RD . BENTLEIGH Age: 79                                 
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Burial 24 Apr 1918, Cheltenham Memorial Park Age: 79
Father Daniel ETHELL (1812-1876)
Mother Sarah PRESTON (1812-1896)
Birth 1843
Death 16 Aug 1924, Bentleigh, Vic Age: 81
Burial 16 Aug 1924, Cheltenham Memorial Park Age: 81
Occupation Home Duties
Children: Daniel Edmund (1864-1948)
Sarah (1865-1891)
John (1867-)
William (1868-1947)
Richard Arthur (1873-)
Edmund (Ted) (1877-1956)
Mary (Died as Child) (1880-1886)
Annie (1882-)
Notes for Thomas ETHELL
Business directory 1904 mentions Ardwicke Brick Works, Jasper Rd, Btn E.

Dr Joyce's Remembers in 1938 As It Was
Before building 'Redholme', at the corner of Point Nepean Road and Station Street, Moorabbin in 1901, Dr Joyce lived in Vickery Street, Bentleigh
Orchards Go
A long time ago the district was famed for its orchards. They went gradually, helped along by the land boom, which caused many orchard properties to be cut up for residential blocks. Apart from the orchards, the rest of the district was comprised of market gardens. Then dairying started in a mild way, after the land boom burst. There was an old brick works in Jasper Rd then, but it closed down soon after I came. There were no sand pits then.

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May 16th 1862 the Moorabbin District Roads Board was proclaimed, giving independent local government to the areas East and South of Brighton, that is, most of what we know as Moorabbin, Sandringham, and Mordialloc.
The roads were all heavy sand tracks, apart from a section of Arthur's Seat Road (Nepean Highway) and Centre Road which were formed with crushed metal. Former Councillor Gerald Basterfield stated that the Nepean Highway near South Road runs along a clay ridge.
By 1881 the railway had reach Mordialloc.

Halley Park has been formed through the processes of settlement in this area. It's earliest history is not known to me but here is what I have found.
The Marquis family had births registered at Brighton from 1856. Joseph Marquis, the father, is listed in Sands and McDougall Directory for 1873 as a gardener in Jasper Rd, along with many others. Robert Smith, dairyman, is another who lived in Jasper rd in 1873. There was a need for some bricks for the houses lived in by the early settlers.

In 1871 Frederick and Isaac Watts were gardeners in South Road Brighton, and James Watt was in Jasper Rd, the list on the west side of Jasper rd from South Rd being Andrew Henry, James Watt, Thomas Ethell, Brickmaker, Patterson Rd. That is of interest as the East Brighton Primary School No 213 had James and Elsie Watt as students, children of a Brickmaker, in similar years to student No 723 Arthur Ethell, 1882-18886, and his brother Edmund Ethell, no 745, who in 1911, was a Constable at Clifton Hill.

Mr. G. Ethell recalled that the area had little need for bricks in the hard years of the early 1890's, and that the Ethell family went to Western Australia. Jack helped put up the telegraph line near Cue near Meekathara, W.A. All except Jack were back in Moorabbin in the late 1890's.
Thomas Ethell was first listed in the Directories as a Brickmaker, Jasper Rd, East Brighton in 1892. About 1910 the family worked toward floating the Ardwick Steam Brickworks to operate the business. The enormous shed was there at this time. In 1911 he was listed with Ardwicke Brickworks. Thomas Ethell was still there in 1913.

It may be co-incidence, but a Thomas Ethell was at the Royal Mail Hotel, Diamond Creek in 1899-1990 according to Wise's Victorian Post Office Directory.
Thomas Ethell, son of Daniel Ethell, died 21st April, 1918 at his home, "Ardwick". Bentleigh. He was 79 years of age, and was laid to rest at Cheltenham Cemetery. His wife lived until 1924.

By 1922 the following are listed along Jasper Rd from South Rds:-
C. Madsen, nurseryman
J.R. Henry, dairyman
Gordon St.
Lindsay St.
Jessie Millard
Mrs. Isabella Sheppard, dairyfarm
Geo. H. Sheppard
Mrs Ann Ethell
John Dalton
Nicolson Tile Works
Patterson Road.

In 1928 there was Atkinson Street, then R.L. Kemp Pty. Ltd. Tile Manufacturer, then Patterson Road.
Dee Brothers had the tile works in 1933.
In 1933, Jasper Rd had no tile works. The directory noted Atkinson St, then Patterson Road.. Mortimer St on the east side of Jasper Rd had two houses at this time.

The 1941 Directory included Allnutt and Anderson Streets but no Ethell or Ardwick or Mortimer Street.
Things changed by 1949, No 69 Jasper Rd and 97 were occupied, and another house near Patterson Rd was being built. The site of Halley Park, 4 acres 1 rod, 3 perches measured 860 x 180 feet. (Bill Jacobs) Gerald Basterfield recalls that the perimeter of the pit extended from near the Mortimer Street, Ethell Street and far boundary next to the back fences but not so close to Jasper Rd. The edge of the pit was just six feet from a brick fence adjoining the park. An open drain, formerly Elster Creek, went through the park. An extension of the network of streams which eventually lead to Elster Creek. It was initially valuable for the ready supply of water for the puddling of the clay to remove grit and other undesirable material before brick or tile making, or sale of prepared clay. The flooding of this area occurring with a heavy downpour of rain was solved with the new large drain put through in the early 1970's, across the Park, down Patterson Road, across Victory Park (which had also had been a clay pit) and on to the Elster Creek Drain.

There had been a building at the Park Mr. Basterfield had no direct knowledge of the use of the use of the building, but knew of the many tiles lying around the park in the early days. Mr. A. Marriott recalled a very large shed, perhaps an acre in extent, used for drying off of the tiles, etc, manufactured at the site. Mr. Marriott was sure that the production ceased before 1924 that the clay was no longer dug there, but it was taken out of the South Rd pit. He estimates that the site was of approximately 10 acres in extent, from Jasper Rd to the railway line. Mr. Graham Ethell told of his father, Edmund after coming home from the Boer War, where he served in the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles, and before joining the Police Force, helping at the Brickworks. One particular horse, when his cart was loaded, would amble three parts around the block, giving Edmund time to have a cup of tea after shifting the heavy load before driving the horse to the delivery site!

The pit was not as deep as that at the South rd/ Brentwood Street pit, which was about 60 feet deep. It could have been lack of deep of clay caused the works to stop. For some time the water-filled pit contained blue and yellow coloured fish, regarded by the local boys as strange and wild looking fish, possibly poisonous. This was in contrast to the Brentwood Street hole, which had golden carp and redfin and other good fish, caught for 6 pence for all day, with bait of flour dough on their hooks. One boy drowned there, but no deaths were recalled at Halley Park.
Many houses built locally in the 1920's were tiled with locally made tiles. "Star Tiles", on Nepean Highway were big, but mostly made cement tiles.
Mr. Bill Jacobs recalls a photograph taken looking from Patterson Rd across to the Town Hall, across the end of Halley Park, showing the gorse bushes and scrubs growing there. He said that council did have some horses within a wire fenced area in the park for some time, but the council depot was elsewhere.

More houses had been built by 1952. Cheltenham library did not have the directories between 1952 and 1957 available. It was in the 1957 directory that a recreation ground between 71 and 97 Jasper rd was mentioned.
The Scout Hall was noted in the 1959 directory.

Mortimer Street was listed for the first time, on the west side of Jasper Street, in 1960.
No name was listed for the park in the last available directory, 1974. Local's knew the park by the name Halley's Park, honoring Mr. Ern I. F. Halley, a centre ward councilor who was Mayor for 1951-52, a builder responsible for many local homes. It was mentioned by Mr. Brian Deam of the Moorabbin Historical Society that Cr. Halley built many homes in Lawson Street. He was on the committee that formed the Bentleigh Club. In 1976 it was decided to officially recognise the names used commonly to recognise local parks, so the name Halley Park became the official and recognised name for this recreation ground authorized by the Place Names Committee. "Moorabbin, a Centenary History" P. 63 says that it was named after Mayor Halley.

I began by noting one of the early families on Jasper Rd. In Weston Bates "A History of Brighton" P. 91 he states "In consequence, in Brighton most of the building materials were sought locally. The rougher the dwelling the closer the source of its materials might have been found." On P. 92 he states "There were four brickfields in Brighton in 1859, of which at least one, operated by Dendy's immigrants, the Lindsay brothers, could have been manufacturing in 1842."

Halley Park is well within the Dendy Special Survey, bounded by North Road, east Boundary road, South Road and the sea. It is possible one of the very early brickworks for this district was established at this park. I state this having read the History of of Brighton and seen the house at 14 Atkinson Street, which was owned by Thomas Ethell and later his widow. The floor plan of this house and the appearance of one room in particular suggests that the house was built in several stages, the earliest part (by an amateurs guess) being similar to the houses built in the late 1840's or early 1850's.

Weston Bate, P.92 "Houses still standing a hundred years later were made with 9 inch walls , although it is true that where no stucco has been applied the bricks have shown the effects of weathering in weak spots". This would appear to be so at 14 Atkinson Street.
No history prior to 1892 has been firmly established for the site.

An article in the "Victoria and it's Metropolis: past and present" p, 636 casts some light on the origins of Mr. Thomas Ethell.
"Ethell, Daniel, Armadale (Deceased), arrived in Victoria in 1857, and started working for Mr. Preston in Prahran, where he remained for about 12 months, and in 1859 commenced as a Brickmaker for himself in Hawthorn, carrying on that business for four years. In 1863 he removed to the present site in Pohlman Road, where he conducted the business until his death in 1876. The yard is now carried on by his widow, under the management of Mr. H. Ethell. There are from 6 to 8 hands employed, and the turn-out is 15,000 bricks per week, as against 8,000 to 10, 000 at time of starting. The clay is hoisted and ground by horse power: the bricks are handmade and of the ordinary description. The business is principally in the district. Mr H. Ethell has been connected with the brick industry here and at home for thirty-five years,"

Daniel was 63 years of age at his death, far from his old home of Stockport near Manchester. He had come to Melbourne on "Marco Polo" in 1856, with other members of his family arriving on the "Empress Eugenie" .Henry, probably a son, took charge of this brickworks as well as his own on Commercial Road. Thomas Ethell, who was the the son of Daniel (Record of death, Index of Births, Deaths and marriages, Victoria) had his brick makers address at High Street Prahran in 1971, 1872 directories. His grandson Graham Ethell recalls that Thomas went to the Moorabbin area in the 1870's. In 1880 and 1882 daughters were born to Thomas and his wife at Brighton East and Brighton, evidence of a long association with this area. Surviving members of the family were Daniel, William John, Edmund and Ann. The land occupied by Thomas extended from Jasper rd to the Railway line. At one stage it was 17 acres in area. A search of land records and survey maps is needed to establish some boundaries and ownership of the land.

In "Battlers tamed a sandpit", Tom Sheehy, p, 29, says "The Moorabbin Progress Association's members were highly incensed when they attended there first meeting for 1936 (in late February) to learn that nothing had been done to clean up the unsightly, dangerous and offensively smelling Moorabbin Tile Works Site (now the site of the attractive Halley Park).' This site was not so attractive within the memories of some nearby residents, who have recollections of car bodies being buried there , and the subsidence as the iron rusted away. Children for some years enjoyed the free play and the hiding places available amongst the rubbish.

There is also a recollection of tennis courts going from 28 and 30 Atkinson St through to Uonga Road. This would be the line with Council leasing of suitable land to sports club while sufficient interest was shown to maintain viability. However, who owned the land? Would it have been market garden or just scrub?

A local resident recalled that the first Scout Hall was in the corner of the park, close to the Mortimore/Allnuttt Street intersection. This well recalled with clear memories of a group of healthy, active normal youngster's, acting in the time-honoured way but not always well received manner, every Tuesday morning. The new and attractive hall was built, by memory about 30 year's ago to relocate the hall to the former site, as the attractive gardens were appealing to wedding parties and others, and there was a desire to further develop them.
There had been toilets by the gardener's shed at the playground. These were removed, and toilets built at the scout hall.

In this mixture of quotation, government records and recollection is the nucleus to a history of "Halley Park".

Please contact Rosemary Martin, 3 Miles St, Bentleigh if you van offer any further information.


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