What 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.
Enjoy the 48 pages of this special album:
- Foreword and beach photo
- 1917 photo, east end of Ocean Grove
- 1977 – same direction
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking east-north-east
- 1930 and 1977 – Grant’s Lookout
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking west
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking north-west
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking nor-nor-west
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking nor-nor-east
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking north-east
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking east
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking toward Point Lonsdale
- 1977 – from Grant’s Lookout looking toward Barwon Heads
- OG State School; c.1917 – from cnr Dare and Bramwell Streets looking south east; 1981 – King tide and mountainous surf
- 1977 – dawn light on beach; beach & Barwon Heads Bluff; 1977 – east end of Dare Street; 1952 – building 128 Dare Street
- 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking west
- 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking north-west
- 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking nor-nor-west
- 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking nor-nor-east
- 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking north-east
- 1977 – from 132 Dare Street looking east-north-east
- 1977 – Skinner’s Store
- 1977 – The Terrace shopping centre from Hodgson Street
- 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking west
- 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking north-west
- 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking nor-nor-west
- 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking nor-nor-east
- 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking north-east
- 1977 – from Aldebaran Road corner looking east
- 1977 – Public Hall, Presidents Avenue
- 1977 – Catholic Church, The Terrace
- 1977 – original St Peter’s Church of England, Draper Street
- 1977 – new St Peter’s Church of England, Draper Street
- 1977 – Methodist Church, cnr Eggleston Street and The Terrace
- c.1920 – Barwon Heads boathouse with GRANT girls; 1977 – Boathouses in Dare Street; 1978 – Boathouses extended
- Green Gables [former Coffee Palace]
- 1979 – Cath-Kin flats [former Mafeking House]; Spray Cottage
- 1980 – gardening at 128 Dare Street
- 1980 – four colour postcards of Ocean Grove
- 1980 – three colour postcards of Ocean Grove; 1920s postcard of Barwon River
- 1920s – The Bluff; 1981 – The Bluff; 1916 – Barwon Heads river beach and boathouses
- c.1978 – Orungal boilers and story
- 1925 – MENZIES family; 1973 – Ocean Grove article; 1920s – panorama of the Barwon River postcard
- c.1920s – four images – Ocean House, Green Gables; Lovers’ Walk; FOYSTER’s first bus
- 1905 – Mafeking House; early 1900s – General Store
- 1910 – Ocean Grove State School
- 1958 – Ocean Grove Proclamation
- 1982 – article re demolition of Mafeking / Cath-Kin
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!
I hope you’ve had a good look at the Ocean Grove Land Titles files and plans! http://geelonganddistrict.com/2014/09/30/update-of-ocean-grove-land-titles/
I’ve added heaps more photos there! … Susie Z
What is History? – Geelong and District
[…] in his editorial once a year to give a retrospective of Ocean Grove. In 1977 he produced the RBI Album of Ocean Grove which has already been covered in detail in an earlier […]
Great photos. Love to see photos from 30’s and 40’s as ocean grove started to grow.
Actually it was the 50s when Ocean Grove started to grow!