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Timeline

Find out what was happening from 1803, when Europeans first surveyed the area around Flemington, to the present day, by clicking on our Flemington Timeline.

  • PRE 1800

    The Wurrundjeri People lived in the lands including where Flemington now sits for many years prior to European settlement.

  • 1803

    James Fleming wrote in his journal of an exploratory trip up the Saltwater River, reporting that the land had “stony soil, stiff blue clay and no trees only some straggling oaks by the side of the river.”

  • 1803

    Charles Grimes, Surveyor-General of NSW, travelled up the Saltwater (Maribyrnong) River and described the lands surrounding Flemington as being rich pasture, suitable for grazing sheep and cattle.

  • 1835

    John Batman navigated the Saltwater River and claimed the land by treaty from the Doutta Galla tribe of Aborigines.

  • 1836

    Joseph Tice Gellibrand described the Saltwater River as “most beautiful”, with the land “very rich and consists of a succession of gentle hills and dales.”

  • 1840, March 3

    The first race meeting was held at Saltwater River Flat Racecourse (later known as Flemington Racecourse).

  • 1847

    The Rose and Thorn Hotel (later the Cricket Club Hotel and then the Vincent Liem Centre) opened opposite the Flemington Hotel.

  • 1847, December 8

    James Watson purchased from the Crown the tract of land that is now Flemington for £782 15s and 6p.

  • 1848, March 7

    Flemington Hotel was licensed by James Dunbar.

  • 1849

    James Watson sold the tract of land that is now Flemington to William Easey.

  • 1850

    The first of many annual Gymnastic Games held at Flemington Racecourse.

  • 1851

    Gold was discovered in Victoria. Mount Alexander Road, starting from Flemington Bridge was subsequently the beginning of the journey to Mount Alexander (Castlemaine) and the goldfields around Bendigo.

  • 1853

    Hugh Glass paid William Easey £4,100 for the land now bordered by Racecourse Road, Ascot Vale Road, Kent Street and the Tullamarine Freeway

  • 1853, December 5

    A school began in a small cottage in Flemington village, moving the next year to a new school room and teacher’s residence next to Flemington Bridge, before being forced to close in 1858.

  • 1854

    Common School 250 opened on Hugh Glass’s property.

  • 1854

    The Victorian Parliament passed an Act to Prevent Further Pollution of the Waters of the River Yarra above the City of Melbourne, resulting in industries moving to Flemington and Kensington.

  • 1854

    Ad hoc postal services commenced in Flemington.

  • 1854 1

    The first school in the Flemington district was opened by the Independent Church on Boundary Road, with 42 students, and was later known as Flemington State School No.258.

  • 1856

    The Wesleyan Church opened in makeshift quarters on Mount Alexander Road, later becoming known as “Little Zion”.

  • 1856

    The Kensington Methodists granted a reserve facing Parsons Street for a church.

  • 1858

    Newmarket Hotel was built.

  • 1858, December 1

    Flemington National School opened, operating under this name until 1862.

  • 1859

    The stockyards were moved to Newmarket.

  • 1860

    The North Melbourne to Essendon Railway opened.

  • 1860

    The saleyards at Elizabeth Street were moved to the Newmarket site.

  • 1861

    The building of the abattoirs commenced.

  • 1861

    The first Melbourne Cup was run at the Racecourse.

  • 1861

    Flemington and Kensington had a population of 1,291, with 265 houses or dwellings.

  • 1861, December 23

    Borough of Essendon was proclaimed, following a petition from Essendon, Flemington and Kensington residents.

  • 1862

    Flemington House, the home of Hugh Glass, was completed.

  • 1862

    Flemington National School changed its name to Flemington Common School, retaining this name until 1872.

  • 1862 25

    The Borough of Essendon and Flemington was proclaimed.

  • 1864

    The Flemington to Essendon Railway Line failed as an enterprise, with the rail line not used again until 1867.

  • 1865

    Flemington’s first regular mail service began.

  • 1865

    The Wesleyan Church was built on Mount Alexander Road, with funds from Hugh Glass, with the old church moved from its site to the back of the new church.

  • 1865

    Lynch’s Bridge was in existence.

  • 1865

    Flemington had a total of 99 dwellings.

  • 1865

    The Prince Albert Hotel was built on Racecourse Road.

  • 1866

    The Ridge was built on the Ridgeway, Kensington, by Edward Byam Wight, the first chair of the Borough of Essendon and Flemington.

  • 1867

    The state government bought the Essendon Railway Line, commencing a branch line to the Racecourse.

  • 1867

    Melbourne Corporation offices opened at the saleyards.

  • 1868

    Hugh Glass was paid £150 by Flemington Common School for land on which to build a new school.

  • 1868

    The new Flemington Bridge opened (Argus article Thur 16 July 1868).

  • 1870

    Drainage of the West Melbourne swamps, allowing the land around Melbourne and Kensington to be used for industry and housing

  • 1870

    The Pastoral Hotel opened.

  • 1871

    The National Agricultural Society of Victoria held its first show on the old ground near the barracks in St Kilda Road.

  • 1871

    The branch line to Flemington Racecourse opened and was used for the Melbourne Cup.

  • 1871

    The Victorian Racing Club took control over the Flemington Racecourse.

  • 1872

    Hugh Glass died.

  • 1872

    The property of Hugh Glass was subdivided.

  • 1872

    A Catholic Church reserve was set aside at Church Street.

  • 1873

    Flemington Common School changed its name to Flemington State School, retaining this name until 1924.

  • 1873 21

    Local landowners Wight and Coote attempted to establish a school in Kensington, but this was rejected, with another application lodged on 28 May 1875.

  • 1875

    The government abolished road tolls, despite municipal protest (including tolls on Flemington and Macaulay Roads).

  • 1876

    Telegraph facilities were introduced.

  • 1876

    St George’s Anglican Church was built at Royal Park.

  • 1876

    Debney’s Tannery moved to its Mount Alexander Road site from Boundary Road, North Melbourne.

  • 1879, May 10

    The first major land sale occurred in Kensington, with well-known racing identity “Sam” P Davies purchasing land on the corner of Racecourse Road and Rankins Road (building the Palace Hotel within a few years).

  • 1880, July 28

    A decision was made to erect Kensington School, to accommodate 228 pupils.

  • 1881

    The population of Flemington and Kensington was estimated to be just less than 2,000.

  • 1881

    Residents of Flemington and Kensington commenced revolting against the Borough of Essendon and Flemington.

  • 1881

    Flemington Meat Preserving Works commenced operations on a site on the Bagotville Estate close to the Showgrounds.

  • 1881

    The Catholic Church purchased land in Church Street on the corner of High Street for a church.

  • 1881, May 16

    Kensington Street School began in a building of 3 rooms, with a total enrolment of 228 children and 6 staff, costing £1,636.

  • 1882

    The Colonial Bank in Rankins Road opened.

  • 1882

    Kensington Methodists were established in a small wooden church.

  • 1882

    307 ratepayers were on the roll from Flemington and Kensington.

  • 1882, March 14

    Official severance of Flemington and Kensington from the Essendon and Flemington Council, with the Borough of Flemington and Kensington subsequently formed.

  • 1883

    Flemington and Kensington had a population of 1,811.

  • 1883

    St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church congregation commenced, after being initiated by Marie Urie, daughter of James Urie, mayor of Flemington and Kensington, with the first services in the Flemington and Kensington Hall on Racecourse Road.

  • 1883, June 20

    Flemington and Kensington Library opened.

  • 1883, December 21

    First Agricultural Show at Ascot Vale during the Melbourne Cup week.

  • 1884

    Flemington and Kensington Council floated its first loan of $15,000, all spent on street-making.

  • 1884

    Additions to Kensington Street School completed.

  • 1886

    Flemington and Kensington had a population of 4,825.

  • 1886

    Council elections included a plebiscite on relocating the saleyards, with 532 (a 2-1 majority) voting for the relocation.

  • 1886, July 4

    St Brendan’s Church opened.

  • 1887, March

    West Bourke Times (the only local newspaper from the 19th Century) was founded by FS Neale, with the offices located on Racecourse Road between Pridham and Eastwood Streets, appearing to close in 1909.

  • 1887, November

    Holy Trinity, Kensington opened its church.

  • 1888

    St Stephen’s Church’s foundation stone was laid, with a commemorative coin struck by James Urie.

  • 1888

    Flemington Kensington Bowling Green opened.

  • 1888

    Kensington Skating rink (ice-skating) opened on the corner of Rankins Road and Smith Street.

  • 1888

    The new Flemington Post Office was designed.

  • 1889

    Construction started on the new Flemington Post Office.

  • 1889

    A Royal Commission into sanitary conditions in Melbourne heard the idea that the Saleyards and abattoirs be moved to another site.

  • 1889

    Land for the Post Office was purchased for £200.

  • 1890

    Flemington and Kensington had a population of 9,069.

  • 1890

    Construction completed on the new Flemington Post Office, having started in 1889.

  • 1890

    A timber Catholic School (St Brendan’s) and brick Catholic Church were built, under the control of the Sisters of Charity.

  • 1890

    NZ Loan and Mercantile Company moved its wool and grain stores to Kensington.

  • 1891

    Flemington Court House and Police Station were both completed.

  • 1892

    Land in Bellair Street was purchased for building the new Flemington and Kensington Town Hall.

  • 1892

    The model working man’s cottage was constructed at 17 Lee Street by the Yarra Yarra Bowkett Building Society.

  • 1892, November 9

    Flemington-Kensington Bowling Club opened (Essendon Gazette, Thu 10 Nov 1892).

  • 1894

    The Victorian Racing Club fenced Flemington Racecourse off from locals, who had earlier used the grounds as their greatest recreational reserve.

  • 1898

    Melbourne City Council took over control of the operations of the saleyards from a lessee (during that year 1,301,011 sheep and 91,635 cattle were sold).

  • 1901

    Flemington and Kensington Town Hall was completed, at a cost of £6,000.

  • 1901

    A by-law was passed by the Flemington and Kensington Council to make it illegal to drive livestock through Flemington and Kensington between 8am and 10pm.

  • 1902

    The creation of “A Greater Melbourne” was proposed.

  • 1902

    Holy Rosary Church, Kensington, began in Derby Street, later moving to a brick church on the corner of Ormond Street.

  • 1904

    Kimptons Flour Mills burned down.

  • 1905, June 22

    Essendon and Flemington Tramway had its first rails laid by Premier Bent.

  • 1905, June 25

    Ratepayers of Flemington and Kensington voted 771 to 348 in favour of unification with Melbourne.

  • 1905, October 30

    Flemington and Kensington together with North Melbourne became part of the City of Melbourne, under the title of Hopetown Ward.

  • 1906

    Saltwater River’s name was changed to the Maribyrnong River, upon request of Essendon River League.

  • 1906

    A plebiscite was conducted on trams, with 2,874 for and 146 against.

  • 1906

    Flemington State School formed a cadet corp.

  • 1907

    Minifecs Flour Mills was built.

  • 1907

    2,016,301 sheep and 106,248 cattle were sold at the Newmarket saleyards.

  • 1908

    Street lighting started the change to electrification.

  • 1909

    Debney’s Tannery was destroyed by fire, with Melbourne City Council later creating a tip on the site.

  • 1909

    Convent of Mercy and Teachers’ Training College commenced in “Ailsa”, the mansion on Mount Alexander Road (demolished in the 1970s).

  • 1910

    Flemington House was purchased by John Madden, lawyer and horse breeder.

  • 1910

    A new brick infant school opened on Wellington Street, with the senior school built in 1914 next door.

  • 1910

    JJ Holland took over the secretariat of the Flemington-Kensington ALP branch from Perc Clarey.

  • 1912

    Wights Hill (the area bounded by Epsom and Footscray Roads) was divided up for housing.

  • 1912

    Sisters of Mercy took over the Sisters of Charity at St Brendan’s School.

  • 1913, November 1

    Newmarket Theatre opened (possibly on 31.10.13), run by the Newmarket Picture Theatre Ltd, incorporated on 13.09.12 (including local butcher William Pridham and local printer George Brown). The theatre was later known locally as “the Flea House”.

  • 1914

    St Brendan’s School was completed, construction having started in 1913.

  • 1915

    Holy Rosary School started.

  • 1916

    There were conscription campaigns (for and against) at the Kensington Town Hall in 1916 and 1917.

  • 1916

    Melbourne Cup was postponed due to flooding.

  • 1917

    Boy Scouts started in Kensington.

  • 1918

    The Travancore Estate was subdivided.

  • 1918, October 6

    The first electric train ran from Newmarket to Flemington Racecourse.

  • 1919

    Kensington Town Hall was used as a hospital during the influenza epidemic.

  • 1923

    St Brendan’s Church was completed.

  • 1923, September 15

    88 passengers were injured when two trams collided on Mount Alexander Road, Flemington (Argus, Mon 17 Sep 1923).

  • 1924

    Park View, Racecourse Road, was completed.

  • 1925

    St George’s Anglican Church moved to its new church on Baroda Street from Royal Park.

  • 1925

    Final lots were subdivided at Travancore.

  • 1925

    The tramline along Mount Alexander Road was extended from Flemington Bridge to the new West Coburg route along Abbotsford Street, ending the 500m walk to the interchange.

  • 1925

    Flemington School of Domestic Arts opened on the site of the Flemington National School, retaining this name until 1937.

  • 1926

    Travancore Mansion (Hugh Glass’s former Flemington House) was sold to the state government.

  • 1926

    Melbourne Town Planning Commission recommended that the saleyards and abattoirs be moved to Derrimot (near Werribee).

  • 1928

    Holy Rosary Church commenced being built in Gower Street, Kensington.

  • 1932

    Flemington-Kensington Returned Services League (RSL) formed.

  • 1933

    Travancore Mansion (Flemington House) was officially opened as a residential special school and outpatients clinic for mentally retarded children.

  • 1937

    Flemington School of Domestic Arts changed its name to Flemington Girls School.

  • 1939

    Pumps were installed near Macaulay Bridge to alleviate the problem of flooding around the Moonee Ponds Creek.

  • 1939

    Arthur Calwell, future Federal Member for Melbourne and ALP Leader, returned to live in Flemington, residing in Baroda Street, Travancore (where he lived for the rest of his life).

  • 1941

    The Debney family sold the area called Debney’s Paddock to Melbourne City Council for £99,832.

  • 1941, March

    Melbourne City Council promised to create a recreation space on Debney’s Paddock.

  • 1943

    Travancore Home for Children (the former Flemington House) was emptied and used as a hospital for about 300 US serviceman.

  • 1944

    6,206,550 sheep passed through the Newmarket Saleyards.

  • 1945

    Travancore Mansion (Flemington House) was demolished.

  • 1946

    Burge Brothers Factory, Racecourse Road, was completed.

  • 1950

    Land and properties bought by compulsory order by the state government in the area surrounding Derby Street, Kensington.

  • 1951

    700 residents petitioned Melbourne City Council asking it to implement its existing plan to make Debney’s Paddock a sports ground.

  • 1953

    The Victorian government decided upon the ultimate removal of the saleyards and abattoirs.

  • 1955

    JJ Holland, who held the seat of Flemington in the Victorian Parliament for the previous 25 years, died.

  • 1957

    The Housing Commission announced that walk-up flats would be built at Debney’s Park, conducting an inquiry.

  • 1958

    Houses on Victoria Street were demolished to make way for the walk-up flats, with protests and some local outcry.

  • 1959 31

    The last movie was screened at the Newmarket Theatre (“Flea House”).

  • 1959, April

    The Newmarket Theatre reopened as Vesuvio, showing Italian movies until June 1960.

  • 1960, November

    The Newmarket Theatre operated as a dance hall until February 1962.

  • 1962

    The Newmarket Theatre operated as a wedding reception centre until early 1964, with the internal theatre demolished during June/July 1964.

  • 1964

    The Australian Ballet School was established on Mount Alexander Road.

  • 1964

    The Holland Park flats were built (walk ups in Altona and Derby Streets, Kensington).

  • 1965

    The Holland Court high-rise housing estate commenced being built.

  • 1968

    Flemington and Kensington Library was opened on Racecourse Road.

  • 1970

    St Stephen’s Church was burned down.

  • 1970

    Macaulay Community Credit Cooperative Ltd was formed in the late 1970s.

  • 1971

    Flemington Post Office receives a “C” classification rating from the National Trust.

  • 1975

    A Joint Parliamentary Select Committee reported that the Saleyards and abattoir should be phased out by 1984.

  • 1975

    Debney Meadows Primary School was opened, with 575 children enrolling (the majority hailing from Turkey, followed by Yugoslavia).

  • 1975, April

    The Kensington Community Health Centre was established, after petitions and lobbying, driven by a Mrs Bryant (with a Flemington Centre opened in 1978).

  • 1976

    Language classes for children from Turkish and Chinese families started at Debney Meadows Primary School, stopping after a few years.

  • 1978

    The Flemington News, a community newspaper, started, later called The Flemington Kensington News.

  • 1978, September

    Flemington Community Health Centre opened in the Presbyterian Church manse on Wellington Street before moving to 40 Shields Street.

  • 1980

    Flemington Kensington Legal Service was established, in large part due to the efforts of local MLA for Flemington, Neil Cole.

  • 1982

    The Flemington Tenants Association was formed, with the impetus being “the dilapidated conditions on the Flemington estate”.

  • 1983

    The Lynch’s Bridge Project (regarding the redevelopment of the saleyards, abattoirs and surrounds) began.

  • 1984

    Flemington Community Enterprises (FCE) was formed, as an umbrella organisation for High Rise Security Services and North West Conveyancing Services, to reduce unemployment in Flemington.

  • 1985

    The abattoirs site was rezoned.

  • 1985, October

    The Freeway Link Action Group (FLAG) began lobbying against the proposed western bypass.

  • 1990, July

    The Women’s Peace Garden in Epsom Road, Kensington was completed.

  • PRE 1800

    The Wurrundjeri People lived in the lands including where Flemington now sits for many years prior to European settlement.

  • 1803

    James Fleming wrote in his journal of an exploratory trip up the Saltwater River, reporting that the land had “stony soil, stiff blue clay and no trees only some straggling oaks by the side of the river.”

  • 1803

    Charles Grimes, Surveyor-General of NSW, travelled up the Saltwater (Maribyrnong) River and described the lands surrounding Flemington as being rich pasture, suitable for grazing sheep and cattle.

  • 1835

    John Batman navigated the Saltwater River and claimed the land by treaty from the Doutta Galla tribe of Aborigines.

  • 1836

    Joseph Tice Gellibrand described the Saltwater River as “most beautiful”, with the land “very rich and consists of a succession of gentle hills and dales.”

  • 1840, March 3

    The first race meeting was held at Saltwater River Flat Racecourse (later known as Flemington Racecourse).

  • 1847

    The Rose and Thorn Hotel (later the Cricket Club Hotel and then the Vincent Liem Centre) opened opposite the Flemington Hotel.

  • 1847, December 8

    James Watson purchased from the Crown the tract of land that is now Flemington for £782 15s and 6p.

  • 1848, March 7

    Flemington Hotel was licensed by James Dunbar.

  • 1849

    James Watson sold the tract of land that is now Flemington to William Easey.

  • 1850

    The first of many annual Gymnastic Games held at Flemington Racecourse.

  • 1851

    Gold was discovered in Victoria. Mount Alexander Road, starting from Flemington Bridge was subsequently the beginning of the journey to Mount Alexander (Castlemaine) and the goldfields around Bendigo.

  • 1853

    Hugh Glass paid William Easey £4,100 for the land now bordered by Racecourse Road, Ascot Vale Road, Kent Street and the Tullamarine Freeway

  • 1853, December 5

    A school began in a small cottage in Flemington village, moving the next year to a new school room and teacher’s residence next to Flemington Bridge, before being forced to close in 1858.

  • 1854

    Common School 250 opened on Hugh Glass’s property.

  • 1854

    The Victorian Parliament passed an Act to Prevent Further Pollution of the Waters of the River Yarra above the City of Melbourne, resulting in industries moving to Flemington and Kensington.

  • 1854

    Ad hoc postal services commenced in Flemington.

  • 1854 1

    The first school in the Flemington district was opened by the Independent Church on Boundary Road, with 42 students, and was later known as Flemington State School No.258.

  • 1856

    The Wesleyan Church opened in makeshift quarters on Mount Alexander Road, later becoming known as “Little Zion”.

  • 1856

    The Kensington Methodists granted a reserve facing Parsons Street for a church.

  • 1858

    Newmarket Hotel was built.

  • 1858, December 1

    Flemington National School opened, operating under this name until 1862.

  • 1859

    The stockyards were moved to Newmarket.

  • 1860

    The North Melbourne to Essendon Railway opened.

  • 1860

    The saleyards at Elizabeth Street were moved to the Newmarket site.

  • 1861

    The building of the abattoirs commenced.

  • 1861

    The first Melbourne Cup was run at the Racecourse.

  • 1861

    Flemington and Kensington had a population of 1,291, with 265 houses or dwellings.

  • 1861, December 23

    Borough of Essendon was proclaimed, following a petition from Essendon, Flemington and Kensington residents.

  • 1862

    Flemington House, the home of Hugh Glass, was completed.

  • 1862

    Flemington National School changed its name to Flemington Common School, retaining this name until 1872.

  • 1862 25

    The Borough of Essendon and Flemington was proclaimed.

  • 1864

    The Flemington to Essendon Railway Line failed as an enterprise, with the rail line not used again until 1867.

  • 1865

    Flemington’s first regular mail service began.

  • 1865

    The Wesleyan Church was built on Mount Alexander Road, with funds from Hugh Glass, with the old church moved from its site to the back of the new church.

  • 1865

    Lynch’s Bridge was in existence.

  • 1865

    Flemington had a total of 99 dwellings.

  • 1865

    The Prince Albert Hotel was built on Racecourse Road.

  • 1866

    The Ridge was built on the Ridgeway, Kensington, by Edward Byam Wight, the first chair of the Borough of Essendon and Flemington.

  • 1867

    The state government bought the Essendon Railway Line, commencing a branch line to the Racecourse.

  • 1867

    Melbourne Corporation offices opened at the saleyards.

  • 1868

    Hugh Glass was paid £150 by Flemington Common School for land on which to build a new school.

  • 1868

    The new Flemington Bridge opened (Argus article Thur 16 July 1868).

  • 1870

    Drainage of the West Melbourne swamps, allowing the land around Melbourne and Kensington to be used for industry and housing

  • 1870

    The Pastoral Hotel opened.

  • 1871

    The National Agricultural Society of Victoria held its first show on the old ground near the barracks in St Kilda Road.

  • 1871

    The branch line to Flemington Racecourse opened and was used for the Melbourne Cup.

  • 1871

    The Victorian Racing Club took control over the Flemington Racecourse.

  • 1872

    Hugh Glass died.

  • 1872

    The property of Hugh Glass was subdivided.

  • 1872

    A Catholic Church reserve was set aside at Church Street.

  • 1873

    Flemington Common School changed its name to Flemington State School, retaining this name until 1924.

  • 1873 21

    Local landowners Wight and Coote attempted to establish a school in Kensington, but this was rejected, with another application lodged on 28 May 1875.

  • 1875

    The government abolished road tolls, despite municipal protest (including tolls on Flemington and Macaulay Roads).

  • 1876

    Telegraph facilities were introduced.

  • 1876

    St George’s Anglican Church was built at Royal Park.

  • 1876

    Debney’s Tannery moved to its Mount Alexander Road site from Boundary Road, North Melbourne.

  • 1879, May 10

    The first major land sale occurred in Kensington, with well-known racing identity “Sam” P Davies purchasing land on the corner of Racecourse Road and Rankins Road (building the Palace Hotel within a few years).

  • 1880, July 28

    A decision was made to erect Kensington School, to accommodate 228 pupils.

  • 1881

    The population of Flemington and Kensington was estimated to be just less than 2,000.

  • 1881

    Residents of Flemington and Kensington commenced revolting against the Borough of Essendon and Flemington.

  • 1881

    Flemington Meat Preserving Works commenced operations on a site on the Bagotville Estate close to the Showgrounds.

  • 1881

    The Catholic Church purchased land in Church Street on the corner of High Street for a church.

  • 1881, May 16

    Kensington Street School began in a building of 3 rooms, with a total enrolment of 228 children and 6 staff, costing £1,636.

  • 1882

    The Colonial Bank in Rankins Road opened.

  • 1882

    Kensington Methodists were established in a small wooden church.

  • 1882

    307 ratepayers were on the roll from Flemington and Kensington.

  • 1882, March 14

    Official severance of Flemington and Kensington from the Essendon and Flemington Council, with the Borough of Flemington and Kensington subsequently formed.

  • 1883

    Flemington and Kensington had a population of 1,811.

  • 1883

    St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church congregation commenced, after being initiated by Marie Urie, daughter of James Urie, mayor of Flemington and Kensington, with the first services in the Flemington and Kensington Hall on Racecourse Road.

  • 1883, June 20

    Flemington and Kensington Library opened.

  • 1883, December 21

    First Agricultural Show at Ascot Vale during the Melbourne Cup week.

  • 1884

    Flemington and Kensington Council floated its first loan of $15,000, all spent on street-making.

  • 1884

    Additions to Kensington Street School completed.

  • 1886

    Flemington and Kensington had a population of 4,825.

  • 1886

    Council elections included a plebiscite on relocating the saleyards, with 532 (a 2-1 majority) voting for the relocation.

  • 1886, July 4

    St Brendan’s Church opened.

  • 1887, March

    West Bourke Times (the only local newspaper from the 19th Century) was founded by FS Neale, with the offices located on Racecourse Road between Pridham and Eastwood Streets, appearing to close in 1909.

  • 1887, November

    Holy Trinity, Kensington opened its church.

  • 1888

    St Stephen’s Church’s foundation stone was laid, with a commemorative coin struck by James Urie.

  • 1888

    Flemington Kensington Bowling Green opened.

  • 1888

    Kensington Skating rink (ice-skating) opened on the corner of Rankins Road and Smith Street.

  • 1888

    The new Flemington Post Office was designed.

  • 1889

    Construction started on the new Flemington Post Office.

  • 1889

    A Royal Commission into sanitary conditions in Melbourne heard the idea that the Saleyards and abattoirs be moved to another site.

  • 1889

    Land for the Post Office was purchased for £200.

  • 1890

    Flemington and Kensington had a population of 9,069.

  • 1890

    Construction completed on the new Flemington Post Office, having started in 1889.

  • 1890

    A timber Catholic School (St Brendan’s) and brick Catholic Church were built, under the control of the Sisters of Charity.

  • 1890

    NZ Loan and Mercantile Company moved its wool and grain stores to Kensington.

  • 1891

    Flemington Court House and Police Station were both completed.

  • 1892

    Land in Bellair Street was purchased for building the new Flemington and Kensington Town Hall.

  • 1892

    The model working man’s cottage was constructed at 17 Lee Street by the Yarra Yarra Bowkett Building Society.

  • 1892, November 9

    Flemington-Kensington Bowling Club opened (Essendon Gazette, Thu 10 Nov 1892).

  • 1894

    The Victorian Racing Club fenced Flemington Racecourse off from locals, who had earlier used the grounds as their greatest recreational reserve.

  • 1898

    Melbourne City Council took over control of the operations of the saleyards from a lessee (during that year 1,301,011 sheep and 91,635 cattle were sold).

  • 1901

    Flemington and Kensington Town Hall was completed, at a cost of £6,000.

  • 1901

    A by-law was passed by the Flemington and Kensington Council to make it illegal to drive livestock through Flemington and Kensington between 8am and 10pm.

  • 1902

    The creation of “A Greater Melbourne” was proposed.

  • 1902

    Holy Rosary Church, Kensington, began in Derby Street, later moving to a brick church on the corner of Ormond Street.

  • 1904

    Kimptons Flour Mills burned down.

  • 1905, June 22

    Essendon and Flemington Tramway had its first rails laid by Premier Bent.

  • 1905, June 25

    Ratepayers of Flemington and Kensington voted 771 to 348 in favour of unification with Melbourne.

  • 1905, October 30

    Flemington and Kensington together with North Melbourne became part of the City of Melbourne, under the title of Hopetown Ward.

  • 1906

    Saltwater River’s name was changed to the Maribyrnong River, upon request of Essendon River League.

  • 1906

    A plebiscite was conducted on trams, with 2,874 for and 146 against.

  • 1906

    Flemington State School formed a cadet corp.

  • 1907

    Minifecs Flour Mills was built.

  • 1907

    2,016,301 sheep and 106,248 cattle were sold at the Newmarket saleyards.

  • 1908

    Street lighting started the change to electrification.

  • 1909

    Debney’s Tannery was destroyed by fire, with Melbourne City Council later creating a tip on the site.

  • 1909

    Convent of Mercy and Teachers’ Training College commenced in “Ailsa”, the mansion on Mount Alexander Road (demolished in the 1970s).

  • 1910

    Flemington House was purchased by John Madden, lawyer and horse breeder.

  • 1910

    A new brick infant school opened on Wellington Street, with the senior school built in 1914 next door.

  • 1910

    JJ Holland took over the secretariat of the Flemington-Kensington ALP branch from Perc Clarey.

  • 1912

    Wights Hill (the area bounded by Epsom and Footscray Roads) was divided up for housing.

  • 1912

    Sisters of Mercy took over the Sisters of Charity at St Brendan’s School.

  • 1913, November 1

    Newmarket Theatre opened (possibly on 31.10.13), run by the Newmarket Picture Theatre Ltd, incorporated on 13.09.12 (including local butcher William Pridham and local printer George Brown). The theatre was later known locally as “the Flea House”.

  • 1914

    St Brendan’s School was completed, construction having started in 1913.

  • 1915

    Holy Rosary School started.

  • 1916

    There were conscription campaigns (for and against) at the Kensington Town Hall in 1916 and 1917.

  • 1916

    Melbourne Cup was postponed due to flooding.

  • 1917

    Boy Scouts started in Kensington.

  • 1918

    The Travancore Estate was subdivided.

  • 1918, October 6

    The first electric train ran from Newmarket to Flemington Racecourse.

  • 1919

    Kensington Town Hall was used as a hospital during the influenza epidemic.

  • 1923

    St Brendan’s Church was completed.

  • 1923, September 15

    88 passengers were injured when two trams collided on Mount Alexander Road, Flemington (Argus, Mon 17 Sep 1923).

  • 1924

    Park View, Racecourse Road, was completed.

  • 1925

    St George’s Anglican Church moved to its new church on Baroda Street from Royal Park.

  • 1925

    Final lots were subdivided at Travancore.

  • 1925

    The tramline along Mount Alexander Road was extended from Flemington Bridge to the new West Coburg route along Abbotsford Street, ending the 500m walk to the interchange.

  • 1925

    Flemington School of Domestic Arts opened on the site of the Flemington National School, retaining this name until 1937.

  • 1926

    Travancore Mansion (Hugh Glass’s former Flemington House) was sold to the state government.

  • 1926

    Melbourne Town Planning Commission recommended that the saleyards and abattoirs be moved to Derrimot (near Werribee).

  • 1928

    Holy Rosary Church commenced being built in Gower Street, Kensington.

  • 1932

    Flemington-Kensington Returned Services League (RSL) formed.

  • 1933

    Travancore Mansion (Flemington House) was officially opened as a residential special school and outpatients clinic for mentally retarded children.

  • 1937

    Flemington School of Domestic Arts changed its name to Flemington Girls School.

  • 1939

    Pumps were installed near Macaulay Bridge to alleviate the problem of flooding around the Moonee Ponds Creek.

  • 1939

    Arthur Calwell, future Federal Member for Melbourne and ALP Leader, returned to live in Flemington, residing in Baroda Street, Travancore (where he lived for the rest of his life).

  • 1941

    The Debney family sold the area called Debney’s Paddock to Melbourne City Council for £99,832.

  • 1941, March

    Melbourne City Council promised to create a recreation space on Debney’s Paddock.

  • 1943

    Travancore Home for Children (the former Flemington House) was emptied and used as a hospital for about 300 US serviceman.

  • 1944

    6,206,550 sheep passed through the Newmarket Saleyards.

  • 1945

    Travancore Mansion (Flemington House) was demolished.

  • 1946

    Burge Brothers Factory, Racecourse Road, was completed.

  • 1950

    Land and properties bought by compulsory order by the state government in the area surrounding Derby Street, Kensington.

  • 1951

    700 residents petitioned Melbourne City Council asking it to implement its existing plan to make Debney’s Paddock a sports ground.

  • 1953

    The Victorian government decided upon the ultimate removal of the saleyards and abattoirs.

  • 1955

    JJ Holland, who held the seat of Flemington in the Victorian Parliament for the previous 25 years, died.

  • 1957

    The Housing Commission announced that walk-up flats would be built at Debney’s Park, conducting an inquiry.

  • 1958

    Houses on Victoria Street were demolished to make way for the walk-up flats, with protests and some local outcry.

  • 1959 31

    The last movie was screened at the Newmarket Theatre (“Flea House”).

  • 1959, April

    The Newmarket Theatre reopened as Vesuvio, showing Italian movies until June 1960.

  • 1960, November

    The Newmarket Theatre operated as a dance hall until February 1962.

  • 1962

    The Newmarket Theatre operated as a wedding reception centre until early 1964, with the internal theatre demolished during June/July 1964.

  • 1964

    The Australian Ballet School was established on Mount Alexander Road.

  • 1964

    The Holland Park flats were built (walk ups in Altona and Derby Streets, Kensington).

  • 1965

    The Holland Court high-rise housing estate commenced being built.

  • 1968

    Flemington and Kensington Library was opened on Racecourse Road.

  • 1970

    St Stephen’s Church was burned down.

  • 1970

    Macaulay Community Credit Cooperative Ltd was formed in the late 1970s.

  • 1971

    Flemington Post Office receives a “C” classification rating from the National Trust.

  • 1975

    A Joint Parliamentary Select Committee reported that the Saleyards and abattoir should be phased out by 1984.

  • 1975

    Debney Meadows Primary School was opened, with 575 children enrolling (the majority hailing from Turkey, followed by Yugoslavia).

  • 1975, April

    The Kensington Community Health Centre was established, after petitions and lobbying, driven by a Mrs Bryant (with a Flemington Centre opened in 1978).

  • 1976

    Language classes for children from Turkish and Chinese families started at Debney Meadows Primary School, stopping after a few years.

  • 1978

    The Flemington News, a community newspaper, started, later called The Flemington Kensington News.

  • 1978, September

    Flemington Community Health Centre opened in the Presbyterian Church manse on Wellington Street before moving to 40 Shields Street.

  • 1980

    Flemington Kensington Legal Service was established, in large part due to the efforts of local MLA for Flemington, Neil Cole.

  • 1982

    The Flemington Tenants Association was formed, with the impetus being “the dilapidated conditions on the Flemington estate”.

  • 1983

    The Lynch’s Bridge Project (regarding the redevelopment of the saleyards, abattoirs and surrounds) began.

  • 1984

    Flemington Community Enterprises (FCE) was formed, as an umbrella organisation for High Rise Security Services and North West Conveyancing Services, to reduce unemployment in Flemington.

  • 1985

    The abattoirs site was rezoned.

  • 1985, October

    The Freeway Link Action Group (FLAG) began lobbying against the proposed western bypass.

  • 1990, July

    The Women’s Peace Garden in Epsom Road, Kensington was completed.

Download a Word version of Flemington’s Timeline, citing sources of information, by clicking here.

Download a bibliography, suggesting further reading on Flemington, by clicking here.

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