Ocean Grove album – about 35 years ago

Robert Bruce IRVINGWhat a great album!  Robert “Bob” Bruce IRVING [RBI] loved Ocean Grove with a passion.  His grandfather, Thomas GRANT, was a member of the Ocean Grove Progress Association in the early 1900s when he built the “Lookout” for the people of Ocean Grove.  The lookout has since been known by locals as “Grant’s Lookout”.

Thomas GRANT built a house, Spray Cottage, on the corner of Dare and Bramwell Streets for two of his unmarried daughters.  Another daughter Janet married George Washington IRVING and in 1940 George’s son Robert [RBI] married Lorna BRAMLEY – they spent their honeymoon in Spray Cottage.  In 1952 RBI built his beach house just down the road from Spray Cottage in Dare Street.

RBI was a journalist and photographer and as editor of the Geelong Advertiser he took the opportunity in his editorial once a year to give a retrospective of Ocean Grove.  The Foreword of the album explains the contents:

Compilation of the following photographic project on Ocean Grove was inspired by the picture on Page 2.  This was taken in 1917 by my mother, Janet IRVING (nee GRANT).  Recently I found the negative, printed it and was so amazed at the changes which 60 years have wrought that I decided to record something of Ocean Grove in 1977 so that persons living there in 2037 might be able to see something similar to the changes that I have witnessed.

I was born in Canterbury, Melbourne, in 1917, and made my first acquaintance with Ocean Grove at the age of approximately a fortnight, when my mother left hospital and spent a holiday in the cottage her father, Thomas Alexander GRANT, had built on the north-west corner of Dare and Bramwell Streets.  It would have been very isolated at that time.

Subsequently, our family spent many happy holidays there until the cottage was sold during the second world war.  Twice (in 1925 and 1927), my mother, my sister, Gwenyth, and I lived there for six months on end while our father was otherwise occupied with his calling, and Gwen and I attended the tiny school shown on Page 14.

No sooner was I discharged from the AIF after the second world war than I resolved to have another link with Ocean Grove.  By 1951, I had found and acquired a suitable double block of land at 128 Dare Street, and, by the end of 1953, my wife, Lorna, and I had erected, with our own hands principally, a three-bedroom timber dwelling thereon.  Our children and their children enjoyed many holidays there.

Ocean Grove was one of Bob’s passions – another was Rudyard Kipling.  How appropriate that he included a Kipling quote inside the front cover of the album:

God gives all men all earth to love,
But, since man’s heart is small,
Ordains, for each, one spot shall prove
Beloved over all.
Rudyard Kipling

Enjoy the 48 pages of this special album:

  1. Foreword and beach photo
  2. 1917 photo, east end of Ocean Grove
  3. 1977 – same direction
  4. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking east-north-east
  5. 1930 and 1977 – Grant’s Lookout
  6. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking west
  7. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking north-west
  8. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking nor-nor-west
  9. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking nor-nor-east
  10. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking north-east
  11. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking east
  12. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking toward Point Lonsdale
  13. 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking toward Barwon Heads
  14. OG State School; c.1917 – from cnr Dare and Bramwell Streets looking south east; 1981 – King tide and mountainous surf
  15. 1977 – dawn light on beach; beach & Barwon Heads Bluff; 1977 – east end of Dare Street; 1952 – building 128 Dare Street
  16. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking west
  17. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking north-west
  18. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking nor-nor-west
  19. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking nor-nor-east
  20. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking north-east
  21. 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking east-north-east
  22. 1977 – Skinner’s Store
  23. 1977 – The Terrace shopping centre from Hodgson Street
  24. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking west
  25. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking north-west
  26. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking nor-nor-west
  27. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking nor-nor-east
  28. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking north-east
  29. 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking east
  30. 1977 – Public Hall, Presidents Avenue
  31. 1977 – Catholic Church, The Terrace
  32. 1977 – original St Peter’s Church of England, Draper Street
  33. 1977 – new St Peter’s Church of England, Draper Street
  34. 1977 – Methodist Church, cnr Eggleston Street and The Terrace
  35. c.1920 – Barwon Heads boathouse with GRANT girls; 1977 – Boathouses in Dare Street; 1978 – Boathouses extended
  36. Green Gables [former Coffee Palace]
  37. 1979 – Cath-Kin flats [former Mafeking House]; Spray Cottage
  38. 1980 – gardening at 128 Dare Street
  39. 1980 – four colour postcards of Ocean Grove
  40. 1980 – three colour postcards of Ocean Grove; 1920s postcard of Barwon River
  41. 1920s – The Bluff; 1981 – The Bluff; 1916 – Barwon Heads river beach and boathouses
  42. c.1978 – Orungal boilers and story
  43. 1925 – MENZIES family; 1973 – Ocean Grove article; 1920s – panorama of the Barwon River postcard
  44. c.1920s – four images – Ocean House, Green Gables; Lovers’ Walk; FOYSTER’s first bus
  45. 1905 – Mafeking House; early 1900s – General Store
  46. 1910 – Ocean Grove State School
  47. 1958 – Ocean Grove Proclamation
  48. 1982 – article re demolition of Mafeking / Cath-Kin

About Susie Zada
It really doesn't matter if it's Local History or Family History [genealogy] - I just love it ... Susie Zada

2 Responses to Ocean Grove album – about 35 years ago

  1. Peter Wills says:

    Fantastic shots. My first memory of OG was arriving as a six year old at what I believe was RBI’s house that my family rented whilst my father built our ‘new’ house on the corner of The Parade and Eggleston St. (1955/56). Orton Street didn’t continue that far east so beach access was easy, something unique for a kid from Dunkeld!

    Like

  2. Susie Zada says:

    I hope you’ve had a good look at the Ocean Grove Land Titles files and plans! https://geelonganddistrict.com/2014/09/30/update-of-ocean-grove-land-titles/
    I’ve added heaps more photos there! … Susie Z

    Like

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